What Is n't Doing There?: French Expletive Negation in Comparative Clauses
AbstractThis paper explores expletive ne in subordinate comparative clauses in French. I limit the discussion to (reduced) clausal comparatives, since expletive negation does not occur in (direct) phrasal comparatives. I show that expletive ne is favored in all comparative clauses, and argue that this provides direct evidence that it is still a part of synchronic French grammar. I propose that French comparatives should be analyzed as A-not-A constructions, and that expletive ne is a formally negative head that is licensed by a truth-value operator. Expletive ne thus functions concordally to mark the comparative subordinate clause as containing a negation.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 4.0 license.