The syntax and semantics of negative questions and answers in Korean and English
Keywords:semantics, Korean, English, negative polarity questions, proposition external negation (PEN), proposition internal negation (PIN)
Differences in Korean and English negative polarity questions (NPQs) are revealed by the interpretation of simple yes-no answers to them. Yes-no answers to NPQs have seemingly unpredictable interpretations (Claus et al. 2017, Holmberg 2013, Kim 2017, Krifka 2017, Kramer & Rawlins 2009, Ladd 1981, Sudo 2013). However, one clearly observable fact is that yes-no answers to English and Korean NPQs can have opposite interpretations. This study: (i) compares the interpretation of positive and negative polarity questions (PPQs and NPQs) in English and Korean; (ii) examines the structure of negation in each language and its interaction with NPQs; and (iii) reports on an online experiment which gathered native speaker interpretations of NPQs in each language under context-free conditions.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 4.0 license.