Friday, March 30: Mingya Liu

Please join us this Friday as Mingya Liu (Cognitive Science, Osnabrück University) presents work on negative polarity items.

Date and time: Friday, March 30, 11:00 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Location: Stuart 209 (Philosophy seminar room)

Title: Negative Polarity Items – semantics, pragmatics, and processing


In this talk, I will present my works on negative polarity items (NPIs) with three foci. First, I will review the literature and present my viewpoint on the long-standing puzzle as to why “only”, which is neither downward entailing nor non-veridical, licenses NPIs. With this case study, I will argue for a bidirectional examination of the licensor-licensee relation and for a hybrid semantic/pragmatic account of NPI licensing. Second, I will present two behavioral studies on NPIs and discuss their implications for the existing theories. Third, (if time permits), I will present an EEG study in German showing processing differences between NPIs and positive polarity items.

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