On the Lexical/Functional Divide: The Case of Negation*

M. Rita Manzini and Leonardo M. Savoia

in Functional Heads

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746736
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949519 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

On the Lexical/Functional Divide: The Case of Negation*

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


This chapter challenges the distinction between functional and lexical items, and argues that what is usually claimed to fill the head or the specifier of the functional projection NegP is not really a negative operator but only a polarity item, which can be nominal, adverbial, etc., in nature. As a consequence, these elements do not have a fixed location in the functional hierarchy, since they appear in the structure in positions related to their lexical status. The chapter is crucial to the notion of functional head in that it raises a general issue on the methodology to identify elements that qualify as such as well as to interpret word order variation displayed by functional elements.

Keywords: functional items; lexical items; specifier; functional projection

Chapter.  5853 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.