GUNJI Takao: Prosody and Semantics of Japanese NPIs

by GUNJI Takao

Recently the effect of prosody in Japanese on interpretation has been actively discussed. Based on the behavior of so-called negative polarity items (NPIs), this paper argues that prosody is a way of representing semantic scope of some operators. Moreover, it is shown that semantically equivalent sentences with different prosody can correspond to different semantic representations that are equivalent. Thus, it is argued that prosody and semantic representation are more closely related than previously expected.

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