Ideophones as Positive Polarity Items
MetadataShow full item record
CitationTolskaya, Maria. 2011. Ideophones as Positive Polarity Items. Master's thesis, Harvard University, Extension School.
AbstractThe thesis proposes a connection between polarity sensitivity and ideophones (words that convey perceptual experience with particular vividness and are characterized by frequent sound symbolism). The often mentioned restricted distribution of ideophones is also a hallmark of positive polarity items (PPIs), a class of words and expressions that are blocked in negative or nonveridical contexts. The case study of ideophones in Udihe (Manchu-Tungusic) suggests their gradient polarity: "strong" PPIs are excluded from all nonveridical contexts, while the "weak" ones can survive with modals, in interrogative, future, subjunctive, conditional, and similar environments. The pragmatic source of positive polarity of Udihe ideophones is witnessedness that signals direct evidence, or creates an illusion thereof, as in folk tales. Integration of ideophones into the polarity framework shows that they can and must be discussed in syntactic and semantic terms, and allows for a better understanding of the nature and possible sources of polarity sensitivity cross-linguistically.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367514
- DCE Theses and Dissertations