Blocking Effects and Polarity Sensitivity

Jack Hoeksema

Faculteit der Letteren
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Postbus 716
9700 AS Groningen
The Netherlands


The absence of negative universal determiners in natural languages expressing ``not all'' has given rise to various speculations, ranging from an innate principle of grammar to blocking on the basis of pragmatic principles. After arguing that these proposals are flawed, I propose that there are no general principles standing in the way of such determiners, but that the two main processes which diachronically produce negative quantifiers presuppose conditions on use which are not met by negated universal statements.

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