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Dependent polarity particle

From Teflpedia

A dependent polarity particle is a polarity particle that is syntactically dependent on an auxiliary verb.[1]

In English, the main dependent polarity particle is not. There is no expressed word that can act as an affirmative polarity particle, although in some theories of grammar there is an affirmative polarity particle that fills the polarity particle for the syntactic slot.

  • I am not Spock
  • I am ∅ Spock

The polarity particle is dependent on the auxiliary verb; if the main verb is an independent main verb (e.g. I like chocolate), there cannot be a polarity particle.

  • I don’t like chocolate (negative dependent polarity particle)
  • I do ∅ like chocolate. (zero-affirmative independent polarity particle)

but *I not like chocolate or *I like not chocolate are erroneous in modern English.

References[edit | edit source]