Department of Linguistics
Subject: The scope of negation
Supervisor: Dr. Nora Boneh
Abstract: My dissertation investigates the interaction between negation and other logical operators such as quantifiers in natural language. It combines two major approaches in linguistics that rarely have dialogue with each other: formal semantics, the study of linguistic meaning using precise mathematical tools, and linguistic typology, the study of the structural diversity in the world’s languages. Using primary data from over 150 languages from around the world, including historical data from 43 of these languages, the research project aims to provide a typology of several negative constructions. The main dataset used in this study is contemporary and historical translations of the New Testament. The heart of this investigation is constructions such as "All that glitters is not gold", where a universal quantifier linearly precedes the negative marker, but negation is interpreted as taking wide scope over the quantifier. The typological findings will be used to inform formal accounts of the semantic and syntactic phenomena under investigation.
Bio: Omri Amiraz is a PhD candidate in Linguistics. His dissertation investigates the interaction of negation and other logical operators from a formal, typological, and diachronic perspective. His advisor is Dr. Nora Boneh. He is also a member of the joint HUJI-TAU Structured Ph.D. Program in Linguistics.
- Amiraz, Omri. 2019. Semi positive polarity items. The proceedings of the North-Eastern Linguistic Society (NELS) 49.
- Amiraz, Omri. (Forthcoming a). Non-maximality and homogeneity: Parallels between collective predicates and absolute adjectives. The proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 24.
- Amiraz, Omri. (Forthcoming b). Negation in Modern Hebrew. In: Miestamo, Matti & Ljuba Veselinova (eds.), Negation in the languages of the world. Berlin: Language Science Press.
Rotenstreich Scholarship 2021/22
President Scholarship 2020/21