|Budget Amount *help
¥2,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,700,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,300,000)
It is generally accepted that negative contexts in natural languages are monotone decreasing (MD) while positive contexts are monotone increasing (MI). Van der Wouden (1997) claims, based on his data from Dutch, that natural languages universally have a hierarchy of negative contexts which can be defined by the three Boolean properties, i.e.monotone decreasing(MD), anti-additive(AA), antimorphic(AM). This research examined its universality, discovered another property which contributes to the distinction of negative contexts in English and Japanese, and showed that the defining properties of the hierarchy of negation vary among languages. The main results are as follows : (a) native speakers of English are sensitive not to the above three properties but to what we called a'double negative property (DN)', (b) English language has a bias to the weak negative polarity items (NPIs), i.e., that a large part of English NPIs appear in the weakest MD negative contexts, (c) native speakers of Japanese are sensitive to DN and AM properties, (d) Japanese language has a bias to the strong NPIs, i.e., that most of the Japanese NPIs appear in the strongest AM negative contexts and DN contexts, (e) like Dutch, Japanese has bipolar elements such as'itteki-demo', which appear only in the weakest MD and the middle AA negative contexts but not in positive MI contexts nor in the strongest AM negative contexts. What is called'polarity' forms a scale which has two poles of AM and MI, and several grades of negation between them. This research has shown that the ways of our recognizing negative contexts with different strength are not identical among natural languages, though the semantic property of negative environments in the widest sense is universal.