Minimizers in Azerbaijani from a comparative perspective

Jack Hoeksema, Verena Süleymanova

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    Azerbaijani, like many other languages, has a class of negative polarity items denoting minimal measures (along dimensions such as size, length, duration, value, weight etc.), called minimizers. This paper presents an overview of this group of expressions, compares them to minimizers in the western European languages, in particular English and Dutch, identifies the various domains in which these minimizers may be used, and discusses their distribution across polarity-sensitive contexts such as negation, conditional clauses, questions, etc. The distribution we found, on the basis of both corpus data and native speaker judgments, is very similar to that of minimizers in English or Dutch, especially when differences are factored out which are due to the fact that Azerbaijani has strict negative concord, whereas English and Dutch do not. To this end, we distinguish two types of minimizers for Azerbaijani, negated minimizers preceded by heç bir ‘not one’, and minimizers preceded by bir only.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-211
    Number of pages34
    JournalFolia Linguistica
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr-2018


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