The synchrony and diachrony of a scalar coordinator: Latin nedum ‘let alone’


This paper investigates the amphichronic semantics and pragmatics of the scalar coordinator nēdum, ‘let alone’. Synchronically, nēdum must be preceded by an assertion that is stronger than all other alternative propositions in the focus domain. The distributional properties of the coordinator result directly from this semantics. Diachronically, the meaning ‘let alone’ developed from metalinguistic ‘not’ and the aspectual adverb dum ‘yet’. Nēdum further developed from ‘let alone’ to ‘not just’ following affirmative left coordinands.

Indo-European Linguistics 1:68–106