The aim of the present article is to discuss the syntactic distribution and semantic/pragmatic interpretation of the discourse particle ben (lit. ‘well’) as used in the Trentino regional variety of Italian. Regarding its distribution, the results of our investigation with native speakers are presented, showing that ben is admitted in any of the tested TAM contexts (save for non-root embedded clauses) and always sits between the lexical/auxiliary/restructuring verb and the non-finite form. As for its interpretation, it is shown that ben is used to negate an implicit or explicit negative presupposition, i.e. it is primarily connected with negation. These syntactic and interpretative properties are captured by claiming that ben sits in NegPresuppositionalP, where it is licensed by the (c)overt operator no located in ForceP.
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