In this paper, we examine contrastive negation of verbal elements in English (e.g. Mary should not praise but denounce John.). As noted by McCawley (1998), when the auxiliary do substitutes for the modal in this example, the verb in the second conjunct must be tense-inflected. However, we observe that with emphatic do, the verb can be in its base form. We argue that the contrast arises because emphatic do (but not non-emphatic do) allows coordination of verbal element. We also argue that the contracted negator n’t invariably functions as sentential negation and thus requires tense-inflection on the verb in the second conjunct (e.g. Mary didn’t praise but denounced John.). In contrast, the uncontracted negator not can function as either constituent or sentential negation, giving rise to structural ambiguity. We further contend that the identical form surfaces through the process of Left-Edge Ellipsis.
2. Emphatic do
3. Left-Edge Ellipsis
4. VP-fronting and Its Implications