I read the post https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/60907/ and have a hard time understanding the meaning of "polarity" even after googling the term (I found "polarity item" but it seems unrelated?).

... Adverbs don't determine polarity of a sentence in Japanese unlike English. e.g ほとんど殺した means "killed almost everyone", not "almost killed".

Could you help me (a guy who is new to linguistics) understand it?


It is about polarity, rather than about the related "polarity item".

English almost creates a negative polarity: almost killed, although it does not contain an explicit negative, nevertheless implies "did not kill". According to the excerpt you quoted, ほとんど does not have this implication.


You need to ask the author of this passage. It looks like he misused this term. Maybe he wanted to say simple that adverbs do not to add sense to verbs, only to noun phrase.

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