Download A History of English Negation by Gabriella Mazzon PDF

By Gabriella Mazzon

Negation is likely one of the major services in human communication.A heritage of English Negation is the 1st booklet to examine English negation over the total of its documented historical past, utilizing a large database and obtainable terminology.

After an introductory bankruptcy, the e-book analyses facts from the full pattern of outdated English records to be had, and from numerous heart English and Renaissance records, displaying that the diversity of types used at any unmarried degree is wider, and the speed in their swap significantly swifter, than formerly more often than not assumed.

The publication strikes directly to overview present formalised debts of the location in sleek English, tracing the adjustments in principles for expressing negation that experience intervened because the earliest documented historical past of the language. because the ordinary is just one number of a language, it additionally surveys the technique of negation utilized in a few non-standard and dialectal forms of English. The ebook concludes with a glance at particularly lately born languages corresponding to Pidgins and Creoles, to enquire the measure of naturalness of the rules that rule the expression of English negation.

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Extra info for A History of English Negation

Example text

To indicate that it has scope over the whole clause, and that this fronted constituent later attracted the V to initial position, as it did in Gothic and in Latin (pp. 97-101). The author uses this kind of evidence to demonstrate that ne was a full constituent in OE syntax, and that it attracted the V, as opposed to following it in its movements along the linear order of the clause. The 'weakening' of ne men­ tioned above should thus consist in the reduction from the status of a con­ stituent to that of 'a part of the extended projection of the V' (102), which leaves the initial position free for another constituent (such as a Topic), while keeping the V2 structure intact (Beukema and Tomic 1995: 126-8).

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The derivation of a main negator of the ne/ni type from the negative formative n-, or at least the close cor­ respondence between them, has sometimes been questioned, already for Proto-Inda-European (Puhvel 1953: 19, 24; Lehmann 1974), but others estab­ lish it as a manifestation of the Neg-First Principle (Jespersen 1917: 56-9; Horn 1989: 292-3). For a long time in its history, English has had far more 'negative words' than it has now,9 and they were mainly derived through Incorporation of ne.

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