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Towards a typology of standard negation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2008

Matti Miestamo
Affiliation:
Department of General Linguistics, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 4, 00014Finland. E-mail: matmies@ling.helsinki.fi
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Abstract

Standard negation is the basic sentential negation in a language. This article proposes a typology of standard negation that takes into account the whole negative construction and allows explanation of different negation types by different semantico-pragmatic background phenomena. There is semantic and pragmatic asymmetry between affirmation and negation, and this asymmetry is manifested in different ways in the morphosyntax of negative constructions. The primary division in the classification is between symmetric and asymmetric negation. The asymmetric type can be divided into subtypes according to which aspects of the semantico-pragmatic asymmetry are grammaticalized in the negative constructions. Symmetric and asymmetric negative constructions are analogous to the affirmative structure and to the background semantics and pragmatics of negation, respectively.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2000

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