The correlation between negative strategies and basic word order

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Date
2014-12-23
Authors
Alluhaybi, Mohammed
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Abstract
Based on two typological frameworks (Dahl, 1979 and Miestamo, 2007), I explore the various strategies used to negate declarative verbal main clauses (standard negation) in 28 languages in order to investigate the correlation between them and basic word order. The 28 languages are divided into three groups according to their basic word order as follows: 11 SOV, 10 SVO and 7 VSO. As much as possible, I have included languages from different language families and different geographical areas in order to eliminate the effect of genetic relationships and borrowings. The results suggest that negative strategies are probably morphological, where the negator is an affix, in SOV languages and frequently syntactic, where the negator is an independent morpheme, in SVO and VSO languages. I also show that symmetric negation, where no structural differences are observed between affirmatives and negatives other than the negative marker (s), is the most common type cross-linguistically.
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Keywords
negative strategies, basic word order, negation, typology
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