GB138 - grambank/grambank Wiki

Original URL: https://github.com/grambank/grambank/wiki/GB138

Can standard negation be marked clause-initially?

Summary

This feature focuses on standard negation, or the construction(s) that mark negation of (at least) dynamic (i.e. non-stative) verbal predicates in declarative mood. It is possible that the same negation construction will be used for other purposes as well (e.g. with stative or non-verbal predicates), but clauses involving predicates other than the aforementioned dynamic verbal predicates in declarative mood should be disregarded.

The position ‘clause-initial’ includes prefixes on clause-initial verbs, even if the negator is not the left-most prefix, but suffixes on clause-initial verbs do not count as clause-initial negation. If the negator consists of two obligatory elements and only one is clause-initial, this is sufficient to count as clause-initial negation and to trigger a 1 for this feature. As with other word order features in this dataset, we are concerned with the order of the negative marker when the clause has its canonical intransitive or transitive word order. We are not interested in cases of argument omission or pragmatically marked constructions (e.g. focus); these should be disregarded in coding this feature.

Procedure

  1. Find the section in the available descriptive literature that deals with negation.
  2. Consider all the described standard negation constructions (i.e. those that negate dynamic verbal predicates in declarative mood).
  3. If the negative marker is clause-initial in any construction identified in step 2, code 1.
  4. If there are multiple markers of standard negation and one is clause-initial, code 1 (and if the other is clause final, code 1 for GB137 Can standard negation be marked clause-finally? as well).
  5. If there is no clause-initial marker of clausal negation, code 0.
  6. If clause-initial markers of clausal negation only occur in pragmatically marked constructions, or with non-verbal or stative predicates, or in non-declarative clauses, code 0.
  7. If a marker of standard negation only occurs clause-initially as a result of argument omission (and occurs in a non-initial position when independent nominal or pronominal arguments are included), code 0.

Examples

Masbatenyo (ISO 639-3: msb, Glottolog: masb1238)

The negative words used in standard negation in Masbatenyo are placed before the negated predicate (Rosero 2014: 114). As this language has V-initial word order, this results in a standard negation construction whose marker of negation is frequently clause-initial:

wará'  na  'ako      nakig'amígo            sa   'íya
NEG    PRT  1SG.ABS  INTR.RECP-make.friend  OBL  3SG.OBL
‘I never made friends with her.’ (Rosero 2014: 61)

Masbatenyo is coded 1.

Bininj Kun-Wok (ISO 639-3: gup, Glottolog: gunw1252)

Negation is marked by a free-standing particle that occurs before the verb, resulting in clauses where the negator is the first element. This is an example of a 1.

Marrek  Birri-ngui-yi
NEG     3AUG/3MIN-eat-IRR
‘They didn't eat it.’ (Evans 2003: 604)

Tamambo (ISO 639-3: mla, Glottolog: malo1243)

The negator precedes the verb in Tamambo, but follows overt subjects in the standard negation construction:

tama-na     ma-te    soara-a
father-3SG  3SG-NEG  see=3SG
‘His father didn't see him.’ (Jauncey 2002: 619)

The negator is not in a clause-initial position in the construction that satisfies our definition of standard negation, so Tamambo is coded 0.

Further reading

Croft, William. 1991. The evolution of negation. Journal of Linguistics 27(1). 1–27.

Dahl, Östen. 1979. Typology of sentence negation. Linguistics 17. 79–106.

Dahl, Östen. 2010. Typology of negation. In Laurence R. Horn (ed.), The expression of negation, 9–38. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Dryer, Matthew S. 2013. Negative morphemes. In Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds), The world atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Dryer, Matthew S. 2013. Position of negative morpheme with respect to subject, object, and verb. In Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds), The world atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Dryer, Matthew S. 2013. Order of negative morpheme and verb. In Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds), The world atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Miestamo, Matti. 2013. Symmetric and asymmetric standard negation. In Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds), The world atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Payne, John R. 1985. Negation. In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description, vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

References

Evans, Nicholas. 2003. Bininj Gun-Wok: A pan-dialectal grammar of Mayali, Kunwinjku and Kune. (Pacific Linguistics, 541.) Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

Jauncey, Dorothy. 2002. Tamabo. In John Lynch, Malcolm Ross & Terry Crowley (eds), The Oceanic languages, 608–625. Richmond: Curzon.

Rosero, Michael Wilson I. 2014. A grammatical sketch of Masbatenyo. Quezon City: University of the Philippines. (MA thesis.)

Related Features

Patron

Hannah J. Haynie