ENGLISH CONTRACTED NEGATION REVISITED: EVIDENCE FROM VARIETIES OF SCOTS

Gary Thoms, David Adger, Caroline Heycock, E. Jamieson, Jennifer Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article is concerned with the syntactic position of negation and how that connects to negation’s morphological realization and semantic and pragmatic effects. We focus on the case of contracted negation in English, which may appear both before and after the grammatical subject, and which has been classically analyzed as involving a single syntactic element placed by syntactic rule into distinct linear positions. We argue that this analysis is incorrect and that, in fact, there are multiple negations in English which are not related by a syntactic movement rule. We use the rich and complex morphosyntactic and semantico-pragmatic variation in the behavior of negation in varieties of Scots to motivate the argument and to develop a new approach that comes with both empirical and theoretical advantages.*.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)726-759
    Number of pages34
    JournalLanguage
    Volume99
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 2023

    Keywords

    • affix
    • clitic
    • microcomparative syntax
    • negation
    • Scots
    • varieties of English

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language

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