Negation in Hungarian

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The paper presents predicate negation and constituent negation in Hungarian, both of which are expressed by the negative particle <i>nem </i>in indicative clauses,<i> </i>and by<i> ne</i> in imperative, subjunctive, and optative clauses. <i>Se</i>(<i>m</i>) is analyzed as a minimalizing particle, which can replace the particle <i>ne</i>(<i>m</i>) in certain contexts. The paper discusses two word order possibilities: the standard option, with the V raised to <i>nem</i> across the verbal particle, and an archaic pattern, with <i>nem</i> intervening between the verbal particle and the verb. <i>Nem</i> merges with the 3rd person present indicative copula, yielding <i>nincs</i> &#8216;isn&#8217;t&#8217;. An indefinite in the scope of negation is supplied with the minimalizer <i>sem</i>. Hungarian is shown to be a strict negative concord language, where universal and existential pronouns have special negative forms, which always require the presence of the negative particle. The paper also discusses negative replies, abessive morphemes, metalinguistic negation, and the non-negative, modal uses of the negative particle.


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