Negation in Mari

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The negation system of Mari (Eastern and Western literary languages) is mainly based on the use of the negative auxiliary, which takes personal endings. Its stem varies in tenses and moods. In some cases the suffixed verb ‘be’ is attached to the negative auxiliary, and this form displays functions of non-verbal negation. In Western Mari, 2nd past tense suffixal negation is used. The use of different negative markers is conditioned by the tense and mood of the predicate, predicate type, clause type and pragmatics of the clause. This article introduces an inventory of the negative markers used in the Eastern and Western literary languages. The sentence examples are mostly from Eastern Mari. Western Mari examples are included when they differ structurally from the former.


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