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Negation in Estonian

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Abstract

Standard Estonian has a particle-like non-inflected negative preverbal auxiliary <i>ei </i>&#8216;not&#8217; that appears with a special connegative present form or a connegative past form (the active past participle), while South Estonian has also postverbal negative auxiliaries inflected for person and tense. Both variants have cross-categorial abessive <i>-ta </i>&#8216;without&#8217; and an inflected prohibitive auxiliary <i>&#228;ra</i> &#8216;don&#8217;t&#8217;. The specifics of paradigms, negative conjunctions, question particles (<i>ega</i>), the partitive of negation, negative replies, the scope of negation, negative affixes, and reinforcing negation are addressed as well as variation: optionality in the use of the negator <i>mitte</i> &#8216;not&#8217;, developed from an indefinite pronoun, and the deficient paradigm of <i>pole</i> &#8216;is not&#8217;, a contracted form developed from an inflected negative auxiliary and the connegative form of <i>olema </i>&#8216;be&#8217;, <i>ep</i> neg.aux.3sg and <i>ole</i> be.cng.

References

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