Special negators in the Uralic languages

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This study covers data from 26 Uralic languages and has both a synchronic and a diachronic orientation. The synchronic part includes a detailed description of the negation strategies in sentences such as (i) <i>Mary is not a nurse</i> and (ii) <i>There are no wild cats.</i> The negators used in such clauses are referred to as <i>special negators </i>because they often differ from standard negation. Their formal and semantic features are discussed but they are also viewed in a broader typological setting. As regards diachrony, the origin of the special negators is traced and the <i>Negative Existential Cycle</i> (Croft 1991) is tested on the Uralic data. Some modifications of the model are suggested as a result of this application.


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