Morphology and pragmatics of affixal negation

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This chapter deals with the difference between propositional negation and the affixal negation which is conveyed by the Spanish prefix <i>des-</i>. To do so, verbal prefixation is chosen, since it better represents the way in which the two kinds of negation directly compete with each other regarding the verbal event. The markedness &#8211; or stronger sense &#8211; of affixal negation as opposed to propositional negation is then explained in terms of the way in which a pragmatic strengthening principle (following Horn 1984) interacts with the verbal features of the corresponding bases. The result of this interaction may be specified in different ways. More generally, this article reflects the importance of Pragmatics in word formation processes. Keywords: propositional negation; affixal negation; pragmatic strengthening; verbal prefixation


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