Negation in Jukun

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Central Jukunoid languages (East Benue-Congo, Nigeria) such as Hone or Wapan exhibit rich and complex systems of negation. There are different strategies depending on whether negation of the indicative or subjunctive mood of the verb is expressed, or whether an object or a noun phrase is negated. Closely related to negation patterns are the so-called “repeating” or “recapitulative pronouns”, which sometimes resemble Chadic intransitive copy pronouns. This contribution describes how negation focuses on different constituents and explores the origin of negation morphemes and constructions out of focus and mirativity markers. These seem to have developed from semantically oppositional markers that are assumed to have been discourse markers first in Jukun before they were transformed into focus and negation elements.


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