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Negation in Gur

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Abstract

The negation patterns of Gur sentences show an intriguing variety in both copula construction and verbal sentences. However, recurrent linguistic forms arising in different constructions let us assume common genetic as well common typological or areal sources.Negative markers may appear in preverbal, verb final and sentence final position. We observe double or even triple marking of negation. The obligatory sentence final marking is scattered throughout the whole area, but concentrated in a continuum stretching westward from Western Oti-Volta languages. The occurrence of some negative markers crosses language group or even family boundaries. Negation influences word order as well as the choice or avoidance of verbal forms especially of overtly marked perfective verb stems.

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