Double negation-marking

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The paper presents data on a syntactic structure that combines two different markers to express sentential negation in a wide variety of languages all over West-Africa. As areal distribution of this ‘double negation-marking’ illustrates the non-genetic character of the feature, an explanation in terms of language-contact processes is put forward. I thus demonstrate that the repartition of double negation-marking can best be explained in terms of different grades of contact-induced grammaticalization. I will further argue that it is not just the double marking of negation that is the basic model for the contact-induced changes but also the special relation between negation and emphasis on the negated expression that forms the conceptual template for this type of negation.


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