1887

Negation and Negative Concord

The view from Creoles

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  • Editor(s): Viviane Déprez 1  and Fabiola Henri 2
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    Affiliations: 1: CNRS L2C2, Rutgers University; 2: University of Kentucky, Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle (UMR 7110)
  • Format: PDF, EPUB
  • Publication Date December 2018
  • e-Book ISBN: 9789027263155
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/coll.55

Abstract

While universally present in languages, negation is well-known to manifest a surprising cross-linguistic diversity of forms. In creole languages, however, negation and negative dependencies have been regarded as largely uniform. Creole languages as Bickerton claims in Roots of Language, generally exhibit negative concord, a construction popularly dubbed ‘double negation’, where several expressions, each negative on its own, come together with a logic-defying single negation interpretation. While this construction – problematic for compositionality if the meaning of sentences emerge from the meaning of their parts – has fostered much research, the fertile data terrain that creole languages offer for its understanding is rarely taken into account. Aiming at bridging this gap, this book offers a wealth of theoretically informed empirical investigations of negative relations in a wide variety of creole languages. Uncovering a far more complex negative landscape than previously assumed, the book reveals the challenging richness that a thorough comparative study of creoles delivers.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Creole studies; Syntax; Semantics

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