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The Pragmatics of Negation

Negative meanings, uses and discursive functions

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Negation is one of the most discussed phenomena within linguistics, on all language levels though it never seems to be exhausted. This operator establishes complex sentence structures and constantly challenges – from a cognitive, syntactical, semantic and morphologic viewpoint – presuppositions on language internal relations as rational and logic. It therefore arouses interest through all fields within language sciences. From a pragmatic perspective, where negation is conceived a marked structure, using negation often produces meanings beyond the one of a reversed affirmation "it is not the case that X”. This book explores the various uses and pragmatic meanings of negation in authentic communication, in different text types and in different languages, predominately romance languages. The multilingual composition marries a macro-micro perspective where aspects of genre, sociocultural context, memory, rhetoric and argumentation interplay with the negative morpheme’s nature and embedded instructions. This broad approach makes this book a unique contribution to negation studies and to pragmatics in general. The book is important and enriching reading for scholars in all linguistic domains, but particularly for researchers in semantics, pragmatics, argumentation and, discourse analysis.

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