Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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This paper provides insight into the phenomenon of extra negation, also known as non-compositional, expletive, or pleonastic negation. It provides a corpus-based analysis of the Dutch negative privative construction, which consists of ‘without’ and ‘not’, in which one negation does not cancel the other. Two basic factors that trigger an extra negation are discussed, and an explanation of why these factors facilitate the use of an extra negation is offered. It is argued that the extra negation has a semantic-pragmatic function that is reminiscent of similar instances of extra negation in Dutch and other languages, specifically sentences consisting of a main clause and a subordinate clause containing a word which expresses implicit negation. It is shown that in complex hypotactic constructions, the extra negation is used to make explicit in the subordinate clause that the presupposition of non-occurrence is rejected.


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