Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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The present discussion proposes that renewal processes in the domain of negation manifest themselves predominantly in the change from bi-morphemic, synthetic negation to analytic negation by introducing a new auxiliary verb as verbal head. Some of these new verbs may subsequently be merged with the negator resulting into new bi-morphemic negation. The proposed analyticization process accounts for different kinds of complex negation, including aspectual and modal negation, the copula and negative focus markers. I propose a unified mechanism for the morpho-syntactic processes, which change the system of negation in Chinese. Two morpho-syntactic factors contribute to this particular grammaticalization process of Chinese: (1) the diachronically consistent head initial word order within the functional and the lexical (CP/P) domains (with the exception of sentence-final particles); and (2) the morpho-phonological rule that negation has to attach directly to , i.e., to a weak verbal head. Based on particularly the second constraint, I propose that only the combination leads to the emergence of new fused negators constituting the head of a Negative/Modal phrase, i.e., a negative phrase (NegP) with modal features. The renewal process of the verbal heads of bi-morphemic negation is caused by semantic bleaching and an increasing intransparency of the negator which triggers the grammaticalization of new (often defective) lexical verbs via upward movement from the lexical to the functional domain. It accounts for the grammaticalization of the aspectual negator , of the (negative) copula of Early Archaic Chinese into focus marker and complementizer, and for the replacement of synthetic by analytic modal negation > .


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): analytic; Chinese; linguistic cycle; negation; synthetic
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