Linguistic Variation Yearbook 2009
  • ISSN 1568-1483
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9900
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In this work we consider the diachronic development of two distinct types of negative markers, those originally stemming from minimizers (m-negation) and those originally deriving from a negative quantifier (q-negation). We provide evidence in favor of the hypothesis that, despite appearances, they do not follow the same grammaticalization path. We claim that the distinct syntactic position of the two types of negation in the modern dialects depends on the distinct evolution path they have taken, which in turn depends on their original properties. While minimizers change their position during the grammaticalization cline, q-negation stays in the same position throughout the whole process. If this is correct, it means that Jespersen’s cycle is not syntactically homogenous and that the result of a postverbal negative marker can be achieved by means of various strategies.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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