Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Negation seems to be a universal linguistic category, yet languages differ vastly in how they express it. Tungusic languages show several interesting and typologically rare phenomena. The paper offers a typological description of negation within the whole language family from an onomasiological perspective. But some remarks on the etymology of certain negators are made as well. There are three main patterns of “standard negation”. The historically oldest type (A) employs a negative verb similar to the Uralic languages, the second pattern (B) is a grammaticalized version of the first (possibly influenced by Nivkh) and the third type (C) is an innovation influenced by Mongolian, in which the negative existential replaced the negative verb. Some preliminary proposals are made for the development of a “conceptual space”, which also includes non-standard negation such as negative copulas, negative existentials, and prohibitives. The discussion contains examples from more than 35 languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conceptual space; negation; Tungusic; typology
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