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Negation in language(s): Typological and descriptive perspectives

Culture and languages

Seminar within the research area Linguistic structures, Department of Languages and Literatures. All interested are welcome!

Lecture,
Seminar
Date
17 Dec 2020
Time
13:15 - 14:30
Location
Zoom

Participants
Matti Miestamo, University of Helsinki
Good to know
Seminar language: English

The zoom link will be sent to the research area Linguistic structures's mailing list. If you are not on the mailing list, contact eva-marie.strom@sprak.gu.se to get the link.
Organizer
Department of Languages and Literatures

Abstract:

Cross-linguistic typological work on negation has paid most attention to standard negation, i.e. the negation of declarative verbal main clauses (Dahl 1979; Payne 1985; Dryer 2013a,b,c; Miestamo 2005, 2013). Other aspects of negation that have received at least some attention in large-scale typological studies include the negation of imperatives (van der Auwera & Lejeune 2013), the negation of stative
(nonverbal, existential, etc.) predications (Croft 1991; Eriksen 2011; Veselinova 2013), the negation of indefinite pronouns (Haspelmath 1997, 2013; Van Alsenoy 2014), abessives (Stolz et al. 2007), the effects of negation on the marking of NPs (Miestamo 2014), and negative replies to questions (Holmberg 2015) – for an up-to-date overview of typological work on negation, see Miestamo 2017. Currently, typological work is underway on various aspects of the typology of negation: e.g., Veselinova’s work on negative lexicalizations and the relationship between negation and TAM, Miestamo & Koptjevskaja Tamm’s work on antonyms, Van Olmen’s work on negative imperatives, and Mauri & Sansò's work on anticircumstantial clauses as well as Miestamo, Shagal & Silvennoinen’s work on negation in dependent clauses. In this talk, I will give an overview of current typological knowledge of negation, focusing especially on interesting issues arising from my own work on the domain. I will also show how typological knowledge on negation can be made use of in language description, presenting a typologically and functionally oriented questionnaire for describing the domain of negation (Miestamo 2016) and giving an update on how the questionnaire is being used in an ongoing project describing negation in a number of languages from around the world.

References

  • van der Auwera, J. & L. Lejeune. 2005. The prohibitive. In M. Haspelmath, M. Dryer, D. Gil & B. Comrie (eds.), The world atlas of language structures, 290–293. Oxford: OUP.
  • Croft, W. 1991. The evolution of negation. Journal of Linguistics 27(1). 1–27.
  • Dahl, Ö. 1979. Typology of sentence negation. Linguistics 17. 79–106.
  • Dryer, M. S. 2013a. Negative morphemes. In M. Dryer & M. Haspelmath (eds.), World atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. http://wals.info/chapter/112/.
  • Dryer, M. 2013b. Order of negative morpheme and verb. In M. Dryer and M. Haspelmath (eds.), World atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. http://wals.info/chapter/143.
  • Dryer, M. 2013c. Position of negative morpheme with respect to subject, object, and verb. In M. Dryer and M. Haspelmath (eds.), World atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. http://wals.info/chapter/144.
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  • Haspelmath, M. 1997. Indefinite pronouns. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Haspelmath, M. 2013. Negative indefinite pronouns and predicate negation. In M. Dryer & M. Haspelmath (eds.), World atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, http://wals.info/chapter/115.
  • Holmberg, A. 2015. The Syntax of Yes and No. Oxford: OUP.
  • Miestamo, M. 2005. Standard negation: The negation of declarative verbal main clauses in a typological perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Miestamo, M. 2014. Partitives and negation: A cross-linguistic survey. In S. Luraghi & T. Huumo, eds., Partitive Cases and Related Categories, 63-86. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Miestamo, Matti. 2016. Questionnaire for describing the negation system of a language. Available online via http://tulquest.huma-num.fr/fr/node/134.
  • Miestamo, M. 2017. Negation. In A. Aikhenvald & R. M. W. Dixon, eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology, 405-439. Cambridge: CUP.
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  • Stolz, T., C. Stroh & A. Urdze. 2007. WITH(OUT): On the arkedness relations between comitatives/instrumentals and abessives. Word 58(2). 63-122.
  • Van Alsenoy, L. 2014. A New Typology of Indefinite Pronouns, with a Focus on Negative Indefinites. U Antwerp dissertation.
  • Veselinova, L. 2013. Negative existentials: A cross-linguistic study. Rivista di linguistica 25 (1): 107-145.