By Gabriella Mazzon
Negation is without doubt one of the major capabilities in human communication.A background of English Negation is the 1st e-book to examine English negation over the total of its documented heritage, utilizing a large database and available terminology.
After an introductory bankruptcy, the e-book analyses proof from the total pattern of outdated English files to be had, and from numerous heart English and Renaissance files, exhibiting that the diversity of varieties used at any unmarried level is wider, and the velocity in their swap significantly quicker, than formerly generally assumed.
The booklet strikes directly to overview present formalised debts of the placement in glossy English, tracing the alterations in principles for expressing negation that experience intervened because the earliest documented historical past of the language. because the regular is just one number of a language, it additionally surveys the technique of negation utilized in a few non-standard and dialectal forms of English. The e-book concludes with a glance at fairly lately born languages resembling Pidgins and Creoles, to enquire the measure of naturalness of the rules that rule the expression of English negation.
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Additional resources for A History of English Negation
F. 14 B, a. 877) ' . . where them people [generic] [get] to not could' [= 'where they could not be got at'] The main negator is usually pre-verbal in OE (NEGl type), except in those cases of 'special' or constituent negation where only those Objects or adverbs following the V, and not the V itself, are negated, or in some cases of contrastive and disjunctive negation (Einenkel 1912: 193-6). It is true, however, that in the transition from OE to ME, several changes interacted with one another: besides the final fixing of word-order as SVO (except for questions), there is the shift to NEG2 and then to NEG3, where the main negator is post-verbal.
E. the main V as second constituent in the linear order of the clause, see Fischer et al. 2000: 1 05-37). Recall that Modern German shows a difference between main clauses (V2) and subordinate clauses CV-final), and since dependent clauses are considered to be more conservative, this difference has been seen as a clue to a former predominance of SOV order in Germanic, which is possibly too uncautious a generalization (Traugott 1992: 170). In any case, there are traces of predominant OV order in subordinate clauses in OE, too (see exx.
We argue that the relatively high frequency of this kind of construction, which of course would make it im possible to say that OE ne was regularly pre-verbal in the above-mentioned sense, should lead us to take into account the finite verbal element in further discussions on the position of sentential negation. Of course, negation is not represented only by the main negator, on which we have been concentrating so far. As was mentioned, Neg-Incorporation applied more widely, though optionally, in earlier stages of English and, due to this, there were many more 'negative words' than we find now, though several are still used.