Questions tagged [negation]

Negation is an operation to deny the truth of a proposition, such as "John is NOT tall". Negation results sometimes, but not always in the opposite meaning.

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why in Polish we change ją to jej when negating the phrase?

ja lubię ją - I like her ja nie lubię jej - I do not like her Do I understand correctly what these sentences mean? If yes, why do we change ją to jej when negating the phrase? In both cases the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Examples of languages that distinguish fewer modal categories in the negative than they do in the affirmative

Are there any languages that distinguish fewer modal categories in the negative than they do in the affirmative? I can think of one example of a language, Burmese, that appears to show fewer tense-...
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The negative in "Sophie ate all her strawberries and so didn't Amelia"

New England speakers often use a negative form such as so didn't where others would use the positive, as in Sophie ate all her strawberries and so didn't Amelia. Since this usage may confuse a speaker ...
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What makes "can't get any" a double-negative, according to Steven Pinker?

The Rolling Stones famously sang "I can't get no satisfaction", which is a double-negative. "I can't get any satisfaction" is seen as more grammatical in modern English. In his ...
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Name of assertions in sentences where negation of the whole sentence doesn't negate the assertion

A few years back I watched a talk by a German linguistics professor where he (IIRC) mentioned a rhetorical technique where the writer of a speech moves certain facts into a secondary position in a ...
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Automatic sentence negation

I am looking for an automatic sentence negation tool. Something that will be able to perform conversions like: "this ball is large" ---> "this ball is small" "you should ...
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8 votes
1 answer
122 views

Why are negative verbs/sentences commonly used in invitations and suggestions?

I realized that in that some of the languages I speak or learn, negative verbs or sentences are used when inviting someone or suggesting something. While this sounds correct and I'm definitely used to ...
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Is there a way to express a negation modifier in lambda calculus?

I want to model the Middle High German sentence "Ih néhabo niêht in geméitun sô uuîlo geuuêinot" that can be glossed as "I Neg-have not-at-all in vain so much cried" meaning "I have not at all cried ...
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Positive & Negative Polarity Items, and Interrogatives

There are certain items in some languages that tend to occur largely in negative clauses. In English, one such item might be the word ever: *I have ever been to Paris. I haven't ever been to Paris. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Is there any similar verb negation in other Indo-European languages?

In the northern part of Iran, in Mazandaran, we negate like this (this is the only verb being used like this as far as I'm aware of): bɜtʊ̈ndɜ: he/she can bætʊ̈ndɜ: he/she can't is there anything ...
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Why does Thai have no words for "yes" or "no"?

There are words like /chaj/ and /mej/, but as far as I understand they are not exactly yes and no.
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Does Jespersen's Cycle apply to languages without negative concord?

In this comment, Rethliopuks mentioned something I'd never really connected in my head before. [Negative concord] is standard in plenty of languages around the world, incl[uding] most Romance ...
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How do languages with negative concord express the actual negation of negative polarity items?

This is something I started wondering while working on formal logic, but I'm having trouble finding any papers that address it. Obviously, the standard way to express negation with a polarity item in ...
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Are there any languages with only one of "yes" or "no"?

Many modern languages have single words for "yes" and "no" (e.g. English), and some have more than a simple pair (e.g. French), while others have no word for "yes" or &...
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'What one didn't see was anything' is weird. So why has it persisted?

John McWhorter PhD Linguistics (Stanford). The Power of Babel (2003). pp. 226-227. I don't know how to replicate the format on the para. on p. 227 on Old English. I didn't spot the red underline ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Negation and Pronouns in Finnish

For a small research project, I am looking at the negation in Finnish. I don’t actually speak Finnish, but I understand that there is a special auxiliary verb – the negation verb – which is used to ...
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Does the scope of negation change when there is a stressed word within a sentence?

For example, in the sentence ‘your daughter don’t hate school’, the scope of negation would be entire sentence. However if 'your' is phonologically stressed like 'YOUR daughter don't hate school', ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Are negative comparative operators like "less" typologically rarer than their positive counterparts?

I'm looking for a reference to the claim that negative comparative operators like "less" are cross-linguistically rarer than their positive counterparts. Is anyone familiar with this claim, and able ...
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Name for tendency of negative morphemes to climb to "outermost" position

In a few languages (the examples are from English), it seems to be common for negative morphemes to modify a verb that's "higher" in the syntactic structure of a sentence (not sure what the correct ...
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In which non-Sinitic languages do negative clauses retain older constituent order in SVC-derived complex predicates?

Many complex predicates are historically derived from serial verb constructions. This is not only true of the Sinitic family. For example, in Saramaccan (Byrne 1987, as cited in Givón 2009): (1) a ...
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2 votes
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The use of negations in fuzzy-data-to-text system

I have been given the task for my bachelor thesis to investigate how doctors can benefit from the use of negations in sentences that reflect physiological sensor data such as heart- and respiratory ...
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2 votes
1 answer
257 views

Written languages that acquired negative concord?

In Shakespeare's time, double and even triple negatives could be used to strengthen a negative (see e.g. Is Shakespeare's Double Negative Grammatically Wrong? on English SE). In present-day Standard ...
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Analyzing negation with a syntactic tree [closed]

When I draw the syntactic tree of a sentence with "not", what kind of component would the "not" be? e.g. Jane did not go to school
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the difference between upward and downward entailment

How does one show the difference of an upward entailment between that of a downward entailment? I have tried doing examples where the negative polarity item is moved from the verb phrase to the noun ...
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2 answers
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DS for a question starting with "Didn't"?

I am trying to draw a derivation for "Didn't the cat eat the mouse?" But I'm confused as to what the deep structure would be. "The cat did not eat the mouse" seems incorrect, since it is stating ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Position of negation in an english sentence [closed]

This question is mainly aimed at native English speakers. Does the position of negation in a sentence matter? Does it have a feeling attached to it? Here is my point of view and an example: I have no ...
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9 votes
4 answers
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Why is "No" more universal than "Yes"?

I apologize if this has been asked. I'm a little surprised if not. I don't have much experience with non-European languages, but regardless, I see that "No" is almost always with "N", but "Yes" is ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Scopal relation of negation and quantifier

What is the exact meaning of scope? In the following sentence, what is the scopal relation of negation and quantifier? And how could I know if there is a wide or narrow scope between them? She ...
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1 answer
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Are there languages with triple or quadruple negation?

Since I already know that language does not necessarily follows mathematical logic (which of course is a man made system of rules - it's not absolute) I want to know if there are languages with triple ...
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14 votes
4 answers
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What is the reason for the double negation found in some languages?

I'm a bulgarian. My language has a double negation form and I do not understand why and how can people talk like that and how it came to be in first place. Everyone just seem to accept it and no one ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Logic disambiguation in composed sentences with negative predicates and "or" conjunction

Today, I've attended a psychological test for the master thesis of a friend of mine. The target is children and adults. So don't scare if you see in the following lines that I speak about animals. I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
568 views

Negation detection software

I am looking for negation detection software or libraries. Linux, Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X are all OK. Any price and license is good too. I am mostly interested in the quality of the detection. ...
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1 vote
0 answers
271 views

How to use the AssertionMiniPipelineAnalysisEngine in cTAKES?

I am trying to use Apache cTAKES to detect negations in physician notes. I have loaded the provided analysis engine apache-ctakes-3.2.2-bin\apache-ctakes-3.2.2\desc\ctakes-assertion\desc\...
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2 votes
0 answers
316 views

Manifestation of negation in proto-indo-european? [closed]

Does anybody know when and how linguistic negation was manifested in proto-language (anyone, for example, proto-indo-european)? What is meant by "linguistic negation" is these patterns of language ...
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3 answers
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Is there any logic to required double negatives, or is that "just the way it is"?

In English, double-negatives are considered ungrammatical We don't have no money. Except when you actually mean it... There's not nothing in the box... it's full of packing peanuts! But in ...
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How do you learn to rewrite clauses with double negation or hypernegation? [closed]

Per p 24, A Student's Introduction to English Grammar (2005), by Huddleston & Pullum, Polarity is the name of the system contrasting positive and negative clauses. I ask this question in ...
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5 votes
2 answers
401 views

Are there languages, other than Mandarin, in which negation differs depending on the time interval at which a non-event fails to occur?

Assuming that languages do not create complexities in vain, the existence in Mandarin of two different propositional negation devices - via “bù”, an adverb, and “méi” or “méiyou” (verbs) - seems to ...
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2 votes
3 answers
576 views

Mandative construction verb form problem

A question asked on another forum concerned the use of different verb forms in the subordinate clause in the following "mandative" sentences: It's important that you do not be late It's ...
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1 vote
1 answer
543 views

What is the scope of negation (again)?

I recently asked a question concerning the scope of negation. I received helpful feedback from a number of linguists who frequent this forum. My efforts to discern the scope of negation continue, and ...
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What is the scope of negation?

A recent question posed by another user observed that the following sentence is ambiguous: (1) Arthur does not discipline his children because he loves them. This sentence can mean either that ...
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2 votes
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Is there a public list of negation and affirmation cues?

I am trying to find a public list of "negation" and "affirmation" cues (I'm not a linguist so I apologize if I am using incorrect terminology). A simple example for a "negation cue" I'm looking for is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

The notion of monotonicity

I am slightly confused bu the notion of upward-monotonicity and downward-monotonicity. I cannot understand what exactly can be defined as upward-monoty and down-ward-monotony, is this definition of ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Diachronic sources of negators

What are some examples of negators that have a known (or even conjectured) etymology? What kinds of non-negative meanings can develop into negative meanings? The etymologizable negators I know of all ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Jespersen's Cycle - why is it defined cycle?

In his excellent work, Negation in English and Other Languages (1917), Otto Jespersen has discovered a pattern that describes how linguistic negation shifts between several stages: Negation is ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Historical changes from 'not yet' to 'not again' and vice-versa

A two part question. Are there attested historical changes whereby a construction C in some language means 'not yet', and then C changes in meaning so that it means 'not again' at a later time (or ...
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22 votes
4 answers
31k views

Is "double positive meaning negative" a common phenomenon?

The following joke is popular: An MIT linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Reference request: ways of indicating disagreement

There are lots of ways to indicate you disagree with some aspect of an utterance. I'm thinking here of the spectrum that includes "No, not-X," "Well, not-X," "Hey, wait a minute! Not-X!" "Yes, you're ...
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