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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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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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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5 votes
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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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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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4 votes
3 answers
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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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14 votes
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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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8 votes
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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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8 votes
3 answers
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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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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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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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