14

As @user6726 said in their comment, double negation is a fairly common feature of many languages. Answering, "What is the reason?", there are two aspects: "What is the reason?" in meaning, "why does it present in Bulgarian, but is absent in some other languages?" — because modern Bulgarian is on a different Phase of Jespersen's Cycle. "What is the reason?" ...


10

Double negation in languages follows math rules just fine, the better question is what set of math rules get followed, and that depends on the language. Negative concord: -(x + y + z) = -x - y - z No negative concord: -(x · y · z) = -x · y · z; but -x · -y · z = x · y · z Standard English doesn't have negative concord, so having two negatives cancels ...


7

First off, let's take a broader look at multiple negation. Van der Wouden (1994a) describes four different classes of how multiple negation can be interpreted: double negation (DN), e.g. Standard English constructions with negation on the verb alongside negation of the pronoun [He did not see no-one.]; weakening negation, e.g. Standard English constructions ...


6

A possible hypothesis is that words for "yes" tend to undergo replacement faster than words for "no". Think of the various near-synonyms for "yes" in contemporary English: "sure", "definitely", "absolutely", etc. If one of these were to become so common that it takes over from "yes", then the English for "yes" would no longer look like (for example) German ...


6

Double negation is an extremely common linguistic feature for languages in general and almost universally serves not as a logical predicate but rather to emphasize the negation of the general idea being conveyed. For example, in the phrase "They don't NEVER skip school", the double negative does not mean (they (not (not (skip school))) i.e. they skip school,...


6

Totally depends on your syntax theory. Some prefer to do it with a NegP, as suggested bei @eijen: Others assume the negation to be in I: And then again you could see negation as an adverb modifying the VP, as suggested by @BillJ: There really isn't a uniform answer, because that depends so much on your syntax theory (already whether you assume that ...


6

Upward entailment means that if a relation holds for some set X, then the relation will hold for a superset of X. Downward entailment means that if a relation holds for some X, then the relation will hold for a subset of X. X is a subset of Y and conversely Y is a superset of X iff all elements (members) of X are also elements of Y, i.e. Y "includes" X. ...


5

Finnish has particle words for "yes": "Kyllä" (formal) and "joo", "juu", "jep" (very colloquial), but no such words for "no". However, one generally responds to questions with an echo response (as in Irish, Latin, Chinese and Japanese). For negative responses, the negation verb en/et/ei/enme/ette/eivät is used (conjugated for person and number). e.g. ...


5

Short answer: Because Thai language has other tools for expressing polarity (affirmation and negation). Polarity is a grammatical category for expressing the speaker's assertion that a certain clause is true (positive polarity, or affirmation) or false (negative polarity, or negation). There are numerous linguistic tools to encode both polarities, and each ...


5

Yeah, it's not. This isn't the first time Pinker beat this particular drum; an earlier instance is this article, where he elaborates a little bit: What do "any," "even" and "at all" mean in the following sentences? I didn't buy any lottery tickets. I didn't eat even a single french fry. I didn't eat junk food at all today. ...


4

The Original Poster's examples don't imply anything very different from each other. However, the general question of whether or why it matters where we put the negation in a sentence is quite interesting—especially in relation to certain verbs: It is a fact known to millions of hardworking English language students all over the world that native English ...


4

What you are looking for is presupposition: Sentence A presupposes sentence B iff both A entails B and the negation of A entails B. An alternative definition is that A presupposition is a proposition such that the speaker acts as if that proposition was true/as if that proposition is taken for granted, i.e. already known. By wrapping the "he lied&...


4

Technically speaking, these are not assertions. The technical term is presupposition. Assertions are propositions that one can negate, like The moon is made of green cheese. whose negation is The moon is not made of green cheese. Presuppositions, on the other hand, are propositions that can't be negated so easily. They are occasioned by many different ...


3

I think McWhorter is exaggerating his point a bit to try to make English speakers who are used to prescription against "double negatives" rethink their possible prejudices. As far as I know, the use of a word like "anything" in a negative clause is not actually that unusual, and I don't think it makes any more sense to think of it as "illogical" than it does ...


3

Yes. The phenomenon is known as NEG-raising.


3

I believe that the ne...pas construction of French is post-Old French so that would be an example. Arabic (not all dialects) developed the negative concord element -š subsequent to earlier written Classical Arabic.


3

The citation is probably Ross, John (1984) "Inner Islands". In Proceedings of 10th Berkeley Linguistics Society. It is likely hard to find (although I'd bet jlawler has a copy available). It deals (inter alia) with the interaction of negation, adjuncts, and questions in scope/"extraction" phenomena. It's a fun paper. One "standard" explanation is in terms ...


3

You are addressing two problems: why is there, apparently, a monotonicity reversal when negating your first example ("banana"), but not the second ("driving")? why is your first example upward-monotonic, while the second is downward monotonic? The problem has to do with understanding that general terms like "fruit" or "driving" may refer to elements of ...


3

Basically what you are saying is that for this one verb the negative form changes the vowel of the prefix from /ɜ/ to /æ/. Is that right? These correspond to classical Persian bi-tawānad بتواند and na-bi-tawānad نبتواند respectively. I am not familiar with this construction in any other language.


2

Adyghe (ady; Northwest Caucasian) has a negative indefinite zjə 'no-one, nothing', which is built from the numeral zə 'one' and an additive particle -jə, so literally it is something like 'and/even one'. Typically it would be used in scalar negation, as I call it. With a negated predicate you get: (1) z-jə qe-kʼʷa-ʁ-ep one-ADD DIR-go-PST-NEG '...


2

Take a look at below: Deep Linguistic Analysis for Topic-level Analysis Bitext’s API uses Deep Linguistic Analysis based on grammars, which allows for opinion analysis not only at the sentence level, but also at the phrase level within the sentence. This is possible because the syntactic analysis identifies the different phrases (noun phrases, adjective ...


2

Different language groups – the rules are usually constant for a whole language group – simply used different conventions how to deal with the negatives. The Germanic languages are closer to the mathematical logic in the sense that every word like "nicht" flips the meaning of the sentence. It means that one has to count them modulo two. It doesn't mean ...


2

Just an info to consider: Russian's "double negative" employs two different particles. The actual negation particle is "ne". The second particle is "ni" and is actually called "intensifier" in traditional Russian grammars. And I think it's a nice way to describe it: the second particle looks like a negation, but it isn't, it's simply an intensifier. Think ...


2

I don't understand this idea of yours about rewriting negative clauses into positive ones. When a "not" attaches to an indefinite, as when "not"+"any" changes to "no", it doesn't change the clause to positive. It just changes where the negative word turns up. Positive clause: "Tom gives some candy to some friends." Negative clause: "Tom doesn't give any ...


2

As Darkgamma suggested, this is a subjective issue. The use of the present subjunctive is becoming less common in British English. While not everybody would agree with Somerset Maugham, "The subjunctive mood is in its death throes, and the best thing to do is put it out of its misery as soon as possible" (A Writer’s Notebook, 1949), probably not many people ...


2

This is not the case outside of indo-european languages, as has been pointed out to you. The most likely candidate for the origin of the nV forms is the PIE form *ne, which was a negation. But it could also be coincidence that different families converged there. I do not think there is a good explanation as to "why" the current situation came to be like it ...


2

The sentence formed by combining an element with others is the scope of that element. (Sometimes the element which is said to have a scope is itself excluded from that scope, but including it comes closer to the original account given in Hans Reichenbach's Elements of Symbolic Logic. It doesn't generally matter which policy one follows,) For instance, in ...


2

My language do allow for logically correct sentences (...) It seems like Bulgarian is a 'misty' case where you can and cannot use double negation. English does not allow that and Polish requires that. But where does it come from? You can watch a great mini-lecture (unfortunately in Polish) which has a part about double/multiple negation: https://www....


2

Logically, "not" is a sentential adverb. Grammatically, in English, it is an auxiliary verb suffix. The disparity between its logic and its grammar explains why it is so difficult to classify, especially for those grammarians who cannot distinguish logic from grammar. A grammatical modifier is an element which when added to something of a certain ...


2

I think there are two answers that may be helpful here, but before we get to them let's clear up a few things. Negative Concord is not the same thing as Redundant Negation. Negative Concord is a phenomena where two distinct negative items in a language are used for a single instance of sentential negation. I ain't never been drunk. Interpretation: 'I've ...


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