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Negation (was: Re: A question and introduction)

From:Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Date:Friday, June 21, 2002, 23:24
Rune lé fuzh:

>On Friday 14 June 2002 20:28, Andy Canivet wrote: >> >> So, "I don't see a house" (or even "I see no house") implies that I >> probably see nothing at all of any interest, and certainly not a house. >> >> If I say "I see a non-house" it seems, to a native English speaker, that I >> certainly don't see a house, but that I do see an object (and following the >> lojban thread from yesterday, that this object is probably near enough to a >> house for me to be described in terms of houses, even though it isn't one - >> "I see an ersatz house" or "I see a house shaped thing") >> >> Let's say you have a natlang "Splink" that typically negates nouns instead >> of verbs - does Splink's regular kind of negation mean the first kind above >> (no house, and no object), or the second kind (an object but not a house)? >> In other words - does it depend on the language or is there a primary >> "concept" of negation, regardless of how it is grammaticised in a >> language? > >My conlang Kemata marks negation on nouns (and pronouns), and makes a >distinction between these two: > >Gadbuvaire raidone. > raido-ne >see-Ps-S.1p.M.Neg house-NISg >I don't see a house. > >Gadbuvai raidohune. > raido-hune >see-Ps-S.1p.M house-NISgNeg >I see no house (but something else).
Others have greatly contributed this thread, but since I'm a week behind and am running short of time today, I can't pull all if the salient comments together. Let me say this: Géarthnuns, my lang, also marks negation on the noun. That doesn't mean nouns are necessarily negated in those sentences; simply that negation marking is on the noun. Here's where we'd be with the above examples: I see a house. Sé la sö béöbsöt tel. I-aff/nom present a-aff house-aff/acc see I don't see a house. Fé la fö béökhsöt tel. I-neg/nom present a-neg house-neg/acc see I see no house. Fé la fö béökhsöt íaülekhöt tel. I-neg/nom present a-neg house-neg/acc any-neg/acc see Negative sentences in Géarthnuns wouldn't have the nuances Ryne alludes to. Certain conjunctions give cues that a change in "polarity" (affirmative vs. negative) is coming up, so if one wanted to say, "I don't see a house, but a car.", it would look like this: I don't see a house, but a car. Fé la fö béökhsöt, arkfö se töthset, tel. I-neg/nom present a-neg house-neg/acc but a-aff car-aff/acc see Here, we're in German "sondern" territory. But notice that "arkfö" is also required when it's an affirmative sentence with a negative element (in order to change the "polarity"): Damn it, Jim! I'm a doctor not a mother! Neskers zhö kfínörs, Jins! Sé la sau tezemars, arkfö fa maralaps, nöi. heavens and below, Jim! I-aff/nom pres a-aff doctor-aff/nom but a-neg mother-neg/nom be I've always intuited that there might be problems with this system, but I've translated my chimichangas off both on- and off-list, and there seem to be a dearth of negative sentences, let alone sentences with a complex mixture of negativity and affirmativity. When did everyone get so upbeat? :) Kou


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>