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
>My conlang Kemata marks negation on nouns (and pronouns), and makes a
>distinction between these two:
>I don't see a house.
>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
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? :)