OT: Negation as the indicative standard
|Date:||Sunday, January 18, 2004, 17:37|
My Symbolic Logic professor wondered something to those of us in the
class interested in linguistics the other day. He notes that English, along
with a lot of other languages, states indicative sentences in the
affirmative "I went to the store" "It is red", and that to negate a
sentence, an extra particle (morpheme?) must be added. In English, it's
not:: "I did not go to the store" "it is not red" (forgiving change in
What he was curious about is if there's a language that does it the other
way around. That is, a standard indicative sentence is normally negative,
and an extra word/morpheme/something must be added to make it an
So a literal translation of the indicative might be "It is raining", but it
actually means "It is not raining".
He was just wondering idly, and I figured this would be a good place to
wonder if there are any languages that are like that? Natlangs, conlangs,
any...just a language in general?
Anyone know of any?