LINGUIST List 10.1438

Sat Oct 2 1999

Qs: Negative Concord, Internet Jargon

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  1. Sue Brown, Negative concord/negation
  2. Michal Lisecki, internet jargon in European languages

Message 1: Negative concord/negation

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 15:01:51 -0400
From: Sue Brown <>
Subject: Negative concord/negation

I am continuing my research on negative concord in Russian and would like
to expand my horizons a little bit. I am interested in data, references,
etc..., regarding patterns of negative concord in other languages,
especially less documented languages.

In Russian, all negative words (ni-words) require the negative proclitic
'ne' on the verb, where *() indicates ungrammaticality in the absence of

(i) 	Ja nikogo *(ne) vizhu.
	I no one not see
	'I don't see anyone.'

(ii)	Ja nikogda ni s kem *(ne) tancuju.
	I never not w/whom not dance
	'I never dance with anyone.'

In other words, Russian exhibits negative concord, where multiple negative
constituents express a single instance of negation. The neutral word order
for the negative words in Russian is preverbal, but they may occur
postverbally as well (usually with emphasis). The reading is still one of
negative concord:

(iii)	Ja ne vizhu NIKOGO.
	I not see no one
	'I don't see ANYONE.'

I am interested in discovering patterns of negative concord in other
languages, in particular:

a) whether negative words in any position (e.g., preverbal or postverbal)
require a negative marker on the verb (e.g., as in Catalan, Old Russian
preverbal negative constituents do not require 'ne' (it is optional), while
postverbal ones do; as in Italian, in my dialect of Southern American
English, preverbal negative constituents cannot cooccur with the negative
marker on the verb, while postverbal ones require it, for example, the
declaratives "Didn't nobody do see the film" or "Ain't nobody seen the
film" vs. "Nobody saw/seen the film."/*"Nobody didn't see the film"

b) whether movement of the negative words (e.g. fronting to a preverbal
position) is required, disallowed, or optional (as in Russian);

c) whether non-movement affects the negative force of the clause (e.g. West
Flemish, according to Haegeman 1995, requires an overt Spec-head relation
for a negative concord reading to obtain; otherwise the reading is one of
double negation, and the negatives cancel each other out);

d) whether movement or non-movement of the negative word(s) is more
neutral (if movement is optional), i.e., whether one or the other results
in focus/emphasis on the negative word (as non-movement does for (iii)

e) whether the option of movement is somehow affected by the number of
negative constituents (for example, in Russian, native speakers tend to
resist sentences like (ii) if both negative words remain postverbal,
preferring either a sentence where at least one of the negative
constituents raises to a preverbal position or the sentence in (ii), where
both move.); and if at least one must move, whether there is a restriction
on which one moves (e.g., argument, adjunct, indirect object, direct
object, etc...).

I am also curious as to who originated the term 'negative concord', if
anybody knows.

Thanks in advance for your help. Please respond to
I will post a summary, if I get enough responses.

Sue Brown
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Message 2: internet jargon in European languages

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 22:45:57 +0100
From: Michal Lisecki <>
Subject: internet jargon in European languages

Dear all,

I need help with getting the chart which showed up in "Romanistik im
Internet: Eine praktische Einfuhrung", Bonn: Romanistichser Verlag,
1999. It is a four-page chart comparing internet jargon in German,
French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. There's just no way I can
get the book here in Poland so I would be thankful if somebody could
either scan/xero it and forward it to me. I would also be interested,
if possible, in getting the TOC of the book (the respective
My scope of interest includes multicultural aspect of CMC from the
perspective of linguistic phenomena which occur in it. Although my
interest is mainly in synchronous modes (IRC, MUD) I am currently
preparing for a conference presentation on the 'pragmatics of email
communication.' Should you be interested 

Thanks 4 any help
tafn mike
Michal Lisecki, Ph.D candidate <>
Institute of Slavonic Studies, University of Silesia (Poland) <> finger 4 my PGP
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