LINGUIST List 10.624

Thu Apr 29 1999

Qs: Metaling negation, Discourse, French articles

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. Hiroaki Tanaka, Metalinguistic negation
  2. Jyrki Papinniemi, Query About Researches on IRC
  3. Walkyria Magno e Silva, bibliography in French

Message 1: Metalinguistic negation

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 16:48:23 +0900
From: Hiroaki Tanaka <>
Subject: Metalinguistic negation

Dear all,
 I'm working on "metalinguistic negation" currently discussed by
Horn (1989), Carston (1994, 1998) and many others. One thing I want
to investigate is the properties of "metalinguistic negation in reversal
order," as shown in (1b) below. (1a) is a standard example of
metalinguistic negation.

(1) a. I won't deprive you of my lecture on negation; I'll spare you it.
 b. I'll spare you my lecture on negation; I won't deprive you of it.

 Ordinarily, the first clause in standard metalinguistic negation of (1a)
is processed truth-conditionally, but the second clause causes the
hearer to contradict the contents of the negation of the first clause,
so that s/he is forced to go back to the first clause and interpret it
metalinguistically. These are the processes of 'contradictoriness' and

 What about (1b)? Carston (1994, 1998) claims that "it is very
unlikely that there is any garden-pathing, requiring double processing of
the negative sentence." She cites the following dialogue.

(2) A: Don't deprive us of your lecture on negation.
 B: I'll spare you my lecture on negation; I won't deprive you of it.

Double processing of the negative sentence such as (1a) means that
at first the hearer considers the first clause to be truth-functional
(ordinary) negation, but later s/he reconsiders it to be metalinguistic.
Carston says that there is no such processing in the second clause of
(2B). Do you agree with her? My idea is that on hearing the first clause
of B's response, speaker A considers it to be contradictory to what he
expected to be in his original utterance, i.e. B's giving lecture on
negation, in that double processing of the positive sentence occurs
there after A hears B's not depriving him of it. My query is: What is the
esential difference of (1a) and (1b, 2B)? I would appreciate it if you
make some similar examples with context of "reversal metalinguistic

 Thank you very much in advance. I'm looking forward to your reply.
I'll post a summary soon. Please e-mail me to the following address.

Hiroaki Tanaka

Associate Professor
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences
Tokushima University
1-1, Minamijosanjima
TEL/FAX +81 886 56 7125

Carston, R. (1996) Metalinguistic negation and echoic use. Journal of
Pragmatics 25: 309-330.
- -. (1998) Negation, 'presupposition' and the semantics/pragmatics
distinction. Journal of Linguistics 34: 309-350.
Hron, L.(1989) A Natural History of Negation. Chicago University Press.
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Message 2: Query About Researches on IRC

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 17:43:52 +0300 (EET DST)
From: Jyrki Papinniemi <>
Subject: Query About Researches on IRC

Dear listreaders,

A student of our department is writing a MA thesis on IR 
chatting in Russian. Should anyone of you be aware of any 
study, publications or drafts related with IR chatting on 
any language, please respond to

We will post a listing of the responses we receive. 
Thank you in advance.

Prof. Arto Mustajoki
Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
University of Helsinki
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Message 3: bibliography in French

Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 08:58:07 -0700
From: Walkyria Magno e Silva <>
Subject: bibliography in French

Dear listers, I need the following articles or book portions for a
friend in FRENCH (Portuguese would do, but I think would be harder to
find...). Can anyone help me? SCHEGLOFF, E. et al. A simples
systematic for the organization of turn-taking for conversation.
Language, 50, 696-735. GOODWIN, Charles. Conversational organization
interaction between speakers and hearers. 1981, p1-53. LEVINSON,
Stephen. Pragmatics. Cambridge U. Press. 1983. Cap.6 BENNET, Adrian.
Strategies and counterstrategies in the use of yes-no questions in
discourse. In GUMPERZ, Language and social identity. 1982. Thanks a
lot, Walkyria Magno e Silva
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