LINGUIST List 14.1202

Tue Apr 29 2003

Diss: Typology: Miestamo "Clausal Negation..."

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  1. matmies, Typology: Miestamo "Clausal Negation: A Typological Study"

Message 1: Typology: Miestamo "Clausal Negation: A Typological Study"

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 08:12:02 +0000
From: matmies <matmiesling.helsinki.fi>
Subject: Typology: Miestamo "Clausal Negation: A Typological Study"


Institution: University of Helsinki
Program: Department of General Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Matti M Miestamo 

Dissertation Title: 
Clausal Negation: A Typological Study

Linguistic Field: Typology, General Linguistics

Dissertation Director 1: Fred Karlsson
Dissertation Director 2: Jouko Lindstedt


Dissertation Abstract: 

The dissertation is a cross-linguistic study of clausal negation. The
study is based on a genealogically stratified sample of 297 languages,
and focuses on standard negation--the basic structural means languages
have for negating declarative verbal main clauses. Standard negation
structures are examined in the languages of the sample, and a
typological classification of the structural means for expressing
standard negation is proposed. The basic distinction in the
classification is between symmetric and asymmetric negation. In
symmetric negation affirmative and negative structures show no
differences in addition to the presence of the negative marker(s),
whereas in asymmetric negation there are further structural
differences, i.e. asymmetries. A distinction is made between
constructional and paradigmatic asymmetry; in constructional asymmetry
the negative construction differs structurally from the corresponding
affirmative, whereas in paradigmatic asymmetry the correspondences
between the members of (verbal etc.) paradigms used in affirmatives
and negatives are not one-to-one. Asymmetric negation can be divided
into subtypes according to what kinds of structural asymmetries are
found: asymmetry in the finiteness of verbal elements (A/Fin), in the
marking of reality status (A/NonReal), in the marking of emphasis
(A/Emph), and various other kinds of asymmetries in the marking of
grammatical categories (A/Cat). Some of these types can be divided
into further subtypes. The frequencies of the different types, their
correlations with other aspects of negation and with word order, as
well as their geographical distributions are examined. Symmetric
negation is more frequent in the world's languages than asymmetric
negation. Functional motivations are proposed for the structural
types. Symmetric negatives are language-internally analogous to the
linguistic structure of the affirmative and thus motivated by pressure
for cohesion in the system. Asymmetric negation is language-externally
analogous to different asymmetries between affirmation and negation on
the functional level--the stativity of negation, the discourse context
(backgroundedness) of negation, the semantic connection between
negation and other conceptualizations of the non-realized. The
different subtypes of asymmetric negation have grammaticalized
different aspects of the functional asymmetry. Some diachronic
developments are also discussed.
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