LINGUIST List 8.1084

Wed Jul 23 1997

Qs: Huron, Expletive Neg0

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  1. Nadia_Mazzuca, Huron
  2. P.A.Rowlett, Expletive Neg0 and opacity effects

Message 1: Huron

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 13:27:47 MDT
From: Nadia_Mazzuca <Nadia_MazzucaBanffCentre.AB.CA>
Subject: Huron

I am doing research about indigenous languages for a writer at The
Banff Centre. He is looking for a specific article but can only
provide me with the following information:

He knows that the Huron language is considered an endangered language.
But, he has been informed by a linguist friend of an article written
about an elderly man living in the Detroit area who learned this
language as a boy from his grand-mother in the 1920's. This man does
not wish to speak with people or take inquiries. However, an article
was written about him and his experiences.

There was hope that this article was printed in _Orion Nature
Quarterly_ magazine sometime in 1995. The editor was contacted, but
has not yet responded. Without a complete citation, I cannot request
a copy of this article, if one was written on this subject.

Does anyone have any information on this topic or this specific

I would really appreciate any information that you can provide or
point me to. There is however a rush on this request. I would
appreciate any information by July 31, 1997.

Thank you very much,
Nadia Mazzuca
- -------------------------
Email: nadia_mazzuca
The Banff Centre Library
Banff, AB Canada

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Message 2: Expletive Neg0 and opacity effects

Date: 22 Jul 97 13:43
From: P.A.Rowlett <>
Subject: Expletive Neg0 and opacity effects

Dear all,

In the absence of n-words, Italian marks sentential negation by `non'
alone. Opacity effects are created by `non' in the sense that a
wh-operator cannot be extracted from a position below Neg0 to, say, a
higher SpecCP position. This effect is attributed within Relativized
Minimality to the necessarily co-occuring non-overt operator in
SpecNegP. The operator counts as a closer potential A'-antecedent and
prevents the moves wh-constituent from properly governing its trace.
So far, so good.

In French, `ne' (= Neg0) is not usually able to mark sentential
negation on its own. In some contexts, however, it can, e.g., with
pseudo-modal verbs such as `oser', `pouvoir'. Interestingly, in such
contexts, the same opacity effects are also produced, suggesting the
presence of a non-overt operator in SpecNegP. So far, still so good.

French `ne' also has expletive uses. For example, in the complement
of adversative predicates and comparatives, `ne' can appear in formal
styles without reversing polarity. In such contexts, opacity effects
are not attested, suggesting that no non-overt operator occupies

What I'd like to know is what the situation is in other languages,
e.g., Spanish, Catalan, and relevant non-Romance varieties too. I
think I'm right in saying that, in these varieties in which the Neg0
is normally sufficient to mark sentential negation alone, the Neg0
morpheme (e.g., no) also has expletive uses. The question is this:
does expletive Neg0 produce opacity effects in these languages or not?

Relevant information about specific languages would be welcome, as
would references to discussion in the literature.

Many thanks.


Dr Paul Rowlett
Head of French
Department of Modern Languages
University of Salford
Salford M5 4WT
Greater Manchester
United Kingdom
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