This is the first book in a two-volume comparative history of negation in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean. The work integrates typological, general, and theoretical research, documents patterns and directions of change in negation across languages, and examines the linguistic and social factors that lie behind such changes. The first volume presents linked case studies of particular languages and language groups, including French, Italian, English, Dutch, German, Celtic, Slavonic, Greek, Uralic, and Afro-Asiatic. Each outlines and analyses the development of sentential negation and of negative indefinites and quantifiers, including negative concord and, where appropriate, language-specific topics such as the negation of infinitives, negative imperatives, and constituent negation.
The second volume (to be pubished in 2014) will offer comparative analyses of changes in negation systems of European and north African languages and set out an integrated framework for understanding them. The aim of both is a universal understanding of the syntax of negation and how it changes. Their authors develop formal models in the light of data drawn from historical linguistics, especially on processes of grammaticalization, and consider related effects on language acquisition and language contact. At the same time the books seek to advance models of historical syntax more generally and to show the value of uniting perspectives from different theoretical frameworks.