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Query Details

Query Subject:   'Not Yet' Type Constructions
Author:   Tony Wright
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Morphology

Query:   I would like to ask if anyone knows of published research on the
semantics/morphosyntax of ''not yet'' type constructions in English or
other languages. An example of this kind of construction in English would
be as follows:

a. I have not seen Mary yet.
b. He did not steal the vegetables yet.
c. We don't yet offer discounts.

This contrasts with simple negation involving 'not':

d. I have not seen Mary.
e. He did not steal the vegetables.
f. We don't offer discounts.

Note that the English ''not yet'' construction is morphologically complex,
in that it involves two free morphemes, ''not'' and ''yet'' which sometimes
can be, but are not strictly required to be, adjacent. So far I am aware
of similar, morphologically complex constructions in Spanish, French,
Mandarin and Taiwanese.

Two queries:

1. I have not been able to find literature on this English construction or
its equivalents in other languages, and I'd be grateful if anyone could
point me to some research on this type of construction.

2. I would like to know if anyone is aware of a ''not yet'' type
construction in another language which is morphologically simple, for
example, that involves only a single free morpheme instead of two free
morphemes, or that involves a affix.

An example from American Sign Language:


Here, NOT-YET is a single, morphologically-simple lexical item (a single,
mono-morphemic word). I haven't yet been able to find other examples of
morphologically-simple ''not-yet'' constructions in spoken languages.

Any information concerning these questions would be much appreciated.
Please reply to tonywright@mail.utexas.edu

Thank you.

--Tony Wright
LL Issue: 16.3501
Date posted: 08-Dec-2005


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