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Summary Details


Query:   For Query: 10.1587 Negation in French
Author:  Kitamoto Kitamoto
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   General Linguistics

Summary:   FOR QUERY LINGUIST LIST 10.1587 NEGATION IN FRENCH

DEAR LINGUISTS,

ABOUT A MONTH AGO, I SENT A QUERY TO THE LINGUISTS ASKING NATIVE SPEAKERS
OF FRENCH TO MAKE INTERPRETATION ON SENTENCES INVOLVING SINGLE NEGATION AND
DOUBLE NEGATION. I'M AMAZED BY MANY RESPONSES. I RECEIVED A GREAT DEAL OF
USEFUL INFORMATION FROM MANY PEOPLE NAMED BELOW. IN PARTICULAR, THANKS TO
GILLES BERNARD FOR THOUGHTFUL INTERPRETATIONS, DAVID GAATONE, AURELIEN MAX,
JOHN REIGHARD FOR HELPFUL CONTEXTS, DE BRABANTER PHILIPPE, SYLVAIN
KAHANE, GEORGES REBUSCHI, MARIE-LUCIE TARPENT, REMY VIREDAZ FOR FRENCH
INTONATION OR ACCENTUATION TO DISTINGUISH AMBIGUITY AND NEIL COFFEY, EDDY
GAYTAN, PIERRE LARRIVEE, URI STRAUSS FOR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR
FURTHER RESEARCH.

I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO EVERYBODY WHO REPLIED:
GILLES BERNARD
ROGER BILLEREY
NEIL COFFEY
CELIA COLMERAUER
DE BRABANTER PHILIPPE
DAVID GAATONE
JOCELYN GAGNON
EDDY GAYTAN
PIERRE LARRIVEE
SYLVAIN KAHANE
PATRICK-ANDR MATHER
AURELIEN MAX
PHILIPPE MENNECIER
DOMINIQUE NOUVEAU
ROBERT PAPEN
MONTSERRAT PEREZ-PARENT
THIERRY POIBEAU
GEORGES REBUSCHI
JOHN REIGHARD
MARTINE SMETS
URI STRAUSS
MARIE-LUCIE TARPENT
ALAIN THERIAULT
BRIAN ULICNY
REMY VIREDAZ
JIM WALKER

HERE ARE THE ORIGINAL EXAMPLE AND QUETIONS.

(1) PERSONNE N'AIME PERSONNE.

MY QUESTION IS :
IS (1) INTERPRETED AS SINGLE NEGATION OR DOUBLE NEGATION (TWO NEGATIVE
ARGUMENTS CANCEL EACH OTHER, IMPLYING AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCE)?

IF IT IS INTERPRETED AS SINGLE NEGATION, IT WILL BE PARAPHRASED AS
(A) NOBODY LOVES ANYBODY.

IF IT IS INTERPRETED AS DOUBLE NEGATION, IT WILL BE PARAPHRASED AS
(B)NOBODY LOVES NOBODY. = SOMEBODY LOVES SOMEBODY.

DOES FOCUS DISTINGUISH SINGLE NEGATION OR DOUBLE NEGATION?

THE SUMMARY OF RESPONSES OF 26 SPEAKERS ARE THE FOLLOWINGS.
18 SPEAKERS GET (A) INTERPRETATION. 4 SPEAKERS GET INTERPRETATION (B).
(PAIR LIST READING: MARY LOVES BOB. TOM LOVES ANN.........) BUT 19 SPEAKERS
GIVE (UNSPECIFIC) INTERPRETATION (C) BELOW, RATHER THAN (B) AS DOUBLE
NEGATION.

(C) EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY.

12 SPEAKERS GET BOTH (A) AND (C) INTERPRETATIONS. 6 SPEAKERS' RESPONSE
IS (A) INTERPRETATION. 7 SPEAKERS' RESPONSE IS (C) INTERPRETATION. 1
SPEAKER'S RESPONSE IS (B) INTERPRETATION. 2 SPEAKERS' RESPONSE IS (A) AND
(B). 1 SPEAKER'S RESPONSES (A), (B), AND (C).

SOME SPEAKERS GIVE A CONTEXT FOR EACH INTERPRETATION AS THE FOLLOWINGS.
GILLES BERNARD: (A)

LL Issue: 10.1799
Date Posted: 25-Nov-1999
Original Query: Read original query