Lec 7: Negation
- Negation (ch8)
○ Meaning of negation
○ Negative clauses
○ Sub-clausal negation
- Clausa Types (ch10)
○ Speech acts
- Negation = in English is marked by words such as
○ NOT, NEVER, NO, ...etc
○ Affixes = prefixes and suffixes that attach to words, such as
n't, un- , non- ...etc
e.g. He has not arrived.
They never eat out.
No employees sent in their forms.
○ She didn't receive the letter.
You were unhappy with the wallpaper.
She's studying non-conventional medicine.
- Use pre/suffix
- Sometimes use a word to show negation
- e.g. No one likes housework
○ No one = negative NP, shows negation
- e.g. I'm not happy
- e.g. he didn't do the work.
- e.g. she's un-happy
Meaning of Negation
- In terms of meaning - negation indicates that some part of the sentence is NOT TRUE.
For example: the sentence "Bill broke the vase" = NOT TRUE
Why? Because … It was someone else who broke the vase
Bill handled the vase but it was not broken.
Bill broke something other than the vase (e.g. a dish)
Any of these situations would be enough for us to say that "he didn't break the vase".
○ Notice that negation does not indicate that the opposite is true.
Eg. "The red team didn't beat the blue team" does NOT mean the blue team won
-since it could have been a tie or the competition could've been cancelled altogether.
- e.g. Bill didn't break the vase.
○ Meaning 1 = someone else broke it
○ Meaning 2 = he didn’t break it, he damaged it
○ Meaning 3 = …
- Negation does not always mean the opposite
○ e.g. The red team didn't beat the blue team.
Does not mean blue team won
Maybe it was a tie
○ We call the positive/negative contrast POLARITY
Lectures Page 1 ○ We call the positive/negative contrast POLARITY
Clauses can have positive polarity or negative polarity
- POSITIVE POLARITY = DEFAULT
Clauses with positive polarity are simpler (contain fewer items)
Clauses with negative polarity usually need extra material
- Positive - negative contrasts
- e.g. It is raining = clause with POSITIVE POLARITY
- e.g. It is not raining = NEGATIVE POLARITY
- Positive polarity
○ Default clause
○ Always go from positive to negative
- Always have declarative sentences as default - make questions
- Having a negative element (e.g. not) inside a cluase doesn't always give the clause negative polarity
○ There are 3 tests for polarity
TEST 1 "not even"
TEST 2 "so", "neither" and "nor"
TEST 3 reversed polarity tags
- Positive clauses and negative clauses behave diff with respect to these 3 tests
THREE TESTS to show that a clause is a Negative
- See slide
TEST 1: "not even"
○ While negative clauses can be followed by constituents intro by "not even", this is not possible with positive
- If you can use "not even" in a clause = negative
- e.g. No one passed the test, not even the smartest student.
- e.g. There are no puppy haters, not even in America.
TEST 2: "So", "neither", "Nor"
○ TWO Positive clauses can be connected with the connective "SO"
○ TWO negative clauses can be connected with connectives "NEITHER" or "NOR"
- Notice that if we try to connect 2 positive clauses w/ NEITHER or NOR, we get an ungrammatical sentence: