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Duplex negatio non semper affirmat: a theory of double negation in Bavarian

*Correspondence address: Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Regensburg, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany.

Citation Information: Linguistics. Volume 37, Issue 5, Pages 819–846, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: 10.1515/ling.37.5.819, February 2008

Publication History

Published Online:


The theme of this paper, double or multiple negation with NC-reading, belongs to the linguistic phenomena that have gained increasing interest in recent years. In section 2, I develop a DRT-based theory of NC-constructions in a single language (Bavarian), which assigns double negation a well-defined function on the syntax-semantics interface: double negation is a grammatical means to harmonize competing scope effects of negation and quantification. This theory permits the formulation of several hypotheses, for example, specifying contexts in which double negation with NC is excluded. In section 3, these hypotheses are formulated and empirically proved. In section 4, I offer some speculations about why standard languages like German could survive without DN, but some could not (e.g. Italian).

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