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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter October 25, 2011

Modality and negation in the history of Low German

  • Anne Breitbarth EMAIL logo


The aim of the present paper is to study and account for the scopal interaction between modal verbs and sentential negation in historical Low German. A number of proposals concerning the scope of negation in clauses with modal verbs for other languages (mainly English) will be evaluated against the empirical findings from historical Low German. It will be argued that syntactic accounts of this interaction are not empirically adequate, and that a lexical account will have to be complemented by a pragmatic one in order to account for the behaviour and development of some modal verbs.

Received: 2011-01-18
Revised: 2011-05-14
Published Online: 2011-10-25
Published in Print: 2011-October

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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