Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Journal of African Languages and Linguistics

Ed. by Ameka, Felix K. / Amha, Azeb

2 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.800

CiteScore 2017: 0.76

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.327
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.126

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 34, Issue 2


Jespersen cycles in Bantu: double and triple negation

Maud Devos / Johan van der Auwera
Published Online: 2013-11-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2013-0008


This paper gives an overview of post-verbal negative marking in Bantu languages. It shows that, although Bantu studies tend to concentrate on negation marked on the verb itself, post-verbal negative markers are well represented within the Bantu domain and high concentrations can be found in zones B, C, H and L. It is argued that locative pronouns, possessive pronouns and negative (answer) particles are recurrent sources of negative markers in Bantu languages. It is claimed that they take part in what is generally known as a Jespersen cycle: they initially reinforce the original negator and eventually become obligatory for the expression of negation resulting in a double negative construction. It will be shown that in Bantu languages a new Jespersen cycle can set in before the original negator has been lost, yielding triple negative constructions, which are much more rarely attested world-wide.

Keywords: post-verbal negative markers; Jespersen cycles; possessive pronouns; locative pronouns; Bantu languages

About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-21

Published in Print: 2013-11-20

Citation Information: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 205–274, ISSN (Online) 1613-3811, ISSN (Print) 0167-6164, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2013-0008.

Export Citation

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Johan van der Auwera and Frens Vossen
Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 2017, Volume 40, Number 1
Hedde Zeijlstra
Language and Linguistics Compass, 2016, Volume 10, Number 6, Page 284

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in