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Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft

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Volume 30, Issue 2


Modality and negation in the history of Low German

Anne Breitbarth
Published Online: 2011-10-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsw.2011.007


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.

Keywords:: Old Low German; Middle Low German; modal verbs; scope of negation; polysemy; language change

About the article

Received: 2011-01-18

Revised: 2011-05-14

Published Online: 2011-10-25

Published in Print: 2011-10-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 131–167, ISSN (Online) 1613-3706, ISSN (Print) 0721-9067, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsw.2011.007.

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