The Semantics, Pragmatics, and Evolution of Two Verbless Negative Constructions in Nyulnyul

The Semantics, Pragmatics, and Evolution of Two Verbless Negative Constructions in Nyulnyul Abstract: This investigation is a contribution to understudied areas of Australian Aboriginal linguistics and linguistic typology: the negation of existential and possessive clauses. It focuses on two structurally unusual negative verbless constructions in Nyulnyul (Nyulnyulan, Kimberley, Western Australia): a negative possessive indicating that a possessor lacks possessions of a specified type; and a negative existential indicating the absence of entities of the specified type at a particular location. Formal and semantic evidence is presented showing that these represent two distinct constructions. It is suggested that the negative existential emerged via reanalysis of a subtype of the negative possessive construction through a diachronic process that was not motivated by metaphorical or metonymic transfer, but by purely formal and pragmatic reinterpretations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Semantics, Pragmatics, and Evolution of Two Verbless Negative Constructions in Nyulnyul

Oceanic Linguistics, Volume 49 (1) – Aug 5, 2010

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1527-9421
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Abstract

Abstract: This investigation is a contribution to understudied areas of Australian Aboriginal linguistics and linguistic typology: the negation of existential and possessive clauses. It focuses on two structurally unusual negative verbless constructions in Nyulnyul (Nyulnyulan, Kimberley, Western Australia): a negative possessive indicating that a possessor lacks possessions of a specified type; and a negative existential indicating the absence of entities of the specified type at a particular location. Formal and semantic evidence is presented showing that these represent two distinct constructions. It is suggested that the negative existential emerged via reanalysis of a subtype of the negative possessive construction through a diachronic process that was not motivated by metaphorical or metonymic transfer, but by purely formal and pragmatic reinterpretations.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 5, 2010

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