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The Syntax of Negation in Russian

A Minimalist Approach

Sue Brown

This book offers a Minimalist analysis (Noam Chomsky 1995, The Minimalist Program, MIT Press) of certain syntactic phenomena in Russian associated with negation. These phenomena include the distribution of morphologically negative words and the pattern of Negative Concord they exhibit (whereby multiple occurrences of negative words are interpreted as only one instance of negation); the Genitive of Negation (the case marking on the internal argument of negated verbs); expletive negation (formal negation without negative content), and negated Yes/No questions (including a previously undiscussed pattern of expletive negation effects observed in certain types of Yes/No questions). The end result is a formalization of the status of negation within the phrase structure of Russian that not only contributes relevant Slavic data to the pool of negation data, but also sheds new light on the syntactic expression of negation universally. Other languages discussed include Italian, Catalan, English, Southern English, and West Flemish. One chapter is devoted to outlining the Minimalist Program itself.

Sue Brown is a professor at Harvard University.

Contents

  • 1 Negation phenomena in Russian
  • 2 The minimalist program
  • 3 Negative constituents in Russian
  • 4 The genitive of negation: Expletiveness and the asymmetry of Russian negation
  • 5 The expression of negation
  • References
  • Index

1/1/99

ISBN (Paperback): 1575861682 (9781575861685)

Subject: Linguistics; Russian Language--Negatives

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