A History of English Negation

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Pearson Longman, 2004 - History - 176 pages
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Negation is one of the main functions in human communication.

A History of English Negation

is the first book to analyse English negation over the whole of its documented history, using a wide database and accessible terminology.

After an introductory chapter, the book analyses evidence from the whole sample of Old English documents available, and from several Middle English and Renaissance documents, showing that the range of forms used at any single stage is wider, and the pace of their change considerably faster, than previously commonly assumed.

The book moves on to review current formalised accounts of the situation in Modern English, tracing the changes in rules for expressing negation that have intervened since the earliest documented history of the language. Since the standard is only one variety of a language, it also surveys the means of negation used in some non-standard and dialectal varieties of English. The book concludes with a look at relatively recently born languages such as Pidgins and Creoles, to investigate the degree of naturalness of the principles that rule the expression of English negation.

Gabriella Mazzon is Associate Professor of English Language and Linguistics, University of Naples Federico II .

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Negation in Old English and Early Middle English
The Middle Ages and Early Modern English
PresentDay English Negation

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References to this book

Aspects of English Negation
Yoko Iyeiri
No preview available - 2005
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About the author (2004)

Gabriella Mazzon is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Cagliari. Her main research interests are sociolinguistics (English as a second language, varieties of English), historical syntax (negative forms), and historical pragmatics (forms of address, modality, dialogue).

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