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The History of Negation in the Languages of Europe and the MediterraneanVolume I Case Studies$
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David Willis, Christopher Lucas, and Anne Breitbarth

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602537.001.0001

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Negation in the history of (High) German

Negation in the history of (High) German

Chapter:
(p.151) 5 Negation in the history of (High) German
Source:
The History of Negation in the Languages of Europe and the Mediterranean
Author(s):

Agnes Jager

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602537.003.0005

This chapter traces the expression of negation and negative indefinites from Old High German to the present day. In Old High German, sentential negation was expressed by a preverbal negative particle and there was optional negative concord with negative indefinites. In Middle High German, as in English, the preverbal negator was reinforced and replaced by a new negator, nicht, deriving from a negative indefinite pronoun, and, with negative indefinites, a non-negative-concord grammar emerged, as is the norm in German today.

Keywords:   German, Old High German, Middle High German, negative particles, Jespersen’s cycle, negative indefinites, negative concord, minimalist syntax

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