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Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German$
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Agnes Jäger, Gisella Ferraresi, and Helmut Weiß

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813545.001.0001

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History of negation in High and Low German

History of negation in High and Low German

Chapter:
(p.181) 10 History of negation in High and Low German
Source:
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German
Author(s):

Anne Breitbarth

Agnes Jäger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198813545.003.0010

The expression of sentential negation follows Jespersen’s Cycle in the history of High and Low German, from a verbal clitic neg-particle (stage I) in the earliest stages of attestation via a bi-partite expression (stage II) to a free adverbial negator (stage III) in the present-day languages. Besides the expression of negation, also the interaction between sentential negation and indefinites in its scope changes, from the original verbal neg-particle co-occurring with n-free indefinites and the neg-particle co-occurring with neg-marked indefinites (Negative Concord) to neg-marked indefinites without a sentential negator, in the wake of the loss of the old neg-particle. Though these developments are largely similar, they happen at different speeds, and differ in points of detail.

Keywords:   Early New High German, Feature Economy, grammaticalization, Jespersen’s Cycle, Middle High German, Middle Low German, negation, Negative Concord, Old High German, Old Low German

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