Chapter Position of Negative Morpheme With Respect to Subject, Object, and Verb

by Matthew S. Dryer

Table of contents.

This chapter expands on Chapter 143, which discusses the order of negative morpheme with respect to the verb, by examining the position of the negative morpheme with respect to the subject and object as well. Familiarity with Chapter 143 is assumed here.

This chapter involves 25 different maps, 144A through 144Y. The first two maps focus on negative words rather than negative affixes on verbs, since it is only negative words that can have different positions relative to the subject and object. For languages which employ a single negative word and a single position for the negative word in negative clauses, there are 24 logically possible types, four for each order of subject, object, and verb. Of these 24 logically possible types, fifteen are attested. Map 144A shows these fifteen types, as well as a variety of more specialized types. Map 144B provides an alternative way of viewing the fifteen basic types, based on the position of negative words relative to the beginning and end of the sentence and whether or not they are immediately adjacent to the verb. Map 144C is a specialized map, showing languages in which the order of subject, object, and verb is different in negative clauses from their order in affirmative clauses. The remaining maps each restrict attention to different orders of subject, object and verb: Maps 144D through 144K deal with SVO languages, Maps 144L through 144S deal with SOV languages, Maps 144T through Map 144X deal with verb-initial languages, and Map 144Y deals with object-initial languages.

The number of languages shown on the maps for this chapter is fewer than those in Chapter 143, primarily because there are many languages which lack a dominant order of subject, object, and verb, or for which I lack adequate information on the order of these three elements. Further data on the languages shown on the maps for Chapter 143 but not for this chapter would probably identify additional possibilities not found in the languages examined in this chapter.

Map 144A: Position of Negative Word With Respect to Subject, Object, and Verb

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
NegSVO 10
SNegVO 112
SVNegO 2
SVONeg 81
NegSOV 11
SNegOV 15
SONegV 65
SOVNeg 49
NegVSO 58
VSNegO 1
VSONeg 1
NegVOS 18
ONegVS 3
OVNegS 1
OSVNeg 1
More than one position for negative morpheme, with none dominant 91
Optional single negation 1
Obligatory double negation 101
Optional double negation 67
Morphological negation only (but not double negation) 333
Other languages 168
Total: 1189

Map 144A is the only map in this chapter showing all of the languages that appear on some map in this chapter. Types 1 to 15 are the fifteen attested word orders involving a single negative word, the subject, the object, and the verb, while Types 16 to 21 are ones not involving just a single negative word and a single word order in negative clauses. This includes languages with morphological coding of negation on verbs, multiple orders or negative constructions, obligatory or optional double negation, and languages where my data is incomplete.

As just noted, the first fifteen types represent the fifteen attested word orders involving a single negative word. Type 1 to 4 are the four possibilities for SVO languages, Types 5 to 8 are the four possibilities for SOV languages, Types 9 to 12 the four attested types for verb-initial languages, and Types 13 to 15, the three attested types for object-initial languages. I use the expression SVO language here and elsewhere in this paper to refer to a language which employs SVO order in negative clauses. As discussed below with Map 144C, there are languages in which the order SVO is used in negative clauses but not in affirmative clauses. Rather than repeatedly using the expression languages which use SVO order in negative clauses, I use the expression SVO language in this specialized sense. The same applies to analogous types like SOV, VSO, and verb-initial.

A1. Defining the feature values

Type 1: NegSVO

Type 1 represents NegSVO languages, as in the Cocama (Tupi; Peru) example in (1). Note that this example strictly speaking only illustrates NegSV order; often in this chapter, I cite examples without noun phrase subjects and objects because I could not find an appropriate example with noun phrase subjects and objects in the source. Hopefully, this does not affect the appropriateness of the examples.

(1) Cocama (Faust 1971: 85)

ái

tɨmapurái

yakɨ kuára

cáči.

now

neg

head

hurt

 

Neg

S

V

‘(Her) head does not hurt anymore.’

It should be noted that few of the NegSVO languages are “canonical” SVO languages. Some of them are languages which can be classified as SVO, but nevertheless exhibit fairly flexible word order. The majority are in fact VSO languages which employ NegSVO order in negative clauses, illustrated in (2) from Tennet (Surmic, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan), where (2a) illustrates VSO order in affirmative clauses, (2b) NegSVO order in negative clauses.

(2)Tennet (Randal 1998: 248)

a.

k-á-cín-i

anná

Lokúli

íyókó

nékô.

 

1-imperf-see-1sg

1sg.nom

Lokuli

now

dem

 

V

S

O

 

‘I see Lokuli now.’

b.

iróng

anná

k-á-cín-i

Lokúli

íyókó

nékô.

 

neg.imperf

1sg.nom

1-imperf-see-1sg

Lokuli

now

dem

 

Neg

S

V

O

 

‘I don’t see Lokuli now.’

Other examples are given below in (28) and (29) illustrating Type 1 on Map 144C.

Type 2: SNegVO

Type 2 represents SNegVO languages, as in the English example in (3).

(3) English

Mary did not see John.

S Neg V O

Note that the position of auxiliary verbs in English is ignored here, just as it is ignored in identifying the order of subject, object and verb. Thus the fact that the negative word follows an auxiliary verb in English is irrelevant here; what is relevant is that it immediately precedes the main verb.

Type 3: SVNegO

Type 3 represents SVNegO languages; this is an infrequent type, represented by only two languages in the sample, Yulu (Bongo-Bagirmi, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan) (Santandrea 1970: 24) and Anufo (Kwa, Niger-Congo; Benin, Ghana and Togo), the latter illustrated in (4).

(4) Anufo (Smye 2004: 85)

Wɔ̀

ŋu

a

ŋwàa

.

3sg.perf

see

neg.cmplm

money

topic

S

V

Neg

O

‘She did not see the money.’

(The ‘cmplm’ in the gloss for the negative word in (4) means that the tone on the negative word, in this case low tone, signals that there is a complement phrase following the negative word; if there were no complement phrase following, the negative word would bear high tone.)

Type 4: SVONeg

Type 4 represents SVONeg languages, an example of which is Bagirmi (Bongo-Bagirmi, Nilo-Saharan; Chad), illustrated in (5).

(5) Bagirmi (Stevenson 1969: 92)

deb-ge

tol

tobio

li.

person-pl

kill

lion

neg

S

V

O

Neg

‘The people did not kill the lion.’

Type 5: NegSOV

The next four types represent the four logical possibilities in placing a negative word relative to the subject, verb, and object in an SOV language. Type 5 represents languages which are NegSOV. Instances of this type include Yuwaalaraay (Pama-Nyungan; Australia), illustrated in (6).

(6) Yuwaalaraay (Williams 1980a: 107)

wa:l

ŋinda

wi:

garay.

neg

2sg.subj

wood

cut.nonfut

Neg

S

O

V

‘You didn’t cut any firewood.’

Type 6: SNegOV

Type 6 represents languages which are SNegOV, exemplified in (7) from Koyraboro Senni (Songhay, Nilo-Saharan; Mali and Niger).

(7) Koyraboro Senni (Heath 1999a: 195)

ay

ši

limoro

bey

...

 

1sg

imperf.neg

number

know

 

S

Neg

O

V

 

‘I didn’t know the number [much less anything else].’

Type 7: SONegV

Type 7 represents languages which are SONegV, exemplied in (8) by Waskia (Madang; Papua New Guinea).

(8) Waskia (Ross and Paol 1978: 14)

ane

yu

me

nala

bage-sam.

1sg

water

neg

drink

stay-pres.1sg

S

O

Neg

V

‘I never drink water.’

Type 8: SOVNeg

Type 8 represents languages which are SOVNeg, exemplified in (9) from Abui (Timor-Alor-Pantar; Indonesia).

(9) Abui (Kratochvil 2007: 277)

al

loku

di

fe

mahiting

nee

naha.

Muslim

pl

3actor

pig

meat

eat

neg

S

   

O

 

V

Neg

‘Muslims do not eat pork.’

Type 9: NegVSO

The next three types are the three attested possibilities for VSO languages; the logically possible type VNegSO is not attested in the sample. Type 9 represents VSO languages in which the negative word precedes the verb, in NegVSO order, illustrated by Quileute (Chimakuan; Washington) in (10).

(10) Quileute (Andrade 1933: 280)

é·

dâkil

t’átca’-a̕

[yaa̕k

t’at’xá.xeít ]

[x̣e’

hét’set

ƚebat’e’t-í ].

neg

then

know-subord

the

girls

the

when

fall.asleep-subord

Neg

 

V

 

S

 

O

 

‘The girls did not know when they fell asleep.’

Type 10: VSNegO

The sample contains only one instance of a VSNegO language, namely Colloquial Welsh. In Standard Welsh (Celtic; United Kingdom), the normal construction for negation is NegVSO, as in (11).

(11) Standard Welsh (Watkins 1993: 336)

Ni

welodd

y

bachgen

ddyn.

neg

see.past.3sg

def

boy

man

Neg

V

 

S

O

‘The boy did not see the man.’

However, in Colloquial Welsh, the construction is VSNegO, as in (12).

(12) Colloquial Welsh (Watkins 1993: 336)

Welodd

y

bachgen

ddim

ddyn.

see.past.3sg

def

boy

neg

man

V

 

S

Neg

O

‘The boy did not see the man.’

Type 11: VSONeg

Type 11 represents VSO languages in which the negative word occurs at the end of the clause. There is again only one language of this type in my sample, Podoko (Chadic, Afro-Asiatic; Cameroon), illustrated in (13).

(13) Podoko (Jarvis 1989: 108)

a

ʸtə

dafə́

la.

foc

prepare.impf

1sg

ball

neg

 

V

S

O

Neg

‘I would not prepare the ball/lump.’

Podoko and Colloquial Welsh are the only verb-initial languages in my sample with a single negative word that follows the verb.

Type 12: NegVOS

Type 12 represents VOS languages analogous to the VSO languages of Type 9, that is, those which are NegVOS, illustrated by Anejom̃ (Oceanic; Vanuatu) in (14).

(14) Anejom̃ (Lynch 2000: 102)

Kis

m̃an

itiyi

am̃ñii

kava

añak.

1sg.past

perf

neg

drink.trans

kava

1sg

   

Neg

V

O

S

‘I don’t drink kava anymore.’

This is the only attested order in my sample for VOS languages with a single negative word. That is, there are no examples of VOS languages which have the negative word following the verb.

Type 13: ONegVS

Types 13 to 15 are ones involving object-initial languages which employ a single negative word. Types 13 and 14 involve OVS languages while Type 15 is the sole type of OSV language with negative words. Type 13 represents languages which are ONegVS. An example of a Type 13 language is Tuvaluan (Oceanic; Tuvalu), illustrated in (15).

(15) Tuvaluan (Besnier 2000: 182)

A

masi

seki

kai

nee

au.

abs.contr

cabin.biscuit

neg

eat

erg

1sg

 

O

Neg

V

 

S

‘I didn’t eat the cabin biscuits.’

Type 14: OVNegS

Type 14 represents languages which are OVNegS. The sole Type 14 language in the sample is Selknam (Chon; Argentina) (Najlis 1973: 8), as in (16), which illustrates VNegS order.

(16) Selknam (Najlis 1973: 58)

pe-j

sò-we-èn

mer

tanòw

ap’n.

sit.down-mood

neg-gend-cerf.fem

rec.past

old.woman

??

V

Neg

 

S

 

‘The old woman did not sit down.’

Type 15: OSVNeg

Type 15 represents languages which are OSVNeg. The sole Type 15 language is Kxoe (Khoisan; Angola and Namibia) (Köhler 1981: 537).

Type 16: More than one position for negative morpheme, with none dominant

The remaining six types are ones which do not conform to the basic typology represented by Types 1 to 15. Type 16 represents languages where there are two (or more) possible positions for negative morphemes, with none dominant. This can arise in three ways. First, it may simply be that there is a negative word which exhibits freedom of position. An example of such a language is Luo (Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan; Kenya and Tanzania), illustrated in (17), which is shown on Map 144E below (SVO languages with multiple negative constructions) as an example of an SVO language in which the negative word either precedes the subject, as in (17a), or occurs between the subject and the verb, as in (17b).

(17) Luo (Omondi 1982: 152)

a.

.ok

.nyathí

.nindí

kâ.

 

neg

baby

sleep

here

 

Neg

S

V

 

‘The baby is not sleeping here.’

b.

.nyathí

.ok

.nindí

kâ.

 

baby

neg

sleep

here

 

S

Neg

V

 

‘The baby is not sleeping here.’

In terms of the types on this map, this is a combination of Types 1 and 2.

The second way in which a language may have more than one possible position for negative words with none dominant is when there are two negative constructions, one involving a negative word and one involving a negative affix on the verb, as in Ngoni (Bantu, Niger-Congo; Mozambique and Tanzania), illustrated in (18), where (18a) illustrates a negative prefix, (18b) a postverbal negative word.

(18) Ngoni (Ngonyani 2003: 86)

a.

Ne

na-ku-gega

chidengu.

 

1sg

neg-pres-carry

basket

 

S

Neg-V

O

 

‘I am not going to carry the basket.’

b.

Ni-gega

lepa

manji.

 

1sg-carry

neg

water

 

V

Neg

O

 

‘I am not carrying water.’

The third way that a language may be Type 16 is that it may exhibit two orders of subject, object, and verb and a fixed position of the negative word relative to one of these elements, with the net effect that the two orders are two of the types among Types 1 to 15. For example, German employs both SVO and SOV word order and places the negative immediately after the object in both cases, as in (19). However, with SVO order, this yields SVONeg order, which is Type 4, while with SOV word order this yields SONegV order, which is Type 7.

(19) German (personal knowledge)

a.

Der

Lehrer

trink-t

das

Wasser

nicht.

 

def.nom

teacher

drink-3sg

def.acc

water

neg

   

S

V

 

O

Neg

 

‘The teacher is not drinking the water.’

b.

Der

Lehrer

hat

das

Wasser

nicht

getrunken.

 

def.nom

teacher

have.3sg

def.acc

water

neg

drink:past.ptcpl

   

S

   

O

Neg

V

 

‘The teacher has not drunk the water.’

Type 17: Optional single negation

Type 17 represents languages with optional single negation, that is, languages in which there is a single negative morpheme which is optional. The sole instance of a language of this type is Wyandot (Iroquoian; Canada), illustrated below in (137) and discussed in more detail in Chapter 143.

Types 18 - 21

Languages of Types 18 and 19 are those with obligatory double negation and optional double negation respectively (see Chapter 143 for detailed discussion of what constitutes double negation in general and optional double negation in particular). Type 20 languages are those which do not employ negative words, but code negation solely by means of the morphology of the verb, either by affixes or by tone. Languages which code negation partly morphologically and partly by separate words are not included in Type 20, but under Type 16. Type 21 covers the remaining languages and represents languages where I lack complete information on the order of subject, object, and verb, or on the position of negative words relative to the subject, object, and verb, and languages with highly flexible order of subject, object, and verb, but a fixed position of negative words relative to either the verb or the beginning or end of the clause, which are illustrated below in the discussion of Map 144B.

A2. Discussion

In addition to the fact that nine of the 24 logically possible orders of negative word, subject, object, and verb types are unattested, there are obviously significant differences in the frequencies of the types that are attested. Among SVO languages, the dominant types are SNegVO and SVONeg; among SOV languages, the dominant types are SONegV and SOVNeg; among verb-initial languages, the dominant types are NegVSO and NegVOS; and there is too little data for object-initial languages to identify dominant types, though ONegVS seems to be common among OVS languages. Interestingly, five of these seven types just mentioned have the negative word immediately before the verb. Only in SVONeg and SOVNeg are exceptions to this trend among the dominant types.

Among SVO languages, two of the four types are fairly rare, Type 1 (NegSVO) and Type 3 (SVNegO), with 4 and 2 languages respectively. It is not entirely clear why Types 2 and 4, SNegVO and SVONeg, are so much more common than the other two. We cannot explain the rarity of NegSVO on the grounds that the negative word is separated from the verb, since this is also true of SVONeg languages, and SVNegO languages are rare despite the fact that the negative word is adjacent to the verb. But what the two common orders share is that the negative word occurs adjacent to the verb plus object, either preceding it in SNegVO order or following it in SVONeg order. While this might be interpreted as occurring on either side of the verb phrase, it is not clear how much motivation there is for a syntactic verb phrase constituent in many SVO languages. An alternative interpretation is that the subject is the one element in the clause that most commonly falls outside the scope of negation. If we think of subject correlating with topic and verb plus object correlating with comment and if we assume that in a negative sentence, it is precisely the comment that is the scope of negation, then the two positions of the negative word in the two orders which are most common are precisely those where the negative word occurs on the periphery of the comment. With the infrequent types, NegSVO places the negative word nonadjacent to the comment, employing an order that seems to treat the subject as within the scope of negation, while SVNegO order places the negative inside the comment. However, as discussed shortly, this line of explanation would lead us to expect SONegV to be a less frequent type among SOV languages, but it is not.

Of the four types for SOV languages, the two orders SONegV and SOVNeg are both considerably more common than the other two, NegSOV and SNegOV. The obvious generalization is that the negative tends to occur adjacent to the verb. This contrasts with what we observed for SVO languages, where SVONeg order, with the negative word separated from the verb, is far more common than SVNegO order, with the negative adjacent to the verb. With SVO languages the negative word usually occurs at the edge of the verb plus object and tends not interrupt that sequence. But if the same applied to SOV languages, we would expect SNegOV to be more common than SONegV, the opposite of what we in fact find. I suggested above that the two most common orders with SVO languages, SNegVO and SVONeg, might reflect a tendency for the negative to occur at the edge of the comment in a topic-comment structure and not inside the comment. However, that would lead us to expect the same with SOV languages. One possibility is that it is not the topic-comment structure that is relevant, but rather syntactic structure. Possibly, there is a constituent that includes the verb plus object more often in SVO languages but usually no such constituent in SOV languages. The fact that the order of preverbal constituents is often flexible in SOV languages is consistent with this.

Another way of viewing this difference between SVO and SOV languages is that the two common orders in both sorts of languages are those that place the negative immediately before the verb (SNegVO and SONegV) or at the end of the clause (SVONeg and SOVNeg). But while this describes the facts, it fails to explain them satisfactorily since it is unclear why these should be the two preferred positions for negatives.

However, this difference between SVO and SOV languages with regards to the position of negative words reflects a more general difference between the two language types. We find an analogous difference in the placement of adpositional phrases and nonargument noun phrases, reflected on Map 84A. There are no attested instances of VXO languages (where X denotes adpositional phrases and nonargument noun phrases), while there are many instances of the mirror image possibility OXV. If we assume that X is part of a verb phrase, then this difference between SVO and SOV languages cannot be handled in terms of a verb phrase constituent (or the comment as opposed to the topic, for that matter). Rather, it reflects a very strong tendency for the verb and object to occur adjacent to each other in VO languages while such a tendency is much weaker in OV languages. Whatever the source of that difference between VO and OV languages, it covers the placement of negative words as well as adpositional phrases and nonargument noun phrases.

Among verb-initial languages, there is an overwhelming preference for negative words to be preverbal. This is discussed below in the discussion of Map 144T.

It should be noted that the two most common types for SVO languages, SNegVO and SVONeg, exhibit rather different geographical distributions. SNegVO languages are widely distributed around the world, while SVONeg languages show a very clear geographical pattern: all of the languages of this type are found in three areas, in fact primarily in two of them. The majority of them are found in central Africa, in an area centred around Cameroon (see Dryer 2009 for further discussion). A second area is around New Guinea, particularly along the north coast (though that is partly due to the fact that SVO languages on New Guinea itself tend to be found along the north coast, SOV order being overwhelmingly dominant elsewhere in New Guinea; see Map 81A). The third area, not represented by many languages, is an area in Thailand, Vietnam, and the adjacent area of China. Map 144E below shows seven languages (Types 4, 5, 11, 15, 17 and 19 on that map) which combine SVONeg order with some other order, five of these seven languages (Au, Sahu, Mehri, Dutch and German) fall outside the three areas just mentioned. However, almost all the SVO languages on Maps 144F and 144G with double or triple negation which involve negative words in clause-final position are found in these same three areas (25 out of 26 on Map 144F and 18 out of 20 on Map 144G).

Map 144B: Position of negative words relative to beginning and end of clause and with respect to adjacency to verb

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
At beginning of clause separated from verb 44
Preceding verb, separated from verb, but not at beginning of clause 18
Immediately preverbal 339
Immediately postverbal 92
Following verb, separated from verb, but not at end of clause 1
At end of clause, separated from verb 115
Total: 609

B1. Defining the feature values

Map 144B organizes the first fifteen types on Map 144A, those with a single negative word and a single order in negative clauses, into six more general types, three types for preverbal negative words and three types for postverbal negative words, defined by whether these words occur in clause-initial or clause-final position and whether they are adjacent to the verb. It also includes a number of languages that are not among the first fifteen types on Map 144A, including (1) languages with two orders as long as both fit a single type on this map (e.g. NegVSO/NegVOS); (2) languages with two options one of which is a negative word, the other negative verbal morphology (these are coded by the position of the negative word); and (3) languages with optional double negation with an obligatory negative word (these are coded by the position of that negative word) and (4) languages with obligatory double negationwhere exactly one of the negative morphemes is a separate word.

Type 1: At beginning of clause separated from verb

Type 1 represents languages with a negative word which occurs at the beginning of the clause but not in immediately preverbal position, as in the example from Yuwaalaraay above in (6) and in (20) from Resígaro (Arawakan; Colombia and Peru), where (20a) illustrates the negative word nií preceding a subject and (20b) illustrates it preceding an object.

(20) Resígaro (Allin 1976: 313, 324)

a.

nií

tsa

ímú.

 

neg

3sg.masc

sleep

 

Neg

S

V

 

‘He does not sleep.’

b.

nií

pišaaní

gi-šú.

 

neg

meat

3sg.masc-eat

 

Neg

O

V

 

‘He does not eat meat.’

I use the expression immediately preverbal position to mean that the subject and object do not intervene between the negative and the verb in the dominant order for clauses containing a negative, subject, object, and verb; in some cases, there are other constituents which commonly intervene between the negative word and the verb. Type 1 includes not only Types 1 and 5 on Map 144A (NegSVO and NegSOV) but also languages lacking a dominant order of subject, object, and verb, such as Wambaya (West Barkly; Australia), illustrated in (21), where there is no clear dominant order of subject, object and verb but where the negative word normally occurs in clause-initial position.

(21) Wambaya (Nordlinger 1998: 200)

Guyala

ng-agba

yandu

bungmanya-nka.

neg

1sg.S-hyp

wait

old.woman-dat

Neg

S

V

O

‘I am not going to wait for the old woman.’

It also includes various other miscellaneous types with negative words that occur in clause-initial position separated from the verb, such as Wichita (Caddoan; Oklahoma), which is NegSOV/NegOVS, and Temein (Eastern Sudanic, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan), which has optional double negation, where the option with only one negative morpheme involves a negative word in clause-initial position, separated from the verb, as in (22), where (22a) illustrates double negation and (22b) the negative word used alone, preceding a subject.

(22) Temein (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 260)

a.

ja

ŋ-aus-ɛ-ŋ.

 

neg

1sg-drink-indic-neg

 

Neg

V-Neg

 

‘I don’t drink.’

b.

ja

ņɛ

ka-mɪl-ɛ-k

kaaţaņi.

 

neg

people

3.pres-dance-indic-qual

today

 

Neg

S

V

 

‘People do not dance today.’

Another example of a miscelleneous type included in Type 1 on this map is represented by Nadëb (Nadahup; Brazil), illustrates below in (34), in which there are two options, one involving a negative affix, the other involving a negative word, and the order in this second option is NegOVS. The other five types below also include miscellaneous subtypes like these.

Type 2: Preceding verb, separated from verb, but not at beginning of clause

Type 2 represents languages in which the negative word precedes the verb, but is neither initial in the clause nor immediately preceding the verb. This possibilility arises only in SOV or OSV languages or in languages with second position negative words or clitics. My sample contains no languages of this latter logically possible type; however, as illustrated below in (100), this is one option for the negative word in Cupeño (Uto-Aztecan; California). Nor does my sample contain any ONegSV languages. Thus Type 2 includes only SNegOV languages, which is Type 6 on Map 144A, and is illustrated above in (7) for Koyraboro Senni.

Type 3: Immediately preverbal

Type 3 represents languages in which the negative word immediately precedes the verb, in the sense that neither the subject nor the object normally intervene between the negative word and the verb. This corresponds to five types on Map 144A: SNegVO, SONegV, NegVSO, NegVOS, and ONegVS (Types 2, 7, 9, 12, 13 on Map 144A). English, illustrated in (23), is an instance of this type.

(23) 

John is

not

eating

dinner.

S

Neg

V

O

(Note again that the position of the auxiliary verb is irrelevant here; only the position of the lexical verb is relevant.) Type 3 also includes languages with flexible order of subject, object and verb, but where the negative word is more fixed, immediately preceding the verb, as in Kugu Nganhcara (Pama-Nyungan; Australia), illustrated in (24).

(24) Kugu Nganhcara (Smith and Johnson 2000: 437)

nhila

nga’a

ka’im

yenta.

3sg.nom

fish

neg

spear

S

O

Neg

V

‘He didn’t spear any fish.’

This type is by far the most frequent type on this map, outnumbering the other five types combined by 338 to 270.

Types 4 - 6: Postverbal negative words

Types 4 to 6 represent the three logically possible postverbal positions that are the mirror image of Types 1 to 3: (1) immediately after the verb; (2) following the verb, but separated from the verb and not at the end of the clause; and (3) at the end of the clause but separated from the verb.

Type 4: Immediately postverbal

Type 4 languages are those in which the negative word immediately follows the verb. An example of such a language is Slave (Athapaskan; Canada), illustrated in (25).

(25) Slave (Rice 1989: 1101)

gonezǫ

húwehʔǫ

yíle.

good

1sg.hear

neg

 

V

Neg

‘I can’t hear well.’

This type corresponds to the types SVNegO, SOVNeg, OVNegS, and OSVNeg on Map 144A and to the unattested types VNegSO and VNegOS. Also included in this type are languages with flexible order of subject, object, and verb, but where the position of the negative word is more fixed, immediately following the verb, as in //Ani (Khoisan; Botswana), illustrated in (26).

(26) //Ani (Heine 1999a: 23)

ngú-kx’am

ǁxóéré-sánn-à-tà

bé.

1sg

house-mouth

open-refl-II-past

neg

 

S

V

Neg

‘My door didn’t open on its own.’

Type 5: Following verb, separated from verb, but not at end of clause

Type 5 represents languages in which the negative word normally follows the verb, separated from the verb but not at the end of the clause. Among languages with a single dominant order of subject, object, and verb, this logical possibility could only arise in verb-initial languages, with VSNegO or VONegS order. There is only one instance in the sample of a VSNegO language (Colloquial Welsh, illustrated above in (12)) and no instance of a VONegS language.

Type 6: At end of clause, separated from verb

Type 6 languages are those in which the negative word is at the end of the clause and separated from the verb by the subject and/or object, as in the Angas (West Chadic, Afro-Asiatic; Nigeria) example in (27).

(27) Angas (Burquest 1973: 178)

Musa

rok

gik

mwa

duŋ-duŋ

ka.

Musa

throw

rock

plur

much

neg

‘Musa didn’t throw many rocks.’

This corresponds to the types SVONeg and VSONeg and the unattested type VOSNeg.

B2. Discussion

Among the six types described for this map, it is Type 3, languages in which the negative word is immediately preverbal, which is by far the most common, outnumbering the other five types combined by 338 to 270. Since preverbal negative words are almost three times as frequent as postverbal negative words on Map 143A in Chapter 143, the fact that the most frequent type on Map 144B is preverbal is not surprising. It is not obvious why immediate preverbal position is so much more common than other preverbal positions, since immediate postverbal position (Type 4) is not the most frequent postverbal position, that being Type 6 (at the end of the clause and separated from the verb). It should be noted, however, that there is a fundamental difference between the sort of languages that fall into Type 1 (at the beginning of the clause and separated from the verb) and the sort of languages that fall into Type 6 (at the end of the clause and separated from the verb). Namely, Type 1 languages tend to be languages with highly flexible word order, either languages to which no dominant order of subject, object, and verb can be assigned, or languages for which a dominant order can be assigned, but where there is still considerable flexibility in word order. Type 6 languages, in contrast, are almost always languages with fairly rigid word order, most of them SVO languages. Thus, quite apart from the asymmetry in numbers there is an asymmetry in the other properties of the languages falling into the types. The least frequent of the six types are Types 2 and 5, where the negative word is neither adjacent to the verb nor at the beginning or end of the clause.

Map 144C: Languages with different word order in negative clauses

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
VSO, but NegSVO 6
SVO, but SNegOV 3
SVO, but SONegV 1
SVO, but SOVNeg 1
SVO, but NegVSO 1
SVO but SO[V-Neg] 1
SVO but SO[Neg-V] 1
OSV but NegSVO/O[Neg-V]S 1
SVO, but NegSNegOV 1
SVO, but SONeg[V-Neg]/SO[Neg-V-Neg] 1
SOV but SONeg[V-Neg]/S[Neg-V-Neg] O 1
SVO/VSO, but NegSVONeg 1
SVO/VSO, but [Neg-V]SO(Neg) 1
SVO/SOV, but SVONeg 5
SVO/SOV, but SNegVO 1
SVO/SOV, but SNegOV 1
SVO/SOV, but SOVNeg 1
Total: 28

First, it is necessary to explain the notation used in characterizing the types on this map and subsequent maps. Negative affixes are indicated with a hyphen and square brackets: prefixes are denoted by [Neg-V] and negative suffixes by [V-Neg]. Negative words are indicated without square brackets. For example, S[Neg-V]O means SVO with a negative prefix on the verb, while SNegVO means SVO with an immediately preverbal negative word. On later maps that include types with optional negative morphemes, parentheses are used to indicate an optional negative morpheme. For example, S[(Neg-)V]NegO means SVO with an optional negative prefix and an obligatory negative word immediately following the verb.

In most languages, the order of subject, object, and verb is the same in negative clauses as it is in affirmative clauses. However, there are some languages where the order in negative clauses is different. Map 144C shows languages of this sort and distinguishes them on the basis of their order in affirmative and in negative clauses.

C1. Defining the feature values

Type 1: VSO, but NegSVO

Type 1 represents languages which are VSO in affirmative clauses but NegSVO in negative clauses. This is the most frequent type on this map, found in six languages in the sample, in three different parts of the world. It is found in Gude (Biu-Mandara, Afro-Asiatic), spoken along the Nigeria - Chad border, illustrated in (28), where (28a) illustrates the VSO order in affirmative clauses while (28b) illustrates the NegSVO order in negative clauses.

(28) Gude (Hoskison 1983: 90)

a.

kii

Musa

faara.

 

compl

throw

Musa

stone

   

V

S

O

 

‘Musa threw a stone.’

b.

pooshi

Musa

kii

faara.

 

neg

Musa

throw

stone

 

Neg

S

V

O

 

‘Musa did not throw a stone.’

This order is found in three languages in relatively close proximity to each other: Tennet in southeastern Sudan, Majang in southwestern Ethiopia and Teso in northern Uganda, the first two being Surmic  languages, the third a Nilotic  language. Example (2) above illustrates this order in Tennet. This order is also found in two Polynesian languages, Maori (Oceanic; New Zealand) and Marquesan (Oceanic; French Polynesia), the former illustrated in (29).

(29) Maori (Harlow 1996: 29; Bauer 1993: 140)

a.

Kei te

kai

te

kurī

i

te

ika.

 

t/a

eat

art

dog

obj

art

fish

   

V

 

S

   

O

 

‘The dog is eating the fish.’

b.

Kaahore

a

Hera

i te

whakarongo.

 

neg

art

Hera

t/a

listen

 

Neg

 

S

 

V

 

‘Hera is/was not listening.’

The explanation for affirmative VSO order but negative NegSVO order recurring in three different areas of the world appears to be that the negative word is either synchronically or diachronically the main verb, while the lexical verb is actually a subordinate verb, so that the Neg-S-VO order is really an instance of V-S-Complement order, a variant of the normal VSO order. This is clearly not the case synchronically in Tennet since iróng in (2b) is not a verb, as it lacks verbal morphology, though there are distinct negative particles for imperfective and perfective (the perfective one is nganní ). However, the negative may have been a verb in an earlier stage of the language and the word order in negative clauses may reflect this. Note that if a negative word is synchronically or diachronically a main verb in an SVO or SOV language and if the word order reflects this, there would be no difference in word order between affirmative and negative sentences. In an SVO language, for example, if the negative were the main verb, the order would be S-Neg-Complement, which would appear as SNegVO, which is still SVO; and in an SOV language, if the negative were the main verb, the order would be S-Complement-Neg, which would appear as SOVNeg, which is still SOV. Hence SVO and SOV languages in which the negative was the main verb would be superficially indistinguishable from languages in which the negative was simply a modifier of the verb. This might explain why affirmative VSO with negative NegSVO is the most frequent type among languages in which the order in negative clauses is different from the order in affirmative clauses.

Type 2: SVO, but SNegOV

Type 2 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses, but SNegOV in negative clauses. There are three languages of this type, two of them are Kru  languages spoken in Liberia in close proximity to each other (Klao and Grebo), the other Mbili, illustrated in (30), a Bantoid  language spoken in Cameroon.

(30) Mbili (Ayuninjam 1998: 339)

a.

a

gUa

atɨ.

 

nc

fell

tree

 

S

V

O

 

‘He fells a tree.’

b.

a

ka

atɨ

gUa.

 

nc

neg

tree

fell

 

S

Neg

O

V

 

‘He does not fell a tree.’

Type 3: SVO, but SONegV

Type 3 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but SONegV in negative clauses. The sole instance of this type is Mursi (Surmic, Nilo-Saharan; Ethiopia), illustrated in (31).

(31) Mursi (Turton and Bender 1976: 554)

a.

lusi

dag

bi.

 

boy

hit

cow

 

S

V

O

 

‘The boy hits the cow.’

b.

komor-ena

kirin

ŋa

ameo.

 

priest-pl

giraffe

neg

eat

 

S

O

Neg

V

 

‘Priests do not eat giraffe.’

Type 4: SVO, but SOVNeg

Type 4 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but SOVNeg in negative clauses. There is one language in the sample of this type, Mbosi (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Congo) (Amboulou 1998: 312).

Type 5: SVO, but NegVSO

Type 5 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but NegVSO in negative clauses. The sole language of this type in the sample is Cornish (Celtic; United Kingdom) (Jenner 1904: 160).

Type 6: SVO but SO[V-Neg]

The first five types on this map have all involved negative words. Types 6 and 7 involves a difference in word order between affirmative clauses and negative clauses where negation is coded only morphologically. Type 6 represents languages of this sort that are SVO in affirmative clauses but SOV in negative clauses with a negative suffix. The sole language of this type, Me'en (Surmic, Nilo-Saharan; Ethiopia), illustrated in (32), is SVO in affirmative clauses but SOV in negative clauses.

(32) Me'en (Will 1989: 147)

a.

ɛdɛ

or

kobu-o.

 
 

they

see

chicken-pl

 
 

S

V

O

 
 

‘They see the chickens.’

b.

ɛdɛ

kobu-o

or-on.

 

they

chicken-pl

see-neg

 

S

O

V-Neg

 

‘They don’t see the chickens.’

Type 7: SVO but SO[Neg-V]

Type 7 is like Type 6 except that the negative morpheme is a prefix. The sole language of this type is Leggbó (Cross River, Niger-Congo; Nigeria), as in (33), where (33a) illustrates the affirmative SVO word order, (33b) the SOV word order in negative clauses.

(33) Leggbó (Good 2003: 2)

a.

Wàdum

sɛ́

e-dzi

lídzil.

 

man

def

3sg-eat

food

 

S

 

V

O

 

‘The man ate the food.’

b.

Wàdum

sɛ́

lídzil

eè-dzi.

 

man

def

food

3sg.neg-eat

 

S

 

O

Neg-V

 

‘The man did not eat the food.’

Type 8: OSV but NegSVO / O[Neg-V]S

Type 8 is an unusual type involving OSV order in affirmative clauses and either NegSVO or OVNegS in negative clauses. The sole instance of a language of this type is Nadëb (Nadahup; Brazil), illustrated in (34). The order in affirmative clauses in OSV, as illustrated in (34a). There are two negative constructions, one involving a negative word dooh, illustrated in (34b) and (34c), the other involving a negative prefix na-, illustrated in (34d).

(34) Nadëb (Weir 1994: 309, 310, 296)

a.

Awad 

kalapéé 

ha-pʉ́h

 

jaguar 

child 

theme-see.indic

 

 

‘The child sees the jaguar.’ 

b.

Dooh

awad

kalapée

ha-pʉ́ʉ́h

bʉ́.

 

neg

jaguar

child

theme-see.nonindic

abl

 

Neg

O

S

V

 

‘The child doesn’t see the jaguar.’

c.

Dooh

kalapée

ha-pʉ́ʉ́h

bʉ́

awad.

 

neg

child

theme-see.nonindic

abl

jaguar

 

Neg

S

V

 

O

 

‘The child doesn’t see the jaguar.’

d.

Tóóh

dab

na-wʉ́ʉ́h

kad.

 

wild.pig

meat

neg-eat.nonindic

uncle

   

O

Neg-V

S

 

‘Uncle isn’t eating wild pig meat.’

In the construction with a clause-initial negative word, both OSV and SVO order are possible, as in (34b) and (34c) respectively, though Weir reports that SVO is more common, so the NegOSV order is ignored in classifying Nadëb. In the construction with a negative prefix, the normal word order is apparently OVS, as in (34d), though this difference in word order reflects the nature of the construction and it is not literally OVS in that the structure of (34d) is that of a predicate nominal clause whose predicate is a headless relative clause tóóh dab na-wʉ́ʉ́h  ‘one who is not eating wild pig meat’ and whose subject is kad  ‘uncle’ and the final position of the subject reflects the fact that the normal order in clauses with nonverbal predicates is Pred+S.

Type 9: SVO, but NegSNegOV

Types 9 to 12 involve languages with double negation, obligatorily in the case of Type 9 and optionally in the case of Types 10 to 12. Type 9 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but NegSNegOV in negative clauses. The sole language of this type is Bafut (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Cameroon), illustrated in (35).

(35) Bafut (Chumbow and Tamanji 1994: 215)

a.

Ngwa

bɔ̄ɔ̄

ndá.

 

Ngwa

build

house

 

S

V

O

 

‘Ngwa has built a house.’

b.

Kāā

Ngwà

sɨ̀

ndá

bɔ̄ɔ̀.

 

neg

Ngwa

neg

house

build

 

Neg

S

Neg

O

V

 

‘Ngwa has not built a house.’

Type 10: SVO, but SONeg[V-Neg] / SO[Neg-V-Neg]

In Type 10 languages, the sole instance of which is Tirmaga (Surmic, Nilo-Saharan; Ethiopia), illustrated in (36), the word order in affirmative clauses is SVO, as in (36a), but SOV in negative clauses with a negative suffix on the verb plus either an immediately preverbal negative word, as in (36b) or a negative prefix, as in (36c).

(36) Tirmaga (Bryant 1999: 42, 112, 111)

a.

líy-á

n-anú

írít-ø-ú

hoy-a

mɛri.

 

son-spec

sg.possd-1sg.poss

born.perf-sg.subj-narr.3sg

offspring-pl

many

 

S

 

V

O

 
 

‘My son gave birth to many children.’

b.

tɛ́r-o

ŋani

kú-dúrí-t-to.

 
 

and

woman-pl

neg

3subj-dance.perf-pl.subj-neg

 
   

S

Neg

V-Neg

 
 

‘And the women had not danced yet.’

c.

mɛ́á

gesó

ŋa-kí-hín-i-o-cí.

 

now

beer

neg-1subj-want.imperf-sg.subj-neg-emph

   

O

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘Now, I don’t want beer.’

Type 11: SOV but SONeg[V-Neg] / S[Neg-V-Neg] O

Type 11 represents one language, Kayabí (Tupi; Brazil), which has two constructions, one involving just a negative suffix -e’em, the other involving a negative prefix n-  plus a different negative suffix -i. Kayabí most often employs SOV word order in affirmative clauses, as in (37a), as well as in negative clauses where only the negative suffix -e’em  is used, as in (37b), but reportedly employs SNegVO order in negative clauses when the negative prefix and the negative suffix -i  are employed, as in (37c).

(37) Kayabí (Gomes 2007: 61, 174, 175)

a.

Kusurua

miara

mojeupit.

 
 

dog

jaguar

drive.away

 
 

S

O

V

 
 

‘The dog drove away the jaguar.’

b.

Kusurua

amu

juka-ukar-e’em-a

je-e.

 

dog

other

kill-permit-neg-narr

1sg-dat

 

S

O

V-Neg

 

‘The dog did not let me kill anything.’

c.

Kusurua

n-a-juka-ukar-i

amu

je-e.

 

dog

neg-3-kill-permit-neg

other

1sg-dat

 

S

Neg-V-Neg

O

 

‘The dog did not let me kill anything.’

Type 12: SVO / VSO, but NegSVONeg

The remaining six types are types in which two orders occur in affirmative clauses, with neither order dominant, but one order is dominant in negative clauses. In Types 12 and 13, the two orders that occur in affirmative clauses are SVO and VSO. With Type 12 languages, negative clauses are NegSVONeg, with both a clause-initial negative word and a clause-final negative word. The sole instance of a language of this type is Masakin (Talodi Proper, Niger-Congo; Sudan), or at least it appears to be. Masakin is VSO in what Tucker and Bryan (1966: 283) call the past or definite aspect (probably perfective) and SVO in what they call the progressive and general aspects (which they gloss with English present progressive and simple present, e.g., ‘I am drinking’, ‘I drink’ respectively, both apparently imperfective). In the example they cite illustrating negation, given in (38), the order is SVO, even though the gloss is simple past, suggesting negative clauses are imperfective and hence always SVO.

(38) Masakin (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 286)

ţa

ŋ-ome

ka-yu

ŋ-ir

ɽi.

neg

nc₁₅-boy

nc₁₅:gen.asp-drink

nc₂₀-water

neg

Neg

S

V

O

Neg

‘The boy did not drink water.’

Type 13: SVO / VSO, but [Neg-V]SO(Neg)

With Type 13 languages, negative clauses are VSO with an obligatory negative prefix and an optional clause-final negative word. The sole language of this type is Barambu (Ubangi, Niger-Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo) (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 155; Santandrea 1965b: 163, 167).

Type 14: SVO / SOV, but SVONeg

The remaining four types involve languages which allow both SOV and SVO in affirmative clauses, with neither order dominant, but in which one of these two orders is dominant in negative clauses. Type 14, the most common of these types, with five languages in the sample, represents languages which are SVONeg in negative clauses. Four of the five languages of this type in the sample are Moru-Ma'di  languages and the fifth (Dongo) is spoken in the same general vicinity (near where the borders of Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo meet). In these languages, there are two constructions, an SVO perfective/past construction and an SOV imperfective/nonpast construction. However, in negative clauses, only the SVO perfective/past construction is used. The examples in (39) illustrate this from Ma'di (Nilo-Saharan; Sudan and Uganda): (39a) illustrates the SOV nonpast construction, (39b) the SVO past construction in an affirmative clause, and (39c) the SVO construction for a negative clause (despite the fact that the tense, represented by the form of the negative particle, is nonpast).

(39) Ma'di (Blackings and Fabb 2003: 13, 14, 469)

a.

gbándà

`ɲā.

 

3sg

cassava

nonpast.eat

 

S

O

V

 

‘He is eating cassava.’

b.

ɔ̅-ɲā

gbándà

.

 

3sg.past-eat

cassava

affirm

 

V

O

 
 

‘He ate cassava.’

c.

m´-āwí

dʒótī

kʊ.̄.

 

1sg-open

door

neg.nonpast

 

V

O

Neg

 

‘I am not opening the door.’

Type 15: SVO / SOV, but SNegVO

Type 15 represents languages which are SVO/SOV in affirmative clauses but SNegVO in negative clauses. The sole instance of a language of this sort is Hungarian, illustrated in (40). While both orders are common in affirmative clauses (Bálint Sass, pc; Sass 2006), the most common negative of an SOV clause, like (40a), is SVO, as in (40b).

(40) Hungarian (Edith Moravcsik, p.c.)

a.

Péter

egy

ujság-ot

olvas-ø.

 

Peter

indef

newspaper-acc

read-pres.3sg

 

S

 

O

V

 

‘Peter is reading a newspaper.’

b.

Péter

nem

olvas-ø

egy

ujság-ot.

 

Peter

neg

read-pres.3sg

indef

newspaper-acc

 

S

Neg

V

 

O

 

'Peter is not reading a newspaper.'

Type 16: SVO / SOV, but SNegOV

Type 16 represents languages which are SOV/SVO in affirmative clauses but SNegOV in negative clauses. Dinka (Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan) is the sole language of this type in the sample. In Dinka, the word order in affirmative clauses is somewhat similar to German: it is SVO if there is no auxiliary, as in (41a), and SAuxOV if there is an auxiliary, as in (41b). The negative word in Dinka is an auxiliary, so that in negative clauses, the order is SNegOV, as in (41c).

(41) Dinka (Nebel 1948: 18, 9, 58)

a.

Dhɔk

agät

athor.

 

boy

write

letter

 

S

V

O

 

‘The boy is writing a letter.’

b.

Ok

abi

wel

beny

piŋ.

 

1pl

fut

word.pl

chief

obey

 

S

Aux

O

 

V

 

‘We shall obey the chief’s order.’

c.

Kɔc

aci

wel

bany-den

ye

piŋ.

 

person.pl

neg

word.pl

chief-3pl.poss

habit

obey

 

S

Neg

O

   

V

 

‘The people do not obey the orders of their chief.’

Type 17: SVO / SOV, but SOVNeg

Type 17 contains a single language, Nuer (Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan; Ethiopia and Sudan), where the situation is similar to that in Dinka (which it is closely related to), except that the auxiliary particles normally occur at the beginning of the clause, so that the alternation in affirmative clauses is between SVO and AuxSOV, as illustrated in (42a) and (42b), and since the negative particles are auxiliary particles, the order in negative clauses is NegSOV, as in (42c).

(42) Nuer (Crazzolara 1933: 30, 108, 151)

a.

dhòól

cǎmɛ̀

kwä́n.

 
 

boy

eat

kwän

 
 

S

V

O

 
 

‘The boys eats kwän.’

b.

gwǎn

dɛ́ɛ̀l

kä̀m

gàdɛ̍

pân.

 

past

father:3sg.poss

sheep

give

son-3sg.poss

yesterday

 

Aux

S

DO

V

IO

 

‘His father gave the sheep to his son yesterday.

c.

cı̎

gwǎn

dɛ́ɛ̀l

goor.

 

pres.neg

father:3sg.poss

sheep

like

 

Neg

S

O

V

 

‘His father does not like the sheep.’

C2. Discussion

If we look at the languages where there is a single dominant word order for affirmative clauses (Types 1 to 11), we find that in 15 out of the 18 languages, the position of the verb in the negative clause is later than it is in the affirmative clause: in Type 1, the verb is initial in affirmative clauses, but follows the subject in negative clauses, and in Types 2 to 4, 6 to 7, 9, and 10, the verb precedes the object in affirmative clauses but follows the object in negative clauses. Only in Type 5 and one of the options with Types 8 and 11 is this reversed. In Type 5, the verb follows the subject in affirmative clauses but precedes it in negative clause. In Type 8, the verb follows the object in affirmative clauses but precedes it in one of the two possibilities in negative clauses (SVO), while the verb follows the subject in affirmative clauses but precedes it in the other possibility (OVS). And in Type 11, the verb follows the object in affirmative clauses but precedes it in one of the two options for negative clauses.

It is worth drawing attention to the fact that an overwhelming majority of the languages on this map (22 out of 28) are spoken in Africa. Furthermore, almost half of them are spoken in a fairly small area from southern Sudan across adjacent borders of Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is not clear, however, whether this is a coincidence, since we find a number of quite different types in this area, from Type 1 found in Surmic  languages and Nilotic  (Teso), to Types 3, 6 and 10 in one Surmic  language each, to Type 14 in Moru-Ma'di  languages and Dongo, to Types 16 and 17, which are clearly similar, in Western Nilotic  (Dinka and Nuer). The Surmic languages exhibit the most variety among languages with different word order in negative clauses, with four different types on this map. Some of them are VSO in affirmative clauses but SVO in negative clauses while others are SVO in affirmative clauses but SOV in negative clauses.

Map 144D: The Position of Negative Morphemes in SVO Languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
NegSVO 4
SNegVO 111
SVNegO 2
SVONeg 81
S[Neg-V]O 67
S[V-Neg]O 12
SVO with tonal negation 1
VSO in affirmative clauses, but NegSVO 6
SVO/SOV in affirmative clauses, but SVONeg 5
SVO/SOV in affirmative clauses, but SNegVO 1
Other SVO with preverbal negative word 26
Other SVO with postverbal negative word 8
More than one negative construction 48
SVO with obligatory double negation 56
SVO with optional double negation 35
Total: 463

Maps 144D to 144K are eight maps showing the position of the negative morpheme for languages which employ SVO order in negative clauses (or at least as one of the possible orders in negative clauses). Map 144D is the only map showing all the SVO languages in the sample. It distinguishes the individual types which involve a single negative morpheme and a single order or construction. It also shows (in the last three types) languages with more than one order or construction and languages with double negation. These last three values on Map 144D are expanded upon on the next three maps: Map 144E shows the different types of SVO languages with multiple negative orders or constructions, Map 144F different types of SVO languages with obligatory double negation, and Map 144G different types of SVO languages with optional double negation. Maps 144H to 144K rearrange the data from the preceding four maps. Map 144H shows all languages which employ NegSVO in some fashion, either as the sole possibility, as one of more than one possibility, and as one position for the negative in languages with double negation. Maps 144I, 144J and 144K show analogous information for SNegVO, SVNegO, and SVONeg respectively. In the discussion of these maps (and analogously for the later maps), I will sometimes use the expression ‘SVO language’ as an abbrevation for languages which employ SVO order in negative clauses whether or not this is the order used in affirmative clauses.

Types 1 - 4: NegSVO, SNegVO, SVNegO, and SVONeg

The first four types on Map 144D represent the four logical possibilities in placing a negative word relative to the subject, verb, and object in an SVO language. These are equivalent to Types 1 to 4 on Map 144A and are illustrated in (1) to (5) above.

Type 5: S[Neg-V]O

The next three types represent SVO languages which use only morphological means for signaling negation. Type 5 represents SVO languages which employ negative prefixes, such as Paamese (Oceanic; Vanuatu), as illustrated in (43).

(43) Paamese (Crowley 1982: 141)

Letau

kail

a-ro-pi-pile

.

woman

plur

3pl.real-neg-habit-play

marbles

S

 

Neg-V

O

‘Women never play marbles.’

Type 6: S[V-Neg]O

Type 6 represents SVO languages which employ negative suffixes, such as Ndut (Northern Atlantic, Niger-Congo; Senegal), illustrated in (44).

(44) Ndut (Morgan 1996: 90)

Wa

lom-uy

too.

3pl

buy-neg.pl

millet

S

V-Neg

O

‘They did not buy millet.’

Type 7: SVO with tonal negation

Type 7 consists of a single SVO language which employs tone to signal negation, namely Engenni (Edoid, Niger-Congo; Nigeria).

Types 8 - 15: Other types

Types 8 and 9 involve languages where there is a difference between affirmative clauses and negative clauses in their word order, but which use SVO in negative clauses. Type 8 represents languages which are VSO in affirmative clauses but NegSVO in negative clauses. This is equivalent to Type 1 on Map 144C. Type 9 represents languages which are either SVO or SOV in affirmative clauses but specifically SVONeg in negative clauses. This is equivalent to Type 14 on Map 144C; the examples from Ma'di in (39) above illustrate this type. Type 10 is like Type 9 except that the order in negative clauses is SNegVO. This is equivalent to Type 15 on Map 144C; Hungarian is a language of this type, as illustrated above in (40).

Types 11 and 12 represent SVO languages with negative words where I lack data on the position of the negative word relative to the subject or object. In Type 11 languages, the negative word precedes the verb, while in Type 12 languages, it follows the verb.

Type 13 represents languages which have two different constructions for negative clauses, at least one of which involves SVO word order. These are expanded into the particular orders on Map 144E. Type 14 represents languages which employ SVO order in negative clauses with obligatory double negation. The subtypes of this type are expanded upon on Map 144F. Type 15 represents languages which employ SVO order in negative clauses with optional double negation. The subtypes of this are expanded upon on Map 144G.

Map 144E: Multiple Negative Constructions in SVO Languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
SNegVO/SVNegO 5
NegSVO/SNegVO 3
NegSVO/SVNegO 1
SNegVO/SVONeg 1
SVNegO/SVONeg 2
SVO & Flexible Neg 1
SNegVO/S[V-Neg]O 2
S[Neg-V]O/SVNegO 2
NegSVO/SNegVO/S[V-Neg]O 1
SNegVO/NegVSO 5
SVONeg/VSONeg 1
NegSVO/NegVOS 1
SNegVO/NegVOS 2
S[Neg-V]O/[Neg-V]OS 2
SVONeg/SONegV 2
SVNegO/SOVNeg 1
SVONeg/SNegOV/SOVNeg 1
NegSVO/SVNegO/NegSOV/SNegOV 1
SNegVO/SONegV/SVONeg/SOVNeg 1
S[Neg-V]O/SO[Neg-V] 1
S[V-Neg]O/SO[V-Neg] 2
SNegVO/SONegV/S[Neg-V]O/SO[Neg-V] 1
NegSVO/O[Neg-V]S 1
SVO & NegV/VNeg 1
SVO & NegV/[V-Neg] 2
SVO/VSO & NegV 2
SVO/VOS & NegV 2
SVO/SOV & NegV/VNeg 1
Total: 48

Map 144E shows SVO languages where there is more than one order or negative construction. Throughout this chapter, the expression “negative construction” is used in a very broad way that includes different word orders. In principle, one might try to distinguish instances of two possibilities where the only difference was a difference in the position of a negative morpheme from instances in which there are differences other than word order, but no attempt is made in making such a distinction here. The map shows 28 different types, but only three types are represented by more than 2 languages. There are two general subtypes of languages with more than one order of negative construction we can identify. First, there are languages where there is a single dominant order of subject, object, and verb, in this case SVO, but two positions for the negative with respect to these. An example of this general subtype is Aghem (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Cameroon), illustrated in (45), in which the negative word precedes the verb in completive aspect, as in (45a), but follows it in incompletive aspect, as in (45b).

(45) Aghem (Anderson 1979: 118, 123)

a.

ghé

ghâmfɔ̀.

 

3pl

neg.compl

hit

mat

 

S

Neg

V

O

 

‘They have not hit the mat.’

b.

ghé

bóo

'yɔ́

ghâmfɔ̀.

 

3pl

hit.incompl

neg.incompl

mat

 

S

V

Neg

O

 

‘They are not hitting the mat.’

Types 1 to 9, 24, and 25 are instances of this first general subtype.

In the second general subtype, the two orders correspond to two different orders of subject, object and verb in affirmative clauses, neither of which is dominant. An example of a language of this sort is German, which is SVO/SOV and is treated on this map as SVONeg/SONegV, as illustrated above in (19). Types 10 to 23 and 26 to 28 are instances of this second general subtype.

In Types 1 to 6, both orders involve negative words, while in Types 7 to 9, at least one of the orders involves a negative affix. Types 10 to 23 are ones where there are two different orders of subject, object, and verb. Types 24 to 28 are ones involving languages where I lack information on the position of the negative relative to the subject and/or object.

Type 1: SNegVO / SVNegO

Type 1 represents SNegVO/SVNegO languages, where either a negative word immediately precedes the verb or a negative word immediately follows the verb. Aghem, illustrated above in (45), is one instance of this type. Another, illustrated in (46), is Danish. In Danish, the two orders depend on whether there is an auxiliary verb: if there is no auxiliary verb, the negative word follows the main verb, as in (46a), while if there is an auxiliary verb, the negative follows the auxiliary and precedes the main verb, as in (46b).

(46) Danish (Allan, Holmes and Lundskår-Nielsen 1995: 492)

a.

Jens

købte

ikke

en

bil

i

går.

 

John

bought

neg

indef

car

prep

yesterday

 

S

V

Neg

 

O

 

 

‘John did not buy a car yesterday.’

b.

Han

har

ikke

købt

en

bil

i

år.

 

He

has

neg

bought

indef

car

prep

year

 

S

Aux

Neg

V

 

O

 

 

‘He hasn’t bought a car this year.’

Type 2: NegSVO / SNegVO

Type 2 represents NegSVO/SNegVO languages, languages that employ SVO order in negative clauses where the negative occurs before the subject or between the subject and the verb, as in Luo, illustrated above in (17).

Type 3: NegSVO / SVNegO

Type 3 represents NegSVO/SVNegO languages, of which there is only one instance, namely Mangbetu (Nilo-Saharan; Democratic Republic of Congo), illustrated in (47). The example in (47a) illustrates VNegO order. I have no example illustrating that the preverbal negative precedes the subject; (47b) simply illustrates the negative word preceding the verb.

(47) Mangbetu (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 54)

a.

má-nyɔ́

ka

ɛ́kpɛ̀.

 

1sg-eat

neg

frog

 

V

Neg

O

 

‘I do not eat frog.’

b.

ka

m-ɛ́ɛ́tì.

 

neg

1sg-know

 

Neg

V

 

‘I don’t know.’

Type 4: SNegVO / SVONeg

Type 4 represents SNegVO/SVONeg languages. There is only one instance in the sample of a language of this type, which is perhaps surprising, given that SNegVO and SVONeg are the two most common orders among languages with a single order or construction. The one instance of this type is Au (Torricelli; Papua New Guinea), illustrated in (48), (48a) illiustrating SVNeg order, (48b) SNegV order.

(48) Au (Scorza 1985: 257)

a.

a

tInaa

m-entI

au.

 

hey

mushrooms

3pl-sprout

neg

   

S

V

Neg

 

‘Hey, those mushrooms have not sprouted.’

b.

...

terwe

ap

k-entI

au.

   

tulip.tree

neg

3sg.masc-grow

but

   

S

Neg

V

 

‘... but the tulip tree had not grown.’

(The example in (48) is confusing since (48b) ends with a word au  ‘but’ which has the same form and occurs in the same position as the negative word in (48a), raising the question of whether (48b) might involve double negation. I follow the author’s analysis here, and should note that I work on a closely related language, Walman (Torricelli; Papua New Guinea), in which there is a clause-final negative word that can also mean ‘but’, although when it means ‘but’, it occurs clause-initially, signalling that relation to the preceding text, while au  in (48b) occurs at the end of the clause.)

Type 5: SVNegO / SVONeg

Type 5 represents SVNegO/SVONeg languages, of which there are two in the sample, Sahu (West Papuan; Indonesia) (Visser and Voorhoeve 1987) and Matuumbi (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Tanzania), the latter illustrated in (49).

(49) Matuumbi (Odden 1996: 211, 219)

a.

ni̧nákeengeemba

lí̧i̧

nn’u̧nda

wáangu.

 

I.cleared

neg

field

my

 

V

Neg

O

 

‘I haven’t yet cleared my field.’

b.

naaki̧bwéni̧

ki̧lóloombe

lí̧i̧lí̧.

 

1sg.subj:it:saw

shell

neg

 

V

O

Neg

 

‘I didn’t see the shell.’

Type 6: SVO & Flexible Neg

Type 6 is the type with maximal flexibility in the position of the negative word: it can occur anywhere in the clause, so that NegSVO, SNegVO, SVNegO, and SVONeg are apparently all possible. The sole language of this type is Biri (Pama-Nyungan; Australia) (Terrill 1998: 46). Note that if it were to turn out that one position were more common than others, the language would be coded according to that position.

Type 7: SNegVO / S[V-Neg]O

Types 7 to 9 are types in which one or both of the two alternant constructions involves a negative affix on the verb. In Type 7 languages, there is either an immediately preverbal negative word or a negative suffix. The sole instance of a language of this type is Wolof (Northern Atlantic, Niger-Congo; Gambia and Senegal), illustrated in (50), (50a) illustrating the preverbal negative word, (50b) the negative suffix.

(50) Wolof (Njie 1982: 148, 151)

a.

doo

lakka

olof.

 

2sg.dur.neg

speak

Wolof

 

Neg

V

O

 

‘You do not speak Wolof.’

b.

wax-u-ma

dara

ag

yaay-an.

 

talk-neg-1sg

nothing

with

mother-3sg.poss

 

V-Neg

O

 

‘I did not discuss anything with his mother.’

Type 8: S[Neg-V]O / SVNegO

Type 8 represents the opposite of Type 7: these are languages in which there is either a negative prefix or an immediately postverbal negative word. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Ngoni, illustrated above in (18).

Type 9: NegSVO / SNegVO / S[V-Neg]O

Type 9 represents languages with either a negative word or a negative suffix, where the negative word occurs either in clause-initial position or following the subject. The sole instance of a language of this type is Paumarí (Arauan; Brazil) (Chapman and Derbyshire 1991: 220).

Type 10: SNegVO / NegVSO

As noted above, Types 10 through 23 and 26 to 28 are all types involving two orders of subject, object and verb. In other words, these do not (or need not) really involve two negative constructions but two possibilities that arise simply because there are two common orders of subject, object, and verb. However, in the case of Types 17, 18, 19, 22, and 28, there are more than two possibilities, because there are not only different orders of subject, object, and verb but also multiple negative constructions.

Types 10 and 11 involve languages which are SVO/VSO. Type 10 represents languages of the type SNegVO/NegVSO, i.e. SVO/VSO with an immediately preverbal negative word. An example of a language of this type is Huehuetla Tepehua (Totonacan; Mexico), illustrated in (51).

(51) Huehuetla Tepehua (Kung 2007: 578)

a.

juu

doktor-nin

jaantu

ta-mispaa-y

juu

x-lak-k’uch’u-n-7an.

 

art

doctor-pl

neg

3pl.subj-know-imperf

art

3poss-pl-cure-dvb-pl.poss

   

S

Neg

V

 

O

 

‘The doctors do not know their cures.’

b.

juu

p’ulhnan

tuu

laa-y

7ix-chiwin-nin

juu

maqalhqama7

juu

lhii-laawaan

naa

qox.

 

art

first

neg

can-imperf

past-speak-pl.inf

art

Tepehuas

art

appl-Spanish

emph

good

     

Neg

 

V

 

S

 

O

 

‘At first the Tepehua could not speak Spanish very well.’

Type 11: SVONeg / VSONeg

Type 11 represents SVONeg/VSONeg languages, of which there is only one instance in the sample, Mehri (Semitic, Afro-Asiatic; Oman and Yemen) (Simeone-Senelle 1997: 414).

Type 12: NegSVO / NegVOS

Types 12 through 14 involve languages which are SVO/VOS. Type 12 represents languages which are NegSVO/NegVOS. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Drehu (Oceanic; New Caledonia), illustrated in (52), where the NegSV possibility is illustrated (the subject is a pronoun marked with actor case).

(52) Drehu (Moyse-Faurie 1983: 103)

thaa

hne-ng

hnaa

xen.

neg

act-1sg

mod

past

eat

Neg

S

   

V

‘I did not eat.’

Type 13: SNegVO / NegVOS

Type 13 represents languages which are SNegVO/NegVOS, languages which are SVO/VOS with an immediately preverbal negative word. There are two languages in the sample of this type, Tinrin (Oceanic; New Caledonia) (Osumi 1995: 190) and Tzutujil (Mayan; Guatemala) (Dayley 1985: 8, 320).

Type 14: S[Neg-V]O / [Neg-V]OS

Type 14 represents languages which are S[Neg-V]O/[Neg-V]OS, languages which are SVO/VOS with a negative prefix. There are two languages in the sample of this type: Gününa Küne (Chon; Argentina) (Casamiquela 1983: 79) and Toba (Guaicuruan; Argentina) (Klein 2001: 37).

Type 15: SVONeg / SONegV

Types 15 through 22 all involve languages which are SVO/SOV.

Type 15 represents represents SVONeg/SONegV languages, languages which are SVO/SOV with a negative word that follows the object noun phrase. There are two instances of this type in the sample, Dutch and German, the latter of which is illustrated above in (19).

Type 16: SVNegO / SOVNeg

Type 16 represents languages which are SVNegO/SOVNeg, languages which are SVO/SOV with a negative word that immediately follows the verb. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Trumai (isolate; Brazil) (Guirardello 1999a: 233).

Type 17: SVONeg / SNegOV / SOVNeg

Type 17 represents SVONeg/SNegOV/SOVNeg languages, which there is only one instance of in the sample, Lendu (Central Sudanic, Nilo-Saharan; Democratic Republic of Congo), illustrated in (53). The first possibility, illustrated in (53a), involves SVO order with a clause-final negative word and occurs in perfective aspect. The second possibility, illustrated in (53b), involves SOV word order with a negative word between the subject and object and occurs in imperfective aspect. The third possibility, illustrated in (53c), is SOV with a clause-final negative word and is employed when there is an auxiliary verb.

(53) Lendu (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 54)

a.

má-tra

lógo

nzá.

 

1sg-speak

Logo

neg

 

V

O

Neg

 

‘I don’t speak Logo.’

b.

ma

ndzi

kyɛ-ðà

tiri.

 

1sg

neg

Oke’bu-language

speak

 

S

Neg

O

V

 

‘I do not speak Oke’bu.’

c.

ma-ɗè

za

ʔá

nzá

.

 
 

1sg-do.past

meat

eat

neg

yet

 
   

O

V

Neg

 
 

‘I have not yet eaten meat.’

(The negative word in (53c) is not literally clause-final; however, ‘clause-final’ is used in this chapter to mean final in the sequence of negative word, subject ,object, and verb.)

Type 18: NegSVO / SVNegO / NegSOV / SNegOV

Type 18 represents languages which are NegSVO/SVNegO/NegSOV/SNegOV. Ngiti (Central Sudanic, Nilo-Saharan; Democratic Republic of Congo), which is closely related to Lendu, is the sole instance of Type 18; it is SVO/SOV with a negative word that occurs either in clause-initial position or following the finite verb, as illustrated in (54). If there is no auxiliary verb, this yields the two possibilities NegSVO and SVNegO, as in (54a) and (54b). If there is an auxiliary verb, the word order is SAuxOV and it is the auxiliary that is the finite verb, but since auxiliary verbs are ignored here in identifying the position of the negative relative to the subject, object, and verb (see Chapter 143), this yields the two possibilities NegSOV and SNegOV, as in (54c) and (54d), in the latter case, the negative following the finite auxiliary and preceding the object.

(54) Ngiti (Kutsch Lojenga 1994: 243, 244)

a.

ɨnzá

ma

m-òbhi

nga.

 
 

neg

1sg

1sg-cultivate:pres.pfctv

field

 
 

Neg

S

V

O

 
 

‘I have not cultivated the field.’

b.

ma

m-òbhi

nzá

nga.

 
 

1sg

1sg-cultivate:pres.pfctv

neg

field

 
 

S

V

Neg

O

 
 

‘I have not cultivated the field.’

c.

ɨ̀nzɨ̄̀

ma

m-ɨ́

nga

n-òbhi.

 
 

neg

1sg

1sg-be

field

3-cultivate.nmnlz

 
 

Neg

S

 

O

V

 
 

‘I have not cultivated the field.’

d.

ma

m-ɨ́

ɨ̀nzɨ̄̀

nga

n-òbhi.

 
 

1sg

1sg-be

neg

field

3-cultivate.nmnlz

 
 

S

 

Neg

O

V

 
 

‘I have not cultivated the field.’

Type 19: SNegVO / SONegV / SVONeg / SOVNeg

Type 19 represents languages which are like those of Type 18 but with the opposite positions for the negative word, with either an immediately preverbal negative word or a clause-final negative word. The sole instance of a language of this type is Chai (Surmic, Nilo-Saharan; Ethiopia), illustrated in (55), where (55a) illustrates SNegVO order, (55b) SVONeg, and (55c) SONegV order.

(55) Chai (Last and Lucassen 1998: 418, 419)

a.

àɲè

ŋà

kátá

bàrtú.

 

1sg

neg

cheat.imperf.1sg

Bartu

 

S

Neg

V

O

 

‘I did not cheat Bartu.’

b.

àɲè

kátá

bàrtú

ŋáyò.

 
 

1sg

cheat.imperf.1sg

Bartu

neg

 
 

S

V

O

Neg

 
 

‘I did not cheat Bartu.’

c.

ìɲè

bú:ná

ŋà

máìó?

 
 

2sg

coffee

neg

drink.imperf.2sg

 
 

S

O

Neg

V

 
 

Don’t you drink coffee?’

Type 20: S[Neg-V]O / SO[Neg-V]

Types 20 through 22 involve SVO/SOV languages with negative affixes on the verb. Type 20 represents SVO/SOV languages with a negative prefix. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Northern Tiwa (Kiowa-Tanoan; New Mexico) (Trager 1946: 202).

Type 21: S[V-Neg]O / SO[V-Neg]

Type 21 represents SVO/SOV languages with a negative suffix. An example of a language of this type is Kwazá (isolate; Brazil), illustrated in (56).

(56) Kwazá (van der Voort 2004: 520)

e'tay

talo-tja-'he-ja-ki.

woman

sulk-trans-neg-indef.obj-decl

S

V-Neg

‘The woman is not angry towards people.’

Type 22: SNegVO / SONegV / S[Neg-V]O / SO[Neg-V]

Type 22 represents languages which are SVO/SOV with an option of a negative prefix or a preverbal negative word. The sole instance of a language of this type is Eastern Armenian (Indo-European; Armenia), illustrated in (57), where there is either a negative prefix, as in (57a), or a negative word preceding the verb, as in (57b), where the negative word is an auxiliary verb bearing the same negative prefix that occurs in (57a).

(57) Eastern Armenian (Dum-Tragut 2009: 523, 524)

a.

...

bayc’

ayd

halt’anak-ě

sakayn

č-’p’ox-ec’

“P’yunki”

vičak-ě.

 
   

conj

that

victory.nom-def

conj

neg-change-aor.3sg

“P’yunki”

situation.nom-def

 
       

S

 

Neg-V

 

O

 
 

‘... but this victory has not, however, changed the situation of “P’yunki”.’

b.

usti

tvyal

erkramas-um

ayd

žamanak-vanic’

hay-er

č’-ēin

apr-um.

 

conj

give-perf.ptcpl

world.part-loc

that

time-abl

Armenian-nom.pl

neg-be.past.3sg

live-pres.ptcpl

           

S

Neg

V

 

‘Therefore since that time, Armenians did not live in the given part of the world.’

Type 23: NegSVO / O[Neg-V]S

Type 23 is the sole type involving SVO and OVS as the two possibilities. It represents languages which are OSV in affirmative clauses but NegSVO or OVS with a negative prefix. The sole language of this type is Nadëb, illustrated above in (34).

Types 24 - 28: Languages with incomplete data

The remaining types (Types 24 to 28) involve languages where I lack data on the position of negative words relative to the subject and/or object. Type 24 languages are SVO languages with a negative word either preceding or following the verb (but where the exact position is not known). Type 25 languages are SVO languages with either a negative word preceding the verb (where the position relative to the subject is unknown) or a negative suffix. Type 26 languages are SVO/VSO languages with a preverbal negative word and Type 27 languages are SVO/VOS languages with a preverbal negative word, in both cases whose position relative to the subject when SVO order is used is not known. Type 28 represents SVO/SOV languages with a negative word that either precedes or follows the verb.

Map 144F: Obligatory Double Negation in SVO languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
SNegVONeg 11
SNegVNegO 6
SVNegONeg 1
SVO/VSO in affirmative clauses but NegSVONeg 1
S[Neg-V]ONeg 7
SNeg[V-Neg]O 4
S[Neg-V]NegO 1
NegS[V-Neg]O 2
S[Neg-V-Neg]O 5
SVNegO with negative tone on verb 1
S[Neg-V]O with negative tone on verb 1
SNegNegVO/SNegVNegO 1
SNegVNegO/SNegVONeg 1
SNegVONeg/S[Neg-V]ONeg 1
(Neg)S(Neg)VONeg (at least one of the preverbal Negs) 1
SNeg[V-Neg]O and negative tone on verb / SNegVNegO 1
S(Neg)[Neg-V-Neg]O 1
SNeg[V(-Neg)]ONeg/S[Neg-V(-Neg)]ONeg 1
SNegVONeg/SNegOVNeg 1
SVONeg with negative tone on verb / SNegOVNeg 1
SNegVONeg/SVNegONeg/NegVOSNeg/VNegOSNeg 1
SVO & NegVNeg 5
S[Neg-V]O & NegV 1
Total: 56

Map 144F shows SVO languages with obligatory double negation. Types 1 to 11 are languages with a single negative construction; Types 12 to 21 are languages with more than one order or negative construction. Types 22 and 23 involve languages where I lack data on the position of a preverbal negative word relative to the subject.

Type 1: SNegVONeg

Types 1 to 4 involve types where both negative morphemes are separate words. Type 1 is the most frequent type of SVO language with obligatory double negation, with SNegVONeg order, as in Abun (West Papuan; Papua, Indonesia), illustrated in (58).

(58) Abun (Berry and Berry 1999: 136)

Ye

yo

syo

sugum

nai

ji

nde.

3pl

neg

give

money

io

1sg

neg

S

Neg

V

O

 

O

Neg

‘They did not give money to me.’

The fact that it is most frequent corresponds to the fact that the two positions of the negative words in this type correspond to the two most frequent types with single negative words, SNegVO and SVONeg.

Type 2: SNegVNegO

Type 2 represents SNegVNegO languages, of which there is one such language in the sample, Katla (Kordofanian, Niger-Congo; Sudan), exemplified in (59).

(59) Katla (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 268)

nyɔŋ

ța

nyo-lök

naŋ

gabas.

1sg

neg

1sg-eat

neg

meat

S

Neg

V

Neg

O

‘I do not eat meat.’

Note that French is coded in the sample as a language with optional double negation, on the basis of Colloquial French, since the ne  in ne ... pas  is optional in Colloquial French, but Standard French, which is not in the sample, is a Type 2 language since the preverbal negative word ne  is obligatory in Standard French.

Type 3: SVNegONeg

Type 3 contains one language, Zande (Ubangi, Niger-Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan), illustrated in (60), with SVNegONeg order.

(60) Zande (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 155)

mì-mä̀ŋgì̧

ŋgâ

sÚŋgɛ

tɛ̀.

1sg-do.perf

neg

work

neg

V

Neg

O

Neg

‘I am not doing work.’

Type 4: SVO / VSO in affirmative clauses but NegSVONeg

Type 4 represents languages in which there is an alternation between SVO and VSO in affirmative clauses, but the order is NegSVONeg in negative clauses. The sole instance of a language of this type is Masakin, illustrated above in (38).

Type 5: S[Neg-V]ONeg

Types 5 to 11 are types in which the double negation is at least partly morphological, realized by an affix on the verb or by tone on the verb. Type 5 represents languages which are S[Neg-V]ONeg, languages which employ a negative prefix and a clause-final negative word, illustrated by Bwe Karen (Tibeto-Burman; Myanmar) in (61) and Ma (Ubangi, Niger-Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo) in (62).

(61) Bwe Karen (Henderson 1997: 247)

ə-mu

dəlà-yo

yə-də-θə́’ɛ́

ə-mi

.

thing

poss’d-plant

plur-this

1sg-neg-know

poss’d-name

neg

 

 

 

Neg-V

O

Neg

‘These plants, I don’t know their names.’

(62) Ma (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 130)

tá-mù-sùbù-li

nɔ́ŋgbɔ́

nyɔ̀.

neg-1sg-eat-past

meat

neg.1sg

Neg-V

O

Neg

‘I did not eat meat.’

Type 6: SNeg[V-Neg]O

Type 6 represents languages which are SNeg[V-Neg]O, languages with an immediately preverbal word and a negative suffix, illustrated by Warekena in (63).

(63) Warekena (Aikhenvald 1998: 264)

ya=paʃia

yulua-pia=ni

atapi.

neg=fut

fall-neg=this

tree

‘Only this tree will not fall.’

Type 7: S[Neg-V]NegO

Type 7 represents languages which are S[Neg-V]NegO, languages with a negative prefix and an immediately postverbal negative word. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Lenakel (Oceanic; Vanuatu). The morpheme treated here as an immediately postverbal negative word in Lenakel is a clitic that usually occurs on the verb, but can encliticize to verbal adjuncts, as in (64), where it attaches to akɨn  ‘very’.

(64) Lenakel (Lynch 1978: 64)

uus-suaas

aan

r-ɨs-kɨn

akɨn=aan.

man-small

that

3sg-neg-eat

very=neg

S

 

Neg-V

Adv=Neg

‘That boy did not eat very much.’

Type 8: NegS[V-Neg]O

Type 8 represents languages which are NegS[V-Neg]O, languages with a clause-initial negative word and a negative suffix on the verb. There are two instances of this type in the sample, Yukulta (Tangkic; Australia) (Keen 1983: 237) and Zaparo (Zaparoan; Ecuador and Peru) (Peeke 1962: 130, 157, 200).

Type 9: S[Neg-V-Neg]O

Type 9 represents languages which are S[Neg-V-Neg]O, with a negative prefix and a negative suffix, illustrated in (65) from Ndebele (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; South Africa).

(65) Ndebele (Bowern and Lotridge 2002: 44)

USipho

ka-hamba-nga.

Sipho

neg-walk-neg.past

S

Neg-V-Neg

‘Sipho didn’t walk.’

Type 10: SVNegO with negative tone on verb

Type 10 represents languages which are SVNegO, with negative tone on the verb, illustrated by Baule (Kwa, Niger-Congo; Côte d'Ivoire) in (66) (which doesn’t illustrate the negative word preceding an object, only the postverbal position, though it is clear from the source that it is immediately postverbal).

(66) Baule (Carteron 1972: 69)

ó

nián

mán.

3sg

look.neg

neg

‘He is not looking.’

For more details, see the examples in (46) in Chapter 143 and the accompanying discussion.

Type 11: S[Neg-V]O with negative tone on verb

Type 11 represents languages with a negative prefix and negative tone on the verb. The sole instance of a language of this sort is Degema (Edoid, Niger-Congo; Nigeria). The examples in (67) illustrate this, (67a) illustrating an affirmative clause, (67b) the corresponding negative clause, with a distinctive negative subject prefix and distinct tone on the verb, and (67c) illustrating SVO word order in a negative clause.

(67) Degema (Kari 1997, cited by Miestamo 2005: 272; Kari n.d.)

a.

mó-síré.

 

3sg-run

 

‘He is running.’

b.

ó-sire.

 

3sg.neg-run.neg

 

Neg-V<NegTone>

 

‘He is not running.’

c.

...

ɔjɪ

ó-ɓine

íŋʷaɲ.

 
   

he

that

3sg.masc.neg=want.neg

trouble

 
   

S

 

Neg-V<NegTone>

O

 
 

‘[In a certain town, there was a man who said that] he did not want trouble.’

Type 12: SNegNegVO / SNegVNegO

Types 12 to 14 involve two alternative orders or negative constructions. Type 12 represents languages which are SNegNegVO/SNegVNegO, represented in the sample only by Breton (Celtic, Indo-European; France), illustrated in (68), (68a) illustrating SNegVNegO order, (68b) SNegNegV order.

(68) Breton (Schafer 1995: 157, 168)

a.

Ar

vugale

ne

dastumont

ket

bleunviou

kichen

ar

waz.

 

def

children

neg

collect

neg

flowers

by

def

stream

   

S

Neg

V

Neg

O

 
 

‘The children do not collect flowers by the stream.’

b.

Lan

n=eo

ket

aet

er

c’hav

...

 

Alan

neg=be

neg

gone

in

cave

 

S

Neg

Neg

V

 
 

‘Alan didn’t go into the cave ...’

The placement of the negative words in Breton is in fact governed by a single principle: they bracket the inflected verb. When there is no auxiliary verb, as in (68a), this results in SNegVNegO word order; however, when there is an auxiliary verb, it is the auxiliary verb that is inflected and the negative words bracket the auxiliary verb and both precede the main verb, as in (68b) (where the first negative word is cliticized onto the auxiliary). Since the typology used here ignores auxiliary verbs, this second order gets classified as SNegNegVO.

Type 13: SNegVNegO / SNegVONeg

Type 13 represents languages which are SNegVNegO/SNegVONeg, which there is again only one instance of in the sample, Lolovoli Northeast Ambae (Oceanic; Vanuatu), illustrated in (69), where (69a) illustrates the SNegVNegO order and (69b) illustrates NegVONeg order.

(69) Lolovoli Northeast Ambae (Hyslop 2001: 262, 260)

a.

Maresu

ra=hi

inu

tea

malogu.

 
 

child

3non.sg=neg

drink

neg

kava

 
 

S

=Neg

V

Neg

O

 
 

‘Children don’t eat kava.’

b.

Ga=hi

vei

rarai

na

no-mai

avi

tea.

 

1excl.non.sg=neg

make

ready

obj

poss.clsfr-1excl.non.sg

firewood

neg

 

S=Neg

V

     

O

Neg

 

‘We hadn’t prepared our firewood.’

Type 14: SNegVONeg / S[Neg-V]ONeg

Type 14 represents languages which are SNegVONeg/S[Neg-V]ONeg, with a preverbal negative that is either a separate word or a prefix and a clause-final negative word. The sole instance of a language in the sample is Luvale (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Angola), illustrated in (70). The clause-final negative word in Luvale is a clitic that attaches to the last word in the clause.

(70) Luvale (Horton 1949: 134, 127)

a.

Kexi

kw-iza

ku-xikola=ko.

 
 

neg

inf-come

loc-school=neg

 
 

Neg

V

X=Neg

 
 

‘He does not come to school.’

b.

ka-va-wanyine

[vy-uma

vize

va-tondele]=ko.

 

neg-nc.pl-find

nc.pl-thing

nc.pl-that.yonder

nc.pl-seek=neg

 

Neg-V

O

 

=Neg

 

‘They did not find those things they sought.’

Type 15: (Neg)S(Neg)VONeg (with at least one of the preverbal Negs)

Types 15 to 18 are ones involving obligatory double negation with optional triple negation. Type 15 represents languages which are (Neg)S(Neg)VONeg, with an optional clause-initial negative word, an optional negative word in immediately preverbal position and an obligatory clause-final negative word, where either the clause-initial or immediately preverbal positions must be filled and it is possible for both to be. The sole instance of a language of this type is Noni (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Cameroon), illustrated in (71), where (71a) illustrates the clause-initial word, (71b) the immediately preverbal negative word, and (71c) negative words in both positions.

(71) Noni (Hyman 1981b: 70, 59)

a.

kɛ́

bɔ́

nǔ

géé

kfun

.

 

neg

3pl

fut

fut

hit

neg

 

Neg

S

   

V

Neg

 

‘They will not hit (later today).’

b.

bɔ́

bǎ

yém

kfun

bɔɔm

.

 

3pl

past

neg

sing

hit

children

neg

 

S

 

Neg

V

V

O

Neg

 

‘They didn’t sing and hit the children.’

c.

kɛ́

bɔ́

nǔ

géé

kfun

.

 

neg

3pl

neg

fut

fut

hit

neg

 

Neg

S

Neg

   

V

Neg

 

‘They will not hit (later today).’

Type 16: SNeg[V-Neg]O and negative tone on verb / SNegVNegO

In Type 16 languages, there are two possibilities, the first involving a negative word in immediately preverbal position and a negative suffix on the verb, the second involving triple negation, with a negative word in immediately preverbal position, negative tone on the verb, and a negative word in immediately postverbal position. The sole language of this type is Doyayo (Adamawa, Niger-Congo; Cameroon), illustrated in (72), where (72a) illustrates two negative words preceding the verb and negative tone on the verb (more specifically on a suffix on the verb) and (72b) illustrates a preverbal negative word, negative tone on the verb, and a postverbal negative word.

(72) Doyayo (Wiering and Wiering 1994: 81, 80)

a.

hi¹

taa¹²

zaa¹-ko³.

 

3pl.neg

be.neg

come-incompl.neg

   

Neg

V<NegTone>

 

‘They will not come.’

b.

mi¹

gbɛ²ni-g¹

gɛɛ²³.

 

1sg.neg

see.neg-3sg.obj

neg

 

Neg

V<NegTone>

Neg

 

‘I didn’t see him.’

As discussed in Chapter 143, the two negative words preceding the verb in (72a) do not count as double negation since they are adjacent to each other and apparently cannot be separated by other words, so (72a) (including the tone on the verb) involves double negation, not triple negation.

Type 17: S(Neg)[Neg-V-Neg]O

Type 17 languages have an obligatory negative prefix and suffix with an optional negative word that occurs after the subject and before the verb. The sole instance of a language of this type is Gunbalang (Gunwinygic; Australia), illustrated in (73), where (73a) illustrates the possibility without the negative word, (73b) with the negative word.

(73) Gunbalang (Harris 1969b: 35)

a.

ngayi

ngarra-kirta-ng.

 

1sg

1sg.neg-go-past.neg

 

S

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘I didn’t go.’

b.

ngayi

ngunta

korro-kenta

ngarra-kirta-ng.

 

1sg

neg

loc.to-there

1sg.neg-go-past.neg

 

S

Neg

 

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘I didn’t go down there.’

Type 18: SNeg[V(-Neg)]ONeg / S[Neg-V(-Neg)]ONeg

Type 18 represents languages with an obligatory clause-final negative word, a choice between an immediately preverbal negative word or a negative prefix, and an optional negative suffix. The sole language of this type is Kongo (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo), illustrated in (74).

Example (74a) illustrates the SNeg[V-Neg]ONeg possibility, (74b) triple negation with a negative prefix, and (74c) double negation without the negative suffix.

(74) Kongo (Lumwamu 1973: 213, 200, 215)

a.

ba-nuní

ka

ba-dí-:li-a:

mba

.

 
 

nc-bird

neg

nc-eat-immed.past-neg

palm.nut

neg

 
 

S

Neg

V-Neg

O

Neg

 
 

‘The birds have not eaten the palm nuts.’

b.

k-ú-kwi:zá-:

ko.

 
 

neg-2sg-come-neg

neg

 
 

Neg-V-Neg

Neg

 
 

‘I am not coming.’

c.

ka-t-a-dí-di-éti

ko.

 

neg-1pl-compl-eat-past-rel.compl

neg

 

Neg-V

Neg

 

‘We have not yet eaten.’

Type 19: SNegVONeg / SNegOVNeg

Types 19 through 21 are ones in which there is an alternation (in both affirmative and negative clauses) between SVO order and some other order of subject, object, and verb. Type 19 languages are ones which involve an alternation between SNegVONeg and SNegOVNeg. The sole instance of a language of this type is Gwari (Nupoid, Niger-Congo; Nigeria) (Hyman and Magaji 1970: 118).

Type 20: SVONeg with negative tone on verb / SNegOVNeg

Type 20 languages are ones which involve an alternation between SVONeg with negative tone on the verb and SNegOVNeg. The sole instance of a language of this type is Kisi (Southern Atlantic, Niger-Congo; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), illustrated in (75). In Kisi, the word order is SVO in clauses without an auxiliary verb, and when such clauses are negative, there is a clause-final negative word plus distinct negative tone on the verb, as in (75a). When there is an auxiliary verb, the word order is SAuxOV, and when such clauses are negative, the same clause-final negative word occurs, as well as either negative tone on the auxiliary verb, as in (75b), or a distinct negative auxiliary verb, as in (75c). These last two cases both count as SNegOVNeg; the distinct negative tone on the auxiliary verb still counts as a negative word, since the entire auxiliary verb in this case counts as a negative word, albeit one that codes other information as well (see Chapters 112 and 143).

(75) Kisi (Childs 1995: 260, 233, 234)

a.

wàŋndó

hɛ̀náŋ

kóŋ

.

 
 

person

love.neg

man

that

neg

 
 

S

V<NegTone>

O

 

Neg

 
 

‘Nobody loves that man.’

b.

ò

lɛɛŋndó

yìkpà

.

 
 

3sg

pres.prog.neg

machete

sharpen

neg

 
 

S

Neg

O

V

Neg

 
 

‘She is not sharpening the machete.’

c.

ò

wàŋndá

kùìndìkùìndìó

.

 

3sg

past.prog.neg

people

hit

neg

 

S

Neg

O

V

Neg

 

‘He was not striking the people.’

Type 21: SNegVONeg / SVNegONeg / NegVOSNeg / VNegOSNeg

Type 21 represents languages which are SNegVONeg/SVNegONeg/NegVOSNeg/VNegOSNeg, languages which are SVO/VOS where the first negative word either immediately precedes or follows the verb and the other is clause-final. The sole instance of a language of this sort is Miya (West Chadic, Afro-Asiatic; Nigeria). The SVNegONeg possibility (which, when it occurs as the sole order, is rather unusual and defines a Type 3 language) is illustrated in (76).

(76) Miya (Schuh 1998: 283)

Ndùwya

tənzə

màrɗ=úw.

Nduya

plant

neg

millet=neg

S

V

Neg

O=Neg

‘Nduya did not plant millet.’

Examples illustrating NegVOSNeg and VNegOSNeg order are given below in (143).

Types 22 and 23

The remaining two types are ones with negative words where I lack data on the positive of at least one negative word relative to the subject and object. In Type 22 languages, there is a preverbal negative word and a postverbal negative word. In Type 23 languages, there is a preverbal negative word and a negative prefix.

Map 144G: Optional Double Negation in SVO languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
SNegVO(Neg) 6
S(Neg)VONeg 8
S(Neg)VNegO 3
SNegV(Neg)O 1
(Neg)SVONeg 2
SVNegO(Neg) 1
NegS[V(-Neg)]O 1
S[(Neg-)V]NegO 1
S[Neg-V]O(Neg) 2
SNegVO or SVNegO with tone on verb 1
S(Neg)[V(-Neg)]O 1
S[Neg-V(-Neg)]O 2
(Neg)SVONeg/S(Neg)VONeg 1
S[Neg-V]O/NegSVNegO 1
SNeg[V-Neg]O/S[Neg-V-Neg]O 1
S[V(-Neg)]O & NegV 1
SVO/SOV & (Neg)[V-Neg] 1
SVO/VSO & NegV/VNeg/NegVNeg 1
Total: 35

Map 144G shows different types of SVO languages with optional double negation. Types 1 to 12 involve languages with a single negative construction; Types 13 to 15 involve languages with more than one order or negative construction; Types 16 to 18 involve languages where I lack data on the position of a negative word relative to the subject or object.

Type 1: SNegVO(Neg)

Types 1 to 6 are types in which both negative morphemes are separate words. Types 1 and 2 are the two most common types among those types involving exactly two negative words, making up approximately as many languages as all the other types involving two negative words combined (Types 3 to 7) . These are the two optional double negation types which corresponding to the most common obligatory double negation type, Type 1 on Map 144F, SNegVONeg. These two types differ as to which negative word is obligatory and which is optional. Type 1 represents languages where it is the preverbal negative that is obligatory, illustrated in (77) from Hausa (West Chadic, Afro-Asiatic; Niger and Nigeria).

(77) Hausa (Kraft and Kraft 1973: 108; Kraft 1963: 134)

a.

bàn

san

sūna-n-sà

ba.

 

neg.1sg

know

name-link-3sg

neg

 

Neg

V

O

Neg

 

‘I don’t know his name.’

b.

ba

zuwà

kai.

 

neg

cont

come.nomin

with

2sg

 

Neg

 

V

 

‘I am not going with you.’

Type 2: S(Neg)VONeg

Type 2 represents languages like those of Type 1, except that it is the clause-final negative that is obligatory. An example of such a language is Mungaka (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Cameroon), illustrated in (78). In nonfuture tenses in Mungaka, there is double negation, as in (78a), while in future tenses there is only a clause-final negative, as in (78b).

(78) Mungaka (Tischhauser 1992: 25)

a.

i

lǒ'

ṅgǒ̤

ma

ntan

bo̤.

 
 

3sg.anim

past

neg

go

loc

market

neg

 
 

S

 

Neg

V

   

Neg

 
 

‘He did not go to the market.’

b.

i

to

ɣo̤

ma

ntan

bo̤.

 

3sg.anim

fut.today

go

loc

market

neg

 

S

 

V

   

Neg

 

‘He will not go to the market today.’

Type 3: S(Neg)VNegO

Type 3 represents languages of the type S(Neg)VNegO. One of the languages of this type is (Colloquial) French, illustrated in (79).

(79) (Colloquial) French

Je

(ne)

vois

pas

la

mer.

1sg

neg

see.pres.1sg

neg

def.fem

sea

S

(Neg)

V

Neg

 

O

‘I do not see the sea.’

Type 4: SNegV(Neg)O

Type 4 represents languages of the type SNegV(Neg)O, like Type 3 except that in Type 4 languages it is the postverbal negative that is optional. The sole language in the sample of this type is Catalan (Romance, Indo-European; Spain), illustrated in (80).

(80) Catalan (Bernini and Ramat 1996: 49)

Joan

no

menja

(pas)

peix.

John

neg

eat

(neg)

fish

S

Neg

V

(Neg)

O

‘John does not eat fish.’

Type 5: (Neg)SVONeg

Type 5 represents languages of the type (Neg)SVONeg. There are two languages of this type, Fyem (Platoid, Niger-Congo; Nigeria) (Nettle 1998: 48-49) and Mupun (West Chadic, Afro-Asiatic; Nigeria), the latter of which is illustrated in (81).

(81) Mupun (Frajzyngier 1993: 353)

(ba)

mo

kə́

se

kop

kas.

neg

3pl

perf

eat

inheritance

neg

(Neg)

S

 

V

O

Neg

‘They do not inherit.’

Type 6: SVNegO(Neg)

Type 6 represents languages which are SVNegO(Neg). The sole instance of a language of this type is Lewo (Oceanic; Vanuatu), illustrated in (82), where (82a) illustrates the option with one negative word, immediately following the verb, and (82b) illustrates double negation, with an additional negative word at the end of the clause.

(82) Lewo (Early 1994a: 397)

a.

naga

v-e

ø-v-isa

re

sun-ena

tai.

 

3sg

irreal-be

3sg-irreal-say

neg

story-nmlz

indef

 

S

 

V

Neg

O

 

‘He will not tell a story.’

b.

naga

p-e

ø-p-isa

re

sun-ena

tai

poli.

 

3sg

real-be

3sg-real-say

neg

story-nmlz

indef

neg

 

S

 

V

Neg

O

 

Neg

 

‘He did not tell a story.’

Note that when a single negative is used in Lewo, as in (82a), the order is SVNegO, an order that is attested in the sample for only two languages with single negation.

Type 7: NegS[V(-Neg)]O

Types 7 to 15 are ones in which at least one of the negative morphemes is an affix on the verb. Type 7 represents languages which are NegS[V(-Neg)]O, with an obligatory clause-initial negative word and an optional negative suffix on the verb. The sole instance of a language of this type is Temein (Eastern Sudanic, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan), illustrated above in (22).

Type 8: S[(Neg-)V]NegO

Type 8 represents languages which are S[(Neg-)V]NegO, languages with an optional negative prefix and an obligatory immediately postverbal negative word. The sole language of this type is Ifira-Mele (Oceanic; Vanuatu), illustrated in (83).

(83) Ifira-Mele (Clark 2002: 692)

Au

(s)-taae-a

kee.

1sg

(neg)-know-trans

neg

S

(Neg-)V

Neg

‘I don’t know.’

Type 9: S[Neg-V]O(Neg)

Type 9 represents languages which are S[Neg-V]O(Neg), languages with an obligatory negative prefix and an optional clause-final negative word. There are two languages of this type in the sample, Bolia (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo) (Mamet 1960: 58-59) and Adzera (Oceanic; Papua New Guinea), the latter of which is illustrated in (84).

(84) Adzera (Holzknecht 1986: 137)

dzi

anuŋʔ-i-saŋʔ

rim-a

u

sib

(u).

1sg

neg-real-can

help-ptcpl

2sg

compl

(neg)

S

Neg-V

V

O

 

(Neg)

‘I am not able to help you.’

Type 10: SNegVO or SVNegO with tone on verb

Type 10 represents languages with two constructions, one with double negation, with tone on the verb and a postverbal negative word, illustrated by Ewondo (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Cameroon) in (85a), the other with single negation with a preverbal negative word, as in (85b).

(85) Ewondo (Redden 1979: 74, 79, 86)

a.

m-ɑɑ́-dī

ki.

 

1sg-pres-eat.neg

neg

 

V<NegTone>

Neg

 

‘I am not eating.’

b.

m-andzí

ki

.

 

1sg-past.neg

neg

eat

   

Neg

V

 

‘I didn’t eat.’

Note that negation is actually simpler in Ewondo than the characterization here suggests: there is a negative tone on the finite verb and a negative word that follows the finite verb. In the construction in (85b), the finite verb is the past tense auxiliary verb, so the negative tone falls on the auxiliary verb and the negative word immediately follows the auxiliary verb and precedes the main verb. While there is literally double negation in (85b), the two markers of negation are on two words that necessarily occur adjacent to each other, and by the criteria assumed here (see Chapter 143), something is not treated as double negation if the two markers are adjacent, unless one of them is on the verb, as is the case in (85a), but not (85b).

Type 11: S(Neg)[V(-Neg)]O

Type 11 represents languages which are S(Neg)[V(-Neg)]O, with a preverbal negative word or a negative suffix or both. The sole instance of a language of this type is Nkem (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Nigeria), illustrated in (86), (86a) illustrating a preverbal negative word alone, (86b) the negative suffix, and (86c) both a preverbal negative word and a negative suffix.

(86) Nkem (Sibomana 1986: 274, 272, 275)

a.

nɨ̂m

gòn

í-tàb.

 

1sg

neg.fut

buy

nc-house

 

S

Neg

V

O

 

‘I will not buy any house.’

b.

yéd-dom

í-tàb.

 

1sg

see-neg

nc-house

 

S

V-Neg

O

 

‘I did not see any house.’

c.

mál-lom.

 

1sg

neg.pres

finish-neg

 

S

Neg

V-Neg

 

‘I have not finished.’

Type 12: S[Neg-V(-Neg)]O

Type 12 represents languages with an obligatory negative prefix and an optional negative suffix. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Zulu (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; South Africa), illustrated in (87), where (87a) illustrates single negation while (87b) illustrates double negation.

(87) Zulu (Poulos and Bosch 1997, cited by Miestamo 2005: 368)

a.

u-sipho

a-ka-zu-funda.

 

nc-Sipho

neg-nc.neg-fut-learn

 

S

Neg-V

 

‘Sipho will not study.’

b.

u-sipho

a-ka-hamb-anga.

 

nc-Sipho

neg-nc.neg-leave-neg.perf

 

S

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘Sipho has not left.’

Note that negation is coded by two prefixes, the purely negative prefix a-  and the subject prefix that also codes noun class. However, multiple prefixes are not counted as separate negatives (see Chapter 143).

Type 13: (Neg)SVONeg / S(Neg)VONeg

Type 13 represents SVO languages with an obligatory clause-final negative word and an optional clause-initial negative word. The sole instance of a language of this type is Kresh (Central Sudanic, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan), illustrated in (88).

(88) Kresh (Brown 1994: 165)

(Bãá)

Kôkó

ãmbá

Gõkó

’dĩ.

(neg)

Koko

3sg.hit

Goko

neg

(Neg)

S

V

O

Neg

‘Koko did not hit Goko.’

Type 14: S[Neg-V]O / NegSVNegO

Type 14 represents languages which are S[Neg-V]O/NegSVNegO, employing either a negative prefix or two negative words, one clause-initial, the other following the verb. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Sahidic Coptic (Egyptian Coptic, Afro-Asiatic; Egypt) (Reintges 2004: 338, 346, 371).

Type 15: SNeg[V-Neg]O / S[Neg-V-Neg]O

Type 15 represents what could be seen as the opposite of what is found in Sahidic Coptic, with either a single preverbal negative word in SNegVO order or double morphological negation (S[Neg-V-Neg]O). The sole instance of a language of this type is Egyptian Arabic (Semitic, Afro-Asiatic; Egypt), illustrated in (89).

(89) Egyptian Arabic (Gary and Gamal-Eldin 1982: 39)

a.

miʃ

bijħib

il-ħafalaat.

 
 

neg

like:3sg.masc

def-parties

 
 

Neg

V

O

 
 

‘He doesn’t like parties.’

b.

ma-gaa-ʃ

imbaariħ.

 

neg-come:3sg.masc-neg

yesterday

 

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘He didn’t come yesterday.’

Types 16 - 18

The last three types represent languages where I lack data on the position of negative words relative to the subject and/or object. Type 16 represents languages with an obligatory negative word that precedes the verb (though perhaps not immediately) and an optional negative suffix. Type 17 represents languages which are SVO/SOV with an optional preverbal negative word (whose exact position is unknown to me) and an obligatory negative suffix. Type 18 represents languages which are SVO/VSO with either a negative word that occurs somewhere before the verb or a negative word that occurs somewhere after the verb or both, as in (90) from Welsh Romani (Indic, Indo-European; United Kingdom). Example (90a) illustrates a preverbal negative word na  used alone; (90b) illustrates a distinct postverbal negative word, kek  (the order of the pronouns here is VOS); and (90c) illustrates both.

(90) Welsh Romani (Sampson 1926: 220, 221)

a.

na

wånts-ā́

te

bik’n-ā́

les.

 

neg

want-pres.1sg

1sg.nom

subord

sell-pres.1sg

3sg.acc

 

Neg

V

S

 

‘I do not want to sell him.’

b.

mār-áva

tut

kek.

 
 

kill-pres.1sg

2sg.acc

1sg.nom

neg

 
 

V

O

S

Neg

 
 

‘I will not kill you.’

c.

ō

kåšt

na

kūr-’l

ī

ǰuklés

kek.

 
 

def

stick

neg

hit-pres.3sg

def

dog

neg

 
   

S

Neg

V

 

O

Neg

 
 

‘The stick will not beat the dog.’

It is not clear from Sampson (1926) where these two negative words occur relative to the subject and object, but the examples suggest that perhaps the first one occurs in immediately preverbal position and the second one in clause-final position. If these examples do in fact represent the normal order, then Welsh Romani would count as a SNegVONeg/NegVOSNeg language, a type otherwise unattested.

Map 144H: NegSVO Order

The preceding four maps (Maps 144D to 144G) show the different types of SVO languages as far as the placement of negative morphemes is concerned. The next four maps constitute a rearrangement of the data on the preceding four maps to make it easier to see all languages that allow a negative morpheme in a particular position. It is difficult to see from the preceding maps, for example, exactly which languages have negative words that can immediately follow the verb. The type SVNegO on Map 144E is the basic type of such language. But Type 3 on Map 144E (NegSVO/SVNegO) also allows SVNegO order as one of the two possibilities (as do a number of other types on Map 144E). And a number of the types of languages with obligatory double negation on Map 144F (such as SNegVNegO), involve an immediately postverbal negative word, which includes the possibility SVNegO (though necessarily with preverbal negative word as well). And the same applies to a number of types of languages with optional double negation on Map 144G. Because all these languages are spread over Maps 144D to 144G, it is not easy to see together on a single map all those types which employ immediately postverbal negative words.

The next four maps therefore rearrange and collapse the types to address this problem. Map 144H shows languages that employ NegSVO order in some fashion, including the position of one of the negatives in languages with double negation. Maps 144I, 144J and 144K are analogous maps for SNegVO, SVNegO, and SVONeg order respectively. In addition, the map for SNegVO also shows languages with negative prefixes, since, apart from the difference between word and affix, SVO order with negative prefixes is a type of SNegVO. And analogously, SVO languages with negative suffixes are shown on the map for SVNegO.

Each of Maps 144H to 144K distinguish three general types: (1) languages with just single negation with the order in question; (2) languages with optional double negation, where the option (or one of the options) with a single negative involves the order in question; and (3) languages where the order only occurs in conjunction with another negative. This third type includes all languages with obligatory double negation and includes the position of negative morphemes in languages with optional double negation where the order in question only arises in an option involving double negation. In other words, this third general type includes all instances of obligatory double negation and what is, in most cases, the optional negative in languages with optional double negation (since in most cases the optional negative will only occur in conjunction with a second negative morpheme). In addition, languages with negative affixes are distinguished from those with negative words, and such affixes can also be any of the three general types just mentioned. There are thus in general six possibilities, the three general types both for negative words and for negative affixes, plus a seventh type for SVO languages which never employ the order in question. In a few cases, it will be necessary to add additional complex types; for example, one of the types on the map for SNegVO order, Map 144I, involves languages which allow both SNegVO with a negative word and SNegVO with a negative prefix. In the case of the maps for NegSVO and SVONeg, only three of these six possibilities arise, since in those cases there are only negative words to consider, not negative affixes. For some of the maps, not all the logically possible types are attested, so for these there are fewer types shown than what one might expect. The maps do not distinguish the types more narrowly than I have described here; if one wants to distinguish the more fine-grained types shown on the preceding four maps, one need only combine the map in question with each of the preceding four maps in succession.

Map 144H, showing languages that employ NegSVO order, has only three of the six possible values described in the preceding paragraph (since it is not possible to have a negative affix on the verb employing the order NegSVO), plus a fourth value for languages that employ (or can employ) SVO order in negative clauses but do not employ NegSVO order. In other words, for this fourth type of language, negation is always expressed somewhere else in the clause.

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 19
Separate word, optional double negation, with NegSVO possible without a second negative 1
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 8
SVO but NegSVO does not occur 392
Total: 420

Type 1 represents languages which employ NegSVO order but which do not have double negation. This includes languages where NegSVO is the only possibility plus languages where NegSVO is one of two possible orders or constructions. Type 2 represents languages with optional double negation, where the negative word can occur without another negative in NegSVO order. Type 3 represents languages where NegSVO order only occurs if there is another negative morpheme. Type 4 represents languages in which SVO order is used or can be used in negative clauses but where NegSVO is not one of the possible orders.

Map 144I: SNegVO Order

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 134
Prefix, no double negation 72
Separate word, optional double negation, with SNegVO possible without a second negative 9
Prefix, optional double negation, with SNegVO possible without a second negative 5
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 41
Prefix, only occurs with another negative morpheme 16
Type 1 / Type 2 2
SVO, but SNegVO does not occur 142
Total: 421

Types 1 and 2 represent languages in which SNegVO order occurs, either as the only possibility or as one of more than one possibility, which do not have double negation. They are distinguished in that Type 1 involves negative words while Type 2 involves negative prefixes. Types 3 and 4 represents languages with optional double negation where SNegVO can occur with the immediately preverbal negative as the sole negative morpheme; Type 3 involves negative words while Type 4 involves prefixes. Types 5 and 6 represent languages in which SNegVO order only occurs if there is another negative morpheme; Type 5 involves languages of this sort with negative words , Type 6, with prefixes. Type 7 represents languages which satisfy the criteria for both Type 1 and Type 2, that is, languages in which SNegVO order occurs both with negative words and with negative prefixes. Type 8 represents languages in which SVO order is used or can be used in negative clauses but where SNegVO is not one of the possible orders.

Map 144J: SVNegO Order

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 15
Suffix, no double negation 19
Separate word, optional double negation, with SVNegO possible without a second negative 5
Suffix, optional double negation, with SVNegO possible without a second negative 2
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 15
Suffix, only occurs with another negative morpheme 17
SVO, but SVNegO does not occur 373
Total: 446

The types shown on this map are analogous to the types on Map 144I, except that this map shows languages employing SVNegO order.

Map 144K: SVONeg Order

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 95
Separate word, optional double negation, with SVONeg possible without a second negative 12
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 35
SVO but SVONeg does not occur 304
Total: 446

Types 1, 2 and 3 are analogous to Types 1, 3 and 5 on Maps 144I and 144J, but for SVONeg order. Because the negative is separated from the verb in SVONeg order, all three types involve negative words rather than negative affixes.

Map 144L: The Position of Negative Morphemes in SOV Languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
NegSOV 10
SNegOV 11
SONegV 64
SOVNeg 48
SO[Neg-V] 49
SO[V-Neg] 128
SNegOV but SVO in affirmative clauses 3
SONegV but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
SOVNeg but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
SO[V-Neg] but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
SO[Neg-V] but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
SNegOV but SVO/SOV in affirmative clauses 1
SOVNeg but SVO/SOV in affirmative clauses 1
Other SOV with preverbal negative word 56
More than one negative construction 54
SOV with obligatory double negation 45
SOV with optional double negation 31
SV & OV & NegV 13
SV & OV & VNeg 8
SV & OV & negative prefix 14
SV & OV & negative suffix 23
SV & OV with immediately preverbal negative word 5
SV & OV with clause-initial negative word 4
Total: 572

Map 144L is the first of four maps showing the different position of negative morphemes for languages which employ SOV order in negative clauses (or at least as one of the possible orders in negative clauses), analogous to Maps 144D to 144G for SVO languages. Map 144L shows all the SOV languages in the sample, showing the specific types involving one negative morpheme and one negative construction, plus languages which are known to be SV and OV, but for which it is not known if there is a preferred order of subject and object. Types 15, 16, and 17 on Map 144L are expanded upon on the subsequent three maps: Map 144M shows the different types of languages with more than one order or negative construction, Map 144N different types of languages with obligatory double negation, and Map 144O different types of languages with optional double negation. In the discussion of these maps, I will sometimes use the expression ‘SOV language’ as an abbrevation for languages which employ SOV order in negative clauses, whether or not this is the order used in affirmative clauses.

L1. Defining the feature values

Types 1 to 6 involve languages with SOV order in both affirmative and negative clauses with a single construction involving a single negative morpheme. Types 7 to 13 are ones with a different word order in negative clauses from that used in affirmative clauses. Types 14 to 17 are explained below. Types 18 to 23 involve types containing languages which are known to be SV and OV but not known to be specifically SOV.

Types 1 - 4: NegSOV, SNegOV, SONegV, SOVNeg

The first four types on Map 144L represent the four logical possibilities in placing a negative word relative to the subject, verb, and object in an SOV language. These are equivalent to Types 5 to 8 on Map 144A and are illustrated above in (6) to (9).

Note that a number of SOV languages are SOVX, where X  denotes adpositional phrases and nonargument noun phrases (see Chapter 84). I do not distinguish here between SOVX languages with postverbal negative words which are SOVXNeg and those which are SOVNegX, both of which exist. For example, I'saka (Skou; Papua New Guinea) is SOVXNeg, with the negative word in clause-final position, as in (91).

(91) I'saka (Donohue and San Roque 2004: 92)

Tani'

k-ele'

moni'

tro

pli

mi.

father

3sg.masc-go

mother

with

garden

neg

S

V

X

 

X

Neg

‘Father did not go to the garden with Mother.’

In Karó (Tupian; Brazil), in contrast, the negative immediately follows the verb. Gabas (1999) does not appear to give any examples illustrating this with a postpositional phrase, but he provides the example in (92) with an adverb matet  ‘yesterday’.

(92) Karó (Gabas 1999: 172)

Petɨp

petõ-n

iʔke

matet.

Petɨp

tell-indic

neg

yesterday

S

V

Neg

Adv

‘Petɨp did not tell (the story) yesterday.’

Although I do not have much data on this point, I suspect that we will generally only find SOVXNeg languages in the same areas of the world in which SVOX is found (central Africa, the region around New Guinea especially along the north coast, and to a lesser extent, an area in southeast Asia in Thailand, Vietnam and adjacent territory in China), since SOVXNeg resembles SVONeg in that in both cases the negative is in clause-final position separated from the verb. I'saka, illustrated in (91) conforms to this: it is spoken near the north coast of New Guinea. Karó, in contrast, is not in one of these areas, being spoken in Brazil, but it is SOVNegX.

Type 5: SO[Neg-V]

Types 5 and 6 represent languages with a single construction and a single negative morpheme where the sole means of indicating negation is by affixes on the verb. Type 5 languages are those that use prefixes, illustrated by Seri (Hokan; Mexico) in (93) and Yagaria (Trans-New Guinea; Papua New Guinea) in (94), where (94a) illustrates SOV word order and (94b) illustrates the negative prefix.

(93) Seri (Marlett 1981: 46)

ptkamn

šo

po-χtamt

ta

ʔi-ø-m-akᵂtox-iʔa.

lobster

indef

irr-abundant

sr

1pl-nomin-neg-kill.pl-decl

O

     

Neg-V

‘We didn’t kill many lobsters.’

(94) Yagaria (Renck 1975: 35, 84)

a.

ve=ma’

gayale

hao-d-i-e.

 

man=subj

pig

shoot-past-3sg-indic

 

S

O

V

 

‘The man shot the pig.’

b.

no’-a’-l-ag-e

 

progr-neg-1pl-see.3sg-indic

 

Neg-V

 

‘He is not seeing us.’

Type 6: SO[V-Neg]

Type 6 languages are those that use suffixes, illustrated by Wappo (Wappo-Yukian; California) in (95) and Kobon (Madang; Papua New Guinea) in (96).

(95) Wappo (Thompson, Park and Li 2006: 79)

ah

may

naw-ta-lahkhiʔ.

1sg.nom

who

see-pst-neg

S

O

V-Neg

‘I didn’t see anybody.’

(96) Kobon (Davies 1981b: 79)

Yad

gɨgɨr

wañib

yag

dam

im-ag-pin.

1sg

corn

seed

string.bag

put.in

take

plant-neg-perf.1sg

S

 

O

 

V

V

V-Neg

‘I did not put the corn seed in the string bag and take it and plant it.’

Types 7 - 17

Types 7 to 13 involve languages where there is a difference between the order of subject, object, and verb in affirmative clauses and the order in negative clauses. These correspond to Types 2, 3, 4, 6, 16 and 17 on Map 144C. Type 14 represents SOV languages with a preverbal negative word for which I lack information on the position of the negative word relative to the subject and object. Type 15 languages are those with two orders involving negative words; the various subtypes of these are expanded upon on Map 144M. Type 16 languages are those with obligatory double negation; the subtypes of these are expanded upon on Map 144N. Type 17 languages are those with optional double negation; the subtypes of these are expanded upon on Map 144O.

Types 18 - 23

Types 18 to 23 are types involving languages which are SV and OV but where I lack information regarding the order of subject and object. Such languages might prove to be SOV, OSV, SOV/OSV or have sufficiently flexible word order that they cannot be classified with respect to the order of subject, object, and verb, but still be more often SV and OV. Type 18 are languages of this sort with a preverbal negative word (without distinguishing different possibilities regarding possible positions of the negative word relative to the subject and object), Type 19 are languages of this sort with a postverbal negative word, Type 20 are languages of this sort with a negative prefix, Type 21 are languages of this sort with a negative suffix, Type 22 are languages of this sort with an immediately preverbal negative word, and Type 23 are languages of this sort with a clause-initial negative word.

L2. Discussion

An interesting difference between SOV and SVO languages is that negative affixes are considerably more common in SOV languages than they are in SVO languages. If we compare the frequency of the first four types on Map 144L (which involve negative words) with the frequency of Types 5 and 6 (which involve negative affixes), we find that SOV languages with negative affixes outnumber those with negative words by 177 to 132 (Types 5 and 6 versus Types 1 to 4). Among SVO languages, in contrast, those with negative words (Types 1 to 4 on Map 144D) outnumber those with negative affixes (Types 5 and 6 on Map 144D) by 198 to 80. But this reflects a general tendency for SOV languages to employ affixes rather than separate words to code particular meanings more often SVO languages do. Table 1 compares the percentage of languages in my database which employ affixes as opposed to separate words to code a variety of meanings. We see that 57% of SOV languages employ negative affixes, compared to 29% for SVO languages, a difference of 28%. We find a 21% difference for tense-aspect affixes (which may only be smaller due to the ceiling effect of such affixes being so common in all languages) and a 26% difference for interrogative affixes (coding polar questions). The difference is smaller for plural affixes on nouns, 10%, but this is probably also, in part, just a ceiling effect, since plural affixes are much more common than plural words in general. Interestingly, there is no difference between SOV and SVO languages as far as subject pronominal affixes are concerned. (This may reflect an independent tendency for SOV languages to be dependent marking as opposed to head marking more often than SVO languages.)

Table 1. Percentage of languages employing affixes for a particular meaning as opposed to separate words
 

SOV

SVO

Difference

Negative Affix

57%

29%

28%

Tense-Aspect Affix

94%

73%

21%

Interrogative Affix

40%

14%

26%

Plural Affix on Nouns

86%

76%

10%

Subject Pronominal Affix

73%

72%

1%

The higher frequency of negative affixes in SOV languages may also reflect, however, the fact that the two most common positions of negative words in SOV languages are both adjacent to the verb, while this is not the case for SVO languages, since SVNegO order is rare while SVONeg order is more common. Because negative words tend to occur adjacent to the verb more strongly in SOV languages, we might expect that they would become attached as affixes through grammaticalization more often than in SVO languages. But this would lead us to expect the same preference for affixes among SOV languages to manifest itself only with regard to negative suffixes rather than negative prefixes: since SVNegO order is uncommon, we would expect few negative suffixes in SVO languages, while since SOVNeg is common, we would expect many instances of negative suffixes in SOV languages. In contrast, since both SNegVO and SONegV are common orders for negative words, we might expect that negative prefixes would be as common among SVO languages as among SOV languages. But they are not. So the higher frequency of negative affixes in SOV languages cannot be due solely to the fact that negative words occur more commonly adjacent to the verb in SOV languages.

However, the tendency for negative affixes to be used more often in SOV languages still obtains if we compare the frequency of negative prefixes compared to separate negative words immediately preceding the verb. Thus, if we count the frequency of negative prefixes in SOV languages as a proportion of languages with either negative prefixes or SONegV order, the figure is 44%, while the frequency of negative prefixes in SVO languages as a proportion of languages with either negative prefixes or SNegVO order, the figure is 38%, lower than what we find for SOV languages. However, this difference is smaller than the overall difference between SOV and SVO languages shown in Table 1, arguing that the greater frequency of negative affixes in SOV languages is partly due to an overall preference for affixes in SOV languages and partly due to the fact that postverbal negative words in SOV languages immediately follow the verb (thus leading to grammaticalization of negative words as affixes more often in SOV languages).

There is also a dramatic difference between SVO and SOV languages with respect to the relative frequency of prefixes and suffixes. In SVO languages, languages with negative prefixes outnumber those with negative suffixes by 67 to 13 (Type 5 versus Type 6 on Map 144D), while among SOV languages, languages with negative suffixes are outnumbered by those with negative prefixes by 129 to 49 (Type 6 versus Type 5 on Map 144L). In terms of percentages, 84% of SVO languages with negative affixes employ prefixes, while only 28% of SOV languages with negative affixes employ prefixes. It appears to be the case that prefixes in general arise from function words that precede the word they eventually become attached to, while suffixes arise from function words that follow the word they eventually become attached to. Thus the far greater frequency of negative prefixes in SVO languages might lead us to expect a similar difference in frequency between preverbal and postverbal negative words. However, we do not find this; in fact we find a trend in the opposite direction. While preverbal negative words outnumber postverbal negative words in SVO languages by 141 to 91 (Types 1, 2, and 11 versus Types 3, 4, and 12 on Map 144D), they outnumber postverbal negative words among SOV languages by an even greater difference, by 140 to 48 (Types 1, 2, 3, and 14 versus Type 4 on Map 144L). In terms of percentages, 61% of SVO languages with single negative words place these words before the verb, while the analogous figure for SOV languages is 74%.

However, these figures are misleading since they include negative words that are separated from the verb, such as SVONeg languages, and one might suggest that negative words that occur adjacent to the verb are much more likely to become attached as affixes than negative words that are not adjacent to the verb. It is difficult, however, to compute figures for this. If we count only the types involving negative words that occur adjacent to the verb, we find preverbal negative words outnumbering postverbal negative words in SVO languages by 111 to 2 (Type 2 versus Type 3 on Map 144D) and in SOV languages by 63 to 48 (Type 3 versus Type 4 on Map 144L). In terms of percentages, this means that 98% of SVO languages with a single negative word adjacent to the verb place that word before the verb, while the comparable figure for SOV languages is 57%. But these figures are misleading due to the nature of the available data. Some grammars describe the negative word as preceding or following the verb, without being clear as to whether it immediately precedes or follows the verb. Saying that the negative word precedes the verb is actually ambiguous, since this expression might mean immediately before the verb or it might just mean somewhere before the verb. I suspect that in general when grammars are unclear on this point, what is meant is immediately before the verb. However, since I cannot be sure of this for any particular language, these languages are classified as languages where the position of the negative relative to the subject and/or object is not known. Crucially, however, this problem does not arise for postverbal negative words in SOV languages. If a grammar of an SOV language describes the negative word as following the verb, I code the language as SOVNeg, since there is only one possible order for an SOV language with a postverbal negative word. In contrast, if a grammar of an SOV language says that the negative word precedes the verb, I cannot know whether it is NegSOV or SNegOV or SONegV, or some possible combination of these. Hence it is not true to say that immediately preverbal negative words outnumber immediately postverbal negative words in SOV languages by 63 to 48 since the first of these figures necessarily excludes languages where it is unclear from my source whether the negative word is immediately preverbal, while there are no comparable languages excluded from the second figure.

Nevertheless, it is possible to estimate the number of SOV languages with immediately preverbal words, including those for which I lack the relevant data. Namely, if we examine SOV languages with preverbal negative words where it is clear from my source where the negative word occurs relative to the subject and object, we find that those that are immediately before the verb outnumber those where the negative word is not immediately before the verb by 63 to 21. In percentages, this means that 75% of SOV languages with preverbal negative words place the negative word immediately before the verb. We might therefore estimate that approximately 75% of those SOV languages with preverbal negative words whose position relative to the subject and object is unknown (Type 14 on Map 144L) place those negative words immediately before the verb, in SONegV order. Since there are 56 Type 14 languages, we can estimate that 75% of these, or 42 languages, have immediately preverbal negative words. However, this figure is probably too low, since I suspect that most grammars which describe the negative word as preceding the verb actually mean immediately before the verb. The figure, therefore, might be closer to 100% of these 56 Type 14 languages. We can estimate, therefore, that 42 to 56 of these 56 Type 14 languages are SONegV, which, when added to the 63 languages which are already coded as SONegV, means that there are probably 105 to 119 SONegV languages in the sample, so the relative frequency is something between 105 and 119 to 48. In terms of percentages, this means something between 69% and 71% of SOV languages with negative words immediately adjacent to the verb place these negative words before rather than after the verb. But since this figure is still vastly below the 98% figure for SVO languages, we can say that SVO languages apparently place negative words that are immediately adjacent to the verb before the verb more often than SOV languages do. In short, the higher frequency of negative prefixes relative to negative suffixes in SVO as opposed to SOV languages may be explained in terms of the fact that immediately preverbal negative words are proportionally more common in SVO languages.

Map 144M: Multiple Negative Constructions in SOV Languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
SONegV/SOVNeg 1
SNegOV/SONegV 2
NegSOV/SNegOV/SONegV 4
NegSOV or SOV with second position negative word 1
SOVNeg/SO[V-Neg] 8
SO[Neg-V]/SO[V-Neg] 6
SO[Neg-V] or SOV with negative infix 1
SNegOV/SONegV/SO[V-Neg] 1
SONegV/SVONeg 2
SOVNeg/SVNegO 1
SNegOV/SOVNeg/SVONeg 1
NegSOV/SNegOV/NegSVO/SVNegO 1
SONegV/SOVNeg/SNegVO/SVONeg 1
SO[Neg-V]/S[Neg-V]O 1
SO[V-Neg]/S[V-Neg]O/ 2
SONegV/SO[Neg-V]/SNegVO/S[Neg-V]O 1
NegSOV/NegOVS 1
SOVNeg/OVNegS 1
SO[V-Neg]/O[V-Neg]S 1
SOV & NegV/VNeg 5
SOV & NegV/[Neg-V] 3
SOV & NegV/[V-Neg] 2
SOV & NegV/VNeg 1
SV & OV & NegV/VNeg 2
SV & OV & NegV/[V-Neg] 1
SV & OV & [Neg-V]/[V-Neg] 2
SV & OV & VNeg/[V-Neg] 1
Total: 54

Map 144M shows SOV languages where there is more than one order or more than one negative construction. Types 1 to 8 are ones in which the order of subject, object, and verb is consistently SOV, but there are two (or more) positions in which negative morphemes occur. Types 9 through 19 are ones in which SOV order alternates with some other order of subject, object, and verb. Types 20 to 23 are ones in which there is a preverbal negative word for which I lack information on the position of the negative word relative to the subject and/or object. Types 24 to 27 involve languages which are known to be SV and OV, but where I lack information as to whether or not they are specifically SOV.

Type 1: SONegV / SOVNeg

Types 1 to 3 involve languages with negative words which occur in more than one position. Type 1 represents languages which are SONegV/SOVNeg, where the negative word either immediately precedes or follows the verb. There is only one language of this type here, Eipo (Mek; New Guinea, Indonesia), illustrated in (97).

(97) Eipo (Heeschen 1998: 223, 222)

a.

...

gum

dib-nu-n.

   

neg

eat-fut-1sg

   

Neg

V

 

‘... I will not eat.’

b.

Na

ton

maral-ya-ne-lam

gum.

 

1sg

and

wound-come-1sg-2sg.pres

neg

 

O

 

V

Neg

 

‘It is not that you come to wound me.’

Type 2: SNegOV / SONegV

Type 2 represents languages which are SNegOV/SONegV. There is one language of this type in the sample, Kaki Ae (Eleman; Papua New Guinea), illustrated in (98), where (98a) illustrates the SNegOV order, (98b) the SONegV order.

(98) Kaki Ae (Clifton 1997: 24)

a.

Era

ore

evera

ama-amu-ra.

 

3sg

neg

dog

hit-3sg.obj-irreal

 

S

Neg

O

V

 

‘He did not hit the dog.’

b.

Era

evera

ore

ama-amu-ra.

 

3sg

dog

neg

hit-3sg.obj-irreal

 

S

O

Neg

V

 

‘He did not hit the dog.’

Type 3: NegSOV / SNegOV / SONegV

Type 3 languages are those that are NegSOV/SNegOV/SONegV, languages with a preverbal negative word that can occur anywhere before the verb. There are two instances of this type in the sample, Pima Bajo (Tepiman, Uto-Aztecan; Mexico) (Estrada Fernández 1996: 30) and Comanche (Numic, Uto-Aztecan; Oklahoma, Texas), the latter of which is illustrated in (99), where (99a) illustrates the negative word in clause-initial position, preceding the subject, (99b) SNegOV order, and (99c) SONegV order.

(99) Comanche (Charney 1993: 207, 211, 317)

a.

ke

nɨɨ

tohtɨn-kahtu

miʔa-wai-tɨ.

 
 

neg

1sg

Lawton-toward

go-irreal-gen.asp:sg

 
 

Neg

S

 

V

 
 

‘We will not go to Lawton.’

b.

taveni

tannɨ

ke

hinna

hanni-gwai-tɨɨ.

 
 

today

1du.incl

neg

something.obj

do-irreal-gen.asp:pl

 
   

S

Neg

O

V

 
 

‘We are not going to do anything this afternoon.’

c.

nɨn-se

u-náha-ruʔi-ha

ke

supanaʔi-n.

 
 

1pl.excl-contr

it-happen-ur-nom

neg

know-compl

 
 

S

O

Neg

V

 
 

‘We didn’t know what happened.’

The sources for both Pima Bajo and Comanche say that clause-initial position and immediately preverbal position are more common, but both contain examples where the negative word follows the subject but is not immediately preverbal, such as (99b).

Type 4: NegSOV or SOV with second position negative word

Type 4 languages are those that are SOV with a negative word that occurs either in clause-initial position or in second position, following the first word in the clause. There is one instance of this in the sample, Cupeño (Takic, Uto-Aztecan; California), illustrated in (100), where (100a) illustrates the negative word in clause-initial position, (100b) after the first word in the clause, occurring inside the subject noun phrase Axwe-sh=qwe pe-$he’e  ‘that flower’, after the demonstrative and before the noun.

(100) Cupeño (Hill 2005: 113, 391)

a.

Qay=’ep

hi-sh

e-’ach-i

chimi=’uni-qa.

 
 

neg=2sg.erg

what-nonposs

2sg-pet-obj

1pl.obj=show-pres

 
 

Neg  S

 

O

V

 
 

‘You did not show us your pet.’

b.

[Axwe-sh=qwe

qay

pe-$he’e]

$he-ne.

 

[that-nonpossed=irreal

neg

3sg.poss-flower]

bloom-habit

 

S...

Neg

...S

V

 

‘That flower never blooms any more.’

Interestingly, the two Type 3 languages and the one Type 4 language in the sample are all Uto-Aztecan (though in different branches).

Type 5: SOVNeg / SO[V-Neg]

Types 5 to 8 involve types where there is an alternation in which at least one of the constructions involves a negative affix. In Type 5 languages, there is either a postverbal negative word or a negative suffix, as in the Lavukaleve (Solomons East Papuan; Solomon Islands) examples in (101).

(101) Lavukaleve (Terrill 2003: 465)

a.

Ui

eu-u

tamu.

 
 

food

3sg.neut.obj-eat

neg

 
 

O

V

Neg

 
 

‘We didn’t eat.’

b.

...

ui

e-u-la-m

...

 
   

food

3sg.neut.obj-eat-neg-masc.sg

 
   

O

V-Neg

 
 

‘... he didn’t eat ...’

Type 6: SO[Neg-V] / SO[V-Neg]

In Type 6 languages, there is either a negative prefix or a negative suffix, as in (102) from Abkhaz (Northwest Caucasian; Georgia) and (103) from Ladakhi (Tibeto-Burman; India).

(102) Abkhaz (Chirikba 2003: 67)

a.

jə-š˚ə-m-ba-ʒa-wá-j?

 

3sg.neut-2pl-neg-see-emph-pres.dyn-Q

 

Neg-V

 

‘Don’t you see it?’

b.

bará

h-an

b-ák’˚-ʒa-m.

 

2sg.fem

1pl-mother

2sg.fem-be-emph-neg

 

S

O

V-Neg

 

‘You are not my mother.’

(103) Ladakhi (Koshal 1979: 243, 245)

a.

ŋə

bənərəs-lə

mə-soŋ-pin.

 
 

1sg.abs

Banares-to

neg-go-past

 
 

S

 

Neg-V

 
 

‘I did not go to Benares.’

b.

rgyəlpo-gun-ni

khər

rtsigge-mə-nok.

 

king-plur-erg

palace

build-neg-historical.pres

 

S

O

V-Neg

 

‘Kings do not build palaces.’

Type 7: SO[Neg-V] or SOV with negative infix

Type 7 represents SOV languages with either a negative prefix or a negative infix. The sole instance of a language of this type in the sample is Dolakha Newar (Tibeto-Burman; Nepal), illustrated in (104). In this language, the negative morpheme is an affix which immediately precedes the last syllable of the verb stem. If the verb stem is monosyllabic, it will appear as a prefix, as in (104a). If it is disyllabic, it will appear as in infix, as in (104b).

(104) Dolakha Newar (Genetti 2007: 177, 176)

a.

thanu

kesi

bā=n=uŋ

māyā

ma-yet.

 

today

tomorrow

father=erg=also

love

neg-do

     

S

O

Neg-V

 

‘These days father also doesn’t love me.’

b.

li<mā>ŋa

 

walk<neg>

 

‘not walk’

Type 8: SNegOV / SONegV / SO[V-Neg]

Type 8 represents languages with either a negative suffix on the verb or a negative word that follows the subject or immediately precedes the verb, as in the Rama (Chibchan; Nicaragua) example in (105), where (105a) illustrates the negative suffix, (105b) the negative word following the subject but preceding the object, and (105c) the negative word immediately preceding the verb.

(105) Rama (Grinevald 1988: 186, 183)

a.

sumuu

tatah

y-ung-taama.

 

banana

mashed

3-make-neg

 

O

 

V-Neg

 

‘He did not mash the bananas.’

b.

nkiikna-lut

aa

uut

kain-i.

 

man-pl

neg

dory

make-tns

 

S

Neg

O

V

 

‘The men did not make a dory.’

c.

nkiikna-lut

uut

aa

kain-i.

 

man-pl

dory

neg

make-tns

 

S

O

Neg

V

 

‘The men did not make a dory.’

Types 9 - 27

Types 9 to 19 are ones involving an alternation between SOV word order and some other order of subject, object, and verb. Types 9 through 16 involve languages which allow both SOV and SVO word order. These eight types correspond to Types 15 to 22 on Map 144E above.

Types 17 through 19 involve languages which alternate between SOV and OVS word order. Type 17 represents NegSOV/NegOVS languages, of which there is one in the sample, Wichita (Caddoan; Oklahoma). Type 18 represents SOVNeg/OVNegS languages, of which there is one in the sample, Macushi (Cariban; Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela), illustrated below in (152). Type 19 represents languages which are SOV/OVS with a negative suffix. The sole language of this type is Apalaí (Cariban; Brazil), illustrated below in (153).

Types 20 to 23 are three types of SOV languages with a preverbal negative word where I lack information on the position of this word relative to the subject and object. In Type 20 languages, the second negative morpheme is a postverbal negative word; in Type 21 languages, it is a negative suffix; and in Type 22 languages, it is a negative prefix. Type 23 represents languages with a negative word that either precedes or follows the verb.

Types 24 to 27 involve languages which are SV&OV but where I lack data on the order of subject and object. Type 24 represents languages where a negative word either precedes or follows the verb. Type 25 represents languages with a negative word preceding the verb or a negative suffix. Type 26 represents languages with a negative prefix or a negative suffix. Type 27 represents languages with postverbal negative word or a negative suffix.

Map 144N: Obligatory Double Negation in SOV languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
SONegVNeg 1
NegSNegOV but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
NegSO[V-Neg] 4
SONeg[V-Neg] 2
SO[Neg-V]Neg 1
SO[Neg-V-Neg] 13
SO[Neg-V] with negative tone on verb SO[Neg-V]&NegTone 1
SONegVNeg/SONeg[V-Neg] 1
SONeg[V-Neg]/SO[Neg-V-Neg] but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
SNegO[V-Neg]/SONeg[V-Neg] 2
SO[V-Neg]Neg with optional negative prefix or infix 1
SNegOVNeg/SNegVONeg 1
SNegOVNeg or SVONeg with negative tone on verb 1
SOV & NegVNeg 3
SOV & Neg[V-Neg] 7
SOV & Neg[Neg-V] 1
SV & OV & Neg[V-Neg] 2
SV & OV & [Neg-V-Neg] 2
Total: 45

Map 144N shows different types of SOV languages with obligatory double negation. Types 1 to 7 involve languages with a single negative construction; Types 8 to 13 involve languages with more than one order or negative construction. Types 14 to 16 involve languages where I lack information on the position of a preverbal negative word relative to the subject and/or object. Types 17 and 18 involve languages which are known to be SV and OV but where I lack information as to whether or not they are specifically SOV.

N1. Defining the feature values

Type 1: SONegVNeg

Type 1 represents the only type of SOV language with double negation with two negative words. There is only one instance of a language of this sort, which is SONegVNeg, this language being Tyeraity (Northern Daly; Australia), illustrated in (106).

(106) Tyeraity (Tryon 1974: 37)

tʸuŋu

aŋinki

tʸurp

maki

e-re-me.

wood

neg

cut

neg

1sg-go-compl

O

Neg

V

Neg

‘I did not cut the wood.’

Note that Tyeraity is like a number of languages in northern Australia in having a set of noninflecting words with verbal meaning and a closed class of verbal classifiers that bear the verbal inflections. The second negative word in Tyeraity follows the noninflecting verb and precedes the verbal classifier. I classify its position relative to the noninflecting verb rather than the verbal classifier somewhat by analogy to the way I ignore auxiliary verbs in classifying the position of negatives relative to verbs.

Type 2: NegSNegOV but SVO in affirmative clauses

Type 2 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but NegSNegOV in negative clauses. Again there is only one language in the sample of this type, Bafut (Bantoid, Niger-Congo; Cameroon), illustrated in (107).

(107) Bafut (Chumbow and Tamanji 1994: 215)

Kāā

Ngwà

sɨ`

ndá

bɔ̄ɔ̀.

neg

Ngwa

neg

house

build

Neg

S

Neg

O

V

‘Ngwa has not built a house.’

Note that since Bafut is SVO in affirmative clauses and Types 1 and 2 are the only types in which both negative morphemes are separate words, Type 1 is the only attested type containing a language that is SOV in affirmative clauses with two negative words in negative clauses.

Type 3: NegSO[V-Neg]

Types 3 to 7 are types in which at least one of the two negative morphemes is an affix on the verb. Type 3 represents NegSO[V-Neg] languages, language with a clause-initial negative word and a negative suffix, which there are three instances of in the sample (all spoken in North America), Haida (isolate; Alaska and British Columbia), Zuni (isolate; New Mexico), and Kiowa (Kiowa-Tanoan; Oklahoma), the last of which is illustrated in (108), (108a) illustrating the negative word hɔ́n  preceding a subject, (108b) illustrating hɔ́n  preceding an object.

(108) Kiowa (Watkins 1984: 215)

a.

hɔ́n

àn

cóy

gyà-tʰǫ́·-mɔ̂·

 
 

neg

habit

coffee

1sgA.sgP-drink-neg

 
 

Neg

 

O

V-Neg

 
 

‘I never drink coffee.’

b.

hɔ́n

hɔ́ndé

ø-cą́·n-ɔ̂·

 

neg

someone

3sg-arrive-neg

 

Neg

S

V-Neg

 
 

‘No one came.’

Type 4: SONeg[V-Neg]

Type 4 represents languages which are SONeg[V-Neg], languages with an immediately preverbal word and a negative suffix, which there are two instances of in the sample, Thulung (Tibeto-Burman; Nepal) (Allen 1975b: 54-55) and Evenki (Altaic; Russia), the latter of which is illustrated in (109); note that in Evenki, the negative word is an auxiliary verb.

(109) Evenki (Nedjalkov 1997: 96)

Bejumimni

homo:ty-va

e-che-n

va:-re.

hunter

bear-acc.def

neg-pst-3sg

kill-neg.ptcpl

S

O

Neg

V-Neg

‘The hunter didn’t kill the bear.’

Type 5: SO[Neg-V]Neg

Type 5 represents languages which are SO[Neg-V]Neg, languages with a negative prefix and a postverbal negative word, which there is a single instance of in the sample, Burmese (Tibeto-Burman; Myanmar), illustrated in (110).

(110) Burmese (Soe 1999: 143)

thiha

manei

ka

caun:

ma-thwa:

hpu:

Thiha

yesterday

past

school

neg-go

neg

S

     

Neg-V

Neg

‘Thiha didn’t go to school yesterday.’

Type 6: SO[Neg-V-Neg]

Type 6 represents languages in which both of the negative morphemes are affixes on the verb, one a prefix, the other a suffix. An example of a language of this sort is Émérillon (Tupi; French Guiana), illustrated in (111), where (111a) illustrates the SOV word order, (111b) the double morphological negation.

(111) Émérillon (Rose 2003b: 245, 400)

a.

pulelu-l-aʔɨl

zawal-al-aʔɨl

o-ekal.

 

toad-link-young

dog-link-young

3-look.for

 

S

O

V

 

‘The little toad is looking for the little dog.’

b.

di-si-ʤapɨaka-ʤi.

 

neg-1pl.incl-think-neg

 

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘We were not thinking.’

There are more Type 6 languages than languages of the first five types combined (13 versus 9), reflecting again the greater tendency to use negative affixes in SOV languages.

Type 7: SO[Neg-V] with negative tone on verb

Type 7 represents languages which employ a negative prefix as well as distinctive negative tone on the verb. The sole instance of a language of this type is Harar Oromo (Eastern Cushitic; Ethiopia), illustrated in (112); the negative tone in Harar Oromo involves a high tone on the first syllable of the verb stem.

(112) Harar Oromo (Owens 1985: 66)

inníi

isá

n-árki-ne.

he

him

neg-see.neg-past

S

O

Neg-V<NegTone>

‘He didn’t see him.’

Type 8: SONegVNeg / SONeg[V-Neg]

Types 8 to 10 are ones involving an alternation between two possibilities. In Type 8 languages, the sole instance of which is Awa Pit (Barbacoan; Colombia and Ecuador), illustrated in (113), there is an immediately preverbal negative word plus either a suffix on the verb, as in (113a), or a postverbal negative word, as in (113b).

(113) Awa Pit (Curnow 1997: 332, 334)

a.

Santos=na

shi

ɨ-ma-y.

 
 

Santos=topic

neg

go-neg-nonlocut

 
 

S

Neg

V-Neg

 
 

‘Santos did not go.’

b.

Shi

pana

ki.

 

neg

stand:imperf.ptcpl

be:neg.nonlocut

 

Neg

V

Neg

 

‘She is not standing.’

Type 9: SONeg[V-Neg] / SO[Neg-V-Neg] but SVO in affirmative clauses

In Type 9 languages, the word order in affirmative clauses is SVO but in negative clauses it is SOV, with a negative suffix on the verb plus either an immediately preverbal negative word or a negative prefix. This is equivalent to Type 10 on Map 144C. The sole instance of a language of this type is Tirmaga (Surmic, Nilo-Saharan; Ethiopia), illustrated above in (36).

Type 10: SNegO[V-Neg] / SONeg[V-Neg]

With Type 10 languages, there is a preverbal negative word and a negative suffix and the preverbal negative word can either follow the subject (SNegOV) or immediately precede the verb (SONegV). Languages of this type include Kiwai (isolate; Papua New Guinea) (Ray 1933: 54-55) and Aymara (Aymaran; Bolivia, Chile and Peru) (Wexler 1967: 25, 137).

Type 11: SO[V-Neg]Neg with optional negative prefix or infix

Type 11 represents languages with obligatory double negation with optional triple negation, where there is obligatorily a negative suffix on the verb plus a postverbal negative word and optionally in addition a negative affix that is sometimes an infix and sometimes a prefix. The sole instance of a language of this type is Tabla (Sentani; Papua, Indonesia), illustrated in (114). Example (114a) illustrates the SOV word order of Tabla, (114b) illustrates double negation without an optional third negative, (114c) triple negation with a negative prefix, and (114d) triple negation with a negative infix.

(114) Tabla (Collier and Gregerson 1985: 155, 171)

a.

Ne

éi

te

meko-we.

 

1sg

canoe

obj

make-3sg

 

S

O

 

V

 

‘I made a canoe.’

b.

buru-i

pai

 

mix-neg

neg

 

V-Neg

Neg

 

‘not mix’

c.

y-aru-i

pai

 

neg-put.in-neg

neg

 

Neg-V-Neg

Neg

 

‘not put in’

d.

d<i>es-i

pai

 

fell<neg>-neg

neg

 

V<Neg>-Neg

Neg

 

‘not fell (trees)’

Types 12 - 18

Types 12 and 13 represent languages in which there is an alternation between SOV and SVO word order. These are equivalent to Types 19 and 20 on Map 144F. Types 14 to 16 are SOV languages with preverbal negative words where I lack information on the position of the preverbal negative word relative to the subject and object. In Type 14 languages the second negative morpheme is a postverbal negative word. In Type 15 languages, the second negative morpheme is a verbal suffix. In Type 16 languages, the second negative morpheme is a verbal prefix. The last two types on this map involve languages which are SV and OV but where I lack data on the order of subject and object with respect to each other. In Type 17 languages, there is a preverbal negative word and a negative suffix. In Type 18 languages, there is double morphological negation, with a negative prefix and negative suffix.

N2. Discussion

What is most striking about this map is the rarity of obligatory double negation in SOV languages involving two negative words. Type 1 is the sole attested type involving languages of this sort and there is only one instance in the sample of this type. Type 2 involves double negation with SOV word order, but this type involves languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses, and it is also unusual in that both negative words precede the verb, employing NegSNegOV order. Double negation with two negative words shows up as one of the two possibilities in Types 8, 12 and 13, but there is a total of only three languages of these three types. In addition, the three languages of Type 14 involve double negation but the position of the preverbal negative word relative to the subject and object is unknown. Thus there are a total of 8 languages in which one possibility is SOV word order with obligatory double negation involving two words. In contrast, there are 32 SVO languages with obligatory double negation involving two negative words (Types 1 to 4, 12 to 16, 18, 19, 21, and 22 on Map 144F). If we add in possibilities involving optional double negation, shown on the next map, we find 9 additional SOV languages with double negation involving two words (Types 1 to 3, 10 and 13 on Map 144O), raising the total to 17. But if we do the same for SVO languages, we find 24 additional languages with double negation involving two words (Types 1 to 6, 13, 14 and 18 on Map 144G), bringing the total for SVO languages to 56. So we can say that double negation involving two words is more than three times as common among SVO languages as it is among SOV languages. However, if we restrict attention to languages with obligatory double negation and exclude languages with clauses with obligatory double negation where one option involves negative affixes, languages which are SVO/SOV in negative clauses and languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but SOV in negative clauses, the number is 29 for SVO languages and 4 for SOV languages, illustrating a sharper contrast (Types 1 to 4, 12, 13, 15, 21, and 22 on Map 144F versus Types 1 and 14 on Map 144N) .

The rarity of double negation among SOV languages applies only, however, to double negation involving two words. The number of SOV languages with obligatory double negation of some sort, namely all of the languages on this map, is 45, which is much closer to the total number of SVO languages with obligatory negation of some sort, all those shown on Map 144F, which there are 57 instances of. The same is true of languages with optional double negation: the total number of SVO languages with optional double negation of some sort, all those shown on Map 144G, is 35, only slightly higher than 31, the total number of SOV languages with optional double negation, all those shown on the next map. The rarity of double negation with two words among SOV languages thus reflects the greater tendency observed above for negation to involve negative affixes rather than negative words in SOV languages. In fact, given the fact that the number of SVO languages with single negative words (246) outnumbers the number of SOV languages of this sort (201) by a ratio of approximately 5 to 4, we might expect the ratio for languages with double negation to be approximately 5x5 to 4x4, or 25 to 16. However, the observed ratio of over 3 to 1 with double negation is actually much higher than this.

Map 144O: Optional Double Negation in SOV languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
NegSOV(Neg) 1
S(Neg)OVNeg 3
SNegOV(Neg) 1
SNegO[V(-Neg)] 1
SO[(Neg-)V]Neg 1
SO[Neg-V(-Neg)] 2
SO[(Neg-)V-Neg] 3
SO[V-Neg](Neg) 2
SOVNeg/SO[Neg-V-Neg] 1
SNegO[V(-Neg)](Neg) 1
S[Neg-V-Neg]O/SO[V-Neg] but SOV in affirmative clauses 1
SO[Neg-V-(Neg)]/SOVNeg 1
(Neg)SOVNeg/S(Neg)OVNeg/SO(Neg)VNeg 3
S(Neg)O[V(-Neg)]/SO(Neg)[V(-Neg)] 1
SOV & (Neg)[V-Neg] 2
SOV & (Neg)[V(-Neg)] 1
SOV/SVO & Neg[V-(Neg)] 1
SV & OV & (Neg)V(Neg) 1
SV & OV & (Neg)[V-Neg] 1
SV & OV & [Neg-V(-Neg)] 1
SV & OV & [(Neg-)V-Neg] 2
Total: 31

Map 144O shows different types of SOV languages with optional double negation. Types 1 to 9 involve languages where there are two options, one with a single negative, the other with two negatives. Type 10 involves optional double negation with optional triple negation. Types 11 through 14 involve languages where there are more than two options. Types 15 to 17 involve languages where the position of a negative word relative to the subject or object is unknown. Types 18 to 21 involve languages which are SV and OV but where I lack information on the order of subject and object.

Type 1: NegSOV(Neg)

Types 1 to 3 are ones in which both negative morphemes are separate words. Type 1 represents languages which are NegSOV(Neg), i.e. with an obligatory clause-initial negative word and an optional clause-final negative word. There is one language of this type in the sample, Maranungku (Western Daly; Australia), illustrated in (115). Now, strictly speaking, both constructions in Maranungku involve double negation since the construction in (115a) involves two negative words at the beginning of the sentence. However, by the criteria assumed in this chapter (and see Chapter 143 for discussion), two negative words that are always adjacent do not count as double negation. In (115b), in contrast, one of these two words, way, occurs after the verb, so this satisfies the criteria assumed here for double negation.

(115) Maranungku (Tryon 1970b: 53)

a.

way

piya

tyinta

kangiya-na

paty

wakan

ayi.

 

neg

neg

spear

1sg.lie-3sg

throw

back

past

 

Neg

 

O

 

V

 

‘I did not throw the spear back at him.’

b.

piya

kangani

way.

 

neg

1sg.go

neg

 

Neg

V

Neg

 

‘I am not going.’

Type 2: S(Neg)OVNeg

Type 2 represents languages of the type S(Neg)OVNeg. There are two languages in the sample of this type, Supyire (Gur, Niger-Congo; Mali) and Adang (Timor-Alor-Pantar; Indonesia), the former of which is illustrated in (116).

(116) Supyire (Carlson 1994: 379, 384)

a.

Wùu

ɲyɛ

na

jínà

ɲàà

mɛ́.

 

1pl

neg

prog

jinn

see.imperf

neg

 

S

Neg

 

O

V

Neg

 

‘We don’t see a jinn.’

b.

Mìì

ɲ̀-jà

ŋɔ́ɔ́

.

 

1sg

pot

fut-able

sleep

neg

 

S

   

V

Neg

 

‘I won’t be able to sleep.’

Type 3: SNegOV(Neg)

Type 3 is similar to Type 2 with one negative between the subject and the verb and the other after the verb, but with Type 3 it is the preverbal negative that is obligatory, so that the order is SNegOV(Neg). The sample contains one language of this type, Mauka (Western Mande, Niger-Congo; Côte d'Ivoire) (Ebermann 1986a: 96-102).

Type 4: SNegO[V(-Neg)]

Types 4 to 7 are ones in which at least one of the negative morphemes is an affix on the verb. Type 4 represents languages which are SNegO[V(-Neg)], with an obligatory negative particle following the subject and an optional negative suffix. The sole language in the sample of this type is Tümpisa Shoshone (Numic, Uto-Aztecan; California and Nevada), as in (117), where (117a) illustrates the possibility with the negative suffix, (117b) without.

(117) Tümpisa Shoshone (Dayley 1989a: 43, 321)

a.

Tangummü

kee

tammi

punni-si.

 

man

neg

1pl.incl

see-neg

 

S

Neg

O

V-Neg

 

‘The man doesn’t see us.’

b.

kee

sukkwa

puni-tü.

 
 

I

neg

that.obj

see-habit

 
 

S

Neg

O

V

 
 

‘I didn’t see that.’

Type 5: SO[(Neg-)V]Neg

Type 5 represents languages which are SO[(Neg-)V]Neg, with an obligatory postverbal negative word and an optional negative prefix, as in the Biloxi (Siouan; Louisiana) example in (118).

(118) Biloxi (Einaudi 1976: 86)

a.

k-i-de

ni.

 

neg-2sg-go

neg

 

Neg-V

Neg

 

‘You did not go.’

b.

I-de

ni.

 
 

2sg-go

neg

 
 

V

Neg

 
 

‘You did not go.’

Type 6: SO[Neg-V(-Neg)]

Type 6 and 7 are types involving optional double negation where both of the negative morphemes are affixes on the verb. Type 6 represents SO[Neg-V(-Neg)]

languages, those with an obligatory negative prefix and and an optional negative suffix. There are two languages of this type in the sample, Ao (Kuki-Chin, Tibeto-Burman; India) and Khaling (Tibeto-Burman; China, India and Nepal) (Toba 1984: 6), the former of which is illustrated in (119), (119a) illustrating the possibility with both a prefix and a suffix, (119b) the possibility with just a prefix.

(119) Ao (Coupe 2007: 292)

a.

tʃuniphitʃùnə,

hənsəli-la

a-hən

təpuŋ-la

mə̀-tsəpha-la.

 
 

from.tha.day

leopard-fem

anaph

agt

nonrel-fowl

cock-fem

neg-fear-neg.past

 
   

S

     

O

Neg-V-Neg

 
 

‘From that day onwards, [aforementioned] Leopard Cat did not fear Rooster.’

b.

tə̀-tʃhaɹ

a-ja

thùŋ-əkə

mə̀-tʃhuwa-ə̀ɹ.

 

thus-do-seq

nrl-night

reach-simul

neg-emerge-pres

       

Neg-V

 

‘And then, night comes and [she] doesn’t return.’

Type 7: SO[(Neg-)V-Neg]

Type 7 is like Type 6 except that it is the prefix that it is optional and the suffix which is obligatory. There are three languages of this sort, illustrated by Tariana (Arawakan; Brazil) in (120).

(120) Tariana (Aikhenvald 2003: 401, 400)

a.

nuha

keru-kade-mha.

 

1sg

angry-neg-pres.nonvis

 

S

V-Neg

 

‘I am not angry.’

b.

yanaki

ma-ira-kade-mha.

 

whiskey

neg-drink-neg-pres.nonvis

 

O

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘I didn’t drink whiskey.’

Type 8: SO[V-Neg](Neg)

Type 8 represents languages where both negative morphemes follow the verb, with an obligatory negative suffix and an optional postverbal word. The two Type 8 languages in the sample are Nivkh (isolate; Sakhalin Island, Russia) (Panfilov 1962: 156-157) and Maba (Maban, Nilo-Saharan; Chad), the latter of which is illustrated in (121), where (121a) illustrates double negation in the nonfuture, (121b) negation with just a negative suffix in the future.

(121) Maba (Trenga 1947: 139; Tucker and Bryan 1966: 204)

a.

man̅g

kulak

drèp

m-édi-a

andi.

 

1pl

chief

other

1pl-want-neg

neg

 

S

O

 

V-Neg

Neg

 

‘We don’t want another chief.’

b.

mi

ga-tan.

 

2sg

enter-fut.neg

 

S

V-Neg

 

‘You will not enter.’

Type 9: SOVNeg/SO[Neg-V-Neg]

Type 9 represents languages where there is either a postverbal negative word or double morphological negation with both a prefix and a suffix. The sole language of this type is Duna (Trans-New Guinea; Papua New Guinea), illustrated in (122).

(122) Duna (San Roque 2008: 303, 301)

a.

no

waki

neya.

 

1sg

hear

neg

 

‘I didn’t hear.’

b.

no

phuya

na-na-ya-na.

 

1sg

snake

neg-eat-neg-habit

 

‘I do not eat snake.’

Type 10: SNegO[V(-Neg)](Neg)

Type 10 represents the only language discussed in Chapter 143 with optional double negation and optional triple negation, Kwomtari (Kwomtari-Baibai; Papua New Guinea), exemplified in (123), where there are four options, one involving single negation, as in (123a), with a negative word that follows the subject in SNegOV order, two involving double negation, as in (123b) and (123c), the first of which combines the preverbal negative word with a postverbal negative word, yielding SNegOVNeg order, and the second of which involves the preverbal negative word and a negative suffix, yielding an SNegO[V-Neg] structure, and finally one involving triple negation, as in (123d), with the preverbal negative word as well as both the negative suffix and the postverbal negative word.

(123) Kwomtari (Spencer 2008: 124, 151, 151, 151)

a.

Eete-geni

lufwa

glei

Aie

Gote-le

arie

nuboue

le-fo-lee.

 
 

here-thing

man

neg

father

God-obj

stomach

good

do-3sg.obj-3sg.subj

 
   

S

Neg

 

O

   

V

 
 

‘This man didn’t love father God.’

b.

Kame

glei

tuwa-po-ne-ke

fu-po-ne-a-ne

mwa.

 

only

neg

carry.away-distr-3pl-seq

tie-distr-3pl-do-3pl

neg

   

Neg

V

V

Neg

 

‘They didn’t just carry them away and tie them.’

c.

Inalilufwa

glei

Pita-le

ri-ne-ke

feta-ne-a-ne-i.

 
 

people

neg

Peter-obj

come-3pl-seq

see-3pl-do-3pl-neg

 
 

S

Neg

O

 

V-Neg

 
 

‘The people did not habitually come and look at Peter.’

d.

Mena

nebue

glei

amwi

a-la-ne-i

mwa.

 

1pl

now

neg

good

do-prox.dur-1pl-neg

neg

 

S

 

Neg

 

V-Neg

Neg

 

‘Now we don’t do it well.’

Type 11: SO[V-Neg] / S[Neg-V-Neg]O but SOV in affirmative clauses

Types 11 to 13 are ones involving more than one order or negative construction. Type 11 represents an unusual language type which is described as SOV with a negative suffix or SVO with a negative prefix and negative suffix. The sole language of this sort, Kayabí (Tupi; Brazil), is illustrated above in (37).

Type 12: SO[Neg-V-(Neg)] / SOVNeg

Type 12 represents languages where there are three options, one involving a negative prefix, one involving a postverbal negative word, and a third involving both a negative prefix and a negative suffix. The sole instance of a language of this type is Tshangla (Tibeto-Burman; Bhutan and India), illustrated in (124), where (124a) illustrates the negative prefix used alone, (124b) the postverbal word, and (124c) the negative prefix used in combination with a negative suffix.

(124) Tshangla (Andvik 1999: 340, 339, 347, 348)

a.

Ji-gi

nan-kap

kholong

ma-phi-la.

 

1sg-actor

2sg-with

fight

neg-do-ptcpl

 

S

 

O

Neg-V

 

‘I am not going to fight with you.’

b.

Rap-thur

na-shi

Kencho-ga

nyingche

khepa

se-wa

man-chhi

 

time-one

2pl-actor

God-loc

mercy

topic

know-nomin

neg-copula.past

   

S

 

O

 

V

Neg

 

‘At one time, you had not been knowing the mercy of god, ...’

c.

Ro

ser

ma-nyong-chhi.

 

3sg

gold

neg-receive-neg.past

 

S

O

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘He didn’t get the gold.’

See the discussion of the examples in (70) in Chapter 143 for further description of negation in Tshangla.

Type 13: (Neg)SOVNeg / S(Neg)OVNeg / SO(Neg)VNeg

Type 13 represents (Neg)SOVNeg/S(Neg)OVNeg/SO(Neg)VNeg languages, languages with an optional preverbal negative word that can occur anywhere before the verb, and an obligatory postverbal negative word. The three languages in the sample of this type are all Yuman  languages, Kiliwa (Mexico), Hualapai (Arizona), and Jamul Tiipay (Mexico and California), of which the last is illustrated in (125), where (125a) illustrates the possibility without a preverbal negative, (125b) with the preverbal negative in immediately preverbal position, and (125c) with the preverbal negative in clause-initial position.

(125) Jamul Tiipay (Miller 2001: 169, 168, 84)

a.

nyaach

nyip=i

’-a

xemaaw.

 

1subj

that=to

1subj-go.irreal

neg

 

S

 

V

Neg

 

‘I didn’t go there.’

b.

xu’maay=pe=ch

may

we-’ip

xemaaw.

 

boy=that=subj

neg

1.subj-hear

neg

 

S

Neg

V

Neg

 

‘The boy didn’t hear it.’

c.

may

nyaap

nyeme-ntaly

xemaaw.

 

neg

1sg.abs

2:1-call.mother

neg

 

Neg

S

V

Neg

 

‘You don’t call me mother.’

Type 14: S(Neg)O[V(-Neg)] / SO(Neg)[V(-Neg)]

Type 13 represents languages which are S(Neg)O[V(-Neg)]/SO(Neg)[V(-Neg)], with a preverbal negative word which either follows the subject or immediately precedes the verb, or a negative suffix, or both. The sole language of this type is Amele (Madang; Papua New Guinea), two of the possibilities of which are illustrated in (126), where (126a) illustrates the preverbal word following the subject, co-occurring with the negative suffix, (126b) the same but with the preverbal word immediately preceding the verb.

(126) Amele (Roberts 1987: 110)

a.

Uqa

qee

dana

eu

qaig

ut-el.

 

3sg

neg

man

that

money

3sg.3sg.give-neg.past

 

S

Neg

O

 

O

V-Neg

 

‘He did not give that man money.’

b.

Uqa

dana

eu

qaig

qee

ut-el.

 

3sg

man

that

money

neg

3sg.3sg.give-neg.past

 

S

O

 

O

Neg

V-Neg

 

‘He did not give that man money.’

Type 15: SOV & (Neg)[V-Neg]

Types 15 to 17 represent languages for which I lack information on the position of a preverbal negative word relative to the subject and object, though all three types involve a preverbal negative word and a negative suffix, differing in whether the former, the latter, or both are optional; in addition the first two are specifically SOV while the third is SOV/SVO. Type 15 represents languages where the negative suffix is obligatory and the preverbal negative word optional. There are two languages of this sort in the sample, Runga (Maban, Nilo-Saharan; Central African Republic and Chad) and Kwoma (Sepik; Papua New Guinea), the latter of which is exemplified in (127).

(127) Kwoma (Kooyers 1974: 50)

a.

Rii

saka

i-wak.

 

3sg.masc

neg

go-pres.neg

 

S

Neg

V-Neg

 

‘He didn’t go.’ or ‘He isn’t going.’

b.

Rii

i-kasakech.

 

3sg.masc

go-neg.tenseless

 

S

V-Neg

 

‘He didn’t go.’

Type 16: SOV & (Neg)[V(-Neg)]

Type 16 is similar to Type 15 except that both the preverbal negative word and the negative suffix are optional: one finds one or the other or both. The sole language of this type in the sample is Guhu-Samane (Trans-New Guinea; Papua New Guinea), illustrated in (128), where (128a) illustrates the possibility of just a preverbal word, (128b) just a negative suffix, and (128c) both the preverbal word and the suffix.

(128) Guhu-Samane (Richert 1975: 787)

a.

Nil

bamu

moo-ra-qu.

 

2sg

neg.fut

see-denot-fut.subjunct

 

S

Neg

V

 

‘You will not look.’

b.

No

tuu-mo-ra-idzara.

 

3sg

go-operat-cont-pres.neg

 

S

V-Neg

 

‘He does not go.’

c.

Ana

te

tuu-ma-ra.

 

1sg

neg.nonfut

go-denot-past.neg

 

S

Neg

V-Neg

 

‘I did not go.’

Type 17: SOV / SVO & Neg[V-(Neg)]

Type 17 represents languages which are SOV/SVO with an obligatory preverbal negative word whose exact position is not known and an optional negative suffix. The sole instance of a language of this type is Inanwatan (Marind; Papua, Indonesia), illustrated in (129).

(129) Inanwatan (de Vries 2004: 40)

(Náwo)

né-se-s-aigo.

Neg

1sg-walk-fut-neg

‘I am not going to walk.’

Types 18 - 21

The remaining types are ones which I code as SV&OV, where I lack information on the order of subject and object. In Type 18 languages, there is a preverbal word whose position relative to the subject and object is not known and a postverbal word.

In Type 19 languages, there is an obligatory negative suffix and an optional negative word that precedes the verb. Types 20 and 21 both involve languages which I code as SV&OV and which use double morphological negation, differing in that with Type 20 the prefix is obligatory and the suffix optional, while with Type 21, it is the prefix that is optional and the suffix that is obligatory. An example of a Type 21 language is Chimariko (Hokan; California), illustrated in (130), where (130a) illustrates the construction with single negation, (130b) the construction with double negation (where the negative suffix employed with double negation is different from the negative suffix employed with single negation).

(130) Chimariko (Jany 2009: 178)

a.

y-ema-kuna-xana-t.

 

1sg-eat-neg-fut-asp

 

V-Neg

 

‘I am not going to eat.’

b.

x-ema-na-xana-t.

 

neg-eat-neg-fut-asp

 

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘I am not going to eat.’

Note that Types 20 and 21 correspond to Types 6 and 7 for languages which are known to be SOV.

Map 144P: NegSOV Order

Maps 144P to 144S are maps for SOV languages that are analogous to Maps 144H to 144K for SVO languages. They show for each of the four orders NegSOV, SNegOV, SONegV, and SOVNeg the languages which employ that order, either as the sole order, or as one of a number of possibilities, or as one position in languages with double negation. Maps 144R and 144S also include SOV languages with negative prefixes and suffixes respectively.

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 18
Separate word, optional double negation, with NegSOV possible without a second negative 1
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 8
SOV but NegSOV does not occur 381
Total: 408

Map 144Q: SNegOV Order

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 25
Separate word, optional double negation, with SNegOV possible without a second negative 4
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 11
SOV but SNegOV does not occur 368
Total: 408

Map 144R: SONegV Order

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 76
Prefix, no double negation 60
Separate word, optional double negation, with SONegV possible without a second negative 1
Prefix, optional double negation, with SONegV possible without a second negative 3
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 11
Prefix, only occurs with another negative morpheme 21
Type 1 / Type 2 1
SOV, but SONegV does not occur 238
Total: 411

Map 144S: SOVNeg Order

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 60
Suffix, no double negation 142
Separate word, optional double negation, with SONegV possible without a second negative 7
Suffix, optional double negation, with SONegV possible without a second negative 8
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 10
Suffix, only occurs with another negative morpheme 32
Type 1 / Type 2 8
Type 1 / Type 6 2
Type 5 / Type 4 2
Type 5 / Type 6 2
SOV, but SOVNeg does not occur 216
Total: 489

Map 144T: The Position of Negative Morphemes in Verb-Initial Languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
NegVSO 57
VSNegO 1
VSONeg 1
NegVOS 18
NegVSO/NegVOS 11
NegV & VS & VO 16
NegVSO but SVO in affirmative clauses 1
VSO with negative prefix 7
VOS with negative prefix 2
VOS with negative suffix 1
[V-Neg] & VS &VO 1
NegVSO/[Neg-V]SO 2
NegVOS/[Neg-V]OS 1
NegVSO/SNegVO 5
VSONeg/SVONeg 1
NegVOS/NegSVO 1
NegVOS/SNegVO 2
[Neg-V]OS/S[Neg-V]O 2
NegV & VSO/SVO 2
NegV & VOS/SVO 2
Verb-initial with optional single negation 1
Verb-initial with obligatory double negation 7
Verb-initial with optional double negation 10
Total: 152

Map 144T shows the different possibilities for languages which are verb-initial. This includes not only languages which employ VSO or VOS word order in negative clauses but any language where VS is the dominant order for subject and verb and VO the dominant order for object and verb. In other words, it also includes languages which are VSO/VOS, with neither of these orders dominant relative to the other, and languages with more flexible order where one cannot identify a dominant order among subject, object, and verb, but it is possible to do so for just subject and verb and just object and verb. The four general types distinguished on four separate maps for SVO and SOV languages above are collapsed into two maps for verb-initial languages. Map 144T shows languages with single negatives, including those with more than one order or construction, while Map 144U shows languages with double negation, both obligatory and optional. In the discussion of these maps, I will sometimes use the expression ‘verb-initial language’ as an abbrevation for languages which employ verb-initial order in negative clauses, whether or not this is the order used in affirmative clauses.

Types 1 to 11 on Map 144T involve the basic types, with single negation and only one order or negative construction. Types 12 to 20 involve types where there is more than one order or negative construction. Type 21 represents languages with optional single negation. Types 22 and 23 involve types with obligatory and optional double negation respectively; the subtypes of these are expanded upon on Map 144U.

T1. Defining the feature values

Types 1 - 4: NegVSO, VSNegO, VSONeg, and NegVOS

As noted above in the discussion of Types 9 to 12 on Map 144A, only three of the four logical possibilities for VSO languages with a single word are attested in the sample and only one of the possibilities is attested for VOS languages. There are no instances of VNegSO, VNegOS, VONegS, or VOSNeg. Types 1 to 4 represent the four attested possibilities, NegVSO, VSNegO, VSONeg, and NegVOS. These are equivalent to Types 9 to 12 on Map 144A and are illustrated above in (10) and (12) to (14).

Type 5: NegVSO / NegVOS

Types 5 to 7 are three additional types of verb-initial languages with a single negative word that precedes the verb. Type 5 represents languages which are VSO/VOS, languages in which both VSO and VOS orders are common, and which place the negative word before the verb, illustrated in (131) by Kutenai (isolate; British Columbia and north western United States), (131a) illustrating NegVSO order, (131b) NegVOS order.

(131) Kutenai (own data)

a.

¢=qa

¢uʔkat

wuqt’i

naʔ-s

naʔuti-kistaki-s.

 

fut=neg

take

fisher

that-obv

girl-dual-obv

 

Neg

V

S

 

O

 

‘Fisher will not take those two girls.’

b.

¢xa-ⱡ

qa

¢uʔkat

naʔ-s

naʔutiʔ-s

wuqt’i.

 

fut-prev

neg

take

that-obv

girl-obv

fisher

   

Neg

V

 

O

S

 

‘Fisher will not take those girls.’

Type 6: NegV & VS & VO

Type 6 languages are those which are VS and VO and place the negative word before the verb. These are languages which are not specifically VSO or VOS or languages where I lack information on the order of subject and object, whether they are VSO, VOS or VSO/VOS. An example of such a language is Costanoan (Penutian; California) (Kroeber 1904: 72).

Type 7: NegVSO but SVO in affirmative clauses

Type 7 represents languages which are SVO in affirmative clauses but NegVSO in negative clauses. This is equivalent to Type 5 on Map 144C. The sole instance of a language of this type is Cornish (Celtic; United Kingdom) (Jenner 1904: 160).

Type 8: VSO with negative prefix

Types 8 through 11 are verb-initial languages in which negation is expressed by an affix on the verb. Type 8 represents VSO languages in which the negative morpheme is a prefix, illustrated by Palantla Chinantec (Oto-Manguean; Mexico) in (132).

(132) Palantla Chinantec (Merrifield 1968: 26)

ca¹-ŋay¹²

lo³-za.

neg-answer

daughter.in.law-3sg.poss

Neg-V

S

‘Her daughter-in-law doesn’t answer.’

Type 9: VOS with negative prefix

Type 9 represents VOS languages in which the negative morpheme is a prefix. There are two languages of this type in the sample, Cayuvava (isolate; Bolivia) (Key 1967: 30) and Barbareño Chumash (Chumash; California) (Beeler 1976: 262).

Type 10: VOS with negative suffix

Type 10 represents VOS languages in which the negative morpheme is a suffix. There is only one language of this type in the sample, Kipea (isolate; Brazil). It represents another rare instance of a negative morpheme following a verb or verb stem in a verb-initial language. Example (133a) illustrates VOS word order, (133b), the negative suffix.

(133) Kipea (Rodrigues 1999b: 188; Adam 1897: 58)

a.

si-pa

kradzo

no

karai.

 

3-kill

cow

erg

man

 

V

O

 

S

 

‘The man kills the cow.’

b.

dz-uca-kié.

 

1sg-like-neg

 

V-Neg

 

‘I don’t like it.’

Type 11: [V-Neg] & VS &VO

There are no VSO languages in the sample that have a negative suffix. However, there is one instance of a Type 11 language, a language which is VS and VO (but where I lack information on the order of subject and object) with a suffix, namely Chiquihuitlán Mazatec (Oto-Manguean; Mexico), illustrated in (134).

(134) Chiquihuitlán Mazatec (Jamieson 1988: 16)

Caviteñ-a-ai

cha

chjoo.

sell-3sg-neg

art

egg

V-Neg

 

O

‘He didn’t sell the egg.’

Type 12: NegVSO / [Neg-V]SO

Types 12 to 20 are ones involving more than one order or negative construction. Types 11 and 12 are ones where both orders or constructions involve verb-initial word order. Type 12 languages are VSO languages which employ either a negative word preceding the verb or a negative prefix. There are two languages of this type in the sample, Maasai (Kenya and Tanzania) and Karimojong (Uganda) (both Eastern Nilotic languages), the latter of which is illustrated in (135), (135a) illustrating a past tense preverbal negative word, (135b) a nonpast negative prefix.

(135) Karimojong (Novelli 1985: 442)

a.

á-dɔŋi

áɔ̀ŋ.

 
 

neg.past

1sg-pinch

1sg

 
 

Neg

V

S

 
 

‘I am not pinching.’

b.

ɲ-á-dɔŋi

áɔ̀ŋ.

 

neg.nonpast-1sg-pinch

1sg

 

Neg-V

S

 

‘I am not pinching.’

Type 13: NegVOS / [Neg-V]OS

Type 13 languages are the VOS analog to Type 10, VOS languages which employ either a negative word preceding the verb or a negative prefix. The sole language of this type in the sample is Copainalá Zoque (Mixe-Zoque; Mexico), illustrated in (136).

(136) Copainalá Zoque (Harrison et al. 1981: 436, 438)

a.

ja’n-ʌj

m-bete.

 

neg-1sg

1sg-sweep

 

Neg

V

 

‘I am not sweeping.’

b.

ja-pyeta-’ʌj.

 

neg-sweep-1sg

 

Neg-V

 

‘I didn’t sweep.’

Types 14 - 20

Types 14 to 20 represent VSO/SVO and VOS/SVO languages, languages where verb-initial order alternates with SVO word order. These are equivalent to Types 10 to 14, 26, and 27 on Map 144E. In Type 14, NegVSO alternates with SNegVO. In Type 15, VSONeg alternates with SVONeg. This type, represented in the sample only by Mehri (Semitic, Afro-Asiatic; Oman and Yemen) (Simeone-Senelle 1997: 414), is another rare instance of a postverbal negative word in a verb-initial language. In fact, in some dialects of Mehri, there is double negation, the postverbal negative word co-occurring with a preverbal negative word. In Type 16, NegVOS alternates with NegSVO. In Type 17, NegVOS alternates with SNegVO. Type 18 languages are VOS/SVO languages with a negative prefix. Type 19 languages are VSO/SVO languages with a negative word that precedes the verb but where I lack information as to its position relative to the subject in SVO order. Type 20 languages are the analog to Type 19 languages for VOS/SVO languages.

Type 21: Verb-initial with optional single negation

Type 21 represents languages with optional single negation, where there is the possibility of a negative clause without a specifically negative morpheme. The sole instance of this type is Wyandot (Iroquoian; Canada), illustrated in (137), where (137a) illustrates the more common verb-initial word order (though the order is rather flexible), (137b) a preverbal negative word, and (137c) without any negative morpheme.

(137) Wyandot (Kopris 2001: 482, 213)

a.

ha-dí:ʔ-ǫh

de

r-ǫwé-h

daeʔ

de

hu-nę:rǫ́ky-eʔs.

 

masc.sg.agt-kill-stat

art

masc.sg.agt-person-noun

that.one

art

masc.sg.pat-hunt-hab

 

V

 

S

   

O

 

‘A man was in the habit of hunting game.’

b.

tąʔą

te-hù-t-rihúʔt-ę.

 

neg

irr-masc.sg.pat-semirefl-listen-stat

 

Neg

V

 

‘He did not mind.’

c.

te-wati-ʔtǫhts-ahs

yu-hšatę-ʔ.

 
 

irr-nonmasc.pl.agt-hatch-hab

art

fem.indef.sg.pat-ride-stat

 
 

V

 

S

 
 

‘Horses don’t hatch.’

As discussed in more detail in Chapter 143, (137b) and (137c) involve a prefix which Kopris (2001) calls a negative prefix but which occurs in certain nonnegative contexts and is thus not treated here as a negative morpheme, but as an irrealis morpheme. Thus (137c) contains no negative morpheme but derives its specifically negative meaning from the context.

Types 22 and 23

Types 22 and 23 represent languages with obligatory and optional double negation respectively. The subtypes of these are expanded upon on Map 144U.

T2. Discussion

It is clear that there is an overwhelming preference for verb-initial languages to code negation by a preverbal negative word. Compared to 103 languages with single preverbal negative words (Types 1 and 4 to 7), there are only two languages with a postverbal negative word (Types 2 and 3). Similarly, there are only two languages with a negative suffix (Types 10 and 11), compared to nine languages with negative prefixes (Types 8 and 9). If we include all the mixed types (Types 12 to 20) and ignore the distinction between affixes and words, we find 130 languages with preverbal negative morphemes and only five with postverbal negative morphemes (Podoko, Colloquial Welsh, Kipea, Chiquihuitlán Mazatec, Mehri; Mehri is not specifically verb-initial). On the other hand, among languages with double negation on the next map (Map 144U), 12 out of 17 have postverbal negative morphemes as the second negative morpheme, and in two of them, both negative words are postverbal. There are only four verb-initial languages which express negation solely by postverbal words (excluding Mehri, which is not specifically verb-initial), and three of them are in the Biu-Mandara branch of Chadic; this includes Podoko plus two languages with double negation shown on the next map (Hdi and Lamang). The only non-Biu-Mandara verb-initial language expressing negation solely by postverbal negative words is Colloquial Welsh. Note that the three Biu-Mandara languages that require constructions with only postverbal negatives fall within the area in central Africa in which SVONeg order is common (Map 144D), and are thus instances of the general VONeg phenomenon in this area (Dryer 2009).

The rarity of VNegSO, VNegOS, VSNegO and VONegS languages is in one sense not surprising since in general it is relatively unusual to find material between the verb and subject or object in verb-initial languages and very unusual to find any elements intervening between the subject and the object in VSO languages, and relatively uncommon to find elements intervening between the object and subject in VOS languages. For example, if we use X to denote oblique nominals or adpositional phrases (as in Chapter 84), then the logically possible types VXSO, VXOS, and VSXO are unattested (as is SVXO for that matter) and the type VOXS is attested but not common. VSO languages are always VSOX and VOS languages are usually VOSX. However, the rarity of VSONeg and VOSNeg is more surprising, since it is common for other types of material, such as oblique nominals and adpositional phrases, to follow the subject and object in verb-initial languages.

The fact that negative words almost always precede the verb in verb-initial languages means that the order of negative word and verb correlates with the order of subject, object, and verb, but in a way that is different from other word order correlations. Namely, for most word order correlations, the correlation is between a pair of elements (such as the order of noun phrase and adposition) and the order of object and verb. For a few pairs of elements, SVO languages exhibit a pattern that is intermediate between verb-final languages and verb-initial languages, meaning that the order of subject and verb is relevant in addition to the order of object and verb (Dryer 1991). But as shown by Dryer (1992), the order of negative particle and verb exhibits no correlation with the order of object and verb. But the fact that negative words exhibit such an overwhelming tendency to precede the verb in verb-initial languages means that, even though the data here does not distinguish negative particles from negative auxiliary verbs, the strong tendency for negative words to precede the verb in verb-initial languages must apply to both negative particles and negative auxiliary verbs. The absence of a correlation between the order of negative particle and verb and the order of object and verb, despite the fact that most verb-initial languages with negative words place them before the verb, reflects the fact that for this particular pair of elements, SVO languages pattern with verb-final languages, and the fact that SVO languages are far more common than verb-initial languages. In other words, since the vast majority of VO languages are SVO and since there are many SVONeg languages, VNeg order is quite common among VO languages as a whole despite its rarity among verb-initial languages.

One interpretation is that the order of negative particle and verb correlates only with the order of subject and verb, since VSO and VOS languages are patterning one way while SOV and SVO languages are patterning a different way, as far as the order of negative and verb is concerned.. This interpretation predicts that OVS languages should pattern with VSO and VOS, since they too place the subject after the verb. Unfortunately, there is available data for too few OVS languages to test this. Of the four OVS languages shown below on Map 144Y that use single negative words, three are ONegVS and one is OVNegS. While this is too small a number of languages to draw any reliable conclusion, the fact that one out of four languages places the negative after the verb suggests that postverbal negative words are not as rare in OVS languages as they are in verb-initial languages. If that is true, the fact that verb-initial languages pattern differently from other word order types means that the rarity of VNeg order among verb-initial languages does not simply reflect a correlation with the order of subject and verb, but with the order of object and verb as well.

Map 144U: Double negation in verb-initial languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
NegVNegSO 1
NegVNegOS 1
NegVSONeg 1
NegNegVSO 1
VNegSONeg 1
VS & VO & [Neg-V-Neg] 1
NegVOSNeg/VNegOSNeg/SNegVONeg/SVNegONeg 1
V(Neg)SONeg 1
Neg(Neg)VSO 1
NegVSO/[Neg-V-Neg]SO 1
NegVSO with optional stem change 1
[Neg-V]SO(Neg) but SVO/VSO in affirmative clauses 1
VS & VO & Neg[(Neg-)V] 2
VS & VO & NegV/[(Neg-)V-Neg] 1
VOS & NegVNeg 1
VSO/SVO & (Neg)V(Neg) 1
Total: 17

Map 144U shows verb-initial languages with double negation. All but one of these types is represented by a single language. Because double negation usually straddles the verb, all eleven languages shown on this map involve postverbal negatives, nine of them postverbal negative words, something found in only one verb-initial language with single negation. In fact, most unexpectedly, in two of these types (Types 5 and 8), both negative words follow the verb.

Type 1: NegVNegSO

Types 1 to 7 involve obligatory double negation; the remaining types involve optional double negation. Type 1 represents languages which are NegVNegSO. The sole language of this type, Kabyle (Berber, Afro-Asiatic; Algeria), is illustrated in (138).

(138) Kabyle (Chaker 1983, Annexe: 22)

u

s

tə-Riḍ

ara

lməlḥ.

neg

on.it

2sg-put

neg

salt

Neg

 

V

Neg

O

‘They don’t put salt on it.’

Type 2: NegVNegOS

Type 2 represents languages like Type 1 except that they are VOS rather than VSO, namely languages which are NegVNegOS. The sole language of this type in the sample is Cakchiquel (Mayan; Guatemala) (García Matzar and Rodríguez Guaján 1997: 226).

Type 3: NegVSONeg

Type 3 represents languages which are NegVSONeg. The sole language of this type is Krongo (Kadugli; Sudan), illustrated in (139).

(139) Krongo (Reh 1985: 370)

áŋ

n-óoní

àʔàŋ

ɪ ̀ʔɪ ̀ŋ

é.

neg

1/2-know

1sg

3sg

neg

Neg

V

S

O

Neg

‘I don’t know him.’

Type 4: NegNegVSO

Type 4 represents languages with two preverbal negative words. The sole language of this type is Coast Tsimshian (Penutian; British Columbia and north western United States), illustrated in (140). Because it is possible for various clitics to intervene between the two negative words (illustrated in (140) by the completive clitic na= ), these count as double negation (see Chapter 143).

(140) Coast Tsimshian (Dunn 1979: 73)

Aƚga

na=dit

niis=da

ƚgu’yuuta=ƚ

dziiẅ.

neg

compl=neg

see=erg

child=abs

dolphin

Neg

Neg

V

S

O

‘The child didn’t see the dolphin.’

(Note that the case clitics in (140) enclitize to the preceding word so that the ergative clitic on the verb belongs syntactically with the noun ƚgu’yuuta  ‘child’ and the absolutive clitic on the noun for ‘child’ belongs syntactically with the noun dziiẅ  ‘dolphin’.)

Type 5: VNegSONeg

Type 5 represents languages which are VNegSONeg. The sole instance of a language of this type is Hdi (Biu-Mandara, Afro-Asiatic; Cameroon and Nigeria), illustrated in (141).

(141) Hdi (Frajzyngier 2002: 380)

ɗvà

‘á

xdí-xà

l’école

.

like

neg

Hdi-pl

obj

school

neg

V

Neg

S

 

O

Neg

‘Hdi do not like school.’

Note that Hdi is unusual in that both negative words follow the verb; like Podoko, the sole language on Map 144T with a postverbal negative word, it is in the Biu-Mandara branch of Chadic languages.

Type 6: VS & VO & [Neg-V-Neg]

Type 6 represents languages which are VS&VO with morphological double negation. The sole language of this type is Moroccan Arabic (Semitic, Afro-Asiatic; Morocco), illustrated in (142). In saying this language is VS&VO, I mean that I lack clear information on the order of subject and object, though from information in other varieties of Arabic, it is most likely VSO. Example (142a) illustrates the VS order, while (142b) illustrates the double morphological negation with a simultaneous negative prefix and negative suffix.

(142) Moroccan Arabic (Harrell 1962: 160, 152)

a.

ža-w

ḍ-ḍyaf.

 

come-3pl

def-guest.pl

 

V

S

 

‘The guests have come.’

b.

ma-ža-š

 

neg-come-neg

 

‘He didn’t come.’

Type 7: NegVOSNeg / VNegOSNeg / SNegVONeg / SVNegONeg

Type 7 represents languages with four possible orders, reflecting the fact that the language has two dominant orders of subject, object, and verb, namely VOS and SVO, and two positions for the first of the two negative words, one preceding the verb, the other following the verb. This type is equivalent to Type 21 on Map 144F and is illustrated above in (76) from Miya (West Chadic, Afro-Asiatic; Nigeria). The two orders involving VOS order are illustrated in (143).

(143) Miya (Schuh 1998: 281)

a.

tə́́

tə̀nzə

márɗ

áa

Ndùwyá=w.

 

he

neg

plant

millet

subj

Nduya=neg

   

Neg

V

O

 

S

 

‘Nduya will not plant millet.’

b.

à

tənzə

màrɗ

áa

Ndùwyá=w.

 

perf

plant

neg

millet

subj

Nduya=neg

   

V

Neg

O

 

S=Neg

 

‘Nduya did not plant millet.’

The order in (143a) is unusual, like the order in Type 5, illustrated above for Hdi in (141), in that both negatives follow the verb in a verb-initial word order. Miya is like Podoko and Hdi in being in the Chadic subfamily of Afro-Asiatic.

Type 8: V(Neg)SONeg

The remaining types on this map represent languages with optional double negation. Type 8, illustrated in (144) from Lamang, involves languages which are V(Neg)SONeg, similar to Type 5, except that the immediately postverbal negative is optional. The sole instance of a language of this type is Lamang (Biu-Mandara, Afro-Asiatic; Nigeria), illustrated in (144). Example (144a) illustrates the clause-final negative clitic, following a prepositional phrase. Example (144b) illustrates the optional negative morpheme -b  that immediately follows the verb (stem). Its status as a clitic or suffix is somewhat unclear. The fact that it precedes the subject pronominal morphemes which otherwise behave like verbal suffixes suggests that it is a suffix. However, it can occur on other constituents when those constituents are in focus, as in (144c), suggesting that it is a clitic, the analysis assumed here.

(144) Lamang (Wolff 1983: 253, Wolff 2009: 39)

a.

kwsàa-xáŋ

t

ímú=wó.

 
 

reach-3pl

prep

water=neg

 
 

V

 

X=Neg

 
 

‘They did not reach the water.’

b.

tsxúrá=b-ì

wo.

 

sit=neg-1sg

neg

 

V=Neg

Neg

 

‘I am not sitting.’

c.

ɣén=b-é

tsóts-ì

wo.

 

tongue=neg-focus

cut.pluract-1sg

neg

 

O=Neg

V

Neg

 

‘It is not the tongue that I keep cutting.’

Again, this type is unusual in that both negatives follow the verb. Lamang, like Podoko, Hdi and Miya, is a Chadic language.

Type 9: Neg(Neg)VSO

Type 9 represents VSO languages with either one or two preverbal negative words. The sole instance of a language of this type is Rapanui (Oceanic; Easter Island, Chile), illustrated in (145), where (145a) illustrates single negation, (145b) double negation.

(145) Rapanui (Weber 1988: 49-50)

a.

Kai

e

Pani

e

tahi

vanag̈a.

 
 

neg

say

subj

Pani

num

one

word

 
 

Neg

V

 

S

   

O

 
 

‘Pani did not say a word.’

b.

’Ina

a

au

kai

purumu

i

te

hare

’ag̈ataiahi.

 

neg

art

1sg

neg

sweep

acc

def

house

yesterday

 

Neg

   

Neg

V

   

O

 

‘I did not sweep the house yesterday.’

The two preverbal negative words in (145b) count separately since it is possible for subject pronouns to occur between them, as happens in (145b).

Type 10: NegVSO / [Neg-V-Neg]SO

Type 10, illustrated by Pokot (Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan; Kenya and Uganda) in (146), involves VSO order with either a preverbal negative word, as in (146a), or double morphological negation, as in (146b).

(146) Pokot (Baroja 1989: 232, 233)

a.

melö

kï-rolyenecha.

 

neg

1pl-cough

 

Neg

V

 

‘We are not coughing.’

b.

m-on-öma-nye.

 

neg-1sg-take-neg

 

Neg-V-Neg

 

‘I do not take.’

Type 11: NegVSO with optional stem change

Type 11 represents VSO languages with a preverbal negative word and in some cases changes to the verb stem. The sole instance of a language of this type is Tamashek (Berber, Afro-Asiatic; Mali), illustrated in (147). Example (147a) illustrates the VSO word order, (147b) single negation with the preverbal negative word, and (147c) double negation with the same preverbal negative word, but also changes to the verb stem. Compare the negative imperfective form of the verb stem of the verb ‘to stand’, bəddəd, in (147c) with the positive imperfective form of the stem of the same verb, which is bɑ́ddæd.

(147) Tamashek (Heath 2005: 17, 592, 588)

a.

ənhæ̀y-æn

médd-æn

élu.

 

see.perf-3pl.masc

man-masc.pl

elephant

 

V

S

O

 

‘The men saw an elephant.’

b.

wær

e

ə̀nhəy-æɤ.

 
 

neg

fut

see.Impf-1sg

 
 

Neg

 

V

 
 

‘I will not see.’

c.

wər

ì-bəddəd.

 
 

neg

3sg.masc-stand.ImpfNeg

 
 

Neg

V<NegStemChange>

 
 

‘He is not standing.’

Type 12: [Neg-V]SO(Neg) but SVO/VSO in affirmative clauses

Type 12 represents languages which are SVO/VSO in affirmative clauses but VSO in negative clauses and which employ an obligatory negative prefix and an optional clause-final negative word. The sole language of this type is Barambu (Ubangi, Niger-Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo) (Tucker and Bryan 1966: 155, Santandrea 1965b: 163, 167).

Type 13: VS & VO & Neg[(Neg-)V]

Type 13 represents languages which are VS and VO and which employ an obligatory preverbal negative word and an optional negative prefix, illustrated in (148) for Anindilyakwa (Gunwinyguan; Australia), where (148a) illustrates the double negation, which involves a negative prefix in the nonpast, while (148b) illustrates single negation, where there is no negative prefix on the verb in the past tense.

(148) Anindilyakwa (Leeding 1989: 408, 409)

a.

nara

a-rringk-ang-imwa

mwitjiyanga.

 

neg

neg.nonpast-see-past-past.imperf

boat

 

Neg

Neg-V

O

 

‘I do not see the boat.’

b.

nara

yiki-n-anthaya

yirratja.

 
 

neg

1pl.excl-nc-see

1pl.excl

 
 

Neg

V

S

 
 

‘We did not see him.

(Nonpast negative clauses in Anindilyakwa employ past tense suffixes, as in (148a).)

Type 14: VS & VO & NegV / [(Neg-)V-Neg]

Type 14 represents languages which are VS and VO and which employ a preverbal negative word, a negative suffix, or a negative prefix and a negative suffix . These are illustrated in (149) from Domari (Indic, Indo-European; Israel, Iran and Jordan).

(149) Domari (Macalister 1914: 28, 28, 27)

a.

ni

lӑher-de.

 

neg

see-past.3pl

 

‘They did not see.’

b.

nӑnӑ-meʔ.

 

bring-nonpast.1sg.neg

 

‘I do not bring.’

c.

in-nӑnӑ-meʔ.

 

neg-bring-nonpast.1sg.neg

 

‘I do not bring.’

Types 15 and 16

Type 15, represented by Chuj (Mayan; Guatemala) (Buenrostros 1991), is a VOS language with an obligatory preverbal negative word and an optional postverbal negative word where I lack information on the position of the postverbal negative word relative to the object and subject. Type 16 is a VSO/SVO language with either a preverbal negative word or a postverbal negative word or both, where I lack definitive information on the position of both words relative to the subject and object. This type is equivalent to Type 18 on Map 144G. The language of this type is Welsh Romani (Indic, Indo-European; United Kingdom), illustrated above in (90).

Map 144V: Verb-Initial with Preverbal Negative

Maps 144V, 144W and 144X are maps for verb-initial languages which are analogous to Maps 144H to 144K above for SVO languages, except that two of the types, negative immediately following verb and negative occurring between subject and object (whichever order these two occur in) are shown on a single map (Map 144W) because there are so few instances of either. Map 144V shows languages where it is possible to have a negative morpheme preceding the verb and Map 144X shows languages where it is possible to have a negative morpheme in clause-final position.

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation Word&NoDoubleNeg 117
Prefix, no double negation Prefix&NoDoubleNeg 11
Separate word, optional single or double negation, with preverbal negative word possible without a second negative 6
Prefix, optional double negation, with negative prefix possible without a second negative 1
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 4
Prefix, only occurs with another negative morpheme 1
Type 1 / Type 2 4
Type 3 / Type 6 1
Verb-initial but preverbal negative does not occur 7
Total: 152

Map 144W: Verb-Initial with Negative that is Immediately Postverbal or between Subject and Object

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Suffix, no double negation 2
Separate word, immediately following verb, only occurs with another negative morpheme 5
Suffix, optional double negation, can occur without a second negative 1
Suffix, only occurs with another negative morpheme 3
Separate word, between subject and object 1
Verb-initial but immediately postverbal negative or negative between subject and object does not occur 139
Total: 151

Map 144X: Verb-Initial with Clause-Final Negative

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
Separate word, no double negation 2
Separate word, optional double negation, with clause-final negative word possible without a second negative 1
Separate word, only occurs with another negative morpheme 4
Verb-initial but clause-final negative does not occur 144
Total: 151

Map 144Y: The Position of Negative Morphemes in Object-Initial Languages

Go to map
 ValueRepresentation
ONegVS 3
OVNegS 1
OSVNeg 1
O[V-Neg]S 4
OS(Neg)[V(-Neg)] 1
O[Neg-V-Neg]S 1
OVNegS/SOVNeg 1
NegOVS/NegSOV 1
O[V-Neg]S/SO[V-Neg] 1
O[Neg-V]S/NegSVO 1
OVS & NegV 1
Total: 16

Map 144Y shows the position of negative morphemes in languages that employ OVS or OSV order in negative clauses, or at least as one of the possible orders in negative clauses.

Type 1: ONegVS; Type 2: OVNegS; Type 3: OSVNeg

Types 1 to 3 involve languages which employ a single negative word. These are equivalent to Types 13 to 15 on Map 144A. Type 1 is illustrated in (15) and Type 2 in (16) above.

Type 4: O[V-Neg]S

Type 4 represents OVS languages with a negative suffix. An example of such a language is Urarina (isolate; Peru), illustrated in (150).

(150) Urarina (Olawsky 2006: 533)

iɲono

ku-eni-a

katɕa=ne.

ayahuasca

drink-neg-3sg.dep

man=cond

O

V-Neg

S

‘if a man does not drink ayahuasca’

Type 5: OS(Neg)[V(-Neg)]

Types 5 and 6 are languages with double negation. Type 5 represents OSV languages with an immediately preverbal negative word or a negative suffix or both. The sole language of this type is Tobati (Oceanic; Papua, Indonesia) (Donohue 2002: 201), illustrated in (151), where (151a) illustrates the OSV word order, (151b) double negation.

(151) Tobati (Donohue 2002: 197, 201)

a.

Wab-roc

tobwadic-roc

sic-om

insõ.

 

Nafri-person

Tobati-person

knife-instr

stab

 

O

S

 

V

 

‘The Tobati man stabbed the Nafri man with a knife.’

b.

Nehu

mbo

wi-fani.

 
 

1sg

neg

go-neg

 
 

S

Neg

V-Neg

 
 

‘I haven’t gone.’

Type 6: O[Neg-V-Neg]S

Type 6 represents OVS languages with a negative prefix and negative suffix. The sole language of this type is Asuriní (Tupian; Brazil) (Harrison 1970: 172).

Type 7: OVNegS / SOVNeg

Type 7 through 9 represent languages in which OVS order alternates with SOV order. These are equivalent to Types 17 through 19 on Map 144M. Type 7 represents OVNegS/SOVNeg, where there is a negative word that immediately follows the verb. The sole language of this type is Macushi (Cariban; Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela), illustrated in (152), where (152a) illustrates OVNeg order, (152b) the possibility of VNegS order.

(152) Macushi (Abbott 1991: 55, 57)

a.

waikin

era'ma-u-ya

pra

a-wanî.

 
 

deer

see-1-trans

neg

3-be

 
 

O

V

Neg

 
 

‘I do not see the deer.’

b.

yuuku-i-ya

pra

to'

yun-kon

wanî-'pa.

 

answer-3-trans

neg

3coll

father-coll

be-past

 

V

Neg

 

S

 

‘Their father didn’t answer him.’

Type 8: NegOVS / NegSOV

Type 8 represents languages which are OVS/SOV with a clause-initial negative word. The sole language of this type is Wichita (Caddoan; Oklahoma) (Rood 1976: 157 - 158).

Type 9: O[V-Neg]S / SO[V-Neg]

Type 9 represents languages which are OVS/SOV with a negative suffix on the verb. The sole language of this type is Apalaí (Cariban; Brazil), illustrated in (153), where (153a) illustrates OV with a negative suffix, (153b) VS order with a negative suffix.

(153) Apalaí (Koehn and Koehn 1986: 64)

a.

isapokara

on-ene-pyra

a-ken.

 

jakuruaru.lizard

3-see-neg

1-be:immed.past

 

O

V-Neg

 

‘I did not see a jakuruaru lizard.’

b.

morarame

otuh-pyra

i-pani-ry.

 

then

eat-neg

3-son.in.law-poss

   

V-Neg

S

 

‘Then his son-in-law did not eat.’

Type 10: O[Neg-V]S / NegSVO

Type 10 represents languages which are OSV in affirmative clauses but NegSVO or OVS with a negative prefix. The sole language of this type is Nadëb (Nadahup; Brazil), illustrated above in (34).

Type 11: OVS & NegV

Type 11 represents OVS languages with a preverbal negative word where I lack information on the position of this word relative to the object. The sole instance of a language of this type is Päri (Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan; Sudan) (Andersen 1988: 292).