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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Negation systems in sign languages have been shown to display the core grammatical properties attested for natural language negation. Negative manual signs realize clausal negation in much the same way as in spoken languages. However, the visual-gestural modality affords the possibility to encode negative marking non-manually, and sign languages vary as to whether such markers can convey negation on their own or not. Negative concord can be argued to exist between manual and non-negative markers of negation, but we also find cases of negative concord among manual signs. Negation interacts in interesting ways with other grammatical categories, and it can be encoded in irregular and affixal forms that still have sentential scope. At the same time, negation is attested in lexical morphology leading to forms that do not express sentential negation.

Keywords: sign languages, manual negation, non-manual negation, irregular negatives, negative concord, affixal negation, lexical negation, negation doubling

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