Scientific article
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A set of semantic and pragmatic criteria for descriptive vs. metalinguistic negation

ContributorsMoeschler, Jacques
Published inGlossa: a journal of general linguistics, vol. 3, no. 1, no. 58, p. 1-30
Publication date2018

This article is about metalinguistic negation and the types of criteria making a straightforward distinction between descriptive (DN) and metalinguistic negation (MN). First, I will distinguish three types of negation: one type of DN and two types of MN, where MN1 is upward metalinguistic negation and MN2 presuppositional metalinguistic negation. This distinction is based on two semantic criteria (entailment and scope of negation), and one discursive or pragmatic criterion (connectives). Then, the use of the connective criterion will imply that maisSN (Ger. sondern and Sp. sino) triggers DN, whereas maisPA (Ger. aber, Sp. pero) licenses MN1 and a causal connective like parce que ‘because' or puisque ‘since' generates MN2. The general philosophy of the analysis of negation is both monoguist (negation is semantically unambiguous, and its meaning is logical) and contextual (there is no reinterpretation of the negative clause when negation is metalinguistic). Finally, this article aims to lend theoretical support to the experimental work on negation reported in Blochowiak & Grisot (2018).

  • Metalinguistic negation
  • Descriptive negation
  • Implicature
  • Presupposition
  • Entailment
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - LogPrag: The semantics and pragmatics of logical words
Citation (ISO format)
MOESCHLER, Jacques. A set of semantic and pragmatic criteria for descriptive vs. metalinguistic negation. In: Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 2018, vol. 3, n° 1, p. 1–30. doi: 10.5334/gjgl.439
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2397-1835

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