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The Position of Negation and Adverbs in Early Middle English

Ingham, Richard
Published in Lingua. 2007, vol. 117, p. 1-25
Abstract This paper investigates the placement and structural analysis of negation and adverbs in early English, focussing in particular on Early Middle English (EME). Although the clausal syntax of negation and adverbs in EME was complex and variable, we show that the variation was not unprincipled. The negator not and adverbs share certain distributional properties, but we identify two contexts in which the two types of elements behave differently. Adverbs exhibit a root/nonroot asymmetry with respect to the distribution of finite verbs whereas such an asymmetry is not found with the negator not. Furthermore, the placement of object NPs is more restrictive with the negator not than with adverbs. Contrary to claims made in the previous literature, we conclude that not cannot be analyzed as an adverbial element in EME but already occupies NegP and that NegP in EME is generally situated low in the functional structure.
Keywords AdverbsEarly Middle EnglishNegationObject scramblingVerb movement
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HAEBERLI, Eric, INGHAM, Richard. The Position of Negation and Adverbs in Early Middle English. In: Lingua, 2007, vol. 117, p. 1-25. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:75056

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Deposited on : 2015-09-08

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