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Negative Concord

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  • anheropl0x
    Hello, all! Do you think that Gothic might have been a negative Concord language? I know a few old Germanic languages were, and there exist several today that
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 25, 2012
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      Hello, all! Do you think that Gothic might have been a negative Concord language? I know a few old Germanic languages were, and there exist several today that are.

      Negative concord, for those who do not know, is the use of multiple negatives in a single clause that do not cancel each other out.

      In English and German, we do not have negative concord, so the negatives cancel each other out ("I have not seen him" vs "I have never not seen him")

      So far, I have only found one possible example of negative concord in Gothic: Matt 27:14 "jah ni andhof imma wiþra ni ainhun waurde..." (And not answered to him not any/none/no of words) "And he answered to him not a word..."

      Negative concord was common in Old English, and existed in a specific form in OHG. Do you think that Gothic could have had negative concord as well?
    • kevin.behrens@rocketmail.com
      German does have double negative. It s not that common in the standard language but almost all varieties of german know it. Actually it is more uncommon that
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 25, 2012
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        German does have double negative. It's not that common in the standard language but almost all varieties of german know it. Actually it is more uncommon that languages like German handle it, that a double negation neutralize itself. It's rather a philosophical and logical dilemma we have in German.
        A double negation is found on very many languages to emphasize an utterance.
        Maybe the reason we have so little document on this is, that it was more a thing in familiar speech and Wulfila tried to force a literary language.
      • r_scherp
        Hails! Incidentally, until enlightened educators took control of the German language c1800 German was negative concord. Examples can even be found in Goethe.
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 25, 2012
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          Hails!

          Incidentally, until 'enlightened' educators took control of the German language c1800 German was negative concord. Examples can even be found in Goethe.

          Randulfs

          --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "anheropl0x" <anheropl0x@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello, all! Do you think that Gothic might have been a negative Concord language? I know a few old Germanic languages were, and there exist several today that are.
          >
          > Negative concord, for those who do not know, is the use of multiple negatives in a single clause that do not cancel each other out.
          >
          > In English and German, we do not have negative concord, so the negatives cancel each other out ("I have not seen him" vs "I have never not seen him")
          >
          > So far, I have only found one possible example of negative concord in Gothic: Matt 27:14 "jah ni andhof imma wiþra ni ainhun waurde..." (And not answered to him not any/none/no of words) "And he answered to him not a word..."
          >
          > Negative concord was common in Old English, and existed in a specific form in OHG. Do you think that Gothic could have had negative concord as well?
          >
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