Lucas, Christopher and Willis, David (2012) 'Never again: the multiple grammaticalization of never as a marker of negation in English.' English Language and Linguistics, 16 (3). pp. 459-485.
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In both standard and nonstandard varieties of English there are several contexts in which the word never functions as a sentential negator rather than as a negative temporal adverb. This article investigates the pragmatic and distributional differences between the various non-temporal uses of never and examines their synchronic and historical relationship to the ordinary temporal quantifier use, drawing on corpora of Early Modern and present-day British English. Primary focus is on (i) a straightforward negator use that in prescriptively approved varieties of English has an aspectual restriction to non-chance, completive achievement predicates in the preterite, but no such restriction in nonstandard English; and (ii) a distinct categorical-denial use that quantifies over possible perspectives on a situation. Against Cheshire (1998), it is argued that neither of these uses represents continuity with non-temporal uses of never in Middle English, but both are instead relatively recent innovations resulting from semantic reanalysis and the semanticization of implicatures.
|SOAS Departments & Centres:||Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
|DOI (Digital Object Identifier):||10.1017/S1360674312000196|
|Depositing User:||Chris Lucas|
|Date Deposited:||25 Oct 2012 08:59|
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