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Cycles of negation in Rangi and Mbugwe

Gibson, Hannah and Wilhelmsen, Vera (2015) 'Cycles of negation in Rangi and Mbugwe.' Africana Linguistica, 21. pp. 233-257.

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Abstract

The Tanzanian Bantu languages Rangi and Mbugwe both employ a double negation marking strategy. In Rangi, verbal negation is achieved through the presence of a pre-verbal negative marker and a negative marker which appears either post-verbally or in a clause-final position. In Mbugwe, negation is indicated by a prefix that appears on the verb form and an optional post- verbal negative marker. This paper presents a descriptive account of negation in these two closely related languages, as well as exploring possible origins and grammaticalisation pathways involved in the development of the respective negation strategies in each instance. We propose that negation in these two languages shows evidence of the stages of Jespersen’s cycle: with what started out as a single marker of negation giving way to a bipartite negation strategy. We present data exemplifying negation in the two languages, contributing to the discussion of the development of negation in Bantu and the applicability of Jespersen’s cycle in the language family, as well as highlighting the possible role played by language contact in the development of negation in these languages.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Depositing User: Hannah Gibson
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 09:08
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/21027

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