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Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German$
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Agnes Jäger, Gisella Ferraresi, and Helmut Weiß

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813545.001.0001

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History of negation in High and Low German

History of negation in High and Low German

(p.181) 10 History of negation in High and Low German
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German

Anne Breitbarth

Agnes Jäger

Oxford University Press

The expression of sentential negation follows Jespersen’s Cycle in the history of High and Low German, from a verbal clitic neg-particle (stage I) in the earliest stages of attestation via a bi-partite expression (stage II) to a free adverbial negator (stage III) in the present-day languages. Besides the expression of negation, also the interaction between sentential negation and indefinites in its scope changes, from the original verbal neg-particle co-occurring with n-free indefinites and the neg-particle co-occurring with neg-marked indefinites (Negative Concord) to neg-marked indefinites without a sentential negator, in the wake of the loss of the old neg-particle. Though these developments are largely similar, they happen at different speeds, and differ in points of detail.

Keywords:   Early New High German, Feature Economy, grammaticalization, Jespersen’s Cycle, Middle High German, Middle Low German, negation, Negative Concord, Old High German, Old Low German

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