Negation in non-standard varieties of English
Jaramillo Vila, Nagore
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This paper reviews the most prominent syntactic analyses that have been proposed in the literature for two non-standard negation phenomena: Negative Concord (NC) and Negative Inversion (NI). Linguistic theory has shown an increased interest in the study of syntactic variation and non-standard phenomena. NC, where two or more negative elements yield a single semantic negation, has been widely studied in the grammar of non-standard English. Weiss (2002) and Zejilstra (2004) advocate that NC is the outcome of a syntactic agreement between an element bearing an [iNeg] feature and multiple instances of elements marked by an [uNeg] feature. Conversely, Blanchette (2013) claims that a NC reading is obtained by means of a feature spreading mechanism, where all negative elements contain an interpretable negative feature. On the other hand, two main analyses have been presented for NI. An auxiliary inversion approach, proposed by Labov et al. (1968) and Foreman (1999), argues for a movement of the auxiliary to a higher left-peripheral position in the sentence, whereas an existential approach (Labov et al., 1968) considers NI constructions to be the result of an expletive deletion operation. This paper provides a critical review of the aforementioned analyses, pointing out the strengths and inconsistencies encountered in them.