Chapter published in:Negation and Negative Concord: The view from Creoles
Edited by Viviane Déprez and Fabiola Henri
[Contact Language Library 55] 2018
► pp. 103–124
Negation in Pichi (Equatorial Guinea)
The case for areal convergence
This chapter provides a detailed overview of negation in Pichi, the English-lexifier Creole spoken by the people of the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea). Pichi negation patterns align closely with areal negation patterns found across a broad swath of West Africa. Like the vast majority of genealogically diverse languages of the region, Pichi employs asymmetric negation strategies. These involve the use of subjunctive mood for the negation of imperatives, the use of suppletive portmanteau forms that combine negative polarity and aspect, and the use of an identity-equation copula that incorporates negative polarity, temporal-aspectual values, person deixis and pragmatic functions, and whose distribution is determined by complex syntactic rules. Negative concord is pragmatically determined, hence non-strict with common nouns, where it renders emphatic meanings. Negative concord is grammatically determined and strict with negative indefinite pronouns and with negative phrases fulfilling the functions of negative indefinite pronouns. I conclude that Pichi negation patterns are typically areal in character and cannot be seen to reflect a “Creole” linguistic type.
Keywords: West Africa, Creole, linguistic area, negation, negative concord, indefinites, TMA, copula
Published online: 12 December 2018
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