Negative concord in the language of British adults and teenagers
Negative concord (NC) (e.g. I don’t know nobody in Havering) has been the focus of a considerable number of diachronic as well as sociolinguistic studies, mainly in terms of its pervasiveness in the most common varieties of English. This paper contributes to the existing literature on the topic by examining NC in the language of British adults and teenagers. The findings, based on the analysis of data from three comparable adult and teenager corpora, indicate that: (i) NC is much more frequent in teenagers than in adults; (ii) the language of teenagers shows a wider variety of NC patterns than that of adults; (iii) the number of multiple negatives (e.g. I don’t want nothing to do with you no more) is not as common as expected, and they are found mainly in the expression of teenagers; (iv) pragmatically speaking, NC structures may be used to accentuate a negative meaning, although they are often equivalent to single negatives.
- 2.Double/multiple negation and negative concord
- 5.1Frequency of negative concord structures in the language of London adults and teenagers
- 5.2Distribution of negators in NC structures
- 5.3Multiple negatives
- 5.4The influence of linguistic factors in the occurrence of NC structures
- 5.4.1Co-occurrence with other non-standard negatives (ain’t and third person singular present don’t)
- 5.4.2Clause subject
- 5.5Influencing sociolinguistic or external factors in the occurrence of NC structures
- 5.5.2Anglo versus non-Anglo origin
- 6.The pragmatics of NC structures
- 7.Summary and conclusions
Published online: 28 September 2017
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