Chapter in:Sound, Syntax and Contact in the Languages of Asturias
Edited by Guillermo Lorenzo
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 36] 2022
Negation in Asturian
Pragmatic differences at the syntax-phonology interface
The discourse markers in modern Asturian non and nun are not just two variants of the same unit of negation, as has been traditionally thought. Rather, they are lexical items that codify different types of polarity and express different types of negation. The present analysis will show that non is a peripheral independent C-unit that expresses relative polarity and is used to refute a previous utterance (metalinguistic negation). Nun, on the other hand, is an ambiguous negative marker: not only does it codifies negative polarity in ΣP and legitimises negative polarity items (sentential negation); it is also linked to ascending intonation, can activate the <objection> value of relative polarity in C, and refutes a previous statement.
Keywords: negation, metalinguistic negation, sentence polarity, pragmatics, Asturian syntax