Vol. 6:2 (1991) ► pp.165–214
Negation in Palenquero
A conspicuous feature of Palenquero (P) morphosyntax is the unusual, though by no means unique, often clause-final or sentence-final placement of the predicate negator nu 'not', e.g., i [NU] kelé bae aya NU 'I don't want to go there'. Previous descriptions, often cited in the literature, present oversimplified (and, therefore, misleading) accounts of the data. This paper attempts to rectify the descriptions found in Bickerton & Escalante [B&E] (1970), Lewis (1970), Friedemann & Patino Rosselli [F&P] (1983), and Megenney (1986). Based on an extensive corpus of informal spoken data, it is demonstrated that Palenqueros (Ps) systematically use not one but two basic creole negation patterns — preverbal and postverbal nu — and that the selection of construction signals important discourse pragmatic information. The study goes beyond earlier accounts by providing evidence that the syntax of postverbal nu is not, as generally claimed, utterance-final. The frequent placement of this negator at the end of a clause or sentence depends rather on the absence of constructions which occur infrequently. Such facts, together with the argument that a preverbal negation strategy cannot be viewed as a simple case of interference from Spanish (S), show that, contrary to the opinion of previous investigators, P negation exhibits virtually no signs of decreolization.
Cited by 19 other publications
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