Expressing negative meaning in Liangmai
The paper presents an overview of negative expression in Liangmai, an under-described Tibeto-Burman language, primarily spoken in the Northeast Indian states of Manipur and Nagaland. There are two ways of negative formation in the language: (i) by suffixing negative markers to the main verb, and (ii) by the use of negative particles. The main negative suffixes in Liangmai are -mak, mainly used with realis constructions; -lak, used mainly with irrealis constructions; and -tu/-du with imperative, giving a prohibitive meaning. Negative particles used in the language include ha, which is a negative existential and raó, used to express ‘undesirability’. Additionally, a negative interjection hái is used frequently in the language as a negative answer to a question or to contradict a statement perceived to be incorrect. Negative polarity items are form by suffixing -dí to nominal stems and numerals. The present paper offers a descriptive account of negation in Liangmai, providing an overview of various constructions, namely, declarative, interrogative, imperative, relative and hortative, with negative polarity in the language.