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Publication details [#64258]

Déprez, Viviane and Fabiola Henri, eds. 2018. Negation and Negative Concord. The view from Creoles. (Contact Language Library 55). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. x, 327 pp.
Publication type
Book – edited volume
Publication language


While universally present in languages, negation is well-known to manifest a surprising cross-linguistic diversity of forms. In creole languages, however, negation and negative dependencies have been regarded as largely uniform. Creole languages as Bickerton claims in Roots of Language, generally exhibit negative concord, a construction popularly dubbed ‘double negation’, where several expressions, each negative on its own, come together with a logic-defying single negation interpretation. While this construction – problematic for compositionality if the meaning of sentences emerge from the meaning of their parts – has fostered much research, the fertile data terrain that creole languages offer for its understanding is rarely taken into account. Aiming at bridging this gap, this volume offers a wealth of theoretically informed empirical investigations of negative relations in a wide variety of creole languages. Uncovering a far more complex negative landscape than previously assumed, the volume reveals the challenging richness that a thorough comparative study of creoles delivers.