Single negation interpretations in sentences with multiple negative expressions in Mandarin Chinese. An experimental investigation

Feifei Li, Joan Borràs-Comes, M. Teresa Espinal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Although Mandarin Chinese (MC) has been characterized as a language in which two negative expressions within the boundaries of a single sentential domain cancel each other to yield a positive reading, this paper examines whether a single negation reading may in fact result under certain conditions. The results of an online perception experiment performed by 114 native speakers of MC showed that single negation readings were indeed obtained, particularly when the first of the two negative expressions was an adjunct (i.e., cóngláibù/cóngláiméi(yǒu) ‘never’), and when there was stress on the second negative expression (i.e., the negative markers méi(yǒu) ‘not’ and bù ‘not’).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
JournalLingua
Volume210-211
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Multiple negative expressions
  • Single negation interpretations
  • Stress

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