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Standard negation in Awa Pit: from synchrony to diachrony

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This study deals with clausal negation in Awa Pit, a Barbacoan language spoken in South America. By bringing together the data on negation from different varieties of the language, we present an analysis of synchronic patterns of negation marking. Based on the variation we suggest a number of innovations in the negation system, for which we put forward diachronic scenarios. Some innovations are likely to be contact-induced, whereas others are products of language-internal diachronic processes. The latter involve mechanisms associated with a classical `Jespersen Cycle'. However, Awa Pit offers us very non-classical Jespersen's Cycles - at best. The case of Awa Pit is instructive as some of the scenarios that we suggest are likely to be relevant for other languages or languages families.
Journal: Folia Linguistica Historica
ISSN: 0168-647X
Volume: 53
Pages: 439 - 474
Publication year:2019