Cross-linguistic negation contrasts in co-convergent contact languages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Sri Lankan contact Malay (SLM) and Portuguese (SLP) share sprachbund-discordant features, including pre-verbal functional markers for MA and negation. Yet their negation strategies also differ. In SLM, negation morphology is a diagnostic for the finiteness status of verbs. SLP verbs are contrastively negated, based on aspectual (not tense/finiteness) contrasts, and participles in adjunct clauses have distinctive non-finite negation. SLM marks finiteness status on matrix auxiliaries in a biclausal periphrastic construction. In the SLP construction, auxiliary and participle cannot be independently negated and the auxiliary cannot be separated from the verbal complex, arguing against biclausal status. SLM marks negative polarity in quantified nominal constituents, but has no negative concord, whereas SLP has negative concord, but relatively little negative polarity marking
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNegation and Negative Concord
Subtitle of host publicationThe View from Creoles
EditorsViviane Déprez, Fabiola Henri
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263155
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • Sri Lankan Malay
  • Sri Lankan Portuguese
  • morphosyntax
  • negation


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