Negative cycles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Crosslinguistically, negatives change in a cyclical fashion. A particular negative weakens and is renewed by another element. In this article, I provide examples of two distinct negative cycles, one using an indefinite phrase and the other a verbal head as renewal. The examples are taken from Indo-European, Uralic, Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit, Haida, Afro-Asiatic, and Chinese. I also provide an account of both cycles using phrase structures and economy principles as in generative grammar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-243
Number of pages49
JournalLinguistic Typology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Economy
  • Grammaticalization
  • Indefinite
  • Linguistic cycle
  • Negation
  • Negative concord
  • Negative verbs
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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