"so Auxn't NP"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 20 14:55:49 UTC 2007

At 8:51 AM -0400 7/20/07, Marc Sacks wrote:
>  > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>  Subject:      Re: "so Auxn't NP"
>>  At 3:05 PM -0400 7/19/07, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>>>>*My favorite instance of this construction is a headline in the
>>>>sports pages of a Boston paper in the fall of 1971:
>Could "so don't I" be a false negative like "I could care less"?
It's basically the opposite.  The former involves hypernegation--the
occurrence of a negative expression which has no effect on the
semantics; other examples are "I miss not seeing you around" or
"irregardless".  The latter involves hyponegation--the absence of a
negation (or if you prefer the occurrence of a hidden negation) that
is computed as a negative in the semantics; other examples are
"That'll teach you to..." (meaning 'not to') or "unpacked" (meaning
'not unpacked').  Perhaps "could care less" and its mates could be
called false positives.

Of these, "so don't I" is the clearest example with a geographical restriction.


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