[Lingtyp] fear + NEG

Michael Daniel misha.daniel at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 08:39:27 UTC 2015


Dear all,

please let me interven not as the author of the original query (who is
temporarily offline) but as a subscriber to the list.

My feeling is that the original query might have been unclear or even not
fully precise for French. Consider:

Je crains qu'il ne pleuve.

It means 'I fear lest it rains', not 'I fear lest it doesn't rain'

Obviously, here the speaker is afraid that P may happen, not that not(P)
may happen. There is a clear interaction between the verbs of fear (or
doubt) with negation. I think this is what Nina meant, and what she was
interested in; and it may be that adding "pas" was a mistake (or some
peripheral uses I am unaware of).

Similarly, in Russian:

"Ja bojusj, chto on ne pridet"

means 'I doubt that he comes', at least as a primary meaning - I can hardly
imaging it meaning "He may come, and this prospect makes me afraid". The
meaning 'that I do not like this to happen', whether his coming or not
coming, is, to my ear, at least very peripheral.

"Ja bojusj chto on pridet", to my ear, means rather "I think he *may* come
(and this is a prospect I do not like)"

Michael




2015-03-19 10:21 GMT+02:00 Hannu Tommola <Hannu.Tommola at uta.fi>:

>  As Hartmut, I feel a clarification of the original query is needed here.
> I know that my competence in French is poor, but isn't it that there is a
> difference between the following utterances:
>
> French:
>
> Je crains qu'il ne vienne
> 'I'm afraid he'll come'
>
> and
>
> Je crains qu'il ne vienne PAS.
> 'I'm afraid he'll NOT come'
>
> Similarly in Russian:
>
> Ja bojus', chto on pridët
> 'I'm afraid he'll come'
>
> and
>
> Ja bojus', chto on NE pridët
> 'I'm afraid he'll NOT come'
>
> Best wishes,
> Hannu
>
>    Quoting Hartmut Haberland <hartmut at ruc.dk>:
> > I need a clarification here. The Japanese sentence can be paraphrased
> > as: Something bad may have happened. I am afraid of that. But do the
> > Hindi and French sentences mean: He may come. I am afraid of that. Or:
> >  He may not come. I am afraid of that. ?
> > It could just be a question whether the complementizer means that or if
> > (like Japanese ka); the latter would require a negation that disappears
> > when the complementizer is rendered by a that-like conjunction in a
> > different language.
> > Hartmut
> >
> >    Sendt fra min iPhone
> >
> >    Den 19/03/2015 kl. 08.17 skrev "Anvita Abbi" <anvitaabbi at gmail.com>:
> >
> >> Dear All,
> >> Hindi is one language with such structures. One example is given here.
> >> /mujhe       Dar     hai       ki           vo         aa       na
> >>   jaye/
> >> 1sg.Dat     fear     AUX    COMP   3sg       come  NEG  come
> >> Literal: 'I am afraid that he does not come'
> >>
> >> Anvita
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Prof. Anvita Abbi
> >>
> >> Director: Centre for Oral and Tribal Literature
> >>
> >> Sahitya Akademi
> >>
> >> Rabindra Bhavan
> >>
> >> 35, Ferozeshah Road
> >>
> >> New Delhi 110 001
> >> www.andamanese.net[1]
> >> President: Linguistic Society of India
> >>
> >> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 5:09 PM, Michael Daniel
> >> <misha.daniel at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Dear all,
> >>>
> >>>         below is a letter I post on behalf of Nina Dobrushina. If you
> >>> have any references or ideas that you could share, please send them to
> >>> her: nina.dobrushina at gmail.com (also in the copy above)
> >>>
> >>>         Michael Daniel
> >>>
> >>>         Dear all,
> >>>
> >>>         could you give me hints on empirical evidence and literature
> >>> about languages where the predicates of fear (?fear?, ?to be afraid?,
> >>> ?to worry?  and the like) (tend to) have negation in the complement
> >>> clause? I am aware of Russian, French (and other Romance languages),
> >>> Japanese, and some Turkic languages like Kumyk. Two examples are
> >>> provided below.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>         French:
> >>>
> >>>         Je    crain-s    que    la    lettre    n?    arrive        pas
> >>>         I    fear    COMPL    DEF    letter    NEG    come.SUBJ.3SG
> NEG
> >>>
> >>>         LT: 'I am afraid that the letter does not arrive'
> >>>         (less literal 'I am afraid that the letter may not arrive')
> >>>
> >>>         Japanese (example courtesy Tasaku Tsunoda):
> >>>
> >>>         Nanika        waru-i        koto=ga
> >>> oki-nak-at-ta=ka        sinpai=da
> >>>         something        bad-NPST    thing=NOM
> >>> happen-NEG-LINK-PST=Q    worried=COP.NPNST
> >>>
> >>>         LT: ?[I] am worried whether something bad did not happen.?
> >>>         FT: ?I am worried that something bad happened.?
> >>>
> >>>         Thanks,
> >>>
> >>>         Nina Dobrushina
> >>>
> >>>        _______________________________________________
> >>>        Lingtyp mailing list
> >>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> >>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Lingtyp mailing list
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>
>
>
> Hannu Tommola
> Professor emer. of Russian Language (Translation Theory and Practice)
> School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies
> FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
>
> Linkit:
> -------
> [1] http://www.andamanese.net/
>
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>
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