[Lingtyp] fear + NEG

Paolo Ramat paoram at unipv.it
Thu Mar 19 09:19:06 UTC 2015


>From Wikipedia s.v. ‘Pleonasm’:

<<The pleonastic ne (ne pléonastique) expressing uncertainty in formal French works as follows

  "Je crains qu'il ne pleuve."
  ("I fear it may rain.") 
  "Ces idées sont plus difficiles à comprendre que je ne pensais."
  ("These ideas are harder to understand than I thought.") >>
The same holds for Italian, with some slight stylistic differences:
Temo che non piova (Subjunctive)  means usually “I’m afraid that it will not rain” and the sentence with the opposite meaning “I’m afraid that it will rain” is in an unmarked style Temo che piova.
On the contrary, the second sentence will usually contain the negative non since it refers to an actual negative state of affairs :I didn’t think that.... : Queste idee sono più difficili a capirsi che non pensassi (IMPF. SUBJ)
?? Queste idee sono più difficili a capirsi che pensassi sounds very odd. Usually you would say  Queste idee sono più difficili a capirsi di quanto (non) pensavo, where non is quite correct, though not compulsory.

(See P. Ramat,  La comparazione negativa.  Arch. Glott. Ital. 87/2002: 223-229 and the seminal article by Joseph Vendryes, Sur la négation abusive, Bull. Soc. Linguist. 46/1950: 1-18). 

Prof.Paolo Ramat
Università di Pavia
Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori (IUSS Pavia)


From: Hannu Tommola 
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 9:21 AM
To: Hartmut Haberland 
Cc: list, typology ; Nina Dobrushina 
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] fear + NEG

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
>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
 




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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