[Lingtyp] fear + NEG

Everett, Daniel DEVERETT at bentley.edu
Thu Mar 19 12:55:27 UTC 2015


Not sure if this is relevant to the discussion, since I haven’t followed it all closely. But there is certainly a contrast in my dialect/idiolect of English depending on the matrix verb:

English

I am afraid that he might not be looking for a job.

Means to me: He might not be looking for a job. I am afraid of that.

However:

I wonder if he might not be looking for a job.

Means to me: I wonder if he is looking for a job.

Dan

On Mar 19, 2015, at 8:47 AM, E. Bashir <ebashir at YAHOO.COM<mailto:ebashir at YAHOO.COM>> wrote:

No, Steve, it really means 'I am afraid that he will/might come.', or slightly archaic 'I am afraid lest he come.'

Elena Bashir

________________________________
From: Steve Pepper <pepper.steve at gmail.com<mailto:pepper.steve at gmail.com>>
To: 'Anvita Abbi' <anvitaabbi at gmail.com<mailto:anvitaabbi at gmail.com>>; 'Hartmut Haberland' <hartmut at ruc.dk<mailto:hartmut at ruc.dk>>
Cc: "'list, typology'" <LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org>>; 'Nina Dobrushina' <nina.dobrushina at gmail.com<mailto:nina.dobrushina at gmail.com>>
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 3:10 AM
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] fear + NEG

Far be it from me as a non-Hindi native (you can tell me off tomorrow if I’m wrong, Anvita :), but...

Surely the NEG na means that the thing the speaker is afraid of is that he will NOT come?
If so, I would translate the example more idiomatically as “I am afraid that he will not come” (despite the fact that the Hindi uses the subjunctive and not the future form of the verb).

Steve मिर्च




Fra: Lingtyp [mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] På vegne av Anvita Abbi
Sendt: 19. mars 2015 08:52
Til: Hartmut Haberland
Kopi: list, typology; Nina Dobrushina
Emne: Re: [Lingtyp] fear + NEG

The Hindi sentence means He may come. I am afraid of that.
Anvita

www.andamanese.net<http://www.andamanese.net/>
President: Linguistic Society of India



On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 1:10 PM, Hartmut Haberland <hartmut at ruc.dk<mailto:hartmut at ruc.dk>> wrote:
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<mailto: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<http://www.andamanese.net/>
President: Linguistic Society of India



On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 5:09 PM, Michael Daniel <misha.daniel at gmail.com<mailto: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<mailto: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

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