[Lingtyp] Does bipolar polysemy exist?

Miestamo, Matti M P matti.miestamo at helsinki.fi
Thu May 31 14:06:07 EDT 2018

Dear David, Zygmunt and others,

negative lexicalization is not quite as rare as David seems to imply. There is a cross-linguistic survey of this phenomenon by Ljuba Veselinova (ongoing work, detailed and informative presentation slides available through her website), and Zeshan (2013) has written on this phenomenon in sign languages. There's also a short summary in my recent Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology chapter on negation (preprint available via the link in the signature below). 


Matti Miestamo

> Zygmunt Frajzyngier <Zygmunt.Frajzyngier at COLORADO.EDU> kirjoitti 31.5.2018 kello 17.23:
> David, Friends
> Related to David’s post, not to the original query.
> In any individual language, there may exist a few of ‘Not-X’ items.
> In Mina (Central Chadic) there is a noun which designates ‘non-blacksmith’.
> In several Chadic languages there exist negative existential verb unrelated to the affirmative existential verb.
> Zygmunt
> On 5/31/18, 5:52 AM, "Lingtyp on behalf of David Gil" <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org on behalf of gil at shh.mpg.de> wrote:
>    On 31/05/2018 13:37, Sebastian Nordhoff wrote:
>> On 05/31/2018 01:18 PM, David Gil wrote:
>>> A point of logic.  "Not X" and "Antonym (X)" are distinct notions, and
>>> the original query by Ian Joo pertains to the former, not the latter.
>> but is there any (monomorphemic) lexeme which expresses not-X which is
>> not the antonym of X?
>    But how many (monomorphemic) lexemes expressing not-X are there at all?  
>    The only ones I can think of are suppletive negative existentials, e.g. 
>    Tagalog "may" (exist) > "wala" (not exist). Even suppletive negative 
>    desideratives don't quite fit the bill, e.g. Tagalog "nais"/"gusto" 
>    (want) > "ayaw", which is commonly glossed as "not want", but actually 
>    means "want not-X", rather than "not want-X" — "ayaw" is thus an antonym 
>    but not a strict negation of "nais"/"gusto".
>    What is not clear to me about the original query is whether it is asking 
>    for negations or for antonyms.
>    -- 
>    David Gil
>    Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
>    Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
>    Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
>    Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
>    Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
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