Where's where

David Gil gil at EVA.MPG.DE
Sat Mar 19 12:33:13 UTC 2005

Dear all,

As we have seen, there has been a minor deluge of reports of languages
in which 'where' (or some other content interrogative word) is used to
express emphatic negation.  But as is typically the case, nobody has
thought of offering data of a negative character, to say that "Well in
this language there's nothing of the sort".  Given that the attestations
of the phenomena in the LINGTYP discussion so far would seem to span a
single isogloss extending from German through the Middle-East and South
Asia all the way to Indonesia, I am curious to know whether the absence
of any attestations from, say, sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, the
Americas, and various other regions is reflective of a real absence, or,
as is often the case, an absence of attention on our part as linguists.

Hence this call: please send me examples of languages in which (you are
sure that) the phenomenon of 'where' or some other content interrogative
word being used to express emphatic negation is NOT present.  One such
language is English.  Please let me know of others.  Of course, I would
still be interested in examples of other languages which have the

If I get enough responses, I will post a summary (perhaps even a map).


David Gil

[currently in Indonesia]

Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Telephone: 49-341-3550321
Fax: 49-341-3550119
Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/

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