interrogative negators

Colin P Masica dacotah at MWT.NET
Thu Mar 24 04:19:34 UTC 2005

Dear Colleagues,

Not exactly a response to Annie Montaut's challenge, but -- forgive me for
not paying close enough attention -- I presume that by this time someone has
mentioned Hindi (probably Montaut herself). If not, here are two examples
simply taken from McGregor's Dictionary (better than my trying to make them
up!) [again, forgive me if they have been cited before]:

1) in dino—mai—vahaa—KAHAA— jaataa huu— = nowadays I there WHERE go =
'Nowadays I NEVER go there'
2) mai—yah kaam KAHAA— karuu— = I this work WHERE do = 'How am I to do this
work?' i.e. 'I CANNOT do this work!'

The first translation of the second sentence may serve as a warning that
even in English, some of these usages are borderline (in this case,  using
'how' -- but cf. something like 'Where does he get off saying that!' = 'He
can't say that!' Or, 'Who says so!' = 'Nobody says so.")

Colin Masica

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