query: grammaticalization go/be.in > negation

Hartmut Haberland hartmut at RUC.DK
Thu Jan 31 20:03:16 UTC 2013

Isn't that something different from what Paul suggested?

"I went mad" vs. "It went well". I think the subject ([+animate] vs. dummy it) is relevant.

Hartmut Haberland

Den 31-01-2013 20:56, E. Bashir skrev:
And, "it went beautifully", "it's going beautifully, nicely, rather badly, better than expected, ... "

Elena Bashir

From: Ian Maddieson <ianm at BERKELEY.EDU><mailto:ianm at BERKELEY.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:09 PM
Subject: Re: query: grammaticalization go/be.in > negation

... but, on the other hand, "go well", "go swimmingly", and even "go viral"

I'm not sure the negativity inheres in "go"


On 31 Jan 2013, at 09:10, Paul Hopper wrote:

An adjective complement of English 'go'  has a negative force, e.g. go
bad, bankrupt, missing, crazy, postal [see
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/159050.html], but not *cheerful,
*prosperous, etc.

- French pas?

Paul Hopper

Dear David,

In Tamazight of Ayr Ndhir the negator of predications of identity
appears to be composed of the negative particle/prefix ur and a form
of the verb go -idd

(Penchoen, 1973: 63)
a. ism uryaz-aḏ ur-idd ḥusa
this man-this NEG-go Husa
’This man’s name is not Husa’

b. ur-idd llə b ɛaya
NEG-go play this
‘This is no game’

I haven't been able to verify this for other varieties of Tamazight.
Generally, it is my impression that this kind of extension is
relatively rare but it may be the case that it just hasn't been
studied properly. Matthew Juge (1998) has a paper on the overlapping
suppletion between the paradigms of ser and ir in Spanish; these verb
share the same suppletive form in the preterite . It's true it is the
affirmative variants of the verbs but still.

Best wishes,


Juge, Matthew. 1998. On the Rise of Suppletion in Verbal Paradigms. Ms.,
BLS 25.
Penchoen, Thomas G. 1973. Tamazight of the Ayt Ndhir. Los Angeles:
Undena Publications.

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 1:16 PM, Everett, Daniel <DEVERETT at bentley.edu<mailto:DEVERETT at bentley.edu>>
In Pirahã, David, the relevant construction is:
it-negative-completive-perfective-remote (out of control of speaker)

hi-ab-a (without aspectual morphology) is used for 'no' or 'didn't'

The former has the sense of 'to have run out' but is very similar in
many contexts to 'allgone.'

-- Dan

On Jan 31, 2013, at 6:53 AM, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:

Hello David,

In Breton, yes.

Aed   eo      toud
Gone  is3sg   all
"it's all gone"
With the same meaning as in English. In French you have to use the verb
"partir" = leave, not "aller" = go.



Steve Hewitt
30 rue Charles Baudelaire
75012 PARIS
s.hewitt at unesco.org<mailto:s.hewitt at unesco.org>
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-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion List for ALT
Sent: 31 January 2013 05:30
Subject: query: grammaticalization go/be.in > negation

Dear all,

In English motherese, the expression 'allgone' is often used to express
a negative concept involving the disappearance or absence of an entity
previously present.

I am interested in ascertaining how common or rare it is,
cross-linguistically, for a verb of motion (eg. 'go') or location (eg.
'be in') to undergo extension of meaning, or grammaticalization, to
express various negative concepts, as in the above 'allgone' example.

The reason behind this query is as follows.  In Roon (an Austronesian
language of West Papua), the same verb has a range of meanings which
includes 'be in' and 'disappear'.  (The logic behind this would seem to
be that if something goes or is located somewhere else, then it is no
longer here.)   In addition, the stem on which this verb is based is
also used to form negative imperatives.  I am currently trying to
figure out whether to analyze this in terms of macrofunctionality,
polysemy, or accidental homophony, so whether similar patterns are
attested cross-linguistically would be of relevance to the choice of

Looking forward to any responses,


David Gil

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<mailto:gil at eva.mpg.de>
Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/<http://www.eva.mpg.de/%7Egil/>

Paul J. Hopper,
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of Humanities Emeritus,
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Carnegie Mellon University,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213,
Tel. 412-683-1109,
Fax 412-268-7989.

Adjunct Professor of Linguistics,
Department of Linguistics,
University of Pittsburgh.

Senior External Fellow,
School of Linguistics and Literature,
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS),
Freiburg i.Br<http://i.br/>., Germany

Ian Maddieson

Department of Linguistics
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131-0001

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