query: lexical semantics

David Gil gil at EVA.MPG.DE
Thu Jun 20 02:46:16 UTC 2013

Dear all,

In English the verb "claim" has a negative counterpart "deny" that 
stands in the following semantic relationship:  "claim that not S" is 
roughly paraphrasable as "deny that S".  Similarly, "believe" has a 
negative counterpart "doubt", where "believe that not S" = "doubt that S".

I am looking for a language in which a verb meaning something like "be 
sure" / "be certain" also has a negative counterpart of this kind.  In 
other words, a language with a word X where "be sure/certain that not S" 
= "X that S".  (Note: I don't care whether X is a simple verb or a 
complex construction combining an auxiliary or light verb with another 
content word, such as English "be sure".)

Any pointers to relevant literature would also be welcome.



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
Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/

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