[Lingtyp] Negation marks adverbial clauses

Nigel Vincent nigel.vincent at manchester.ac.uk
Wed Jan 12 09:29:48 UTC 2022

In relation to the French example it should perhaps be added that in a clause with 'avant' only the first part of the negation marker 'ne…pas' occurs. Contrast 'elle n'arrive pas' and 'avant qu'elle n'arrive', where the first is ungrammatical without 'pas' and the second is ungrammatical with 'pas' (or so I was taught!).
Perhaps also relevant to Mohammad's question is the use of the Latin negative purposive complementizer ne 'in order that … not' as the marker of the complement of a verb of fearing (cf the volume referred to in an earlier post in this thread).

Professor Nigel Vincent, FBA MAE
Professor Emeritus of General & Romance Linguistics
The University of Manchester

Linguistics & English Language
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
The University of Manchester

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Françoise Rose <francoise.rose at univ-lyon2.fr>
Sent: 12 January 2022 9:53 AM
To: mohammad rasekh <mrasekhmahand at yahoo.com>; LINGTYP LINGTYP <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Cc: Fariba Sabouri <faribasabouri at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Negation marks adverbial clauses

Dear Mohammad,

this is a very common phenomenon in (rather formal) French:

avant qu’elle n’arrive, ….

before she arrives (lit. before she does not arrive)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any reading recommendation on the topic!


Françoise ROSE (fʁɑ̃swɑz ʁoz)

Directrice de Recherches 2ème classe, CNRS

Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage (CNRS/Université Lyon2)

16 avenue Berthelot

69007 Lyon



De : Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> De la part de mohammad rasekh
Envoyé : mardi 11 janvier 2022 16:18
À : LINGTYP LINGTYP <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Cc : Fariba Sabouri <faribasabouri at gmail.com>
Objet : [Lingtyp] Negation marks adverbial clauses

Dear All,

I hope you have started a happy new year.

In the corpus of one of my students in Hamedani Persian (a variety spoken in Hamedan, west of Iran), we have found some adverbial clauses in which the verb is marked by negative prefix, but it does not mean negative. These adverbial clauses mark Time (meaning 'as soon as') and Reason, or both at the same time. Some examples:

1.        i               ke            kur          na-šod, man         diye          ruz-e xoš                 na-didam

        he            that         blind       NEG-become, I    anymore day-EZ happy     NEG-see-1SG

        As soon as he got blind, I had no good times.

2.      das       ke         ne-mi-keš-i                               ru harči,                       xāk-e

       hand     that      NEG-IND-touch-2SG               over     everything,       dirty-BE.3SG

    As you touch everything, it is dirty.

I wonder if there is any other language in which the adverbial clause is negative in form but not in meaning. I searched to find some evidence or some sources which mention this, but I was not successful. I appreciate your comments.

Best regards,


Mohammad Rasekh-Mahand

Linguistics Department,

Bu-Ali Sina University,

Hamedan, Iran.

Postal Code: 6517838695

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