Resumptive Negation as Assertion Revision

Jordan Katz
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Jespersen (1860-1934:73-75) described what he called resumptive negation: “A second class [of emphatic negation] comprises what may be termed resumptive negation, the characteristic of which is that after a negative sentence has been completed, something is added in a negative form with the obvious result that the negative result is heightened. . . . In its pure form, the supplementary negative is added outside the frame of the first sentence, generally as a afterthought, as in ‘I shall never do it, not under any circumstances, not on any condition, neither at home nor abroad’, etc.” Such examples have, to the best my knowledge, received no attention in the modern linguistic literature with the exception of the discussion by van der Wouden (1997) and mention (without discussion) in (Lawler 1977), plus brief comments by Klima and by McCawley (see van der Wouden) . A somewhat similar type of example (1) is known from Ross’s (1967) “Slifting” paper, where it is presented with along with extensive p.c. comments from Larry Horn; later in passim mention appears in (Horn 1989) and occasionally elsewhere.
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