Sentential Negation

This paper is an attempt to analyze the syntax of sentential negation. In particular, it investigates the syntactic nature, representation and derivation of negation. The discussions are based on data from Amazigh, specifically in the Tashelhit variety spoken in the southwest of Morocco. Data from English is also discussed to have a comprehensive account of the issue. The theoretical framework adopted is that of Government and Binding. In the suggested analysis, I show that negation is projected independently of the verb. With respect to representation, I substantiate the claim that negation heads its own independent projection negation phrase above tense phrase. As for derivation, I demonstrate that the Empty Category Principle and the Head Movement Constraint provide the tools needed to account for the derivation of the functional category negation.

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