Neg 13_Distinct Negation of Existence

Negation of existence is set to yes when the strategy used for the negation of predications of existence differs from Standard Negation.

Definition of Predication of Existence

The strategy used for the negation of predications of existence can be established on the basis of sentences such as the following:

There are no squirrels outside
There aren’t any ghosts in the forest

The negation strategy used for negation of existence may be identical with the negation strategy used for predications of possession ('my books don't exist') and sometimes also location. In some languages it may be identical with the negation strategy used in predications of property and class inclusion.

In Turkish, a special negative verb yok replaces the affirmative existential verb var. Standard negation is expressed by a suffix -me-. A particle değil is used for the negation of predications of identity, property and location.

(1) Turkish (Altaic, Turkic)

a. Su var-dı
water exist-PST
’There was water.'

b. Su yok-tu
water NEG.EX-PST
’There was no water.’
(Van Schaaik, 1994: 44-5)

c. Gel-ecek
’(she) will come.'

d. Gel-me-yecek
’(she) will not come.’
(Van Schaaik, 1994: 38, 39)

(2) Kuot (Isolate, Papua New Guinea/New Ireland), Eva Lindström, p.c. Standard negation is expressed by təle:

a. titsa-ieŋ Mary
teacher-3.F.SG.SUBJ Mary
‘Mary is a teacher.’

b. təle titsa-ieŋ Mary
NEG teacher-3.F.SG.SUBJ Mary
Mary is not a teacher.’

Negation of locative and existential predication is expressed by karuk

c. Mary uro
Mary u-to
Mary 3F-here
‘Mary is here’

d. Karuk o Mary tako
is.not of.3.F Mary here
‘Mary is not here.'

e. Ame tomato-p mi-lə blu-meŋ
exist tomato-PL 3PL-RELR blue-3.PL.SUBJ
‘There are blue tomatoes.’/
’Blue tomatoes exist.’

f. Karuk ma tomato-p mi-lə blu-meŋ
is.not of.3.PL tomato-PL 3.PL-RELR blue-3.PL.SUBJ
‘There are no blue tomatoes.’/
’Blue tomatoes do not exist.’

The values for this property should be yes or no

Contributed by: Ljuba Veselinova
Language Value Contributor Comments
+ =Hoan Yes Chris Collins
  Words: ’ám -qà ’a / ’ám -qà |kò’a
  Gloss: food -PL COP / food -PL absent
  Translation: “There is food.” / “There is no food” (Collins and Gruber: 180).
  Comment: The examples are from the grammar by Collins, Chris and Gruber, Jeff. 2012. A Grammar of ǂHȍã.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Abaza No Brian O'Herin
   Acehnese No Julie Legate
   Afrikaans No Theresa Biberauer
+ Agni indénié Yes Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
  Words: bɛ̀dɛ̀ à jɥé ɟàdὶ nṵ̀
  Gloss: Koffi Accompli finir cuisine dans
  Translation: Il n’y a pas de manioc dans la cuisine.
  Comment: Dans certains cas, la négation peut être exprimée par l'idée d'achèvement, de finir.
  Contributor: Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
   Albanian No Dalina Kallulli
   American Sign Language Yes Natasha Abner Sentence final "NONE" can be used as a distinct negation of existence (cf. Chen Pichler and Hochgesang 2009)
   Amharic Yes Girma Demeke
   Ancient Greek No Richard Faure
   Arabic, Gulf Yes Dimitrios Ntelitheos
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Bafut No Pius Tamanji
   Bajau, West Coast Yes Mark Miller
   Bambara No Bryan Villa
   Bandial Yes Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi Yes Claire Bowern arrajina
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Bellinzonese No Andrea Cattaneo
   Beng No Denis Paperno
   Bole No Alhaji Gimba
   Brazilian Portuguese No Bruna Moreira
+ Bulgarian Yes Ljuba Veselinova
  Words: Navən njama nikakv-i katerichk-i
  Gloss: outsite not.have.3.SG.PRS none-PL.INDF squirrel-PL:INDF
  Translation: There are no squirrels outside
  Contributor: Ljuba Veselinova
  Words: Prizrats-i njama
  Gloss: Ghost-PL.INDF not.have.3.SG.PRS
  Translation: There are no ghosts
  Contributor: Ljuba Veselinova
   Burmese No Timothy Ho
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) Yes Zixian Qiu
  Words: ceotbin mou gwai
  Gloss: outside NEG-have ghost
  Translation: There aren’t any ghosts outside.
  Comment: “mou” is the negative counterpart of “jau (have, there is/are)”
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chichewa Yes Sam Mchombo
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
   Chol Yes Jessica Coon
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
   Czech No Peter Kosta
+ Dagaare Yes Adams Bodomo
  Words: Ba kye kyE
  Gloss: 3PL NEG.be here
  Translation: They are not here
  Comment: Here the verb 'kye' is a negative existential verb.
  Contributor: Adams Bodomo
   Danish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dholuo Yes Hilda Koopman
+ Digo Yes Steve Nicolle
  Words: Ta-ku-nda-kala na phuto rero. (Compare: Kun-nda-kala na phuto rero.)
  Gloss: NEG-CL17-FUT-be-COM CL10.storms today.
  Translation: There will not be storms today. (Compare: There will be storms today.)
  Contributor: Steve Nicolle
   Digor Ossetic No David Erschler
+ Dutch No Hilda Koopman this is tricky! In negative exsistentials (and in general with negative indefinites) standard negation does not show up, but negation is encoded in a negative deteminer (g-een) (not one). Since this is a general property having to do with the presence of an indefinite, I set it to No.
  Words: er is niemand op straat
  Gloss: there is noone in the street
  Translation: There is noone in the street
  Comment: With indefinite subjects, negation is realized as a negative determiner (n-ie-man-d). This is generally the case, and not dependent on the presence of an exsistential predicate, so this property is set to NO.
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
   Eastern Armenian No Karine Megerdoomian
   English No Chris Collins
   English (Singapore) Yes Adam Chong
   European Portuguese No Salvador Mascarenhas
   Ewe No Chris Collins
   Farefari Yes Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu performed by a replacive copula verb
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   Finnish No Anders Holmberg
   French No Vincent Homer
   Frisian (West Frisian) No Jarich Hoekstra
+ Ga Yes Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu Negated by a replacive copula verb
  Words: Sane lɛ bɛ mli
  Gloss: matter DEF not.be inside
  Translation: It isn' true
  Comment: Compare Distinct Negation of Location
  Contributor: Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician No Naír García
   georgian No Lea Nash
   German Yes Viola Schmitt
   Gothic No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Greek No Arhonto Terzi
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Medieval) No Io Manolessou
   Guébie No Hannah Sande
   Gungbe (Porto-Novo) No Enoch Oladé Aboh
   Gurene No Samuel Atintono
+ Haitian No Michel DeGraff
  Words: Pa gen moun nan kay la
  Gloss: NEG have person in house DET
  Translation: there is noone in the house
  Contributor: Michel DeGraff
   Hausa Yes Michael A. Estrada
   Hebrew Yes Ur Shlonsky
   Hindi No Gurprit Bains
   Hittite No Mattyas Huggard
   Hixkaryana No Laura Kalin
+ Hungarian Yes Anna Szabolcsi
  Words: Nincsenek rossz emberek.
  Gloss: notexist.PL bad person.PL
  Translation: `there aren't bad people'
  Contributor: Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio No Willie Willie
   Icelandic No Jim Wood
   Igala No Johnson Folorunso Ilori
   Igbo No Mary Amaechi
   imbabura quichua No UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian Yes Mark Donohue
   Iron Ossetic No David Erschler
   Isbukun Bunun Yes Iris Wu
   Italian No Adriana Belletti
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Jamaican Creole English No Stephanie Durrleman
   Japanese Yes Ken Hiraiwa Negation of inanimate verbs of existence is expressed with the negation "na-i" alone without a verb (in standard Japanese).
   Jarawara No Alan Vogel
   K'iche' No Pam Munro
   Kashaya Yes John Gluckman
   Kayan No Ken Manson
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kiswahili No Aggrey Wasike
   Kiyaka No Lukowa Kidima
   Korean No Chung-hye Han
   Kuot Yes Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) No Yadgar Karimi
   Kusunda No Mark Donohue
   Laal Yes Florian Lionnet
   Lango No Arwa Rangwala
   Lao No Alif Silpachai
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) No Chiara Gianollo
   Lebanese Arabic No Lina Choueiri
   Lubukusu No Aggrey Wasike
   Maasai (Kisongo) No Hilda Koopman
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman
+ Mandarin Yes Timothy Ho
  Words: waimian mei(you) gui
  Gloss: outside NEG(have) ghost
  Translation: There aren’t any ghosts outside.
  Comment: “you (have, there is /are)” may or may not be present.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Maori No Ray Harlow
   Marshallese Yes Heather Willson Sturman
   Middle Dutch No Gertjan Postma
   Miya No Michael A. Estrada
+ Moroccan Arabic No Arwa Rangwala
  Words: ma kayn.sh el.ma’
  Gloss: NEG exist.NEG DEF.water
  Translation: There is no water.
  Contributor: Arwa Rangwala
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) No John Garcia
   Nahuatl (Classical) No John Garcia
   nda'nda' No Christelle Niguieu Toukam
   Neapolitan No Giuseppe Samo
   Nepali Yes Mark Donohue
+ Nkore-Kiga No Hilda Koopman
  Words: ti-ha-ri-ho n'omwe o-kora ekyo
  Gloss: not-there-be-there and one who-do that
  Translation: 'Nobody does that.'
  Comment: Taylor 166a. cf There are no negative NPs like noone, nothing etc
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
   Northern Thai No Alif Silpachai
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
   Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh No Hilda Koopman
   Old English No Willem Koopman
   Old French No Heather Burnett
   Old Norse No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Old Saxon No George Walkden
   Oluwanga No Dimitrios Ntelitheos
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   One Yes Mark Donohue
   panjabi No Gurprit Bains
   Papuan Malay No Mark Donohue
   Pashto No Taylor Roberts
   Pima No Marcus Smith
   Polish No Barbara Tomaszewicz
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian No Oana Savescu
   Russian Yes Denis Paperno
   Salasaca Quichua No Pieter Muysken
   Samoan No Vincent Homer
   San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec Yes George Aaron Broadwell
   Sandawe No Helen Eaton
   Sasak No Nur Ahmadi and Eli Asikin-Garmager
   Scottish Gaelic No David Adger
   Shan No Alif Silpachai
   Shupamem Yes Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
   Skou No Mark Donohue
   Spanish No Michael A. Estrada
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
   Swiss German No Cecile Meier
+ Tagalog Yes Edith Aldridge
  Words: Wala-ng pera ang babae.
  Gloss: not.exist-Lk money Abs woman
  Translation: The woman does not have any money.
  Comment: There is one negator for existence and location which is distinct from the auxiliary verb negation.
  Contributor: Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min No Arthur Wang
   Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
   Thai No Peter Jenks
   Titan No Claire Bowern
   Tlingit No James Crippen
   Tocharian A No Bernhard Koller
   Tommo-So No Laura McPherson
   Tongan No Hilda Koopman
   Triqui, Copala No George Aaron Broadwell
   Tukang Besi No Mark Donohue
   Tuki (Tukombo) No Edmond Biloa
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Turkish Yes Murat Kural There is a specific particle that means "does not exist", i.e., "yok", as opposed to "exists", i.e., "var"
  Words: Elma yok
  Gloss: apple "not-exist"
  Translation: There is no apple
  Comment: "yok" indicates non-existence
  Contributor: Murat Kural
  Words: Elma var
  Gloss: apple "exists"
  Translation: There is (a/some) apple
  Comment: This is the affirmative version, i.e., the existential "there is X"
  Contributor: Murat Kural
   Twi No Cansada Martin
   Ukrainian No Roksolana Mykhaylyk
   Vata No Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
   West Flemish No Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian No Hrayr Khanjian
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa No Xiujie Ma
   Yémba Yes Elsie Mawamba
   Yawa No Mark Donohue
   Yoruba No Johnson Folorunso Ilori
+ Zamboageño Chabacano Yes Grace Gaspardo
  Words: Nuay paz.
  Gloss: NEG peace
  Translation: There is no peace.
  Comment: This property was somewhat tricky to since 'nuay' appears to be the negation for both past tense and existence, however I decided to set it to yes.
  Contributor: Grace Gaspardo
   Zulu No Claire Halpert