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Standard and Non-Standard Negation in Paresi

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contributes to our typological understanding of negation in Arawak languages by describing negation in Paresi. Paresi is a Southern Arawak language spoken by approximately 2000 people in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. There are two primary ways of expressing negation in Paresi: by using the particles maiha or maitsa, or by the prefix ma-. In non-prohibitive clauses negation is expressed by the particle maiha/maitsa placed immediately before the verb or clause-initial. In terms of structural and paradigmatic relationships between negative clauses and their affirmative counterparts (following the terminology in Miestamo, 2005), there are two types of asymmetrical negative constructions: the neutralization of the perfective/imperfective aspectual distinctions, and the nominalization of verbs, exhibiting a habitual/ temporally non-specific meaning. In prohibitive and conditional clauses the particle awa is used. The negative prefix ma- is used as a derivational morpheme deriving nominal and stative predicates from nouns and stative verbs respectively. It is a reflex of the proto-Arawak privative *ma-. In addition, negative indefinites are formed by using indefinite pronouns, and there is a negative focus particle xini which occurs in non-prohibitive clauses and in the negation of constituents.



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