Sentential Negation and Verb Movement in Bantu Languages

Deo Ngonyani


This paper explores a well-known asymmetry between negation marking main clauses and subordinate clauses in Bantu languages (Gilldemann 1999:551, Meeussen 1967:114). It is noted that pre-initial negation marking is usually restricted to main clauses, while post-initial marking is rarely restricted. Various studies have explored the diachronic origins of the various strategies. This paper focuses on how the strategies are constrained by clause structure. It is argued that negation projects a NegP as an element of Infl. Asymmetrical negation marking is due to two NegPs, one selecting TP, and the other selected by TP.

Full Text: