The Loss of Negative Concord with Negative PPs

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Middle English loses the negative particle 'ne' in its function as a sentential negator as well as in negative concord structures. This paper measures 'ne'-drop in both contexts with quantitative data from three syntactically parsed Middle English corpora. Surprisingly, the results show that the rate of 'ne'-loss with negative prepositional phrases (PPs) seems to be significantly slower than elsewhere. Different explanations for this observation are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Issues in Medieval England
EditorsLetizia Vezzosi
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783631862957, 9783631863107
ISBN (Print)9783631862742
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in English Medieval Language and Literature


  • Middle English negation, negative concord, Jespersen Cycle, negative PPs, parsed corpora, regression modelling


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