Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text

Subject Highlights


Two types of negation strategies will be discussed in Apurinã, an Arawak language most closely related to Piro/Yine/Manchineri e Iñapari, from the sothwestern Brazilian Amazon. While the first construction is marked by the negative particle kuna, a form for which so far there is no conclusively attested cognate in other Arawak languages, the second is the privative marker ma-, well known in the family. Since negation constructions in Apurinã are generally symmetrical in this language, in Miestamo’s (2005) terms, they do not require additional marking beyond these two linguistic forms, with a partial exception involving perfectivity. The negative particle kuna is used to mark more prototypical verb-predicates, whereas the privative marker is used with nominal-like predicates. In cases where both can be used, the difference in meaning between the two types of negative constructions generally follows from discourse-pragmatic factors associated with differences between more verbal versus more nominal predicates. Some preliminary discussion of these constructions in the context of the most closely related Arawak languages is also provided.