Standard and Non-Standard Negation in Paresi

in Negation in Arawak Languages
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text

Subject Highlights

Abstract

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.