Negation in Metta
Recent typological studies of clausal negation not only focus on the basic standard negation strategies that languages use to negate declarative verbal main clauses but also discuss typology of asymmetric negation in declaratives. Asymmetric negatives may have changes in the form of the lexical verb, tense and aspect marking or other clausal modifications while symmetric negatives differ from the affirmatives only due to the addition of (a) negative marker(s). Here it is shown that asymmetric negatives in Metta (Narrow Grassfields Bantu), similar to a majority of other languages, include modifications of the perfective forms; symmetric negative constructions are prevalent, another cross-linguistically common phenomenon in negation. This paper supports findings of cross-linguistic studies on negation by showing that Metta extends its standard negation strategy to other environments such as subordinate, existential, locative, possessive, and non-verbal clauses but uses non-standard negation strategy in imperatives.
linguistics; language; negation; Bantu; symmetry