On the Origin of Negation

Erkenntnis (2022)
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Abstract

The ability to express negation in language may have been the result of an adaptive process. However, there are different accounts of adaptation in linguistics, and more than one of them may describe the case of negation. In this paper, I distinguish different versions of the claim that negation is adaptive and defend a proposal, based on recent work by Steinert-Threlkeld (2016) and Incurvati and Sbardolini (2021), on which negation is an indirect adaptation.

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Giorgio Sbardolini
University of Amsterdam

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