Abstract

This paper describes the expression of negation in Bierebo, and highlights the variety in the negator forms and negative constructions that occur in the Epi languages of Vanuatu. All six Epi languages have separate constructions for realis and irrealis negatives, while four of them display complex discontinuous marking patterns, with up to three negators occurring in Bierebo and Lewo negatives. I argue that, despite some apparent noncognacy among the forms, all of the Epi language negators can in fact be traced to four distinct Proto-Oceanic/Proto–North-Central Vanuatu negative morphemes. Recognizing these origins is especially helpful in understanding the distributions of the contemporary negative forms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 511-542
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-27
Open Access
No
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