Negation and it’s interaction with scope


Negation is originated from the Latin word ‘negare’ that means denial, it is borrowed from Latin as ‘negatio’, which becomes negate in English and in Late middle English it becomes “negation”. Therefore, it simply means refusal or denial of something.

Linguists define the meaning of Negation as the denial of the truth of a clause or sentence, typically involving the use of a negative words i.e. not, no, nowhere etc. also it can be used with a suffix with negative force i.e. nothing, non, etc.

what is negation in English?

Negation in English, refers to the term which defines the affirmative (positive) and (negative) aspects of language in a sentence.

Negation is a proposition whose assertion specifically denies the truth of another proposition.

In other words, the positive and negative polarity of an event in a sentence is referred as negation, which means whether a proposition has a positive or negative polarity. In this case the presence of negation can revert the polarity of the proposition and thus, its identification is essential. Affirmative sentence does not require any syntactic marker, while negative sentence does.

Negation is typically expressed by some kind of syntactic or lexical elements that changes the polarity of the whole sentence or of some elements. It also changes the semantic meaning of a sentence. Negation words involving negative words of English language i.e. ‘not’, ‘no’, ‘never’, ‘nor’ etc.

Let’s understand with the help of an example

The movie was ‘not’ good” or “There are ‘no’ more cold-drinks in the fridge

In the above sentence you can see how the addition of ‘not’ change the proposition of fact that “movie was not good enough” and “no more cold- drinks” i.e. the fridge is empty with drinks, It also shows that how you have denied or refused to accept the fact that “movie is good” or “the fridge has cold-drinks”

How negation interact with scope?

In English, negation interacts with scope by using quantifier i.e. suffix or affix.

what is quantifier?

Quantifier is a word that usually goes before noun to express the quantity of an object.

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