Negation in Ginantuzu

Master's Thesis, 2012
72 Pages







1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background to the Problem
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Theoretical Framework
1.7 Scope of the Study
1.8 Organization of the Study
1.9 Conclusion

2.0 Introduction
2.1 The Concept of Negation
2.2 The Morphological Interaction of the Grammatical Categories
2.3 Ways of Expressing Negation and the Distribution of Negation Markers
2.3.1 Negation in Tensed Clauses
2.3.2 Negation in Aspectual Clauses
2.3.3 Negation in Moody Clauses
2.3.4 Negation in Other Constructions
2.4 The Distribution of Negation Markers in a Clause across Clause Type
2.4.1 Scope of Negation Sentencial Negation Constituent Negation
2.5 Conclusion

3.0 Introduction
3.1 GinaNtuzu and the Area of Ntuzu
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Population and Sampling
3.3.1 Population
3.3.2 The Study Sample
3.4 Data Collection Methods
3.4 Interviews
3.4.2 Participant Observation
3.4.3 Questionnaires
3.5 Data Analysis Method and Procedure
3.6 Data Processing and Analysis
3.7 Conclusion

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Ways of Expressing Negation and Distribution of Negation Markers
4.1.1 The Negative Prefix –da- in Tensed Clauses Present Tense clauses Past Tense Clauses Future Tense Clauses
4.1.2 The Negative Prefix –da- in Aspectual Clauses Habitual Aspect Clauses Present Perfective Aspect Clauses Past Perfective Aspect Clauses
4.1.3 The Negative Prefix –da- in Other Constructions Yes-no Question Clauses Wh-Question Clauses Adverbial Clauses Locative Clauses Passive Constructions
4.1.4 Biya Negation Imperative Clauses
4.1.5 Kija Negation Conditional Clauses
4.1.6 The Negative Copula –di Possessive Clauses
4.1 7 Nduhu Negative Marker Existential Clauses
4.2 The Scope of Negation on a Clause
4.2.1 Sentential Negation
4.2.2 Constituent Negation Negating the Subject Negating the Object Negating the Complement Negating the Adjunct Negation in Indefinite Pronoun
4.2.3 The Interpretation of the Sentential and Constituent Negation
4.3 Conclusion

5.0 Introduction
5.1 Summary
5.1.1 General Summary
5.1.2 Summary of the Findings
5.3 Recommendations for Further Research



I would like to thank every teacher I have ever had and every friend who has read a draft of this paper of mine. If I have omitted thanks to some people who deserve them, I ask for such people to take it as the forgetfulness of an imperfect mind and not as lack of gratitude.

First, I would like to thank ‘ Sebha ’, the Most High God, who is the provider of everything and my Primary school English teachers, Mwalimu Makwi and Chogero who firstly prepared me for my today’s linguistics endeavours . My thanks should also go to Mrs. Pendo Ryakitimbo of the University of Arusha for first introducing me to the formal linguistic study of Bantu languages. Others are the native GinaNtuzu speakers who provided the data used here; Messrs. Mnata, Kilatu, Zabroni, and Eliakimu who encouraged me to work on this dissertation when I was about to give up. My heartfelt gratitude should also go to a good mother, Mrs. Mnata Resani. Yes, the ugali and meat were plenty! I would also like to thank Prof. Rubagumya for enhancing my linguistic research knowledge of Bantu languages with a cover term, authentic language data.

Of course, immeasurable thanks should go to the tireless, merciful lady Dr. Rose Acen Upor; my linguistic lecturer and supervisor, for her advice, provision of materials, for reading all the various drafts of this dissertation, providing insightful commentaries, and encouraging me to work incessantly and hence finish my study. I would like also to thank my son Nzumbi, my daughter Luli, my wife Gamawishi for their tolerance and my friend Njana Tegisi for his emotional support throughout this writing process.


This dissertation is dedicated to my humble, kind and beautiful wife, Gamawishi J. Mabondo and to our wonderful son and daughter, Nzumbi J. Mabondo and Luli J. Mabondo– may you shine! Also, to my beloved parents Mama Mbula Magembe Buseng’hwa, Mzee Nzuka Mabondo Kanigi and Alexander Bongoko Kasongo Mabondo who have shown so much love by sending me to school and finance my education. I will always remember you.


This study was devoted to a description of the ways for expressing negation, distribution of negation markers and the scope of these negation markers in a sentence with particular reference to GinaNtuzu spoken in the lake zone region in Tanzania. The study was guided by Structure Dependency Principle.

The research design used for this research was descriptive in nature as it included a survey of the language and fact finding about negation in the language. The data analysis methods and procedures in this study was fragmentation.

It was revealed that GinaNtuzu expresses negation in five ways, namely, a prefix –da- , a copula negative morpheme –di which is always inflected with a subject marker for concordial agreement, negative particles nduhu, biya, and kija. In identifying the distribution of each negative morpheme, it was revealed that the occurrence of each negative morpheme depends on the structure of the affirmative sentence and that the change of the tense/mood triggers changes of the negative morpheme in a given sentence. In describing the scope of negation, two types/scopes of negation have traditionally been distinguished; these have been labelled, sentential and constituent, that is, if the effect of negation marker is on the entire clause, which is considered to be a sentencial negation. When the effect of the negation marker is on a portion of the clause, it is a constituent negation.


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1.0 Introduction

Firstly, this chapter introduces the topic and provides background information on negation in GinaNtuzu. Secondly, it outlines the statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study and the theory that has guided the researcher in undertaking this study. Thirdly, the chapter describes the scope of the study, and organization of the study. Finally, it provides conclusion of the chapter.

1.1 Background to the Problem

In Bantu languages, negation has been receiving attention from different linguists (Rugemalira, 2005; Hassan, 2010; Mutaka and Tamanji, 2000). These scholars have been paying attention to certain aspects of these Bantu languages, say, the form and distribution of markers of negation. In their studies, they argue that negation markers in a sentence have effects on certain sentence elements, not to all elements. What determines which elements of sentences are being negated depends greatly on the position of the negation marker in the sentence, the type of negative marker, and the type of the sentence (Makule, 2006). On the other hand, Mutaka and Tamanji (2000) have paid more attention on the scope of negation markers in Bantu languages and other African languages.

Mutaka and Tamanji (2000) comment that in many African languages; markers of negation negate specific elements in a sentence. Makule (2006) basing on Vunjo observes that there are two negation forms, namely – la -, and pfo . She concludes that negation markers in Vunjo are distributed in a way that one occurrence of the forms prohibits the occurrence of the other form, thus the two forms are in complementary distribution.

In the literature, two things seem to be common; this is the fact that there are several differences and similarities in both form and distribution of Bantu language negation markers (Rugemalira, 2005). Makule (2006) observes that most Bantu languages vary in the scope of the negation markers.

Most of the linguistic literatures describe some of these languages in general and some few focus on specific aspects on particular languages. It is clear from the literature that some Bantu languages are not documented. Nurse and Phillipson (2003) argue that Bantu negations are among of the linguistic aspects that Bantu languages researchers have shown an interest in investigating them. Few studies have gone to the extent of describing the ways GinaNtuzu marks negation and how the markers of negation are distributed in GinaNtuzu sentences.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The ways for expressing negation, sometimes, vary depending on the characteristics of the language, the tense of the clause/sentence in which it is found, and therefore it is possible for one to identify the negative morpheme and match them with the various tenses. This makes the occurrence of negative morphemes in such language predictable. Tanda (2009) in Negation in Mokpe, Ngonyani (2001) in The Morphosyntax of Negation in Kiswahili Mihas (2009) in Negation in Metta, Hassan (2010) in Negation in Imithupi and Makule (2006) in Negative Morpheme in Vunjo, point out that in many languages, negation often involves an intricate interplay of phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and pragmatic/semantic factors. GinaNtuzu presents a unique situation whereby, given the interaction among phonology, syntax and morphology processes the negation morpheme replaces some functional categories and sometimes all the functional categories in a sentence, especially a tense. This interaction of phonology, syntax and morphology complicates the situation as one finds it difficult to identify the negative morpheme. One has the impression that there are many of these morphemes whose distribution is not predictable and they are may be in complementary distribution.

This study describes Negation in GinaNtuzu in terms of its phonology, morphosyntax and its interaction with semantics and pragmatics and comes to the conclusion that the best ways for expressing negation are prefixes, particles and copula. The focus is on the interaction among the functional categories in a sentence (i.e. structure dependence of the clause constituents). It is shown that for GinaNtuzu, a negative morpheme may be considered to be in free variation and complementary distribution.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study were to describe the negation in GinaNtunzu, specifically, the study intended to:-

(a) Describe ways of marking negation and the distribution of markers of negation in GinaNtuzu.
(b) Identify the scope of negation markers in clause/sentence.

1.4 Research Questions

This study was guided by two questions. All have addressed the two objectives of this study respectively as follows:-

(a) How does GinaNtuzu mark negation and distribute negation markers?
(b) How do the markers of negation vary in scope?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study is useful as a source of data for analyzing and supporting linguistic studies on negation in Bantu languages. The study also provides the linguistic insights to the comparative studies on Bantu languages.

1.6 Theoretical Framework

A theoretical framework is used in the research to focus on inquiry and give it boundaries rather than to serve only as a guide to data collection and analysis (Martins 1998). This study is descriptive in nature. Mreta (1998) argues that even descriptive studies need to be based on specific theories.

The present study uses Structure Dependency Principle (SDP). The idea behind Structure Dependency Principle is that the movement in a sentence depends on the structural dependency of the words, not on the sequence of them as (Cook, 1985) puts it. The study of negation in GinaNtuzu, attempts to describe the ways GinaNtuzu marks negation and how these markers of negation are distributed, and how do the markers of negation vary in scope in a clause.

Fromkin (2006) adds, there are dependencies among different positions in a sentence (or in a string of words), that is, whether or not a particular word or expression is allowed to appear, in a sentence might depend on the presence or absence of some other word or string of words elsewhere in this sentence. The examples in (1a-d) below further illustrate this:

1. (a) This moat surrounds his castle (Fromkin 2006)

(b) *This moat surrounds his castle

(c) *This moat surrounds from the food

(d) *This moat surrounds two minutes

The verb ‘ surrounds’ in sentence (1, a) requires the presence of a direct object. This is categorical selection, that is, the categorical selection is not satisfied. In (1, b, c, d), the sentences are ungrammatical, because of the absence of the direct object.

This study asserts that a Bantu word, specifically, words in agglutinative languages, like GinaNtuzu, has a constituent structure similar in kind to the constituent structure of a sentence. There are three main aspects of word structure, the phonological structure of words and morphemes; the internal structuring of words, i.e., the way that component morphemes combine, and also the relationships that hold between sets of morphologically related words; the relationship between word structure and syntactic processes and representations.

The researcher’s argument is that although the theory of Structure Dependency Principle was coined to be used in the languages which are non Bantu and agglutinative, such as English language, this theory qualifies to be applied out of the context it was tested and intended to be used. This is due to the fact that the movement of the constituents occurs in a clause is just the same as that of the morphemes that occurs in a word. Thus, just as clause elements have dependence on each other, likewise, morphemes in words of agglutinative languages have dependence on other morphemes and constituents in a word/clause. Consider the data in (2a, b).

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The thieves did not slash him.’

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‘The thieves used not to like him.’

These Runyambo data reveal that negation in many Bantu languages involves movement of the constituents and these constituents are structural dependence. For instance, the change of position of the negative marker ti which is positioned before the subject marker ba from pre-initial position in data (2, a) to the initial position of the negative marker ta positioned after the subject marker ba in data (2, b) proves that the Structure Dependency Principle not only can be applied to the Indo-European languages but also to any natural languages like GinaNtuzu.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study covers the description of the ways GinaNtuzu marks negation and the distribution of negation markers, and the scope of negation on a clause/sentence. The study involves both affirmative and negative sentences. Several supra-segmental features have not been included in this study such as tonal aspect in GinaNtuzu although the language is a tonal. This is because, it is a broad and complex aspect, and thus it requires exhaustive separate study.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one consists of the introduction to the study problem. The second chapter consists of the literature review. Chapter three provides the methodology that has been used in the study. Chapter four provides the analysis of the data collected. Lastly, chapter five presents the summary and recommendations of the findings.

1.9 Conclusion

This chapter has provided the background information on the problem and the historical information of the language of the study. It has provided a lot of information about the language such as morphological information. The study provided the statement of the problem, significance of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, scope of the study, limitation of the study, organization of the study, The chapter discussed the weaknesses of using one criterion as basis of Bantu negation description and it has provided the conclusion of the discussion.


2.0 Introduction

This chapter presents a review of relevant literature to give a general picture of negation in the world’s languages like English, Russian, Hebrew and Bantu languages such as kiKongo, Oroko, Mokpe, Metta, Shambala, Vunjo, Kiswahili, Chindali and Imithupi just to mention a few. This helped the researcher to gain an overview of what others have done elsewhere in the world. All the literature reviewed reveal that there is a partial description of the ways languages mark negation and how the markers of negation are distributed, and the scope of negation in clauses/sentences.

2.1 The Concept of Negation

Negation is a linguistic, cognitive, and intellectual phenomenon. Ubiquitous and richly diverse in its manifestations, it is fundamentally important to all human thought. As Horn and Kato (2000) put it; “Negative utterances are a core feature of every system of human communication and of no system of animal communication. Negation and its correlates – truth-values, false messages, contradiction, and irony can thus be seen as defining characteristics of the human species.”

Other scholars perceive negation in a different way; Hartmann and Stork (1970) define negation as the process or result of making a negative statement. Sometimes this is achieved by grammatical particles such as not , as in he is not coming, or by lexical means such as failed in he failed to come.

On the other hand, Massamba (2001) argues;

“The notions of negation and affirmative are the notions that relate/concern with specific characteristics of sentence, thus they are notions of structure and not the notion of morphology. Affirmative or negation is the notion concerning the whole sentence and not a verb only. That is why we argue that there are negative sentences. It must be understood that when negation and affirmative are the characteristics of each language, but the occurrence of negatives and affirmative in verbs are the characteristics of some language”.

For instance, in English, negatives are not in the verbs.

3. (a) He is not going to town

(b) There is no problem

(c) They can not go there.

Thus, the negation markers not and no are free/independent. They are not the part of the verbs.

2.2 The Morphological Interaction of the Grammatical Categories

The interaction between tense and modality shows a variety of interesting effects, especially in Bantu languages which tend to mark them in similar ways. Some of the literature suggests that the tense and mood systems are both syntactically and semantically separate and distinct from the system of negation and contradiction. Mihas (2009), Tanda (2005) explain in their position that it is the interaction between these two domains that shows very interesting effects especially in Bantu languages which have rich agreement morphology both in the tense and mood systems as well as in negation. I will explore the interaction between these subsystems in GinaNtuzu and then use this to account for the ways for expressing negation in relation to tensed clauses, aspectual clauses, modality clauses and other constructions.

2.3 Ways of Expressing Negation and the Distribution of Negation Markers

Much of the literature on negation point out that negation is the characteristics of each language, but the occurrence of it in the verbs is the characteristics of some languages.

Some literature such as, Payne (2008) and Makule (2006) claim that although negation is language specific; all languages share the same grammatical categories. With such assumption, this study has reviewed literature of different languages so as to get insights of negation from different perspectives. Some of these languages are Bantu such as Mokpe, Nyungwe, Kiswahili, Vunjo, Shambala, Imithupi, and other non- Bantu languages like Russian, English and Hebrew just to mention a few.

In addressing this issue, some scholars like Hassan (2010) and Mihas (2009) discuss negation basing on morphological criterion. In this perspective, the literature reveals that there are three ways of expressing negation namely, a particle, a prefix and copula. The prefixes are associated with the verb tied up with other verbal inflections such as, tense, aspect, mood, person and number. The use of negative prefix in negating a clause/a constituent, the morphological process that takes place is inflectional. When negative particle and negative copula are employed, the movement of clause elements is involved.

On the other hand, a small number of scholars discuss negation basing on phonological criterion. They insist that another means of negation is the use of prosodic features (Payne (2008) and Martins (1991). In this study, autosegmental features are very important phonological aspects that help the researchers on negation to account for the ways for expressing negation, distribution of negation markers and the scope of negation in a clause, because the language under study itself is a tonal language.

Other scholars like Tanda (2005), Mihas (2009) and Ngonyani (2001) discuss negation basing on morphology and syntactic criteria. They argue that syntactic operation in negation usually meet certain criteria such as, syntactic independence of the negative morpheme, the negative morpheme may carry inflectional affixes itself, a syntactic treatment of a negative particle may be prompted by the orthographic convention of writing a negative marker as a separate word and the negative morpheme’s prosodic independence. Thus, it seems that to some extent, there is agreement among the literature on the aspects that are necessary to explore in this study of negation.

Not only does the literature agree that more than one criterion are suitable to study negation, but also propose the use of phonological, morphological, syntactic and the lexical factor to address the issue of negation in relation to other grammatical categories such as tense, aspect, mood, and the type of the clause Tanda (2005). The following is the discussion based on the proposal that has been made in the reviewed literature.

2.3.1 Negation in Tensed Clauses

Almost all the reviewed literature seems to portray that tense is a very important grammatical category in the formation of negative constructions. It is noted that negative particles are normally associated with the main verb of the clause. However, they may also be claused-level clitics. Negative particles can be invariant, such as the English not and its allomorph- n’t .

4. (a) He is not going to town

(b) There is no problem

(c) They can not go there.

5. (a) On nje igraet (Payne 2008)

He NEG fool

He doesn’t play.’

6. (b) On nje durak

He NEG fool

‘He is not fool.’

Thus, Russian negation marker ne and the English negation markers not and no are free/independent. They are not the part of the verbs.

In order to reduce the problematic issues in the study of negation, a typology of standard negation strategies draws a distinction between morphological and syntactic negation (Dalh 1979; Miestamo 2005; Payne 1985, 1997). It is commented that Morphological operations in negation may involve the following criteria; negative morpheme is an inflectional category which may fuse with other inflectional categories such as tense marker and subject marker; phonological interaction integration of the negative morpheme with the host stem like stress, tone, vowel harmony, morphophonemic processes may be observed; placement of the negative morpheme close to the verb root.

On the other hand, syntactic operation in any tensed clause negation usually does not require meeting all the criteria, but if the morpheme will meet some of them it qualifies. We have seen in the literature that some languages that employ morphological negation like Congo and Luvale, Niger-Congo languages also, employ syntactic operation. Syntactic negation is also widely attested as a standard negation strategy in many languages, when an invariant negative particle or an auxiliary verb encodes negation at the verb phrase level (Mihas 2009). Miestamo (2005) in, Standard Negation, agrees with other scholars like Ngonyani (2001) in, The Morphosyntactic Negation in Kiswahili.

With respect to tense, many literature such as Chumbow and Tamanj (1994), Trask (1993), and Tanda (2005) advocate, “In many Bantu languages, the negative morpheme usually stands out clearly and coexists with other functional categories including tense, mood, and aspect.” This characteristic of Bantu language makes the identification of negative morpheme to be easy when various criteria such as phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic and semantic criteria are incorporated. Consider the data in (6a).

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An examination of the Oroko data in (6a) reveals that, /sí/ is used to negate sentences in the past tense. This negative morpheme is positioned before the verb and it replaces the tense morpheme. This characteristic proves that there is interaction among the grammatical categories in a clause.

Also, most of the reviewed literature reveals that a common way of negating tensed clauses in many natural languages is morphological negation. Morphological negation employs affixes. Morphemes that express clausal negation are normally, if not always, associated with the verb and other verbal inflections (Kihore, 2003; Mohamed, 1986; Carrington, 1949; Odden, 1996; Mutaka and Tamanji, 2000; Rugemalira, 2005 Kaoneka, 2009, Masebo, 2007; Payne, 2008, Ngonyani 2001).

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From the data in (7a,b), it is observed negation of the clauses from different languages is done using negative prefixes, thus the morphological negation.

In addition, in the reviewed literature, there are two main morphological ways of expressing negation that have been identified, namely, the prefix and circumfix. Good examples of these negative morphemes are; Kiswahili negative pre-prefix verbal ha- which is attached to the verbs in all tenses (Ngonyani, 2001); the Congo circumfix ka- -a in Mihas (2009), and a prefix kha in (Hassan, 2010). See the example in (8a).

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Studies on morphological negation reveal a special kind of prefix, known as prefix, si- . This negation marker is not a common prefix like the known Kiswahili negative prefix si-

These negative morphemes are such as person/number or tense/aspect/mode inflection markers on verbs in negative clauses. These normally are reflexes of older structures in the language such as Tennet in Payne (2008).

Apart from morphological negation to be used in tensed clauses, Martins (1991) insists that some morphological negation strategies are not useful in all contexts. For example, Nyungwe, like any other Bantu languages, in general, is highly agglutinative and typologically SVO. The suffix –ti attaches to the radical verb kuna to form a negative auxiliary verb with perfect aspect. The suffix – be attaches to the radical verb kuli to form a negative. This negative is very common in speech. It serves as the negative counterpart to the verb kuna with the sense “not have”.

2.3.2 Negation in Aspectual Clauses

Due to the language specific characteristics outlined in Martins (1991), other literature like Mutaka &Tamanj (2000) and Payne (2008) demonstrate that negation employs various negative forms depending on the mood/aspect. Kiswahili, one of Bantu languages, employs different strategies in expressing negation in aspectual clauses. In addition to that, the literature proposes double negation ha ---- ja, as the common way for expressing negation in Kiswahili aspectual clauses. Ngonyani (2001) in The Morphosyntax Negation in Kiswahili also elaborates, “A pattern similar to the past tense forms is found in the perfect aspect negative. The tense/aspect marker which appears after the subject marker is replaced by its negative counterpart –ja-“

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Kiswahili shows a very interesting relationship between a structure of words, negation and the tense/aspect. In data (9), the tense/aspect marker which appears after the subject marker is replaced by its negative counterpart –ja-. This phenomenon is very rare to occur in other grammatical categories. This reveals the presence of dependence among the constituents of the words/clause.

Other ways of encoding negation are saya and leka, these negative markers are used in different contexts as already explained in the literature. Martins (1991) elaborates on his position that all of the three auxiliary negative markers usually are employed only three two major contexts, namely, aspect and mood. Leka is used for negating completive aspect verbs. The negative copula saya is employed for negating habitual aspect verbs at the same it is used for negating completive aspect verbs.

These two verbs may serve as auxiliary verbs with the result of negating a verb leka is used for negating completive aspect verbs.

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2.3.3 Negation in Moody Clauses

The literature on subjunctive and imperative clause negation like Payne (2008), Mutaka and Tamanji (2000), and Schuh (1972) agree that negative particles may vary for kind of negation, clause type (imperative vs. declarative), tense, aspect, and mood. It is fairly common, for example, for negative imperatives to employ a different particle than negative assertions. Negative copula leka may also be used in prohibitive command verbs. In Tennet, one particle iroŋ is used in imperative aspect while the other, ŋanni , is used in perfective aspect (Payne 2008) This also is true in Vunjo. Negation in Vunjo is marked by two negative forms namely, pfo and –la- (Makule, 2006).

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Do not go’

Another marginal way of expressing negation is an alternative word order. The advocates of syntactic negation argue, “Alternative word order is less common negation strategy that is found in African languages. This peculiarity of some negation ways of is the evidence of the fact that, addressing the issue of ways of negative morphemes in Bantu languages requires a set of criteria. Few literature portray that many VO languages employ a special word order in negative clauses. For example, Kru uses SVO order in affirmative clauses and SOV order in negative clauses. However, much literature shows that the change of word order is a secondary devices that languages use to express negative proposition.

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On the other hand, some literature disagrees with this notion. The opponents of this issue suggest that a change of a word order is the effect of the negative morpheme. In Bafut, an analytic language, for example, when the negative morpheme is introduced in any utterance, the verb changes its position to the sentence-final position (Mutaka and Tamanji 2000).

Tanda (2005) and Ngonyani (2001) within A Principles Parameters Theory treatment of negation elaborate that there exists dependency relations between two or more syntactic positions. Basing on the fact that syntactic operation in negation usually meets certain criteria such as, syntactic independence of the negative morpheme, the literature show that both Bantu and non-Bantu languages involve independent negative morphemes in the process of negating a clause. Some independent morphemes from the language drawn from the literature are Kiswahili present tense copula negative morpheme si, past tense copula negative sikuwa and the Nyungwe negative auxiliaries leka and saya. These two Nyungwe verbs may serve as auxiliary verbs with the result of negating a verb leka is used for negating completive aspect verbs. See data (12).

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Another school of thought is neutral, to them, negation is considered to be both morphological and syntactical. To resolve these controversial thoughts, they incorporate morphological and syntactical characteristics of negation, hence they come up with the cover term morphosyntactic approach in the study of negation. Studies on morphosyntax are Ngonyani (2001), The Morphosyntax of Negation in Kiswahili, Tanda (2005) Negation in Mokpe, and Mihas Negation in Metta (2009).

2.3.4 Negation in Other Constructions

In the literature such as Quhalla (1991), Tanda (2005), Ngonyani (2001), Makule (2006), and Vunjo (2006) negation in other construction has been discussed. All these scholars agree that negation in non-tensed clauses to some extent involve movement/transformation of some elements of the clause. Some kinds of transformations involved are passives constructions, yes –no question and wh-question clauses.

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‘We have sat on chairs which have not been bought today’ (Hassan 2010)

The data in (13) demonstrate that the change of the grammatical category may lead to the change of the negation marker. For instance, in Imithupi, the change of tense/mood leads to the change of the form of negative marker as in (13a, b).

Phonological negation is another criteria of expressing negation. Some literature reveals that patterns of phonological negationamong African languages are quite diverse; in some languages, negation is expressed through purely autosegmental phonological changes, such as vowel lengthening or tone shift, although the majority of African languages contain some sort of negative particles. Payne (2008) clearly supports that the change in tone as negation strategy is common in Niger Congo languages. Many Niger Congo languages employ a distinct tone on the verb or auxiliary for negative clauses. For example, the incompletive auxiliary in Igbo carries low tone in affirmative clauses, but high tone in negative clause.


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