Diachrony of Basque negation: analogy, potentiality and word order change
2022-04-13, 15:30–16:00 (Europe/Vienna), Room 5


Studies which analyze diachronic changes undergone by negative constructions can be found for a wide array of languages, including the Afro-Asiatic, Arawakan, Austronesian, Indo-European, Quechuan and Uralic families (Willis et al. 2013, Michael & Granadillo 2014, Mosegaard & Visconti 2014, Miestamo et al. 2015), Bantu (Devos & Van der Auwera 2013), Mande (Idiatov 2015) and Manchu (Hölzl 2018), to name just a few. In comparison, the diachronic development of Basque negation remains largely understudied and poorly understood, despite the fact that recent decades have seen slight advances concerning this topic (Lakarra 1986, 1996, Reguero 2013, Salaberri 2018).
In view of this data situation, the aim of this paper is to investigate the word order changes undergone by two strategies of negation, namely standard negation (SN) and potential negation (PN), in periphrastic constructions in the history of Basque. With this goal in mind, Cramer’s V-type (Cramer 1946) and Theil’s U-type (Theil 1966) regression analysis has been performed on a corpus of 150 texts and approximately 3 million words comprising the early-16th to the mid-20th centuries. This methodology allows to search for potential correlations between the characteristics of texts, dialects and time periods, on the one hand, and the linguistic changes under study, on the other. The corpus of texts has been categorized according to a model that measures the distance of written texts from oral language and literary standards. This model is in line with antologies of historic Basque literature by Mitxelena (1960) and Sarasola (1976), among others.
The changes undergone by Basque negation are shown to correlate, on the one hand, with linguistic variables including clause type, focalization of standard negator ez in main clauses and the greater flexibility of innovative word order patterns. On the other hand, philological issues such as the degree of orality of texts and the extent of authors’ standardization efforts are also claimed to have an impact on these instances of syntactic change. Furthermore, it is argued that PN shifts by analogy with SN. The diachronic interaction between these two strategies in Basque may reveal insights into the mechanisms that govern negation systems cross-linguistically.


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See also: Abstract_ICLaVE11_Diachrony_of_Basque_negation

You can find details concerning my biography in my Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3859-4011