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A Corpus-Based Analysis of Potential Meanings of Double Negation in English: The case of not un-adjective constructions
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examines the four potential meanings of the litotic expressions of double negation. More specifically it examines the potential meanings as defined by Neuhaus. Neuhaus (2006) examined the potential meanings of

nicht un-adjective constructions in German, which were classified into four categories. This study follows this classification and examines data from the British National Corpus in an attempt to classify the potential meanings of the equivalent not un-adjective construction in English, and to identify the contextual elements that help in their disambiguation and, finally, to compare the findings with Neuhaus’ findings for the equivalent construction in German. Similarly to Neuhaus’ conclusion, this study shows that the existence of a clear-cut dividing line between meanings is questionable. However, there are some contextual signals such as correction, associative particles and formulaic expressions that narrow down the potential meanings as they are related to particular meanings. Denial, Potential Presumption Denial, Mitigation and Understatement are the four potential meanings that, through their interdependence, exemplify the dynamic nature of figurative language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
not-un adjective, denial, presumption, mitigation, understatement
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-29484OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-29484DiVA, id: diva2:1287966
Available from: 2019-02-12 Created: 2019-02-12

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf