NON-STANDARD NEGATION IN MODERN ENGLISH. A CORPUSBASED STUDY OF FOUR SALIENT FEATURES
Keywords:negation, non-standard English, variation, teenager's language, negative concord, invariant tags, corpus linguistics, English language teaching
Negative polarity in English has been extensively studied in the last decades. Most grammarians draw our attention to a number of phenomena within this system that do not conform to what is regarded as the general rule. In this paper I will focus on four main features of negation which precisely do not follow the standard but which are becoming more and more frequent in the language of native speakers of English: the negative verbal form ain’t, the invariable question tag innit, negative concord and the use of the negative adverb never as a past time negator. For the discussion of these negative features, I will refer to the accounts provided by the modern descriptive grammars as well as to the analysis of data extracted from several corpora and other sources. Some reflections are made in the final part on the implications that all this may have for the actual teaching of this area at the university level.
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