Concepts I learned today: negative concord

People love to smugly point out that “I don’t got no money” logically means “I do have some money” — according to formal mathematical logic, which is very different from the logic that defines the grammar of naturally occurring spoken languages. But I would be very, very surprised if any competent native English speaker ever heard someone say “I don’t got no money” and genuinely believed that the speaker was claiming to have some money.

via the delightful Comics Curmudgeon I have learned the word for the linguistic concept of negative concord: in many languages, negatives do not cancel each other out but rather intensify the negation.

[Nerd alert: This means a language negative is an additive operation, not a multiplicative one.]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s