Past event

George Jack Lecture --- Professor Yoko Iyeiri Jack's Law and the History of English Negation

This talk is a revisit to the decline of multiple negation (multiplication of negative items in a single clause without the cancellation of negation), an oft-discussed topic in the history of English. Earlier English was a language of the type where multiple negation was fully accepted, whereas there occurred a sudden decline of the phenomenon in the Late Middle English period. I will discuss the process of this change and examine its linguistic and sociolinguistic implications. Towards the end, I will refer to Jack's Law and show how it helps in the interpretation of the historical change of English negative constructions.