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View Poll Results: Does your language have 1-word expressions of negation in these parts of speech ?

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  • Noun

    6 85.71%
  • Verb

    7 100.00%
  • Adjective

    6 85.71%
  • Adverb

    7 100.00%
  • Conjunction

    5 71.43%
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Thread: Multiple Poll: 1-Word Expressions of Nothingness

  1. #1
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    Talking Multiple Poll: 1-Word Expressions of Nothingness



    Multiple Poll: Tick each line that correctly describes your language.

    Let's say all languages have at least the five cadinal parts of speech; nouns (N), verbs (V), adjectives (Adj), adverbs (Adv), and conjunctions (Conj). How does your mother tongue (or one of your native languages) express negation and nothingness in one words ?

    English has the following nouns to express non-existence; nothing, none; verb expressing non-existence, 'lack, miss,' negating adjective 'no,' the negating adverbs 'not, never,' and the negating conjunction 'nor' and 'neither..nor.' Hence English 1-word expressions of negation can be expressed as the following.

    N+ V+ Adj+ Adv+ Conj+

    As for Chinese, noun 無, verb 無, adjective 非, adverb 不, 否, 沒, 未, but no conjunction to express negation.

    N+ V+ Adj+ Adv+ Conj-

    As for Korean, there is no noun of non-existence, there is a verb 'obsta,' there is no adjective of negation, there is an adverb of negation 'an, ani,' but no negative conjunction.

    N- V+ Adj- Adv+ Conj-

    Here are some samples involving negation and nothingness.
    Quote Originally Posted by den4
    I know nothing...except the answer is 42. You know more than I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by den4
    I find it hard to maintain not knowing anything, but it is an acquired skill set.
    Quote Originally Posted by Void
    Den4-san claims that he knows nothing. Isn`t it the same as "he does not know anything"?
    In interrogative sentence anything stands for everything.
    But to say so one at least should know what 'everything' and 'nothing' are.
    Last edited by lexico; 27-03-05 at 01:20.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

  2. #2
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    Well, since you already answered for me

    I just went ahead and voted like you said.

  3. #3
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    Talking Chinese, Japanese, and other languages, please ?

    Sure, Glenn be my guest. I just hope the remaining Chinese to be verified, and then to learn about some other languages, too. It strikes me as odd that Korean lacks so many 1-word forms of negation and non-existence. I would like to know how other languages deal with these things. Doesn't it sound funny, "My language does not have 'nothing.'' ? When spoken, without the punctuations, I'm almost tempted to correct it by saying "My language doesn't have anything" instead.
    Last edited by lexico; 27-03-05 at 01:29.

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    English has the following nouns to express non-existence; nothing, none; verb expressing negative eixtence lack, miss; negating adjective 'no,' and the negating adverbs 'not, never,' and the negating conjunction 'nor' and 'neither..nor.' Hence English 1-word expressions of negation can be expressed as the following.
    If 'neither...nor/'either or'' is considered as as a single word, there actually is a very similar construction in Japanese : dochira mo...(mo)...nai (de nai). It just isn't as strict given that 'mo' is 'also' in an affirmative sense depending on the verb. Kind of similar to the 'anything' 'nothing' conundrum of English. There are negative conjugations for some adjectives, adverbs and of course as nouns and verbs.
    Last edited by Elizabeth; 27-03-05 at 01:24.

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    I think most if not all Romance and Germanic languages are like English : N+ V+ Adj+ Adv+ Conj+

    In French:
    - noun : neant, vide, inexistence, lacune, defience, manque, absence, deprivation...
    - verb : manquer
    - adjective : rien, vide, inexistant, manquant, non-
    - adverb : pas, jamais, rien, non-, ne pas...
    - conjunction : ni... ni, non plus

    In English:

    - noun : nothingness, nihility, nullity, vacuum, void, none, inexistence, lack, deficiency, absence, deprivation, none, nil, naught, zilch...
    - verb : lack, miss
    - adjective : no, not, nothing, void, lacking, missing, non-
    - adverb : not, never, nothing, no
    - conjuction : neither...nor
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    As for Chinese, noun 無, verb 無, adjective 非, adverb 不, 否, 沒, 未, but no conjunction to express negation.
    无:N, V, Adv, Pron, Conj
    Each word has many meanings and functions.
    空,虚:N, V, Adj, Adv
    乏: N, V, Adj
    .......
    There should be more, but I can't think of them now.
    三人行,必有我师焉。择其善者而从之,其不善者而改之。
    Among any three people walking, I will find something to learn for sure. Their good qualities are to be followed, and their shortcomings are to be avoided.

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