Negation as a Discursive Operator

  • Rafał Palczewski Department of Logic, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun
Keywords: discursive (metalinguistic) negation; descriptive negation; contrastive negation; illocutionary negation; echoic use; implicature; presupposition; Laurence Horn


This paper is devoted to the discursive (metalinguistic) negation. Its functions (e.g. a rectification, emphasis, surprise), types (e.g. implicative, linguistic, prosodic) and properties (e.g. the ostensible inconsistency, pragmatic decoding, mention rather than use, no construction with the prefix ‘no’, no construction with negative pronouns) are discussed. Next, the possibility is considered that the discursive negation is only a special case of other types of negation, in particular contrastive or illocutionary negation. Then the question is raised whether in the case of the discursive negation we are dealing with a semantic or pragmatic phenomenon, as well as whether it is possible to include the discursive negation in the context of a conversational mechanism called ‘echoic use.’