While typical sentence expresses truth, the falsity of statement should be additionally marked through negation. It can be done by various ways, be applied to various parts of sentence and occur in combination with any other type of sentence and grammatical mood. Negation is usually done by adding prefix nar- which always precedes other prefixes except clitic pronouns of subject when joined to the verb.

Negation was actively used in Shadowlandian dialect for word derivation, especially with adjectives and adverbs. For example, “narfik” (lit. “not bad” = “good”). Nûrlâm rarely use negation for derivation.

Negation of verbs

Typically negation is used express falsity of statement as whole, which is achieved by negation of predicate. Prefix nar- then goes after clitic pronoun of subject (if the sentence has it) but before any other verbs' prefixes (e.g. in combination with interrogative prefix mar- in questions). If the predicate is complex (usually consisting of “light” verb or modal verb and the main verb expressed by infinitive), then negation prefix is added to the modal or “light” verb but not to the infinitive.

Negation is also needed in expressions of prohibitions closely related to directive modalities (most frequently with imperative mood). For example “Do not touch it!” (= “Nargrauran!”).

Negation of nouns and pronouns

Negation of nouns and personal pronouns is used when needed to show, that action in statement is not wrong or false itself, but specified subject or object were wrong. Compare:

English Nûrlâm comments
He didn't kill a dragon Tanardoguz ash lûg verb negated, action didn't happen at all
Dragon didn't kill him Lûg nardoguzan
He killed not a dragon (but …) Tadoguz nar ash lûg (nân …) object negated, action happened, but with another object
Dragon killed not him (but …) Lûg doguz nartash (nân … )
(It's) not he (who) killed the dragon Nartadoguz lûgum subject negated, action occurred with that object, but performer was another person
(It's) not the dragon killed him (but Balrog) Nar lûgum doguzan (nân Balrog)

Should not be mixed with expressions of absence (w/ genitive case).

Negation of adjectives and adverbs

If adjectival or adverbial phrase is a part of predicative (usually with the verb "to be", less often “to become” and others) and the sentence do not have clause with alternative to it (started with conjunctions like “but”), then negation should be added to the verb. And negation of these modifiers is rarely seen outside these two cases except word derivation.

Double negation

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control

Double negation may occur when sentence to be negated already has negative pro-form (like “nobody”, “nowhere”, etc.) For example English “Never return” may be converted into “Don't ever return” (flawed language but no pure grammatical errors), while Russian requires adding negative particle both to pronoun and verb (with literal translations “Never don't return” or more precisely “Never not return”). French allows double negation (expressions with “ne … pas”). Nûrlâm does not have unified rules on double negation. However negative pro-form should go before the verb without negation, even if pro-form is an adverbial which usually placed after the verb. So translations “Naril kruskât”, “Narkruskât milkon”, “Narkruskât naril” and “Naril narkruskât” are all valid, but “Kruskât naril” should be avoided (but not counted as a serious mistake). Pink Floyd's quote at the beginning of this chapter may be translated as “Daknarbolkû nar tailurm. Daknarbolkû nar ûsdurburm” (lit. “We no need no training. We no need no thought constraining”.)

syntax_negative.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by