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Working paper

Negation markers in Kalmyk

Focusing  on  changes  to  the  system  of  negation  in  Kalmyk,  this  paper  will  discuss  the diachronic  development  of  the  expression  of  negation  and  will  examine  the  results  of grammaticalization  process  in  negation  system  on  synchronous  level  with  special  attention  to innovations  occur in colloquial speech.  The  goal of this paper  is  to report on a corpus-based study comparing the syntactic form, scope and pragmatic use of negative markers in Kalmyk. I will try to describe patterns of pragmatic language use  of  negative affixes or full negative copulas in written and  spoken  Kalmyk  and  to  find  explanations  to  both  synchronic  variation  and  to  changes  in  a diachronic perspective. The  paper  deals  with  semantic,  pragmatic,  and  morphosyntactic  properties  of  all  these  negative markers, however, it  focuses on the  competition of two main markers of sentential negation and its contracted variants in  Kalmyk used both in nominal clauses  and in  declarative sentences.  I  argue that  there  is  new cycle of  development in Kalmyk and the process of specialization goes through ambiguity of new negative marker to the pragmatic and semantic differentiation depending on the scope of negation and the information structure of sentence.