Jelena Grubor, Jasmin Halitović

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The phenomenon of negation is part of perception and a universal property of all human languages. The focus of this study lies on morphological, syntactic and lexical negation, with the main goal to determine how they are perceived in terms of the degree of negativity by English language and literature students (N=91). The main administered instrument was the Polarity scale, comprising utterances with the three broad types of negation. The obtained results were analysed via IBM SPSS 21. Overall, the sample evaluated the affixal–syntactic negation pairs fairly equally, as negative or mildly negative. On the aggregate scores, though, the affixal negation (Neg. pref. + Adj) was evaluated more negatively than the syntactic one (not + Adj). The participants evaluated the absolute negative never more positively than its semantics implies (as negative only), and semi-negatives, and negated frequency and quantity adverbs were rated quite evenly. In future studies, we propose the use of utterances with inanimate subjects in addition, as well as replication in different cultural settings to check whether there are culturally induced differences or else cognitive similarity. 


affixal negation, EFL English language and literature students, lexical negation, negation degrees, syntactic negation

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