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The negative article
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In Afrikaans, two negative articles can be distinguished, namely geen no and g'n no. These negative articles can be used for nominal negation (Ponelis 1979:124), but it may function as sentence negation as well. It is formed with singular noun phrases (NP) and plural NPs.

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Syntactically, geen no and g'n no belongs to the NP. Nevertheless, it systematically functions as the equivalent of sentence negation in cases in which sentence negation is combined with an NP introduced by the indefinite article. When a negative article is used, the use of the negative particle nie in the sentence is obligatory.

Example 1

a. Hy het geen geskenk gekry nie,
he have.AUX NEG.ART gift get.PST PTCL.NEG
He did not get any gift.
b. Hy het g'n geskenk gekry nie.
he have.AUX NEG.ART gift get.PST PTCL.NEG
He did not get any gift.

Both geen and g'n can be used with both a singular and plural noun phase.

Example 2

a. Hy het geen geskenke gekry nie.
he have.AUX NEG.ART gifts get.PST PTCL.NEG
He did not get any gifts.
b. Hy het g'n geskenke gekry nie.
he have.AUX NEG.ART gifts get.PST PTCL.NEG
He did not get any gifts.

In English, sentence negation can be used in combination with an indefinite NP. Instead of the indefinite NP, the negative polarity item any can also be used. In this context, Afrikaans can also use both enige any (with a sentinal negation marker and a negative particle) and geen no (with no negation marker but with a negative particle).

Example 3

a. Hulle wil vir geen instansie subsidie aanbied nie.
they want.to.AUX.MOD for NEG.ART institution subsidy offer PTCL.NEG
They do not want to offer any institution subsidy.
b. Hulle wil nie vir enige instansie subsidie aanbied nie.
they want.to.AUX.MOD not for any institution subsidy offer PTCL.NEG
They do not want to offer any institution subsidy

The negative article can be found in NPs that function as prepositional complements. It can occur with both singular and plural NPs.

Example 4

a. Hulle wil aan geen musiekinstansie subsidie gee nie.
they want.to.AUX.MOD to NEG.ART music.institution subsidy give PTCL.NEG
They do not want to give a subsidy to any musical society.
b. Hulle wil aan geen musiekinstansies subsidie gee nie.
they want.to.AUX.MOD to NEG.ART music.societies subsidy give PTCL.NEG
They do not want to give a subsidy to any musical societies.

Although g'n and geen can be regarded as synonyms, g'n is used much less frequent than geen, and can be regarded as informal and thus rather used in spoken language.

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