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Passions in Poetry

Negations

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Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 02-16-2003 09:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

There are many old negations that were much more concise than modern ones.  Here are some I have come across you might find interesting:


Ne: I) Not  (precedes verbs)      
       I ne will be thy wife.

   II) Not...neither...nor
       I ne seek ne fame ne praise

Nis (ne + is)  He nis aware of it.

Nam: (ne + am)  I nam impressed.

Nart (ne + art)  And thou nart very smart.

Nere (ne + were) They nere here.

Nave: (ne + have) I nave a clue .

Nad:  (ne + had)  I nad a chance with thee.

Nill: (ne + will) Will he or nill he?

Nist: (ne + wist) I nist what it meant.

Nould: (ne + would) They nould change their minds.


    
            



[This message has been edited by Essorant (02-16-2003 09:49 PM).]

Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


1 posted 04-17-2003 11:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Here are a few more...


Nas (ne + was)  There nas need for it.
  
or (ne + has)  He nas their votes.

Not (ne + wot)  Wherefore doth he not a thing?
IcyFlamez89
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since 02-14-2003
Posts 300
Jersey City NJ


2 posted 04-17-2003 11:53 PM       View Profile for IcyFlamez89   Email IcyFlamez89   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit IcyFlamez89's Home Page   View IP for IcyFlamez89

Arrgh, I'm having ebough troubles with modern vocabualry as it is. I get the ne part but the add ons get me more ??? than usual

If my teach eva saw this I'll be spendin all my nights again studying webster's dictionary. Pity for the student anyone?
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
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3 posted 06-09-2007 12:36 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I just realized that "Wherefore doth he not a thing?" is incorrect grammar.  Since after the word doth, the infinitive nit (ne + wit) should be used.

Wherefore doth he nit a thing?

not should show up without an "auxiliary" verb:

Wherefore not he a thing?

I didn't notice that mistake for a few years.  Oh well, better late than never      

oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
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4 posted 06-09-2007 07:55 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi!  Scottish, Irish, and Welsh dialects provide a mother lode of alternative "English" speech still in use.  "Nicht," as a negative -- "He'll nicht be hame for supper -- is interesting as "nicht" can also mean "night," as in the Scots toungue twister "It's a braw bricht moonlit nicht t'nicht."

If one was walking the streets of Dundee, it would be possible today to hear a comment such as, "Ah, coo, isne she a bonnie wee bairn, noo?"  Not something an American might say, though we'd immediately get the drift.

Of course, if one were walking the streets of Dundee today, one would probably want a cudgel to ward off the hooligans.

Best, Jim
rwood
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since 02-29-2000
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5 posted 06-17-2007 10:33 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Nary is a word I don't hear much, but use due to my grandparent's influence.

Nary a drop of kindness.

variation of ne'er a, never a, not any, no, not one.
Essorant
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6 posted 06-20-2007 12:11 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I forgot about nary.  That is an interesting negation as well.  

ilsm
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since 04-13-2008
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7 posted 04-26-2008 07:31 PM       View Profile for ilsm   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ilsm

I know next to nothing about archaic negatives, but "ne" does seem to smack of Norman French to me.  In French, the "ne" had to be accompanied by a further negative word (double negatives were mandatory, it seems), such as ne ... pas, ne ... personne, ne ... jamais.  Is, or rather, was that the case with the old negatives being discussed?
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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8 posted 04-27-2008 12:59 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Essorant,

          It may be bad current grammar, though not to my mind, but it was not always such a thing in English and I do believe you've stumbled across an example.  You know Fowler on split infinitives; and, as I recall, disagree?  Or do I disremember.  

     By the way, I love these linguistic comments you toss in every now and again.  Thanks!

     Yours, BobK.
Essorant
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9 posted 04-27-2008 03:36 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Ilsm

A similar thing may be seen with the word mouse that Old English spelt as mus.  Mouse is also spelt as mus in Old Norse, Latin, and Sanskrit.  These words are just cognates though, not loanwords.  "Ne" was the regular word for "not" and "nor" since the first traces of English, and could be used with or without other auxiliary negatives in the sentence.  Notice how all the negations mentioned above are from words that begin with a vowel, the letter w, or the letter h.  When ne preceded very common words beginning with those letters such as was, will, had, ever, one the ne became contracted with the word making nas, nill, nad, never, none etc.  Almost all negatives in English come from such contractions.


Bob,

I don't think it is bad grammar at all.  It is just unfamiliar good grammar.         If no one ends up reviving some of these negations, then at least they may still learn what they are finding in such passages as those below from Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale":

"I nam but deed, ther nis no remedye."

"I not which hath the wofullere mester"

"His spirit chaunged hous and wente ther,
As I cam nevere, I kan nat tellen wher.
Therfore I stynte, I nam no divinistre,
Of soules fynde I nat in this registre,
Ne me ne list thilke opinions to telle
Of hem, though that they writen wher they dwelle"

"This world nis but a thurghfare ful of wo,
And we ben pilgrimes, passinge to and fro"


quote:
You know Fowler on split infinitives; and, as I recall, disagree?  


I don't have a problem with a few split infinitives, just as I don't have a problem with a few spelling mistakes.  No one is perfect.  But just like spelling mistakes, I think we should try to avoid them, rather than pretend they are not mistakes.

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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10 posted 04-28-2008 04:37 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Split infinitives.

     I confess, there are times when I hear them and they make me wince.  Other times, I seem not to notice.

     Because I do not notice the ones that sail by until a rereading, and sometimes not always then, really there's no telling how many I do miss.  I have often wondered what makes the stand-outs really grate?  It's gotten to the point that hearing the music for Star Trek makes me flee a room, knowing the split infinitive approaching coming at warp nine.  Heaven help the di-lithium crystals!

     That one seems especially blood curdling for me.  Others seem fine with it;  it is painful for me "to boldly go where no man has gone before."   Would that I might never go there again.  

     Is there some special thing that triggers split infinitive illness in anybody, or is it particular to me?

     Also, do you remember the Monty Python skit, "We are The Men Who Say Ni?"  Not as in ne pas, but as in knee.  The talk of these negatives has brought it to mind.

Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


11 posted 05-03-2008 01:33 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Hebrew has a similar form of the infinitive with "to", but the "to" literally isn't split at all from the verb!

lishemor means "to guard" (the li- meaning "to").  

The li- "to" infinitive is the most common.  But the infinitive may also sometimes be used with a different preposition, as be- "in":

Bishemor means "in guarding" (the bi- meaning "in")

In English the "to" is not prefixed, but it is so much part of the to-infinitive that it may be more accurate to think of it as a prefix (to-go of instead of just to go), just as it is used as a prefix in the words to-day, to-morrow, etc.

The infinitive is truly a (verbal) noun.  The "to" should go with it just as it does with other nouns/ nounphrases: (putting a hyphen helps express this relationship) not to-the-house instead of to not the house and  boldy to-the-house, instead of to boldly the house.  Likewise, in verbs: not to-go instead of to not go, and boldly to-go instead of to boldly go.

 
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