Negative exclamatives in Afrikaans: some initial thoughts

  • Theresa Biberauer Stellenbosch University and University of Cambridge
  • Jean-Marie Potgieter Stellenbosch University


We consider the to date minimally discussed phenomenon of negative exclamatives in Afrikaans. Negative exclamatives superficially seem to be negative, when they are in fact positive exclamations. These structures therefore feature so-called expletive negation. Our goal is to illustrate some aspects of the phenomenon as it manifests in Afrikaans, and to demonstrate that Afrikaans’s negative exclamatives seem well behaved when considered against a broader crosslinguistic backdrop.


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Part I: Afrikaans centre-stage