15.8 Double negatives

English Notes
BSL Video
Double negatives are used in BSL, for example CAN’T NOTHING.  It is also possible to do this in English but it is usually called “bad English”.

Head movements can briefly show what is negated, or full sentences can be used.  For example, ME GO NEVER ME using the head movement throughout, or the whole utterance can be posed as a question and then negated at the end. 

Rhetorical questions were discussed in a previous section. These are often used to negate in BSL. The structure “Did we walk all the way home?  No, we took the bus” is very unusual in English.  In BSL the structure WALK HOME WALK-FOR-AGES? NO BUS BUS-HOME is much more common because the BSL use of the topic and the comment is more common.

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