End of ADS-L Digest - 14 Nov 1997 to 15 Nov 1997


9. Not a comment not about multiple negation in English

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 03:00:05 -0500

From: Kusujiro Miyoshi kw900325[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]S.SOKA.AC.JP

Subject: Double Negatives

From: Fumiaki Ushio, Tokyo (kw900325[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]s.soka.ac.jp)

It might be of some help to remember the remarks by Robert Lowth.

He was a grammarian in the eighteenth century, that is, 'the age of

reason,' and I believe he was the first who said in a decisive manner

that double negatives were affirmative. In the period of OE, as well

as in that of ME, it was custom for the people that double negatives,

or I'd say even triple negatives, just intensified negation, if I

remember correctly. I believe double negatives gradually came to be

accepted as affirmative between 1500 to 1650.