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New publication (May 2017) on an aspect of the grammar of Sign Language of the Netherlands: Oomen, Marloes & Roland Pfau. 2017. Signing NOT (or not): A typological perspective on standard negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Linguistic Typology 21(1), 1-51.

This article describes, based on data from the Corpus NGT, how sentential negation is realized in Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT): what is the position of the negation sign NOT, and what is the domain of the headshake which can be articulated simultaneously with one or more signs?

The corpus data reveal:

  • that use of the manual negation sign is optional – NGT can thus be classified as a non-manual dominant sign language;
  • that there are two positions for NOT: either preceding the verb and object (i.e. the verb phrase) or clause-final;
  • that the headshake almost always accompanies the verb, but may also spread over other elements in the clause.

The article also contains a detailed comparison with negation patterns that have been described for other sign languages.