Lexeme no and word-sentence no in fantasy

Листопад 28th, 20114:18 pm


Lexeme no and word-sentence no in fantasy

Lexeme no and word-sentence no in fantasy

(syntactic function)

Speaking about general negation we understand the negation of the whole sentence, but we can also negate only a part of the sentence or a word. In this case we speak about partial negation [1]. Partial negation reveals the syntactic functions of no. Syntactic function shows the place of the member of a sentence in the sentence. Partial negation can be of different types. The most frequently used are partial negation of object and of adverbial modifier.

Partial negation of the object:

1. Partial negation is expressed in the first part of sentences that are compared:

His panic fading now that there was no sound of Filch and Snape, Harry moved nearer to the mirror, wanting to look at himself but see no reflection again [4].

Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness [4].

He wouldn’t have been surprised if it had died of boredom itself – no company except stupid people drumming their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long [4].

In these sentences the focus falls not on the very negation, but on the other things which are more important in those cases. So, here we can see how syntactic function influences the place of the member of the sentence. Besides, in these sentences we can find the function of the adverbial modifier of object.

Partial negation is expressed in the second part of sentences that are compared with the help of the particle not:

Kemp was a service of duty and fear, but not of love [6].

Partial negation of the adverbial modifier is expressed mostly by particle not, but can also be expressed with the help of the conjunction no sooner … that, no matter for adverbial modifier of time and of manner [3]:

No sooner had they reached the door separating Fluffy from the rest of the school than Professor McGonagall turned up again and this time, she lost her temper [4].

If there was one thing the Dursleys hated even more than his asking questions, it was his talking about anything acting in a way it shouldn’t, no matter if it was in a dream or even a cartoon [4].

In the sentences above we see, that the syntactic function of negation belongs not only to the lexeme no, but to the whole negative word-combination. Here we also have the functions of the adverbial modifier of time and of manner.

Word-sentence no is used in speech and in fiction, but having researched the novels, we came to the conclusion that word-sentence no is not so widely used in the fantasy genre.

Grammatical status of the units Yes/No is not folly defined. They are called “indivisible expressions”, “substitute of sentences” and so on. The most widely used opinion is that Yes/No are defined as substitutes of sentences, though they do not possess the status of a sentence [ 1 ].

Yes/No function as substitutes or representatives of the predicative units.

“No, ” she said sharply. “Why? ” [4].

“No, thank you,”said Professor McGonagall coldly [4].

“No, ” said both gentlemen at once [6].

In spite of being the equivalents of the sentences, Yes/No possess all characteristics of the words. The very lexical meaning of Yes/No shows their syntactic qualities [1].

Word-sentence ‘no’ can be used in different conversational situations which shows its wide lexical meaning. The commonest type of their use is the answer for a genera! question or a confirmation or negation of the previous utterance. Therefore, in these cases Yes/No can stand not separately, but can be a pari of detailed answer [2].

“No – no  – not again, please —” [4].

“Yes – of course – but there’s no wood!” Hermione cried, wringing her hands [4].

“No – here, ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy [4]

Having observed the functioning of no in various types of negation, we came to the conclusion that this unit of speech is somehow independent in a sentence and can be used before subject, object, attribute, in main and subordinate clauses. Being the means of grammatical and lexico -grammatical negation, no can fulfill the function of the general and partial negation. The negative word-sentence no doesn’t belong neither to general nor partial negation, but it ha the function of exclamation.

Baluk K.G.

Chernivtsi National Yuri Fedkovych University


1. Negation in English: a corpus based study.
2. Negative Polarity
3.Phrasal and lexical negation
4.Rowling J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
5. Weils H.G. The Invisible Man