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In linguistics, negative inversion is one of many types of subject-auxiliary inversion in English. A negation (e.g. not, no, never, nothing, etc.) or a word that implies negation (only, hardly, scarcely) or a phrase containing one of these words precedes the finite auxiliary verb necessitating that the subject and finite verb undergo inversion. Negative inversion is a phenomenon of English syntax. The V2 word order of other Germanic languages does not allow one to acknowledge negative inversion as a specific phenomenon, since their V2 principle, which is mostly absent from English, allows inversion to occur much more often than in English. While negative inversion is a common occurrence in English, a solid understanding of just what elicits the inversion has not yet been established. It is

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  • Negative inversion
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  • In linguistics, negative inversion is one of many types of subject-auxiliary inversion in English. A negation (e.g. not, no, never, nothing, etc.) or a word that implies negation (only, hardly, scarcely) or a phrase containing one of these words precedes the finite auxiliary verb necessitating that the subject and finite verb undergo inversion. Negative inversion is a phenomenon of English syntax. The V2 word order of other Germanic languages does not allow one to acknowledge negative inversion as a specific phenomenon, since their V2 principle, which is mostly absent from English, allows inversion to occur much more often than in English. While negative inversion is a common occurrence in English, a solid understanding of just what elicits the inversion has not yet been established. It is
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  • In linguistics, negative inversion is one of many types of subject-auxiliary inversion in English. A negation (e.g. not, no, never, nothing, etc.) or a word that implies negation (only, hardly, scarcely) or a phrase containing one of these words precedes the finite auxiliary verb necessitating that the subject and finite verb undergo inversion. Negative inversion is a phenomenon of English syntax. The V2 word order of other Germanic languages does not allow one to acknowledge negative inversion as a specific phenomenon, since their V2 principle, which is mostly absent from English, allows inversion to occur much more often than in English. While negative inversion is a common occurrence in English, a solid understanding of just what elicits the inversion has not yet been established. It is, namely, not entirely clear why certain fronted expressions containing a negation elicit negative inversion, but others do not. As with subject-auxiliary inversion in general, negative inversion results in a discontinuity and so is a problem for theories of syntax. The problem exists both for the relatively layered structures of phrase structure grammars as well as for the flatter structures of dependency grammars.
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