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A Contrastive Typology of the Negation in German and Romanian

Author: Victoria Roga
Degree:doctor of philology
Speciality: 10.02.19 - General Linguistics (with specification: Sociolinguistics, Psychological, Structural, Contrastive Typological, Mathematical, Computational Linguistics)
Scientific adviser: Anatol Ciobanu
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Scientific consultant: Dahmen Wolfgang
doctor, profesor universitar, Universitatea ”Friedrich Schiller”, Jena, Germania
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 21 March, 2008
Approved by NCAA on the 17 April, 2008


Adobe PDF document0.39 Mb / in romanian


CZU 81’44 (043.3)

Adobe PDF document 1.27 Mb / in romanian
160 pages


act of communication, ambiguity, asymmetry, informative multifunctional character of negation, coincidence, communication (verbal and non-verbal), contradictory-contrary-privative, quantifier, divergence, interference, Romanic / Germanic language, L1, L2, expression modalities, denying, negation (dialectical ~, double ~, redoubled ~, predicative ~, partial ~, general ~, explicit ~, multiple ~), neutralization of negation, affective nuance, negative operator, affirmative-negative oppositions, „overturning”, mononegative system, , SOV, SVO, order of words, typology, linguistic universals, affective value


The doctoral thesis is a constructive study that explores the linguistic negation and ways of expressing it in the German and Romanian languages.

The research has been carried out on the basis of a large number of examples taken from various literary texts, as well as on relevant data gathered in the process of teaching the German language to Romanian-speaking students at the State University of Moldova.

Using a strong theoretical framework as a starting point, we have delimited the linguistic negation from the logical one and paid specific attention to the interdisciplinary, multi-aspectual and polyfunctional nature of the negation.

Negation has evolved simultaneously with the evolution of languages. From the synchronic point of view, the German language is subject to the mononegative system. The Romanian language, on the contrary, has a polynegative system, thus admitting plurality of negations.

Another range of problems focuses on the position of the negative operator towards the verb. As a language that uses the SOV model, the German language places the negative operator after the verb (modal, auxiliary, self-semantic). For its part, the Romanian language, being part of the SVO group of languages, places the negative operator before the verb, a fact which allows delimiting the total negation from the partial one. However, this criterion is not characteristic for the German language. Therefore, we have insisted on the decisive role of the contextual and situational parameters, as well as prosodic and non-verbal elements in expressing the negative content.

Based on a large number of examples, we have demonstrated that both languages have direct and indirect possibilities of expressing negation.

The range of issues tackled in this doctoral thesis would have been incomplete without pragmastylistic aspects of the negation, which make it much more affective and expressive.

A detachment from the data provided by the process of teaching / learning a foreign language at university was impossible. Or, the errors committed while expressing the negation most often lead to ambiguities, inaccuracy and distortion of meaning. Precisely this fact prompted us to establish the sources and causes of possible mistakes and to put forward solutions and recommendations on how to improve the situation.