On 'nicht...sondern...' (contrastive 'not...but...')

  • This article presents an analysis of German nicht...sondern... (contrastive not...but...) which departs from the commonly held view that this construction should be explained by appeal to its alleged corrective function. It will be demonstrated that in nicht A sondern B (not A but B), A and B just behave like stand-alone unmarked answers to a common question Q, and that this property of sondern is presuppositional in character. It is shown that from this general observation many interesting properties of nicht...sondern... follow, among them distributional differences between German 'sondern' and German 'aber' (contrastive but, concessive but), intonational requirements and exhaustivity effects. sondern's presupposition is furthermore argued to be the result of the conventionalization of conversational implicatures.

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Author details:Elke Kasimir
Publication type:Article
Publication year:2006
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Release date:2008/07/23
Tag:contrast; correction; metalinguistic; negation; presupposition
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Linguistik
DDC classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Collection(s):Universität Potsdam / Schriftenreihen / Interdisciplinary studies on information structure : ISIS ; working papers of the SFB 632, ISSN 1866-4725 / ISIS (2006) 05
Institution name at the time of the publication:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
License (German):License LogoKeine öffentliche Lizenz: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz
External remark:erschienen in:
Interdisciplinary studies on information structure : ISIS ; Working papers of the SFB 632. - Potsdam : Univ.-Verl.Vol. 5. - 2006. - 221 S. : graph. Darst.ISSN 1614-4708ISBN 978-3-939469-41-4
URN: urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-13047
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