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Obstinate Negative Embedded.

Since the obstinate negative has the structure of an embedded sentence before the `quotative verb', it is not possible to embed it before another nnu + VERB when the subject of the second verb is firstt person, which would make the subjects the same and would violate the requirement of non-identity of subject N.P.'s discussed in the previous section. Thus, an obstinate negative sentence like:

Ԩ ԥع غ
naan varamaatteen-nneen `I refused to come'
cannot be embedded before ׶Ԩƨ -nnu sonneen `I said that', i.e. quotations cannot be infinitely embedded if their subjects are the same.

However, the previous example sentence can be embedded before ׶ԨԨ -nnu sonnaan `he said' because the subjects of the two verbs are different:

Ԩ ԥع ׶ԨԨ naan varamaatteen- nneen-nnu sonnaan `He said that I refused to come'

One can have embeddings of obstinate negative constructions before other quotative verbs, however, but n order to be grammatical, the first غ nneen must be deleted, as in:

Ԩ ԥع ׶Ԩƨ naan varamaatteen-nnu sonneen `I said that I refused to come.'
Since Tamil direct and indirect quotations are structurally the same, the above sentence could also be glossed as a direct quote: `I said, "I will not come".'

Note that Tamil future-negatives sometimes have the illocutionary force of an obstinate negative, i.e. the sentence

Ԩ ׺ Կ ״ Ԥչԥع
naan innekki saayankaalam inge saappidamaatteen `I will not eat here this evening'

actually has the illocutionary force of `I refuse to eat here this evening'; the obstinacy can be mollified by changing the verb to Ԥչ ԥع saappida varamaatteen `I won't be coming to eat here ...'



Haorld_F.Schiffman