Exploration of the Semantic Difference between the Two Negative Markers lw- and (-)si(-) in Swahili

Christa Beaudoin-Lietz


When dealing with negation, grammars of Standard Swahili generally present three basic negative markers, ha-, (-)si(-), and -to-. For two of these three markers, ha- and -si-, grammars describe their distribution, but explanations of their difference in meaning are either not provided or often unsatisfactory. The difference between ha- and -si- in form, position and function has led to the hypothesis, which will be explored in this paper, that both negative markers differ in meaning.

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