Valdyas is a fictional country in a fictional world. Ilaini is an invented language. I invented it for my own enjoyment and that of anybody else who enjoys it. It has no scholarly pretensions. Please don't make a fool of yourself by using my language pages for your linguistics case-work.

Overview

Verbal negationna
Nominal negation
(for all other constituents)
ni
Negative prefixna-

The verbal negation

Finite verbs are negated by na:

muz     mycha     na  chalat
cat-nom mouse-acc NEG see-PRS-3s

"The cat doesn't see the mouse"

Arin     na  le  fulut
Arin-nom NEG RFL take.away-3s-PRT

"Arin didn't leave"

If the future marker hyn or the past marker echain replaces the verb, na is used for that as well, as a prefix: nahyn and nachain.

tylan     astien     nachain
smith-nom home-loc-s NEG.PST

"The smith wasn't at home"

Alieth valan     nahyn
Alieth queen-nom NEG.FUT

"Alieth will not be queen"

Negative adverbs or pronouns, like natay "never" or nalea "nobody", don't take away the need for verbal negation:

natay nabochen   vensinan            na  trisenan
never poor-dat-s silver.piece-acc-cp NEG steal-PRF-PRS-1s

"I've never stolen money from a poor person"

nalea  na  le  fulut
NEG.3A NEG RFL take.away-3s-PRT

"Nobody left"

In some dialects nalea takes a plural verb even though the number of people it refers to is of necessity zero:

nalea  na  le  fuluyt
NEG.3A NEG RFL take.away-3p-PRT

"Nobody left"

The only element that can come between na and the negated verb is the reflexive pronoun le:

Rava     nutea       cylat
Rava-nom child-acc-s wash-PRS-3s

"Rava washes the child"

Rava     nutea       na  cylat
Rava-nom child-acc-s NEG wash-PRS-3s

"Rava doesn't wash the child"

Rava     le  cylat
Rava-nom RFL wash-PRS-3s

"Rava washes herself"

Rava     na  le  cylat
Rava-nom NEG RFL wash-PRS-3s

"Rava doesn't wash herself"

The nominal negation

The nominal negation ni negates any non-verbal constituent. If anything else in a sentence is negated, the verb is usually negated as well.

muz     mycha     na  chalat
cat-nom mouse-acc NEG see-PRS-3s

"The cat doesn't see the mouse"

This is the unmarked version; with emphasis on the subject it becomes

ni  muz     mycha     na  chalat
NEG cat-nom mouse-acc NEG see-PRS-3s

"It is not the cat who sees the mouse"

implying that the mouse is seen, but perhaps by the dog.

With emphasis on the object:

muz     ni  mycha     na  chalat
cat-nom NEG mouse-acc NEG see-PRS-3s

"What the cat sees is not the mouse"

When the object is being negated, as in this example, some dialects (especially in the south and south-east) don't negate the verb:

muz     ni  mycha     chalat
cat-nom NEG mouse-acc see-PRS-3s

"What the cat sees is not the mouse"

because, it is argued, the cat does see something, only it happens not to be the mouse.

The negative prefix

The negative prefix negates or reverses the meaning of the word it is prefixed to, not always predictably:

colopen nacolclosed
chalato see nachalato overlook, to ignore
denato put nadenato take away
aleathey (epicene) naleanobody
muyalready namuynot yet
taywhen, while nataynever