Questionnaire for describing the negation system of a language

Author : Matti Miestamo

Publication date : 2016

Bibliographical references :

Miestamo, Matti. 2016. Questionnaire for describing the negation system of a language. Available online via


This questionnaire explicates the different aspects of negation that should be covered in the description of the domain of negation in a language. The questionnaire itself does not explain very deeply the typology of the different subdomains of negation of give examples. The questionnaire meant to be used together with typological literature (see Miestamo 2007, 2017 for overviews).


Protocol summary

The questionnaire starts from function and asks what the formal constructions expressing these functions are in each language.

It is divided in four parts, themselves divided into sections :

  1. The language (basically, the metadata).
  2. The clausal negation.
  3. The non-clausal negation.
  4.  Other aspects of negation (such as the scope of negation or the negative polarity).

Development context

The 2016 version is a revised version of the negation questionnaire originally published in Miestamo et al. 2015. (Miestamo, Matti, Anne Tamm & Beáta Wagner-Nagy. 2015. Negation in Uralic languages. Typological Studies in Language 108. Amsterdam: Benjamins.)

The 2016 version has been superseded by a version with a few minor corrections and additions in August 2018.

And the 2018 version is, in turn, superseded by a new version in February 2019, revised for the purposes of a collective volume in which the negation systems of a number of languages from different parts of the world will be described with the help of the questionnaire. These revisions have been done together with Ljuba Veselinova.




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