The Syntax of Negation of Serial Verbs in Urdu


  • Bisma Butt
  • Behzad Anwar
  • Shamshad Rasool



Serial Verbs, Syntactic Structure, Negation Marker


The focus of this study is to highlight the syntax of the negation marker in Urdu serial verbs. There are two types of serial verb constructions (SVCs) in Urdu. In SVC 1, negation marker either precedes both verbs or it comes in between SVC, whereas in SVC 2 single negation marker either comes in between SVC or double negation precedes both verbs in sequence. The insertion of single negation marker in SVC does not affect the agreement phenomenon in Urdu and it merely adds supplementary negation reading in the sentence. However, the double negation affects the agreement i.e. the basic construction of SVC-1 where the first verb remains frozen and the last verb shows agreement in terms of number, person, and gender but when double negation comes in SVC- 1 it converts the construction into SVC-2 where both verbs show agreement, and negation marker shows agreement in terms of aspect on first verb. Under the Minimalist Program, both negation markers originate under TP which is similar to Chomsky’s representation of negation in clause. First negation marker in double negation constituent takes the frozen verb as its compliment and becomes cause of its inflection, whereas the second negation marker is the specifier of the second verb which is similar to Bukhari’s analysis