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Adjectives can be negated in various ways. Clause negation applies to the entire clause in which the adjective occurs, and is introduced by the negative adverb nie not before the AP, and delimited at the conclusion of the clause by means of the isomorphic negative particle nie not, as in this example:

Ek het besef dat dit nie verstandig is om na hierdie stad terug te keer nie.
I have.AUX realised that.COMP it not sensible is for.COMP to this city back PTCL.INF return.INF PTCL.NEG
I realised that it is not sensible to return to this city.

Phrase negation only applies to the AP, and usually effected by means of prefixing a negative morpheme to the adjective, as in:

Dis uiters onverstandig om hier te talm.
it.be.PRS extremely unwise for.COMP here PTCL.INF linger.INF
It is extremely unwise to linger here.

Clause and phrase negation is a comprehensive topic in Afrikaans, for which various rules exist, governing both the extent and use of the final negation marker ( PTCL.NEG) nie not. Adjectives, either as part of the predicate or individually, can also be negated in more than one way. In the case of clause negation, i.e. as part of the predicate, the negating particle is used before the AP, and the extent of the negation is marked by means of the final delimiting PTCL.NEG, as in this example:

Ons is nie kwaad vir mekaar nie.
we be.PRS not angry for each.other PTCL.NEG
We are not mad at each other.

However, when the AP, whether embedded in a PP or not, is fronted, only the final negation marker is used. The semantic implication is that the clause is emphasised:

Kwaad vir mekaar is ons nie.
angry for each other be.PRS we PTCL.NEG
We are definitely not mad at each other.

In the case of phrase negation, only the adjective is marked by affixing a negating prefix, such as on- un- or nie- non-, as in the two examples below:

Dit is onduidelik waaroor betoog word.
it be.PRS unclear where.over demonstrated be·AUX.PASS.PRS
It is unclear what the demonstration is about.
alkoholiese en nie-alkoholiese drank
alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage

Phrasal and clausal negation may also occur together, as in the case of litotes:

Maar die gedagte is glad nie onaangenaam nie.
but the thought be.PRS at.all not unpleasant PTCL.NEG
But the thought is not at all unpleasant.

When these two types of negation do occur together, as in the aforegoing example, the same rule applies to clausal negation in the case of fronting, as illustrated in example (4):

Onaangenaam is die gedagte glad nie.
unpleasant be.PRS the thought at.all PTCL.NEG
The thought is definitely not at all unpleasant.
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