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Universal quantifiers and negation

Universal quantifiers may also appear to the left of negation, as in the following example:

Example 1

Feikje is altyd net thús
Feikje is always not home
Feikje is never at home

The sentence can have two readings. The commonest one is the one in which negation takes scope over the quantifier: it is not always the case that Feikje is at home. This reading has the strong presupposition that Feikje is at least sometimes at home. In this reading, the main intonation peak is on the second syllable of the quantifier, with a secondary peak on last word of the sentence. The rarer reading is the one in which the universal quantifier takes scope over negation: it is always the case that Feikje is not at home. In this reading, the main intonation peak is on the first syllable of the quantifier. In general, the presuppositional reading is accompanied by a two-peak intonation pattern, whereas the neutral reading has a one peak intonation pattern.


Likewise, other universal quantifiers can appear to the left of negation, while having the presuppositional reading in which negation takes scope over the quantifier. Some examples are given below:

Example 2

a. Men moat alles net sizze wat men tinkt, guods begripe it net
one must everything not say what one thinks some understand it not
Do not say everything you think, some people do not understand it
b. Wy kinne allegearre net spinne, al hiene wy it flaaks om neat
we can all not spin even.if had we the flax for nothing
Not all of us can spin, even if we had the flax for free
c. In tsjinst fan fiif-en-tritich jier. Dat komt wis elkenien net oer
in service of twenty-five years that comes DcP everyone not about
Thirty-five years with the same employer. That is not something that happens to everybody
d. No, dat komt my alle dagen net oer
well that comes me all days not about
Well, that does not happen to me every day
e. It sjitten mei carbydbussen op Âldjiersjûn is oeral net like goed ôfrûn
the shooting with carbide.boxes on Old.Year's.Eve is everywhere not equally well ended
Shooting with carbide boxes on New Year's Eve did not go off equally well everywhere

All examples are characterised by the two-peak intonation pattern, with one peak on the last stressable syllable of the universal quantifier and the second peak on the last word of the sentence in which the quantifier is found. The quantifier allinne only, which shares many properties with universal quantifiers, behaves in the same way:

Example 3

a. Se is ferkâlden. Mar dat is it allinne net. Hja moat nei de Wâlden
she is cold.having but that is it only not she must to the Wâlden
She has a cold. But it is not just that. She has to go to the Wâlden
b. Mar dat wie it allinne net. Der wie ek noch in oare reden
but that was it only not there was also yet an other reason
But it was not only that. There was another reason as well