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Clip 0.4: Positive and negative statements


Positive and negative statements

Language can be used to create either positive or negative statements. For example, English does this by using extra words such as "do", or "don't", or "not".

How are these statements produced in New Zealand Sign Language?

There are two ways, the first is very simple. Just nodding makes a statement positive, and shaking your head makes it negative. For example, "sister have IX me" with nodding is positive, meaning "I have a sister"; or "sister have IX me" with head shaking is negative, meaning "I don't have a sister".

So as you can see, the signs are exactly the same; it's only the head movement that changes the meaning of the sentence completely.

The second way to make the sentence negative is by adding a sign at the end of the sentence. The sign is "wave no". For example, "sister have IX me, wave no" – that's a negative sentence meaning "I don't have a sister".

So there are two ways of producing positive and negative statements in New Zealand Sign Language. Pretty straightforward really.

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