Jump to navigation Jump to search
Inflection, not contraction[change]
While ~n't looks like a contraction, it's actually an inflection, similar to ~ed or ~ing. Contractions share the following properties:
- Will add on to a wide variety of word categories (e.g., verb, prepositions, adjectives, etc.)
- Don't have seemingly arbitrary word that they will not attach to.
- Don't change the pronunciation of the proceeding word.
- Don't change the syntax of the sentence.
You'll find that ~n't fails all of the above tests. For more, see the paper by Zwicky & Pullum here.