One way to say that there are no prices on the menu would be to use the ～てある pattern and say:
Presumably, then, the plain equivalent of this sentence would be:
However, I find that when I hear that, I interpret it as a contraction of:
There is a part of me that feels that it cannot actually be a contraction of 値段が書いていない, since 書く does not have any intransitive senses. But people really do use it that way. In fact, if you do the following Google searches in quotation marks, here's what you get:
- 値段が書いてありません - 216K hits
- 値段が書いてない - 559K hits
- 値段が書いていない - 852K hits
So if people really are using it that way, with the full 書いていない, then it stands to reason that many (most?) of them might be interpreting 値段が書いてない as a simple contraction, and not as the negative of 書いてある.
So my questions are:
- Can the ～てある pattern be used in the negative, as in メニューに値段が書いてありません, at all?
I searched my grammar resources and dictionaries and I don't see a clear answer to this question, but I know I have heard this in use. Is this definitely correct and unremarkable among modern native speakers?
Can 書いてない be taken as the negative of ～てある (the plain equivalent of ～てありません)?
Is 値段が書いていない understood to be grammatical among modern native speakers?
If so, then is 値段が書いてない taken to be the negative of ～てある or a contraction of 書いていない?
Thank you in advance for your thoughts!