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For example: 暑すぎて眠れない日々が続いてる。is negative sentence(眠れない)

but 暑すぎてろくに眠れない日々が続いてる。 is positive sentence???

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  • The answer is no. Both indicate sleepless nights. Why did you think ろくに inverts the negativity?
    – sundowner
    Mar 29 at 10:19
  • if ろくに~ない is translated as insufficiently then that is positive statement right?For example: I insufficiently opened the window(is positive right?) Mar 29 at 10:28
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    I'm not sure what you describe as positive, but 眠れない=no sleep and ろくに眠れない=insufficient(ly) sleep both mean 'sleepless', different only in the degree of sleeplessness.
    – sundowner
    Mar 29 at 11:00
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    You should translate [陸]{ろく} / [碌]{ろく} itself as "correct, proper, right, sufficient, satisfactory, complete" (Wiktionary, Jisho), without moving negation from verb to adverb. Therefore 「ろくに眠れない」 = "is not sleeping sufficiently" rather than "is sleeping insufficiently".
    – Arfrever
    Mar 29 at 12:56
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    Well, they are both affirmative sentences ending with an affirmative verb form 続いて(い)る.
    – aguijonazo
    Mar 29 at 13:43

1 Answer 1

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You have the right idea that Japanese is generally logical about negation: it treats two negatives as cancelling out to a positive whenever that makes sense for the grammatical structure, and doesn't have the Romance language tendency (much weaker in English, but often seen in low-prestige dialects) of using double negation for emphasis.

However, this ろく (kanji 碌 or 陸, but normally written in kana) is not itself a negation. Its intrinsic meaning is positive, and similar to 十分. It's just that ろく is a negative polarity item, so it normally only appears in negative sentences. It modifies the kind of negation: 眠れない "couldn't sleep" -> ろくに眠れない "couldn't sleep enough".

In other words, it works the same way in a negative sentence that あまり or べつに do, although these are also used in positive sentences.

As an example of the sort of double negation you have in mind, consider しかない, which creates a positive sense of obligation or exclusivity. The isolated meaning of しか would be something like "other than", if it could be used that way.

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