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「道歩いてんのに人影がまったくね..」

In the manga, the quoted sentence above is shown with an image of deserted road, and I guess the meaning should be something like this:

I'm walking down the road, but not a single person in sight..

But without the picture, I would have mistaken it as:

I'm walking down the road, but so many people in sight..

Please help me understand the grammar of the sentence, because to me it seems like a positive sentence.

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This is because まったく is a negative polarity item that implies (い)ない even without saying it explicitly. The Japanese language has many such phrases.

Unlike English, Japanese is verb-final, and negation usually comes toward the end of a sentence. Many Japanese NPIs appear early, and they're often signals that a negative predicate is coming up:

In many cases, this signal is strong enough that you can leave out the actual part of the predicate containing the negation (as long as it can be inferred from context):

​8a. ちっとも変わらない。
​8b. ちっとも。

So you can say something like this:

「寿司は好き?」「まったく。」
"Do you like sushi?" "Not at all".

This ね after まったく is just a filler meaning nothing in particular.

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The ね in this sentence context is the short form of ない, and 全く means "at all, completely", so 全くね means "completely nothing" or "not a single thing there".

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