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Amn't is a nonstandard contraction of "am not" occurring in some dialects of English, mainly Scottish English and Hiberno-English. The contraction is formed in the same way as "aren't" from "are not" and "isn't" from "is not". The contraction occurs for some speakers in Scotland and Ireland. It has been suggested that the reason why "amn't" is not as widespread as other contractions is that English tends to dislike the nasal consonants /m/ and /n/ together. In Scottish English, amn't is only used when inverted as a question i.e. "amn't I"; in Hiberno-English it is also used in statements "I amn't":
- I'm going there, amn't I?
- Amn't I coming?
- (*ScE) I amn't going to work today.
- I'm not going to work today.
Standard English uses "I'm not" and "am I not?" or "aren't I?" in place of "I amn't" or "I ain't" and "amn't I?" or "ain't I?".
In Scots language, the equivalent would be "amny", or "Ah'm no".
- Bresnan, Joan (2002). “The lexicon in optimality theory”, Paolo Merla, Suzanne Stevenson (eds): The Lexical Basis of Sentence Processing: Formal, Computational and Experimental Issues. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 39-58. ISBN 1-58811-156-3.