Considering these three sentences:
Did I say that very thing?
Did not I say that very thing?
Did I not say that very thing?
Obviously, the questioner is expecting the hearer to answer "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second and third questions, but, the hearer is expected to get the exact same point: the questioner did indeed say that very thing.
What is the rule of English on this use of "not" to actually intensify the positive statement.
I first thought the "not" was an intensifier, but cannot justify this and don't think it correct.
But, what is the "rule" of English that I can point to, to explain the use of NOT in this situation? In other words, what function is the "not" fulfilling? It is a negation? and if so, how is the entire sentence viewed as saying the same thing sentence 1 is saying?
Mmm. Think of it more like "I just said that, didn't I?"
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.