The transverse momentum and rapidity distributions of net protons and negatively charged hadrons have been measured for minimum bias proton-nucleus and deuteron-gold interactions, as well as central oxygen-gold and sulphur-nucleus collisions at 200 GeV per nucleon. The rapidity density of net protons at midrapidity in central nucleus-nucleus collisions increases both with target mass for sulphur projectiles and with the projectile mass for a gold target. The shape of the rapidity distributions of net protons forward of midrapidity for d+Au and central S+Au collisions is similar. The average rapidity loss is larger than 2 units of rapidity for reactions with the gold target. The transverse momentum spectra of net protons for all reactions can be described by a thermal distribution with temperatures' between 145 +- 11 MeV (p+S interactions) and 244 +- 43 MeV (central S+Au collisions). The multiplicity of negatively charged hadrons increases with the mass of the colliding system. The shape of the transverse momentum spectra of negatively charged hadrons changes from minimum bias p+p and p+S interactions to p+Au and central nucleus-nucleus collisions. The mean transverse momentum is almost constant in the vicinity of midrapidity and shows little variation with the target and projectile masses. The average number of produced negatively charged hadrons per participant baryon increases slightly from p+p, p+A to central S+S,Ag collisions.