LINGUIST List 12.2544

Fri Oct 12 2001

Books: Historical Ling/Pragmatics

Editor for this issue: Richard John Harvey <>

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  1. Christine Sosa, Historical Ling/Pragmatics: A Natural History of Negation.

Message 1: Historical Ling/Pragmatics: A Natural History of Negation.

Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 14:02:52 -0700
From: Christine Sosa <>
Subject: Historical Ling/Pragmatics: A Natural History of Negation.

CSLI Publications is pleased to announce the availability of:

1-57586-336-7, $30.00, 684 pages. CSLI Publications 2001. , email:

To order this book, contact The University of Chicago Press. Call 
their toll free order number 1-800-621-2736 (U.S. & Canada only) or 
order online at (use the search 
feature to locate the book, then order).

Book description:
The expression of negation is basic to being human: it allows us to
refuse, to contradict, to lie, to be ironic, to distinguish truth from
falsity. In this penetrating study, Laurence R. Horn provides a
comprehensive treatment of the structure, use, and meaning of negation
in natural language, a subject that has engaged the close and often
passionate attention of linguists, psychologists, logicians, and
philosophers for the last twenty-five centuries. Horn's lucid
intellectual history proceeds from classical to contemporary times and
spans both Western and Eastern traditions. Beginning with Aristotle,
Horn traces the development of major issues in the theory of negation
through thinkers as diverse as the Buddha, Spinoza, Hegel, Freud,
Russell, and Jespersen. Horn also reanalyzes negation in the light of
his own pragmatic theory, bringing a current perspective to bear on
classic dilemmas. Horn's insightful analysis focuses on the question
of whether af�rmative propositions are more basic than negative
propositions. While in standard logic there is absolute symmetry
between the two, no comparable symmetry is apparent in ordinary
language, which instead re�ects complexity in the form and function of
negative statements. Horn accounts for such asymmetries within a
pragmatic framework for the description of implicature and
presupposition. Other major problems that are reexamined include the
dichotomies between contradictory and contrary negation, between
sentential and phrasal negation, and between descriptive and
metalinguistic negation. For this CSLI edition, Horn has prepared a
comprehensive introduction that surveys work on negation by a wide
variety of scholars during the years since the appearance of the
original edition. This new introduction begins with an overview of
work on the syntax of negation and on negative polarity and then moves
on to summarize recent and current developments relating to other
topics covered in the book. It is accompanied by an extensive
supplementary bibliography listing the significant anthologies,
dissertations, books, and journal articles in the field that were
published since 1988.
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Monday, July 23, 2001