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Book Information


Title: Operators in the Lexicon
Subtitle: On the Negative Logic of Natural Language
Written By: Dany Jaspers
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 117

'Operators in the Lexicon' begins with an old chestnut: why are there no
natural single word lexicalizations for negations of the propositional
operator 'and' and the predicate calculus operator 'all': neither '*nand'
nor '*nall'?

To find an explanation for this gap, Boethius' Square of Oppositions is
taken to pieces in chapters two and three and reduced to two relations. In
chapter four, S. Löbner's discovery that I-corner operators such as 'some',
'or', 'one' are the pivotal items of their calculi is explained by appeal
to C.S. Peirce. The latter proved that the logical vocabulary of the
proposition calculus can be generated from a single negative truth
function. It is shown that a modified version of this operator is the
ultimate source of the asymmetrical two-dimensional architecture of natural
logic across calculi. Furthermore, it is the only primitive required for a
lexical decomposition of the operators involved.

Chapters five and six are concerned with the semantic variability and
meaning shifts by which pivots stand out. An analysis of the indefinite
article 'a' and the negative polarity item 'any' provides evidence that
natural logic is a fully-fledged 2D Cartesian coordinate system with the
pivot as its origin. For the data involved, the Gricean account of
implicatures in terms of 'social' ethical principles of cooperation is
supplemented with an explanation in terms of an 'individual' cognitive
drive to dispel the "irritation of doubt" which characterizes I-corner
expressions, an instinct for better knowledge.

Chapter seven, finally, solves the lexical gap in terms of selection
restrictions and presupposition.

This study is of relevance to anyone interested in the study of negation,
semantics and logic.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Subject Language(s): None
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Format: Electronic
ISBN: 9076864853
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 278
Prices: U.S. $ free
U.S. $ 28.88