A History of Language Philosophies (Studies in the History by Lia Formigari

By Lia Formigari

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The predicative category of substance corresponds to the grammatical category of nouns; quantity and quality correspond to the class of adjectives; relation to the comparative; place and time to the pertinent adverbs; position, state, action, and affection correspond to the modes and features of the Greek verb. Other scholars too, after Trendelenburg, held that Aristotle’s categories of thought are nothing but the transposition of the fundamental categories of the language he thought in: not attributes to be discovered in things, but classifications derived from language.

D. (Against the Logicians II, 70–73), tell us that the Stoics distinguished among various forms of expression besides judgment, such as interrogation, command, oath, prayer, hypothesis, address, etc. The fact remains, however, that the declarative function is taken as the basic function of language. As has been said of Plato — but the same thing applies to Aristotle or the Stoics — “truth is that relation which makes the linguistic map of reality possible. Without it, language would have no connection with reality, and would be irrelevant to it” (Abraham 1987: 17).

I, 169–175), Sextus arrives at the core of normative grammar. Spelling variations, on which grammarians waste so much time, are irrelevant and do not affect the meaning of words. , the usage of proper Greek. , I, 178–179): For just as in a city where a certain local coinage is current, he who makes use of this is able to carry on his business in that city, without hindrances, but he who does not adopt it, but coins for himself some new money and desires to have this passed, is a fool, so also in ordinary intercourse the man who refuses to follow the mode of converse — like the coinage — which is usually adopted, and cuts out a new way of his own, is near to madness.

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