Non-normal propositions in Buridan's logic

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John Buridan's introduction of the notion of non-normal propositions (propositiones de modo loquendi inconsueto) in his theory of the syllogism is a marked example of the influence of vernacular languages on the use of Latin in medieval logic and the regimentation of the language used. Classical Latin is an SOV language, in which the word order of the simplest sentence form is subject-object-verb, in contrast to the SVO order of the vernacular languages of the later Middle Ages. Buridan's so-called non-normal propositions arise from deeming the normal order to be the SVO of the vernacular, and so taking SOV, where the object-term precedes the verb, to be non-normal. In particular, introducing O-propositions of non-normal form permits conversion of normal O-propositions, meaning that all four propositions of the traditional square of opposition can be converted, thereby adding further possibilities to the theory of the assertoric syllogism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFormal Approaches and Natural Language in Medieval Logic
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the XIXth European Symposium on Medieval Logic and Semantics, Geneva, 12-16 June 2012
EditorsLaurent Cesalli, Frédéric Goubier, Alain De Libera
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-56735-8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Publication series

NameTextes et Etudes du Moyen Âge
PublisherFédération Internationale des Instituts d'Études Médiévales


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