The structure of propositions and cross-linguistic syntactic variability

Croatian Journal of Philosophy (39):399-419 (2013)

Abstract

In Jeffrey King’s theory of structured propositions, propositional structure mirrors the syntactic structure of natural language sentences that express it. I provide cases where this claim individuates propositions too finely across languages. Crucially, King’s paradigmatic proposition-fact ^that Dara swims^ cannot be believed by a monolingual Greek speaker, due to Greek syntax requiring an obligatory article in front of proper names. King’s two possible replies are: (i) to try to streamline the syntax of Greek and English; or (ii) to insist that English speakers can believe propositions inexpressible in Greek. I argue that the former option entails giving up a neo-Russelian framework, and the latter makes King’s account arbitrary or trivial. I conclude that the mirroring claim is untenable.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-09-18

Downloads
391 (#26,766)

6 months
13 (#60,354)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

The Nature and Structure of Content.Jeffrey C. King - 2007 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Reference and Proper Names.Tyler Burge - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (14):425-439.
On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names.Ora Matushansky - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
Questions of Unity.Jeffrey C. King - 2009 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3):257-277.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Grammar Constrains Acts of Predication.Thomas Hodgson - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Cutting It (Too) Fine.John Collins - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):143-172.
Structured Propositions and Sentence Structure.Jeffrey King - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (5):495 - 521.
The Nature and Structure of Content.Jeffrey C. King - 2007 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
On Fineness of Grain.Jeffrey C. King - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):763-781.
Propositions, Structure and Representation.Thomas Hodgson - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (3pt3):339-349.
Singular Propositions and Modal Logic.Christopher Menzel - 1993 - Philosophical Topics 21 (2):113-148.
Benacerraf’s Revenge.Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):111-129.