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Article

L'opposition: analyse sémantique d'une notion flottante

Syntaxe et Sémantique. 2012. Vol. 13. P. 65-85.

A logical theory of oppositions deals with the relation between propositions and their truth values. On the basis of a formal semantics that proceeds by means of questions-answers, three theses are claimed in the following: (1) the concept of opposition usually refers to incompatibility, but our logical analysis focusses upon a broader relation of difference; (2) more generally, opposition has to do with negativity; our semantics accounts for it through opposite-forming operators; (3) subalternation is a particular case of non-contradiction expressing an “opposition of an opposition”; it is not a proper opposition, accordingly, but its very meaning depends upon the latter. There is not only one but rather a number of expressions for negativity and the paper presents a detailed analysis of these “floating” expressions in a twofold sense of the word: floating quantification is closely related to the logical operations of sentential negation and denial; to what extent natural languages do not clearly express the meaning of a negative thought will be exemplified.