Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 16:04:37 -0500 From: Alan Baragona Subject: Re: Double negatives (was one as a pronoun?) At 10:44 PM 11/16/97 EST, Larry Horn wrote: >(P.S. Incidentally, the postings here on langauge vs. logic seem to assume >there's just one monolithic "logic", with which language may or may not agree. >But there are as many logics as there languages, and their properties differ >from each other in interesting ways. The issue isn't really language vs. >logic, but what the mapping rules are between grammar (morphosyntax) and >semantics. Exactly, which is why I said earlier that double negatives are not necessarily illogical in any absolute sense at all. I also like your point that "there are as many logics as there [are] languages". And you could add "dialects." My favorite example of that is the principle of concord or agreement. In English, agreement of number between subject/verb and adjective/noun is fundamental to the "logic" of the language. But there's a fine line between agreement and redundancy, and the dialectical usage "five dollar" can be justified on the logical grounds that the extra plural marker on the noun is redundant. And undoubtedly usages that are redundant in English constitute natural agreement in other languages (wish I could think of one off the top of my head--anyone?) Alan Baragona baragonasa[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] You know, years ago, my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be . . ."--she always called me 'Elwood'--"In this world, Elwood, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me. Elwood P. Dowd