1887

Thetics and Categoricals

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Thetics and Categoricals do not belong to the categories of German grammar. Thetics were introduced in logic as impersonal and broad focus constructions. They left profound and extensive traces in the logic of the late 19th century. For the class of thetic propositions, the criterion of textual exclusion plays the major role, i.e. the absence of any common grounds and of any anaphorism and background. In the foreground are sentences with sub­ject inversion, subject suppression and detopicalization. These and only these are suitable for text begin­nings, jokes, stage advertisements and solipsistic exclamatives, thus speech acts without com­mu­nicative goals – free expressives in the true sense of the word. The contribu­tions in this volume not only guide the reader through the history of philosophical logic and distributions of impersonals in contrast to Kantian categorical sentences, but also the correspondences in Japanese and Chinese which, in contrast to German and English, sport specific morphological markers for thetics as opposed to categoricals.

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