syncategorematic love



from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Needing other terms in order to make a meaningful constituent of language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not capable of being used as a term by itself; -- said of words, as an adverb or preposition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In logic, noting or relating to words which cannot singly express a term, but only a part of a term, as adverbs and prepositions.
  • n. In logic, a word which cannot be used as a term by itself, as an adverb or a preposition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of a term that cannot stand as the subject or (especially) the predicate of a proposition but must be used in conjunction with other terms


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

syn- +‎ categorematic


  • The expression ˜syncategorematic term™ should be taken in a broad sense here, so that it not only includes classical syncategorematic terms like ˜and™, ˜if™,


  • Such reflections suggest the possibility, explored with great ingenuity by medieval logicians, that all propositions are composed of categorical propositions and a small number of so-called syncategorematic elements.

    Logical Form

  • "syncategorematic" as applied to expressions was roughly this semantic sense (see Kretzmann 1982, pp. 212 ff.).

    Logical Truth

  • If we count all functional expressions as syncategorematic on the grounds that they are “incomplete” or “unsaturated” and thus not “independently meaningful,” then the syncategorematic expressions will include not just connectives and quantifiers, but ordinary predicates.

    Logical Constants

  • The syncategorematic words were naturally seen as indicating the structure or form of the proposition, while the categorematic words supplied its “matter.”

    Logical Constants

  • In sum, it is not clear how the distinction between categorematic and syncategorematic terms, so natural in the framework of a term logic, can be extended to a post-Fregean function/argument conception of propositional structure.

    Logical Constants

  • Although the distinction between de dicto and de re modal sentences was common in logical treatises on the properties of the terms, syncategorematic terms, and the solution of sophisms, twelfth - and thirteenth-century logicians were mainly interested in the logical properties of singular de re modal sentences.

    The Statue of a Writer

  • Modifications were made to this simple scheme to cover the cases of special terms, including syncategorematic terms, such as

    Medieval Theories of Analogy

  • He also composed a voluminous collection of Sophismata, which examines numerous sentences that raise difficulties of interpretation due to the presence of syncategorematic words -- i.e., terms such as quantifiers and certain prepositions, which, according to medieval logicians, do not have a proper and determinate signification but rather modify the signification of the other terms in the propositions in which they occur.

    Albert of Saxony

  • One possibility is to deny that attitude verbs designate relations when complemented by that-clauses, and to claim that they rather make a syncategorematic semantic contribution.



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  • The essayist's flaws are thematic

    And those of the playwright dramatic,

    But the linguist who fails

    ('Midst gnashing and wails)

    Is sadly syncategorematic.

    I have found three different pronunciations suggested for this word. The one I am using is:


    May 20, 2014