Gideon Goldenberg msgidgol at MSCC.HUJI.AC.IL
Sun Sep 28 19:55:31 UTC 2003

Dear Dan,

Would you take just one step forward and substitute 'protasis'
for the misspelt 'prodosis'?


>In my last posting, just now re-reading it, I notice that I
>inadvertently switched the terms apodosis  (then clause/main clause of
>conditional) and prodosis (if clause of conditional).
>So the point was that a conditional like: 'if p (prodosis) then q
>(apodosis)' is unhelpful as an implicational universal if 'q' is always
>true, since when 'q' is true, the implication is true for all values of
>'p'. This is an elementary property of logic, which all readers will
>already know in principle, though we don't always seem to know it in
>In the example I gave,  this means that an implicational universal of
>the type 'If a language has nasal vowels, then it will have oral
>vowels' is no truer than 'If a language is only spoken by dead people,
>then it has oral vowels' or 'If Elvis is still alive, then this
>language has oral vowels', etc.
>Surprisingly, though, several universals of just this type are happily
>ensconced in the literature.
>Daniel L. Everett
>Professor of Phonetics and Phonology
>Postgraduate Admissions Officer
>Postgraduate Tutor
>Department of Linguistics
>University of Manchester
>Manchester, UK
>M13 9PL
>Phone: 44-161-275-3158
>Department Fax: 44-161-275-3187

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