Propositions and predicates

The term proposition refers to the language-independent core meaning of sentences which expresses the factuality of a given state of affairs. Thus, a proposition is the semantic kernel of a sentence that determines its truth conditions, independent of its syntactic form and lexical realization. The type of semantics that approaches meaning by employing the notion of truth is called formal semantics. In formal semantics, a proposition is formed by the linguistic expression for a predicate together with the expressions for the arguments. Thus, the propositional core of a sentence like John finally bought a present for mother consists of the predicate buy and its arguments John, present, and mother, represented with the help of the following formula: buy (John, present, mother).

Exercises on propositions and predicates

John finally bought a present for mother.

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