Not a Negation? A Logico-Philosophical Perspective on the Ugaritic Particles lā/ ’al

Topoi 41 (3):515-526 (2022)
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Abstract

The negative particles lā/ ’al in Ugaritic change from positive to negative in modal contexts, conditional, questions, disjunctions, etc. They have usually been studied from a Semitic and linguistic points of view. On the basis of their occurrence in Ugaritic texts, we pretend to explain their uncommon behaviour from a philosophical and logico-semantic perspective. Is it possible to translate this linguistic structure in our Modern languages? Starting from a general view of their use in Ugaritic language, we claim that this phenomenon can be more clearly understood in relation to modality. We interpret these negation as a negative evidential paradigm and we explain how they change in different contexts. Methodologically, we make use of formal tools of Dynamic Epistemic Logic in order to provide a more fine-grained understanding of these negations, and their dynamics.

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Author Profiles

Cristina Barés Gómez
Universidad de Sevilla
Matthieu Fontaine
Universidade de Lisboa

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