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Plato and the Theory of Language

  • Alfons Nehring (a1)


Plato's Cratylus has been studied so thoroughly and by such competent scholars that a reexamination might appear an enterprise as superfluous as it is daring. It seems to me, however, that previous treatises failed to bring out the precise linguistic value of the ideas expounded in this dialogue and to determine its precise place in the development of the theory of language. This holds even for those scholars who attempted an appraisal of Plato's work from a linguistic standpoint. Steinthal saw the decisive facts, but did not see their theoretical importance, since he like most investigators was exclusively or, at least, chiefly interested in what Plato thought about the epistemological value of language.



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1 See the bibliographies in: Überweg-Prächter, Die Philosophie des Altertums (12th ed. Berlin 1926) 77 *; Ritter, K., Bursians Jahresberichte über die Fortschritte der Altertumswissenschaft 191, 274ff.; A. Kiock, De Cratyli Platonici indole ac fine (Breslau 1913).—See also Warburg, M., Zwei Fragen zum Kratylus (Neue Philologische Untersuchungen ed. Jaeger, W, 15, Berlin 1929); Büchner, K., Platos Kratylus und die moderne Sprachphilosophie (Berlin 1936); Leky, M., Plato als Sprachphilosoph (Paderborn 1919); E. Haag, Platons Kratylus (Stuttgart 1933).

2 Steinthal, H., Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft bei Griechen und Römern (2nd ed. Berlin 1890).

3 Crat. 383 A:

4 To forestall possible misunderstandings I want to say that in this paper thing is used to denote whatever is expressed by a word, whether it is an object or a being, a fact, a situation, etc.

5 387 D ff.

6 In the following I shall speak of Plato, unless the situation of the dialogue requires the use of Socrates’ name.

7 How modern this idea is, may be illustrated by quoting what a modern theorist of language, Bühler, K., Sprachtheorie (Jena 1934) p. iii, describes as the basic character of language: ‘Die Sprache ist dem Werkzeug verwandt ist ein Organon wie das dingliche Gerät.’ Bühler states that Plato gave the organon-model of language, but he does not analyze it. On the other hand he asserts that he himself is not influenced by Plato.

8 389 C: ‘He must find out the instrument naturally fitted for every purpose and must embody it in that [material] of which he makes [the instrument], not as he himself would like to, but in accordance with its nature.'

9 389 D; cf. 390 A: Once, in 389 E f., the term itself is used.

10 390 C: ‘a man who knows how to ask and to answer.'

11 Rep. 511 B:

12 Rep. 533 B, C.

13 See Robinson, A., Plato's Earlier Dialectic (Ithaca 1941); Cassirer, E., ‘Philosophie der Griechen’ in: Dessoir, M., Lehrbuch der Philosophie (Berlin 1925) I, 89; Stenzel, J., Studien zur Entwicklung der platonischen Dialektik von Sokrates zu Aristoteles (2nd ed. Leipzig-Berlin 1931); English translation by D. J. Allen under the title Plato's Method of Dialectic (Oxford 1940).

14 Sophist 263 E:

15 Phaedon 78 C: ‘the very about which we cogitate in questions and answers.'

16 See below

17 436 A, B.

18 434 E f.: ‘When I pronounce this, but mean that, and you recognize that I do mean that when you recognize this from my speech, a comes to you from me.'

19 435 B: must somehow contribute to the of what is meant by our statement.'

20 434 E f.: ‘A communication comes from me to you through something different from what I mean by my speech.'

21 237 D; 262 A.

22 Plato I, 292f.—See, on the other hand, Steinthal, Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft I,108, also 79ff.—Steiner, A., ‘Die Etymologien in Platos Cratylus,’ Archiv für die Geschichte der Philosophie 29, 109ff. recognizes three different groups of etymologies; see the criticism of Leky, Plato als Sprachphilosoph 14ff.; on the arrangement of the etymologies see also Haag, Platons Kratylus 32ff.

23 See also Warburg, , Zwei Fragen zum Kratylus 21ff. on the role of etymology in Aristotle and the Academy. Part II of Warburg's study deals with ‘Voraussetzungen zum Verständnis der griechischen Etymologie.'

24 399 C.

25 Rivista Indo-Graeco-Italica 11, 54.

26 Eine etymologische Deutung von griech. Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, 1915, 10.

27 Kuhn's Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft 47, 312ff.

28 Griechische Wortdeutungen,’ Festschrift A. Bezzenberger (Göttingen 1921) 77ff.

29 399 D, E: ‘I think those who gave the soul its name had something of this sort in mind: They thought, when it was present in the body, it was the cause of its living, giving it the power to breathe and reviving it, and when this revivifying force fails, the body perishes and comes to an end; therefore, I think, they called it (Fowler).

30 421 D.

31 Prellwitz, W., Kuhns Zeitschrift 47, 295ff.

32 Cf. 421 D ff.; 424 A ff.; 434 C ff.

33 423 D.

34 427 B: ‘Perceiving that the tongue is gliding most in [the pronounciation of] λ he (sc. the word-maker) conformingly created the name for “smooth” and for “gliding” itself and “glutinous” and such like.'

35 Kiock, , De Cratyli Platonici indole (note 1 supra) assumes that the sound symbolism is considered only for a metaphysical language. This is as absurd as Kiock's whole distinction between a real and a metaphysical language, the applying to the latter only See also Leky, Plato als Sprachphilosoph 3f.

36 See, e.g., Rubinyi, M., ‘Das Problem der Lautnachahmung,’ Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift 5, 497ff; A. Debrunner, ‘Lautsymbolik in alter und neuer Zeit,’ ibid. 14, 321ff.; Jespersen, O., Language, its Nature, Development and Origin (London 1922) ch. 20; ‘Symbolic Value of the Vowel i,’ Philologica 1, 1ff.; L. Sütterlin, Das Wesen der sprachlichen Gebilde (Heidelberg 1902) 29ff.; Meyer-Lübke, W, Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift 1, 636ff.; Einführung in das Studium der romanischen Sprachwissenschaft (3d ed. Heidelberg 1920) 115 ff.; von Humboldt, W, Über die Verschiedenheit (see Ch. II note 31) 76f.; Paul, H., Principien der Sprachgeschichte (5th ed. Halle 1920) 177ff.; Müller, P, ‘Buchstabe, Laut und Wort,’ Zeitschrift für Deutschkunde 54, 254ff.; Bühler, K., Sprachtheorie 195ff.; Westermann, ‘Laut, Ton und Sinn in westafrikanischen Sudansprachen,’ Festschrift Meinhoff (Hamburg 1927) 25ff.; von Hornbostel, E. M., ‘Laut und Sinn,’ ibid. 329ff.; F Rauhut, Probleme der Onomatopoiie (Volkstum und Kultur der Romanen I, 1928); Grammont, M., ‘Onomatopées et mots expressifs,’ Revue des études romanes 44, 97ff.; Fröhlich, A., ‘Zusammenhang zwischen Lautform und Bedeutung bei englischen Wörtern,’ Die neueren Sprachen 33, 37ff., 127ff.; van Ginneken, J., de Goeje, C. H., Uhlenbeck, C. C., Schrijnen, J., ‘Il rapporto naturale tra suono e idea: simbolismo fonetico,’ Terzo Congresso Internazionale dei linguisti (Rome 1933) 16ff. This publication illustrates a statement by Ed. Schwyzer, Kuhns Zeitschrift 54, 244: ‘Die Lautsymbolik, die oft in den Erklärungen eine zu grosse Rolle spielte, hat späterhin im Anschluss an die junggrammatische Schule fast allen Kredit verloren. Die rückläufige Bewegung, die sich schon um die Jahrhundertwende ankündigt, zeichnet sich jetzt besonders deutlich ab durch das Eintreten von A. Meillet und seiner Schule für die lautsymbolischen Elemente der Sprache.'

37 426 E: Spitzer, L., Kuhns Zeitschrift 54, 219 points out that in Italian the suffixes -accio and -uccio have an augmentative or pejorative sense, whereas -iccio is a deminutive suffix.

38 See also Cassirer, E., Philosophie der symbolischen Formen I: Die Sprache (Berlin 1923) 137ff.

39 E.g., Od. a 46 Athene says of Aigistheus’ well deserved punishment: The repeated [k] is obviously intended to depict the harshness of the punishment or the rigidity of Athene's judgment respectively- A little later (55f.) Athene says of Circe's love for Odysseus: The whole diction in these lines evidently tries to symbolize Circe's smooth and enticing wooing. The accumulation of [l] in this context is certainly not by chance and in accordance with Plato's opinion about the symbolical value of this sound.

40 See also Gomperz, Th., Griechische Denker (Leipzig 1902) II, 105.

41 See also 426 A f.

42 Cf. 436 B:

43 422 E ff.: ‘If we had no voice and no tongue, but wished to communicate things to each other, would we not like the dumb try to make signs with our hands and our head and the whole body? If we wished to communicate something that is above and is light, we would, I think, raise our hands toward the sky in imitation of the very nature of the thing In this way, I think, a communication would be achieved by the body imitating the thing to be communicated.'

44 Cf. Augustinus, , Confessiones 1, 8: ‘prensabam memoria: cum ipsi appellant rem aliquam et cum secundum earn vocem corpus ad aliquid movebant, videbam et tenebam hoc ab eis vocari rem illam, quod sonabant, cum earn vellent ostendere.’ St. Augustine mentions as such gestures ‘nutus oculorum et ceterorum membrorum actus.'

45 The anaphoric pronoun is genetically and theoretically only a backward indication of something mentioned before.

46 Of modern linguists it was above all Brugmann, K., who in a special monograph (‘Das Demonstrativpronomen der indogermanischen Sprachen,’ Abh. Sächs. Ges. der Wiss. 22, 1904) studied the deictic functions of pronouns. A later study is Collinson, W E., Indication; A Study of Demonstratives, Articles, and other Indicators (Language Monographs 17, 1937). In the preface, p. 14, Collinson states that his purpose is to design a Bezeichnungslehre or theory of designations as a pendant to Bedeutungslehre or theory of meanings. This shows a clear insight into the demonstrative function as a linguistical function of its own right. Its real field, however, is not (objective) ‘language’ (see below, beginning of chapter II), but ‘speech’ I studied its importance for, and its development in, speech in a book manuscript finished in 1936. A brief discussion is given in my essay on ‘Ausruf, Anruf, Anrede. Ein Beitrag zur Syntax des Einwortsatzes,’ Festschrift Th. Siebs zum 70. Geburtstag (Breslau 1933) 95ff. Bühler, , too, examined the indicative function in his Sprachtheorie, which would be useful to consult on this topic.

47 ‘The book on the table before me'—‘the book that was mentioned before.'

48 Bühler's book cited n. 7 supra has the subtitle ‘Die Bedeutungsfunction der Sprache.’ Bühler, however, uses the term in too wide a sense.

49 Representation is also one of the two basic functions of sentences, or better still, of the two basic achievements of sentence-speakers. Its importance under this aspect is analyzed in my study on ‘Die Begriffsbestimmung des Satzes,’ Kuhns Zeitschrift 55, 238ff.

50 435 B: ‘Where do you think you can possibly get names to apply to each individual number on the principle of likeness?'

51 See, e.g., Cassirer, E., Philosophie der symbolischen Formen I, 180ff.; Havers, W, ‘Sprachwissenschaft und Völkerkunde,’ Völkerkunde 1927, 193ff., 243ff.; Levy-Brühl, L., Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures (2nd ed. Paris 1912) 204ff.; Wertheimer, M., ‘Über das Denken der Naturvölker I, Zahlen,’ Zeitschrift für Psychologie 60, 321f.; Nehring, A., ‘Zahlwort und Zahlbegriff im Indogermanischen,’ Wörter und Sachen 12, 253ff.; Schmidl, M., ‘Zahl und Zählen in Africa,’ Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien 45; Critchley, M., The Language of Gesture (New York 1914) 15ff.

52 Überweg-Prächter (note 1 supra) 256.

53 Fowler, H. N., Plato with an English Translation (The Loeb Library) 6 (London 1926) 25.

54 389 D. See also Steinthal, Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft 1, 92; Ritter, K. (note 1 supra) 280.

55 See Steinthal loc. cit. 45ff. on in Greek philosophy in general and 74ff. in application to language.

56 434 E.

57 434 E: ‘Do you think that in saying you say something different from Don't you mean by [the fact] that (when) I pronounce this, but think of that and you understand (that it is) what I am thinking of?'

58 383 B: See also Bühler, Sprachtheorie 30.

59 435 A.

60 434 E: ‘Words are a matter of agreement, and they convey something to the agreeing parties knowing about the signified thing beforehand'

61 p. 23.

62 Bréal, M., Semantics (New York 1940) 172 says about words: ‘They are accepted by a tacit consent of, which we are not even conscious.'

63 435 A f.: ‘Even if is entirely different from it would be wise to say that the communication does not result from likeness but from custom as the latter achieves communication both by the like and the unlike.'

64 See below

65 Cf. Baugh, A. C., A History of the English Language (New York-London 1935) 374ff.

66 Cf. Krause, W, Die Kenning als typische Stilfigur der germanischen und keltischen Dichtersprache (Schriften der Königsberger Gelehrten Gesellschaft. Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse 7, Heft 1, 1930); Schücking, L. L., Untersuchungen zur Bedeutungslehre der angelsächsischen Dichtersprache (Heidelberg 1915). A parallel in classical literature is Lycophron's Alexandra.

67 435 B; see above.

68 See also Steinthal, Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft 1, 107

69 391 A.

70 See also 435 D f.: ‘Probably language would be, within the bounds of possibility, most excellent when all its terms, or as many as possible, were based on likeness, that is to say, were appropriate, and most deficient under opposite conditions’ (Fowler).

71 Cf. 428 E: ‘The correctness of words is that which reveals what the thing is like.'

72 435 C: ‘We must employ also that expedient of to establish the correctness of words.'

73 have a power regarding the correctness of words.’ See also 433 E.

74 Cf. Ilse Abramczyk, Zum Problem der Sprachphilosophie in Platos Kratylos (Diss. Breslau 1928) 23ff.

75 See note 70 supra.

76 See below.

77 Theaet. 190A: ‘to make thinking perceptible through the voice by means of

78 Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft 1, 138ff.

79 See on sense: Stenzel, J., ‘Sinn, Bedeutung, Begriff, Definition,’ Jahrb. für Philologie 1, 160ff.; Frege, G., ‘Über Sinn und Bedeutung,’ Zeitschrift f. Philosophie und philosophische Kritik 100, 25ff.; Nehring, A., ‘Zur Begriffsbestimmung des Satzes’ (note 49 supra) passim; Faddegon, B., ‘Woord en Zin,’ Neophilologus 8, 1ff.—See also note 72 Ch. II infra.

80 See above.

81 342 A ff. The authenticity of the letter seems to be generally acknowledged; see Wilamowitz, , Plato 1, 641ff.; 2, 282ff.; Howald, E., Die Briefe Platos (Zurich 1923) 12ff.; J. Stenzel, ‘Über den Aufbau der Erkenntnis im 7 Platonischen Brief,’ Socrates 47, 63ff.; Büchner, Platons Kratylus 40f.

82 Philosophie der symbolischen Formen 1, 62ff.

83 See also Warburg (note 1 supra) 23.

84 342 D ff.

85 384 D; see also 433 E f.

1 Sign-combinations such as syntactical groups and constructions can be included, as their types and patterns are as much elements of objective ‘language’ as single words.

2 French langue and parole, German Sprache and Sprechen.

3 See Hoffmann, E., Die Sprache der archaischen Logik (Heidelberger Abhandlungen zur Philosophie und ihrer Geschichte, 3, 1925) 21.

4 A certain parallel is the ancient Hindu scholars’ axiom of the eternity of words in as much as it assumes that the connection between word-form and meaning is neither a human nor a divine creation, but has existed from eternity. See E. Abegg, ‘Die Lehre von der Ewigkeit des Wortes bei Kumarila,’ Antidoron; Festschrift für J Wackernagel (Göttingen 1923) 255ff.

5 On ancient philosophy of language as a whole see Lersch, L., Die Sprachphilosophie der Alten (Bonn 1838ff.); H. Steinthal, Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft; E. Hoffmann, loc. cit.

6 Loc. cit. 26.

7 429 B ff. On Cratylus as a philosopher see Stenzel, J., ‘Kratylos,’ PWK 11, 1660ff.

8 Deuschle, J., Die platonische Sprachphilosophie (Marburg 1852) 49.

9 Geschichte der Sprachwissenshaft 1, 92f.

10 387 C: ‘Is not naming a part of speaking? When we name, we speak the words.'

11 Cf. also the use of in 434 E and 435 C.

12 See Steinthal, , Gesch. der Sprachwiss. 1, 319f.

13 Diog. Laert. 10, 75; see also Lucretius, De natura rerum 5, 1026ff. An almost identical theory was ventured by Lotze; see Th. Schmitz, ‘Die sprachphilosophischen Untersuchungen Lotzes,’ Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift 3, 131f.

14 See Steinthal, , op. cit. 1, 328.

15 See Flipse, H. J., De vocis quae est λóγos significatione atque usu (Diss. Leyden 1902). A small bibliography of works on the history of the λóγos-idea is given by Überweg-Praechter (see Ch. I note 1).

16 See Cassirer, Philosophie der symbolischen Formen 1, 65ff.; A. Trendelenburg, Historische Beiträge zur Philosophie I: Geschichte der Kategorienlehre (Berlin 1846) 144; Trendelenburg's whole work is instructive of Aristotle's theory of language. On the term see also Steinthal, op. cit. 1, 206ff.

17 Theaetetos 261ff.; See Steinthal, op. cit. 2, 140.

18 See Schömann, G. F., Die Lehre von den Redeteilen bei den Alten (Berlin 1862).

19 See Steinthal, , op. cit. 2, 354ff.

20 The most important work on the medieval philosophical grammar or, as it was called by some, metagrammatica is Thurot, Ch., Notices et extraits de divers manuscrits latins pour servir à l'histoire des doctrines grammaticales au moyen ǎge (Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Impériale et d'autres bibliothèques 22, deuxième partie, Paris 1868). See also Prantl, C., Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande (Leipzig 1855 ff.) passim, especially in vols. 3 and 4; Fr. Haase, De medii aevi studiis philologicis disputatio (Breslau 1856); Baehler, J. J., Beiträge zur Geschichte der Grammatik im Mittelalter (Halle 1885); G. Wallerand, Les œuvres de Siger de Courtrai. Étude critique et textes inédits (Louvain 1913); Rotta, P, La filosofia del linguaggio nella patristica e nella scolastica (Torino 1919); Grabmann, M., ‘Die Entwicklung der mittelalterlichen Sprachlogik,’ in Mittelalterliches Geistesleben: Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Scholastik und Mystik (Munich 1926) 104ff.; Fr. Manthey, Die Sprachphilosophie des Hl. Thomas von Aquin und ihre Anwendung auf Probleme der Theologie (Paderborn 1937).

21 Abaelard distinguishes between vox, that is, the word regarding its material aspect and sermo, that is, the word with respect to its meaning, which is the result of human arrangement; see Geyer, B., Die Stellung Abaelards in der Universalienfrage nach neueren Handschriften und Texten (Münster 1913) 107

22 On the historical connection with Aristotle see Trendelenburg (note 16 supra) 23ff. and De Aristotelis categoriis (Berlin 1883). It may be remembered that Aristotle's work was known throughout the Middle Ages and often commented upon.

23 A separate edition is B. Joannis Duns Scoti Doctoris Subtilis O.F.M. grammaticae speculativae nova editio cura et studiis P.Fr Mariano Fernandez Garcia (Quaracchi 1902). On the problem of Scotus’ authorship see Grabmann, Die Entwicklung der mittelalterlichen Sprachlogik (note 20 supra) 118ff.; on Scotus’ theory: De Wulf, Geschichte der mittelalterlichen Philosophie, transl by Eisler, R. (1913) 339; Werner, K., Die Sprachlogik des Joh. Duns Scotus (Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften 85) 545ff.; Heidegger, M., Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus (Tübingen 1916) 122ff.

24 Hermes or a Philosophical Inquiry concerning Language and Universal Grammar (1751). On Harris’ philosophy of language see O. Funke, Studien zur Geschichte der Sprachphilosophie (Bern 1928).

25 See Marty, A., Untersuchungen zur Grundlegung der allgemeinen Grammatik und Sprachphilosophie (Halle 1908); Über das Verhältnis von Grammatik und Logik (Symbolae Pragenses, Prag 1893). Marty's Gesammelte Schriften ed. by Eisenmeier, J., Kastil, A., Krauss, O. (Halle 1918–20).

26 Logische Untersuchungen (3rd ed. Halle 1922) II, 1.

27 On his theory of language see Rotta (note 20 supra) 205ff.

28 See Descartes’ letter to Mersenne dated Nov. 20, 1529 (Correspondance ed. Adam-Tannery I, 80ff.); see also Cassirer, Phil der symbolischen Formen I, 80ff.

29 See Cassirer, , op. cit. 69ff.; Matzat, H. L., Untersuchungen über die metaphysischen Grundlagen der Leibnizschen Zeichenkunst (Berlin 1938).

30 See Cassirer, , op. cit. 73ff.

31 See Wilhelm von Humboldts Gesammelte Schriften herausgegegeben von der Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin 1903–1936). Particularly important is ‘Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaus und ihren Einfluss auf die geistige Entwick lung des Menschengeschlechts,’ Gesammelte Schriften VII (ed. Leitzmann, H.). On Humboldt's philosophy of language see: Adler, G. I., W v. Humboldt's Linguistical Studies (New York 1866); Scheinert, M., W v. Humboldt's Sprachphilosophie (1908); Annaliese Mendelsohn, Die Sprachphilosophie und Aesthetik Humboldts. (Hamburg 1928); W. Lammers, W v. Humboldt's Weg zur Sprachforschung (Berlin 1936); Funke, O. (note 24 supra) 51ff; Cassirer, E., Phil der symbolischen Formen 1, 98ff.

32 An intermediate link is, e.g., Harris; see Funke (note 24 supra) 41ff.

33 Wundt, W, Völkerpsychologie I: Die Sprache (3d ed. Leipzig 1911–12).

34 See chapter I note 38.

35 Cassirer, , op. cit. 50.

36 388 B f.

37 Do we not teach each other and separate things according to their nature?'

38 A name, then, is a tool for teaching and for separating reality as a shuttle is a tool for separating web.'

39 The entire deduction has been misunderstood by Büchner (ch. I, note 1) 12. He blames the parallelization of cutting and speaking, as cutting is an activity directed toward an object, whereas speaking, according to Büchner, is an act by which something is produced. Yet, since we speak about something, speaking, too, is directed toward an object, and it is primarily under this aspect that is treated by Plato. Furthermore, Büchner considers it illogical that the is considered the instrument of although according to Büchner like all words in denotes the result of an activity. This opinion is not correct. Words in have a much wider meaning as is shown, e.g., by etc.; cf. also Porzig, W, ‘Bedeutungsgeschichtliche Studien,’ Indogermanische Forschungen 42, 221ff. Besides, in this passage, as distinguished from in 389, means, or at least includes, the use of words (cf. the repeated phrase ) for teaching purposes, and in this regard at least a word is an instrument

40 390 D:

41 See Cassirer, E., Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff (Berlin 1910), especially chapter VI; Phil der symbolischen Formen 1, 24.

42 Gesch. der Sprachwissenschaft 1, 97

43 A System of Logic, Racionative and Inductive (People's edition, London 1891) 14 at the end of the first chapter: ‘Of the necessity of commencing with an analysis of language.'

44 See Fiesel, Eva, Die Sprachphilosophie der Romantik (Tübingen 1927) 11ff.

45 See Nehring, A., ‘Wege und Ziele in der Sprachwissenschaft der Gegenwart,’ Ilbergs Neue Jahrbücher für das klassische Altertum 53, 91.

46 On this influence see Cassirer, E., ‘Die kantischen Elemente in W v. Humboldt's Sprachphilosophie,’ Festschrift P Hensel (Greiz 1923).

47 Italics mine; cf. Plato's

48 Philosophie der symbolischen Formen I, 20.

49 See Nehring, A. (note 45 supra) 91.

50 This accounts also for the markedly aesthetical component in Vossler's ideas about language. At the same time his aesthetical viewpoint is strongly influenced by the Italian philosopher B. Croce to whom aesthetics is the science of expression and is identical with general linguistics; cf. Croce, B., Estetica come dell’ espressione e linguistica generale (5th ed. Bari 1922; Engl transl by Ainslie, D., London 1922).

51 See, e.g., Positivismus and Idealismus in der Sprachwissenschaft (Heidelberg 1904); Die Sprache als Schöpfung und Entwicklung (Heidelberg 1905); Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Sprachphilosophie (Munich 1923).

52 See the critical analysis by Weisgerber, L., ‘Neuromantik in der Sprachwissenschaft,’ Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift 18, 241ff.

53 See Havers, W, ‘Die Unterscheidung von Bedingungen und Triebkräften beim Studium der menschlichen Rede,’ Germanisch- roman. Mon. 16, 13ff.; Handbuch der erklärenden Syntax, Heidelberg 1931 (rich bibliography in the notes).

54 See Schürr, F, Sprachwissenschaft und Zeitgeist (Marburg 1922).

55 Wege und Ziele (note 45 supra) 92.

56 On the history of this term and concept see Müri, W, Wort- und sachge schichtliche Studie (Beilage zum Jahresbericht über das Städt. Gymnasium in Bern 1931)’ Weltring, G., in der aristotelischen Philosophie (Diss. Bonn 1910).

57 ‘What is produced by the voice, are symbols of the emotions of the soul, and what is written, is a symbol of what is spoken. And neither the letters nor the sounds are the same everywhere. The emotions of the soul, however, of which those are primarily signs, are the same everywhere. So are the things of which these (sc. the emotions) are signs.’ Cf. also C. 14 extr p. 24b, 1:

58 Loc. cit. 4, 4: (sc. of knowledge) See also cap. 2: was ad placitum or secundum placitum. Origenes, Adv. Celsum 1, 24 says ex instituto. In the same sense the 18th-c. English philosopher J. Harris speaks of institution or habit; see Funke (note 24 supra) 36.

59 Praep. Evang. (PL 21, 54) 1, 7 (quoted by Rotta, note 20 supra, 84): ‘While in the beginning utterances were confused and vague in meaning, they (sc. primitive men) slowly began to speak articulate words, and by establishing among themselves symbols for all things they made the explication of everything known to each other.'

60 See Manthey, (note 20 supra) 54ff.

61 See Rotta, op. cit. 210.

62 De ord. 2, 12: ‘Illud quod in nobis est rationale quia nec hominibus firmissime sociari posset, nisi colloquerentur atque ita sibi mentes suas cogitationesque quasi refunderent, vidit esse imponenda rebus vocabula, id est significantes quosdam sonos.'

63 A survey is given by Grabmann, ‘Die Entwicklung der mittelalterlichen Sprachlogik’ (note 20 supra).

64 Cf. Manthey, , op. cit. 78ff. on Thomas Aquinas.

65 See Heidegger, (note 23 supra) 127ff.

66 Practical studies may look at the situation from the opposite angle of the thing to be expressed, that is, they may ask in which different ways a phenomenon can be expressed. This is the procedure of that branch of linguistical studies that was called Onomasiologie by linguists, German. It is also the procedure of studies asking how conceptual structures are rendered in a language; cf., e.g., Brunot, F, La pensée et la langue (Paris 1922); K. Brugmann, Verschiedenheiten der Satzgestaltung nach Massgabe der seelischen Grundfunktionen (Berichte der Sachs. Gesellsch. der Wiss. 70, 1916 Heft 6); Die Syntax des einfachen Satzes im Indogermanischen (Leipzig-Berlin 1925). Cf. A. Stöhr, Psychologie (Wien-Leipzig 1917) 383ff. on the linguistical rendering of concepts.

67 See note 23 supra. It may be briefly pointed out that the semantical studies of the scholastics had a theological aspect, too. Simon's of Tournay Summa Theologiae, e.g., starts from the etymology of the word theologia, which is followed by a discussion of the different forms of significatio. This, for one thing, was in the interest of an exact theological terminology; on the other hand, different meanings of the terms were used for solving theological difficulties; see Grabmann (note 20 supra) 144f.; Manthey (note 20 supra), especially 46ff., 210ff.

68 See note 23 supra.

69 Op. cit. 160. Hagemann-Dyroff, , Logik und Noetik (8th ed. Freiburg i.B. 1909) 13f. says: ‘Die Sprachphilosophie ist ein besonderer Teil der philosophischen Symbolik, die die Gesetze einer von Willkürlichkeit möglichst freien Veranschaulichung (Bezeichnung) von Gedanken entwickelt.’ See also Manthey (note 20 supra) 28ff.

70 Marty, A., Über Wert und Methode einer beschreibenden Bedeutungslehre. Aus Marty's Nachlass hg. von Funke, O. (Reichenberg 1926).

71 Logische Untersuchungen 2, 1, 338.

72 See, e.g., Erdmann, K. O., Die Bedeutung des Wortes (3d ed. Leipzig 1922); Ogden, C. K. and Richards, J. A., The Meaning of Meaning (New York 1936.—Appendix D gives brief summaries of other works on this problem); Husserl, E., Logische Untersuchungen II, 1 (note 26 supra); L. Weisgerber, ‘Ist die Bedeutungslehre ein Irrweg?’ Germ.-roman. Monatsschrift 15, 161ff.; ‘Sprachwissenschaft und Philosophie zum Bedeutungsproblem,’ Blätter für deutsche Philosophie 4, 17ff.; ‘Neuromantik in der Sprachwissenschaft’ (note 52 supra); Lipps, H., ‘Wortbedeutung und Begriff,’ Blätter f. deutsche Philosophie 4, 56ff.; Marty, A., Untersuchungen (note 25 supra) 1, 385ff., 490ff.; Werkmeister, W. H., ‘The Meaning of Meaning reexamined,’ Philos. Review 47, 245ff.; L. Bloomfield, ‘Meaning,’ Monatsschrift für deutschen Unterricht 35, 101ff.; Porzig, W, ‘Sprachform und Bedeutung,’ Indogermanisches Jahrbuch 12, 1ff.; Matthes, P, Sprachform, Wort und Bedeutungskategorie und Begriff (Halle 1926).

73 Kritische Musterung der neueren Theorien des Satzes,’ Indogermanisches Jahrbuch 6, 1ff.; Sprachtheorie (Jena 1934).

74 Was ist ein Satz? (Prague 1933) 208ff.

75 See Nehring, A., ‘Zur Begriffsbestimmung des Satzes,’ Kuhns Zeitschrift 55, 238ff.

76 Die Sprache (in: Gercke-Norden, Einleitung in die Altertumswissenschaft, 3d. ed. Leipzig 1927; 1, 6) 60: ‘Der Satz ist eine sprachliche Äusserung, durch die ein Affect oder Willensvorgang ausgelöst wird.'

77 Oxford 1932.

78 A comprehensive discussion will be published in Fordham Studies.

79 Modern Language Quarterly 4, 430f.

Plato and the Theory of Language

  • Alfons Nehring (a1)


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