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A meaning postulate is a device used in logical semantics to stipulate semantic relations between lexical items. Meaning postulates were introduced in Carnap (1947) in order to account for the fact that a sentence like (i) is an analytic truth, true in every model. The meaning postulate in (ii) captures this analyticity:
- (i) Bachelors are unmarried
- (ii) For all x, if x is a bachelor, then x is unmarried
Meaning postulates can be seen as an alternative for decomposition of word meaning (see componential analysis). They are extensively used in Montague Grammar.
Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics
- Carnap 1947
- Gamut, L.T.F. (1991) Logic, language, and meaning, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.