Philological Studies -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 016:62 (Apr 1859)
Article: Philological Studies
Author: Anonymous


Philological Studies

§ 1. The Latin Negation

The negation is of frequent occurrence in human language. To understand its nature and various forms is important for the grammarian and the philosopher.

The idea of negation, being a simple idea, is clear and distinct in itself. It is properly an affection of the predicative syntactical relation (see Dr. K. F. Becker on the three syntactical relations), through which it modifies the attributive relation, and also the subjective or subjunctive, interrogative, and imperative moods. This statement we suppose to embrace the whole circuit of the negation.

The appropriate form of the negation, when fully developed in language, is the negative predication, which constitutes the negative proposition. This presupposes the idea of an affirmative predication, without which the negative one would be unintelligible, and with which it is wanting neither in clearness nor intelligibility. Thus the negative predication: “rosa non floret,” presupposes the affirmative one: “rosa floret.”

It is admitted by logicians (see Mill’s Logic, vol. i., p. 106) as well as by grammarians (see Weissenborn, p. 174; Kühner, vol. ii., p. 162), that a negative proposition is not strictly or simply the affirmation of a negative predicate (as held by Hobbes),but the actual denial of the connection between a predicate and subject; that is, that the negation falls on the predication, and not on the predicate. The negation runs parallel to the affirmation, and the negative mood to the affirmative or indicative mood.

In the negative proposition, however, the negation, for the sake of emphasis, or for some purpose not easily defined, often appears to fall on the predicate itself, on the subject, or on an object, either complementary or supplementary. But

these negative predicates, subjects, and objects, are evidently nullities.

1. Thus in reference to the negative predicate, the negation falls on the predication; as, “Caesar non-mortuus est,” can only mean “Caesar mortuus non-est.”

2. So in reference to the negative subject; as, “nemo vidit Deum,” can only mean “homo non-vidit Deum.”

3. So in reference to the negative complementary object; as,” Caius neminem occidit,” can mean only “Caius hominem non-occidit.”

4. So in reference to the negative supplementary object; as, “homo nunquam vidit Deum,” can only mean “homo non-vidit unquam Deum.”

But the other negations are modifications of, or developments from, the negative proposition.

The negative attribute, like the...

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