Meaning postulate

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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.

Other languages

German Bedeutungspostulat