Viggo Brøndal, Gideon Goldenberg and the Predicative, the Completive and the Attributive Relations

  • Fabrizio Angelo Pennacchietti
Keywords: Viggo Brøndal, Gideon Goldenberg, predicative relation, completive relation, attributive relation


This paper attempts to verify if the rectangular grid of mathematical logic oppositions conceived by the Danish logician and linguist Viggo Brøndal (1887-1942) coincides with the classification of the relations between the parts of speech which has been proposed by Gideon Goldenberg (1930-2013). This prominent Israeli orientalist, being inspired by morphological and syntactic data inferred from various old and modern Semitic languages, concluded that the relations between the parts of speech fall within three different classes: the predicative relation, the completive relation and the attributive relation. The conclusion of this inquiry is that the three classes that Goldenberg outlined are comparable with three of the four angular boxes of the grid of oppositions that Brøndal planned in order to classify the prepositional system of various languages. The distribution of the three Goldenberg’s classes into Brøndal’s boxes depends on whether they possess or not the transitive property and the symmetric property of mathematical logic.