Universe of discourse

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Definition

Universe of discourse is the set of entities we are talking about when using a sentence. Also called domain of discourse.

Example

In using (i)a the universe of discourse can be all human beings (and the sentence is most certainly not true), or it may be a restricted set of human beings (and the sentence may very well be true). In (i)b the universe of discourse has been explicitly restricted by the adjunct in this room.

(i) a  everyone is happy
    b  everyone in this room is happy

Links

References

  • Gamut, L.T.F. 1991. Logic, language, and meaning, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.
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