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In linguistics the word ‘proposition’ is defined as the content of a sentence on the basis of the meaning of a simple statement, which can be true or false. It is part of the Speech Act Theory mainly proposed by John L. Austin and John R. Searle.


The proposition {<Carla> [close window]} is identically equal to the question “Does Carla close the window?” or the sentences “Carla closes the window.”, “The door is closed by Carla.”, because the core of the proposition stays the same: there is a person, also called the referee (in this case “Carla”) that does something, referred to as the prediction (“to close the window”) and these equal subcomponents can be expressed in many various ways (e.g. questions, commands). According to the “principle of compositionality” by Gottlob Frege a proposition is the common sense of different statements and consists of the meaning of the subcomponents plus their composition.


[1]Proposition on Wikipedia
[2]Online Dictionary of Semantics and Pramatics, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf
[3]Propostion on

Works on the Topic

Austin, John L. 1962. How to do things with words. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Mass.).
Searle, John R. 1969. Speech Acts. Cambridge University Press.