Oikeiôs as designating 'familiarity' and not 'appropriateness' in Aristotle's creation of words

Maria Chriti

Abstract


This article deals with the English translations of the adverb oikeiôs in Aristotle's texts. In chapter 7 of the Categories, Aristotle advises speakers to create words if necessary (7a5-7), on the condition that the new word is given oikeiôs. However, the English translations does not render in an accurate way what Aristotle wants to express regarding name-giving, since the adverb oikeiôs, deriving from the adjective oikeios, denotes 'property' and 'familiarity', the second meaning obviously originating from the first. Oikeiôs is crucial for us to comprehend Aristotle's concept of name-giving, since he combines it with forms of the verbs apodidômi ('to define') or legô, more than eight times in this particular chapter, where he is concerned with correct linguistic rendition. In sense of 'familiarity', oikeiôs sheds more light on the philosopher's semantic theory in On Interpretation, helping us to understand exactly how Aristotle conceived of conventionality, i.e., combined with familiarity.

 


Keywords


Aristotle, oikeiôs, language, naming, translation

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25180/lj.v21i2.194

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