Monday, November 1, 2010

Unusual Words Defined: A - Z (Part I)

A continuation of the series.

ignotum per ignotius: Latin [ɪgˈnəʊtʊm pər ɪgˈnəʊtɪʊs]
(Philosophy) an explanation that is obscurer than the thing to be explained
[literally: the unknown by means of the more unknown]

If you ask some of my syntax students, they would say that this applies to quite a few of the official definitions found in syntactic theory (sister precedence, c-command, the principle of modification) and I can't say that I blame them initially.

Defintion from

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