The Notion of Truth Values in Semantics

Date:  2021-03-25 11:40:40
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The compositional semantic theory is based upon the assigning a meaning to each basic expression of a language. This sense adds what is referred to as semantic value. The semantic value of any simple language comes with determination rules that are used to define them for more complex language expressions based on the larger semantic values of they are a part. This also involves the evaluation of their mechanisms of combination. It is important to note that the semantic value of a sentence lies within its truth value and can, therefore, be used to determine the value of an expression within a language expression about a particular evaluation circumstance. Therefore rather than designing a way to give significance to the semantic value of an expression, the semantic value of that expression in arbitrary circumstances can also be evaluated (Do general truths entail existence?", 2016).

The truth value of a language expression can be used to determine the existence of the meaning of the expression in a particular language. Every language shares a referential theory of its meaning and challenges with philosophy. Therefore as held by several semanticians, the meaning of an expression is in its truth value. Acknowledging this helps in the establishment of semantic and computational approaches to expressions in a language and an absolute best way to think of meaning. In determining the truth value of a language expression, the validity of speech acts and proposition are determined. Such an evaluation ensures that apart from determining the truth value, the communicative action denoted by a sentence is well established. This assessment also puts into consideration the intention of an expression as spoken out, the relevance of language expression to a context and the validity of knowledge assumption (Shramkov, 2016).

Several aspects can characterize truth values in philosophical and logical usage. These elements include general tools used in the determination of sentences in formal and natural languages; the aim of judgments; the degree of truth of statements; indicative values of the vagueness of a concept; valid explanation of expressions; and informative values of a particular proposition. Truth values are dependent on their specific use and can be treated as different entities of a language as analyzed, defined, unstructured or structured.

Truth values are used as points of reference and sentence objects. To analyze them it is important to determine the kinds of expressions, which are either proper names or functional expressions. The designations of proper names include singular terms and objects that are complete in themselves whereas singular expressions more appropriately refer to functions of a sentence that are incomplete and can be made complete through their integration with the complete proper names. When such a scenario happens, the names are then referred to as arguments of the now complete functional expressions, whereas the proper names are the objects of the entire expression. Objects and arguments integration to form a complete expression make up the value of that language expression. An instance to illustrate this can be considering the objects Ukraine and Kyiv and the functional expression, the capital of.' Kyiv is therefore considered the proper name to the capital of Ukraine.' Therefore an incomplete n-place function denoted by f can be completed by the application of arguments also denoted by together with its course values. The truth value can be either true or false. The generation of two values can be denoted as either true or false using predicates. The treatment of a sentence expression as either true or false can be done using the notion of truth values. For instance, a predicate termed, is a city can be applied to Kyiv giving a true implication of Kyiv is a city.' On the other hand, the predicate can be applied to Mt. Everest, giving a false implication expressed as Mt. Everest is a city.

The expression functions whose values are truth values are more appropriately termed as propositional functions or concepts. These functions are typically characterized by the significant inclusion of propositional connectives. Statement negation is interpreted as the conversion of the true implication into a false implication, with the vice versa bearing the same meaning. A proposition can either be implicating truth or a false. The level of truth and false can be established depending on the assertiveness of the speaker or the statement itself. Sentences bearing the same expression functions or predicate functions can and objects have the same proposition (Shramkov, 2016).

A proposition can be best understood through the analysis of propositional theories of semantics. The theory of reference integrates the values into the expressions of language. The combination of language expressions with values is aimed at determining the truth value of a sentence they make up. This can be best explained by the following sentences;

Earth is the third planet from the sun, and;

Mars is the third planet from the sun.

It can be out rightly denoted that the first statement is true while the second is false. The truth values of the statements are revealed through the subjects Earth and Mars. This analysis, therefore, means Earth stands for the third planet from the Sun while Mars does not. The implications from the statements therefore are, the proper names reference is vital in the determination of the truth value of a language expression. From this other statements of the same proper name can be analyzed. For instance;

Earth is oblate and,

Earth is square

For this pair of statements, the first is true whereas the second is false. After already validating the truth value of the proper name Earth, the appropriateness of oblate and square to determine the truth of the expression can be evaluated. The references is oblate and is square are predicates in this case. When an oblate object is associated with the predicate, is oblate then returns a true value; whereas when a square object is associated with is square the return is similarly a true value. On this basis, it is possible to determine that the first statement is true while the other is a false statement using proposition.

The use of proposition as a determinant of truth values gets more complex when the statements of natural languages are engaged. In most cases, the semantic theories would somehow satisfactorily hold for these other languages as it happens in others. For instance, the statements about the Earth and Mars can be expressed in Arabic as;

al'ard hi alkawkabalththalith min alshshams

almirrikhhualkawkabalththalith min alshshams

al'ard hi muflth


The statements would similarly bear the same meaning and semantic appeal with just a little linguistic differences. The expressional function and the proper name are much similar.

Proposition utterances and statements can lead to the propositional attitudes through verbs and attitude sentences that make up a complete sentence with a proposition. The functionality of a verb is limited to the scope of the propositional attitude. Such can be verified by looking at the relationship between the expression of the cognitive values and the corresponding ordinary references. These two aspects must be distinct and separated. Propositional attitude traits should indicate a clear manner of individual representation by an agent. In the case of the happening of an expression of reference the verb of the propositional attitude the object rather than the expression is represented.

The truth value expressed in two sentences can be of similar significance, despite each having different contents. An instance is the consideration of the statements below;

Steve believes that Africa is a Continent

Steve believes Algeria is country in Africa

Both statements are true proportionally and share the same reference. They only differ with the substitutions in the expression. On the other hand, two statements with different propositions cannot be similar. They must have the same propositions to lay out the same meaning. Expressions with different contents may however sometimes share the same sense. The content of a statement that assigns expression determines its reference. This may not hold for all languages. Not all contents can be assigned to all expressions for every language like in English. Expressions do hold different positions in different situations, referred to as utterance contexts or simply contexts. Therefore, some expressions depend on the utterance context and cannot be similarly used for every language. These expressions are known as context-dependent expressions and are also called indexical. Depending on the character or object and the language, some of these indexical types of expressions can be used variably to suit the context. The proposition, however, remains the same. For instance, an Arabic translation of the example above would lead to a change in content but with a similar sense of semantics. This implies that these statements would still make the same sense, affirming the earlier statement about propositions and variation in reference.

yaetaqidstif 'ann 'afriqiaan hi alqarr

yaetaqidstifaljazayirbalad fi 'afriqia

The notion of a truth value according to GottlobFrege has become an integral component of the standard and basic terminology in philosophical and logical reasoning. The notion of a truth value is a very important aspect and instrument of realistic, model-theoretic mechanisms in the area of semantics. As a matter of fact, truth values play an integral function in the effective use of model-theoretic semantics within the thinking realms of representation of knowledge and proving of the theorem by semantic tableaux. This is an area that could not be adequately addressed though in this current entry. The consideration of truth values leads to the rise of deeper insights into questions of ontological importance regarding the nature of these truth values, their feasibilities, and the role of played by the truth values in the ontological theories. Of more importance is the existence of clearly motivated theories about the generalized truth values that are far much beyond the true and false classical values described by Frege. Propositions, on the other hand, are the expressions or the contents of a sentence.


Shramkov, Y. (2016). Truth Values. Retrieved 2 November 2016, from

Do general truths entail existence?.(2016). Retrieved 2 November 2016, from



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