Proof by contradiction in sentence and text

2019. №3, 71-83

Inna F. Ragozina
Dubna International Univ. for Nature, Society, and Man, Dubna, Russia;


The paper is devoted to the proof by contradiction (PbC), its logic, pragmatics, and means of expression in Russian. It is stated that the main communicative-pragmatic function of PbC is refutation, realized in two logical-argumentational varieties: No-refutation and Yes-refutation, when one refutes an opponent’s positive or negative statement, respectively. PbC also executes a cognitive function, not in a debate, but rather just in the course of justification of a hypothesis. Syntactic exponents of PbC are irreal conditional sentences, quasi-conditional constructions with a rhetorical complication, and sentences of alternative motivation. Derivation of all those structures is performed, inter alia, through marking the apodosis as a rhetorical question; specifics of the latter is determined by propositional semantics of the structures in question.

For citation:

Ragozina I. F. Proof by contradiction in sentence and text. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2019, 3: 71–83.