[FOM] Prenex

Alberto Marcone alberto.marcone at dimi.uniud.it
Fri Nov 23 12:27:01 EST 2007

Thomas Forster ha scritto:
> Can anyone tell me the origin of this word?  It's obviously an
> acronym of some kind, and I am getting tired of accompanying my
> explanations to students of the Prenex Normal form theorem with
> apologies for my ignorance, so i would like to know.
>    (I did once manage to get into print a spoof reference to the
> original article by the great Albanian logician Enver Prenexh.
> However, on mature consideration, i think he should have been
> Belgian, and spelled `Preneckx'.)
>       tf

Dear Thomas, and all other FOMers,
I do not think prenex is an acronym.

IMHO it has a clear Latin origin, in the word "nexus", which is by the
way also an English word (see http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/nexus).
Of course, pre is a standard prefix (a bit of self-reference here :-).

Thus I would roughlt translate prenex as "with all connections made
clear beforehand".

It might interesting to research when this word was used first, and when
it became standard terminology.

By the way, in Italian, my native language, "nesso" is a fairly common
word meaning connection or relationship.

Best regards,
Alberto Marcone                       marcone at dimi.uniud.it
Dip. di Matematica e Informatica
Universita' di Udine                  tel: +39-0432-558482
via delle Scienze 206                 fax: +39-0432-558499
33100 Udine
Italy                                 http://www.dimi.uniud.it/marcone/

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