Definition of protosyntax in US English:



  • 1Logic the term used by W.V.O. Quine (1908–2000) for a first-order formal theory of syntax based on the notions of concatenation of expressions and the alphabetic ordering of symbols.

  • 2Linguistics the hypothetical or reconstructed syntax of an early stage in the evolution of language.


1940s; earliest use found in W. V. Quine (1908–2000), philosopher.