|From:||"Adrian Walker" <adriandwalker@xxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Tue, 13 Feb 2007 14:05:25 -0500|
Hi John -|
This is a really good discussion!
The major difficulty with #3 is that there is no single "real
world meaning" for most words in English or any other natural
language. I believe that Wittgenstein's language games provide
a basis for characterizing the multiple meanings of any word
Whenever anyone mentions this kind of thing, I like to refer to Tom Stoppard's stage play about the Wittgenstinian uses of language. During the play, the audience are taught entirely new meanings for many English words, through the device of illustrating the meanings by actions on stage. By the end of the play, the audience knows that, to insult someone, you call them a "bicycle". To mortally insult them, you call them a "tricycle". It's fun, but with a point that's relevant for our discussion here.
The point is, that one can usefully use English sentences in unexpected ways, so long as the way in which they are used is somehow grounded. In Stoppard's case, the grounding is in actions on the stage. In the case of Attempto Controlled English and similar systems, the grounding is in a dictionary of sorts. In the case of Internet Business Logic , the grounding happens by assigning English headings to tables of data. You can try this by writing something idiosyncratic into a browser, running it, and seeing that it works. English explanations of the results will contain your idiosyncracies.
Of course, this is a way of going around some deep research problems about Natural Language, rather than confronting them. But it may be very useful.
Cheers, -- Adrian
 Internet Business Logic Online at www.reengineeringllc.com Shared use is free
On 2/13/07, Smith, Barry <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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