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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology, Information Models and the 'Real World': C

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 09:59:15 -0400
Message-id: <46602633.2090904@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Azamat,    (01)

Please remember my papers about knowledge soup and the
importance of vagueness.  Those papers show that there is
a very big difference between natural languages and any
version of formal logic ever invented.    (02)

JFS> I blame Montague for some of the worst excesses, which
 > followed from his claim "I reject the contention that an
 > important theoretical difference exists between formal
 > and natural languages" (published in "English as a Formal
 > Language", 1970).    (03)

AA> I am much surprised at John's being so inconsistent.
 > I heard the quite opposite statements: ‘natural language
 > is the ultimate knowledge representation language’ and
 > that ‘the richest source of ontological categories is
 > the vocabulary of natural languages’.    (04)

I still believe those statements.  My position is that all
formal or artificial languages have been defined as special
purpose languages whose features were derived as abstractions
from features available in natural languages.    (05)

In that sense, any natural language has a very wide expressive
power with enormous extensibility.  That enables NLs to express
a superset of anything that is expressible in any artificial
language ever invented.    (06)

For those reasons, it is misguided to hope that any formal logic
can ever serve as a foundation for all of any NL, but it may be
able to express a useful subset of what is expressed in NLs.    (07)

My discussions with Pat were about ways of using IKL in order
to broaden the useful subset of NLs that can be expressed in IKL.
That is very different from Montague's claim and the subsequent
research inspired by him.    (08)

John    (09)

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