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Re: [ontolog-forum] on a new list of categories

To: rick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 10:42:26 -0400
Message-id: <4698E0D2.7010503@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rick,    (01)

 > I've done enough on the owl representation to stimulate
 > discussion and hope you, and all members of the ontolog forum,
 > will have time to comment on this work in progress.    (02)

There is certainly a lot to discuss.  That paper by Peirce,
which he published in 1868, is his first stab at a problem
that which he continued to discuss, elaborate, and clarify
over the next 46 years.    (03)

Peirce certainly made a good stab in his first swing, but
as I replied to Gary, OWL is a very simple language that
disguises a lot of underlying assumptions in a verbose
notation.  The COE diagram that Pat derived shows the bare
bones more explicitly, and it makes those uninterpreted
strings stand out more clearly.    (04)

To illustrate the kinds of problems involved, following is
a note that I sent to the conceptual graph mailing list.
It illustrates the amount of discussion that can be generated
by one word, such as 'threaten' or 'to be', or by a seemingly
simple feature, such as the plural marker '-s'.    (05)

I don't want to shut down discussion, but I just want to point
out that doing justice to the topic would require an immense
amount.    (06)

John    (07)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: CogniTextes - Inaugural issue now online
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 09:02:13 -0400
From: John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: cg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (08)

Following is an announcement of a journal on cognitive linguistics,
the first issue of which is available for a free download:    (09)

http://aflico.asso.univ-lille3.fr/cognitextes/volumes/CogniTextes_2007_1.pdf    (010)

This issue has three articles.  The first one, which is written
in English, is about the German word 'drohen' (to threaten),
its word senses, and how they evolved over time.  It illustrates
the enormous amount of complexity that underlies just a single
word, how that complexity evolves, and how it can be expressed
in another language (such as English).    (011)

The second article, written in French, is about the verb 'to be',
and the third, also in French, is about issues of singulars and
plurals of nouns.  It begins with an English quotation that
summarizes the following 20+ pages:    (012)

    "Number is the most underestimated of the grammatical categories.
    It is deceptively simple, and is much more interesting and varied
    than most linguists realise."    (013)

If anyone still needs more evidence about the complexity of translating
natural languages to logic or to one another, read articles like these.    (014)

Although I have been arguing in favor of using controlled natural
languages, I have emphasized that they are *formal* languages that
abstract from the very much more complex NLs.  Translating from
English to CLCE or ACE requires a reanalysis and reconceptualization
of the subject that is *identical* to the analysis required for a
translation to any version of logic or any KR language.  It will be
a long, long time before such a translation can be fully automated.    (015)

The difficulty of translating poetry from one NL to another has led
many people to observe that doing a "poetic" translation requires a
translator who is a poet.  The translation is actually a recreation
of a new poem in the target language on the same theme as the poem
in the source language.    (016)

The same is true of the task of translating any natural language
to any version of logic (including controlled NLs).  The translator
must have a knowledge of logic that is sufficient to recreate a
new text in the target language that is on the same theme as the
original -- even when translating English to controlled English.    (017)

John Sowa    (018)

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