I tend to agree, but so far semantics and pragmatics are more like
localized poles: it's more over here, it's more over there. There are
as yet no hard differentiations. Maybe there are intermediate points,
which will grow into semi-independent sciences. We can only hope. If
only I could be developing a formal theory! (02)
Dr. Leo Obrst The MITRE Corporation, Information Semantics
lobrst@xxxxxxxxx Information Discovery & Understanding, Command and
Voice: 703-983-6770 7515 Colshire Drive, M/S H305
Fax: 703-983-1379 McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA (04)
>[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
>John F. Sowa
>Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 4:17 PM
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza
>I am all in favor of recognizing continuous ranges and
>gradations where appropriate.
> > I think it's useful to consider semantics-pragmatics as
> > a spectrum, at least from the viewpoint of theoretical/formal
> > linguistics.
>On the other hand, I also believe in making clear distinctions
>where such distinctions are appropriate.
>As a guideline for deciding where to draw the line between
>the continuous spectrum and discrete distinctions, I observe
>the following distinction:
> 1. Naturally occurring concepts grow by accretion, and there is
> rarely a sharp dividing line between the many, many word
> senses in typical dictionaries. Alan Cruse coined the term
> 'microsense' for the arbitrarily fine variations in meanings
> of most words.
> 2. But the technical terms in science, especially mathematics,
> can be made precise by an agreed convention. An example is
> the word 'number', which is a naturally occurring word with
> an open-ended range of meanings. But mathematicians have
> taken that word and given it a discrete set of precise senses,
> usually by adding qualifiers, such as 'natural number',
> 'rational number', 'imaginary number', 'complex number', etc.
>As for 'semantics-pragmatics', I would agree that different authors
>draw the boundary in different places. But if I were developing
>any kind of formal theory, I would follow the practice in math
>of drawing a sharp distinction (and probably adding a suitable
>adjective in front of the words 'semantics' and 'pragmatics' --
>or coining a new term, such as 'methodeutic').
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