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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza (was ckae)

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jerry Hobbs <hobbs@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 16:49:30 -0700
Message-id: <46DDEF0A.3030906@xxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

 > No.  You cannot do pragmatics without having syntax and semantics.
 > It's impossible to say anything without syntax.  It's impossible
 > to refer to anything without semantics.  And it's impossible to
 > do anything pragmatically without being able to make statements
 > (syntax) that refer to something (semantics).    (02)

Syntax is about how symbols combine, so atomic symbols can have
semantics without syntax.  For example, a red flag with a white
diagonal means there's a scuba diver below.  That's its semantics.
But neither the red background nor the white diagonal mean anything by
itself (just as the d, o, and g of "dog" mean nothing by
themselves); so there's no syntax.  There can also be pragmatics; the
symbol is often used, e.g., as bumper stickers, to announce oneself as
a scuba diver.    (03)

A more elaborate example is protolanguage, where there is simply a
sequence of symbols and it's up to the hearer to figure out what the
relations between their meanings are.  An example is the language of
panic: "Help!  Collapsed!  Alex!  911!  Quick!"  There's no syntax;
any order would convey the same thing.    (04)

Is music an example of syntax and pragmatics without semantics?    (05)

-- Jerry    (06)

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