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Re: [ontolog-forum] predicates in RDF

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: rick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 15:05:36 +0000
Message-id: <W959851168581671199199936@webmail17>
Paola & All:

Happy to share some thoughts and I also have a similar question regarding the use of is and has in RDF property labels.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx]
>Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 06:45 AM
>To: '[ontolog-forum]'
>Subject: [ontolog-forum] predicates in RDF
>Coming from a linguistic background, I have always thought that
>predicate is a verb
>CF. The predicate of a sentence is the part of the sentence that makes
>the assertion about the subject. The main part of the predicate is a
>finite verb (which must be present). The predicate can be a verb
>alone, or a verb and other words related to it. ...

First a reference from Peirce's Of Reasoning in General that differentiates the linguistic logical predicates, introduces the copula and reveals some of his thinking on semiotics (icon, index and sybmol) in propositions:

"The categorical proposition, according to the usual variety of the traditional doctrine, is made up of two names called its terms, namely its subject and predicate, as principal parts; in addition to which it has a copula, the verb is."


"The categorical proposition of traditional logic follows the Aryan syntax and is like this: 'man is mortal'. The grammatical subject is the logical subject. The grammatical predicate is replaced by is followed by a name, which is the logical predicate.  The subject contains the whole or part of the index, which gives its peculiar thing-like character as subject, while the predicate involves the icon which gives it its peculiar ideal character as predicate. The copula is the symbol."

So, the linguistic predicate is replaced by the logical predicate and the copula. Or, in the words of Bill Clinton, that depends on what you mean by is. ;-)

>but on the W3C spec, there is no such requirement/constraint
>Is there no such implication that predicate must be a verb in rdf?

Interested in other folks thoughts on the use of is and has in RDF properties. I've never been comfortable with arbitrarily slapping an is or has label-prefix, like *hasTopping*, on a property name, but I'm probably missing something. One could propose an idiom for use with RDF/OWL where label-prefixes like is designate quality (firstness), relation (secondness) and mediation (thirdness). And that convention would hae to be applied and understood by the knowledge engineer. This convention, or idiom, probably has no grounding in RDF, but my that's the best I've come up with to date. Sorry, this proposal is incomplete on secondness and thirdness, but it could be developed further.

Anyway, Happy New Year Everybody !

>seasons wishes
>Paola Di Maio
>School of IT
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