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Re: [ontolog-forum] what words mean

To: edbark@xxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:44:10 -0500
Message-id: <47BC74FA.3020404@xxxxxxxx>
Ed Barkmeyer wrote:    (01)

> Every tree (structure) is a partial ordering, but not every partial 
> ordering is a tree.  What John meant is that in his model, the partial 
> orderings are not restricted to tree structures -- they can be 
> generalized lattices with multiple roots.    (02)

To be clearer, a "lattice" is directed graph in which a (child) node can 
have more than one incoming (parent) arc.  A "generalized lattice" just 
removes the idea that there is a single "root" node.    (03)

In linguistic terms, the idea is that "synonym" means "term with closely 
related meaning", not "term with identical meaning".  As a consequence, 
"synonym of" is not necessarily a transitive relationship.  It is 
possible for a single term to "refine" or "closely relate to" two or 
more other terms that are not themselves (considered) synonyms.  Roget's 
symnets include many things I think of as dubious "synonyms", but one 
cannot deny that there is some significant overlap of meaning.    (04)

(The telephone game does not really require some intermediary to choose 
the wrong interpretation of a term; it simply requires the "synonymous" 
rewordings to drift gradually away from the original intent.)    (05)

-Ed    (06)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (07)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (08)

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