[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] New Book: "Narrative Information"

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 12:25:48 -0800
Message-id: <20090210202653.C8FE9138CE6@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

PH wrote:

---------------------------- ---------------------------- ----------------------------

Long before Strawson, linguists had observed a distinction between
obligatory and optional (AKA inner and outer) participants in the
action or state expressed by a verb.   For 'give', the number of
inner or obligatory participants is 3, and there is an open-ended
number of optional relationships for the time, place, manner, etc.


True, but this distinction is purely grammatical. I have to say "XX gave YY to ZZ", with all three grammatically required phrases in place (and Im not obliged similarly to say where or when or how), but Im not obliged to actually provide the information. I can say 'someone' or 'something' as a filler which satisfies the grammatical constraint without actually providing information, when the information is missing. Or I can use the passive voice and say "Mary was given a book" without saying "by XX". When sentences like these are converted to logic, the missing arguments are still missing. Its notable than if one pushes this exercise to the limit, you find the English words naming the case roles. To describe this event without mentioning John or the book, we have to say "Mary received a gift"



----------------- ------------------------ ---------------------------- -------------------------


This multi-signatured form of the statement still works with a 3-ary relation:


Mary was given a book”             Give( nil, Mary, book )              

^ Earlier( Give(nil, Mary, book) )


Someone gave mary a book      Give( nil, Mary, book )

^ Earlier( Give(nil, Mary, book) )


John gave Mary a book             Give( John, Mary, book )

^ Earlier( Give(John, Mary, book) )


When extra modifiers are present, the form is still 3-adic with extra predicates recording the event of giving:


Herb gave Mary a book yesterday

                                                Give( Herb, Mary, book )

^ Earlier( Give(Herb, Mary, book) )

                                                ^ TimeOf( Give(Herb, Mary, book), Yesterday )


Pete gave Marsha a book in the library

                                                Give( Pete, Marsha, book)

^ Earlier( Give(Pete, Marsha, book) )

                                                PlaceOf( Give(Pete, Marsha, book), Library)


Und so wieder. 


The point is that the 3-adic representations can be used for all the cases you’ve mentioned.  Other information is related to the action of Give( x, y, z ) to describe the conditions under which the act took place, and the condition of x, y and z at the time of the act. 


A more interesting question is how to be sure that the sentence translations to logic are 100% consistent with whatever logical form that was specified, even with the (estimated) forty seven everyday ways of modulating that fact in sentences. 


That is, how do we validate a knowledge base so that every meaning of each input phrase is properly represented in the database?  Validation, to me, is more important than any national/international/industrial standardization effort.  Standardization will proceed AFTER database representations of these functions become well understood, and well validated in practice.  A standard without proper validation is simply a dream that won’t come true. 






Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com


Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (01)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>