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[ontolog-forum] Guo's word senses and Foundational Ontologies

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jawit Kien <jawit.kien@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 11:59:22 -0500
Message-id: <9f9644bb0905290959s11fb4381na0b44e7d9b333125@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 11:51 AM, Patrick Cassidy <pat@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> In note #62, Doug Lenat and R. V. Guha made the following comments about
> the search for a set of "primitives":
> DL&RVG >> The problems... are (a) there is no small set, and (b) it's  >
> almost impossible to nail down the meaning of most interesting terms,  >
> because of the inherent ambiguity in whatever set of terms are "primitive."
> This remark seems to be directed at "primitive terms" used in language.  The
> kind of semantic primitives in an ontology are not ambiguous, of course, so
> Lenat here is talking about human language.  When I spoke to him last year
> about the issue of ontological primitives, he indicated to me that he
> thought there might be as many as 15,000 primitive concepts that need
> representation in an ontology, particularly because of the nuances of
> meaning in relations.  But in fact Cyc has never pursued the tactic of
> finding an inventory of conceptual primitives, so Lenat's guess is still
> only a guess.  My suggestions was that, rather than guess, we actually
> conduct a proper study to determine whether there is a finite inventory of
> conceptual primitives and if so what the number is.  In fact, even with
> respect to language he misses an important point: the senses of words that
> are "primitive" and used by, e.g. Longman in their definitions are only a
> small subset of the senses of those words.  That experiment was done by Guo
> and he concluded that the Longman grounds out on 1433 words (a subset of the
> published defining vocabulary) representing 3280 senses.  This not
> surprising to me, because the particular "language game" that is played in
> creating dictionary definitions (in Longman, at least) is to be as
> **unambiguous as possible** in a non-interactive context.  That entails the
> use of word *senses* that are common and easily recognizable in their
> context of use.  In practice, this means that the average ambiguity of the
> words used is less than 3.  John has noted that some of the definitions in
> Longman are simple and do not go into detail. Yes, but when I try to create
> more detailed definitions that include all of the necessary conditions I
> would want in an ontological specification, I find that I can accomplish
> that using the same set of words.  I think this is relevant a priori
> evidence for a finite set of semantic primitives that cannot be dismissed
> without some other experimental testing.    (01)

This experiment by Guo sounds like something I'd like to pursue in more detail.
Pat, do you have a link that gives the list of 1433 words and 3280 senses ?
I saw your power point presentation at
www.micra.com/COSMO/TheFoundationOntologyForInteroperability.ppt    (02)

which referenced
http://www.une.edu.au/bcss/linguistics/nsm/pdfs/bad-arguments5.pdf    (03)

and which did have a list of Wierczbicka’s “universal core” of sixty primitives.    (04)

As an example, I'd like to see what this last paragraph of Pat's would
look like if
expressed using solely the words in this list of word senses created
by Cheng-Ming Guo.    (05)

Pat Cassidy concluded:
> The main purpose of the FO project I have suggested is to create such a
> community of users with varied interests who can evolve an FO that suits all
> of their purposes and serves to support accurate interoperability; and to
> sustain them for several years so as to properly test that FO.  This will
> provide us with a publicly accessible FO that has actual open-source
> applications that illustrate its use, something we don't have now.    (06)

Pat, can you do that ?    (07)

JK    (08)

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