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Re: [ontolog-forum] 3D+1

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 10:36:55 -0500 (EST)
Message-id: <65389.>
On Fri, February 4, 2011 8:48, John F. Sowa said:
> Chris,
> The syntactic distinction is even looser than any semantic
> criteria for distinguishing objects and processes.
> CP
>> The syntactic difference between nouns and verbs is, of course, easier
>> to
>> make - and might be the root for folk intuitions about objects and
>> events.    (01)

> On the contrary, when considered on a human time scale for many common
> purposes, the folk semantic distinctions are not bad for a large
> number of things called objects and events.    (02)

> That semantic distinction is the origin of the syntactic distinction,
> but many languages allow nouns and verbs to be converted to one another
> by various means.    (03)

But note that such conversions come with a change of meaning.    (04)

> In English, almost any word can be verbed.  There was a Calvin & Hobbs
> cartoon, in which Calvin said "Verbing weirds language."    (05)

The two forms of "to verb" here mean "to use as a verb" or "to convert
into the form of a verb".  This refers to a sentient agent performing
an action -- quite a different meaning from the noun.  To "weird" means
to make something become weird -- again a different meaning from the
the adjective "weird".    (06)

> Latin is more restrictive, and some ending is necessary, such
> as "verbify".  Greek also requires a suffix, such as "verbize".    (07)

Both with different meanings from the noun.    (08)

> Nominalization in English can often be done by putting an article
> in front of a verb:  take a look, take a walk, give a kick.    (09)

Here, the meanings of the nouns are much closer to the meanings of
the verbs which were nouned.  The verb form has a meaning similar
to a predicate: (kick John1 Ball2) whereas the noun form treats the
event as an object which has various properties:
    (isa Kick1 Kick)
    (performedBy Kick1 John1)
    (objectActedOn Kick1 Ball2))    (010)

> In classical Greek, Aristotle formed nouns just by putting
> a definite article in front of any word, but Latin requires
> a suffix at the end.  Cicero, for example, coined the following
> Latin words by translating Aristotle's Greek:
>    the how much    ->   quantitas
>    the what kind   ->   qualitas
> In fact, Cicero apologized for coining such barbarous terms, but
> he said that they were necessary for philosophical discussions.
> The medieval Scholastics translated all of Aristotle to Latin,
> and most of the new words they coined ended up in the modern
> European languages.
> In summary, I would have no objection to using the labels
> PhysObject and Process (or Continuant and Occurrent) in an
> ontology for a specific purpose.  But I would not consider
> them mutually exclusive in a general-purpose ontology.    (011)

A good borderline example would be a hurricane.  As an object,
it can be considered to be moving along a track, but as a
process, it can be considered to have temporal parts (such as
landfall) and subevents.    (012)

-- doug f    (013)

> John    (014)

doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx   http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (015)

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
    - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
=============================================================    (016)

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