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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology of Commands

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: William Frank <williamf.frank@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2012 17:22:18 -0400
Message-id: <CALuUwtDREpDqzLDHBngtDU3Q=kx5s=tDJrm58Fi28d6ZKEAwAg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On 1 May 2012, at 18:30, Burkett, William [USA] wrote:

Thank you all for feedback and thoughts.
I find the comments on linguistics and speech acts interesting – I think it’s the right thread to pull on to find an answer to my original query.  I don’t think the discussion has yielded a clear position of “commands” within ontology yet, so here are a few more thought-provoking questions.
Using William Frank’s example, the proposition: “cat in a box” can easily be represented in an ontology. 
While explicitly saying that the difficulties with the fine points::

cat in box

is a a picture of a way that things might be, we could draw the same picture in UML, for example.
 Representing: “Tom: put the cat in the box” (call this command A) in an ontology involves that proposition coupled with a command “put”, a directing agent (me?), and a directed agent (Tom).  

Not quite.  This is the problem, English mixes together the speech and the verb of the propositional content, with the verb "put" in this case.  Put" is not a type of command.  Instead, Put" is the sythesis of two independend ideas (1. a command) 2. a previous and future location of one object and other.

In a simple view:
The English sentence  turns into

Command (commanding party: not specified, commanded party: Tom, propositionToMakeTrue( Cat in Box))

There is no "put" the put disapears.  This is a key part of speech act analysis.

To be more precise

"Tom, put the cat in the box:

has the presupositions:

at the time this speech act occoured,

1. (cat in box) is false

2. commanding party has the right to issue the command to the commanded party

Tom, Jump High

turns into

tom make the proposition (tom jumps high) true right away.

the different things you request something to DO, in english, for example ,put, get, move, jump, are not different speech acts or different commands

are all burried in differetn forms of the verb,  we need to seaprate those out, so that the ontology of cats and boxes and therre possible relationships iand kangaroos and jumpoting s entirely separate from the ontology of speech acts, which are organized** only** according to the classifiers and subtypes that others in this forum have displayed in their emails or that will be found in various books.

Jumping and putting is part of the ontology of things that happen, that happen in the physical world,

as is commanding, requesting, and asking, part ot the ontology of things that happen in the world of a speech community.
  I agree that A is a speech act (imperative, performative), but what is it in an ontology?  Are we saying that
-          “speech act” is an object in an ontology, and
-          that “command” is a kind of “speech act”, and
-          the compound proposition A is an instance of “command”?

I think this is right.  A speech act is a kind of action, a directive is a kind of speech act, and a command is a kind o directive.  An instance of a command therefore has to have two parts: the illucutionaly force and the associated act participant roles, as well as the proposition about which the act is concerned, so that we might have other directives with the same roles and proposition, but of a different time, such as suggest, request, and demand. 

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