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Re: [ontolog-forum] On dyads and triads

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2013 02:04:09 -0400
Message-id: <51568059.10505@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 3/29/2013 5:48 PM, Simon Spero wrote:
> I don't give a damn what Pierce said.    (01)

I don't blame you.  Questions about which authority said what are
interesting for historical reasons.  But by themselves, they don't
prove anything.    (02)

> As Davidson notes in TLFAS (following Kenny), if events are not reified,
> specifying the time of the giving would require a four place predicate;
> adding the location makes it a five place relationship.    (03)

Yes.  That is one of many arguments for that representation.  The reason
why I cite Peirce, Whitehead, and others on these and related points is
that they had analyzed the implications and ramifications in depth.    (04)

Citing sources is useful for many reasons:  (a) it shows that it isn't
a half-baked idea I just pulled out of thin air, (b) it provides a
reference for anybody who wants to dig into the subject, and (c) it
shows where the ideas originated and how they're likely to evolve.    (05)

> Other than notational convenience, why favor one particular triad over
> all possible others, if all other attributes of the action must be
> predicated of a reification of that triad?    (06)

If you'll excuse me for citing Peirce again, he pointed out that some
triads are more fundamental than others.  He's not the only one.
Many linguists distinguish the participants that are essential to
an event or action type from those that are accidental.    (07)

For example, every act of giving must have an animate agent,
an animate recipient, and a theme, which could be anything of
any type.  The linguist Lucien Tesnière, who invented dependency
grammar, called the necessary participants the *actants* and the
accidental accompaniments the *circonstants* (circumstances).    (08)

Other linguists use different terminology, but they end up making
closely related distinctions.  It's useful to avoid reinventing wheels
-- especially if you can get one "off the shelf" when you need it.    (09)

John    (010)

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