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Re: [ontolog-forum] Consensus on labeling of relationships?

To: doug@xxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: William Frank <williamf.frank@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 16:21:30 -0400
Message-id: <CALuUwtBMcbskMb+iuuhhmbKJ4Lj5XZXtWBHrCAdwwPVG1X5ENw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM, doug foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Tue, May 21, 2013 08:16, Phil Murray wrote:

> [Phil Murray] +10 !
> ...
> So I, too, am uncomfortable with the habit of using English as the
> default language of representations of meaning.

Would you prefer Latin?  ... Chinese?  ... semi-arbitrary alphanumeric
strings?  OBO uses the latter.  It is good to have mappings from
the terms to whatever language the users use.

I do believe that this misses the intended point. It is not the individual english words that are the problem, but rather the inference that each word has a separate meaning, or that clusers of english words, like 'has a', have any specific, non-contextual meaning,

Not chinese, the set of words, but the analytic,(highly semantically factored) nature of the language, is the feautuire of importance.  

There is a buying and a selling agent in the sale.
The appropriate role needs to be clarified.  The sale should be reified,
and relations specifying what is important(buyer, seller, object whose
ownership is transferred, recompense for the sale, location of event,
time of event, ...) should be made.


Note that English differentiates "to sell" from "to buy", "to borrow"
from "to lend", and "to give" from "to receive".  Finnish has a single
infinitive for each, and indicates (through case structure) who is on
the giving and receiving end.

A perfect example. There is only one event, a purchase-and-sale (called such in the securities business).  This event has multiple roles, buyer, seller, broker, venue, regulator.  Synthentic languages indicate the roles by cases, analytic languages by positions and prepositions, and hyper-analitic by fully factor role words.   English is a mish mash of these semantic strategies, and not a good model for the elegance of simplicity.   It is the application of English's largely positional strategy that requies you to have different words for buy and sell. 

William Frank


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