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Re: [ontolog-forum] Context and Inter-annotator agreement

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Barkmeyer, Edward J" <edward.barkmeyer@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 13:48:25 -0400
Message-id: <63955B982BF1854C96302E6A5908234417F476DF0C@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Michael Brunnbauer wrote:    (01)

> Or take the sentence "Soldiers are potential murderers". The sense of
> "murderer"
> is modified by "potential" to be something completely different.    (02)

Indeed.  This is one of the problems with parsing natural language in terms of 
'parts of speech'.  "Adjectives" like "fake" and "potential" do not "narrow" 
the concept they modify; they pervert it.  In that way, "potential murderer" 
and "murderer" are different "noun concepts".    (03)

> ... <snip>
> How about a dictionary without circular definitions ? I do not know of such a
> thing and I bet it is not because of ignorance on my part.    (04)

The purpose of natural language dictionaries is to inform humans who presumably 
have some familiarity with the language.  So, primitive terms  are "defined" by 
providing synonyms and circular circumlocutions.  The idea is that the human 
reader will recognize enough of that verbiage to grasp the intended concept, by 
being familiar with the concept itself, presumably in other terms.    (05)

Formal glossaries, including the electronic versions supported by SKOS and 
SBVR, have a notion of 'primitive' or 'commonly understood' term, which means 
that the term does not appear in the glossary at all, even though it is used in 
definitions, or it appears and has no "definition" (it is marked 'primitive' or 
'common').  So, yes, "dictionaries" without circular definitions do exist, but 
they don't serve quite the same purpose as the Oxford English Dictionary or La 
Petite Larousse.    (06)

> My opinion is that understanding of natural language is not possible without
> true intelligence. It may also be a bit the other way round.    (07)

The understanding of that sentence is not possible without a definition of 
"true intelligence"; it is not a 'commonly understood' term... :-)    (08)

-Ed    (09)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                     Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Systems Integration Division, Engineering Laboratory
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8260             Work:   +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8260             Mobile: +1 240-672-5800    (010)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST, 
 and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (011)

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