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Re: [ontolog-forum] English number of words/concepts that cannot be comp

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2014 13:01:50 -0400
Message-id: <042401cf6628$3650be60$a2f23b20$@micra.com>
    There are several dictionaries that use a "defining vocabulary"  as the
list of words to define all the other words in the dictionary.  The one I
use as reference is the "Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English"
(Longman, England).  That list has about 2150 words in it.   Some of the
words are used in more than one sense, so there may be more than 2150
senses, but an experiment by Guo and Wiilks suggested that even some of
those "defining" words can themselves be defined (dictionary-wise) by others
on the list, so it is not clear exactly how many "primitive" words there
really are.   If you look at the definitions In that dictionary, some will
appear overly simple, but I have done some experiments and it appears to me
that you can add any level of detail you want, still using only those 2150
words - with one exception. I find that I need the word "dimension", which
is not on their list.    (01)

There are other ways to arrive at such a list: the signs used in ASL, or the
basic characters in the Japanese Toyo Kanji (Chinese-style characters that
students must learn before going to college).  All have a few thousand
symbols.    (02)

   It seems reasonable to me (though others are skeptical) that there should
be some small number (Several thousand) of words that can be used to define
anything one wants to talk about - the ones we learn by the time we get to
age 6 or so, supplemented in an asymptotic fashion as our knowledge becomes
more sophisticated.  So  I am in the process of building a "foundation
ontology" intended to represent all of those concepts in the Longman, to
determine if they are indeed adequate to create (by combinations)
ontological specifications for anything one would want to represent or talk
about.   As one discovers new things, the list may well expand, but I expect
such necessary supplementation to become increasingly rare after a few
thousand applications have been mapped to the basic list..    (03)

  The resulting ontology is at this stage only in OWL format, and is called
"COSMO".  It can be obtained at http://micra.com/COSMO  (name of the file is
"COSMO.owl").  That directory contains files discussing the ontology.  COSMO
at present has about 8000 classes and 800 relations.  There is some
representation of all of the Longman defining words, though some are
sketchy, particularly the functional words such as prepositions.  I am still
adding in more detail and mappings to the WordNet.   When the first OWL
version is completed, it will still need to be converted to an FOL form to
allow serious experiments to see if it will serve, as I hope, as the
interlingua that will support  broad accurate semantic interoperability by
translation among local representations in databases, ontologies, or
applications.    (04)

Pat    (05)

Patrick Cassidy
1-908-561-3416    (06)

 >-----Original Message-----
 >From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
 >bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of tknorr
 >Sent: Friday, May 02, 2014 10:53 AM
 >To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 >Subject: [ontolog-forum] English number of words/concepts that cannot be
 >composed of others
 >Good morning,
 >I was wondering if this is a relatively stable number of concepts that
 >be in any ontology/repository: the concepts of the English language that
 >cannot be described through a semantic sub-net.
 >It seems to me that we should be able to develop that number, if it
 >already exist somewhere.
 >Anyone have some pointers?
 >Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
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 >    (07)

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