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Re: [ontolog-forum] Paraconsistent Logic

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Cc: ywilks@xxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:41:40 -0400
Message-id: <53D50FA4.1090502@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 7/26/2014 11:05 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:
> Would you give some exemplars of kids using first
> pragmatics then semantics and finally syntax?    (01)

To illustrate the issues, note the following principles:    (02)

  1. The museum-guide principle:  If you're a guide in a museum
     and somebody asks an urgent question in some unknown language,
     just point to the restrooms -- 95% of the time, you'll be right.
     That shows how pragmatics enables you to interpret a communication
     when you know little or nothing about the language.    (03)

  2. The restaurant principle:  When you walk into a restaurant
     in any country, the pragmatics is assumed:  you want to eat,
     and you're willing to pay for the food.  The basic semantics
     about eating is familiar.  The details can be worked out by
     watching other people and by pointing to examples or pictures.    (04)

These two principles apply to infants and to your pets of any species. 
Understanding starts with pragmatics, is elaborated with semantics
(background knowledge of the subject matter), and is refined with
details of word order, function words, and inflections.    (05)

But even without syntax, you can communicate effectively with your
pets by using only pragmatics and semantics.  However, syntax could
be useful to persuade them that going to the vet is good for them.    (06)

> Semantics in a 3 year old?  A good example would help.    (07)

See below for sentences by a child named Laura at age 34 months.
For more detail, see the article by John Limber.    (08)

For related info, see the following book reviews:    (09)

    Construing Experience through Meaning: A Language-based
    Approach to Cognition by Halliday and Matthiessen    (010)

    Language, Cohesion and Form by Margaret Masterman    (011)

Masterman and Halliday were cofounders of the Cambridge
Language Research Unit (CLRU) in the 1950s.  That group
pioneered the emphasis on semantics over syntax in NLP.    (012)

For more about Masterman, Halliday, and the CLRU, see slides 11
to 19 of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal4.pdf .    (013)

I strongly agree with the following comment by Masterman, which I
quote in the review.  I would also apply it to many formal systems.    (014)

> My quarrel with [the Chomsky school] is not that they are abstracting
> from the facts.  How could it be?  For I myself in this paper am
> proposing  a far more drastic abstraction from the facts.  It is that
> they are  abstracting from the wrong facts because they are abstracting
> from  the syntactic facts, that is, from that very superficial and
> highly  redundant part of language that children, aphasics, people
> in a hurry,  and colloquial speakers, quite rightly, drop.    (015)

____________________________________________________________________    (016)

 From slide 8 of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal.pdf .  For related
issues, see slides 12 to 20 of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal3.pdf    (017)


Sentences uttered by a child named Laura before the age of 3. *    (019)

    Here’s a seat. It must be mine if it’s a little one.    (020)

    I went to the aquarium and saw the fish.    (021)

    I want this doll because she’s big.    (022)

    When I was a little girl, I could go “geek geek” like that,
    but now I can go “This is a chair.”    (023)

Laura used a larger subset of logic than Montague formalized.
No computer system today has Laura’s ability to speak and
understand language.    (024)

* John Limber, The genesis of complex sentences. In T. Moore (Ed.),
Cognitive development and the acquisition of language. New York:
Academic Press, 1973.
http://pubpages.unh.edu/~jel/JLimber/Genesis_complex_sentences.pdf    (025)

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