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RE: OWL "Sydney Syntax", structured english

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 12:45:28 -0600
Message-Id: <p06230907c19380ce1fb7@[]>
To: "John McClure" <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>
Cc: "Kaarel Kaljurand" <kaljurand@gmail.com>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Anne Cregan" <annec@cse.unsw.edu.au>, <public-owl-dev@w3.org>

>  >-----Original Message-----
>>From: public-owl-dev-request@w3.org
>>[mailto:public-owl-dev-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Kaarel Kaljurand
>>Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:58 AM
>>To: Dan Connolly
>>Cc: Anne Cregan; public-owl-dev@w3.org
>>Subject: Re: OWL "Sydney Syntax", structured english
>>No, the expectation is that every propertyname is a transitive English
>>verb, rather than a noun. There are studies that seem to indicate that
>>this is the case in reality, see e.g.:
>  > http://www.csd.abdn.ac.uk/~cmellish/papers/kbs05.pdf
>While I personally and professionally support the aims of a structured english
>syntax, I am wondering when the RDF community will align their practices with
>those of XML standards communities, which seem 100% to eschew the use of verbs
>as property-names.

WHY?? Properties relate things together. One makes an assertion, 
typically, by connecting two things with a property name. In English 
one makes an assertion by writing a sentence. Grammatical sentences 
must contain a main verb. It seems natural to link the verb with the 
property. It is impossible to create a 'natural' English rendering 
which has no verbs at all.

>  The UN/CEFACT naming standards for instance, use nouns in
>all cases.  My concern is that this community's singular use of verbs, whether
>compounded with nouns or not, continues to unnecessarily alienate the rest of
>the development world.

RDF is intended for use by a vastly larger audience, however.

>  To me, this is a topic that needs to be addressed by the
>W3C because it was RDF's original specifications which started this truly
>onerous practice without a shred of rationale.

To me, the restriction to nouns would need some supporting rationale. 
How can one express a proposition using only nouns? My mother's name 
is Betty. What does one say? Betty Motherhood Pat?

>  And the paper cited above hardly
>finds that a standard practice exists for naming RDF properties

There shouldn't be a standard practice for naming properties, IMO. 
There are just too many properties around.

>--  gee, both
>RDF and OWL themselves even have issues in this regard!

What issues?

Pat Hayes

>John McClure

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Received on Wednesday, 29 November 2006 18:45:47 UTC

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