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RE: OWL "Sydney Syntax", structured english

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 12:59:33 -0600
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: John McClure <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>, Kaarel Kaljurand <kaljurand@gmail.com>, Anne Cregan <annec@cse.unsw.edu.au>, public-owl-dev@w3.org
Message-Id: <1164826774.3997.1289.camel@dirk>

On Wed, 2006-11-29 at 12:45 -0600, Pat Hayes wrote:
> >  >-----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
> >>
> ><snip/>
> >>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
> ><snip/>
> >
> >Hmm.
> >
> >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.

In the RoleNoun pattern, the verb is a generic/implicit 'has';
rather than

  Dan knows Pat.

we write

  Dan has acquaintance Pat.

In N3, we allow the 'has' to be left out:

  Dan acquaintance Pat.

And we get the inverse for free using is/of keywords:

  Pat is acquaintance of Dan.

no need for a separate property for the inverse:

  Pat isKnownBy Dan.


> >  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?

Pat has mother Betty.

which harks to javascript/C++ a la

 Pat.mother = Betty.

> >  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?

subPropertyOf is ugly.

> Pat Hayes
> >
> >John McClure
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Wednesday, 29 November 2006 18:59:57 UTC

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