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Clarification of Reification vs Quotation

From: Karsten Otto <otto@math.fu-berlin.de>
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 12:15:08 +0100 (CET)
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0401171153060.5697-100000@hobbes.inf.fu-berlin.de>


I am slightly confused by the RDF Primer and RDF Semantics sections on
Reification. Both documents state quite clearly that a reified triple
is bound to a token (i.e. an occurrence) of a triple in a specific RDF
document, and that its subject/predicate/object are bound to actual
resources of the world (i.e. elements of IR/IP).

Also, both documents specifically contrast this to something called
Quotation. The example "this triple has this form" suggests to me that
a Quotation is bound to a triple token too ("this"), but its s/p/o are
*not* bound to world resources, i.e. are just strings.

However, considering the binding to a triple token and the binding to
world resources I would expect the following possible constructs:

"this RDF triple talks about these things"  (Reification)
"this RDF triple talks about these strings" (Quotation, not bound to resources)
"some RDF triple may talk about these things"  (not bound to a triple token)
"some RDF triple may talk about these strings" (combination of the two above)

I am wondering what is so important about this particular alternative 2.
In fact, it seems of rather limited use to me, as attempting to model
something like "Bob did not say "The sky is green" " would lead to a
contradiction: The quoted sentence is bound to a triple, which by
definition *asserts* the fact "The sky is green". For this example,
alternative 3 would be more appropriate.

I would appreciate if you could clarify this issue in the Primer and
Semantics document.

Karsten Otto
Received on Saturday, 17 January 2004 06:15:41 UTC

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