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RE: Language?

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 22:31:07 +0600
To: "David Allsopp" <dallsopp@signal.dera.gov.uk>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

>The patterns of "My name is Jim", "My cat is small" match, presumably,
>but that won't allow us to work out the meaning of the symbols
>"name","Jim","cat" and "small" - our foreign counterpart could be
>talking about literally _anything_.  What does "Zr foo ga bar" mean?  We
>can only try to deduce valid ways of putting the (meaningless) symbols
>together, i.e. grammar.

I'll leave proofs to the logicians, but 1. I'm fairly sure that it would be
impossible to match everything within a finite amount of time, 2. I am
pretty sure that as long as most sentences written were valid (and the
languages are both describing the same world as interpreted by the same kind
of agents) then communication could take place.

Take a pair of limited vocabularies -
We know the terms : 'the cat', 'sat on' 'the mat' - call them a, b, c
Zog knows :  '$', '@', '!' (Zog), call them A, B, C

we might say abc, we might just say a, we might even occasionally say cab,
but mostly we'll say abc.
Now Zog says @!$ a lot, but rarely $!@ - does this suggest anything?
Received on Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:36:29 UTC

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