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Semantic lexicon, qualia and Pustejovsky

From:Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Date:Sunday, March 28, 2004, 6:59
John Cowan's last message about lexicons (referring to
an article about how implementing a lexicon in Perl -
quite interesting from a technical point of view)
brought back a wide question to my mind: what is
definition ?

Hundreds of books have been written on the topic, of
course, but what I would like to understand clearly,
to start with, has been studied by Pustejovsky I
think. As far as I remember, he used Aristote's theory
of the qualia. I read pages and pages about it, but at
the moment, the only thing I can remember (true, it's
early Sunday morning) is that:

- you can define a concept using a "sort-of" operator
(a mouse is a sort, or kind of, mammal, etc)

- you can define it by its goal, or use (a rake is an
artefact used to..., etc)

The there were two more qualia, among them an "agent"
if I remember, but I can't think of any concrete
examples (maybe: a postman is a human being whose
function is to deliver mail ???). Mayve I just mixed
up everything and it's not that at all.

So if somebody could explain me the whole thing in a
few simple words, it would be great. My concern is:

1/ to understand the point of this qualia thing

2/ to clearly understand each one of the 4 qualia, to
judge whether from my point of view they are relevant
or not, to understand why there are 4 of them and not
3 or 12 for ex.

3/ to see if this ca

Philippe Caquant

"High thoughts must have high language." (Aristophanes, Frogs)

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Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Chris Palmer <chris@...>