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Re: METAGRAM + OOP = ABLE a conlang experiment

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Monday, December 22, 2003, 5:04
--- Caleb Hines <cph9fa@...> wrote:


> BTW, how would you distinguish (or would it be > possible to do so) between > the two different possible meanings of an ambiguous > sentence like this: > > "The philosophical Greeks like to talk." >
How about this: There are two families of assertions: Assertions about things and assertions about assertions. Just to clarify, although this is not strictly necessary, we will enclose the arguments of assertions about assertions in square brackets. Thus we might write [ assertion 1 ].Implies[ assertion 2 ] Now we have to ask what is meant by "is philosphical" and by "likes to talk". Colloquially, "is philosophical" can mean: 1. Has an interest in philosophy 2. Is exceptionally thoughtful and reflective 3. Is exceptionally mellow and easy going among others. "likes to talk" can mean anything from "enjoys talking" to "talks habitually or obsessively." Just picking one interpretation of each at random we might write: Greek.Disposition( philosophical ).Enjoy( Talk ) OR [ Greek.Disposition( philosophical )].Implies[ Greek.Enjoy( Talk )] The first case states two unconnected facts; A certain Greek is philosophical and a certain Greek enjoys talking. The second makes the second assertion conditional on the truth of the first assertion. Specifically, it states that if a certain Greek is philosophical THEN that certain Greek enjoys talking. If we meant to imply that it is true that ALL Greeks are both philosophical and enjoy talking then we would write: All[ Greek ].Disposition( philosophical ).Enjoy( Talk ) With reference to the "Implies" assertion, it might be possible to rephrase that without the "Implies" by writing: Any[ Greek.Disposition( philosophical )].Enjoy( Talk ) In this instance the whole "thing" that "enjoys talking" is "Any[ Greek.Disposition( philosophical )]" and the "Implies" is kind of invisibly embedded in the structure by implication. Just like if we said "The red ball is falling off the roof.": [ ball.Color( red )].Fall( OFF:roof ) which differs from "The ball is red and is falling off the roof: ball.Color( red ).Fall( OFF:roof ) The difference is subtle, but in the first case the "thing" falling is "ball.Color( red )" and in the second case the "thing" falling is "ball", and incidently, we also know that it is red. I'm not sure what all these subtle distinctions might actually mean, if anything, but I'll give it some thought. --gary