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34Quasilogical Form & "type"

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  • sinuously
    Jan 10, 2002
      Okay, I confess I have skipped around in the book. After all it
      borrowed from a friend, and I only meant to read about language
      parsing, and then one thing lead to another - but if I've missed
      something the index hasn't helped me sort out where to find the
      missing pieces. So far I've read chapters 6, 7, part of 8, and 22 up
      to this section. But, to the point:

      I cannot figure what is meant by the "Type" column in table 22.17
      on page 678 (20th printing). The note says that the arrow notation
      specifies a function that takes an argument of type "t" and returns
      type "r". But for two places, where the notation appears it takes
      object(s) and returns a sentence. In fact they all return sentences.

      So in what sense do they return sentences, or more broadly in what
      sense are these "types" defined? Grammatically? If so then an
      adjective would take an object and convert it into a noun phrase
      'lambda x Smelly(x) (cheese)' would take a noun symantically
      representing cheese and return a noun phrase symantically
      cheese that smells. This doesn't fit the table, so I turn to the
      notion that it is merely taking a predicate object and returning an
      atomic sentence; presumably returning the proposition that some
      object, like a cheese that might be specified, has strong odor.

      The relationship which makes it a sentence would have to be an
      implicit one between an unstated strong odor object and a cheese
      object, e.g. has(strongOdor, cheese), or HasStrongOdor(cheese).
      I guess is the same as Smelly(cheese), which proposes a unique
      relationship between an intrinsic smell and a specified cheese. This
      actually makes more sense, especially as other argument types or
      constants are 'object', 'event', and 'quantifier', constructions
      extended from predicate logic (though 'number' seems previously
      unintroduced ).

      But if that is what 'sentence' refers to, what is the relationship
      implied in the sentence "I sleep", which has a subjective noun but no
      objective one? I sleep with me? I have sleep? Can sleep even be an
      object, poetry notwithstanding? It's all rather vague, and
      because I don't know what I can ignore there is a lack of utility,
      which bugs me, so I can't help but think that I haven't gotten the
      gist of this.

      All in all the domain and range of this 'function' mapping is not
      well explained, unless I am to take the sections immediately leading
      up to it as explanation (it which case they haven't been focused
      enough). Which is a shame because I suspect the Type column is there
      to *help* focus the concepts, not to introduce new unknowns.

      So please excuse any implicit criticisms, as I'm sure they are
      of my own ignorance, and please tell, someone, what does this column

      In hopes of Illumination,
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