34Quasilogical Form & "type"
- Jan 10, 2002Okay, 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
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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