Sunday, June 28, 2015

At least three kinds of intransitive verbs?

I find three different types of content blurred together as "intransitive verbs":

Persistent attributes should be written as adjectives: "It is raining" as

Changes in persistent attributes should be written using the becoming operator. "He fell asleep" as

Implicit transitive verbs should be written explicitly: "Jane coughed" as

Sunday, June 21, 2015

People with racist manifestos should be of interest to the FBI

How many people were killed in the US due to racism this year? From what I read our security apparatus spends plenty of money monitoring environmental activism. Do they pay equal attention to gun wielding manifesto writers? Isn't it time to label racism "terrorism" and start monitoring it more actively? Or is it too deeply rooted among the people doing the monitoring?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Another function of anaphoras

A word like "his" which creates implicit ownership and implicit male gender does not pay the kind of penalty it would pay if it actually introduced those topics explicitly. I got no example.
Update: I can say that a word like "but" creates implicit content that does have to pay a penalty and be followed by something coherent or it violates narrative continuity.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The difference between "although" and "but"

Still trying to bring home the proto semantic bacon:

"X but Y" is notated as:
X+Y, [X::Y*]*
 (i.e. X did not cause the exclusion of Y).

"X although Y" is notated as
X+Y, [Y::X*]*
(i.e. Y did not cause the exclusion of X).

Update: Hence "although" and "but" are forms of double negative. 
Update2: You might wonder then: "what is the purpose of "but" and "although". They prepare the listener for a contrast.
Update3: In the algebra that sits over proto semantics, we could write [X::Y*]* => [X::Y].

Monday, June 8, 2015

Verbs vs adjectives or discrete event versus persistence in time

I find the "verb"/"adjective" distinction increasingly unworkable. Verbs that represent a state persisting in time become very much like adjectives: "He is sleeping" versus a discrete event "He slept". Since "He sleeps" is persistent it is adjective-like and only in the past tense is it verb-like. So even in the different conjugations of the "same verb", we get ontological differences.

I also have been making a false distinction between transitive verbs (with actor-target) and single-actor verbs; because many single actor verbs describe a persistent state which is, effectively adjective-like: "He runs". But this does not work when it comes to single actor verbs that are discrete events in time: "He ran", "He coughed".

So let us abandon two things: the use of "adjective" and "verb" and the strong reliance on single-actor versus actor-target distinction. So persistence becomes "attribute" and discrete moment becomes "event". Can I pretend that discrete event single-actor verbs have an implicit target? Maybe they do. He slept on the bed. He coughed into the air.

So I am going to try this:
  • Verb-like for actor-target relations that occur at a discrete moment in time (target may be implicit).
  • Adjective-like for everything else, single actor or actor-target, that persists in time.
The convention will be that any discrete moment of time involves an actor-target pair. When the target is always the same and contained in the verb, then it can implicit.

"He slept"  diagrams as (He)slept->[Z] and if Z is not a bed it can become explicit as something else. In other words I am speculating that: single actor and discrete moment are only combined when there is a default target.

We can add some consequences: a persistent state (adjective) has a beginning (verb) and an end (verb) and can exist in the past (a verb). Conversely, a verb that persists is an adjective. Hence
"I love you" either persists as an attribute of 'I' or has a beginning or ending in time and becomes an event or action..... A bit awkward but closer to right than what I had. [I mean the semantic analysis not the love affair :) ]