Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Vagueness in the Truism Classification

It is a bit confusing to have Truism 6N cover the act of making implicit assumptions into explicit parts of a narrative, while Truism 1 and 5N involve implicit assumptions. Implicit assumptions can either (a) be used in analysis of a sentence; or (b) become part of the explicit narrative.

Truism 1 states implicit assumptions about events.
Truism 5N says that facts are implicit assumptions.
Truism 6N says any implicit assumptions (not just 1 and 5N) can be made explicit.

I remain confused about this because I am not sure what are all the implications for an implicit assumption. It generates an optional narrative fragment that may appear explicitly (6N) or it can remain implicit and only appear in meta discussion.

Or, a truism may make sense of a later part of a sentence, or help anticipate it. Two different uses?

One more clarification (you can tell I am unsure): Truism 6N is N([Z],Z where the connector is a ',' and not a '::'. This is important because there is no automatic use of "but" to reverse polarities. So Trusim 1 is not expected to have a "but"-dependent polarity. And Truism 5N makes no assumptions about what known factual narratives it is referring to. I like the word "flout" which they use to indicate polarity reversal for "implicature" - an idea close to that of "truism" and very much the same as the affect of "but".

Monday, July 27, 2015

Truism 7: What has been contrasted with is now allowed

This takes a very general form.
Truism 7: What has been contrasted with is now allowed.
X* :: X
I had a lot of trouble deciding (a) that this is a truism that is used; (b) that it is used even in the language of the concrete events and persons.

Rationale: At first I noticed this truism being used in literature. For example the Clive Cussler sentence (see here) begins with something like "He almost fell asleep". I noted that, by the end of the paragraph, he does finally get to go to sleep. So the whole paragraph might be summarized by this truism:
(he_/sleep)* :: (he_/sleep)
More recently I noticed the truism "you get what you want" was mis-classified in terms of a "want" verb. I decided that "want" describes an experience of lacking something, hence it is related to the adjectives of "having"/"not-having" and those, in turn, are adjectives modified by the verb pair "get"/"lose". Making those verbs more primary and putting them into my "starter" verb table, meant taking out "want". In the new analysis "want" is contrasted with having. So "X wants Y" is translated as: 
(X_/has Y)*
In that case the "you get what you want" is a simple application of Truism 7 to this particular adjective narrative:
(X_/has Y)* :: (X_/has Y)
Example: John was hungry so he went out to eat."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Expressing a verb as a change to an attribute

By convention my "verbs" are always between an actor and a target and always leave the target (and sometimes the actor) with changed properties. So it is convenient, when an attribute A is changed by a verb, to use the notation 'dA' as a name for the verb. So we can express various things, for example the basic dynamic relationship:

Kinda fun.

Update: somehow this notation had me thinking harder about Newton's Laws of Motion. They run in parallel with truisms and basic definitions of semantics. For example the above is our form of F=m*dV and the 1st Law about bodies remaining in motion matches the 4th truism that "things remain the same". 

The conclusion I come to is that Newton was semantically constrained and his genius was in finding a vocabulary for the world that fit naturally and exactly into (pre-existing) language conventions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Abnoxious ads driving me from various websites

Just experienced a video that kept re-setting my volume whenever I muted it. I was trying to read something on a web page and the add was off-screen below. So it kept turning itself back on and I had to leave. Won't be back to that web site as much.
Seems to me these pop-up, pop-under, pop-insert, flashing, un-muteable POSs are killing the internet experience.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gentner's Early Acquisition of Nouns and Verbs Evidence from Navajo

This is great: Navajo has a verb for "handle round object".
Update: I don't know if this is part of a general pattern in Navajo of expressing persistent attributes of an object in terms only for when they are being interacted with... slicing and dicing the verb/adjective continuum differently. Is the object still considered round when it is not being handled?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why cannot we measure language?

We have a grand history of measuring the earth about us. Why can't we measure language? I think it is because we have trouble coming to grips with the analogy between points and words. So I propose the analogy of a numeric coordinate for a point is the native meaning of a word and that the analog of the abstract point is a word's noun/adjective/verb role within a narrative structure.
This may seem awkward since the word meaning is generally qualitative not quantitative. But I think that is the right way to go and you can always turn a qualitative space into a quantitative one - eg a color space. And this way narrative structure built around word roles takes center stage in the abstract "geometric" discussion of semantics.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lightening formation using organic polymers

Just in case, it should be mentioned that the presence of extracellular organic polymers in clouds is one possible explanation for formation of conductive "tubes" in the formation of lightening. That was David Sands's thought, when I brought up the presence of these polymers. Of course with all those dead and dying bacteria, there are plenty of polymers, like DNA, floating around overhead.