Wednesday, January 6, 2016

About the unanswered phone - More truisms?

I hope not, as I already submitted, with 8. Anyway, this could be #9:

Expectation 9
When we expect a person to act in a certain way, it embodies an assumption of a circumstance that will be changed. 
person->H::H* ????

I believe these are truisms of literature (i.e. in the context of the 'story' noun type) but they could be ones of language or even of plain psychology (to which we proto semantic notation applies easily enough). I haven't found sentences with this format but consider the following explanation of the 'unanswered phone': We expect a person to answer a ringing phone. We expect the ringing to stop.

What about a person next to a cute puppy? Do we expect the person to pat the puppy? The theory seems to hinge on whether any such expectation would have to be accompanied by a change in the circumstances that produce the expectation - but of course, patting a puppy does changes the circumstances significantly.

So we'll give this some thought.

My uncertainty as to whether this is language, literature, or psychology, shows a weakness in reasoning. I can easily construct a sentence like "The light turned green but the cars did not make it through", or "The phone rang and he didn't answer." These are just Truism 7.  Here, in E9, a person is involved and responsible for causing the relief.
Update: I begin to think there are principles involved in projecting our wants and behaviors onto any other person acting in the scene. This, combined with the slipperiness of the "story"-type of noun means it is not going to be easy to figure out.
What about, for narrative N()
N( person->[Z], A* ) :: A

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