Monday, April 24, 2017

Verbs mixed with adjective and the power of the '[ ]' notation for implicitness

I was making up an example of a statement that combined verbs and adjectives and the following, not entirely natural, example came up:

Jon shot a goose that cooked up pretty good

A couple of sort-of interesting things come up as I try to "diagram" it using proto semantics. 

Jon-shot->Goose, [We]-cooked->Goose, [?]_/good

I am using '?' to indicate the ambiguity of whether the cooking or its result was good. Since it is implicit, and since there is a truism that makes them somewhat equivalent, you can see why it is easier to just leave it implicit.

Something like an inserted "We" is needed. Which suggest the general rule of narrative continuity allowing  arbitrary insertion of "I" or "We". This is allowed because they are always in context just as the subject of a story is always in context. [Added: in other words they are global variables]

I think it is good that the proto semantic notation stumbles on exactly the ambiguities that are present in the sentence. The word "that", leaves us uncertain if the entire situation is being described as 'good' or a sub part of it. One does, in fact, sense that ambiguity but also that the ambiguity is not important; which is because of Truism 8 "If an action is described as a success, its outcome is assumed to be good". 

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