SUO: Re: Enhancing Data Interoperability with Ontologies...
I'm sorry that I used the word "handle",
which for true NLs would imply much more
than I could claim for CLCE.
I agree with most of what you say, but the
following statement requires further commentary:
JB> These are then not pronouns; they are proper
> names and do not have to be tracked according
> to discourse context. Which makes them trivial:
> which is good for CLCE but has little to do
> with "handling" pronouns.
I agree with the final point, which is the reason
why I prefer letters rather than traditional
English pronouns for CLCE.
However, I believe that pronouns and proper names
have a much closer affinity than people like
Kripke et al. might say. Peirce introduced the
word "indexical" as the general category for all
such terms -- pronouns, variables, and proper
Unlike Kripke, who tried to call names "rigid"
designators, Peirce was well aware that names
such as "John" are hardly very rigid at all.
Even when you add a second name, such as
"Bateman" or "Sowa", they are still context
dependent. (On the WWW, you need further
context to distinguish me from a chemist
named "John R. Sowa" or a policeman who
was shot in Atlanta.)
Peirce said that proper names are pure
indexicals when first linked to an individual
by pointing, and afterwards they acquire a
conventional character. Since pronouns
only acquire such a conventional character
in rare circumstances, they are purer
indexicals. I would claim that variables
have a stronger affinity to pronouns than
to proper names.
For the Common Logic project, Pat Hayes
suggested, and I quickly agreed, that we
need not make any syntactic distinction
between variables and proper names. If a
character string is introduced by a quantifier,
then it is a variable. Otherwise, it is
assumed to be a name, which is treated
logically in the same way as a variable
introduced with an existential quantifier
and having global scope (i.e., the entire
text in which it occurs).
Finally, the rules for determinng whether
two occurrences of the same variable string
are coreferent or independent is based
on the the logical structure. That is
a subset of the DRT rules that Kamp
assumed for resolving anaphora.