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  1. OMG Issue

SBVR15 — 'closed semantic formulation' is not properly defined

  • Key: SBVR15-13
  • Legacy Issue Number: 19713
  • Status: open  
  • Source: Thematix Partners LLC ( Edward Barkmeyer)
  • Summary:

    SBVR Clause 9.2 defines: ‘semantic formulation’ as ‘a conceptual structure of meaning’.

    And then closed semantic formulation is defined as 'semantic formulation that includes no variable without binding'

    But no SBVR concept associates semantic formulation (in general) with variables. And some other conceptual structure of meaning, e.g., phrased in SBVR structured English or OWL, might not have any notion of ‘variable’ or ‘binding’ at all. So the definition appeals to a delimiting characteristic that may be meaningless for the general concept, and thereby admit semantic formulations that were not intended.

    Every structure of meaning presumably formulates a meaning; otherwise it formulates nonsense. But clause 9.2 has only ‘closed semantic formulation formulates meaning’, which suggests that open semantic formulations (involving free variables) formulate nonsense. That is simply not true of a ‘structure of meaning’ formulated in CLIF. What is really meant is that LRMV ‘closed logical formulations’ formulate propositions, and LRMV ‘closed projections’ formulate concepts. But those are special cases.

    The definition of ‘closed semantic formulation’ should be ‘closed logical formulation or closed projection’, which makes it clearly an LRMV concept, and then those concepts must state their relationship to free variables.

    The general idea for all conceptual structures of meaning is ‘semantic formulation formulates meaning’, which would allow other semantic formulations, e.g., in SBVR SE, OWL, etc., to be related to the meanings they formulate. If an LRMV projection or logical formulation that is not closed does not formulate a meaning, that is a LRMV Necessity for those specific concepts.

    Finally, note that a (clause 8) Definition is always a representation of a conceptual structure of meaning that formulates a concept. The important idea in ‘definition serves as designation’ in clause 11.2.3 is that the representation of a semantic formulation (a conceptual structure of meaning) is used to refer to the concept itself, rather than just the properties contained in the formulation. This idea of semantic formulation as conceptual structure of meaning is fundamental to the notion ‘definition’, and should not be buried in the LRMV.

  • Reported: SBVR 1.1 — Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:00 GMT
  • Updated: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 13:19 GMT