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  1. OMG Issue

SBVR15 — SBVR Issue: 'denotes' is too narrowly defined

  • Key: SBVR15-93
  • Legacy Issue Number: 19883
  • Status: open  
  • Source: Thematix Partners LLC ( Edward Barkmeyer)
  • Summary:

    In SBVR v1.3, clause 8.7, Figure 8.12, 'expression denotes thing' represents the bottom edge of the semiotic triangle, but unlike 'represents' and 'corresponds to', which represent the other two edges of the semiotic triangle, 'expression denotes thing' is not an SBVR verb concept. Instead, we have 'term denotes thing', 'name references thing', 'statement denotes state of affairs'. But none of 'term', 'name', and 'statement' is (said to be) an expression. So, none of the SBVR concepts actually represents the 'denotes' concept in the semiotic triangle. And apparently an SBVR verb symbol cannot denote anything!

    This is completely inconsistent with established linguistic and semiotic practice, and it is inconsistent with ISO 1087. Yes, SBVR distinguishes expressions by their roles – term, name, verb symbol, definition, statement – but they all denote things. The idea of the diagram 8.12 is that each role of expression constrains the things that it can denote, but that model is incomplete. Verb symbols and definitions are also roles of expressions in representing concepts and can thus denote the things to which the concept corresponds. Further the use of 'references' instead of 'denotes' for 'name denotes thing' is a pointless inconsistency, which reduces the clarity of the specification.

    Note also that the term 'denotes' (without markup) is incorrectly used in the definition of 'designation'. 'denotes' is correctly used in the definition of 'placeholder', but that use assumes the missing generic concept 'expression denotes thing', because a role expression can be anything from a simple term/name to a quantified definitional expression. That is, SBVR uses the common understanding of the term 'denotes' but the SBVR concept system does not contain that concept.

    [This is a replacement for Issue 19715, which is confused.]

  • Reported: SBVR 1.2 — Mon, 13 Jun 2016 04:00 GMT
  • Updated: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:01 GMT