In recent years, sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of a wide range of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Unfortunately, annotation and integration of ncRNA data has lagged behind their identification. Given the large quantity of information being obtained in this area, there emerges an urgent need to integrate what is being discovered by a broad range of relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a systematically structured and precisely defined controlled vocabulary for the (...) domain of ncRNAs, thereby facilitating the discovery, curation, analysis, exchange, and reasoning of data about structures of ncRNAs, their molecular and cellular functions, and their impacts upon phenotypes. The goal of NCRO is to serve as a common resource for annotations of diverse research in a way that will significantly enhance integrative and comparative analysis of the myriad resources currently housed in disparate sources. It is our belief that the NCRO ontology can perform an important role in the comprehensive unification of ncRNA biology and, indeed, fill a critical gap in both the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Library and the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) BioPortal. Our initial focus is on the ontological representation of small regulatory ncRNAs, which we see as the first step in providing a resource for the annotation of data about all forms of ncRNAs. The NCRO ontology is free and open to all users, accessible at: http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/ncro.owl. (shrink)
Research has indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs), a special class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), can perform important roles in different biological and pathological processes. miRNAs’ functions are realized by regulating their respective target genes (targets). It is thus critical to identify and analyze miRNA-target interactions for a better understanding and delineation of miRNAs’ functions. However, conventional knowledge discovery and acquisition methods have many limitations. Fortunately, semantic technologies that are based on domain ontologies can render great assistance in this regard. In our (...) previous investigations, we developed a miRNA domain-specific application ontology, Ontology for MIcroRNA Target (OMIT), to provide the community with common data elements and data exchange standards in the miRNA research. This paper describes (1) our continuing efforts in the OMIT ontology development and (2) the application of the OMIT to enable a semantic approach for knowledge capture of miRNA-target interactions. (shrink)
Two continents. Three countries. Mountains, archipelago, a little red dot & more to come. BERIT SOLI-HOLT (Editor): When I think of introductory material, I think of that Derrida documentary when he is asked about what he would like to know about other philosophers. He simply states: their love life. APRIL VANNINI (Editor): And as far as introductions go, I think Derrida brought forth a fruitful discussion on philosophy and thinking with this statement. First, he allows philosophy to open up the (...) personal and second, the ability to conjure the notion of thinking in relation. After all, love lives are spawned from relations, and such are philosophical encounters—the co-emergence of thought and affect. This brings us to discuss the concept of the special issue of continent. called drift . From the Statement of Intent : The discussion that has become drift , a special issue of continent. began in the glow of a bonfire beside a lake near the Thousand Islands of Ontario when co-founders April and Berit came across a conception of a journal that would decline to follow traditional models of invitation and editorship, instead following a generated discourse through relational means. Shedding preemptive articulation of expected outcome and cohesion, we hope to light a fuse of chain interactions with each contributor active in authorial, editorial, and curatorial roles. drift seeks to allow the framing mechanism to choose itself, to find where something can flow or emerge in relation to a series of participants. By setting out a thread of thought to work its own way through writers and artists of various locations, drift operates through links, breaks, pauses, new directions, unintended consequences, twists, holes, bridges. We are attempting to give the scene for an emergence and what can become conceivable when given the opportunity to create chains of thought—linking, welding, fusing, looping, stitching. We hope to explore what is attainable when scholarly/artistic relationships transverse on their own terms instead of articulated by an institutional environment. JEREMY FERNANDO (Guest Editor): I think he was actually more interested in their sex lives. Though at the same time completely refusing to discuss, disclose, his own: I found it rather touching that he blushes whenever speaking of his life with Marguerite. So perhaps in this sense it is very apt to speak of it in terms of love; and the secret that is in each love: that even though it is a relationality between, there are parts of it that remain hidden, not just from everyone else, but even those in that relation itself. What the editors intend to ^do^ to impart this conceptualization is to provide a framework through the choice of a theme and by minimal standardization of form and content guidelines. As initial instigator, each editor will send their contribution to the issue to a fellow colleague, thinker, artist, friend with the invitation to send (via post) the accruing materials to another possible contributor. In this, we hope to engage with many individuals on ideas surrounding a specific theme determined but not limited by the editors of the drift . The end result will take the form of whatever is at hand (as materials can only stay with each contributor for two weeks) and whomever is at hand (the availability of interested and capable parties) through a course of five months. We are curious. What are the ways in which thought can emerge between individuals and places? What occurs when our fundamental mode of inquiry is between each other? How are ethical, social, spacious, political, aesthetic practices created between a chain of contributors. BSH: To introduce what to look forward to in June with the publication of drift isn't quite possible yet. It is in the stages of preparation, barely started, but already begun. I have been thinking about drift as an insect that goes through life cycles, chrysalises, pupas, larva. Each moment of the production and publication of this issue of continent. is its own life. A bug under a pin is not as interesting as one in flight or crawling up your leg. JF: Though the one crawling up your leg is also more likely to bite you. There is always already a danger in letting be, thinking …. Then again, there is also a potential rupture in attempting to seize, pin down, capture. BSH: I think a word we haven't thought about enough yet is capture. I think we are perhaps trying to capture something, or to allow for the moments of this capture along the way, the resulting material being the ripples left in the sand when the water waves away. AV: This question comes to mind when speaking about captures, waves, ripples: How can we activate a ripple? What I find interesting about a wave is the difference in frequencies, movements, forms, style that are activated in between intervals. What is interesting about a wave is that it is activated in relation to what came before. What remains in the sand is a ripple that forms in relation between multiple intervals of stylistic waves. As Deleuze and Parnet have taught us, "We were only two, but what was important for us was less our working together than this strange fact of working between the two of us. We stopped being 'author'. And these 'between-the-twos' referred back to other people, who were different on one side from the other. The desert expanded, but in so doing became more populous." 1 Drift is activation for thinking-with and possibly much more—who knows? There is the intent to subvert the relational qualities between people in journal publishing, but also important to the editors is the subversion of materials. The editors do not shy away from use of contemporary technology and, in fact, have relied and will continue to rely on the wonders of internet connectivity to midwife the drift. The connective infrastructure chosen to relay the developing issue is simply one of bodies, of postal workers and the varying postal systems. Some may find it to be merely be a call of an already dying form, but the editors believe that the conversation exchanged from hand to hand is of explicit difference in quality of engagement due to the complexity of peripheral information transported by physical matter. Different hospitalities and responsibilities are at play in keeping hold of one-of-a-kind materials for a time and entrusting various postal systems to bear the message forward. To have work physically transported through space and time through this kind of infrastructure that is reliant on individuals to literally carry a message is crucial in incorporating traces of bodily presence. AV: Thought is contingent and emergent process that folds, twists, pulls, shifts in multiple directions and we are interested in these multiple directions. JF: And even as thought is contingent on, hinged around, its place, time, venue—on its continents, as it were (we still tend to speak of gestures of thinking as Continental, British, American, European, Asian, etc.)—we might also attempt to respond to the landscape within each thought: its folds, unfoldings, rolls, manoeuvres, geography. BSH: How different is this than Morelli's screw that Julio Cortazar or Horacio Oliveira recounts in Hopscotch? The fable recalls a man who regarded a screw everyday on his stoop. When he perishes, the screw disappears, perhaps into a fellow neighbor's pocket for secret contemplation. Whoever is writing the passage remarks that "Morelli thought that the screw must have been something else, a god or something like that. Too easy a solution. Perhaps the error was in accepting the fact that the object was a screw simply because it was shaped like a screw." JF: Perhaps even more intriguing is the notion that we do not quite know who is inscribing these remarks on Morelli. That even as someone says that it is a screw, perhaps because it is shaped like a screw, the one who names it “screw”—the one whom we are in a relation with in relation to the screw—remains veiled from us. But even as this is so, the notion of the object as “screw” is marked, etched, onto us. BSH: A periodical, marking a period of time, but where? An issue, a magazine, a storehouse of information. To show the remainders of thinkers connecting and surfing. With all this stated, we, as editors of the drift are aware of the active fault, quaking potential, and ethical catastrophe of such a proposed project — the inheritance or the gifting of a project without consent. We are certain that there may be possible oversight on the process of such a project. If such is the case, we hope that oversight and misdirection will not leave this project dormant but rather open up promising new directions, questions, and potential considerations. We are very excited about the accidental propositions that can occur in between. In sum, we'll see what happens. JF: Perhaps, all we can know of the screw is that we are screwed ... NOTE Gilles Deleuze & Claire Parnet. Dialogues II . Revised edition. (New York: Columbia University Press). 2007: 17. (shrink)
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: Jeremy Fernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * "… to sleep perchance to dream " 1 To dream: to be not quite asleep, yet not particularly awake. Or, rather: to be awake but not quite know it. For, it is only when we dream, when we are dreaming, that we know that we are not in that final sleep. But we can only know that we are dreaming, that we have dreamt, when we are awake, when we have awoken; after it is too late. When all we know is that the sleep beyond finitude, the sleep that is the step beyond, is not yet upon us, is only to come. To die to sleep … To dream: a sleep that refuses sleep. Perchance to dream: to drift—between sleep and sleep. Aye there's the rub For, can we even know if we have been sleeping? Or, if death has claimed us?—even if a little death. α Ω α Ω α Ω To drift: but from, to, what? For, to drift implies a certain direction that one was headed from, heading to, headed for; without these indications, markers, points in relation with each other, one would just be moving. Can one know—intend—one's drift? Certainly a stunt driver would say so. But even as (s)he is starting her slide, all that (s)he can know is that she is setting the car, herself, the car with herself in it, in motion: after which the drift itself takes over. After which, all (s)he can do is attend to it. At the point of the drift: both (s)he and the car are drifting—here, one might not even be able to separate the movement from those involved in it. Without either of them, there would not be a drift; there is no drifting without the drifter. Both the drifter and the drifting are in a relationality; in which, all that they can know is that they are in relation with each other. Hence, the drift itself is a relationality. A non-essence. But, it is not as if we cannot speak of it. Perhaps though: we can only speak of it as if we can speak of it. Always already an imaginary gesture; where what is being imagined is the relationality between the drift and the ones drifting. Thus, we have a situation where the drifter and drifting are in a relationality; where relationality itself is what is being imagined. Perhaps then, what are we drifting from, to? , is a moot question. As is, what is drifting? Perhaps then, all we can say is drift? To speak of drift is an attempt to speak of the unspeakable. Not that what is speakable and what is unspeakable are antonyms: if that were so, speaking the unspeakable would make no sense, be a contradiction. But that in every act of speaking, something unspeakable is potentially said: something that opens, ruptures, wounds even. And not just that—at the point where it punctures, speaking itself moves out of the way for the unspeakable; speaking itself disappears. "… the whole art is to know how to disappear before dying, and instead of dying. " 2 To disappear; or, to drift out of sight. Where the words themselves slip away. After all: "in the Beginning was the Word. It was only afterwards that Silence came." Perhaps the wish, the hope, is that "the end itself has disappeared …" (Baudrillard, 70) Remaining hidden from us. Perhaps only glimpsed when we dream. Secret. α Ω α Ω α Ω " Bury all your secrets in my skin " (Corey Taylor) Which is the problem: words cling. And they remain. Perhaps not ontologically; but they certainly remain to haunt us. And here, we should not forget Lucretius' lesson that communication occurs in the skin between the parties in communion with each other. Which is not to say that the encounter is determined by atoms—and more precisely atoms that move in straight lines until they collide with each other—that communication is pre-determined. For, one must not forget that will is found, discovered, enacted even, at the moment the atoms swerve. Clinamen . Drift. But even in their movement—drifting—they trace themselves into the skin between; a tangential touching. Perhaps only briefly. But even then, enough … "… there's always texture that betrays the place." (May Ee Wong) Here though, one must not forget that betrayal cannot happen in the absence of love. In fact, betrayal is the very excess of love: where one loves the other so much that one can no longer bear to see the other drift from what (s)he could have been. Whether that idealised other exists or is only in one's head is another question altogether. Perhaps, a fetishised other: keeping in mind that "fetishes are hinged around simulation." After all, "when one is supposed to show up as an oil rig diver no one is expecting actual crude oil" (Amanda Sordes); in fact, actualisation is the perfect way to destroy the fantasy. Perhaps then, the only way to maintain love for another is to maintain a proper distance, as it were, from love: allow the love to constantly alter, change. And here, one must not forget that if love is a relationality between one and another who remains wholly other (otherwise just a mere manifestation of the self), love is a relationality that knows nothing except for the fact that it is in a relation. For, to love one has to attend to—without subsuming another, some other, under oneself. Which means that to love, one has to be willing to risk, to open oneself, to allow oneself to be wounded, torn apart. In new ways, ways that we have yet to understand, come across, ways we do not yet have a name for. Thus, this movement in love is one that occurs in utter blindness; to not only the other, but to what love is. This is love as pure drifting. Perhaps always searching for love itself, without ever knowing what it is that it is looking for. Love: only at the very moment when the word love itself disappears. Perhaps all we can do is sit, and attend: watching the tides flowing away—as if they were having their "last swim of the summer." (Hendrik Speck) Like a butterfly. α Ω α Ω α Ω Isn't it quite amazing how the appearance of a butterfly can inject a stutter or pause into any conversation? Words and words pour out of the animals in assembly, before they are all of a sudden arrested by the passing flight. Heads turn to trace a lilting poetics, attempting to close the distance with this seemingly awkward beauty. There are no straight lines here, only a relative arrival and departure to bracket a brilliant and bewildering trajectory, surging and lurching in a vibrating and nomadic line avant la lettre. (Sean Smith, 'I Seek You: Countdown to Stereoscopic Tear') Before the letter. Before the possibility of naming. Before being sayable. Quite possibly also before language. And yet, a "surging and lurching," a movement with an effect—"vibrating and nomadic"—tracing itself before there is even anything to trace. Leaving something, even if that thing remains unknowable, for us to attend to. Drifting into us. I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee..." (Carly Simon) NOTES William Shakespeare, Hamlet , Act 3 Scene 1. Jean Baudrillard, Why hasn't everything already disappeared? , 25.  . (shrink)
A survey was conducted to investigate the relationship of Australian consumers’ lived (experienced) spiritual well-being and materialism with the various dimensions of consumer ethics. Spiritual well-being is composed of four domains—personal, communal, transcendental and environmental well-being. All four domains were examined in relation to the various dimensions of consumers’ ethical beliefs (active/illegal dimension, passive dimension, active/legal dimension, ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension and ‘doing good’/recycling dimension). The results indicated that lived communal well-being was negatively related to perceptions of the active/illegal (...) dimension and the passive dimension and was positively related to perceptions of the ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension and the ‘doing good’/recycling dimension. Lived personal well-being was negatively related to perceptions of the active/illegal dimension and was positively related to perceptions of the ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension and the ‘doing good’/recycling dimension. Lived transcendental well-being was negatively related to perceptions of the passive dimension, the active/legal dimension and the ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension. Lived environmental well-being was negatively related to perceptions of the active/legal dimension and the ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension. The findings also indicated that materialism was positively associated with perceptions of actively benefiting from illegal actions, passively benefiting at the expense of the seller, actively benefiting from questionable but legal actions and benefiting from ‘no harm, no foul’ actions. Public policy implications of the findings and opportunities for future research are discussed. (shrink)
The relationship between spiritual wellbeing and ethical orientations in decision making is examined through a survey of executives in organizations listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The four domains of spiritual well-being, personal, communal, environmental and transcendental (Fisher, Spiritual health: its nature and place in the school curriculum, PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 1998; Gomez and Fisher, Pers Individ Differ 35:1975–1991, 2003) are examined in relation to idealism and relativism (Forsyth, J Pers Soc Psychol 39(1): 175–184, 1980). Results reveal that (...) spiritual well-being, in particular the communal domain of spiritual well-being, is correlated with and predictive of idealism. However, the relationship between spiritual well-being and relativism is weak. Implications of the study are discussed in terms of developing managerial programs that enhance communal well-being which should lead to greater idealism in decision making. Limitations of the study and future research opportunities are outlined. (shrink)
This study examines the relationships of empathy, moral identity and cynicism with the following dimensions of consumer ethics: the passive dimension (passively benefiting at the expense of the seller), the active/legal dimension (benefiting from questionable but legal actions), the ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension (actions that do not harm anyone directly but are considered unethical by some) and the ‘doing-good’/recycling dimension (pro-social actions). A survey of six hundred Australian consumers revealed that both empathy and moral identity were related to negative (...) beliefs regarding the passive and the active/legal dimensions of consumer ethics and were related to positive beliefs regarding the ‘doing-good’/recycling dimension. Cynicism was related to positive beliefs regarding the passive dimension of consumer ethics and was related to negative beliefs regarding the ‘doing-good’/recycling dimension. The role of moral disengagement in mediating these relationships was examined. Empathy and moral identity were only indirectly negatively related to the ‘no harm, no foul’ dimension of consumer ethics through moral disengagement, while cynicism was indirectly positively related to this dimension through moral disengagement. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
Events employed in natural language semantics are characterized in terms of regular languages, each string in which can be regarded as a motion picture. The relevant ﬁnite automata then amount to movie cameras/projectors, or more formally, to ﬁnite Kripke structures with par- tial valuations. The usual regular constructs (concatena- tion, choice, etc) are supplemented with superposition of strings/automata/languages, realized model-theoretically as conjunction.
Conservativity in generalized quantifiers is linked to presupposition filtering, under a propositions-as-types analysis extended with dependent quantifiers. That analysis is underpinned by modeltheoretically interpretable proofs which inhabit propositions they prove, thereby providing objects for quantification and hooks for anaphora.
Relations computed by ﬁnite-state transducers are applied to interpret temporal propositions in terms of strings representing ﬁnite contexts or situations. Carnap–Montague intensions mapping indices to extensions are reformulated as relations between strings that can serve as indices and extensions alike. Strings are related according to information content, temporal span and granularity, the bounds on which reﬂect the partiality of natural language statements. That partiality shapes not only strings-as-extensions (indicating what statements are about) but also strings-as-indices (underlying truth conditions).
Situations serving as partial worlds as well as events in natural language semantics are constructed from a type-theoretic interpretation of firstorder formulae and (after a type reduction) temporal formulae. Limitations of the Russell-Wiener-Kamp derivation of time from events are discussed and overcome to give a more widely applicable account of temporal granularity. Finite situations are formulated as strings of observations, conceptualized to persist inertially (in the absence of forces).
Finite-state methods are applied to determine the consequences of events, represented as strings of sets of fluents. Developed to flesh out events used in natural language semantics, the approach supports reasoning about action in AI, including the frame problem and inertia. Representational and inferential aspects of the approach are explored, centering on conciseness of language, context update and constraint application with bias.
Finite-state methods are applied to the Russell-Wiener notion of time (based on events) and developed into an account of interval relations and temporal propositions. Strings are formed and collected in regular languages and regular relations that are argued to embody temporal relations in their various underspecified guises. The regular relations include retractions that reduce computations by projecting strings down to an appropriate level of granularity, and non-deterministic relations defining notions of partiality within and across such levels.
Notions of disambiguation supporting a compositional interpretation ofvambiguous expressions and reflecting intuitions about how sentences combinevin discourse are investigated. Expressions are analyzed both inductively byvbreaking them apart, and co-inductively by embedding them within larger contexts.
The idea that temporal propositions are vague predicates is examined with attention to the nature of the objects over which the predicates range. These objects should not, it is argued, be identified once and for all with points or intervals in the real line (or any fixed linear order). Context has an important role to play not only in sidestepping the Sorites paradox (Gaifman 2002) but also in shaping temporal moments/extent (Landman 1991). The Russell-Wiener construction of time from events (Kamp (...) 1979) is related to a notion of context given by a string of observations, the vagueness in which is brought out by grounding the observations in the real line. With this notion of context, the context dependency functions in Gaifman 2002 are adapted to interpret temporal propositions. (shrink)
The notion of inertia is explicated in terms of forces recorded in snapshots that are strung together to represent events. The role inertia worlds were conceived to serve in the semantics of the progressive is assumed by a branching construct that specifies what may follow, apart from what follows.
The paper explains the application of a Social Innovation Based Transformative Learning pedagogical approach in an undergraduate, final year business ethics course taught at an Australian university. Using social innovation as an enabling process to extend students’ cognitive, behavioural and managerial competencies in an integrated manner, the paper describes how the SIBTL approach helps ethics teachers to promote students’ ethical action.
Dynamic and proof-conditional approaches to discourse (exemplified by Discourse Representation Theory and Type-Theoretical Grammar, respectively) are related through translations and transitions labeled by first-order formulas with anaphoric twists. Type-theoretic contexts are defined relative to a signature and instantiated modeltheoretically, subject to change.
Temporal propositions are mapped to sets of strings that witness (in a precise sense) the propositions over discrete linear Kripke frames. The strings are collected into regular languages to ensure the decidability of entailments given by inclusions between languages. (Various notions of bounded entailment are shown to be expressible as language inclusions.) The languages unwind computations implicit in the logical (and temporal) connectives via a system of finite-state constraints adapted from finite-state morphology. Applications to Hybrid Logic and non-monotonic inertial reasoning (...) are briefly considered. (shrink)
A distinction is drawn between situations as indices required for semantically evaluating sentences and situations as denotations resulting from such evaluation. For atomic sentences, possible worlds may serve as indices, and events as denotations. The distinction is extended beyond atomic sentences according to formulae-as-types and applied to implicit quantifier domain restrictions, intensionality and conditionals.
Reichenbach's event, reference and speech times are interpreted semantically by stringing and superposing sets of temporal formulae, structured within regular languages. Notions of continuation branches and of inertia, bound (in a precise sense) by reference time, are developed and applied to the progressive and the perfect.
We review and discuss A. H. Louie’s book “More than Life Itself: A Reflexion on Formal Systems and Biology” from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, involving both biology and mathematics, taking into account new developments and related theories.
In [HKL00] (henceforth HKL), Hamm, Kamp and van Lambalgen declare ‘‘there is no opposition between formal and cognitive semantics,’’ notwithstanding the realist/mentalist divide. That divide separates two sides Jackendo¤ has (in [Jac96], following Chomsky) labeled E(xternalized)-semantics, relating language to a reality independent of speakers, and I(nternalized)-semantics, revolving around mental representations and thought. Although formal semanticists have (following David Lewis) traditionally leaned towards E-semantics, it is reasonable to apply formal methods also to I-semantics. This point is made clear in HKL via (...) two computational approaches to natural language semantics, Discourse Representation Theory (DRT, [KR93]) and the Event Calculus (EC) presented in [LH05]. In this short note, I wish to raise certain questions about EC that can be traced to the applicability of formal methods to E-semantics and I-semantics alike. These opposing orientations suggest di¤erent notions of time, event and representation. (shrink)
with the meaning function [[·]] appearing on both sides. (1) is commonly construed as a prescription for computing the meaning of a based on the parts of a and their mode of combination. As equality is symmetric, however, we can also read (1) from right to left, as a constraint on the meaning [[b]] of a term b that brings in the wider context where b may occur, in accordance with what Dag Westerst˚ahl has recently described as “one version of (...) Frege’s famous Context Principle”. (shrink)
Inertia is enshrined in Newton’s ﬁrst law of motion, a body at rest or in uniform motion remains in that state unless a force is applied to it. Now, consider (1). (1) Pat stopped the car before it hit the tree. Can we conclude from (1) that the car struck the tree? Not without further information such as that supplied in (2). (2) But the bus behind kept going. A post-condition for Pat stopping the car is that the car be (...) at rest. To satisfy a pre-condition for the car hitting the tree (namely, that the car not be at rest), inertia requires that some intervening force act on the car (as hinted, for example, by (2)). In the absence of such a force, (1) would appear to suggest that Pat prevented a collision between car and tree. Exactly what bit of physics are we importing into natural language interpretation here? Oversimpliﬁed, Newton’s ﬁrst law of motion says: no change without force. Identifying force with cause, we come to the slogan no temporality without cause, capturing in a phrase the proposal from Steedman 2000 that.. (shrink)
Events and situations are represented by strings of temporally ordered observations, on the basis of which the events and situations are recognized. Allen’s basic interval relations are derived from superposing strings that mark interval boundaries, and Kamp’s event structures are constructed as projective limits of strings. Observations are generalized to temporal propositions, leading to event-types that classify event-instances. Working with sets of strings built from temporal propositions, we obtain natural notions of bounded entailment from set inclusions. These inclusions are decidable (...) if the sets are accepted by finite automata. (shrink)
Anankastic conditionals are analyzed in terms of events conceived as sequences of snapshots – roughly, comics. Quantiﬁcation is applied not to worlds (sets of which are customarily identiﬁed with propositions) but to strings that record observations of actions. The account generalizes to other types of conditionals, sidestepping certain well-known problems that beset possible worlds treatments, such as logical omniscience and irrelevance. A reﬁnement for anankastic conditionals is considered, incorporating action relations.
A modal logic for translating a sequence of English sentences to a sequence of logical forms is presented, characterized by Kripke models with points formed from input/output sequences, and valuations determined by entailment relations. Previous approaches based (to one degree or another) on Quantified Dynamic Logic are embeddable within it. Applications to presupposition and ambiguity are described, and decision procedures and axiomatizations supplied.
String representations of events are applied to Robin Cooper’s proposal that propositions in natural language semantics are types of situations. Links with the higher types of prooftheoretic semantics are forged, deepening type-theoretic interpretations of Discourse Representation Structures to encompass event structures.
Intervals and the events that occur in them are encoded as strings, elaborating on a conception of events as “intervals cum description.” Notions of satisfaction in interval temporal logics are formulated in terms of strings, and the possibility of computing these via ﬁnite-state machines/transducers is investigated. This opens up temporal semantics to ﬁnite-state methods, with entailments that are decidable insofar as these can be reduced to inclusions between regular languages.
The “surge in use of finite-state methods” () in computational linguistics has largely, if not completely, left semantics untouched. The present paper is directed towards correcting this situation. Techniques explained in  are applied to a fragment of temporal semantics through an approach we call finite-state temporality. This proceeds from the intuition of an event as “a series of snapshots” (; see also ), equating snapshots with symbols that collectively form our alphabet. A sequence of snapshots then becomes a string (...) over that alphabet, evoking comic/film strips. Jackendoff has, among others, objected to conceptualizing events in terms of snapshots (). To counter these objections, we step up from events-as-strings to event-typesas-regular languages ([5, 6]), recognizing the need for variable granularity. Beyond the introduction of disjunction implicit in the step from a single string up to a set of strings, we obtain a useful logic from the regular operations and a careful choice of the snapshots (constituting our alphabet). (shrink)
are considered with a view toward analyzing operational semantics from the perspective of predicate logic. The notion of a bisimulation is employed in two distinct ways: (i) as an extensional notion of equivalence on programs (or processes) generalizing input/output equivalence (at a cost exceeding II' ,over certain transition predicates computable in log space). and (ii) as a tool for analyzing the dependence of transitions on data (which can be shown to be elementary or nonelementary. depending on the formulation of the (...) transitions). (shrink)
The processing of sequences of (English) sentences is analyzed compositionally through transitions that merge sentences, rather than decomposing them. Transitions that are in a precise sense inertial are related to disjunctive and non-deterministic approaches to ambiguity. Modal interpretations are investigated, inducing various equivalences on sequences.
Notions of context for natural language interpretation are factored in terms of three processes: translation, entailment and attunement. The processes are linked by accessibility relations of the kind studied in many-dimensional modal logic, modulo complications from constraints between translation and entailment (violations in which may trigger re-attunement) and from reﬁnement and underspeciﬁcation.
Finite-state methods are applied to the Russell-Wiener-Kamp notion of time (based on events) and developed into an account of interval relations and semi-intervals. Strings are formed and collected in regular languages and regular relations that are argued to embody temporal relations in their various underspeciﬁed guises. The regular relations include retractions that reduce computations by projecting strings down to an appropriate level of granularity, and notions of containment for partiality within and across such levels.
To address complications involving ambiguity, presupposition and implicature, three processes underlying natural language interpretation are isolated: translation, entailment and attunement. A meta- language integrating these processes is outlined, elaborating on a proof-theoretic approach to presupposition.