Trying To Make The Problem A Bit Clearer

In the hopes of making it a bit clearer why it is a problem, let me restate the question that I think the Relational Algebra will resolve.

So far we have been modeling sentences in which nothing is left unspecified.  Chris invites AndrewLukas laughs.  How could we model, however, sentences such as Chris invited someone, Someone invited Andrew, Someone invited someone, Joe ate something, Someone laughed … sentences in which at least one of the “central participants in a situation” is left unspecified?

‘Somebody’, ‘someone’, ‘something’ and so on pose a problem for the model presented in the post The Verb Considered As A Function.  Sets always comprise definite, clear-cut individuals.  Since functions are sets of ordered pairs, the primary and recursive functions discussed so far are pairings of definite entities.  What would it mean anyway to have a function that included an indefinite or unknown, entity, as if some function could be pictured this way:
brackets instead.

(1)     [[ laugh ]] = {   T,
  Eva F,
  Lukas T,
  Tina T }


How would we model a sentence “Somebody laughed” that is true, and a corresponding sentence “Somebody laughed” that is false?



About Cliff Wirt

I am a banking DBA with various and sundry interests, including art, poetry, philosophy, music, languages, relational algebra, database administration, and blueberries. Don't forget the blueberries. Some of these interests tie in in surprising though usually tangential ways with database theory. Even the blueberries. I have published one article in a Philosophy Journal, and I have one painting in a corporate collection (housed in what used to be the Amoco building in Chicago). According to 12andMe, my paternal haplogroup is I2, my maternal H5. The Neanderthal percentage of my ancestry is 3%. My most famous ancestor is William Wirt (from whom I get my last name, though possibly not my Y chromosome), who defended the rights of the Cherokees before the Supreme Court, and ran for President in 1832, carrying one state. My homepage is at My FaceBook page is at My LinkedIn page is at View all posts by Cliff Wirt

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