[B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios

pburton at umn.edu pburton at umn.edu
Fri Apr 23 15:29:26 EDT 2010

Elizabeth Kline has written:
Cognitive Frames or Scenarios are a solution to this problem because they
represent a formal approach to modeling referential complexity. A frame is
something that can be encoded such that a computer can deal with it.

While there are considerable advantages to making it possible for computers
to deal with human language, we should remember that the people who
selected the words being dealt with are not computers. Semantic and other
classifications of human language have to allow for the human ability to
mean various things in various ways at various times - even, for example, 
be able to refer to the words being chosen at the same time as having the
words chosen refer to whatever else they refer to, whether frequently,
rarely or even uniquely. Goedel's Theorem can be useful to consider when
attempting to systematically analyse human language. There is a lot more to
human language than a formal description of the structures involved. It is
very convenient to notice, consider, report and teach patterns. They can be
helpful in understanding a text, but there will always be more to consider
to understand what any writer is conveying. Subsets of sets can be helpful,
but like Escher's 2 dimensional drawings that create the illusion of 3D
twists, the deliberate meanings of human words can defy groupings that
might otherwise suit many uses.

Peter Burton

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