LINGUIST List 6.872

Mon 26 Jun 1995

Confs: Conceptual Structures (ICCS95), Evolution of Lg

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  1. Gerard Ellis, International Conference on Conceptual Structures ICCS95 (programme)
  2. Jim Hurford, Evolution of Language

Message 1: International Conference on Conceptual Structures ICCS95 (programme)

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 16:16:46 International Conference on Conceptual Structures ICCS95 (programme)
From: Gerard Ellis <>
Subject: International Conference on Conceptual Structures ICCS95 (programme)

 3rd International Conference on Conceptual Structures
 August 14-18, 1995
 University of California, Santa Cruz

Sponsored by:
 IBM, Santa Teresa Laboratory, San Jose.
 University of California at Santa Cruz.
 Royal Melbourne University of Technology, Australia.
 American Association of Artificial Intelligence AAAI.

Conceptual structures are a modern treatment of Charles Sanders
Peirce's Existential Graphs which are a graphic notation for classical
logic with higher order extensions developed in 1896. Peirce viewed
existential graphs as ``his luckiest discovery'' and ``a logic of the

John Sowa showed that conceptual graphs can be mapped to classical
predicate calculus or order sorted logic, and are thus seen as a
(graphic) notation for logic. However, it is the topological nature of
formulas (topology was a field Peirce helped develop) which conceptual
graphs make clear, and which can be exploited in reasoning and
processing. Conceptual graphs are intuitive because they allow humans
to exploit their powerful pattern matching abilities to a larger extent
than does the classical notation. Conceptual graphs can be viewed as
an attempt to build a unified modelling language and reasoning tool.
Conceptual graphs can model data, functional and dynamic aspects of
systems. They form a unified diagrammatic tool which can integrate
Entity-Relationship diagrams, Finite State Machines, Petri Nets, and
Dataflow diagrams.

ICCS95 home page URL:


Program Chair Local Arrangements Chair
Gerard Ellis Robert Levinson
Royal Melbourne Univ of Technology Univ of California, Santa Cruz
Australia USA

Finance Chair Honorary Chair
Bill Rich John Sowa
IBM San Jose, California State University of New York


Hassan Ait-Kaci (Canada) Dickson Lukose (Australia)
Harmen van den Berg (Netherlands) Craig McDonald (Australia)
Duane Boning (USA) Guy Mineau (Canada)
Boris Carbonneill (France) Jens-Uwe Moeller (Germany)
Michel Chein (France) Bernard Moulin (Canada)
Key Sun Choi (Korea) Marie Laure Mugnier (France)
Peter Creasy (Australia) Jonathan Oh (USA)
Walling Cyre (USA) Heike Petermann (Germany)
Harry Delugach (USA) Heather Pfeiffer (USA)
Judy Dick (USA) James Slagle (USA)
Peter Eklund (Australia) Bill Tepfenhart (USA)
Bruno Emond (Canada) Eileen Way (USA)
Norman Foo (Australia) Michel Wermelinger (Portugal)
Brian Gaines (Canada) Mark Willems (Netherlands)
Adil Kabbaj (Canada) Walter Wilson (USA)
Fritz Lehmann (USA) Vilas Wuwongse (Thailand)

Auxiliary Reviewers
Alex Bejan (USA) Tao Lin (Australia)
Phil Kime (UK) Maurice Pagnucco (Australia)


Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics of Contexts

John F. Sowa
SUNY Binghamton

A proposed standard for conceptual graphs is being developed by ANSI
Technical Committee X3T2. The standard is based on the common CG core
that has been used and implemented in various projects since 1984.
Some purists have insisted on perserving a minimal core that is simpler
than the 1984 version and closer in spirit to C. S. Peirce's original
existential graphs. Others have been trying to increase the expressive
power of CGs to match the generalized quantifiers and referents of
natural languages, but the various modifications and extensions have
introduced incompatibilities. To accommodate both groups, the proposed
CG standard will be based on a minimal core that has a simple mapping
to predicate calculus and KIF. It will also have an extensibility
mechanism for defining generalized quantifiers and referents in a
controlled and systematic way. As far as possible, the 1984 syntax and
features will be accommodated either by the core or by the
extensibility mechanisms. But the extensions will also support some
new representations that can be useful for NL semantics,
object-oriented systems, and optimized computations.

Graphical Logic

Hassan Ait-Kaci
Simon Fraser University

This talk will discuss the graphical nature of structures used in
knowledge representation and logic programming. It will draw from my
work on the foundations of the LIFE programming language and will
emphasize the graph-theoretic underpinnings of the notions of
subsumption, approximation, and interpretation.

Ontology Revision

Norman Foo
University of Sydney

Knowledge systems are usually static in their ontlogical assumptions.
To make them dynamic, there are several levels of theory change that
can be considered. Change without the introduction of new concepts is
subsumed under existing theories of belief revision. If new concepts
have to be introduced, we are in the domain of ontology revision about
which very little is known. This talk will briefly outline a widely
accepted belief revision meta-logic, then move on to circumstances in
which it can be shown that ontology revision is necessary. Connections
will be made to classical results in recursion theory and the problem
of theoretical terms. Type hierarchies will be used to illustrate some
of the main points.

A Triadic Approach to Formal Concept Analysis

Fritz Lehmann (GRandAI Software, California) and
Rudolf Wille (Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany)

Formal Concept Analysis, as it has been developed during the last
fifteen years, is based on a dyadic understanding of a concept
constituted by its extension and its intension. It starts with the
primitive notion of a formal (or dyadic) context which combines a set
of (formal) objects, a set of (formal) attributes and a binary relation
between those sets indicating when an object has a certain attribute. A
formal concept of such a dyadic context is constituted by its extension
formed by objects of that context and by its intension formed by
attributes of that context. The formal concepts of a given formal
context always form, with respect to the subconcept-
superconcept-relation, a complete lattice which is called the concept
lattice of the context. In more than 100 projects of application in
numerous areas of interest, concept lattices have been activated for
analysing and exploring data and knowledge. Recently, those experiences
(but also philosophical considerations based on Peirce's pragmatic
philosophy) have suggested a triadic approach to formal concept
analysis. It starts with the notion of a triadic context combining
(formal) objects, attributes and conditions under which objects may
have certain attributes. By the Basic Theorem of Triadic Concept
Analysis, it has been clarified what kind of structures are formed by
the triadic concepts of triadic contexts. The representation of those
structures by triadic diagrams has also been studied. Examples of the
conceptual analysis of triadic data sets may demonstrate the usefulness
of the new approach.

Tutorial: Introduction to Conceptual Graphs
Gerard Ellis, RMIT

In this tutorial we will introduce conceptual graphs as a graphic
notation for first order logic. We will illustrate how to define
concepts and relationships, and construct concept and relation
hierarchies. We will introduce the generalization hierarchy over
conceptual graphs and the canonical formation rules which are the
foundation of conceptual graph theory. We will examine advanced uses of
conceptual graphs for object modelling and object systems. We will show
how Peirce's inference rules can be used for reasoning in conceptual

Full details of the ICCS95 programme and the latest information
regarding ICCS95 can be found on the World Wide Web under
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Message 2: Evolution of Language

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 95 16:13:18 BSEvolution of Language
From: Jim Hurford <>
Subject: Evolution of Language

Content-Length: 2423


University of Edinburgh, April 1st - 4th 1996

Organizing Committee: Prof. Jean Aitchison (Oxford University), Dr Chris
Knight (University of East London), Prof. James R Hurford (University
of Edinburgh).

We are planning a conference rather tightly focussed around the
following two issues (and their interrelationship);

* Chronology of the spread of mankind over the planet, and its
 to language.
* The continuity/discontinuity of the language faculty with other human
 and nonhuman systems.

Preliminary programme: This is far from settled, but the outline below
is probably a good indication of what will be on offer. The titles
below are all tentative, and based on preliminary negotiations with the
speakers. There will be other speakers who submit abstracts, to be
refereed by the organizing committee.

* Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum, London, `Paleontological

* Bjorn Lindblom, U. Stockholm, `Evolution of the human vocal tract'

*Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, U.Canterbury, N.Z., `The ``double
articulation'' or ``duality of patterning'' in human language as an

* Frederick Newmeyer, U.Washington, `The drift from parsing principles
to innate principles of grammar -- ``phylogenetic grammaticalization'' '

* Derek Bickerton, U.Hawaii, `(Dis)continuity between ``protolanguage''
and language'

* Ray Jackendoff, Brandeis U., `Formal parallels between language and other
faculties', OR `Intermediate stages betwen ``protolanguage'' and language'

* Robert Boyd, UCLA, `The interaction of biological and cultural
evolution, with specific reference to language'

* Johanna Nichols, U.C.Berkeley, `The origin and dispersal of human

* Merritt Ruhlen, ex Stanford, `The linguistic and human family

* Leon Stassen, U.Nijmegen, `A language typologist's reflections on the
debate on the global diffusion of languages'

* Michael Studdert-Kennedy (Haskins Labs), Dan Dennett
(Tufts) and other participants -- review of the conference and summing

For further information contact:
Professor James R Hurford,
Department of Linguistics,
University of Edinburgh,
Adam Ferguson Building,
40 George Square,
Edinburgh EH8 9LL,


Further information will be sent out in late August or early September, 1995.
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