LINGUIST List 8.924

Mon Jun 23 1997

FYI: BISCA-97, Conference List

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>


  1. Roberto Poli, The 1997 Bolzano International Schools in Cognitive Analysis
  2. Roy F. Cochrun, Language Conference List Updated

Message 1: The 1997 Bolzano International Schools in Cognitive Analysis

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 09:06:28 +0200
From: Roberto Poli <>
Subject: The 1997 Bolzano International Schools in Cognitive Analysis

The 1997 Bolzano International Schools in Cognitive Analysis

Ontological Perspectives in Knowledge Representation

Bolzano, Italy, Maretsch Castle, 15-19 September 1997

JOHN SOWA, Knowledge Representation: Logical, Computational, and
Philosophical Foundations
MAURICE GROSS, Lexically-based Semantics: The Interrelations Between
Lexicons and Grammars
DAVID WOODRUFF SMITH, Systematic Ontology: Varieties of Category Schemes
ROBERTO POLI, Dimensions of the Ontological Analysis

General information: 
1. Attendance to the school will be limited to about 30 participants.
2. A hotel list will be sent upon notification of acceptance. Hotel costs in
Bolzano range between 70,000 and 250,000 Italian Liras per day, full board.
3. Each speaker will give 4 lectures, with ample time for discussion.
4. All lectures will be in English.
5. The lectures will be given at Castel Maretsch, downtown, starting
September 15, at 9 a.m.
6. A small number of boursaries are available to qualified students to meet
the costs of participation.

BISCA's board of directors includes: L. Albertazzi (Trento), R. Langacker
(La Jolla), J. Petitot (Paris), R. Poli (Trento) and L. Talmy (Buffalo)

People wishing to participate should write to Roberto Poli, Department of
Sociology and Social Research, 26 Verdi st., 38100 Trento, Italy (call:
(++39) 461 881 403; fax: (++39) 461 881 348), or send an e-mail message to:

Information about the past BISCAs -- Bolzano International Schools in
Cognitive Analysis (Previously: Bolzano International Schools in Philosophy
and Artificial Intelligence (1988 - 1995))


John Sowa, 


1. Principles of knowledge representation. Knowledge representation is the
application of logic and ontology to the task of building computable models
of some domain for some purpose. This lecture introduces the problems,
issues, and applications of conceptual analysis to linguistics, artificial
intelligence, and the task of constructing theories and models in science
and engineering.

2. Ontology. The subject of ontology is the study of the categories of
things that exist or may exist. The product of such a study, called an
ontology, is a catalog of the types of things that are assumed to exist in
some domain of interest from the perspective of a person who uses some
language (natural or artificial) for the purpose of talking about that
domain. The types in the ontology represent the predicates, word senses, or
concept and relation types of the language used to discuss topics in the domain.

3. Processes. A continuant is an object that retains its identity over an
extended period of time; an occurrent is an ever-changing process whose
stages evolve from, but are not identical to one another. This distinction
may seem clear in the abstract, but as Heraclitus observed, no physical
object can remain unchanged over any extended interval. This lecture
discusses processes, procedures, and histories, the related notions of
times, events, situations, actions, and fluents, and the methods of
representing them in natural and artificial languages.

4. Purposes, contexts, and agents. A context is a selection of a manageable
chunk of the world by some agent for some purpose. These three concepts,
which are fundamentally interdependent, cannot be defined except in relation
to one another. In Peirce's terms, they are manifestations of an irreducible
Thirdness. This lecture surveys various attempts to define these concepts
separately. Then it shows how Peirce's categories of Firstness, Secondness,
and Thirdness provide a unifying framework for analyzing and representing
them in AI and natural language semantics.

Maurice Gross
(University Paris 7, Laboratoire d'Automatique Documentaire et Linguistique)


The different aspects of semantic representations and of knowledge
representation that will be presented in this series of lectures share an
empirical basis. Systematic descriptions of French and other languages have
been undertaken using a common methodology: Zellig S. Harris'
transformational theory. In this framework, we developed highly formalized
dictionaries (including flexional morphology), a lexicon-grammar that
describes the syntactic properties of unary sentences (i.e. elementary
sentences with one verb) and local grammars whose domains have been defined
by a combination of syntactic and semantic criteria.

This linguistic basis is the starting point for a discussion of semantinc
and knowledge representations.

We will present the following topics :

1. Dictionaries of simple words:grammatical categories and semantic markers.
2. Lexicon-grammars of elementary sentences: distributional properties and
semantic classes of nouns and of sentences.
3. Metaphors and frozen utterances: idiomatic forms, phrasal and sentential
4. Correspondance between syntactic forms and semantic predicates. Rules of
5. Extending synonymy: support verbs and derivational morphology.
6. Local grammars: case studies (Stock Exchange reports, Adverbials of Time:
dates, durations, frequency).
7. Levels of formalization: application to the computer analysis of large

David Woodruff Smith
(University of California, Irvine, Department of Philosophy and Ontek


Lecture 1. Aristotelian and Tractarian categories: from Substance to
State-of-Affairs. Aristotle's categories: Substance (Primary, Secondary),
Quality, Quantity, etc. Wittgenstein's logico-ontological categories (in the
Tractatus): Fact or State of Affairs, Object, Relation. The picture theory:
representation via (logico-ontological) form.

Lecture 2. Husserlian categories: from traditional categories to ranks of
categories. Husserl's distinction between formal and material ontology.
Formal categories: State of Affairs, Individual, Essence & Relation.
Material categories: Nature, Culture (Geist), Consciousness. Intentionality:
formal or material in category? 

Lecture 3. Whiteheadian categories: from Substance to Process. Whitehead's
ranks of categories (simplified). The category of the ultimate: Becoming
(Concrescence, Process). Categories of existence: Actual Entity (Occasion),
Prehension (Relatedness), Nexus (Togetherness), Subjective Form
[Apprehension], Eternal Object (Platonic Form), Multiplicity (Diversity),
Contrast (Patterned Entity).

Lecture 4. New categories: from prior schemes to Being and Basis. The
ur-categories Being and Basis: beings or entities versus their basis in
modes. Pre-Socratic ontology: Anaximander, origins, one-and-many, ... .
Being and modes in Meinong, Ingarden, Heidegger, modal logic. Ontological
systematics and ontological genesis. (Contrast logical atomism.) The Ontek
PACIS project. A new category scheme: Being and Basis, ... . Intentionality
in the new scheme.

Roberto Poli
(University of Trento, Department of Sociology and Social Research)


Lecture 1. Introductory notes. Ontology in philosophy and in the theory of
basis of data. An Aristotelian problem: Categories vs Metaphysics. Esternal
or classificatory categories

Lecture 2. Internal categories. The layered structure of reality. Layers,
levels and echelons. Dependences of the bearer/borne type vs dependences of
the carrier/carried type. Laws of dependence among layers. Laws of authonomy
among layers

Lecture 3. Overall architectonic and an example of ontological
categorization. General, Regional, Domain and Application Ontology. The case
of artifacts

Lecture 4. An overview and a comparison with other ontological projects.
Cyc. Generalized Upper Model. Kosmos. Kactus

Roberto Poli
Department of Sociology and Social Research
26, Verdi street
38100 Trento -- Italy
Tel. ++39-461-881-403
Fax: ++39-461-881-348
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Language Conference List Updated

Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 14:49:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Roy F. Cochrun <>
Subject: Language Conference List Updated

The language conference list located on the WWW at URL has been updated
with over 140 new events and several other minor changes
since the April 1997 edition.

The list includes conferences for anyone interested in any
aspect of natural language: linguists, translators, interpreters,
teachers of languages (even one's own native language to native
speakers, such as English in American high schools), those who
are involved in natural language processing, et al.

As usual, many thanks to those who contributed, and especially
to those who keep encouraging my work.

Please send any corrections, updates, changes, or new conferences to me

 --Roy Cochrun

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue