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A term in formal language theory.
A construct C in some language L is said to be well-formed
if it conforms to the syntactic
rules of L.
Informally speaking, syntactic rules of a language specify the
structure of the language.
Application to conceptual graphs
Conceptual graph-theory defines a language, namely the language of
conceptual graphs. This language has some rules (syntactic
One of the rules is that relations must always have at least
one arc belonging to themselves; they cannot stand alone.
Another rule says that this is not necessary for concepts: Concepts can stand alone
without needing any arcs attached to themselves.
A third syntactic rule specifies that a concept has a type and a referent, and they are separated by a
A fourth "syntactic rule" specifies that the referent of a concept can be another conceptual
graph, and then we have embedding.
There are other syntactic rules of conceptual graphs, but all of
them are specified in Module I of this series of courses.
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