Part VI: Reference


In this part, we include some reference materials:

  1. Sample conceptual relations
  2. Glossary
  3. Glossary of symbols
  4. References

The sample conceptual relations are useful when writing your own conceptual graphs, and also when reading conceptual graphs.

Sample conceptual relations


In this section, we give definitions and examples of conceptual relations which may prove useful when producing your own conceptual graphs. You are, of course, free to invent your own relations. The relations given here are all standard relations used in the CG literature.

Types of formal parameters are given in the headings

The types of the formal parameters to each relation are given in the heading. For example:

   Agnt(Act, Animate)

means that the first formal parameter is of type Act, while the second formal parameter is of type Animate.

This would mean that the concept that is attached to the first arc of Agnt (the one going towards the relation) would have to be a subtype of Act, while the concept attached to the second arc (the one going away from the relation) would have to be a subtype of Animate.

For example:

  [Breathe]->(Agnt)->[Person: Juliet]
  "Juliet is breathing"

Exercise: Match the concept types in the graph with the concept types in the definition

   Agnt(Act, Animate)


Format of descriptions

The descriptions of each relation define the concept type of the last arc that belongs to the relation. For example, the description of Agnt(Act, Animate) is:

An active animate entity that voluntarily initiates an act.

This describes the Animate entity, not the Act.

This convention has been adhered to in all descriptions.


We will be giving lots of examples. In the following sections, try to follow the logic behind the direction of the arrows. For example, if we are defining Agnt, try to follow the arrows and see why they have the direction they have.



The following relations are described:

Agent; Agnt(Act,Animate)

An active animate entity that voluntarily initiates an act. For example:

   [Drive]->(Agnt)->[Person: Alfred]
   "Alfred drives"

Attribute; Attr(Object,Entity)

An entity that is a property of some object. For example:

   [Rhino: Otto]->(Attr)->[Orange]
   "Otto the rhino has an attribute which is orange."
   "Otto the rhino is orange."

Note how this contrasts with Characteristic.

Beneficiary; Benf(Act, Animate)

A beneficiary is a recipient of some act. The beneficiary also derives a benefit from the successful completion of the act.

   [Present: {*}]<-(Thme)<-[Give]->(Benf)->[Person: Alfred]
   "Presents are given to Alfred"

Characteristic; Chrc(Entity,Entity)

A type whose instances are properties of entities. E.g.,

   [Rhino: Otto]->(Chrc)->[Color: Orange]
   "Otto the rhino has a characteristic which is the Color Orange."
   "Otto the rhino is orange."

Note how this contrasts with Attribute. The arc pointing away from Chrc must point to a concept which has a type whose instances are properties. For example, "Color" is a type, but not a property. Color's instances are properties, such as 'Orange' or 'Red'.

The arc pointing away from an attribute (Attr), on the other hand, must point to a concept whose type is a property, e.g., Red. Thus Attr would not point to a concept of type Color, but only to concepts with types such as 'Red', 'Good', 'Wise', 'Intelligent', 'Bad', 'Immoral', etc.

Completion; Cmpl(TemporalProcess, Physical)

A goal of a completed process whose major tenet is that it takes place over time. This can, e.g., be a state or a situation.

   [Clothes]<-(Ptnt)<-[Process: Dry]->(Cmpl)->[State: Dry]
   "Clothes are drying until they are dry"

Destination; Dest(SpatialProcess, Physical)

A goal of a process whose major tenet is that it is spatial (i.e., occurs in space). For example:

   [Person: Romeo]<-(Agnt)<-[Go]->(Dest)->[City: Mantua]
   "Romeo is going to Mantua"

Duration; Dur(State,Interval)

The interval in which a state exists. For example:

   [Movie]<-(Thme)<-[Show]->(Dur)->[Interval: @120 min]
   "The movie showed for 120 minutes"

Effector; Efct(Entity,Entity)

An active entity (animate or inanimate) that initiates an action, but without voluntary intention.

   "A good tree will produce much fruit"

Experiencer; Expr(State, Animate)

An animate entity who experiences a state. The state is often a verb of perception, such as 'see', 'hear', 'think', 'like', 'dislike', etc.

   [Romeo]<-(Expr)<-[Hear]->(Thme)->[Sentence: 'Ay me']
   "Romeo is the experiencer of a hearing, 
      the theme of which is the sentence 'Ay me'."
   "Romeo hears the Sentence 'Ay me'"

Role; Has(Entity, Entity)

The Has relation is a primitive relation (not defined). It is used to define all of the relations in this section. It can also be used by itself. For example:

   [Person: ]->(Has)->[Part: @2 [Leg] ]
   "All persons have as part two legs."

Instrument; Inst(Act, Entity)

An instrument used in an act. The instrument is not changed by the activity.

          ->(Agnt)->[Person: Juliet *x]
          ->(Ptnt)->[Person: ?x]
   "Juliet stabs herself with a knife"

Location; Loc(Physical, Physical)

The place where something is or takes place.

   [Person: Prince]<-(Agnt)<-[Arrive]->(Loc)->[Location: Vault]
   "The prince arrives at the vault."

Manner; Manr(Process, Entity)

An entity that is a property of some process. In English, we often use adverbs to describe manners, e.g., quickly, slowly, tentatively. For example:

   [Researcher: Alfred]<-(Agnt)<-[Suggest]-
                    ->(Thme)->[Definition: #2.3]
   "Alfred the researcher tentatively suggested definition 2.3"

Measure; Meas(Attribute, Quantity)

A quantity used to describe an attribute. In English, the attribute will often be an adjective such as "clever", "fat", "long", "beautiful", etc. The quantity will either be a measure or a degree or the like. For example:

   [Person: John]->(Attr)->[Clever]->(Meas)->[Degree: #very]
   "John is very clever"
   [Person: James]->(Attr)->[Tall]->(Meas)->[Measure: <187,cm>]
   "James has an attribute which is tall, whose measure is 187 cm."
   "James is 187 cm tall"

Origin; Orgn(Process, Physical)

A physical participant in a process which is the source or originator of the process. For example:

   [Act : Take]-
     ->(Agnt)->[Person : Mary]
     ->(Orgn)->[Person : John]
     ->(Thme)->[Book : #]
   "Take is an act which has 
       an agent, which is Mary,
       and an origin, which is John,
       and a theme, which is the book."
   "Mary takes the book from John"
   [Appendix : #]<-(Thme)<-[Begin]->(Orgn)->[Page: 492]
   "The appendix is a theme of begin, which has an origin, which is page 492."
   "The appendix begins on page 492."

Part; Part(Object,Object)

An object which is a component/part of some other object. For example:

   "A leg is part of a body"

There is a very important distinction between an attribute and a part: Unlike an attribute, a part is capable of existing independently. For example, a wheel is capable of existing independently of the car of which it is a part. However, if the car is white, that is an attribute of the car, which cannot exist independently of the car:

   [Wheel: FrontLeftWheel]<-(Part)<-[Car: Alfred'sCar]
   "The front left wheel is part of Alfred's car"

   [Car: Alfred'sCar]->(Attr)->[White]
   "Alfred's car is white"

Path; Path(Process,Place)

A path describing a process.

For example:

   [Salesman: #]<-(Agnt)<-[Travel]->(Path)->[City: {Frederikshavn, Aalborg, Aars}]
   "The salesman travels via Frederikshavn, Aalborg, and Aars"

Possession; Poss(Animate,Entity)

An entity owned by some animate being.

For example:

   [Car: *x]<-(Thme)<-[Drive]->(Agnt)-
             ->[Person: Alfred]->(Poss)->[Car: ?x]
   "There is a car, x, which is the theme of drive, which has an agent,
    which is Alfred, which is the possessor of a car, x."
   "Alfred is driving his car"

PointInTime; PTim(Physical, Time)

An essential participant of a temporal togetherness (nexus).

For example:

   [Time: 5:13am]<-(PTim)<-[Situation: [Person: Romeo]<-(Agnt)<-[Leave]]
   "At 5:13am, Romeo leaves."

Patient; Ptnt(Process, Physical)

A participant in a process that undergoes a change during the course of the process.

          ->(Agnt)->[Person: Juliet *x]
          ->(Ptnt)->[Person: ?x]
   "Juliet stabs herself with a knife"

Recipient; Rcpt(Act, Animate)

An animate goal of an act. For example:

   [Person: Juliet]<-(Rcpt)<-[Give]-
                      ->(Agnt)->[Person: Romeo],
   "Romeo gives Juliet a kiss"

Result; Rslt(Process, Entity)

An inanimate goal of an act.

   [Person: John]<-(Agnt)<-[Brew]->(Rslt)->[CupOfTea: #42]
   "John brews cup of tea '42'"

Theme; Thme(Situation, Entity)

A participant that may be moved, said, or experienced, but is not structurally changed.

   [Person: Alfred]<-(Agnt)<-[Drive]->(Thme)->[Car: Alfred'sCar]
   "Alfred is driving Alfred's car"

   [Person: Juliet]<-(Agnt)<-[Say]->(Thme)->[Sentence: 'Ay me']
   "Juliet says 'Ay me'"


Go to the glossary.

Glossary of symbols

Here is a list of symbols: