10.3 Definition and Canon

Introduction

You may have noticed that the content pane is split in two almost identical halves. One is labelled "Definition", and the other is labelled "Canon":

What are they?

So what is a "Definition" versus a "Canon"?

Briefly:

Examples

For example, the following would be a definition of the concept type "Man":

[Human: super]-attr->[Male]

This is a definition and not a canon because it defines the meaning of "Man".

The following, however, would be a canon for the relation "agnt":

[Act: x_source]-agnt->[Human: y_target]

This is a canon and not a definition because it describes typical use.

super, x_source, y_target

What do the keywords "super", "x_source", and "y_target" mean?

Briefly:

  • super must be in the referent (i.e., after a colon) of the concept(s) that form(s) the immediate supertype(s) of a conceptual structure being defined.

    In the example above, "Human" is the immediate supertype of "Man", and so "Human" gets the "super" keyword.

    If there are more than one super types (multiple inheritance), all the super types get the "super" keyword. If there is only one super type, of course only that concept gets the "super" keyword.

  • x_source must be in the referent of the concept that is attached to the incoming arc of a relation being described or defined.

    In the example above, "Act" is attached to the incoming arc, and so "Act" gets the "x_source" keyword.

  • y_target, conversely, must be in the referent of the concept that is attached to the outgoing arc of a relation being described or defined.

    In the example above, "Human" is on the outgoing arc, and so "Human" gets the "y_target" keyword.


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