Re: Order & meaning in a proposition

From: Lemming <>
Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 16:23:49 +0100
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 08:06:25 -0700, "Tom Hester" <$$> wrote:

>"Lemming" <> wrote in message
>> On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 19:02:30 -0500, "Dawn M. Wolthuis"
>> <> wrote:
>> >Pat is the host who seated the President and the Secretary of the
>> >
>> >If we have a relational model for this proposition, we will end up
>> >this proposition up and will undoubtedly lose the order of those who were
>> >seated.
>> I think you are seeing information here which isn't present. The only
>> information here is that Pat, a host, seated two specified persons.
>> The order Pat did it is not explicit
>> may infer those other aspects, but we cannot do so with certainty.
>Yes, that is called conversational implicature; and it is part of the
>meaning of the sentence. That is, a hearer may conventionally conclude that
>the guests were seated in that order.

This "hearer" didn't. I've learned not to make assumptions on the basis of statements which are open to interpretation. But it might lead me to ask more questions, e.g. "Is the seating order important?" or "Is it important to record where the people were sitting?" etc.

>Furthermore, we can make the order
>explicit by saying: "Pat is the host who seated the President and then the
>Secretary of the Interior" and I believe that Dawn's point still holds.
>That is, the resulting relational model would not reflect the order; even
>though it is now explicit.

I think I must be missing something.

I believe you are saying that if the sequence of events isn't part of the relationships between the tables, then it's not part of the model. But there is more to the model than the relationships. We might model the order of seating (if it was important) by adding a sequence or timestamp to the "seated" table. The order isn't specific to the relationships between the tables, but is still part of the model.


Curiosity *may* have killed Schrodinger's cat.
Received on Tue Apr 06 2004 - 17:23:49 CEST

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