[CL] Newbie question about the "puns"

Martin Baldan martinobal at gmail.com
Sun Jan 14 13:06:37 CST 2007

On 1/14/07, cl-request at philebus.tamu.edu <cl-request at philebus.tamu.edu> wrote:

> ------------------------------
> Message: 5
> Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 11:34:01 -0500
> From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa at bestweb.net>
> Subject: Re: [CL] Newbie question about the "puns"
> To: "Discussion of ISO Common Logic Standard (ISO/IEC 24707)"
>         <cl at philebus.tamu.edu>
> Message-ID: <45AA5B79.3050605 at bestweb.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> Martin,
> CL has *no* built-in syntax of any kind.  The main part
> of the document has only an abstract syntax that is
> independent of any concrete implementation.
> Then the annexes present three different concrete notations:
> CLIF in Annex A, CGIF in Annex B, and XCL in Annex C.  Any
> of them could be used to represent CL semantics, or you could
> define any other concrete syntax you prefer.

Hi, John!

Yes, excuse the sloppy phrasing if I spoke of CL syntax, but I was
aware of this fact. IIRC, Common Logic was derived from the previous
KIF project as a generalization, and KIF was preserved as a kind of
canonical implementation. CLIF is derived from KIF, but much smaller,
since it is only for specification of CL requirements. and IKL is to
some extent based on KIF but developed by another group (the IKRIS
Interoperability Group).Is this "summary" correct? I'm basing it on
the following documents:


> However, if you want speakability, it would be far better
> to use a syntax based on an actual spoken language, such
> as English -- for example, CLCE (pronounced CELL-see):

Well, "better" depends on what your priorities are. I was aware of
controlled English versions like CLCE, and it looks like a very clever
way of turning English into an acceptable (though unavoidably limited)
logical language. I have a few doubts, such as how you are to
pronounce the parens, since CLCE does have them, as opposed to natural
English. But anyway, what I have in mind when I think of a spoken CL
dialect is, in a sense, the exact opposite of CLCE. Instead of making
a logical language out of a natural language, I was wondering how far
one could go in building a language from the ground up, based on KIF
or IKL, and making it as speakable as a natural language by using
strategies such as, say, spoken macros that let you use Polish
notation (with terminator brackets when needed).

For instance, if you have a function "f" which takes two arguments,
whenever you see:
.. f x y ..
you can assume it means:
.. (f x y) ..
And when you see:
.. f x ) y ..
then it means:
.. (f x) y ..
When you see:
.. f ) x y ..
it means:
.. (f) x y ..
And when you see a unary "identity" function before "f"  :
.. Identity f x y ..
it means:
.. (identity f) x y ..
that is:
.. f x y ..
There could be a "v-Arity" function that turns a fixed-arity function
into a variable arity function. This would let you use the "Identity"
function without opening parens in the following case:
.. v-Arity identity f x ) y ..
which means:
.. ( (v-Arity identity)  f x ) y ..
which means:
.. (identity (f x) ) y..

This hypothetical language would also offer features such as
unambiguous parseability in pauseless speech, a  very small number of
roots and a usable, terse word derivation/compounding mechanism
(preferably consistent with the lisp-like syntax). The basic
vocabulary could be based on SUMO.

So, rather than a controlled version of a natural language, it would
be a lispy, KIF/IKL-style competitor of Lojban :)


>     http://www.jfsowa.com/clce/specs.htm
>     Common Logic Controlled English
> CLCE is a formal language that can be mapped to and from
> any concrete notation for CL, including CLIF, CGIF, or XCL.
> But as an English-like language, it can be spoken or generated
> automatically for transmission via telephone.
> That document, which was written in 2004, is badly in need of
> updates, but it gives you an idea of what can be done.
> John Sowa
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