[Crm-sig] non-existent objects
wolfgang.schmidle at uni-koeln.de
Wed Nov 7 17:17:37 EET 2012
I am working on Arachne's Cidoc representation, and we came across a
problem with non-existent objects and how to state their non-existence.
A statue may be set up using e.g. a base or a plinth. In Arachne this
can be specified in a data field called "Aufstellung" ("setup"). One can
choose a description from a fixed list, for example "Basisplatte" or
"Fußplatte/Plinthe". Now, we could model it as
E22 (the statue, without setup) P46i forms part of E22 (the statue
plus the setup) P2 has type E55 Type e.g. "Basisplatte"
but I am told that the setup should be seen as a part of the statue.
Consequently we are modelling it as
E22 (the statue, including the setup) P46 is composed of E22 (the
setup) P2 has type E55 Type e.g. "Basisplatte"
However, Aufstellung may also have the value "ohne Basis" ("without
base"). In this case the second E22 would denote a non-existent object,
and its Type "ohne Basis" would state the non-existence of this object.
(If the data field is left empty, we make no statement at all about the
Is this the right way to model it? And is there a problem in RDF with an
URI for a non-existent object?
Additional question: Does Cidoc have an opinion about the the exact
meaning of E22 P46 E22 P2 E55 "ohne Basis"? Let's take the word "sheep"
as an example, where the singular and plural forms are the same: one
sheep, two sheep. Is it comparable to A) "while most words have a plural
morpheme, the particular word sheep has none", or B) "for systematic
reasons we assume that all words have a plural morpheme, but for the
particular word sheep it is null"?
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