[Crm-sig] P72 has Language

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Mon Oct 14 19:56:49 EEST 2019

Dear George, All,

As a second thought:

I think documentation formats such as LIDO are an adequate place to add 
such useful properties to characterize items in a more detailed way, we 
would not put in the CRM analytically. Shapes, colors etc. being typical 

Question: Are there formats from the archival world that use to describe 
the languages people speak? EAD CFP?
Libraries are interested in the languages someone publishes in, not 

What are the anthropologists registering? Would they be interested in 
languages learned at school, or rather in the language used for 
communication in a typical group? Would they document people being 
incapable of communicating in that group?
Or just infer language via group?

How to distinguish native speakers from non-native?

Would historians make cases of people that could not communicate in a 
given language, with societal effects?

What about illiterate people? Speaking, not writing...? Maintaining oral 
history with great precision, etc.

What about creoles ?



On 10/14/2019 7:33 PM, Martin Doerr wrote:
> Dear George,
> The first principle of all is are there relevant queries that need 
> that property for integrating disparate sources, which indeed provide 
> such data, and is that research one we like to support with the CRM?
> Second, using p2 on E21 does the job, doesn't it? What is the added 
> value of "knows language"?
> Next principle, keep the ontology small. Querying 1000 properties is 
> already more than anybody can keep in mind. Each additional property 
> has an implementation cost. We need strong arguments for relevance.
> It has been the mos t important success factor of the CRM to keep the 
> ontology small and still expressive enough. If we loose this 
> discipline, we will loose the whole project.
> Finally, we are not repeating in the CRM the way typically information 
> systems document, but always tried to find a more fundamental 
> representation. With that argument, we could never have introduced 
> events. They did NOT appear in any of the typical systems at that 
> time.**It is a principle *not *to model all the valuable description 
> elements, which are relevant to characterize an item, but not creating 
> interesting links across resources.
> I did not say that it is a personal opinion that someone speaks a 
> language. I said, this is observable. I document: Franco has spoken 
> Latin, repeatedly? But talking about skills, is another level, it 
> introduces a quality, which is hard to objectify, as Franco has 
> pointed out. Actually, it is a typical classification problem, with 
> all its boundary case questions, and the CRM is about relations 
> between particulars.
> So, what is the*added value* against p2, and what are the typical 
> research data and typical research questions for *integrating* such 
> data, that cannot be answered with P2?
> Best,
> martin
> On 10/14/2019 4:24 PM, George Bruseker wrote:
>> Dear Martin,
>> Which is CEO’s proposition that you support? It gets lost in the 
>> string. Do you mean that a) a person speaking a language means being 
>> part of a group, or b) using the p2 on E21 and then make types for 
>> ’Speakers of...'
>> I am (still and very much ) a supporter of a new property ‘knows 
>> language'. I do not think that the group solution works because of 
>> the identify criteria of groups. I also don’t think the event 
>> solution is necessary (another suggestion that has floated in this 
>> conversation). It is often the case that for person we do not know 
>> events of their acquisition or use of language or a skill but we do 
>> have proposition that they had that language or skill! I also don’ t 
>> support the ‘English Speakers’ type solution since it provides a 
>> different URI than the URI for ‘English’ and forces more, obscure, 
>> modelling.
>> Another CIDOC CRM principle is model at the level of knowledge that 
>> is typically present in information systems. Again, I think the 
>> present case (people know languages) is identical to the case of
>> E22 consists of E57 Material
>> This is a typical piece of knowledge held about an object. It would 
>> be obtuse to insist that one should create an event node to indicate 
>> the manner of this material becoming the constituting material of the 
>> object when we don’t know this fact. This is why CRM represents such 
>> binary relations, because they are real, they are a level of 
>> knowledge and they are observable.
>> If someone has entered into an information system George: English, 
>> Pot Making, it is unlikely that what they want to reconstruct are 
>> instances of me using English or performing Pot making. Rather they 
>> are interested that there is an individual which has a particular 
>> formation which means that he knows language x, knows skill x. This 
>> information is probably used in an actual integration to connect an 
>> instance of E21 via an instance of E57 Language to for example E33 
>> that use the same E57.
>> It would seem we need some sort of hierarchy in the principles which 
>> can also be conflicting.
>>> My approach is not documenting skills*.* My approach is documenting 
>>> facts, rather than potentials. I take notice and may document that 
>>> you spoke Latin, as I have done last time at school. I have a 
>>> document stating my grade in Latin at high school.  My grade at high 
>>> school confirms a set of years of continued successful lessons, not 
>>> that I could understand much Latin now;-).
>>> Speaking a language can be documented as an extended (observed) 
>>> activity, as in FRBRoo.
>> It may be, but is it typically? I have never seen an information 
>> system, especially in museum context that would.
>>> For instance, someone writing books in particular language. This 
>>> falls under any kind of extended activity not further specified, 
>>> such as an artist using a technique for some time, and avoids 
>>> transforming actual activities into potentials.
>>> We can document someone's documented opinion about a potential of a 
>>> person, as an information object.
>> That would make this information mostly unusable however. If our goal 
>> is to functionally use the observation person x speaks language y, 
>> then it needs to be semantically represented and not made a string.
>>> In the "Principles for Modelling Ontologies" we refer:
>>> "7.2 Avoid concepts depending on a personal/ spectator perspective"
>>> This could be elaborated more. In the CRM, we do not model concepts 
>>> "because people use them", but because they can be used to 
>>> integrated information related to them with URIs.  Therefore, your 
>>> arguments and what I wanted to say is, "skill" is a bad concept for 
>>> integration. What should be instantiated are the observable 
>>> activities, which may or may not indicate skills.
>> I don’t see that this principle applies. It is not a personal 
>> perspective that someone speaks a language, anymore than it is a 
>> personal perspective that an object is constituted of a material. 
>> This fact can be documented and observed. Someone else can come and 
>> do the same. Don’t believe Franco can speak Latin? Watch him and see 
>> if he can. When someone writes in an information system, they 
>> probably typically mean, some evidence leads me to assert Person y 
>> knows language y. They do not mean to say at some point in the past 
>> he learned it, or at some point he performed it.
>> In the case of documenting that someone knows a language this can be 
>> used practically to integrate using URIs just in case we use the same 
>> URI for English that we use to describe a document and that we use to 
>> describe the knowledge of the individual
>> E21 knows language E57 Language URI:AA
>> E33 has language E57 Language URI:AA
>> answers the query, who in this graph knew the language this document 
>> was written in.
>> Functionally, the issue for me  is, is there a good reason against 
>> adding a binary property off of person which can indicate their 
>> knowledge ability and connect to a well known URI for a language.
>> Best,
>> George
> -- 
> ------------------------------------
>   Dr. Martin Doerr
>   Honorary Head of the
>   Center for Cultural Informatics
>   Information Systems Laboratory
>   Institute of Computer Science
>   Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
>   N.Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton,
>   GR70013 Heraklion,Crete,Greece
>   Vox:+30(2810)391625
>   Email:martin at ics.forth.gr   
>   Web-site:http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl  
> _______________________________________________
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  Dr. Martin Doerr
  Honorary Head of the
  Center for Cultural Informatics
  Information Systems Laboratory
  Institute of Computer Science
  Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
  N.Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton,
  GR70013 Heraklion,Crete,Greece
  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr
  Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl

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