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Subject: [humanmarkup] Base Schema - sign

Title: Base Schema - sign
Hi All,

I put it off until after deciding on asking for the element perception to be added to our list of elements of the Primary Base Schema, but I can postpone it no longer.


This is an abstract ComplexType element that belongs to the attribute group humlIdentifierAtts.

It is described/defined as Human Sign: A concrete denotation of a specific meaning. Common signs include pictures or drawings, although a human posture like a clenched first, an outstretched arm, or a hand posed in a "Stop" gesture may also serve as signs. the main difference between a sign and a signal is that a sign has a specific meaning and usually requires training. For example, an ape or a dog can be taught to respond consistently and appropriately to signs byut reach them Morse Code (a signal) is much harder it at all doable. Signs communication simple messages swiftly [and] effeciiently, [and] may be culturally and location-specific, that is, meaningful in a locale (a stop sign) or culture (the Hundu greety of folded hands).

First, I expect that this will be expanded upon, particularly the distinctions between sign and signal and the relationship of sign and signal since a sign can be used in a signal and a signal can use a sign.

I think it is possible to condense this after it is expanded, but since it was drawn as a less formal description, I will just say that the one concept that I would add is that a sign is a first order abstraction of meaning because it expresses some idea or concept not directly related to the sign itself (eg, the stop sign which is a request for a behavior but is neither the actual request signal nor a direct representation of the behavior requested). Beyond that it would be inappropriate for me to go since Len and Sylvia are busy working themselves down to mere nubbins on these very important issues. And since I am also collaborating with Sylvia in another project which we will announce at the correct time, I better be careful not to inspire much distraction.

However, I mentioned the concept of orders or levels of abstraction because it is a very necessary one to introduce now, at the atomistic, elemental level in an effort to keep the one single, most neglected and most accidentally and inadvertently misused or misunderstood concept as clear as possible.

Rex Brooks
Starbourne Communications Design
1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA 94702 *510-849-2309
http://www.starbourne.com * rexb@starbourne.com

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