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Subject: [humanmarkup] Base Schema - symbol

Hi Everyone,

It would be nice, for the purpose of finishing up our Primary Base 
Schema if I could say, "Another day, another element," but, while 
time may be neither linear nor some kind of endless simultaneous 
moment, I still have to take these elements one at a time.


This element is a Complex Type with the attribute abstract, taking 
the attribute family humlIdentifierAtts and does not reference other 
elements. It is not used by other elements.

The description/definition reads: Any device with which an 
abstraction can be made. May include written and spoken language as 
well as visual objects. [It] May include a process of symbolization. 
[It] May be culturally specific and often used as means to 
communicate cultural values. [It] May and often do appear in clusters 
and depend upon one another for meaning and value. [It may] Tend to 
be imprecise and evocative particularly of emotion.

This is the third and best understood of the basic terms we are 
taking from semiotics. As sign is the most basic level of 
abstraction, just one step from the reality being described, symbol 
is the second level of abstraction by which the concept of the 
reality is expressed in some manner that is now one further step 
removed from the reality. At this level some physical representation 
of the reality that resembles the reality may be attempted, or, as 
the ladder of abstraction begins to be used, there may be no direct 
connection between the symbol and the reality.

This is also the key term which opens our work up to the practical 
contributions of Linguistics because we are now examining the 
cultural process of symbolization over the course of time in the 
sense of a cultural timeframe by which a culture develops a specific 
language. Fronm this flows the many useful concepts we can borrow 
from Linguistics which describe that culture and that development in 
larger language groups and larger, evolutionary timeframes.

I invite our experts to begin thinking of the useful terms we can 
derive from sign, signal and symbol for the Secondary Base Schema, 
because that is where the really gritty work begins.

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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