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September 18, 2000
Slightly Modified: September 10, 2002
Universal language is a system of communication in which everything that is comprehensible can be communicated. Language consists of statements, which give information; queries, which request information; and commands, which specify what to do. A sentence is any statement, query, or command. Objects (both real and imaginary) are represented by words. A generic object is a collection (set) of objects.
A statement consists of an object (subject) and the properties stated about the object (predicate). A statement can also consist of logical (using 'and', 'or', or 'not' as linkers called conjunctions) composition of statements. A statement can also include justification. A special type of statement is definition, which consists of a name and a specification of the objects (including actions) to which the name refers. The specification can be a union of (usually generic) objects, a complement of an object (anything that is not the object), and thus the intersection of objects.
A property specifies a collection of objects having it. Thus,
properties are equivalent to generic objects. A predicate often
consists of the property type (verb) and its value (object).
Thus, in "cat has fur", the object described is cat, the property
claimed about the cat is "has fur"; the property is presented as type
(what items does the cat have) and value (fur).
Justification of statement X can consist of several statements from which X is derived through stated logical manipulation. For example, statements 'if A then B' and 'A' together lead to statement 'B'. Justification can occur through application of properties: 'A is B' when applied to 'B is C' leads to 'A is C'. The validity of such application refers to transitive property of properties.
A predicate can include a description of probability that the
property applies. When the subject is a generic object, the
predicate includes how the property applies to the object:
whether it applies to all objects, most objects, some objects,
A query (often called 'question') consists of an object (subject) and the type of information wanted (predicate), of a statement to be evaluated as true or false, or of a statement with a request for its justification. A function is something that when attached to an object, produces an object. (For example, in "the color of the tomato is red", 'color' is function applied to 'the tomato' and has value 'red'.) Queries can be viewed as requests to evaluate a function. Functions are objects and are taken from experiences, actions, or defined from other functions.
A command consists of an object asked to complete the command (subject) and the action to complete (predicate). Commands can be conditional: A conditional command is a statement with an action to do if the statement is true and action to do if the statement is false.
A statement may state the importance of a sentence.
The basic objects (including actions) are taken from sensory input and output.
Other conjunctions can be used; however 'or' and 'not' are sufficient. For example, 'if A then B' means 'not A or B'.