From: Karl Pentzlin (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 18:42:19 EDT
Am Donnerstag, 29. Mai 2003 um 22:35 schrieb Kenneth Whistler:
>> Others gave references where it in most cases did NOT look at all like the
>> empty set symbol.
KW> Gustav Leunbach (1973), Morphological Analysis as a Step in
KW> Automated Syntactic Analysis of a
KW> uses an empty set symbol to denote a morphological zero.
KW> (see p. 272). [Typographically, this could arguably
KW> have been taken from a type tray for a Norwegian ø
KW> character, rather than from a mathematical symbol font,
KW> but this is *clearly* not a slashed zero.] And this is
KW> a document type set the old fashioned way, with actual type,
KW> in 1973. See:
KW> bearing the publication logo of Firenze.
KW> A. S. Liberman (1973), Towards a Phonological Algorithm.
KW> uses an empty set symbol to denote a phonological zero.
KW> (See pp. 196-197 for numerous examples.) These are
KW> clear examples, and show that this is used symbolically,
KW> to indicate a "something which is not there". Look at
KW> the type style. These are included in *italic* word
KW> citations, but the null set symbol (used to denote the
KW> phonological zero), is *not* set in italic.
KW> Harri Jäppinen and Matti Ylilammi (1986), Associative Model
KW> of Morphological Analysis: An Empirical Inquiry.
KW> Displays a distinctive usages, with an italic epsilon to
KW> denote a morphological zero. (Not the same as the set theory
KW> use of epsilon to denote set membership.)
KW> You can dig further in these archives of old editions of
KW> Computational Linguistics and other journals from the 1970's
KW> to find other instances illustrating the use of the empty
KW> set symbol in linguistics to denote a phonological or
KW> morphological zero.
>> From what I've heard on this thread, a slashed zero glyph appears common
>> in this situation in linguistics.
KW> See examples cited above.
>> A slashed zero is completely
>> unrelated to the empty set symbol.
KW> This is nonsense. You have found the correct citations
KW> on the web regarding André Weil's claim to have introduced
KW> the empty set symbol, as part of the Bourbaki group. And
KW> for Weil, the source of the symbol may well be Norwegian ø.
KW> (What the Weil citation doesn't specify is why he chose
KW> a symbol vaguely reminiscent of a zero, while not actually
KW> being a zero, to represent the empty set.) And what I pointed
KW> out earlier is that, in *linguistic* usage, the slashed zero
KW> glyph is clearly an acceptable glyphic variant of the
KW> empty set symbol. So to claim it is "completely unrelated"
KW> is to manifestly ignore actual practice.
>> The empty set symbol and slashed zero remain unrelated.
KW> Another bald assertion contradicted by Pullum (1996), who
KW> *does* relate them, in linguistic usage. Nobody is claiming
KW> that in *mathematical* usage they are connected, or would
KW> be acceptable alternative glyphs in a treatise on set theory.
>> [The EMPTY SET symbol] does not appear to have wandered
>> into linguistics in any way (except by occasional typographic mistake,
>> and that does not count), even though there is use of a similar-looking
KW> What you are missing here is that the use of the empty set
KW> symbol in linguistics is associated with structuralist
KW> linguistics, which was in intellectual development roughly
KW> contemporaneously with the Bourbaki group. And structuralist
KW> morphology, in particular, was influenced by formal set
KW> theory, and many morphologists borrowed the kind of formalisms
KW> used by logicians and set theoreticians.
KW> A phonological zero or a morphological zero has nothing to
KW> do with numeric values, nor is it conceived of as part of
KW> a word, per se. It is a pattern gap, an absence, a set with
KW> no elements. And while I can't track you back, from web
KW> citations to some earliest usage and give you a morphologist
KW> explicitly talking about his notational conventions, without
KW> spending more time at it than I can manage today, I can
KW> assure you that it is perfectly reasonable and expected to
KW> find clear examples of use of the empty set symbol in this
KW> linguistic usage.
What's the reason that this thread becomes that long and emotional?
There is a need to express some emptiness/missingness concept by a
symbol resembling somehow a circle or vertical oval form, overlayed
by a slash.
At present, Unicode has not a character which fulfills this need
uniquely and unanimously (as this thread shows).
If there was a need to include such a character into Unicode, this
would have happened long before (considering the many linguists here),
or at least nobody would have objected to the idea as it was expressed
in this thread.
Such, there seems to be *no* need for a dedicated symbol. As a
consequence, other symbols are sufficient and cannot be called
"wrong" without looking at the context of their actual usage.
If you want to express the concept "empty phoneme/morpheme/whatever",
use any symbol which is unambiguous in *your* context.
Use U+2205, U+2298, U+A01C or whatever. If these characters are
missing or ugly in your font, use U+00D8, as long as this is
unambiguous within *your* text. Or create an OpenType font with your
favourite glyph for U+0030 U+0338 if you have time and resources.
*Every* symbol which your readers interpret correct *is* correct.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu May 29 2003 - 19:30:32 EDT