Issue 437: Scope note and examples of E41 Appellation

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

Posted by Martin on 12/10/2019

Dear All,

With the deletion of many subclasses of E41 Appellation here my suggestion for adjustment:


E41 Appellation

Subclass of:         E90 Symbolic Object

Superclass of:      E35 Title

E42 Identifier


Scope note:         This class comprises signs, either meaningful or not, or arrangements of signs following a specific syntax, that are used or can be used to refer to and identify a specific instance of some class or category within a certain context.

Instances of E41 Appellation do not identify things by their meaning, even if they happen to have one, but instead by convention, tradition, or agreement. Instances of E41 Appellation are cultural constructs; as such, they have a context, a history, and a use in time and space by some group of users. A given instance of E41 Appellation can have alternative forms, i.e., other instances of E41 Appellation that are always regarded as equivalent independent from the thing it denotes.

Even though instances of E41 Appellation are not words of a language, different language groups may use different appellations for the same thing, such as the names of major cities. Some appellations may be formulated using a valid noun phrase of a particular language. In these cases, the respective instances of E41 Appellation should also be declared as instances of E33 Linguistic Object. Then the language group using the appellation can be declared with the property P72 has language: E56 Language.

Instances of E41 Appellation may be used to identify any instance of E1 CRM Entity and sometimes are characteristic for instances of more specific subclasses E1 CRM Entity, such as for instances of E52 Time-Span (for instance “dates”), E39 Actor, E53 Place or E28 Conceptual Object. Postal addresses and E-mail addresses are characteristic examples of identifiers used by services transporting things between clients.

Even numerically expressed identifiers in continua are also regarded as instances of E41 Appellation, such as Gregorian dates or  spatial coordinates, even though they allow for determining the time or spot or are they identify by a known procedure starting from a reference point and by virtue of that play a double role as instances of E59 Primitive Value.

E41 Appellation should not be confused with the act of naming something. Cf. E15 Identifier Assignment


§  "Martin"

§  "the Forth Bridge"

§  "the Merchant of Venice" (E35) (McCullough, 2005)

§  "Spigelia marilandica (L.) L." [not the species, just the name] (Hershberger, Jenkins and Robacker, 2015)

§  "information science" [not the science itself, but the name through which we refer to it in an English-speaking context]

§  “安” [Chinese “an”, meaning “peace”]

§  “6°5’29”N 45°12’13”W”

§  “Black queen’s bishop 4” [chess coordinate][MD1] 

§  “1900”

§  “4-4-1959”

§  “19-MAR-1922”

§  “19640604”[MD2] 

§  “+41 22 418 5571”


§  “Vienna”

§  “CH-1211, Genève”

§  “Aquae Sulis Minerva”

§  “Bath”

§  “Cambridge”

§  “the Other Place”

§  “the City”[MD4] 

§  “1-29-3 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 121, Japan”

§  “Rue David Dufour 5, CH-1211, Genève”[MD5] 

§  “the entrance lobby to the Ripley Center”

§  “the poop deck of H.M.S Victory”

§  “the Venus de Milo’s left buttock”

§  “left inner side of my box”

§  “the entrance lobby to the Ripley Center”

§  “the poop deck of H.M.S Victory”

§  “the Venus de Milo’s left buttock”

§  “left inner side of my box”[MD6] 


In First Order Logic:

                           E41(x) ⊃ E90(x)

 [MD1]Transfer of examples from deprecated E47

 [MD2]Transfer of examples from E50 Date

 [MD3]Transfer of examples from E51 Contact Point

 [MD4]Transfer of examples from E44 Place Appellation

 [MD5]Transfer of examples from E54 Address

 [MD6]Transfer of examples from E46 Section definition

Posted by Franco Niccolucci on 12/10/2019

There’s a repetition in the examples. Probably only the Venus de Milo deserves it!

Posted by Øyvind  Eide on 13/10/2019

Dear Martin,

Just one small detail: 

> This class comprises signs, either meaningful or not, or arrangements of signs following a specific syntax, […]

Denotation is commonly connected to the concept of meaning. Thus, even if a place name is a series of sounds with no meaning as a word apart from the reference function as a place name, the denotation itself gives the appellation a certain kind of meaning.

As a discussion of meaning follows in the next paragraph anyway I suggest a change to:

> This class comprises signs or arrangements of signs following a specific syntax, […]

Posted by Martin on 13/10/2019

Well, what is meant is "meaning as an expression independent from its use as an appellation for a particular thing".

What do you think? 

Posted by Øyvind on 13/10/2019

A not uncommon English translation of Frege’s Sinn und Bedeutung is sense and meaning... thus, talking about meaning independent from the reference function is confusing (even if it is done quite a bit, I know, and even if it in some contexts makes sense (macht es auch Sinn?)).

It can be explained, I just wonder if it is worth it when meaning is addressed later on. It would take some additional sentences to make it clear I think.