Issue 290: Conceptual Objects and their Appellations

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Posted by Franco Niccolucci on 6/9/2015

Hi all,

Among the examples of E28 Conceptual Objects there is (rightfully) Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. I would believe that “Ode to Joy” is the appellation of this object, as is also "“Ode an die Freude”” etc.

However, the examples of E75 Conceptual Object Appellation (related to E28 by P149 is identified by) include as examples only identifiers, i.e. instances of E42 Identifier, which is a specific kind (actually a subclass) of E41 Appellation. The same happens, more or less, in the examples of P149.

My question is:
- is this deliberate, and only identifiers are allowed for E75, as in the examples
- or, “Ode to Joy” would also be an acceptable instance of E75, as results from the scope note?

I will assume the latter. If I am right, adding “Ode to Joy” as an example of E75, i.e. an appellation that is not an identifier, would clarify.

By the way, and in general, I am not much comfortable with all the story of Identifiers/Appellations.
For example, in the scope note of E44 Place Appellation the term “identifier” is loosely used to define the class instances, but this may be misleading as appellations like “next door on the left after Franco's house, just before the Indian Restaurant named Kashmir” are not at all an identifier, but indeed a valid place appellation. In Japan this one may reportedly be used also as E45 Address, again called an “identifier” in its scope note. An identifier is an appellation, but an appellation is not (always) an identifier.

Perhaps more important, there is an activity of Identifier Assignment (E15) as subclass of Attribute Assignment (E13), but there is no similar class of Appellation Assignment, which would include giving names, addresses etc. So one has to go up one level and use E13, possibly with a type specification, to describe the activity of associating names with things, which is still more frequent than assigning a DOI.

While Identifiers are indeed important because, among others, they may enable Linked Data, I don't really care of knowing how the identifier was assigned, so a shortcut property would probably suffice in most cases to link the thing to its identifier, preferred or not. On the other hand, I’d often like to know by whom/when/why a name (an appellation) was given to something, and the full path including the activity would allow documenting who did it (participated in the activity in the role of author), why (was motivated by), etc. It is unclear to me why Identifiers have the privilege of a specific assignment activity, while poor Appellations don’t.

Posted by Martin on 6/9/2015

Dear Franco,

Indeed, the specializations of E41 Appellation by category of named item are a source of confusion. I'd rather vote to abandon  them!

The point is, that the CRM must not contain classes which are a pure deduction of relationships. The fact, that an appellation is
occasionally used to identify a Conceptual Object does not tell anything about its ontological nature. In the initial design, we had in mind research cases, in which we find appellations which, by their form, exhibit to be designed for a certain category of things, so you could infer that they are used for such things, such as ISBN numbers. "Ode to Joy" qualifies as a title, a natural language noun phrase. Therefore we deliberately did not regard it as instance of E75. You may however argue, that "Ode" is indeed a category of E28. I have the impression that we cannot bind form with use in this way, and rather leave the distinction to a
less committed "P2 has type".


In the 37th joined meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9 and the 30th   FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, the crm-sig , resolving the issue 260, decided to delete the class E75 Conceptual Object Appellation. The issue is closed.

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