Semantics, computers, and theories; Oh No!


So far we have learned from Hans Kamp that formal semantics (FST) employs techniques from symbolic logic and mathematical logic to produce characterized theories and meanings for a variety of different types of languages. We have also learned that discourse representation theory (DRT) is a way to take the conversational context to a level of simplicity.

Now, what happens when we combine these two theories of complex languages and simplicity?

Early in the 20th century, a philosopher Bertrand Russell invented type theory. Type theory is a tool used with many programming languages to help ensure that the consistency of information is accurate. Its domain and data structure is moving faster than expected into more complex domains to include security and networking and is shaping our world within the 21st century computer science (Wright, 2010).

Alex Wright wrote “Type Theory Comes of Age.”  He explains how Type Theory has evolved over the past 100 years. The two most fascinating type theories are called static type theory and dynamic type theory. Static theory catches errors at the time they are compiled opposed to dynamic in which errors are caught at run-time.  According to Wright, researches have dreamed of unifying static and dynamic type systems for a while.  After reading this article I also learned about security type systems. When I first came across this I thought to myself, “Oh gosh another “type” to add to the list of confusion”. But this wasn’t the case, it was quite interesting to learn about these theories. I realized computer speak a language just as well as humans do, it’s all semantics!  Everything I have learned about semantics is correct. Whether it is symbols, images, written, etc. It is all semantics!  How Fun!

Since I found this so amusing I decided to take my research to the next level and try to code something myself on Codecademy. No, I am not a pro at coding, so I wasn’t able to create my own website.  But I can say, I had a blast while creating a colorful image of my name using everything I learned about variables, strings, and arrays.

For an example, variables can be stored as numbers or strings. Arrays store a list of data anything between [ ] is an array.  It’s evident that computer language is significantly influenced by type theory. I am astonished to find out that what seems to be so difficult can essentially be so simple. I can’t wait to see the progressions in our future.


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