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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist by James Hendler, Dean Allemang

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CHAPTER 3 RDF—The Basis of the Semantic Web

When we speak of the “semantics” of a programming language, we usually refer to the mapping from the language syntax to some formalism that expresses the “meaning” of that language. For programming languages, this could be an abstract machine or a specification in some operational calculus. When we speak of “semantics” of natural language, we often refer to something about what it means to understand the utterance—how to go from the structured letters or sounds in a language to some kind of meaning behind them.

Perhaps the most primitive part of this notion of semantics is a representation of the linkage of a term in a statement to the entity in the world that the term refers to. This primitive notion ...

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