The Formal English language

Formal English is a formalized language for the expression of information, knowledge and requirements as well as for the storage and exchange of data in an open, system independent, human and computer interpretable way. Formal English is derived from natural English and is based on various International Standards, among which modeling sources, such as ISO 10303-42, 50, 202, 221, ISO 15926 as well as W3C sources RDF, RDFS and OWL, as well as terminology sources, such as ISO 16354, ISO 1998, IEC 60050 and many other sources. Gellish includes rules for its own extension.

Formal English consists of three components:

  • The formal language definition (the upper ontology).
    This component defines how thoughts (ideas, stamenets about facts, etc.) and queries about any object, activity or aspect can be specified in a consistent computer interpretable way and how a number of 'contextual facts' about every main fact can be specified. This enables to store and exchange information and knowledge (including documents and 3D models) in a neutral format, to apply logic reasoning and querying and also to manage all those data and documents. The language definition is based on basic semantic patterns that specify what kinds of relations are required to express meaning. The core of the language specifications is formed by the definition of standard kinds of relations, their required roles and the definition of the kinds of things that can play such roles in those kinds of relations. The formal languages enable automated translation of expressions between natural languages. The language also covers the expression of dialogs, such as queries and response messages.

  • The Gellish Syntax and Contextual Fact - Definition of the Gellish Expression Format.
    This component defines how every Gellish enabled database or Data Exchange File or Query and Response Message could be structured and which contextual facts (meta data) can be added. It in fact defines a universal data structure. This universal structure, in combination with the application of a common formal language for the content enables integration of data from multiple sources. It also enables the seamless cooperation of multiple central or distributed databases as if they were one consistent database. A Gellish enabled database or data exchange file is a collection of semantic expressions, which means that it includes not only ordinary data, but it also contains the definitions of the used concepts as well as system independent rules for the interpretation of the stored expressions.

  • The Taxonomic Dictionary of Formal English.
    The Formal English language definition includes an extensive electronic smart Taxonomic Dictionary that consists of a generic core section (The Upper Ontology section) that defines common general concepts and kainds of relations and various Domain Taxonomic Dictionaries. The dictionary as a whole contains definitions of concepts and terminology (including synonyms as well as homonyms) from a variety of application domains. The dictionary is called an electronic Smart Dictionary, because it contains human as well as computer interpretable knowledge due to explicit relations between the defined concepts. For example, the concepts in the dictionary are arranged in a strict subtype-supertype hierarchy (also called a taxonomy) which enables inheritance of characteristics from generic concepts to more specific subtype concepts. The core taxonomic dictionary and the domain taxonomic dictionaries together form one consistent whole. The taxonomic dictionaries are extensible with other domain specific concepts and terminology as well as with proprietary concepts and terminology. New specialized domain dictionaries may be added. For example, standard product types and manufacturer's models can be included by defining them as further specialized proprietary extensions of domain dictionaries and thus as extension of the definition of the formal language.

The formal languages have a very rich semantic expression capability that exceeds the capabilities of conventional databases and other formal languages because of the large variety and detailed subtypes of kinds of relations that enable to express thought with semantic precision.

Expressions in the formal languages can be stored and exchanged in various kinds of implementation environments. For example they can be implemented in the form of SQL Database tables, XML files and messages using the XML Schema definition, RDF format, CSV files as well as in standardized tables in ordinary Excel spreadsheet form.

Proprietary and public extensions

Licensees as well as non-licensees of Gellish can create definitions of new concepts and objects. They can apply them themselves directly as proprietary extensions and they can propose them for consideration and inclusion as public concepts in the taxonomic dictionary of the formal languages. After verification and approval of their quality by the Gellish language manager, such additions receive a Gellish Unique Identifier (UID) and the public ones will be added to the taxonomic dictionary and published for general use. Proprietary extensions can be certified, but will not be published by Proposals of licensees will be handled conform a contractual agreement.

The taxonomic dictionary of Formal English

The English variant of the Gellish family of formal languages includes an electronic taxonomic dictionary with ordinary English terms, synonyms and abbreviations, extended with many technical terms, often consisting of multi-word terms. This defines a lot of concepts that are not available in conventional dictionaries. The taxonomic dictionary includes not only definitions of concepts of things, aspects, processes and activities but also definitions of kinds of relations that are used to create expressions. The dictionary complies with the requirements of ISO 16354.

The Taxonomic Dictionary of Formal English contains the following domain taxonomic dictionaries:

  • Generic concepts and relation types (TOPini)
  • Units of Measures, scales and currencies
  • Activities, Events, Processes and Functions
  • Physical objects of various kinds, such as:
  • - Static equipment, process units and piping
  • - Buildings, civil and structural items
  • - Electrical and Instrumentation, Control and Valves
  • - Rotating equipment, Transport equipment and Solids Handling
  • - Roles of physical objects (usages)
  • Aspects, Properties, Qualities and Roles of aspects
  • Materials of constructions (steel and non-steel), Fluids and Waves
  • Documents and Identification, Information, Symbols and Graphics
  • Geographic objects, including countries
  • Biology
  • Organizations and Procurement
  • Mathematics, Geometry and Shapes
  • Waste water and water treatment

Formal Dutch (Nederlands)

The dictionary of Formal Dutch (Formeel Nederlands), defines the same concepts as the dictionary of Formal English, and uses the same unique identifiers (UIDs) to represent the concepts across languages and thereby it supports Dutch-English automatic translation and vice versa for expressions and models.
An example, a domain Taxonomic Dictionary is a Dutch dictionary for Buildings and Civil technology (Formeel Nederlands Woordenboek voor de Bouw). Support can provide knowledge and experience on the successful application of the Semantic Modeling and language definition and application, especially through train the trainer courses. It also advises on the creation of Semantic Databases and Exchange files and Messages as well as queries, searching and the generation of response messages in formal languages. also provides services on the creation or extension of taxonomic dictionaries and ontologies or on mapping between them.