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Grammar

The Letters of Verish are the 94 non-blank displayable ASCII characters. Eight of these Letters have special functions and are called Capitals, and the remaining 86 Letters are called Formatives. The eight Capitals are

= - ( ) + / [ ]
equivalent not and or the of every some

where the approximate English equivalent of each Capital has been written underneath it. ASCII characters that are not Letters, for example blanks and carriage returns, have no significance in Verish, and may be included without any restrictions at all.

A Noun consists of the Capital +, followed by one or more Formatives.

A Preposition consists of the Capital +, followed by one or more Formatives, followed by one or more occurrences of the Capital /.

An Adverb consists of either the Capital [, or the Capital ], followed by one or more Formatives.

A Conjunction is either the Capital = or the Capital ( or the Capital ).

The Negation is the Capital -.

A Word is either a Noun or a Preposition or an Adverb or a Conjunction or the Negation. Thus a Word always begins with one of the seven Capitals = - ( ) + [ or ]. These seven Capitals are called Initials.

A Phrase is either a Noun, or a Preposition followed by a number of Phrases, one for each Capital / in the Preposition.

A Sentence is either a Phrase, or an Adverb or the Negation followed by a Sentence, or a Conjunction followed by two Sentences. Thus a Sentence is a series of Words, and each way of producing a bigger Sentence out of previously existing Sentences introduces exactly one additional Word, and this additional Word occurs at the beginning of the new Sentence. Furthermore, each Word in a Sentence after its first Word is the first Word of a uniquely defined smaller Sentence.

Given any sequence of Letters, we define the Scope of any occurrence of an Initial in the sequence, as follows. Starting with a count of +1 at the immediate left of the Initial concerned, we move rightwards, adding +1 for each Conjunction or Capital / passed, and -1 for each Capital + passed. The Scope begins at the immediate left of the Initial concerned, and ends at the first point where the count is 0 and the next Letter, if there is one, is an Initial. If the sequence ends before the count reaches 0, the Scope is considered incomplete.

The above definitions imply that the Scope of the first Initial of a Sentence is precisely the whole Sentence, and the Sentences that occur during the formation of a larger Sentence, by the above rules, are precisely the Scopes of the Initials in the larger Sentence. A Sentence always contains at least two Letters, and a sequence of Letters is a Sentence if and only if the following six conditions are all satisfied.

  1. The first Letter is an Initial.
  2. The Scope of the first Initial is complete and is precisely the whole sequence.
  3. Each occurrence of + or [ or ] is followed by a Formative.
  4. Each occurrence of a Conjunction or the Negation or / is followed by a Capital.
  5. No Capitals other than + and / occur within the Scope of any +.
  6. The Capital / never occurs outside the Scope of a +.

To prove that a sequence of Letters that satisfies these six conditions is a Sentence, we note that a sequence of Letters that contains exactly one Initial, and satisfies the first three conditions, is a Noun, and by considering the first Initial in a sequence of Letters that contains two or more Initials, and satisfies the six conditions, we confirm that if every sequence of Letters that contains a smaller number of Initials, and satisfies the six conditions, is a Sentence, then the sequence of Letters under consideration is also a Sentence.

The Subjects of a Word in a Sentence are the Sentences that consecutively follow that Word, until the end of the Sentence that begins with that Word. Thus a Noun has no Subjects, a Preposition has as many Subjects as the number of Capitals / in the Preposition, an Adverb and the Negation each have one Subject, and a Conjunction has two Subjects. The Subjects of a Sentence are the Subjects of the first Word of the Sentence.

An occurrence of a Noun or a Preposition, in a Sentence, is called a Verb occurrence, if it is not part of the Subject of any Preposition in the Sentence, and an Object occurrence, if it is part of the Subject of some Preposition in the Sentence. A Phrase in a Sentence is called a Verb Phrase of the Sentence if its first Word is a Verb occurrence of that Word, and an Object Phrase of the Sentence if its first Word is an Object occurrence of that Word.

An Adverb and a Noun are said to Agree, if they are the same apart from their Initials. An Object occurrence of a Noun in a Sentence is said to be a Governed occurrence, if it is part of the Subject of an Adverb that Agrees with that Noun.

A Clause of a Sentence is an Adverb or a Preposition or a Noun of that Sentence, together with its Subjects, that is not part of the Subject of any Adverb or Preposition. Thus the Clauses of a Sentence are disjoint, and a Sentence is built from its Clauses, using only Conjunctions and the Negation.

A Brief is a Phrase that contains at most one Preposition. A Reason is a Brief whose first Word is either +Tb followed by any number of /, or +Ex or +Gn/ or +Fc/ or +Sm/ or +Ab/ or +Ao.

A Paragraph consists of a Noun, followed by one or more Briefs, followed by a Sentence. The first Noun of a Paragraph is called the Title. A Title whose first two Letters are +1, and whose third Letter, if there is one, is not a decimal digit, is called an Opening Title. A Paragraph whose Title is an Opening Title is called an Opening Paragraph.

A Definition Paragraph consists of the Title +Df or the Title +1Df, followed by a Brief, all of whose Subjects are different, followed by a Sentence that is not a Noun. The second Sentence in a Definition Paragraph is called the Abbreviation, and the third Sentence in a Definition Paragraph is called the Definition. A Noun that is either the Abbreviation of a Definition Paragraph whose Definition is a Phrase, or has an Object occurrence in the Definition of a Definition Paragraph that is not a Governed occurrence, but is not among the Subjects of the Abbreviation of that Definition Paragraph, is called a Name. The first Word of the Abbreviation of a Definition Paragraph is said to be Defined by that Definition Paragraph.

A Statement Paragraph consists of a Title that is not +Df or +1Df, followed by zero, one or more Briefs that are not Reasons, followed by a Reason, followed by a Sentence, where the Reason is not +Ao if there are no Briefs between it and the Title. The first Reason after the Title of a Statement Paragraph is called the Reason, and any Briefs between the Title and the Reason are called Methods. The Sentence after the Reason is called the Statement.

A Comment is a sequence of Letters that begins with an Initial, and whose second Letter cannot follow its first Letter in a Sentence, and which continues until the first occurrence, after its first two Letters, of its first two Letters in reverse order, except that an occurrence of any of ( ) [ ] < > { } in the first two Letters is replaced by ) ( ] [ > < } { respectively in the final two Letters. A Comment has no significance in Verish, and can be used to provide information in another language.

An occurrence in a Sentence of the Word Defined by a Definition Paragraph is Relevant if:

A Development is a sequence of Definition Paragraphs, Statement Paragraphs, and Comments. A Method Application, in a Development, is a consecutive sequence of Paragraphs and Comments, such that the first Paragraph of the sequence is an Opening Paragraph, and the first Paragraph after the sequence is the first subsequent Statement Paragraph such that the number of Methods that are not immediately followed by +Ao, within the Paragraphs of the Application after its first Paragraph, and the first Paragraph after the Application, is not less than the number of Opening Paragraphs within the Application. If there is no such subsequent Statement Paragraph, then the Application extends to the end of the Development.

(If the first Paragraph of a Method Application contains a Method that is not immediately followed by +Ao, the Application of that Method comes before that Method Application, rather than within it. Thus the part of a Development that corresponds to a Method can sometimes be a consecutive sequence of Method Applications, rather than a single Method Application.)

Within a Development, a Paragraph is Active for another Paragraph, if it comes before that other Paragraph, and is not within a Method Application that ends at least one Paragraph before the start of that other Paragraph. A Paragraph is Active for the Statement in a Statement Paragraph, if it is Active for that Statement Paragraph.

A Development is Regular if:

The purpose of the first of these conditions on a Regular Development is to ensure that every Method that is not immediately followed by +Ao corresponds to a Method Application. The purpose of the other conditions is explained on the next page.

If there is more than one Method in a Statement Paragraph, the Verish program assumes that the first Method corresponds to the Method Application that starts first, the second Method corresponds to the Method Application that starts second, and so on. This is also the convention used in the Knowledge Base.

If the first Word of a Phrase is Defined by a Definition Paragraph, then the Sentence formed from that Phrase in Accordance with that Definition Paragraph is the Sentence obtained from the Definition, by replacing each Object occurrence in the Definition that is not Governed, of a Subject of the Abbreviation, by the corresponding Subject of the Phrase. The formation of that Sentence is Legitimate if no Noun in a Subject of the Phrase becomes Governed when that Subject replaces a Subject of the Abbreviation in the Definition.

A Sentence is said to be an Abbreviation of another Sentence, in Accordance with a Definition Paragraph, if the second Sentence is obtained from the first Sentence by replacing a Phrase whose first Word is a Relevant occurrence of the Word Defined by that Definition Paragraph, by the Sentence formed from that Phrase in Accordance with that Definition Paragraph, and the formation of that Sentence from that Phrase is Legitimate. If the Phrase in the first Sentence that is replaced is an Object Phrase of that Sentence, then the Definition in the Definition Paragraph must be a Phrase, for the result of the replacement would otherwise not be a Sentence.

To enable a Development to be divided into parts contained in separate files, the Verish program attempts to form a Development from a sequence of files, assuming that a Comment that begins with (^ specifies a file that should precede the file where the Comment occurs, and a Comment that begins with (_ specifies a file that should follow the file where the Comment occurs. If more than one preceding file is specified, the first is used, and if more than one following file is specified, the first is used.

The English and Verish text on this website is licensed for use under the Free Software Foundation Free Documentation License, and the software is licensed for use under the Free Software Foundation General Public License.

Page last updated 30 July 2015. Copyright (c) Chris Austin 1997 - 2015. Privacy policy