Affiliations: School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, The University of Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, UK E-mail: email@example.com
Abstract: A natural approach to representing and reasoning about temporal propositions (i.e., statements with time-dependent truth-values) is to associate them with time elements. In the literature, there are three choices regarding the primitive for the ontology of time: (1) instantaneous points, (2) durative intervals and (3) both points and intervals. Problems may arise when one conflates different views of temporal structure and questions whether some certain types of temporal propositions can be validly and meaningfully associated with different time elements. In this paper, we shall summarize an ontological glossary with respect to time elements, and diversify a wider range of meta-predicates for ascribing temporal propositions to time elements. Based on these, we shall also devise a versatile categorization of temporal propositions, which can subsume those representative categories proposed in the literature, including that of Vendler, of McDermott, of Allen, of Shoham, of Galton and of Terenziani and Torasso. It is demonstrated that the new categorization of propositions, together with the proposed range of meta-predicates, provides the expressive power for modeling some typical temporal terms/phenomena, such as starting-instant, stopping-instant, dividing-instant, instigation, termination and intermingling etc.
Keywords: Ontological classification, time elements, meta-predicates, temporal propositions