Word Sensibility Theory Page


Summary: When considering a word using system the question that might come to mind is, what is a word?

Below are a few ideas about words.

  • Word: a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed  – Oxford Dictionary
  • “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.” – Emily Dickinson
  • Word – A way to track ripples absent all knowledge of ponds. – R. Scott Bakker

We can all agree that the definition is a good everyday type working definition of the word, word. And like Dickinson, we can also agree that the word is much more than that. Still, we may consider the fundamental word as a target that awaits a source. Our interest is not in defining the word word or providing a list of senses for it. The aim is to present an anatomy for word-sensibility similar to the way logic presents an anatomy for word rationality. The attempt is to abstract a standard ontological framework focused on the responsiveness of word’s for commonsense knowing. Here, ontological entities are responsive. When composition is involved, this refers to a secondary system, a logical system that relies on syntactical structures to make a word’s use relevant to a situational context.

  • Word-sensibility initiates before a particular word sense is mapped.

The Quadranym Model of Word-Sensibility (Q): An Ecological Systems Perspective On Word-Level-Concepts & Contextual Unitizations – Non-Mental-Representation Representation Design Before Define.

Q: A method to analyze and cluster words – an ontological alignment system to represent dynamic word relations in units, scripts and layers.

What are words?

Words are meaning:  The Orientation of Interactivity is the basic feature of the word-sensibility model. However, there are many factors involved in word meaning. In this post, we will overview a variety of concepts for a word-sensibility approach to word meaning. It is not an exhaustive list by any means but aims to highlight some important areas to explore.

Words are a Way of Thinking: Situational Context describes the reasons why something is occurring and will sometimes include the appropriate behaviors associated with it. It is the communicative ability to present or understand the objective circumstances in which an event occurs. We introduce the dynamical context, it is something different and can be summarized as follows:

  • Dynamical Context: a situation resonates with a preexisting psychology, a predetermined expectation for behavior within that situation, and produces a synergy response, reshaped for the moment. 
  • Dynamical Contextual Systems: a dynamical contextual system is one characterized by the potential for multiple dynamic areas  and interactions between them.

Words are Psychological: Although word-sensibility includes the cognitive, it is mostly the affective and conative components that shape its dynamics. The orientative nature of word-sensibility implicates procedures driven by volition, motivation, goals, feelings and environments. The immanent exchange of the orientative sense and focus might be better described as a conative or affective exchange. These exchanges are actual dynamics that take work and require different levels of volition. The likely step forward for a description of the psychology behind word-sensibility will require special attention to the affective and conative components.

Words are Embodied: According to research conducted by embodied cognitive scientists, concrete and abstract understandings of language are achieved, at least in part, by way of motor and perceptual simulations. This happens in a number of different ways. Some simulations may go as far as actually depending on temporal lengths to establish meaning (Bergen, et al 2013). We introduce the idea of instantial experiences; responsive states that are repurposed and, in some ways, aim to abstract the simulation hypothesis for word-level concept representation.

  • Words play a fundamental role in the way we interconnect in the world that we all interact in, while conversely our interactive behaviors yields our word sense dynamics.

In the Q model, we use the term instantial experience as a specific reference to remembering as it refers not just to an event in time, but also to the dependence on time to re-instantiate the event. Operationally, in an abstract sense, the idea is virtually aligned with the hypotheses that previous experiential traces related to a word may be reactivated at a later stage when accessing the meaning of the same word.

  • In the experiential-simulation approach of language, to understand the sense of a word or sentence, experiential traces are activated. For instance, one might have likely traces where, looking upward is activated when one hears ‘airplane’ and looking downward is activated when one hears ‘snail’. (Zwaan, Madden, 2005)

In the example above, airplane and snail are referred to as passive-potentials in the Q model.  The Q provides an ontological approach to these procedures involving metaphysical notions, such as, being → becoming to represent some basic dynamics of experiential-simulations and the embodied language hypothesis in general.

In the Q, experiential traces will generally refer to what we call contextual traces; an actual orientation of an active being in the act of becoming a select potential condition, thus forming a dynamical context toward orienting a situational context. For instance, cloud may be a passive potential condition of the active being, up; up = active role, cloud = passive role. The representation treats words as virtual responsive units that aptly and dynamically interact with situations. So, if one says “I am on cloud 9” the hearer might have a response of up cloud to intend active-up denoting an experiential sense perspective of up-ness of which is metaphorically derived to mean,  good mood: as in not being horizontal or down but being up and vertical. The subjective-responsive up is objectified by becoming a passive potential condition of up: active-actual = up passive-potential = cloud.

  • A dynamical context will shape how a situational context is experienced.

Words are the World: Words are sometimes referred to as atomic components of a sentence. The term atomic component doesn’t really fit with the idea that words are dynamic contextual units. A specified term that appears atomic depends on its position in the dynamic framework that forms its word sense. When a word is used in a sentence it will seem atomic as our syntactic maneuvers intuitively positions its meaning to a situation. However, as we contend, words emerge from dynamic interactive processes between one and the world – socially reconstructed – and are not atomic. In application, the Q will also falsely imply atomic structures for words when positioned in global roles. This seems to be an inescapable result of trying to do in a computer or ‘syntactical box’ what people naturally do in the world. To try to get around this on some levels, a word will not be treated like an atomic word sense, but treated more like a topic, a word-topic. We contend that words are less atomic and more like topics that deal with many different perspectives and interactions with the world. Ontologically, words will still need to be specified, the model only provides a dynamical framework. In this framework, dynamical contexts provides constraints to topics. Topics span from word-topics to theme-topics albiet the focus is on the power of the “word“. Although grammar has been shown to activate embodied simulations in language understanding, in our view, words normally do the heavy lifting when representing the world.

  • The societal use of words is to contemplate real experience and the issues that real experience brings thus establishing a real advantage in the world.

Words are Skills: A skillful action is not a thoughtful process, it is a capable instantaneous response to changes in the world, such as, the behaviors of others. Certain behaviors are innately merited kindred, thus triggering a kind of empathy to which measure is applied to dynamically coordinate actions with another (Chemero, 2016). In our approach, this describes experiential compulsions used to amplify internal contextual units that are used to coordinate dynamical relations. Word-sensibility is a matter of controlling these non-atomic but fundamental units. Word-sensibility units may be single word-level-concepts or groups of words that usually appear together. In our view, word use is a skill to attend and repurpose natural interactive resources that might normally go unattended. In our approach, to think of anything first requires a skillful action between internal and external views from the point of a general contextual unit.

  • A word-sensibility is a kind of  internal focus unitized between the cultural dynamic with the environment and the dynamic of one in the environment. Internal and external dynamical contexts are necessary to form words.

Words are Intentions: Consider the history of sharing focus where through sharing tasks, cultural symbols and ritualistic practices a community achieves advantages through their like mindedness. To give something a symbol, is to give a discrete focus to memory that can ignite the transitive power of real experience.

  • Human self awareness is a form dependent on the intentional forms we share with others (Tomasello, 2008).
  • “The human mind adapted to a symbolic culture, thus, extending biological memory out to function within a culture” (Merlin Donald, 1991).

Words are Us: In some ways or on some level, we might think of local word-sensibility units as competing provisions to provide global viewpoints for a system. Each unit is like discrete local systems of motivated intentions independent of other local systems of motivated intentions. In this view, attended systems (units of motivated awareness) that are focused on occurrent situational conditions rely on unattended discrete systems (units of motivated perceptions) able to select apt conditions of past experiences. It is widely accepted by cognitive scientists that no one homunculus type hierarchical function controls all our thoughts or provides the mind a singular sense of self. The sense of a single self is not a global phenomenon but a local one (Gazzaniga, 2011). With this, we consider how each contextual unit might act as a discrete self identification opportunity and motivated viewpoint. Below are speculative ideas describing discrete intentional senses that are used to form word-sensibility. In this view, words are a product of social dynamics and suggests that modeling motivated sensibilities including ourselves and others, can also be used for words.

  • Dynamical Contextual unitizations, as we mean it, is an intrinsic process to derive understandings from different ways of thinking that can innately provide a sense of another’s understanding based on biological, social, cultural and environmental similarities.
  • Words are not sensibility units until they become automatized factors for our social volition; underlying habits of many relations layers and parts.
  • Our relationship with words are bound to the relationships we have with other humans; other autonomous units of a social system. 
  • Most of our thoughts are unconscious, so maybe in some sense, unconscious thoughts that help provide the sense making power of words come together on dynamical principles analogous to the way people come together when not through leadership but when through spontaneous dynamical social order. Word-sensibilities essentially do both, coordinate interpersonal relationships and intrapersonal relationships in dynamically similar ways. 

These ideas above are speculative and require research. However, the general idea of automatized unattended dynamical-contexts able to become units of attended viewpoints, we suggest, can be a useful way to think about how to achieve a more human like sensibility in applications for commonsense acquisitioning and machine learning.

Words are Embedded:  Operationally, word-sensibility is a process to connect local realm divisions to global roles. Later, we will illustrate what this looks like in the Q system with the introduction of Meta-Dimensional Roles. In this approach, the liminal points between the contextual units (i.e., nested systems) is an opportunity to capture cognitive resources.

  • Cognition generally described are coupled dynamical systems nested between, nervous system and body – body and brain – brain and environment (Beer, 2000).

In our approach to cognitive processing, a resource such as word-sensibility is amplified when both sides of a liminal point are responsive in the sense that a discrete circuit is activated between other discrete circuits. Generally, the Q idea aims to model discrete experiences as having coupled internal/external views providing responsive word-level circuits. Circuits are activated on an array of hierarchical levels that remain in flux.

Words are Responses: As already stated, the Q idea centers around ways to virtually anchor the responsiveness of words in a system. There is no one simple way to explain this process because it applies to a multi-organizational description of its dynamics. Our representation on this process begins with the question of how word sense can be re-purposed as virtual dynamics of word-sensibility.  The question is not just what is the sense of a word, but also, what affords a word sense different senses?

From the About page…

For instance, river bank and finance bank can be disambiguated in the lyric by The Police below because of the word checks.

Don’t think me unkind / words are hard to find / they’re only cheques I’ve left unsigned / From the banks of chaos in my mind. *The Police

Still, what remains is another matter of disambiguation that is metaphorical in nature to which our interactive behaviors with the world are repurposed.

The word checks suggests that bank is in the institutional domain. We interact with banks, they are institutions in physical buildings where people write and receive checks and where value can store and accumulate, a receptacle, a real container where some things are in and some things are out. Here, we consider how experiential senses converge to evoke certain dynamic responses between domains, in this instance, interacting with institutional banks is repurposed in the psychological domain.

Institutional sense = Situational Context:
  • coherent sense: hold  → conditional sense: deposit, money, accumulate; validate, checks, value intends denotation = bank.


Psychological sense = Dynamical Context:
  • coherent sense hold  → conditional sense: words, remember, learn, thoughts;  order, chaos intends denotation = bank.

Both domains intend the denotation bank. One can continue to draw the attributes of the word within the constraints of the active-actual domain (psychological). The interactivity between domains evoke a sensibility active in time, a kind of dynamic ontological categorization that is not primarily referring to an intensional kind of ontology or an ontological dependence between entities, but a skillful and pre-reflective sense of  being with our responses, suggesting that, referential entities emerge from responses.

The responsiveness of word-sensibility refers to a dynamic coherent instance (hold) being driven by the situation (words), and will remain the same between domains, it is the passive conditionals (of that coherent sense) that changes:

  • Condition-potential: FROM checks value TO words → chaos

Words are purposed on semantic truth conditions, meaningful = T (value) meaningless =  F (chaos). However, without a resonance of orientation objectivity is meaningless. A particular orientation doesn’t matter, what matters is its relevance to the objectivity. It becomes the dynamic orientation of the objectivity (hold → value). To the orientation, there is no situation, there is only its dynamic. If the dynamic loses relevance then the orientation loses resonance. This dynamic does not pertain to the meaning of the situation but to the dynamic sense it registers for that situation. On the other hand, the truth of the situation or object (words → chaos) is embedded in this dynamic (hold). The condition represents itself (words) through the instantial experience (banks); its coherent-actual responsiveness (hold) and its conditional-potential reference (Chaos).

Just in case a conditional sense can’t be made relevant to the situation to intend the denotation (bank), as it pertains to the occurrent situation (words), then its dynamic coherent instance (hold) and its intrinsic potential conditional senses (value, accumulate, deposit) are rejected as the dynamic orientation representing the responsive sensibility of the experience.

The responsiveness between sensibility systems may anchor differently. How different systems share orientation is based on topical interoperability; the ability to adopt or reject the topical orientations of other systems. As seen in post 4, this idea is based on The principle of the orientation of interactivity.

Words are Resources: In word-sensibility representation, a dynamical context is represented as a unit called a quadranym (Q-unit). A Q-unit formally begins as a subject of a predicate. Consider the predicate and subject variable Container(x).

Below are complimentary subject elements of a container.

  • Container(empty, full)

Above, as applied to the Q-unit, empty is the initial state, or considered the subjective state. Full is the becoming state, or considered the objective state; If empty THEN full, provides the dynamic sense of container. It is not necessary to consider; If full THEN empty. This doesn’t apply to the dynamical context, rather, it only applies to the situational context. In other words, the individuation of container is established as empty initiating the subjective state. The objective state pertains to the situation that the subjective state responds to, such as, what can fullness be in a situation.

Container is represented, such that, empty virtually resonates to full, thus making empty as the active subjective dynamic of container. Complimentary terms easily illustrate this dynamic. For instance, when something out becomes something in the action of container is denoted. It is always in one direction, out is the potential mode and in is the actual mode, while, emptiness is the actual state and fullness is the potential state.

  •  Mode (Action): FROM potential_out-ness TO actual_in-ness
  •  State (Being): FROM actual_empty-ness TO potential _full-ness

Above represents the becoming of something attended to. Each word above represents a basic dimension and is therefore called a quadranym. Quadranyms represent this becoming using specific content. The becoming dynamic of specific content completes a dynamical context.

Basically, the subjective sense refers to a subjective state of mind. The subjective state are occurrent factors of one’s experience given to potential instances of becoming. In this instance, empty-ness is the coherent core providing a virtual subjective state for the instance of container. It is subjective because it is the actual state. On the other hand, full-ness is the potential condition of the subjective and therefore is the objective state.

  • The key idea of The Q Model is that the environment drives the actual-subjective-sense, while remembering guides the potential-objective-sense. Theoretically, in this system, there is no real difference between subjective reality and objective reality except for how it pertains to a dynamical context, otherwise there is only a monistic reality made experientially discrete by contextual processes. These two senses each require their own ontology. The objective sense of a Q-unit pertains to the ability to make useful predictions about the world in a dynamical context with motivations and tendencies.

Words are Systems: Q-units provide dynamic frameworks for specified terms. The goal is to improve the tractability of the objective field so to better predict situational outcomes in shared environments. There are no definitive quadranym arrangement for any Q-topic. The only requirement is that any arrangement be consistent with the ontological system in which it functions. Consistency primarily pertains to special content in the system called, Meta-dimensional Roles (M-Roles). Normal content pertains to any word presenting a particular dimensional role of a Q-unit while M-roles pertain to primitive roles. If discrete systems are to engage in a kind of discourse with each other then they will require having many of the same M-role dimensions. Normal content can vary greatly. Ontological rules and terms are defined in an area called the objective field. All systems share the objective field. Topical interoperability is the ability to adopt or reject topical orientations of other systems. Variations between systems mostly consists of different ways to arrange any specified term in Q-units.

Words are Equivocations: Theoretically, what x can be is not consciously attended to, although, how x can become is. Aiming to achieve a Passive State begins the anticipation while being driven by an Active State is an unattended response. Possibilities stem from the superset, for instance, Out(empty) of container begins the active state where the subset In(fullness) sets the goal of a passive state (i.e., the Dynamical Context resonates with its constituents to form a Situational Context).

  • Dynamical Context: Anything=potential <can be> contained=actual
  • Situational Context: That=actual <can be> contained=potential

The Terms Out, Empty, In, Full each represent a dimension where words cluster in relation to a Q-topic, such as, orienting the notion Container.

Below are the Meta-Dimensional Roles, EROS

  1. The predicate out is equal to the expansive dimension
  2. The predicate in is equal to the reductive dimension
  3. The subject full is equal to the objective dimension
  4. The subject empty is equal to the subjective dimension


  • Container


  • [e:active_out, r:passive_in, o:passive_full. s:active_empty]

Active refers to more experience necessary. Passive refers to no more experience necessary. Active set aims to identify the Passive set. In the Q-unit example, the potential predicate out of the topic container is being about actual empty-ness. This is the superset. What follows is the actual predicate in of the topic container and its  potential subject full-ness. This is the subset. Now the proposition of containing something can be true or false. The situational context is the target of the dynamical context.

Keep in mind that quadranyms are not primarily about any situation of a topic but are primarily about the general dynamic of a topic.

Q-topic: Container(x)

(∀x) Container(x) → [Active = Out(empty)  ⊇ Passive = In(full)(x)]

  • The Active-Superset refers to unattended levels i.e., what x can be.
  • The Passive-Subset refers to attended levels i.e., how x can become.

In the superset, x can be anything the cluster holds {empty, full… }. In the subset, x can be only some of those things {full…}. The superset will retain the most pervasive occurrent factors of a topic. The subset aims to quickly identify the object of the topic. The object cannot be the topic name itself.

Words are Dynamics: Once the dynamic sense of a term such as container achieves its passive state, it can then be used to equivocate terms. Consider the concrete term vessel and the abstract term love; a person in love or liquid in a vessel share a sense of the dynamical context container. Again, theoretically, for a Situational Context to have meaning a Dynamical Context must reach it’s passive state i.e., no more experience necessary. Consider the assertion, “he is in love”. A level of dynamical context moves from an Active State out to a Passive State in to provide the orientation, love is a container. The dynamical context resonates with the situational context love. The truth conditions are assessed through a hierarchy of nested units arranged in a top down system of judgement. So now, “He is in love”  can be assessed in a state of measure because of the dynamical context container reached its passive potential on unattended levels.

Words are Ecological:  In our model, dynamical contextual units provide general viewpoints used to make specific viewpoints tractable and easily responsive to apt situations. Specific viewpoints will in-turn effect changes to general viewpoints. In this process, a word is an interactive experience between realms and like all experiences there is an ecological process.

  • How do words form? Consider how flowers bloom, they bloom when the sun is shining and the temperature is right.

Words Are Experiential Myths: In the next post, we will explore word-sensibility in more detail through the dynamics of the experiential myth.

Psyche & Eros


*De Do Do Do De Da Da Da

Don’t think me unkind Words are hard to find They’re only cheques I’ve left unsigned From the banks of chaos in my mind And when their eloquence escapes me Their logic ties me up and rapes me

De do do do de da da da Is all I want to say to you De do do do de da da da Their innocence will pull me through De do do do de da da da Is all I want to say to you De do do do de da da da They’re meaningless and all that’s true

Poets priests and politicians Have words to thank for their positions Words that scream for your submission And no-one’s jamming their transmission ‘Cause when their eloquence escapes you Their logic ties you up and rapes you

De do do do de da da da Is all I want to say to you De do do do de da da da Their innocence will pull me through De do do do de da da da Is all I want to say to you De do do do de da da da They’re meaningless and all that’s true

Songwriters: Gordon Sumner De Do Do Do De Da Da Da lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Logic can never exhaust sensibility and this is why sensibility can at times be immune to logic. Logic is the method to debug sensibility. Sensibility is not a reliable way to understand, it’s only the essential way.