Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30184
Expressive Modes and Species of Language

Authors: Richard Elling Moe


Computer languages are usually lumped together into broad -paradigms-, leaving us in want of a finer classification of kinds of language. Theories distinguishing between -genuine differences- in language has been called for, and we propose that such differences can be observed through a notion of expressive mode. We outline this concept, propose how it could be operationalized and indicate a possible context for the development of a corresponding theory. Finally we consider a possible application in connection with evaluation of language revision. We illustrate this with a case, investigating possible revisions of the relational algebra in order to overcome weaknesses of the division operator in connection with universal queries.

Keywords: Expressive mode, Computer language species, Evaluation of revision, Relational algebra, Universal database queries

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 965


[1] Baader, F., Horrocks, I., Sattler, U., 2005. Description Logics as Ontology Languages for the Semantic Web. In: D. Hutter, W. Stephan (Eds). Mechanizing Mathematical Reasoning, LNAI 2605. Springer Verlag.
[2] Carlis, J. V., 1986. HAS, a Relational Algebra Operator or Divide is not Enough to Conquer, Proceedings of the second international conference on data engineering, IEEE Computer Society
[3] Codd, E. F., 1972. Relational completeness of data base sublanguages. In: Justin, R. J. (ed) Data base systems, Courant computer science symposia series 6, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall
[4] Dadashzadeh, M., 1989. An improved division operator for relational algebra, Information systems 14(5),
[5] Date, C. J., 2003. On relational division, Discussion on Database Debunkings website,
[6] Date, C. J., 2004. An introduction to database systems, Addison Wesley
[7] Date, C. J., Darwen, H., 1992a. Into the great divide. In: Date, C. J., Darwen, H., Relational database writings 1989-1991, Addison Wesley
[8] Date, C. J., Darwen, H., 1992b. Relation-valued attributes or Will the real first normal form please stand up? In: Date, C. J., Darwen, H., Relational database writings 1989-1991, Addison Wesley
[9] Date, C. J., Darwen, H., 1992c. Toward a reconstituted definition of the relational model Version 1 (RM/V1), In: Date, C. J., Darwen, H., Relational database writings 1989-1991, Addison Wesley
[10] Date, C. J., Darwen, H., 1994. Divide and Conquer? In: Date, C. J., Darwen, H., Relational database writings 1991-1994, Addison Wesley
[11] Dix A., Finlay J., Abowd, G. D., Beale, R., 1994. Human-Computer Interaction, Prentice-Hall
[12] Elmasri, R., Navathe, S. B., 2003. Fundamentals of database systems, Addison Wesley
[13] Graefe, G., Cole, R. L., 1995. Fast algorithms for universal quantification in large databases, ACM Transactions on database systems, Vol. 20, No 2.
[14] Klug, A., 1982. Equivalence of relational algebra and relational calculus query langages having aggregate functions, Journal of the ACM, Vol 29, No. 3
[15] Libkin, L., 2003. Expressive power of SQL, Theoretical Computer Science 296
[16] McCann, L. I., 2003. On making relational division comprehensible, ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in education conference, 2003
[17] Moe, R. E., 2004, Context-sensitive relational division, WSEAS Transactions on information science and applications, Issue 1, Vol 1.
[18] Pigott, D., 2006, HOPL: an interactive Roster of Programming Languages,
[19] Rantzau, R., Shapiro, L. D., Mitschang, B., Wang, Q., 2003. Algorithms and applications for universal quantification in relational databases. Information Systems 28
[20] Reisner, P., 1981. Human factors studies of database query languages: a survey and assessment. Computer Surveys, Vol 13, No. 1
[21] Rosson, M. B., 1996. Human factors in programming and Software Development. ACM Computing Surveys, Vol 28, No. 1
[22] Trov˚ag, A., 2004. Beyond the divide, Master thesis, Department of information science and media studies, University of Bergen
[23] Turner, J. A., Jarke, M., Stohr, E. A, 1985. Coupling field studies with laboratory experiments for the evaluation of computer languages. Proceedings of the 1985 ACM Computer Conference
[24] Watt, D. A., 1991. Programming language syntax and semantics, Prentice Hall
[25] Welty, C., Stemple, D. W., 1981. Human factors comparison of a procedural and a nonprocedural query language, ACM Transactions on database systems, vol. 6. No. 4,
[26] White, G., 2004. The Philosophy of Computer Languages, In: Floridi, L. (ed), 2004. Philosophy of Computing and Information, Blackwell