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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

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