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4. Specialized RDF Relationships: Reific... > 4.3. Reification: The RDF Big Ugly

Reification: The RDF Big Ugly

In our legal system, a statement about a statement is considered hearsay and isn’t admissible in a court of law. Within the Resource Description Framework (RDF), this is also true—the implied statement is considered hearsay and can’t be accepted as an assertion by itself. However, the outer statement is treated as an assertion.

In a sentence such as “Jonathon says those cherries are sweet,” we’re really reading two statements. The first, inner statement is “Those cherries are sweet.” Since we haven’t tried the cherries directly, we can’t judge for ourselves whether this is true. But we do directly experience the outer statement, “Jonathon says...,” and we can judge this to be an assertion of fact. Graphically, this would look like the picture shown in Figure 4-4.


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