"The rules by which symbols can be concateneted to form legitime strings" (H.von FOERSTER, 1981, p.217)
Such rules form an interconnected and interactive set and structures any type of language or signs system.
However, as argued by J. SEARLE, "no amount of syntax alone (i.e. symbol shuffling) can ever give rise to semantics" (Quoted by J. CASTI, who adds the comment that the classical symbol shuffling computer "can have no understanding of the meaning of the symbols it manipulates" (1994, p.163).
von FOERSTER observes: "… semantics, i.e., the rules that give meaning to those strings, was long a dirty word. This is not so any longer after it has been recognized that syntactic ambiguities are disambiguated in the semantic domain" (Ibid).
Semantics is thus at the metalevel of validation for syntactic constructions. This should be obvious, as it is perfectly possible to construct non-sensical strings of symbols without any violation of syntactic rules ("The dog burns the silken palmtree"), or even that such strings become meaningful only if and when the receiver knows the semantic frame in which they make sense. ("Mtoto alivunjika sahani"… a perfectly significant sentence in Kiswahili).
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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