By Maria Nowakowska (auth.), B. van Rootselaar, H. Koppelaar (eds.)
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In a parallel way the linguistic variable 'age' might assume the values: 'young', 'old', 'rather old', 'very young', etc. each of which is a linguistic value of the variable. In the same sense as the numerical values that a variable can assume are bounded, for instance, they have to belong to the set of integer numbers, fractions, real numbers or irrational numbers, we want to put a restriction on the linguistic values that a linguistic variable can assume. We want to define a set of linguistic values where any possible value should belong to in order to be an admissible value of a variable.
Examples of linguistic values are: 'high', 'low', 'very low', 'rather low', and so on. Similarly one might use linguistic relations between variables instead of numerical relations, such as: 'A is similar to B', 'A becomes much higher than B if B is rather high', and so on. Hence the two constituting parts of any system, its elements and its relationships, have become linguistic. We will call such a model a linguistic model. We hope that such models will be more reliable and significant because of their implicit inexactness and vagueness.
A theory, on the contrary, is meant to explain the mechanisms (including norms) that represent the fUnctional relatedness of actual behaviours. In other words, it can be argued [17J that research by way of a model differs essentially from theory-oriented research and that this difference is formed by the suitability of a model to supply a control relationship with the phenomenon in question. Theoretical knowledge is probably best characterized as propositional in nature and stands, as such, in sharp contrast with the procedural nature of modelling knowledge.