A language is a structured system of communication. We can say that a language is divided in two parts:
- The Vocabulary: The set of free elements in the language.
- The Grammar rules: The set of structural constraints of the language.
In general, we can say that natural languages (3) have the purpose of being an effective way of communicating, both written and oral for humans. When we construct the IMF language, we need to define a set of elements that constitutes the vocabulary and grammar rules conforming to the relevant objectives given in Section 1.2:
- The language shall be made so that the SMEs themselves are users of the framework. This means that the IMF language must:
- Contain a limited set of elements (vocabulary)and grammar rules such that it is easy to learn and simple to use.
- The language shall provide incremental value. This means that the IMF language must be:
- Designed such that one can have an incremental approach and model fragment by fragment.
- The language shall be scalable across disciplines, work processes, and the value chain. This means that the IMF language must:
- Enable SMEs from a range of disciplines to fully express their design using the same modelling principles.
- Enable the SMEs to express different levels of precision in their design.
- Enable use in different phases of a project (concept, detail engineering, manufacturing, etc.)
- The language shall have the precision of machine interpretation to allow automated verification. This means that the IMF language must:
- Be precise and unambiguous.
- Allow translation into an ontology language that can use automated reasoning techniques in combination with information in the RDL for verification
(3) A natural language is languages that have evolved naturally through time by humans.