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[lojban-beginners] Re: (no subject)

melissa@fastanimals.com wrote:

On Fri, 27 Feb 2004, Robin Lee Powell wrote:

On Fri, Feb 27, 2004 at 02:35:50PM -0600, melissa@fastanimals.com wrote:
These syntactically senseless sentences are possible in English and
Spanish, and I seem to recall that they're possible in Swahili as well
(although my Swahili is quite rusty).  I suspect that they are
possible in any natural language.
I think you're confused about the word 'possible'.

No, I'm not confused about the meaning of a simple and common word in my
native language. I'm neither an idiot nor an ignoramus.

If a sentence is "syntactically senseless", in what sense is it "possible" in any language? It's "possible" to string any bunch of characters together, as has already been said, but "possible" in the context of a language generally means "syntactically valid". "Green ideas sleep furiously" is an example of a sentence which is in fact syntactically valid, but semantically meaningless. Such sentences are possible in Lojban too: lo crino sidbo cu vlile sipna

"The war was supposed to be quick. We were supposed to be greeted as liberators. It was to pay for itself with oil revenues. And we were supposed to find chemical and biological weapons."
Col. Sam Gardiner USAF-retired, National Defense University