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Proposed changes to lexeme ZIhA grammar
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: Proposed changes to lexeme ZIhA grammar
- From: Guy Steele <cbmvax!uunet!think.com!gls>
- Date: Fri, 1 Jun 90 16:07:24 EDT
- Cc: lojban-list@snark
- In-reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org's message of Thu, 31 May 90 09:23:26 -0700 <9005311623.AA25120@julia.math.ucla.edu>
- Resent-date: Mon, 1 Jul 91 13:09:41 EDT
- Resent-from: cbmvax!uunet!PICA.ARMY.MIL!protin
- Resent-message-id: <9107011745.AA03293@relay1.UU.NET>
- Resent-to: John Cowan <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 90 09:23:26 -0700
4. An anaphor for a previous sentence, with replacement arguments.
(Example: Karen wants to go swimming. Me too. Meaning: I (speaker)
want to go swimming; "I" replaces "Karen".)
This is off the main point, but I cannot resist.
I am reminded of a toy company's slogan in the 1960's:
"Every boy wants a REMCO toy--and so do girls."
My peers and I would misquote this as:
"Every boy wants a REMCO toy--and also girls."
The point of the gag (admittedly puerile, but at the time we were
in fact puerile, after all) is that there is some ambiguity
about the anaphoric reference: it is intentionally unclear whether
"girls" is to replace "boy" or "toy".
A precise language should also be able to state such
ambiguities precisely (though not necessarily concisely).
Question: how is this gag to be expressed in Loglan?
Perhaps some way of talking about sets of references?
Actually, because the "pronouns" of Lojban are all
genderless and syntactically similar, would it not be all
too easy to respond to "Karen wants to go swimming"
by saying something like "And I want that" in such a
way as to mean "And I want <Karen>" rather than
"And I want <to go swimming>"? But this is a matter
of confusion--a pun--rather than of ambiguity.