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Nibbles on irresistible bait...
- To: snark!lojban-list
- Subject: Nibbles on irresistible bait...
- From: Eric Tiedemann <cbmvax!uunet!cs.nyu.edu!est>
- Date: Tue, 5 Jun 90 04:38:37 -0400
- Pdms: 2
- Resent-date: Wed, 3 Jul 91 17:55:23 EDT
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- Resent-to: John Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Proposed changes to lexeme ZIhA grammar
Date: Thu, 31 May 90 09:23:26 -0700
1. A set or list with explicitly stated members. (Coffee, tea or milk:
choose one from the set.) (An old Loglan puzzle; try translating
that in Lojban.)
ko cuxna pada le ckafi ce'o le tcati ce'o le ladru
"Choose one thing from the set: coffee, tea and milk."
NBs: The gismu for this are all lesson 2 words and I didn't have to
look any of them up. Whee! The JL10 cmavo list gives ce'o as the
oset (i.e., ordered) and ce as the set connectives. The grammar
summary has this reversed, which is the way I'm using them.
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 90 16:07:24 EDT
From: gls@Think.COM (Guy Steele)
Subject: Proposed changes to lexeme ZIhA grammar
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."
ro nanla cu djica lo la remcon. selkel .ije loi nixli go'i
"All boys want (at least one) REMCO toy. And girls do to."
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".
If the latter...
ro nanla cu djica lo la remcon. selkel .ije go'i loi nixli
"All boys want (at least one) REMCO toy. And they want girls."
selkel is a lujvo that grabs the second place of kelci ("x1 plays
with x2") and thus means plaything. If one followed your ambiguity
to its logical extreme, one might wind up saying, "doi selkel".
go'i just repeats the last bridi utterance with indicated
modifications. So "mi go'i" usually makes a good "me too".
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?
Um, how 'bout...
loi nixli go'i gi'a se go'i
"Girls want a REMCO toy and/or are wanted by boys."
It's actually concise!
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>"?
Not really. Consider:
I guess the idiom "to go swimming" means "to go to a place where
on may swim". Something halfway in that direction is...
la karen. djica le nu voha klama le stuzi be le nu limna
"Karen wants the event of her going to a site of swimming."
However, you'll note that the simpler...
la karen. djica le nu voha limna
"Karen wants the event of her swimming."
is structurally similar. It's this that I'll use. Now if I say,
"mi go'i", and go'i has the obvious call-by-macro semantics, then
the (genderless!) reflexive pronoun "voha" will refer to me. I
think it's possible to construct a consistent semantics in which
a relative pronoun retains it's original referent even when that
referent is replaced in a go'i repetition..but it would be
On the other hand, I might say...
mi djica fu'a vo'e
"I want that too."
"fu'a vo'e" refers to the second sumti of the *previous* bridi
utterance. I *hope* that this is *not* a call-by-macro
operation, but rather refers to the referent of that sumti
such that the "voha" in it continues to refer to Karen.
If so, we've got, "I want Karen to swim."
Other neat things one could say include:
mi djica fu'a vo'a
"I want Karen."
mi djica lahedi'u or mi djica le nu go'i
"I want Karen to want to go swimming."
If you want more ambiguity by now, you could say...
mi djica le se djica be la karen
"I want what Karen wants."