[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

response to Carter on freemods

Re Jim Carter's comment: on the grammar and range of free modifiers.

These were never considered the equivalent of sumti becuase they
inherently modify the previous structure (except at the beginning of the
sentence).  They are thus more like the attitudinals, which we keep
distninct and grammar free - more on this in a moment.  Free modifiers
include subscripts, and there are innumerable reasons in Lojban to use
subscripts metalinguistically in ways that a sumti attachment would
simply not support.  The grammatical free modfiers are those with
sufficiently complex grammar to require parsing, and hence cannot be
totally free, but we remove as many constraints as possible (Loglan IS
about removing unneeded constraints).

On the whole, though, Jim will find these grammatical freemods to be not
all that unlike sumti in their grammatical location - but they group
differently in the sentence than sumti.

Attitudinals are intended to be grammar free expressions because for the
most part they are intended to be at the subliminal level.  Like the
hesitation noise, .y. and the English "you know" (Lojban pei?), these
are to be stuck in where they fit, where you feel the intuitive need to.
Unlike Carter, we do not feel these are abbreviations for claims; they
are expressions.  They are the equivalent of tone of voice, which in
English and most other languages is controlled down to the word level or
even more refined.  (The Joy of Yiddish starts of with a sentence with
contrastive stress applied in something like a dozen different places in
the sentence to get different semantic interpretations of the
sentence.  EACH Lojban attitudinal has that power.

Try an experiment.  Take any short Lojban sentence that you can
understand the grammar of.  Take say 3 or 4 different attitudinals
expressing a variety of emotions.  For each attitudinal, and for
each word position, insert the attitudinal and try to figure out
what it means.

Here try:  mi dunda ti   do
           I  give  this to-you.

with attitudinals chosen from .iu (love) .oi (complaint) .ui (happiness)
.uu (pity) .u'u (regret) .ue (surprise) .auro'u (sexual desire)

For each attitudinal, there are five positions.  Lets see some people
post their interpretations of one or two attitudinals.  A brave soul can
try two attitudinals in different places in the sentence, also permitted.

e.g. .ui mi dunda ti do
     Happily, I give this to you.

     mi .ui dunda ti do
     I'm so happy it was ME who gave this to you.

     mi dunda .ui ti do
     I'm GIVING this to you, and happily (Did you think I could charge
     you for it?)

     mi dunda ti .ui do
     I'm giving THIS (my dream gift for you) to you.

     mi dunda ti do .ui
     I'm giving this to YOU (who makes me so happy)

Now of course in THIS sentence, all positions correspond to places you could
add a tagged sumti, but it is trivial to change the sentence into one where
this isn't so:  mi dunda le xunre cukta do, where any attitudinal on xunre
would violate jimc's constraint.  (But I WANT to say how much I LOVE the color
red when I tell you about my gift.  Who are you to tell me I'm not allowed to
do so?)

Post your own examples, people (Come on PEOPLE, this one HAS to be easy
enough for EVERYBODY.  You can write an original Lojban expression,
completely grammatical and meaningful, in 15 seconds?  And you need no
textbook, dictionary or parser - indeed the latter would tell you nothing