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Re: feature check

There are two obvious and significant differences between your two examples.
The Lojban, by the way is, 
    ba barda nanmu     and     ba nanmu barda
In the first example the place structure of the bridi that would be formed
First difference:  In the first example, the place structure of the bridi
is that of 'nanmu'  In the second, the place structure is that of 'barda'.
Thus you are claiming something different about what 'da' is.  Further, if
there were any other places specified (and they are all implicitly present
even though you left them out), they would be defined as places of the last
element of the tanru.
Second difference:  Actually closely related to the first, is what you are
claiming.  In English the first is "Something x is a biggish man.".  The second
says "Something x is a mannish big thing."  You can much more easily imagine
a basketball player being referred to by the first sentence.  The second
sentence, at least in the ellipsized form, seems to be talking about something
'big' on a more arbitrary and universal scale, which is incidentally like a
adult male human being is some way.
Remember that tanru modification is NOT unambiguous though, and there are place
structure fill-ins that could be made for ellipsized places that could render
the two almost identical.  But the final position is the determining one.

Note to Arthur:, because my mail feature is dumb, it is sending this just to
you, as a reply.  Can you turn it around and post it to the list for me?