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> > I believe that the use of "metaphor" to translate "tanru" is both misleading
> > and inaccurate.
> If Cowan's interpretation of "tanru" is correct, then I have certainly
> been misled by the translation "metaphor."  However, I'm a rank
> beginner and don't know enough lojban to know whether he's right.  His
> posting makes sense, and he is certainly correct about the meaning of
> the work "metaphor."
> The understanding I got from reading the first few lojban chapters was
> that the language got by with a relatively small vocabularly because
> everything was to be taken metaphorically--if something shared a few
> key characteristics with the literal meaning of a tanru, then the
> tanru could be used for it (e.g. Carter's example of "chick" for
> "nubile woman.")
> So which is it?  Are lojban tanru to be taken literally or metaphorically?

The elements of the tanru are to be taken literally; the relationship
between them is where the ambiguity/undefinedness creeps in.  Thus a
"blanu zdani" is a "blue-type-of nest":  it could be a nest which is blue,
or a nest for things which are blue, etc.  However, the word "blue" cannot
be taken in a figurative sense (= "depressed, e.g.), nor can the word "nest".
They are literally meant.

cowan@marob.masa.com			(aka ...!hombre!marob!cowan)
			e'osai ko sarji la lojban