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The Sensuous Tanru

I think that the tanru problem will never be completely solved. That is part
of the nature of language. Language is a descriptive (or circumscriptive)
system, NOT a formal system. Lojban, I think, carries a lot of undesirable
"baggage" due to its original purpose of reducing ambiguity.

But carry these arguments just ONE level of abstraction deeper, and we get
into the realm of linguistic epistimology, which is what this may hinge on.
Language may be like the irrational numbers, and Lojban may be an attempt to
apply a successive-approximation model to the problem.

But I agree, some ambiguity- resolution system *is* necessary. I just thought
that it already existed in Lojban -- the grouping cmavo.

Most people will use the shortest, dirtiest form a grammar will allow unless
the communication becomes unintelligible. THEN, the speaker will elaborate
with the more codified grammar.

        cmalu nixle ckule

I would automatically "interpret" that as a school FOR girls, due to built in
cultural assumptions. The cmalu part would be a little more difficult,
because both girls and schools can be small.

        cmalu nixle ke ckule

That's more like it -- for the Tiny Tots Happy Times Nursery School.

        cmalu ke nixle ckule

For St. Alphonso's Private Academy for Young Women of Impeccable Breeding.

As for the use of "je", I had been under the impression that it was for
joining separate elements of a tanru without having to mix them.

        nixli je nanla ke ckule

Now for the *tough* parts --

One of the first lujvo I made was "xlipe'o". I was trying to render the idea
of one's unmarried female companion toward which one has feelings similar to
which one would have toward a child. No fewer than FIVE people called me on
that one, in spite of the fact that "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" are clearly
metaphorical, and that nearly every language makes use of such child-words
for conveying a neotenous (child-imitating) relationship.

So what is the difference between a nixli and a ninmu? Suppose one was 15 and
one's beau was 13 1/2?

As for lycanthropes, which is "more important"?

        lo remna labno    --or--   lo labno remna

May Cevnis help us if Wolfman Jack decides he wants to learn Lojban! Then
there is "wife" (no wise-zargu remarks about my choice of examples, please!)
-- Is this a "ninspe" or a "speni'u"?

Of course, I would *group* the tanru elements, and if the lycanthrope (Greek
for labno remna) or the wife wants to correct me, fine. For example,all my
previously Black friends are now my African American friends.

Some -- many -- tanru will be action - oriented.

        lo remna cusku (human expressor) / lo cusku remna (expressive human)
        le prami kansa (the love partner) / le kansa prami (the
        le darxi fengu (the hitting angry-one) / le fengu darxi (angry
                               also note --
      le darxi stedu (the head FOR hitting) /
                        le stedu darxi (the head WHICH hits)

To finish up, I think that since all language is metaphoric on some level
(though this is usually the realm of semiotics and deconstructionist
linguistics) it is the function of grammatical elaboration to disambiguate. I
agree with John Cowan that some resolution is needed, but also with Art
Protin -- it's the non-tanru elements that do the work. While it may parse
mechanically, a patently absurd statement will be rejected by a speaker, and
the less cognitively dissonant forms will be the automatic default meanings,
unless there is a VERY intense amount of grammar behind the difference.

Language and meaning may be like playing marbles on a pitted surface. They
will tend toward the pits and away from the mounds. Unless the tanruic "pits
and mounds" are over-ridden by grouping cmavo, the internal topology will

Well, it's two in the afternoon, WAY past my bedtime. I'll get you all for
this someday!

co'o mi'e la .deived tueris.