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Re: TECH: A pragmatics sampler

The Seraphim surely rejoiced when Logical Language Group spoke thus:

#I find your examples here a bit unintelligible, partlyu becaus
#e they don't
#have parallel structure, oe of them has two "fo"s and both use ke'a in a way
#that mean nothing to me.

Oh! Dear, god knows how *that* happened...

#So I fall back on your English (and reference to Russian) and think I
#understand your qeustion:
#mi cpedu fi ko'a fe le krinu be lenu leko'a xance cu desku
#I asked of him the reason for the event of his hands shaking.

#The Lojban is tenseless and thus totally pragmatics driven as to whether the
#shaking was in the past present or future of the asking.  The Lojban SHOULD
#be tenseless unless the speaker wishes to make clear that one happened before,
#at the same time as, or after the other, in which case I would replace the
#"cu" with the appropriate pu/ca/ba (or maybe even a ZAhO %^)

Yeah, I know. The question was: what does

mi cpedu fi ko'a fe le krinu be lenu leko'a xance pu desku
.i mi cpedu fi ko'a fe le krinu be lenu leko'a xance ca desku
.i mi cpedu fi ko'a fe le krinu be lenu leko'a xance ba desku

mean? If Lojban relativises like Russian, these mean, respectively, "why his
hands had been shaking", "why his hands were shaking", and "why his hands were
going to shake". If Lojban has absolute deixis like English, they will mean
respectively "why his hands shook", "why his hands are now shaking (now being
the physical here-and=now of the speaker", and "why his hands will shake".
I doubt usage will settle this; there are probably strong tendencies (and
arguments!) for both sides. I'm just wondering if the Imaginary Journeys
concept, the journeys being made by the speaker, settles the issue in favour
of absolute deixis. I'd be unhappy if it did, because deixis relativisation,
giving as it does a nice analogy between direct speech tense and indirect
speech tense, appeals to me much more.

Nick, who thinks he's getting obscure because of too little sleep.

 A freshman once observed to me:         Nick Nicholas am I, of Melbourne, Oz.
 On the edge of the Rubicon,             nsn@munagin.ee.mu.oz.au (IRC: nicxjo)
 men don't go fishing.                   CogSci and CompSci & wannabe Linguist.
   - Alice Goodman, _Nixon In China_     Mail me! Mail me! Mail me! Or don't!!