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Re: response to jimc on -mei

la rab. breidis. cusku di'e

> Of course (you knew I was going to ask this at some point) the question comes
> up, "How dO you mealinguistically state that you are using a different base?"

"Metalinguistically" means "outside the regular flow of discourse".  There
are two mechanisms for this in Lojban:  TO-TOI parentheses, which can be
totally irrelevant to the context, and SEI-SEhU comments, which are intended
to be relevant.

As far as I know, we have no brivla yet for "mathematical base", although
perhaps "ju'u zei namcu" would do.  So you could insert something like

        sei li paxa ju'u zei namcu
        comment: the-number one-six is-the-base type-of number

into an introductory sentence of a passage whose numbers are hex by default.
Constructions with "sei" are free modifiers, and may be placed wherever
"#" appears in the BNF.

> Would I
> have to explicitly state "I'm using hex" (aka hexadecimal | base 16)

Essentially, yes.  However, the "sei" makes it clear that you are commenting
on the surrounding discourse, explaining how it is to be interpreted.
"sei" is like line-by-line comments; "to" is more of a shell escape.

>  furthermore how would you revert to decimal,  by
> referencing dau or pano.

You could use another "sei".  Probably you should use "dau" rather than
"pano", on the general principle that comments inherit their context by

John Cowan      cowan@snark.thyrsus.com         ...!uunet!lock60!snark!cowan
                        e'osai ko sarji la lojban.