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Re: Abstractions (Was: TECH: query re. selcmavo NU)

  but still,
all of the following seem equivalent to me:
   mi bebna
   mi nu bebna
   da nu mi bebna
The second is definitely different, because it is
elliptic for
mi nu zo'e bebna
and the zo'e may or may not be me.

If you fill in 2 as
mi nu mi bebna
I would agree with you up to a point.

Just as there is an obligatory category
in lojban of individual/set/mass, there
is also one of abstract/non-abstract.
(I have previously referred to these as obligatory
grammatical categories, but this is wrong: they
are in the domain of subcategorisation)

As with masses, these are not intrinsic properties
of the referent, but selections made by the
Thus you are right that it is possible to treat
a person as an abstraction (nu bebna) - but
it is an unusual choice, just as treating
a single person as a mass (lei pa prenu)
is an unusual choice.

nu bebna
are in some senses equivalent.
But they are different in at least two important
1) They have (some) different properties. For
lo bebna cu prenu
i ku'i lo nu bebna na prenu
2) They are selected by different subcategorisations
for example
lo nu bebna cu rinka
i ku'i lo bebna na rinka