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Re: Discourse Analysis & Pragmatics

Nick says:
> Not that this is that constructive a comment; but I've been studying the latte
> this semester, and the former last semester, and am continuously amused by
> the way in which Lojban development has neglected these fields of linguistics,
> and so finds itself confounded by them. The whole tense issue, for example,
> is an issue of temporal deixis relativisation, snugly part of pragmatics. The
> applicability of Gricean maxims to Lojban is another issue which occasionally
> gets raised (thence the goat's legs debate). There is good reason for the
> language designers to be reticent to prescribe something as fluid as
> pragmatics, it's obvious that some leading-the-way has to be done from time
> to time, and I do hope Lojbanists out there read more pragmatics texts
> alongside their Quine.

I take the opposite view: pragmatics should be outsidethe scope of
what is designed for an auxiliary language, and instead left to
usage. In the rare cases where pragmatic prescriptions are made,
they are undesirable & probably futile. An example is the assertion
that in Lojban "Do you know where the toilet is" is not to be taken
as a request to be directed to the toilet. The language specifies
the literal meaning of the utterance, & but is up to the hearer
to decide what the speaker is trying to communicate & to react
accordingly. The same goes for the goat's legs: the grammar
specifies that "the goat has 2 legs" means "the goat has only
2 legs". However, if the speaker says "the goat has 2 legs",
the hearer may understand the speaker to be intending to
communicate "the goat has at least 2 legs", if the context
strongly supports this conclusion on the hearer's part.

least 2 legs" if context