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Re: On the tense system of ZAhO

We are getting closer, but I still disagree. I'm glad that the
discussion is helping me clarify my ideas.

I think we are clear on non-ZAhO tenses, so I delete that part.

> Now consider the {pu'o} inchoative state of the process:
>                da pu'o da
>                He [inchoative] fights.
>                He is on the verge of fighting.
> Here is what I am trying to get at:
> We attempt to start with the speaker's location in time.
> But we have a problem.  {pu'o} *cannot* itself refer to the
> speaker.  The speaker is not inchoative; it is the event that is
> inchoative.  If you refer to the inchoative time of the speaker, you
> are likely referring to some time before the speaker was born.  This
> is not the intent of the utterance.

As I said, I don't know what inchoative means. Is it something like
"in a state of incubation"?

The event is in a state of incubation at the time of reference (the
speaker's time location or whatever was fixed by ki or as part of the

> For {pu'o}, you must start from the *event* location.  The ZAhO event
> contours really are *different* from the PU and spatial tenses.

You *may* start from the event location. This is unnecessary and
inconsistent with the rest of the tenses.

> We must go to the `inchoative' time of the fight; this means go to the
> time before the process of the fight began.  This is *before* the
> fight.

Yes, and the fight is *after* that time. The words "before" and "after"
mean little without a time of reference. Why not be consistent?

> Jorge says:
>     And you can't follow that kind of directions if you have something like:
>             mi pu pu'o damba
>     (I was going to fight, or I was in the verge of fighting)
> You can, but only if you recognize that there are two types of
> direction.  Let's follow them:
>   1. For {pu}, work from the speaker's point of view.
>      I was ...
>   2. for {pu'o}, work from the event's location in time.
>      ... at the inchoative aspect of the fight.
> Combine these two and get:
>     I was at the inchoative aspect of the fight.
>     I was on the verge of fighting.
Ok, you can if you make the rules complicated enough. (Unnecessarily.)

> Jorge says:
>     I start at speaker's time, go to the past, and from there have to
>     go to the future.
> No, you do not `go to the future'.  This is a fundamental
> misconception.  With event contours, you do not have a `future' as we
> think of it.  You have different states.  It happens that an
> inchoative state preceeds an event (at least in this universe, without
> time paradoxes), so there is a very good correspondence between what
> follows an inchoative state and the future, but the event contours are
> not talking about the future or the past as you and I usually think of
> them.

I shouldn't have said "go to the future", sorry. You go to the past and
then the event is in incubation there. (If all goes as expected, it will
begin to occur in the future)

>     >     le tricu pu'o crino
>     >     The tree that I have in mind is in the inchoative state of greening.
>     >
>     > This sentence is making at least two claims:
>     >
>     >   * a claim that greening for this tree is a process with a time
>     >     before its beginning, a beginning, an occurence (which may be
>     >     spread over time), an end, and a time after the end.
>     >
>     Is this true? The sentence claims that there will be a time after the
>     greening in which the greening ceased?
> Let me try to be more clear: the sentence makes a claim about the
> essential nature of reality, that the tree is part of a process which
> does have all those characteristics, including a state in which the
> greening ceased.  The sentence does not claim that that state is
> reached or will be reached.  The sentence also makes the claim that it
> is true that this tree is in the state before it greens.  The sentence
> is false the tree is not in this state.  (This latter claim is the
> predication and is the one with which a reader is usually concerned.)

I still don't see how the state in which the greening ceased is part
of the process. To me, {le tricu po'u crino} means that the tree is
in a state of incubation as to being green. So I expect the greening
to "be born" in some unspecified while. It tells me nothing about
whether an end is expected. (Of course, being a tree, it probably
will stop being green, but this has nothing to do with pu'o)

> The simple English sentence, `The tree was brown.' makes an equally
> grand metaphyscial claim: namely that the tree belongs to a universe
> that has a past, present, and future, and that the tree will be part
> of a future.  But the English sentence says nothing about what state
> the tree will be in in the present or future...it may be green,
> burned, cut or vaporized....
> The tense system of English, Russian, or Lojban makes very big claims
> about the nature of the universe.

Ok, but I'd like to be clear on what those claims are for Lojban.

> Jorge:
>     ... If so, then the tenses are much more specific than what I
>     thought.
> Yes.  They are.  But most of the time, we think it doesn't matter.
>     How would I say that the tree will begin to be green in
>     the future without saying anything about what happens after that?
> You cannot say that if you use event contours.  Event contours don't
> say "what happens after" in any specific sense, but do carry with them
> the notion that the state you are talking about is one of several
> states.

I know that they don't say "what happens after", (at least pu'o)
But does pu'o imply that the event in incubation is expected to have
an end?

> If you want to avoid implying anything about the nature of a process,
> then you need to use a different form of tense, one that claims there
> is a past, present, future, but not that anything happens within,
> before, and after a process.  This does the job:
>         le tricu ba crinu cfari
>         The tree I have in mind will green-begin.

Right. This is not what pu'o says, I agree.

>     >     le rokci punai je canai je ba crinu
>     >     The rock I have in mind was not, is not, and will be green.
>     >
>     > This latter sentence is *not* claiming that greening of a rock is a
>     > process.  The sentence is claiming only that the rock is not now, was
>     > not, but will be green.  (Perhaps because I am going to paint it.)
>     > (Most of us agree as a matter of physics that greening, even if by
>     > painting, is a process, but this particular sentence is not claiming
>     > that.)
>     >
>     I thought that the only difference was that the one about the tree
>     claims that there is a beginning of the greening, while the other
>     claims nothing about a beginning (which could exist).
> ZAhO and PU really are different, fundamentally so.  This is why
> Lojban has the two.

I was wrong on "the only" difference. pu'o does not claim that the event
will occur, only that it is somehow expected to.

>     I was not aware that the first one also claims an end to the
>     process.
> ZAhO tenses talk about a universe in which there are processes with
> different states.  This is parallel to PU, but in a different way.  PU
> tenses talk about a universe in which there is a past, present, and
> future.  It does not make any sense to talk about a past unless you
> have other times to compare and contrast.

Exactly! You always need a reference point. Even to say that the event
is in incubation.

>         This extra meaning does nothing to justify a relation between pu and
>         pu'o though.
> The two ways of looking at time tenses produce close matchings. {pu}
> occurs before the present; {pu'o} is a state that preceeds the
> on-going event.

{pu} does *not* occur before the present. It means nothing by itself.

{pu broda} points to a time in the future of the event {broda}.
{pu'o broda} points to a time in which the event {broda} is in incubation.(ie
                before the event has ocured, if it ever will)

>     >         le rokci ba co'a crinu
>     >         The rock I have in mind will begin the process of being green
>     >         (it may or may not end it).
>     >
>     >     This suggests that the green of the rock is a process, an
>     >     occurrence with an internal structure including a beginning, a
>     >     middle, and an end; and that you have to take an imaginary journey
>     >     into the future to get to the beginning of the event.
>     >
>     So now the imaginary journey doesn't start at the event?
> My apologies, my statement was not very clear.
> The utterance contains two different tenses, PU and ZAhO.
>   * First, you have to use the PU directions and work from the
>     speaker's point of view.
>   * Second, you have to work from the event's point of view and go to
>     the initiation of the event.
> After completing both steps, you have `in future, the beginning'.

Unnecessarily complicated.

>     Also you contradict yourself. You say that the greening is a process
>     with an end, but you also say that the rock may or may not end being
>     green. Which one is it? (I think the last one.)
> There are two types of claim here; I am sorry, I blended them.
> The first is the claim about the essential nature of reality, a
> metaphysical claim.  The second is the claim about the truth of the
> sentence, the veridical claim.
We disagree on the metaphysical claim.

> A metaphysical claim is about the essential nature of reality: with PU
> tenses, the claim is that reality has a past, present, and future;
> with ZAhO tenses, the claim is that processes in reality have a time
> leading up to the process, a time during the process, and a time after
> the process stops.
So you say that all ZAhO see the event in the same light, but point to
different parts of it. I thought each ZAhO refered to only some
characteristic of the event. (By the way, whichever interpretation is
right, none justify the relations pu-pu'o and ba-ba'o)

> The veridical claim of the sentence is whether the sentence is true or
> false.  The sentence is true if the rock will begin the process of
> greening.  It does not matter to the veridical claim if the universe
> ends before the rock stops greening.  The utterance is making no claim
> about that.

I think the sentence may be true even if the tree never begins to green.
Just as long as the greening is in incubation. If you say {le tricu po'u
crino}, and then you chop it down, the claim was true anyway.

> Jorge;
>     I'm not claiming [pu'o] is a future tense. I'm claiming that it
>     makes reference to an event in the future of the speaker, just
>     like ba.
> Ah!  That is not my understanding at all.  Different reference point.
> The focus is on the type of state, in this case inchoative.  The event
> itself may or may not start or `initiate'.  If you make the assumption
> that the event will initiate, then the state is in the past of the
> event.
And the event is in the future of the state. We are repeating ourselves.

> True, you can often `get away' with thinking from a speaker's
> reference point, and that is often the context of the utterance, but
> that is not the basis for the ZAhO tenses.

Why not? Taking the event as reference adds nothing and complicates
matters unnecessarily.

>     ... For the ZAhO, to make sense of the etymology you have to take
>     the event as the reference point, ...
> Yes, you are right.
>     ... which is inconsistent and confusing.
> Certainly confusing, and inconsistent with the pattern of the other
> tenses.  But I think this is accurate.  ZAhO must be event centered,
> unlike PU, which is speaker centered.

Why *must*? They can be thought of in both ways. Even if the way you
suggest is better, you cannot take a word used with another reference
point as the etymology.

>     > pu'o, ca'o, and ba'o are different from pu, ca, and ba.  But like
>     > them, they make a fundamental claim about the nature of the physical
>     > and mental universe.
>     >
>     >     pu'o, ca'o, and ba'o claim that events have contours and
>     >     structure involving a beginning, middle, and end;
>     If this is true, then most of the examples I've seen are tranlated
>     incorrectly.
> Yes, I think you are right.  `Easily misunderstood' might be a better
> way of putting it.  And as a practical matter, usually the
> misunderstandings are unimportant.

Well, but we better be clear on what the correct meaning is.

> Jorge:
>     My interpretation:
>     pu'o claims that the event is about to begin, at the reference time.
> I would not say `about to begin', but rather `in a time (time duration
> not specified) leading up to the initiation of the process'.  This
> more wordy gloss avoids the notion that the event has a specific
> location in sequential time.
The event is in incubation.

>     ba'o claims that the event has ceased, at the reference time.
> I would say, `the time is in the aftermath state, after the process
> stops, (time duration not specified)'.
The event is "dead".

>     pu  ---------XXX----------0----------------------------->
>     ca  ---------------------X0X---------------------------->
>     ba  ----------------------0-------------XXX------------->
> I think these PU diagrams are OK, but disagree with the diagrams for
> {pu'o}, {ca'o}, and {ba'o}.
> Jorge's diagram:
>     pu'o        ----------------------0-------|===========>--------->
>     0 reference point
>     | boundary of event
>     ===> event (duration implied)
> This diagram pulls my eye to a reference point and to the event
> process.  With a {pu'o} event contour, your focus is on the state
> leading up to the process.  A single reference point is not part of
> the concept; and the focus is not on the event process.  In this
> diagram, I am using `XXX's to draw attention:
>     pu'o    ....XXXXXXXXXXX|++++++++|------------....
>         XXX focus: state leading up to the process (no duration implied)
>         +++ another state, the process             (no duration implied)
>         --- another state, the aftermath           (no duration implied)
>         | boundary of event
Here we disagree, I don't think there is so much in pu'o.

In any case, this does not clarify pu-pu'o