[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: TECH: query re. selcmavo NU

> Does Lojban semantics specify a default modality? I had assumed that
> "mi prenu" refers to (i.e. invokes a concept of) me being a person,
> and the default conventions of discourse in most contexts treat this
> as being a claim about how the world actually is - i.e. the claim
> is that there is a real analogue of the invoked concept.

I think we are using "refer" in different senses here.  To me, "Socrates
is mortal" refers to Socrates, but not to his mortality.  "The mortality
of Socrates was made evident by his death" refers to his mortality.

> I am an event in the Lojban sense - I have duration, and can be
> located in time. So "mi nu prenu" would seem to be true, and,
> for that matter, the "nu" seems redundant, since every person
> is an event.

Well, if so, then every predication whatsoever is an event.  All I can say
is that "mi" is -ABSTRACT, whereas "le nu ..." is +ABSTRACT, and that this
is a mandatory category of Lojban.  You are not an event.

In a position where an event (or something else +ABSTRACT) is expected, and
something -ABSTRACT is found, pragmatics will tend to impose a reasonable
interpretation, and then indeed "le nu mi prenu" (or, more generally,
"le nu mi zasti") might be the interpretation of "mi".

But it is not you that has duration, but rather your existence.

> Maybe the example is confusing, since the event of me being me is
> coextensive with the event of me being a person. So let's change
> it to "mi bebna" - "I am a fool" (I am assuming for the sake
> of argument that I shall acquire sagacity in my old age). but still,
> all of the following seem equivalent to me:
>    mi bebna
>    mi nu bebna
>    da nu mi bebna

The first and the third have the same truth conditions.  The second, however,
is false for the reason given above.

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