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Still a few thoughts about ZAhOs

A bridi like

         da ZAhO broda de di

syntactically represents a relation between the sumti da, de and di.
This bridi also contains an implicit reference to the event contour
of the event corresponding to the underlying simple bridi "da broda
de di". The temporal aspect of this reference can be folded out of
the bridi into an additional sumti using the ZAhO as sumti tcita.
This gives us (approximately, ignoring perhaps some finer points
relating to the ZAhO in question)

         da *ZAhO_broda de di ZAhO le nu da broda de di


         da ba'o klama de di
     =>  da *ba'o_klama de di ba'o le nu da klama de di

where "*ba'o_klama" very clearly cannot equal "klama" as the relation
between da, de and di IS NOT "da klama de di" anymore in the AFTERMATH
of the coming -- da is already at de, not coming to de anymore.

If we perform similar transformations at different phases of the event
contour (i.e. transformations of bridi containing different ZAhOs),
it becomes soon very clear that we must have different ZAhO_broda
relations at different phases. This means that "ZAhO broda" defines
a second-order relation. There is NO transformation which given the ZAhO
and the broda would give the corresponding relation ZAhO_broda. The
meaning must be inferred from extratextual knowledge pertaining to the
nature of the broda. It must also be noted that ZAhO_broda represents
rather a state than an action.

At Lojban level this doesn't present any great difficulties once you
learn to regard events as sequences of phases/states and ZAhO bridis
as mental snapshots of these phases -- there is actually no need to
analyze a phase into the basic ingredients. Once you get around the
initial block caused by the inability to represent the relation
adequately in NL (read English) terms you may be quite surprised to
find out that the Lojban way is actually much nearer to the pre-verbal
level of human consciousness. When you first mentally register a
phenomenon in your environment there is a brief moment during which
you are in a way conscious of the relationships between various
details but haven't yet started to verbalize, i.e. verbally analyze
the situation in terms of the language your brain is using when
dealing with phenomena of this class (here I allow for the use of
different languages at different situations -- a not so uncommon
occurrence in countries with minor/minority native languages).
Lojban is a language of relationships -- not so much (if at all)
a language of actions -- and as such more suited to dealing with
the real world in this sense than most of the NLs. You only have
to learn to think in the Lojban way, to see the world in Lojban
terms -- not in NL terms artificially forced into the Lojban syntax.

An event (contour) is an artifact used to represent a sequence of
relations -- like a mathematical function representing a series of
point relations. Just like a mathematician can immediately see the
consequencies of regarding sin(x) at x = pi/2 radians, a normal human
being can see the consequencies of regarding the relation of 'coming'
at, say, the perfective phase. A child first learns the change of the
relations between da, de and di along the course of 'le nu da klama
de di' in the sequence from "pu'o" to "ba'o" and being told that this
constitutes something referred to as 'klama' will start talking (and
thinking) about analogous events using various forms of the verb 'to
come' in ways which are natural for his/her native language. Initially,
however, the "pu'o" and "ba'o" -- the states -- are more important.

Many of us can still feel the happiness of the moments in the early
childhood when we realized that our mother was posed to come to us --
le mi mamta pu'o klama mi. For a moment the world stood still, then
it was "le mamta ca'o klama" during an extended state and finally
there was the warmness of "le mamta ba'o klama mi" -- first the mother
had been so far and now she was so near (or inverted; the sumti are
equal and for a child many relations are still very symmetric in this
sense.) The awakening to time and movement is very gradual -- the states
are the essence and time just an external abstraction/nuisance.

Even in later life many (if not all) of us tend to cling to states and
somewhere deep inside refuse to accept the irrefutable. People in love
are prone to BE, they kind of drift from state to state, for them the
states are the ultimate reality -- lo traji fatci. "Ko'a ca'o prami"
(ko'a is in the state of loving / ko'a is in love) is often a much
more appropriate expression than "ko'a prami" (ko'a loves). Have you
experienced the emptiness of "ko'a ba'o prami mi"? At a moment like
that you most certainly don't think "ko'a has loved me" but "ko'a and
I are past ko'a loving me". We also effectively ask "do ca'o mo" rather
than "do mo" when we meet someone in the street. Perhaps the states are,
even for adults, the primaries.


In translating from Lojban ZAhOs to English (or any other NL)
there are basically 4 options:

 (1) use a clumsy but ALWAYS adequate construct like

    da, de and di are (related in a way deriving from)/(in the
    state of) da having come from di to de

 (2) use a NL tense even if it doesn't absolutely match, e.g.

    da has come from di to de

 (3) handpick a NL idiom which closely matches the relation, e.g.

    he is past caring
    he is in love
    he is about to go

 (4) decide what is the most relevant feature of the relation and
     describe that in English ignoring the less relevant ones.
     (NB (2) does this in a very crude way.)

co'o mi'e

 Veijo Vilva       vilva@viikki21.helsinki.fi