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Re: Still a few thoughts about ZAhOs

Veijon, this discussion is proving to be very helpful, at least to me.
I think we are converging, slowly but surely, to the same understanding.
You haven't addressed the issue of the mix up between ba'o and pu'o,
what are your thoughts on that matter? (I make some comments on it
answering one of your points below.)

> 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 co'e de di ZAhO le nu da broda de di

> e.g.
>          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.

I agree. This makes the temporal aspect clear, but as you say, some finer
points are ignored, or rather, some new points are introduced, since a
new relationship between da, de and di besides the "ZAhO broda", albeit
a very vague one, seems to be taking place. But this is nitpicking, I
agree with the gist of it.

> 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.

With respect to "broda", yes. The same can be said of "PU broda" or
the other tenses.

> 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.

Here I'm not quite sure of what you are saying. The meaning of the
relation has its bones in the meaning of "ZAhO broda", and the context
provides, of course, the flesh, but the meaning of the "ZAhO broda"
should be clear. If by NO transformation, you mean that you cannot
express the sentence in a different way having _exactly_ the same
meaning, then I agree. But it is not necessary to do that in order to
understand the basic meaning of the relationship.

> It must also be noted that ZAhO_broda represents
> rather a state than an action.

Yes, I agree with this. I was using the word "event" to include "state",
thus, I meant by "event" something like "the relationship between the
sumti, determined by the selbri". I think this is more or less what
"bridi" means.

> 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.

This works for non-ZAhO bridis as well, doesn't it?

> 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.

I think the relation can be represented in English, even if it takes
several paragraphs. Is it really that hard to see what {ca pu'o carvi}
means, when you feel the electricity in the air? Notice that here, there
are no sumti to worry about, it's a purely observational bridi, so
the above analysis is not that helpful:

        zo'e co'e zo'e zo'e ca pu'o le nu carvi

> 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.

This is just one of the many possible metaphysical points of view, but
I'm willing to accept it as a working hypothesis.

> 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.

And of course, doesn't need to speak lojban to see these consequences,
and, if loquacious enough, will be able to express it in as much detail
as they want, in whatever language they speak.

> 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"

I could argue that the child would learn them in the reverse order,
since the first time the child is aware of the relationship, the
event has to have already happened, and only after the event has
happened many times will they recognize the conditions in which the
event is about to happen.

> 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.

I agree that the ZAhO are extremely important, that's why it is a pity
that ba'o and pu'o got mixed up.

> 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.

Still agreed. But if on top of time being a nuisance, the similarities
ba-ba'o and pu-pu'o lead you to make the wrong connections, it becomes
much harder to grasp their true meaning. Every time I read "ba'o", I have
to tell myself: remember that the future has nothing to do here". The
intrusion of the past in "ba'o" would not hurt at all, and it may even
help, since what happened in the past is relevant to the state described
by the ba'o bridi.

The simple replacement of "ba'o" by "...is in the aftermath of..." is
misleading, since it is not necessarily true that "x1 is in the aftermath
of brodaing"

> 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.

Tragic fate?  Ah no...! absolute truth. ;-)

> "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"?

Alas, I have! :(

> 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".

"past" is the key word here. ;)  :(

> 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 Spanish, the form closest to "do mo" (?Que haces?) is much more common,
but both are used. I guess Zipf won in this case.

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

This is also true for any other translation, not involving ZAhOs
or even to other languages.

>  (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
Very inappropriate for a translation, but necessary to explain the
meaning of the ZAhOs to someone who is learning them for the first
time. (This is how most translations from lojban are made, into
"lojbanic English", which is to be expected, since the proportion
of learners to competent speakers is so high. Colin's translations
tend to be of type (4) below, which I like)

>  (2) use a NL tense even if it doesn't absolutely match, e.g.
>     da has come from di to de

Useful for quick translations, when the precise meaning is not all
that important.

>  (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

I think that since idiom and tense serve more or less the same
function in this case, this is the same as (2)

>  (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.)

This is what a good translation should do, in going from any language
to any other.

> co'o mi'e
>  veion------------------------------------------------------------------

co'o mi'e xorxes