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Re: Still a few thoughts about ZAhOs

ca'o spuda la veion

I think I completely agree with you on the meaning of the ZAhO as tenses
(as opposed to as sumti tcita), so I won't comment on that part of your
last post. My only objection in that part is more global, not related to
the ZAhOs only but to any lojban bridi. I prefer to consider them as
describing a relationship between the sumti rather than stating the states
of the sumti, but this is probably equivalent in most cases, since a
relationship provides a state for each of the sumti, an these states
determine a relationship.

About the ZAhO, I like the image of the density function, which allows me
to reconcile my view with the more general "for all time" view. I agree
with you that I will probably use them in the more specific sense that you
describe, but there is no need to impose this on the definition.

Notice that I agree with everything I haven't answered, which is most of
what you wrote, so our disagreement is more about a few details than about
the main idea.

>   Now the question about the assignment of the names of the cmavo
>   remains to be solved.
>   As I have stated and implied several times before I see NO
>   contradiction what so ever between "pu'o" and "pu", either
>   as tenses or as sumti tcita.
>   Let's start from the basics.
>   (1) a PU tense defines the position of the action of the base
>       bridi (the ca'o phase) relative to the time of utterance
>       (ignoring the aoristic nature of the PUs)
>   (2) a ZAhO tense defines the position of the indicated phase
>       of the process relative to the process proper (action, ca'o).

I don't like your formulation of (2). The ZAhO defines which phase
of the process we are talking about, or what is the status of the
process. You seem to be saying that the ZAhO indicates a phase, and
then defines its position relative to the process; but the position
is already inherent to the definition of the phase. Forgive me for
this pedantry, I would accept (2) as it stands if we were not
discussing precisely this point.

>   Both of these are a matter of definition. In (2) we could choose
>   to regard the action from the standpoint of the sumti in which
>   case the action would be first in the future and then in the past.

Not from the standpoint of the sumti, the sumti have no intrinsic time
position! It has to be from the standpoint of the speaker, or whichever
point has been pointed to by the PUs. (If there are no PUs, then from an
indefinite standpoint, but I think it is better to have at least a {ca}
when discussing this so that this added ambiguity does not interfere
with our understanding.)

>   However, ZAhO tenses handle the event contour or the phases of
>   a process. We are already used to talk about preprocessing and
>   postprocessing, pre-war, post-war.
>   ZAhOs are about being not doing. We might say
>        He is in pre-action state      ko'a ca pu'o zukte
>        He is in action                ko'a ca ca'o zukte
>        He is in post-action state     ko'a ca ba'o zukte
>   as contrasted to
>        He is going to act             ko'a ba zukte
>        He is acting                   ko'a ca zukte
>        He has acted                   ko'a pu zukte
Yes, you are contrasting pu'o with ba, ca'o with ca, and ba'o with pu.

>   Is the fact that e.g. "ba'o" can be just moved to link a nucleus
>   event descriptor to the basic bridi in a way that CORRECTLY reflects
>   the temporal position of the part relative to the nucleus of the whole
>   a sufficient justification for the present assignment?

No, the internal consistency of the ZAhOs is not in dispute. Their
relationship with the PU is what bothers me.

(One loss in changing pu'o and ba'o would be, as lojbab pointed
out to me, the relation ba'o-za'o, but for me this link is much weaker
than pu-pu'o, ca-ca'o, ba-ba'o as far as form is concerned, and
pu-ba'o, ca-ca'o, ba-pu'o as far as meaning.)

>   We presently have the following parallel transformations (again
>   ignoring a lot of details but don't let's get into that anymore,
>   I know (roughly) what I'm eliding.)
>   ko'a ba klama       => ko'a klama ba le *cabna
>   ko'a ca ba'o klama  => ko'a ca *klama/b ba'o le nu ko'a co'aca'a klama
    ko'a ca pu'o klama  => ko'a ca *klama/p pu'o le nu ko'a co'aca'a klama

So that this doesn't rally make ba closer to ba'o than to pu'o.
But which of the last two has a closer (or even remotely related) meaning
to the first one?
(As an aside, I think in the ba'o sentence co'a should be co'u)

>   (Having the explicit "ca" already greatly diminishes the pervasiveness
>   of associating "ba'o" with a future tense.)

Not for me. {ca ba broda} seems unnecessary but between {pu ba broda} and
{pu ba'o broda}, the same confusion occurs.

The meanings of {ba'o} and {pu co'u}, on one hand, and {pu'o} and {ba co'a}
on the other, are very related. In fact if the bridi with {ba'o} is true,
so is the bridi with {pu co'u}, and this is not true of the other case, only
due to the future's unpredictability, but aside from this, the relationship
is the same.


Now to a different (but of course related) problem: The ZAhO as sumti tcita.
>   The Imaginary Journeys paper states about ZAhO used as sumti tcita that
>   "The event described in the sumti is viewed as a process, and the action
>   of the main bridi constitutes the part of the process which the ZAhO
>   specifies."
>   If I understand this and the given examples correctly it implies that
>   the starting and ending points of the process defined by the outer bridi
>   are CONTAINED within the ZAhO part of the sumti process.

That's how I understood it, too.

>   A PU tcita on
>   the other hand requires only, if I understand things correctly, that
>   there is an OVERLAP of the ca'o of the outer process and the part of the
>   time axis indicated by the PU tcita.

More explicitly, it's an overlap of the ca'o of the outer process with the
time at the end of the PU tcita Journey that starts at the time defined by
the event inside the sumti, I think.

>   My PRESENT position regarding the event contours is
>   (1) as far as the outer bridi is concerned, in the absence of an
>       explicit ZAhO tense the ZAhO tcita sets OUTER limits to the
>       action, i.e. the ca'o phase. This defines the event contour
>       in a rather vague way (depending on the actual ZAhO used) but
>       more precisely than the use of a PU tcita would. More precision
>       can be obtained in some cases by using a ZAhO tense in the outer
>       bridi.
>   (2) the ZAhO tcita has usually a subsidiary role so that we are
>       only interested in the event contour as a kind of scale which
>       makes it possible to temporally locate the main bridi (A).
>       There are, however, times when we may want to add emphasis to
>       the contour (B).
>          (A) mi klama ba'o le nu do pu klama
>          (B) mi klama ca'o le nu do pu ba'o klama
>       I think that in (A) the event of the attached sumti is seen
>       as a whole (regardless of the ZAhO used) which is used solely
>       to define a reference interval/point, while in (B) the internal
>       contour is important:
>           (A) I came after you
>           (B) I came while you already were there

I think that (A) also requires that the start of {mi}'s going occurs after
the end of {do}'s, so that the difference, if any, has to be much more

I would much prefer that the ZAhO tcita were interpreted in the same way
as the PU, i.e. that they act in the same way as they do as tenses, but
simply changing the reference from the speaker to the sumti.

This is not the current definition. I know that. But I'm still not clear
on exactly what they do mean currently. Do the ZAhO tcita impose a {ca'o}
on the outer bridi? What I'm asking is,

        __mi ca citka pu'o le nu do klama mi__

Am I saying that I'll be finished when you arrive? This is what I understand
from what I've been told, but it seems to me that we are unnecessarily
loading the meaning of the ZAhO tcita. Anyway, if it does mean that, I would
like to be clear on it.