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

Veijo once more on ZAhOs

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 93 11:57:14 EDT
From: jorge@phyast.pitt.edu (Jorge LLambias)
Subject: Re: Still a few thoughts about ZAhOs

> >   Now the question about the assignment of the names of the cmavo
> >  remains to be solved.
> >
> >  (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.

  OK. I'll try to reformulate.

     (2) a ZAhO cmavo names a phase of an event. The morphology
         of the cmavo reflects the position of the phase relative
         to the event proper based on the assumption that "pu"
         means "before"/"pre-" and correspondingly "ba" means

  Now is this a reasonable formulation (ignoring the question about
  the principle to which I'll return later on) ?-)

> 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.)

  (a PU/ZAhO tcita will also do, often much better)

  I agree that you have a quite valid, alternative way of looking at
  this structure.

  However, I still cannot agree with you. There is a fundamental difference
  between PU and ZAhO tenses, a difference which we have ignored or, rather,
  never thought of. This difference may actually be what has been bothering
  me all the time.

  A PU tense or a PU/ZAhO tcita tells WHERE (or rather WHEN) the event is,
  a ZAhO tense tells rather WHAT KIND (the phase of) the event is. The phase
  is actually the event we are talking about, the event located with the PU
  tense and characterized with the ZAhO 'tense'. There isn't anything else
  to look/go to. There is no *future event, no past event, we are talking
  about the phase event. When there is no explicit ZAhO we can safely
  assume an implicit "ca'o".

  If I say "ko'a ca ba'o citka", I am NOT talking about the event of eating
  (the ca'o citka) which would be a past event, but about the event of
  *post-eating (ba'o citka). On an imaginary journey I am going NOWHERE
  from the "ca" point, I already am at the destination. So it is a question
  of characterizing, not a question of going somewhere as it would if I
  had another PU tense instead of the ZAhO. Actually I could have TWO PUs
  to describe a continuation of the journey from the "ca" at which I am.
  These would then define both the position and the extent of the ba'o citka

  I have tended to think of the WHOLE event when using the term "event
  contour". Now, if I use the term to refer to a sub-event (a phase in
  my terminology), the word "contour" can easily be thought of as describing
  the characteristics of the sub-event and we have a convergence. Perhaps
  we ought to talk about an event characterizer instead of an event contour?
  And perhaps we ought to go even further and not to use the word "tense"
  when talking about ZAhOs?

  This is MY PRESENT understanding. I'm relatively sure that this
  interpretation results in no contradictions what so ever. It offers also
  the side benefit of removing a cause of mix-ups due to the difference
  between the Lojban tense system and that of various natural languages,

  The Lojban tense system as a whole and especially the ZAhOs
  differ from what we are accustomed to. We better accept that.


> Now to a different (but of course related) problem: The ZAhO as sumti

> >          (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:

> 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
> subtle.

   I agree. The difference is subtle, but I think there is one --
   at least it adds some emphasis. (BTW the example might be clearer
   with e.g. a "mo'u" in the main bridi: "mi mo'u klama ...")

> 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.

  I think it does, according to the present interpretation. I myself have
  been thinking about the sensibility of this interpretation. First I
  thought that it might be better just to require an overlap with the
  implicit outer ca'o and imply inclusion only when there is an explicit
  outer ZAhO. But that would lead to a contradiction as a case with an
  implicit ca'o would be interpreted differently from a case with an
  explicit ca'o. So I'm not so sure anymore.

  We have 4 types of overlap:

    (1) the outer ca'o is included in the sumti ZAhO
    (2) the outer ca'o includes the sumti ZAhO
    (3) the outer ca'o starts outside and ends inside the sumti ZAhO
    (4) the outer ca'o starts inside and ends outside

  The present default takes care of (1). In (2) we could swap the
  outer bridi and the sumti bridi. In (3) and (4) we use a suitable
  ZAhO in the outer bridi to indicate which end of the ca'o is
  included (this, of course, leaves open the possibility that also
  the other end might be included but either it is irrelevant or
  pragmatic reasons imply otherwise).

  Also I'm beginning to think that mostly the case with no explicit
  outer ZAhO would actually be a case of inclusion.

  Probably the following formulation would be the best one in practice:

   (1) when the tcita ZAhO defines an interval contour (pu'o, ca'o,...)
       the outer contour (whether an implicit ca'o or anything explicit)
       is enclosed in it

   (2) when the tcita ZAhO defines a point contour it is enclosed
       in the outer contour if the outer contour is an interval

   (3) point contours just sync

> Jorge

      co'o mi'e veion


 Veijo Vilva       vilva@viikki21.helsinki.fi