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la xorxes. cusku di'e

> "ca zehu" would mean that you are small for a long time, at least
> part of which is in the present, so it's almost what you have, but it
> allows that in one of the directions the time is not long. "Pragmatically",
> it probably means what you have.

Yes.  You can nail down which way the interval runs with "ca ze'u ca", which
means that the long interval is centered on the present, or "ca ze'u ba" which
means that it extends from the present into the future, or "ca ze'u pu" which
means that it extends from the present into the past.  This is a separate use
of PU from the usual one, and applies only when PU immediately follows ZEhA.
(Analogously for FAhA and VEhA/VIhA).

> "pu je ca je ba zehu" may be more
> explicit (not too sure), but also uglier.

No, that groups as ((pu je ca) je (ba ze'u)) and means "at three intervals,
which may or may not overlap: one of indefinite size in the past, one of
indefinite size in the present, and one of large size in the future".

> As I see it, "cazu" is really weird, I don't think it's very useful.

It probably means the same as "zu" by itself, namely "At a long distance
from the present, either toward the past or toward the future, I'm not
saying which."  As you say, weird.

> > (2) What is the difference between "ro roi" and "zehe"?
> >
> "ze'e" suggests that the brodaing occurs permanently, while "ro roi"
> allows for "every time". "ze'e" only gives you the length of the time
> interval during which the brodaing occurs, while "ro roi" stresses
> that the brodaing is occuring at all the relevant points in time inside
> the interval, so you could say "mi pu ze'u ro roi bilma" ~ "I was all the
> time sick, for a long time in the past" (could extend to the present, but
> let's ignore that).

This is correct.  Note that "ci'iroi" in the sense of "eternally" is wrong,
and should be removed: "ci'iroi" of course just means "an infinite number
of times within some interval, specified or not specified."

"ze'e" and its counterpart "ve'e" were introduced in order to make sense
of the very common form:

        mi noroi klama le zarci
        I zero-times went to the store.

which is usually taken to mean that I never went there.  But it doesn't say
so: it merely says that >within some unspecified interval< I never went.
With the introduction of a word for "the interval of the whole", "noroi"
can be taken as elliptical for "ze'enoroi", which is a good equivalent for

Adding to the confusion, "ze'e" had a previous existence as "the unspecified
time interval", i.e. the same as mentioning no interval at all.  This is
useless -- grammatically ZEhA is never required -- and now we express
unspecificity in the usual way: silence.

> > (3) Do ZAhO and ZEhA serve to separate a sumti from the selbri,
> > the way CU does?
> Yes. (I think that any tense serves for that)


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