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

Re: TECH: Desperately seeking [properties]

cu'u mi
> > If we _have_ to use {le} or the equivalent when we have
> > someone or something specific in mind, then we _can't_ also
> > have the additional implication that I expect you to know
> > which I mean.

cu'u la djan. kau,n.
> Why not?  If I don't have something specific in mind, then I certainly
> can't expect you to know which I mean, but I don't see the problem with the
> converse.

I was trying to say that it can't always imply that I expect
you to know what I mean, because there are situations where
I know _exactly_ who or what I mean, and I have no way of
knowing how much information I'll have to give you to enable
you to identify a specific referent.  I can only express the
fact that I mean something specific by using {le} (or something
equivalent, but _not_ {lo}), therefore {le} on its own cannot
also imply that I necessarily expect you to know what I mean.
In context (including possibly extralinguistic context) it
might do.  In conjunction with a {bi'unai} or some other
modifier it might do.  But not on its own.

> Well, actually "zo'e" does well there, since "zo'e" and "le co'e" mean much
> the same thing.  Both of them refer to something specific-but-unspecified.
> There is the difference that "le co'e" keeps the force of "le": one or more
> individuals, probably not a set or mass.

I'm not sure I believe this.  I thought that {zo'e} was totally
ambiguous, and could be specific or non-specific, universally
or existentially or exact-numerically quantified, or any other
(censored) thing.  {le co'e}, on the other hand, means something
specific which I have in mind, but have not actually described.

> If you have not mentioned any princesses,
> or any individuals who might reasonably be described as such, the "bi'u"
> is superfluous.

Not quite pe'i - you also have to take the extralinguistic context
into account.

The interesting thing is that lojban is splitting the semantic
space up differently from English.  "I'm looking for a princess"
can be either {mi sisku lo ka nolraixli} or
{mi sisku tu'a le [bi'u] nolraixli}, depending on whether I have
someone specific in mind.  Conversely, {mi sisku tu'a le nolraixli}
can be either "I'm looking for the princess" or "I'm looking for a
princess", depending on whether I expect you to know who I mean
(optional {bi'unai}) or not (optional {bi'u}).

co'o mi'e .i,n.