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

Re: Event contours and ZAhO tcita

la xorxes. cusku di'e

> This is fine, but then what is the definition of broda' for a
> PU ZAhO tcita, say "puza'o"?
> "which takes place in the past of the za'o phase of x4"?
> (This splits "puza'o")
> or "which takes place in the za'o phase of x4, which is in the past"?
> (This keeps puza'o as one tense, but is different from the use of
> "pu" as tcita.) This (more or less) is the interpretation lojbab gave.

I believe the right answer is that nobody knows the right answer yet.
We attempt to define semantics to the extent needed to get the language
bootstrapped: thus (e.g.) the le/lo distinction discussed here recently.
There are many constructs that are grammatical but as yet have no known

        mi klama le zarci ve'i le nu do dansu le bisli

Somebody may someday mean something by this, but I at least do not understand
it.  (I know several things it probably doesn't mean, though.)

> > Specifying a sumti has generally the following consequencies:
> >
> >   (1) it NEVER does give a contour to the outer bridi -- all
> >       the sumti must be specifiable at the same time and
> >       different sumti might imply different contours, even
> >       mutually contradictory.
> I'm not sure why this is a GENERAL consequence of specifying a sumti.
> It can only apply to ZAhO tcita sumti, or am I missing something?
> Of course it is possible to say things that are contradictory, with
> any interpretation.

I think the answer is that specifying a sumti (modal or standard) does not
contour the bridi, because contouring is achieved with selbri tcita.

> Compare:
>         __mi dunda le cakla do__
>         I give you the chocolate.
> and
>         __mi dunda le cakla do bai le mi mamta__
>         I give you the chocolate compelled by my mother.
> Is the relationship between "mi", "le cakla" and "do" unchanged?

I would be inclined to say no: it is still the case that I give you the
chocolate.  The "bai" place has added new information, not overridden old

> I agree that the meaning that the ZAhO have is reasonable for a
> sumti tcita. What I'm saying is that that meaning does not fit well
> with their meaning as tenses. This is most clear in the case of
> the ZAhOs other than "pu'o" and "ba'o". For instance:
> mi zutse le srasu za'o le nu co'a carvi
> *I keep sitting on the grass as it starts to rain.
> Under the current interpretation, I'd have to say:
> mi za'o zutse le srasu ca le nu co'a carvi

No, that doesn't work, because "ca" is aorist.  You can say:

co'a carvi za'o le nu mi zutse le srasu

or equivalently:

mi zutse le srasu .iza'obo co'a carvi


za'ogi co'a carvi gi mi zutse le srasu

with differences in what is claimed.

One possible way around this problem would be a new particle, say "xa'o",
such that xa'o+ZAhO is grammatically equivalent to a brivla with place

        x1 (event) is the <whichever> phase of x2 (event).

That would allow sentences like:

        le nu co'a carvi xa'o za'o le nu mi zutse le srasu


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