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Re: TECH: Mark Shoulson waiting for a taxi

Mr Andrew Rosta <ucleaar@UCL.AC.UK>
> What I am looking for is expressing conditions where the statement
> is false if he rejects any taxi prior to getting in one. I'm suggesting
> "loi" for this.

I can wrap my brain around {loi karcrtaksi} as something one waits for.
More credible would be waiting for "the mass of busses" because
generally busses are organized while taxis are chaotic.  In any case,
the image is like an octopus (the mass) reaching out a tentacle and
engulfing Mark, rather than the tentacle as an individual unit doing
the job.  In any event, the essence of masses is not the
non-specificity of their members, but the relations or organization
among the members.

> What is an example of an in-mind non-specific sumti?

To use a tasteless example, anti-homosexual people (in American
English) refer to homosexuals as "queers" {cizra}.  A typical usage
takes the form: "The problem in this town is queers".  The speaker is
not referring to any specific "queer", and in fact is referring to a
mass; nonetheless, there are lots of weird/deviant/bizarre people (and
non-people) who are not homosexual, and thus an in-mind restriction is
being placed on the sumti.  Thus I would use lei (in-mind mass) rather
than loi (really-is mass):

        lei cizra cu raktu loi se tcanai

(tcanai = tcadu natmi = x1 is a city-state(?) with people(s?) x2; I can't
see how to use jecta = x1 is a polity governing x2, or turni = x1 rules
over people/territory/domain x2.  The troglodyte refers to the mass of
people who really are citizens(?) of the town.  raktu = x1 bothers (person)
x2 causing problem (event?) x3.)

> If the distinction really is as you say, then why is it we don't
> use "lo" most of the time?

In my speech (but as has been pointed out, not in everyone's), new
objects are generally introduced using "really-is" semantics but later
are referred to with "le broda" repeating the major selbri of the
initial description.  Thus the thing usually will really fit the
s-selbri even though "le" is stuck in front of it.

> I reckon the +/-specific distinction is much more useful &
> linguistically significant than this kind of figurative/literal
> distinction.

I would be inclined to say it like this: Lojban doesn't "really"
distinguish in-mind vs. really-is description; the only "real"
predicate-based sumti are the really-is ones (with lo, loi, etc.), and
Lojban has a very elaborate system of anaphora (involving le, lei,
etc.) to let people conveniently refer back to previously introduced
"real" sumti.  Of course, nobody in Lojban Central is going to have
anything to do with such a radical and non-natural-language point of
view :-)

                -- jimc