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Re: TECH: Mark Shoulson waiting for a taxi
jimc continues the discussion, answering And:
In any event, the essence of masses is not the
non-specificity of their members, but the relations or organization
among the members.
The essence of masses is that the speaker is regarding them
as undifferentiated masses, and can hence truly predicate
of them any property of some of their parts/members
(and possibly some additional properties too).
It is nothing to do with relations or organization, or their lack.
This has nothing to do with specificity: 'lei' means 'the
mass of the (specific) things I am describing as'.
However, I don't believe you can pull specific individuals
out of a mass without first converting it with 'lu'a'.
Thus I would use lei (in-mind mass) rather
than loi (really-is mass):
lei cizra cu raktu loi se tcanai
Precisely. 'lei cizra' is a specific in-mind mass. The
individuals contained in the mass may or may not be
specific - the gadri does not tie us down.
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
I don't know what Lojban Central thinks. I know that in my speech
'le' is not (limited to) anaphoric use - I use it precisely when the
object is specific (ie there is a particular one or ones which I know
I am referring to, though I may not in practice have any way
of identifying it/them conclusively).