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

Parsing tenses and sumti tcita

I decided to run a few example sentences through the parser
in order to see whether the syntax would offer any clues
for semantics. The results were mostly what I expected.
However, I found an inconsistency in the way the '<tense> KU'
is interpreted in the 'Imaginary Journeys'.

Let's start tracking. First a simple bridi with 4 sumti,
two of them in front of the selbri to make interpreting
the bracketing easier:

mi ti klama ta tu
({mi ti} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

As you see, the sumti are bracketed together.

Then I inserted a PU tense:

mi ti pu klama ta tu
({mi ti} {<pu klama> <[ta tu] VAU>})

The tense is bracketed with the selbri as it should be,
sumti brackets as before.

Then I changed the tense into a sumti tcita:

mi pu ti klama ta tu
({mi <pu ti>} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

Bracketing as expected, first the tag and the tagged sumti,
then sumti brackets as before.

The same for a tagged sumti after the selbri. I interleaved the
sumti in a way which makes the bracketing very clear.

mi klama ti pu ta tu
(mi {klama <[(ti {pu ta}) tu] VAU>})

Nothing unexpected.

Now, the IJ paper states that a tense can be moved around by
suffixing it with KU. Let's see what happens.

puku mi ti klama ta tu
({<[pu ku] mi> ti} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

Bracketing seems to be OK.

Now, for consistency the KU ought to be insertable even when
the tense is at the normal position, i.e. immediately preceding
the selbri. Let's see what happens:

mi ti puku klama ta tu
({<mi ti> <pu ku>} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

!!! 'pu ku' is parsed as a sumti! The KU cuts it off from the
selbri. As a check I tried "pu zo'e" instead of "pu ku":

pu zo'e mi ti klama ta tu
({<[pu zo'e] mi> ti} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

mi ti pu zo'e klama ta tu
({<mi ti> <pu zo'e>} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

It parses exactly like "pu ku"!

Then the ZAhOs:

mi ti ba'o klama ta tu
({mi ti} {<ba'o klama> <[ta tu] VAU>})

This parsed excatly like PU.

ba'oku mi ti klama ta tu
({<[ba'o ku] mi> ti} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

This also.

mi ti ba'oku klama ta tu
({<mi ti> <ba'o ku>} {klama <[ta tu] VAU>})

No difference what so ever.

mi klama ti ba'o ta tu
(mi {klama <[(ti {ba'o ta}) tu] VAU>})

Again the same parse.

mi klama ti ba'oku ta tu
(mi {klama <[({ti <ba'o ku>} ta) tu] VAU>})

And again. According to the parser a ZAhO behaves syntactically
exactly like a PU. I tried the same with "fi'o broda fe'u" and
got exactly the same result.

My conclusions are:

 (Here I go again although I promised to leave the ZAhO question)

 (1) ZAhOs and PUs behave identically as far as syntax is concerned.

 (2) The semantics of freely floating (KU suffixed) tenses may be
     broken as they behave like a sumti tag with an elided sumti.

     However, 'PU KU' remains consistent, if we suppose that the
     elided sumti effectively is "le cabna".

            puku mi klama le tcadu
            In the past (of the present) I went to the city.
            I went to the city

     Sometimes it would be useful, however, if the implicit sumti
     weren't necessarily 'le cabna':

            mi klama le tcadu pu[ku]
            I go to the city before [something]
            I go to the city beforehand

     For 'ZAhO KU' I propose that the interpretation is "ZAhO zo'e"
     (ZAhO le nu me zo'e):

            ba'oku mi klama le tcadu
            Afterwards I go to the city.

     This interpretation seems quite intuitive. Actually much
     more so than the present interpretation

            I'm in the aftermath of going to the city

 (3) The interpretation of sumti tcita is straight forward, there
     is no difference between PU tcita and ZAhO tcita:

           PU   <sumti>  => in the PU   of <sumti>
           ZAhO <sumti>  => in the ZAhO of <sumti>

     This corresponds to the present interpretation. ZAhO refers
     to a contour of the <sumti> it is attached to. We must,
     however, note that it DOESN'T say that the <sumti> is in
     the phase, just like a PU tag doesn't imply anything about
     the tense of the <sumti>. All that the ZAhO tag says is that
     the outer bridi is 'located' in the corresponding phase of the
     sumti event. We are predicating the outer event, NOT the
     sumti event. But we must keep in mind that just as

            mi klama pu le nu do klama

     doesn't define the tense of the outer bridi

            mi klama pu'o le nu do klama

     doesn't define the contour of the outer bridi. Both just
     in a way set a frame of reference -- just like the rest of
     the Lojban 'tenses' do when used as sumti tcita.

 **  Contrary to what I have stated in some of my previous
     postings I am now inclined to say that a ZAhO defines
     the contour of the outer bridi ONLY when used as a selbri
     tcita. I'd like to interpret a ZAhO KU as a sumti tcita
     with an elided sumti in order to avoid contradicting the

 **  Similarly I'd also maintain that a PU defines the tense
     (in strict sense) of the outer bridi ONLY when used as a
     selbri tcita.

 (4) When a PU or a ZAhO is used as a selbri tcita, it defines
     the tense resp. the contour of the outer bridi.


 **** I PROPOSE that -- CONTRARY to the present interpretation --
      the 'tense' of the outer bridi is defined SOLELY with
      a selbri tcita in order to avoid a deviant interpretation
      of sumti tcita in the case of elided tagged sumti.

      After this clean-up the sense system contains no contra-
      dictions and the interpretations are quite intuitive --
      at least most of them. It is, of course, always possible
      to find counterintuitive examples -- this is possible
      what ever the system.

   co'o mi'e veion


 Veijo Vilva       vilva@viikki21.helsinki.fi