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Re: lemi mela .AIsopos

John Cowan answers me:
> > Both are specific (the particular one or ones I'm talking
> > about) whether that specificity is external or just in the speaker's
> > mind - the difference is whether the selbri is being used as a
> > convenient description, or actually (incidentally) asserted to be true
> > of the thing thereby described.
> This statement is true for "le" but false for "lo".  The assertion which
> 'lo' makes is essential, not incidental:  "lo broda" means "something which
> really is a whatchamacallit".  Except for considerations about null sets,
> "lo broda" means the same as "da poi broda".

Thanks, I had forgotten that 'lo' corresponded to 'poi' rather than
'noi'. I notice you have not - at least here - disputed my statement
about specificity. (I like the idea of 'voi', for symmetry and
generality - I'm not sure it is actually going to be that useful, but
we'll see.)

> > But changing in mid-stream [between le and lo] is strange.
> > "The particular thing(s)
> > which is/are crab(s) say(s) to the particular thing(s) which I am
> > referring to as mother(s)".
> This is not a proper gloss of "lo crab says to le mother", which rather means
> "Some crab(s) say to thing(s)-I-call-mother(s)."

I don't understand your objection. Either you are insisting that 'lo' is
not specific (a possible interpretation of English 'some' in some
contexts, but not useful here, and not implied by the paraphrase as 'da
poi'), or your gloss seems to be essentially identical in meaning to
mine - shorter, (except that the 'some' makes it slightly more ambiguous.)

> English uses "a" not only in the sense of Lojban "lo", but also to mark a
> new use of "le", thus:
>         I met a man the other day.  The man...
> In Lojban, both of these are "le".

Absolutely. This is one of the reasons why I am suspicious of the
'the/a' rule of thumb.

> > And since reading your terfanva I've met it elsewhere. I'm still unhappy
> > with it though - as long as it's used thoughtfully, it's OK, but some
> > time somebody's going to run into trouble with intension vs extension
> > (eg when the xyxipa of di'e is quantified). I think we want an anaphor
> > for just that. How about di'exivo'a? Somebody's going to tell me it's
> > ungrammatical. vo'apodi'e? di'exipa?
> lojbab uses "vo'a pe di'e" for this job, and prefers it to "lego'i".
Though I half suggested it, I'm not happy about this at all. The "pe"
phrase will not so much specify "vo'a" as actually change its referent.
When you meet "vo'a" you know exactly what its referent is - the x1 of
the current bridi (?or the current sentence - I'm not sure, but I
believe this is defined) - even if that x1 has not yet been expressed,
(e.g. a sentence starting ".idu'o vo'a"), you know where to look. A
following "pe" normally says "I am about to further specify this sumti".
But "pedi'e" doesn't say this: it says "The sumti I'm designating isn't
the one you thought I was referring to, but a different one." There are
other cases where this can happen (eg redefining an already used KOhA by
"goi") but there at least the referent of KOhA is defined to be fluid,
at the whim of the speaker.
Obviously this is not an argument from grammar - we can define VOhA
anyway we like, and this usage is clearly not uninterpretable. It's more
a meta-argument about how the semantics of these anaphora should be

> We can cop out on the extension/intension question, though, by noting the
> "le" in "lego'i"; with "le", all bets are off.
You're right, of course. Isn't 'le' wonderful!

co'omi'e kolin fain