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off-the-cuff answer to Ivan on place structures

This is an ad-hoc response, and I haven't been too happy lately with my
ad-hoc writings, so pardon me if it doesn't make enough sense %^)

I do not believe that when a person makes up a lujvo that they are permanently
embedding in stone a single meaning selection for that lujvo.  They are at
best setting an inital data point for that meaning.  Their usage may end up
not being adopted as proposed for any of the following reasons, or all of them
in combination:

a) not everyone reads a given text (in fact right now most people do not read
given texts), and hence someone new may come along and use the same lujvo for
a different meaning, and/or the new word and its proposed meaning may simply
be lost.  This latter is most certinly what happens to the ad-hoc lujvo that
come up in our Lojban conversation sesssions, which are not generally recorded
in any media.

b) someone reading the text may overtly disagree with the meaning assigned to
the lujvo because a) they can think of a better meaning to assign to the lujvo
or b) they can think of a better lujvo to express the intended meaning.  They
may post a comment on the text suggesting a change, which presumably the author
may choose to incorporate into a revised text, in which case the original lujvo
proposed may disappear.

c) Nick or some other person doing a more systematic analysis of lujvo may r
recognize that there is some flaw in the word as proposed along the lines of
b)  and may propose an alternative meaning or lujvo as appropriate at the time
when lujvo proposals are collected and assembled into lists.  At this point,
we may have multiple meanings proposed for a single word, and someone who
edits a dictionary must either select one-only of these (preferred), list the
multiple proposals, and let the community decide, or skip the word as not yet
having a consensus meaning, and hence not yet worthy of recording for posterity.

This is of course roughly what happens when new words are coined in English
and other natural languages, whether they be etymologically derived from
earlier words and hence have some predictability to their meaning (which is
pretty much the case for lujvo) or whether they are raw coinages (whcih better
corresponds to gismu).  There is an art to lexicography that must involve a
fair amount of creative work, but an ultimate sense that the person writing
the dictionary is not inventing meanings but is describing the work of others.

d) Most frequently, at least now, when people propose a lujvo, they do it in
the context of a text and do not provide either a definition or a place
structure.  Thus the "meaning" of the lujvo must be inferred as an approxima-
tion from the text.  Thus a later writer may use the same word but elaborate
on the meaning by, perhpas, filling in a place that the first user did not.
Thus both people have contriubuted to the synthesis of the word's meaning,
even though it may not be the case that either had exactly the same concept in
mind as the other did.  Similarly, the lexicographer may have to add places
in derfining the place structure that none who have used the word have
made clear in their writings.

THis may sound haphazard, but it really is the way it must be done.  After all,
why is this different from Ivan's alternative.  For if "LLG" sits down and
invents 50000 lujvo than you can bet that you all are goiung to be the ones
inventing 50000 lujvo, becauase YOU ARE LLG.  The only implication that a
central authority hasm is that there may be some relative consistency among the
results.  But as anyone who hasd studied the gismu list can see, even that much
smaller number of words has inconsistencies, and it has had 30-odd years of
multiple reviews and re-evaluations and standardizations without el9iminating
them, most of which reviews were done by one person and hence are as consistent
as a single person can achieve.  Any larger body of words willl either have to
be systematically and algoirthmically generated (which is probably possible
only for lujvo based on se/te/ve/xe/nu/ka and a few other constructive
prefixes and suffixes like mal- and -gau) or will be coinages that are not
necessarily any better than what Ivan or someone else who apparently feels
he is "not" LLG can accomplish.  (I should also note that any massive coining
by a small number of people will be rather culturally narrow - I would much
rather see the culturally broad and hence likely more neutral result that
occurs when Ivan brings in his Slavic background, Veijo his finish background,
Carter his experience with Chines through his wife, Nick his Greek, etc.)

It isn't quick, it isn;t pretty, but it is the right way to go for Lojban,
in my opinion.