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Re: tense conversions

Responding to Cowan's response to Chris, and a probably private response to 
>Subject: Re: tense - lojban and russian
>To: slobin@feast.fe.msk.ru (Cyril Slobin)
>> But I have question in my turn: what is the difference between {capu'o}
>> and {baco'a}? As far as I understood, the first literally mean "the
>> present point (in speaker's reference system) is equal to some point
>> before beginning (in event's reference system)", and second is for "some
>> future point (in speaker's reference system) is equal to the beginning
>> point (in event's reference system)", but I belive in normal newton time
>> it is always the same. (I can imagine the difference when the ball falls
>> into the black hole, but there are no black holes in my room floor! :-).
>John Cowan here (I read Bob's mail now and again).  The difference is in
>what is forced to be true.  {capu'o} means that now (ca) something has
>not yet begun (pu'o), whereas {baco'a} means that at some future point
>(ba) some event will be in progress (ca'o).  In the second case there is
>no way of knowing what is or is not happening now.

John messed up here - co'a of course is the initiation point.

But I disagree with him anyway - there is a bit more difference between
the two.

"capu'o" means that at the present time the event is right-now
impending, as with Russian "seychas" and future perfectives, per your
examples - though with Lojban the focus of pu'o is on the event as a
whole, and not on its completion.  Circumstances are already present
such that the event will take place, but it hasn't actually started yet.

baco'a says that at some unspecified time in the future the event will
start.  That could be shortly, tomorrow, next year, or a billion years
from now.  As John suggested, there is not necessarily anything going on
now that has any relevance to the event.

Thus, in typing this message, I can reasonably say mi capu'o mrilu.  But
mi baco'a salci lemi zenomoi jbenysalci I am impending of mailing, but
sometime unspecified in the future I will begin to celebrate my 70th
birthday (I'm not quite 42 now).

capu'o does seem to necessarily entail baco'a, but not vice versa.

I am ambivalent about John's interpetation of "baca'o", the
continuitive.  This is because the normal assumption about "ca'o" is not
merely that the event takes place at some time during the tensed
predicate, but that the event takes place THROUGHOUT the duration.  This
may of course be restricted by intensional and extensional tense
modifiers like ta'a and ciroi.

There may be a couple of other interpretations, but I do NOT see baca'o
as being the same as baca, which I think his statement about baca'o