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bal}Nirely, three dogs, on the web

        Another thread reminded me that there is a rafsi for _da'a_,
"almost all, all
except...," _daz_.  Although the metaphor is not very good, it suggested
_dazypencu_ for
"almost touch" and  _daznalpencu_  for "barely touch."  I think the two
are related this
way, one just shy of the positive side, the other just shy of the
negative, thoubh I admit
that the predicates seem wrong way round.  This numerical may not be the
right one
either, but perhaps there is a a better one, "approximately," say.
         But then, a numerical does not seem the best way to do it, nor
does a modified
brivla as opposed to a modification elsewhere in the hierarchy of the
sentence.  The
numerical could not perform this outer modifying function effectively, if
at all.  So that
suggests something in the tense/modal area, which seems right for other
reasons as well:
the connection with the infamous inchoative aspect, for one thing ("I
barely made it" is
clearly related factually to "I was on the verge of not making it but
pulled it off" and
correspondingly for "almost").  And that, of course sends us to
predicates that take event
sumti and the resulting mare's nests (about references and raising and
what have you).
But that does seem right (and the clear exposition  from and and xorxes
of the ways that
an "almost" might expand makes the rightness even clearer).  I do not
know whether
_jibni_ can take an event second term now, but I do not think there is
anything against
the permission to do so, unless there is another gismu or lujvo occurs to
someone to take
on the ask.  I am sure that _jibni_ does not provide a good guide to an
unused cmavo to
take on the reduce form but the cmavos' relation to brivla has always
been pretty tenuous.
        Note though that I think only one brivala and one cmavo are
needed, the "almost"
one as I now am thinking, with the "barely" handled by negation -- in the
embedded event
description or _nai_ attached to the cmavo.  This does seem backwards to
me, the event
that does not occur is affirmatively expressed, the one that does
negatively.  Perhaps a
better image would be that of the glancing blow, the spam (spasm? spaz?
tempus: tense::
spatium:x) marker for tangential motion, perhaps.  But then the
parallelism is lost, for
"almost" is not a tangential blow on not doing something but more like
the missed swing,
a fly-by as contrasted with a touch-and-go.  And I do not know whether
there is a gismu
brivla for either of these nor a cmavo for the second.  On the whole, I
like the _jibni_
(and related cmavo)  solution best.

        Back to the three dogs.  We are pretty much agreed that  _ci (da
poi/lo/-) nanmu
cu pencu ci (etc.) gerku_  involves three men and from three to nine dogs
(whatever else
the different forms may involve).  Further, we agree that, however we get
the dog
quantifier in front of the man one, the result will only be to involve
only three dogs but
now three to nine men.  We also agree that  the problem that there is no
way to get both
of the numbers fixed absolutely, rather than one being relative to the
other, is unique to
the two-or-more-number cases.  As long as one quantifier is a unversal or
particular, we
can free either quantifier from the influence of the other by getting it
to the front at least
(universals are always free from the influence of the other, whatever and
wherever that
other be). Indeed, this freedom is the main reason for fronting things,
matters of elegance
aside.  I wonder, then, whether the afterthought fronting marker proposed
a while back
(does anyone remember what it was?  xa'a?) might not be better thought of
as an
independence marker, so that it might be applied also in the case of two
or more number
quantifiers to achieve the effect that mere fronting will not manage.
Since universals
never need this effect, the marker could be kept as a literal fronting
for them, for
afterthought fronting for them is fairly common, though less so than
independence moves
for other quantifiers.  So, for three men and three dogs we might have
_ci nanmu cu
pencu xa'a ci gerku_ (or variants).

        I have never seen the Lojban Web page (I just got Navigator
installed and never
learned the raw commands for some of this stuff), but if it does -- or
ever did, for that
matter -- tell newbies to send stuff to Lojbab, it should stop it
immediately.  Lojbab has
other functions to fill, ones that only he can fill (in the real world of
time and money,
anyhow), while checking exercises is a job that any of several dozen
people can do pretty
well (and the community of them all can do excellently -- asa witness the
jobs that it does
do).  It might be a good idea to get up a set of answers for the
minilessons, since none
exist, but these would still have to be handled sensitively, since many
things other than
exactly what is on the answer sheet -- even if all the active proctors in
the community got
an answer for each question on it -- would be good Lojban answers.  And
surely we can
be as warm as the Elgin dyke brigade (whom I admit to finding neither
warm nor dykey
and not very clear on Elgin either), though the pseudoevangelical
chumminess of some
Esperantist prostelytizers may be beyond us seething rationalist