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Re: ni, jei, barely, almost

> 1. I haven't had the original message yet so don't know what was proposed.
> I'm amazed at the idea that duu is a subtype of ka. In general, I wish
> the existence of NU be forgotten.

I think there are three useful NUs: du'u, nu and ka. I adhere to the idea
that the rest be forgotten. (I don't understand how du'u is a subtype of
ka either.)

This is my current understanding of them:

{du'u} is the most basic one. It abstracts the actual relationship. For
example {mi djuno le du'u do klama le zarci}. I know that the relationship
{klama} holds among the arguments {do}, {le zarci}, {zo'e}, {zo'e} and

{nu} is the most used, and it is the physical realization of the
relationship. For instance {mi viska le nu do klama le zarci}. What I
see is not the relationship {du'u} but its embodiment {nu}. I am tempted
to say that {le nu broda} is {la'e le du'u broda}.

{ka} is very different from those two and requires a blank argument place,
because it really gives a function. I missed John's latest proposal for
the lambda variable, so I can't really comment, but a PA in that role doesn't
make much sense to me. What is needed is a KOhA to keep an argument place
open. I will comment further when I have a chance to read the actual

(As an aside, I don't think that something like {mi nelci le ka do melbi}
makes any sense. It should be {mi nelci le nu do melbi}. I don't think
{ka} and {nu} should be thought as the English -ness and -ing, because
those correspond to the endings for adjectives and for verbs respectively,
but Lojban makes no such distinction.

As for the remaining NUs:

{za'i}, {zu'a}, {mu'e} and {pu'u} are all kinds of {nu}. I don't think
I've seen any example where using any of them makes anything clearer than
simply using {nu}. ({za'i} is the most popular, perhaps because the
word "event" makes people think that {nu} has to be something dynamic,
but this is not really the case. {nu} is perfectly fine for even the
most static of states.)

{jei}, {su'u} and {ni} are generally used as indirect questions.

{jei} has two meanings: by official definition it is a truth value. By
usage it is the yes/no indirect question "whether", equivalent to
{du'u xukau}. I find the definition as a truth value totally out
of place among the NUs. There should be a lujvo that means "x1 is the
truth value of x2". The usage definition is ok, but redundant to
{du'u xukau} and not so frequent that it is worth the trouble to have
a short form.

I don't agree that {du'u xukau} in any way suggests that there are
only two possible answers corresponding to truth values 1 and 0.
The question {xu ko'a melbi} can perfectly well be answered with
"sort of", in which case {mi djuno le du'u xukau ko'a melbi}, "I know
whether koha is beautiful" means that I know that koha is sort of
beautiful. I don't see why {xu} should in any way suggest that there
are only two possible truth values.

{su'u} has seen little to no use. The two or three times I met it
it was used for the indirect question of manner "how", as in "look
how they run". I would say that can be taken care of by {tai makau}
or {ta'i makau}.

{ni} is not too clear, but it corresponds to the indirect questions
of quantity, amount and degree: how many, how much, how far, how fast,
how long, how pretty, how hot, how red, how <adjective>. For example:

        mi do zmadu le ni ke'a citka

Which could possibly mean:

        mi do zmadu le ka ke'a citka xokau da
        I surpass you in how many things we eat.

        mi do zmadu le ka ke'a citka pixokau da
        I surpass you in how much we eat.

        mi do zmadu le ka ke'a citka xoroi
        I surpass you in how many times we eat.

and who knows how many other things. In this case context helps
a lot. Something like {le ni klama} is much more mysterious.

Finally, {li'i} and {si'o} are the subjective abstractions. Again,
there is little to no usage of those, and I'm not convinced that they
add anything significant to using {du'u} or {nu} or {ka}. The
subjectiveness seems more to depend on the predicate being used rather
than on the abstraction itself.

In summary: I recommend using {du'u}, {nu} and {ka} and forgetting
about the others.

> 2. There are two distinct kinds of gradience in truth values. The first
> concerns the fuzzy boundary between true and false: we take T & F to
> be points 0 & 1 with nomansland between them. The second concerns degrees
> of truth and of falsity: how much would the world have to change for
> some state-of-affairs to become the case (if it is false) and to cease
> to be the case (if it is true). If you expressed this in numbers, then
> you'd use the full scale (of (I think) real numbers), with negative
> numbers for falsity and positive for truth.

You talked about this before, but I think I'm starting to finally
understand it only now. I would also add that those two gradients are
distinct from the scale provided by {to'e}. A negative value in the
-inf to +inf scale does not imply a positive value in the {to'e broda}
direction. In other words, "almost beautiful" does not mean "slightly ugly".

> I think I once suggested that {jei} denote the former type and {ni} the
> latter (though I'd prefer to use selbri+duu).

Here I'm lost. How do abstractions enter into it? The idea of the scales
is a nice way to picture it, but I hope you are not suggesting that we
use actual numbers for it! {li ni'ureze ni mi melbi} = "-27 is the amount
of I'm beautiful". I would find something like that ridiculous and rather
useless. What information does the number -27 convey?

> 3. To what extent, I wonder, do we have ways of expressing these varieties
> of truth gradience?
> We seem not to have anything intermediate between {na} and {jaa}. I think
> that's the sort of thing Steve has been saying we should have.
> As for the gradable T & F, Jorge has proposed additions to NAHE:

I like your proposals, so I withdraw mine.

>   jaacai   very true
>   jaa(sai) (fairly) true
>   jaarue   slightly true (true, but only just) - BARELY
>   narue    slightly false (false, but only just) - ALMOST
>   na(sai)  (fairly) false
>   nacai    very false
> - these I think are quite good.

I agree. I would like to see {naru'e} in the dictionary entry for

> For indeterminate, fuzzy:
>   nanaicai        near 1.0
>   nanai(sai)
>   nanairue
>   jaacui = nacui  0.5
>   jaanairue
>   jaanai(sai)
>   jaanaicai       near 0
> - these are less satisfactory, but they're a start.

I prefer:


I find nanai and ja'anai somewhat confusing.

> I'm less sure about the following NAhE forms. If we used them then it would
> be nice to have rafsi for {cai} and {rue}.
>   jeacai  to a large positive extent
>   jea     to a positive extent (unspecified or ungradable)
>   jearue  to a small positive extent
>   naerue  to a small negative extent
>   nae     to a negative extent (unspecified or ungradable)
>   naecai  to a large positive extent
> What do rodo reckon?

I like them. The difference between {naru'e} and {na'eru'e} is of course
the same as that between {na} and {na'e}. The first one would say that
there is almost a relationship between the arguments, while the other
claims that there definitely is a relationship, which is almost but not
quite the one corresponding to the selbri in question.