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Re: ke'a

la lojbab cusku di'e

> Jorge:
> >One of the arguments against {ke'a} is that sometimes we may need to
> >keep open more than one argument place.  The solution is to use
> >subscripts:
> And the argument against this is that there is no guarantee that the
> lambda-containing abstraction is not itself in a relative clause, in
> which case the resolution of the subscripts is ambiguous.

I had addressed that in the following paragraph that you deleted:

> > Another argument against {ke'a} is what to do when a relative clause
> > is used together with a {ka}: same deal, use {ke'axi.abu} for {ka}
> > and bare {ke'a} for the relative clause.

The resolution of the subscripts would not be ambiguous: I was using
letters for different arguments at the same level (a, e, i, o, u) and
numbers to change levels. Neither of those is a new convention. Lojban
already uses both.

> For the sake
> of saving a cmavo, the complications of resolution aren't worth the
> trouble.

Exactly the same problems apply to {xe'u}. It also needs subscripts
for many arguments at the same level and for different levels of

> I don't see it as elegance.  If we want to play this kind of game, we
> could save lots of cmavo by defining them to mean different things in
> different situations.

For example? Would that really be possible?

In any case, I'm not really proposing a different meaning for {ke'a}
in different situations. Its meaning in relative clauses already is
very much lambdaish. And more importantly, its grammar already allows
it, so I am perfectly justified in using it.

> If you have to learn multiple schemes of resolution, then you have even
> more workload than in simply memorizing the cmavo.  Memorizing words is
> far easier than memorizing how to use them in different contexts.

Is that true? I would have said the opposite. But in any case, this
doesn't really apply here. The meaning is practically the same in
both contexts.

> I don't think of "ke'a" as just keeping open a place.  I think of it as
> a pronoun referring to another level of subordination. lambda is not a
> pronoun per se in that it does not stand for any specific value; it is a
> true variable.  And it refers to abstraction levels and not
> subordination levels.

{da poi ke'a broda} is "something which has the property {le ka ke'a broda}".
You can't use {da poi da broda} to get the same meaning, so {ke'a} is never
just a copying pronoun.

> >Maybe it would have made more sense to have it in selmaho LU.  It would
> >also have allowed for more complex propositions.
> It would also have allowed for much more grammatical nonsense.  What would
> "du'u mu" mean:  the proposition that "5"???

What does the utterance "mu" mean by itself? Obviously it is only
a short form of a sentence, not just a number.

Example, using {xu'u} for a du'u in LU:

la djan:  xo plise cu zvati ta
la meris: mu

i xu la meris djuno xu'u xokau plise cu zvati ta
i go'i i my djuno xu'u mu

Does Mary know how many apples are there?
Yes, she knows that five.

Obviously, when the grammar accepts {mu} as a complete sentence
it is supposed to be a bridi with everything else elided. What
else could Mary's answer mean?

[Notice that I'm not saying that {la meris djuno li mu} makes any
sense. In that case, {li mu} is a number, not a whole sentence.