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Re: misc. responses to And

> Presumably most recursion and repetition in natlangs has limits,

Not in any interesting sense.

> My understanding is that virtually every word in natlangs is a selma'o
> of its own in reality.  Generalizations such as "adjectives", "noun
> phrases" etc.  'work' only as 1st order approximations,

Your understanding is understandable, but I don't share it. The truest
picture of the grammar is presented by using those generalizing
categories along with a mechanism for stating exceptions.

> for every such grammatical structure you can probably generate some
> unacceptable nonsense.

I've not usually found this to happen. And if it does happen, then it
means there's something wrong with the grammar.

> Only a relatively SMALL percentage of Lojban grammar rules an
> generate this kind of nonsense, and most of it is embedded in the
> rules associated with the lexer rather than with the grammar in general.  So
> at worst, your complaint is mostly that the lexer portion of the grammar
> may be oversimplified.  Still, it is very hard to categorically state
> that any given string generated by the lexer has NO meaning.

Most of the problems I'm aware of are due to dissimilar lexemes belonging
to the same selmao. For example, {zio} is in KOhA, but not every KOhA
can meaningfully be replaced by a {zio}.

> >> WhatIS the case is that there exists grammatical Lojban text using PA
> >> that has no defined and agreed-upon semantics - that does NOT mean that
> >> it is utter gobbledygook
> >This is false by any standards other than lojbo ones.  This is exactly
> >my objection.  In natural languages, any construction with no defined
> >and agreed-on semantics is ungrammatical.
> 1. Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky is either ungrammatical or has defined semantics.

> 2. Curious green ideas sleep furiously.

Is perfectly grammatical, and has defined and agreed on semantics.

> 3. The US tax code

I haven't read it, but I expect it is perfectly grammatical, and has
defined and relatively agreed on semantics.

> Let me know when we agree on the semantics of any of these, and the
> semantics of each is to some considerable extent undefined (especially
> the tax code %^), yet they are considered grammatical.

I should have downplayed your "agreed-on", because this is actually
irrelevant to the definition of grammaticality, although it is of
course vital to successful communication.

> But what makes singularities necessarily sumti, anyway?.  I am sensing
> the kind of logic that would say that there can be no 1-place predicates.
> (munje?)

I don't know whether I believe in 1-place predicates, but I do believe
in selbri valsi with only one te sumti.

Singularities could be selbri, but that would be pointless.

> >My objection to {nu} is that really the event is an argument of the
> >bridi, so {jai fau broda} is truer to the meaning.
> If the event is an argument of the bridi that is reflected in the event
> I see infinite recursion.

I don't understand.

> And since jai fau is a sumti raising that is defined in terms of the
> abstraction in the fai place you get recusrion in that sense too.

I don't understand this either.

> Since "fau" is built off of "fasnu", what is the x1 of fasnu, if not a
> "nu abstraction".

The x1 of fasnu can, syntactically, be anything with syntactic sumti
status. Semantically, it must refer to an event (or situation - I
can't remember how fasnu is defined).

> back to the beginning for one out-of-place sentence to respond to:
> >(3) Similarly, the case for selmao NU is pretty weak.
> You keep saying this, but I think that NU, and indeed "nu" is one of the
> major genius strokes of the language.

There are many genius strokes of the language. And NU is not *blatantly*
bad (unlike, say, the morphology), but it is pretty aesthetically
offensive to me. I've come to think that nothing in NU should have
the syntax of NU, and probably nothing else should.

> >So my objections are not only that most members of NU are not useful,
> >but also that only {sio} really warrants the syntax of NU (i.e. selbri
> >containing bridi).
> >> (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 agree.
> Then "nu" is useful?

No, I meant the x2 of {nelci} shd be a situation rather than a property.
I didn't mean that to refer to a situation we shd use {nu}.

> The fact that the number of places in gismu that are abstractions
> alone shows how useful it is to recognize multiple levels of
> abstraction in analyzing semantics.

I don't understand. Can you rephrase, please?

> I like "nu" itself simply for the the capability of bundling up an
> occurance of a bridi relationship as a semantic unit,

Yes, it is commonly misused that way.

> and the subcategories allow me even to define a substructural way of
> looking at that occurance.

{lo pruce jai fau broda} would do just as well, and would have a
proper syntax-semantics match.

> I don't think my mind ever "expanded" so much from working on Lojban,
> as when pc finally got across to me the distinction between
> states/achievements/processes/activities and we started to explore the
> semantic effects of assigning different words to the different
> distinctions.  These distinctions are probably not used much yet simply
> because there IS nothing remotely like them in English and perhaps in
> other natlangs.

There is a fair bit that is mind-expanding in Lojban, but those 4
somewhat outdated aktionsart distinctions don't expand my mind. The
more basic properties (dynamicity, extent/duration and telicity, which
itself is a temporal manifestation of bounding in general) that underlie
this taxonomy are most certainly reflected extensively in natlangs.

> >> {za'i}, {zu'a}, {mu'e} and {pu'u} are all kinds of {nu}.
> >Someone had been reading linguistics textbooks when these were
> >added, and gave them too much weight.
> Actually, I hadn't read ANY linguistics textbooks when I added them.

I'm skeptical that you dreamt them up purely by thinking about situation

> The reason for adding them was that "nu" is sometimes too vague,
> especially when dealing with tenses.  (And since tenses are optional,
> the use of the right event abstraction may carry more information than
> the use of a lot of tense words.)

This would be a matter for another thread, but I certainly don't
see what you have in mind.

> In my mind, process abstractions are more 'opposite' to states than
> 'activity' abstractions, since states and activities are presumably
> uniform while a process probably is not.

Your intuition makes sense. States & Activities are both atelic,
but processes are telic, while activities and processes are both

> But the event/achievement/state and processes of running a race are
> all to my mind quite different concepts.

Absolutely they are. Running a race, as I understand the concept, is
a process. So to describe it as an activity, achievement or state is
to create a new category, different from normal race running.

> >> {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}.
> >If every truth-value is unique to the proposition it is truth value of,
> >then {jei} works as "whether".  But I don't know anyone who thinks that
> >truth-values are thus unique.
> How about the converse - every proposition has a unique truth value?

Yes. I think that. But how is it relevant?

> But the more important question is whether every grammatical
> statement asserts a well-defined relationship.  I think And
> was arguing that this was the case.
> But I'm not sure I really understand And's argument.  I'd like
> to see some explicit examples of meaningless statements using PA.
> I'd also like to see a proposal for the substructure of PA, preferably
> one that doesn't rule out any current texts.

Jorge came out with a good list last year. The other day John
offered {suo ro suo}. Let that do for starters.