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Re: self-descriptions?

Here is an answer to a message to Goran, containing his message quoted
in full, since he forgot to send it to the whole list, and then to
messages from Jorge, Chris, Lojbab on the same topic.

> > > > What I mean is: "is {dansu kansa coa kansa} a complex selbri"?
> > > ({le <dansu kansa>} {<co'a kansa> VAU})
> > That is bad. Contrast {ex young president} with {young ex president},
> > for instance.
> You can use rafsi, xunai? (I don't have my dicts right now, but I think
> that ZAhO all have rafsi. If not, there's still zei)

I want to use tanru. I want to say {citno bao ralju} (young ex president)
vs {bao ke citno ralju} (ex young-president) vs {bao citno ralju}
(formerly-young president).

> Fine, use brivla.  Tenses apply to whole bridi.

This is a pretty ugly solution: {citno bao kei bao ralju}, or
{citno me kei bao ralju}, or {citno zio kei bao ralju} - they're
all ugly. Semantically, ZAhO works quasitanruishly, like NAhE,
so I think it oughtn't to apply to whole bridi.]

> > I thought {se xi pa} gives the x6 place. x6 of {nundraci} is the actor.
> Not sure, but in nundraci doesn't the x1 of draci, the actor, get moved to
> x2, x2 to x3, etc. and x5 to x6?  Or does the x1 jump immediately to x6?

No, you're right. But x5 of draci is the actor.]

Goran again:
> sexixa gives the 6th place. sexipa gives the 1st, which is default.
> > Well done, then. Why did you find it difficult? It's in an unfamiliar
> > style, but there isn't lots of deep subordination and tons of terminators
> > and stuff. Note too that I couldn't write and English or Serbocroat
> > sentence of that length that would take you so long to puzzle out.
> > This shows how limited our command of the language still is.
> Of the sentence which is this being read by you to me you give a to
> understand difficulty type of measure is in opinion of you what,
> and say language of English command by you measure of how good is after
> what was that which is first of all parts that are two of this sentence
> by you reading which before this of parts before by me mentioned
> reading by you was.
> co'o mi'e. goran.

Is your sentence really grammatical? I hesitate to say it isn't, because
it's harder to verify English sentences' grammaticality than Lojban
sentences'. But it looks pretty iffy. Let's do a fairer test, and take
an English sentence of similar syntactic complexity:

   [fi la pou lojbab ralju]
   [fe lei jai fau skicu
       [be fo lo jbovla]
       [bei fe maa]
       [bei fai ro da poi kea me maa]
       [bei fi da]]
   [fa diu]

   [the purchase
       [of flowers]
       [from us]
       [for everyone in her class]
       [last year]]
   [to us]

Now is that so tough? I too found the Lojban very hard, but I can
read spontaneously only the very simplest of Lojban sentences. I
am a million miles from fluency. I am trying to test what the language
can do, rather than restrict myself to a pidginized user-friendly
subset of the language. Perhaps that sentence was hard because it
uses less familiar devices, not because of inherent difficulty - or
perhaps as time goes by it will turn out that it is indeed inherently

Jorge to Chris:
> > >This shows how limited our command of the language still is.
> > Another possibility: it shows that Lojban is capable of more
> > obfuscation than some other languages.  Perhaps a comparable sentence
> > in Latin could have been made that difficult even for a fluent
> > Latinist (since Latin like Lojban lets you thoroughly scramble word
> > order)
> Lojban is even worse than Latin in that respect. In Latin, (I don't
> really know any Latin, bit I suppose that) the cases at least give you
> some idea of what to expect, you can start forming some relation among
> the arguments from the start. With fi-fa-fus you can't do anything until
> you know the selbri, and And had it as the very last word.

(a) The only relatively unlojbanic order is V-initial (where V=selbri),
which wd actually be my favoured order (& Mark's [Culsn]); it's
disfavoured by the necessity of using {fa} for post-selbri x1.
(b) Colin Fine has used V-final a lot. And he's much more responsible than
I am.
(c) V-final is quite common among languages. In Japanese, for instance,
you get the equivalent of fa-fe-fi sumti in any order, plus final selbri.
I'm amazed that Japanese people can manage to speak it, but speak it
they do.

From: Jorge Llambias <jorge@PHYAST.PITT.EDU>
> > > I spent 5 to 10 minutes translating this jufra! What an obfuscation!
> > Well done, then. Why did you find it difficult? It's in an unfamiliar
> > style, but there isn't lots of deep subordination and tons of terminators
> > and stuff.
> All those FAs and be-beis count as tons of "stuff".
> I agree with Goran. Fi-fa-fu-Lojban is very obfuscating, especially in
> combination with jaifau-Lojban.

Is there a clear reason for that, apart from its unfamiliarity?

> {le jaifau} in your use means the same as {le nu}, but with (at
> least) three disadvantages: (1) It is longer,

One has to make sacrifices for one's principles. But if it were up to
me, I'd ditch JAI and SE and instead make FA + selbri = SE + selbri
and BAI + selbri = JAI + BAI + selbri. So you could say {le fau broda}.

> (2) the x1 of the main selbri gets kicked out to the fai-place,

So what? (And I don't see why it can't be labelled {fa} rather than

> and worse of all (3) all the arguments have to be be-bei-linked.

Well by that reasoning we ought to have a NU for every sumti.
   le nu broda koa koe kei = le jaifau broda be koa bei koe,
then let
   le fa'a'a broda koa koe kei = le broda be koa bei koe
   le fe'e'e koa broda zoe koe kei = le se broda be koa bei koe
etc. That's actually a good idea. But I don't like the event
argument being singled out for special treatment.

> > What possible advantage offsets these disadvantages?

A better match between syntax and semantics. If one didn't care
about that sort of thing then I imagine one would be less fond
of lojban.