[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: your mail

la stivn. joi la pitr. cusku be di'e casnu

> > But Peter still fails to set an independent, nonsubjective criteria for
> > distinguishing hills from mountains or heaps from nonheaps. Peter seems to
> > be using the same approach Ed Meese used to define pornography, "I know it
> > when I see it." Surely language, even natlangs, can accomplish more than
> > that!
> It is certainly possible to define terms and concepts.  It's just that
> words like baldness and tallness are *already* defined.  And those
> definitions are true-false terms, which don't involve counting hairs or
> measuring inches of height.  You are either tall or not-tall.

Ahem.  This is, people, the Lojban list.  There is no Lojban gismu for
"tall"; the job is divided between "condi" (deep) and "clani" (long),
each of which has a place for "by standard".  (Why "deep"?  Because depth
and height are both vertical size, but one is measured from the top, the
other from the bottom; cf. Latin "altus mons" 'high mountain' vs. "altus
mare" 'deep sea'.)

So when you say "John is long" or "John is deep" in Lojban, you IMPLICITLY
are speaking with reference to a standard of length or depth that you may
make explicit if you will.  "Long" and "deep" are not one-place absolute

John Cowan					cowan@ccil.org
		e'osai ko sarji la lojban.