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Re: semisummary: countability

> >> lo valsi are distributed indivudal members of the set or words.
> >
> >But must each member be a single word?
> >I< would use it that way, but then I am an English native speaker.  I can
> imagine that there could be language speakers that might do otherwise.
> The distinction seems to be realted to the masss/count noun phenomenon.

Yes. That's why I called the thread "countability".

> If the word were djacu/water and you asked me, I simply could not answer
> exactly what one unit of water would be - it could be molecules or it
> could be glassfuls, and presumably context would tell us.
> In the case of words, it seems less clear that, given a quantifier greater
> than or equal to one, and thus suggesting a count noun interpretation, that
> there is any other obvious "unit" than individual words to count.  But I
> rule out such a possibility.

Could {pa valsi} actually mean a sentence, or a text, then?

> However we have the Lojban word selci, and a convention that lujvo using it
> (as the tertanru modificand) clarifies that we are dealing with the smallest
> subunits of the concept in question which display ka broda (the relevant
> properties).  So valsyselci would unquestionably be individual words, and
> one could use gunma/girzu/porsi as the tertau to indicate larger units than
> individual words.

OK. But I'm wondering about plain {valsi/gerku/xlura} without

> >I didn't mean to be asking that. My point applies to any brivla
> >where delimitation criteria are part of the sense of the word.
> YOu mean where English speakers see them as "objects" rather than as mass
> nouns?  %^)

No, I mean where Lojban speakers see them as intrinsically bounded
individuals rather than as masses. I supposed that the English
keywords reflected the distinction.

I had assumed that it was part of the definition of {valsi} that
{pa valsi} is a single word. But perhaps this assumption is
mistaken. It certainly is not incontrovertible.

> It will have to be seen whether something as subtle as this ever breaks
> free of our English-dominated spawning of the language.

But I'd like to find out what the current situation is, and what
are the various ways it could develop. Then we could say: "O Look!
Usage seems to have chosen Option C". Or: "O Look! Usage is an
incoherent amalgam of Options A, B, C and D". Or whatever.

> We would have to
> have a language native from a language that has different mass/count noun
> groupings or which doesn't have a mass/count distinction in the
> basic word meaning, asnd see how such people tackle such things.

Chinese? Japanese?

Anyway, I'm not convinced that these speakers are going to shed
any light on the questions we're asking.