# WikiDiscuss

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## BPFK Section: Distance

Use this thread to discuss the BPFK Section: Distance page.

Not directly on the issue but related: does Lojban have the means to combine a number of parameters into a single sumti? For some of the uses of distance cmavo as sumti tcita, the natural sumti has to be a number of points: 10 in the case of spatio-temporals, down to 2 for one-dimensionals. To be sure, we usually have a shorthand, "Europe in the 20s" say or "Route 66," but do we have a device for the general case, for 48:12:52N x 140:15:37E and all the multiples of that sort of thing?

pc:
> Not directly on the issue but related: does Lojban have the means to combine
> a number of parameters into a single sumti?

One means is non-logical connectives:

A joi B the mass with components A and B
A ce B the set with elements A and B
A ce'o B the sequence with elements A and B in order
A sece'o B the sequence with elements B and A in order
A jo'u B A and B considered jointly
A fa'u B A and B respectively
A sefa'u B B and A respectively
A jo'e B the union of sets A and B
A ku'a B the intersection of sets A and B
A pi'u B the cross product of sets A and B
A sepi'u B the cross product of sets B and A

(And I think there's an additional unspecified connective missing
from this list from CLL. {ju'e}?)

> For some of the uses of distance
> cmavo as sumti tcita, the natural sumti has to be a number of points: 10 in
> the case of spatio-temporals, down to 2 for one-dimensionals. To be sure, we
> usually have a shorthand, "Europe in the 20s" say or "Route 66," but do we
> have a device for the general case, for 48:12:52N x 140:15:37E and all the
> multiples of that sort of thing?

Maybe something along the lines of:
{tu'i li 48pi'e12pi'e52 poi berti ku'a li 140pi'e15pi'e37 poi stuna}

But I don't think we have devised a general convention yet.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

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I'm a bit worried about throwing away the "at or a short distance from" reading of vi, because this has so much usage. In fact, I'm not even sure how to say "near the tree" besides "vi le tricu".

Even other VI/ZI cmavo can take the point of origin as an argument, such as "puza le nu spoja" = "a while before the explosion".

I agree that there needs to be a way to specify the distance, but I don't think VI/ZI is it.

On Thu, Jul 08, 2004 at 11:06:26AM -0700, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:
> I'm a bit worried about throwing away the "at or a short distance
> from" reading of vi, because this has so much usage. In fact, I'm not
> even sure how to say "near the tree" besides "vi le tricu".
>
> Even other VI/ZI cmavo can take the point of origin as an argument,
> such as "puza le nu spoja" = "a while before the explosion".
>
> I agree that there needs to be a way to specify the distance, but I
> don't think VI/ZI is it.

Thanks.

-Robin

> I'm a bit worried about throwing away the "at or a short distance from"
> reading of vi, because this has so much usage. In fact, I'm not even sure how
> to say "near the tree" besides "vi le tricu".

{ki le tricu viku}, {ne'a le tricu}, etc.

Most of the use of {vi} is for "at" though, not for "a short distance from",
so {bu'u} would be the usual replacement.

> Even other VI/ZI cmavo can take the point of origin as an argument, such as
> "puza le nu spoja" = "a while before the explosion".

{pu le nu spoja zaku} = "a while before the explosion".
{pu le nu spoja za lo cacra} = "an hour before the explosion".

> I agree that there needs to be a way to specify the distance, but I don't
> think VI/ZI is it.

That's the most natural place for it, in my opinion.

One possibility would be to let {vi} keep the "bu'u/ne'a" meaning
as an exception, just to preserve usage. The others are hardly used
as sumti tcita.

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{vi} or something very like it has been used since about 1960 Loglan. The institutional memory on it is very stong — to the point where I wonder why {bu'u} got created at all. Philosophically, there is not "real" distinction between here and near here and between that and there — they are all fuzzy values of highly variable curvature. In a given context they sort things out but none has fundamental status, alway relative to a context. And as Mad Ludwig sorta said "You can't tell a person to stand exactly here" (as opposed to nearly here).
Jorge Llambías wrote:--- wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:
> I'm a bit worried about throwing away the "at or a short distance from"
> reading of vi, because this has so much usage. In fact, I'm not even sure how
> to say "near the tree" besides "vi le tricu".

{ki le tricu viku}, {ne'a le tricu}, etc.

Most of the use of {vi} is for "at" though, not for "a short distance from",
so {bu'u} would be the usual replacement.

> Even other VI/ZI cmavo can take the point of origin as an argument, such as
> "puza le nu spoja" = "a while before the explosion".

{pu le nu spoja zaku} = "a while before the explosion".
{pu le nu spoja za lo cacra} = "an hour before the explosion".

> I agree that there needs to be a way to specify the distance, but I don't
> think VI/ZI is it.

That's the most natural place for it, in my opinion.

One possibility would be to let {vi} keep the "bu'u/ne'a" meaning
as an exception, just to preserve usage. The others are hardly used
as sumti tcita.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

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pc:
> {vi} or something very like it has been used since about 1960 Loglan. The
> institutional memory on it is very stong — to the point where I wonder why
> {bu'u} got created at all.

Probably because the pattern:

pu - ca - ba - zi - za - zu
ca'u - ??? - ti'a - vi - va - vu

(or any other appropriate pairs instead of ca'u-ti'a for space)
was too strong to resist.

> Philosophically, there is not "real" distinction
> between here and near here and between that and there — they are all fuzzy
> values of highly variable curvature.

Even though {va} originally meant "there at...", it no
longer means that anyway. It still works for "there", but not when
tagging a sumti.

In a given context they sort things out
> but none has fundamental status, alway relative to a context. And as Mad
> Ludwig sorta said "You can't tell a person to stand exactly here" (as opposed
> to nearly here).

And you can't tell a person to speak exactly now (as opposed to nearly
now) either.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

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On Thu, Jul 08, 2004 at 11:11:12AM -0700, Robin Lee Powell wrote:
>
> Thanks.

Whoops. That was me.
--
Rob Speer

> {pu le nu spoja zaku} = "a while before the explosion".
> {pu le nu spoja za lo cacra} = "an hour before the explosion".

I suppose that keeping {vi} with its current meaning (and I'd prefer doing the same with {zi} for consistency) would be fairly acceptable. Then, the need for {zaku} could be avoided just by reversing the tenses:
{zapu le nu spoja}.

-- Rob

Rob:
> I suppose that keeping {vi} with its current meaning (and I'd prefer doing
> the same with {zi} for consistency) would be fairly acceptable.

The disadvantage is that we would lose the direct way of saying
"just two miles away", "only an hour before the explosion", etc.

What I'd rather do is allow {vi} as an abbreviation for {vibu'u}
when context makes it clear that that is what is meant.

{vibu'u}, {vabu'u} and {vubu'u} are "here at...", "there at...",
"yonder at...", the original meanings of {vi}, {va}, {vu} as
sumti tcita (but not CLL's). "Here", "there", and "yonder" are in
principle with respect to the speaker, but they can also be with
respect to another reference point.

> Then, the
> need for {zaku} could be avoided just by reversing the tenses:
> {zapu le nu spoja}.

{zapu} is defined as "in the past of some time away from now/reference".
Not a strikingly useful thing, but that's the definition.

In any case, we don't have any official position on the interpretation
of compound tenses as sumti tcita. The two most obvious possibilities
are that the sumti goes with the first component of the compound or
with the last one. Generally I think I've assumed it goes with the
last component.

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(Apologies if this shows up twice, it seemed to disappear as soon as I submitted it.)

If it's decided that we need/want a place to mark a distance, would it be at all possible to treat ZI/VA more like BAI, and add place tags to it? That is, {vu} would preserve its current meaning of "A long way from" while {sevu} would mark the (long) distance. We could even use {tevu} for the old "yonder at" meaning. That way we preserve the existing usage of VA and ZI, while adding the ability to give the actual distance using new forms. It would require a change to the grammar, but it seems reasonable to me.

--

> If it's decided that we need/want a place to mark a distance, would it be at
> all possible to treat ZI/VA more like BAI, and add place tags to it?

That's what I propose here:

Internal grammar of tags.

> That
> is, {vu} would preserve its current meaning of "A long way from" while {sevu}
> would mark the (long) distance. We could even use {tevu} for the old "yonder
> at" meaning.

That would correspond to an underlying selbri such as:
"x1 is the reference point a distance x2 from x3 where x4 occurs".

My current proposal gives the underlying selbri as:
"x1 is the distance between x2 and x3".

This does not let you use {tevu} for "yonder at...", but
"yonder at..." is simply {vubu'u}, so the additional place
is not really needed.

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On Sat, Jul 10, 2004 at 07:40:59AM -0700, Jorge Llamb?as wrote:
> Rob:
> > I suppose that keeping {vi} with its current meaning (and I'd
> > prefer doing the same with {zi} for consistency) would be fairly
> > acceptable.
>
> The disadvantage is that we would lose the direct way of saying
> "just two miles away", "only an hour before the explosion", etc.
>
> What I'd rather do is allow {vi} as an abbreviation for {vibu'u}
> when context makes it clear that that is what is meant.

I'd rather keep CLL {vi} and have a combo for your meaning. By
"rather" I mean "will fight tooth and nail".

-Robin

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