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BPFK Section: Anaphoric Pro-sumti


Eimi posts: 18 United States
Use this thread to discuss the BPFK Section: Anaphoric Pro-sumti page.


rlpowell posts: 14214

On Fri, Apr 16, 2004 at 09:57:50PM -0700, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:
> ;vo'a: The x1 of this bridi.

How about "Repeats the x1 of the bridi in which it appears"?

You'll need to talk about scope, as well. IIRC this is somewhat
controversial; check the mailing list logs.

-Robin

 



posts: 152

On Fri, Apr 16, 2004 at 10:20:45PM -0700, Robin Lee Powell wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 16, 2004 at 09:57:50PM -0700, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:
> > ;vo'a: The x1 of this bridi.
>
> How about "Repeats the x1 of the bridi in which it appears"?
>
> You'll need to talk about scope, as well. IIRC this is somewhat
> controversial; check the mailing list logs.

Sure - I was saving that for the interpretation section.

I seem to remember a general consensus that vo'? has long scope, backed
up by lots of usage.
--
Rob Speer

 



posts: 2388

In fact there is a kind of scope leaping in most languages. English has "any" (universal) and "a certain" (particular) and most other languages have the same. But English (and most other languages, I think) can also do it with something like anaphora (because some of the cases are not typical anaphora: same referent. But one that is is the "If a boy comes to the dance, all the girls will dance with him" which means (inter alia, to be sure) "For all x, if x is a boy and comes to the dance, all the girl (scl. at the dance) will dance with x" ( the alia include insisting that this holds only if exactly one boy comes — stress on the "a" — and the preselection of the boy "If a certain boy comes ..." which is the conditional with a particular rather than a universal quantifier). The universal here is the result of the context where the "a" occurs: verso — in the scope of a single negation (so a short for "any") Logics other than Pierce's existential graphs don't show this at all
well, since they read scope too early in the game,. as we might say. In fact, pierce's system would suggest that the best way to get a leaper would be just this: pick it up outside the apparently overlying scope. But it would be nice to do it in any case, just to avoid terribly twisted sentences occasionally needed to get the quantifiers right — at the cost of intelligibility.
wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:ko'a viska re nanmu goi ko'e joi ko'i

Assigning pro-sumti with quantified expressions can be tricky. If the quantifier is under the scope of another quantifier, a negation, or perhaps something else, the assigned ko'a won't make much sense outside of that scope, or else it will force the quantifier out. Example:

mi na viska re nanmu goi ko'a joi ko'e
i ko'a cu clani i ko'e cu tordu

Does that mean "It is not the case that I saw two men, ko'a and ko'e. Ko'a is tall and ko'e is short."? If it does, then {re nanmu} is gaining scope over {na}, thanks to {ko'a joi ko'e}. Otherwise the sentence is meaningless, because "It is not the case that I saw two men" does not provide any referents for ko'a and ko'e outside of the scope of {na}.

It actually migh not be a bad idea to have this possibility for scope leaping.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

 








rlpowell posts: 14214

I just had a really good idea, if I do say so myself.

vo'a == vo'a xi pa == outermost; increasing numbers work inward. vo'a xi no == current, decreasing numbers work outward.

This saves us from the rather less pleasant "le nei", and friends.

-Robin



posts: 2388

While the systems for anaphoric prosumti in
Lojban are not as bad as possible (we could for
example pick references by counting the number of
syllables since the beginning of the last
same-referring expression), they are pretty
dreadful — certainly for spoken conversation but
even for written. The problem areas are at least
two-fold, reference identification and word
individuation.

To take the latter first, prosumti tend to come
in clumps: {ko'V}, {dV}, {Cy} and so on,
differing one from another by typically one
phoneme, often a final vowel. It does not take a
very noisy channel to reduce a clump of these to
an indistinguishable mumble, at least in theory.
Considering that some effort was put into making
the nodes in gismu space as widely separate as
possible (under certain other constraints), the
cavalier dumping of prosumti is hard to figure
out (except, of course, for the bad examples set
by other constructed languages, especially logic
itself). Ease of learning is also offered as a
reason, but hardly counts for much of one, since
the gismu are meant to be learned and are far
less systematic than the prosumti. Using the
same stock of words but mixing them in different
ways, so that there are two — even three --
points of difference between two items in the
same category would have been more practical in
the end. (Of course, we then get similarlities
across categories, but that seems to be less of a
problem, since context ought often to tell what
kind of prosumti is due).

When you come across an anaphoric prosumti, how
do you know what earlier reference it repeats? In
Lojban the clues are all (with one largely
useless exception) superficial features of the
utterance stream: a count back of sumti, a
grammatical analysis of sentences with references
by placement of nodes, the initial letter of the
main word of the original referring expression,
and so on. The exception is the system of
forethought anaphorics, {ko'V}, {fo'V}, which
require foreseeing the course of a conversation
-- even a monolog — beyond what is normally
possible. And, of coure, remembering what is
assigned to what.

If we look at natural languages, we find that
anaphoric pronouns are categorized not by
featurees of the *expression* they repeat, but by
features of the *referent* of that expression:
gender and number (and randomly a few other
things) in English and most SAE languages, other
categories and number in other languages
(references to a book or books are ki- or vi- in
Swahili, following "ki/vitabu," "book/s.") Of
course, Lojban "metaphysical neutrality" (snort)
means that there are not many classes of things
overtly recognized — and no singular or plural.
Roughly, Lojban recognizes individuals, groups,
sets and maybe abstraction (of various sort).
And any given conversation is likely to be heavy
on one sort or antoher (usually thing). Dropping
back to "natural" categories (as English has to
do) would help a bit — if we decided what the
natural categories were. The SAE M/F/N helps
somewhat, but rapidly loses the accuracy which
the Lojban system — when it works — gives.

Of course, none of this grousing helps here at
all; we cannot overhaul the system or get it to
work as it stands, we can only explain how it
would work if it did (OK, does work when it
does). The rest goes into notes for LoCCan 3.

 





posts: 152

On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 12:53:16PM -0700, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:
> Re: BPFK Section: Anaphoric Pro-sumti
> I just had a really good idea, if I do say so myself.
>
> vo'a == vo'a xi pa == outermost; increasing numbers work inward. vo'a xi no == current, decreasing numbers work outward.
>
> This saves us from the rather less pleasant "le nei", and friends.

I'm confused what you mean on two counts:

  • Does that mean that the x1 of the next outer bridi ("le no'a" is what I think

I'd call it) is "vo'a xi ni'u pa"?

  • How in the world is "vo'a xi no" more pleasant than "le nei"?

 
--
Rob Speer

 



posts: 1912

 
Robin:
> vo'a == vo'a xi pa == outermost; increasing numbers work inward. vo'a xi
> no == current, decreasing numbers work outward.

Something similar was proposed by And here:
On unglorkative anaphora

mu'o mi'e xorxes

 



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rlpowell posts: 14214

On Tue, Aug 31, 2004 at 10:56:50PM -0400, Rob Speer wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 12:53:16PM -0700, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote:
> > Re: BPFK Section: Anaphoric Pro-sumti
> > I just had a really good idea, if I do say so myself.
> >
> > vo'a == vo'a xi pa == outermost; increasing numbers work inward.
> > vo'a xi no == current, decreasing numbers work outward.
> >
> > This saves us from the rather less pleasant "le nei", and
> > friends.
>
> I'm confused what you mean on two counts:
>
> * Does that mean that the x1 of the next outer bridi ("le no'a" is
> what I think I'd call it) is "vo'a xi ni'u pa"?

Either is fine, but yes.

> * How in the world is "vo'a xi no" more pleasant than "le nei"?

It's not, but no-one knows whether, in

mi broda le nu do brode le nei

"le nei" == "mi" or "do".

-Robin

--
http://www.digitalkingdom.org/~rlpowell/ *** http://www.lojban.org/
Reason #237 To Learn Lojban: "Homonyms: Their Grate!"
Proud Supporter of the Singularity Institute - http://singinst.org

 



posts: 1912

 


> > > I just had a really good idea, if I do say so myself.
> > >
> > > vo'a == vo'a xi pa == outermost; increasing numbers work inward.
> > > vo'a xi no == current, decreasing numbers work outward.

Another (more logical?) possibility is
xi no, xi pa, xi re... in one direction and
xi ro (=xi da'a no), xi da'a pa, xi da'a re ... in the other.
It takes the same number of syllables.

{xino} makes a nicer default.

I think "outermost" can be well defined, but what exactly
counts as "current"? For example, in:

broda lo brode be vo'axiro

Can {brode} count as the "current" selbri?

How about {lo brode pe vo'a xiro} vs. {lo brode ku
pe vo'a xiro}? Does the fact that the sumti is still
open or already closed make any difference when
attaching a {pe}?

I suppose that sumti in different subordinate branches
are inaccessible. For example, in
{ko'a noi ko'e broda cu brode lo nu ??? brodi}
there is no way to refer to the position where ko'e is
with these creatures.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

 


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