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methods of resolving mismatches between place structures and number of overt sumti


On Apr 5, 2005 1:09 PM, John E Clifford wrote:
> A bit more systematically, when a blank is
> challenged, the speaker — who probably left it
> blank witout thinking about it, maybe even with
> realizing there was a place to fill — should
> consider these questions and answer accordingly.

In my view, we must distinguish two situations:
1) The speaker is an ideal fluent speaker with full
command of the language.
2) The speaker is a current less than fluent speaker
with struggling command of the language.

I don't dispute that your recipee probably applies for 2.
But a fluent speaker with full command of the langusge
will not leave a blank without realizing there was a place
to fill. If fluent speakers do that, then in fact there is no
such place to fill: the predicate has lost that place if it ever
had it. Of course even fluent speakers will sometimes
misuse a word, but in that case when challenged they
will retract the word and replace it with a more appropriate
one, maybe even replace {broda} with {broda be zi'o}, but
knowing that in that case {broda} by itself was inappropriate.

Let me illustrate with an example. {jbena} in the gi'uste is
defined as:

x1 is born to x2 at time x3 birthday and place x4 birthplace;

Someone who has not incorporated the full place structure
might naively say something like: {le mi selfamti pu jbena
ca le prulamdei} intending to say "my niece/nephew was born
yesterday". But taking the place structure of {jbena} seriously,
the tenses there make very little sense. If the niece/nephew was
born on April 4, 2005, that fact was true yesterday, it is true
today and will be true at any other time. So:

le selfamti cu jbena fi li 2005;04;04 ca le prulamdei
le selfamti cu jbena fi li 2005;04;04 ca le cabdei
le selfamti cu jbena fi li 2005;04;04 ca le bavlamdei
le selfamti cu jbena fi li 2005;04;04 ze'e ku

The tense gives no useful information to someone who takes
the place structure seriously. Of course what was meant was
to use some other predicate that refers to the act of birth, which
did happen yesterday and not today or tomorrow, and not to
some abstract relationship between two people, a date and
a place. {jbena} is bloated. Without an x3 and x4 it would be
a more useful relationship, that could be used for the actual act
of birth (and also tagged with a date {de'i} or site {tu'i} if so
desired.)

A fluent speaker that accepts {jbena} to have four places
will simply not say {le mi selfamti pu jbena ca le prulamdei}.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

 


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