Refgramm, p. 203:
- la frank. nelci la betis. ne semau la meiris.
- la frank. nelci la meiris. ne seme'a la betis.
maybe i'm misunderstanding something, or i'm simply naive, but what is wrong with la frank nelci la meris noi zmadu la betis? --jay
The answer is, as you'd expect, a question: zmadu fi ma? But back when this kind of calque was being come up with (ca. 1990), ce'u was not even a twinkle in Adam Raizen's eye. Our modern technology allows:
- la frank nelci la betis. noi zmadu la meris. leni la frank. nelci ce'u
And of course, you can just cut out the middleman and end up with
- la betis. zmadu la meris. leni la frank. nelci ce'u
Which is so forehead-slappingly better, you've gotta wonder why it's taken so long for anyone to realise it... — nitcion
maybe it just needed some sleep-deprivation to inspire it? (or have you already relocated to .au such that you've been in a same time zone for the past few hours while this exchange occured?) --jay Guilty as charged! And it's not like I haven't got the etymology of Boosalis to be researching... (For the record: 5:57 AM Pacific Time, 6:57 AM Mountain Time)
- Clarification: Lojbab protests that I had said pretty much that, without the ce'u, in 1992. Not the point: back then, we didn't have ce'u, to disambiguate who was less than who, which is why the nemau-construction exists in the first place. So I what I said back then using leni was a context-dependent mess. — nitcion.
la frank nelci la meris noi zmadu la betis is the type of sentence which inspires using zmanei for prefer.
- la frank. nelci la betis. xe'e semau la meiris.
The semau/seme'a construction I'm now quite sure cannot work with be. Look at it, and be very, very afraid. (Actually, rather, be relieved this hasn't gone into general use.) Then, come up with the Lojban for "Frank likes Mary better than [he likes] Betty" without seme'a — and if you do, please post it under How To Say it in Lojban! — nitcion
I avoid semau and seme'a because I find their reversed meanings a little clumsly. So far I have been able to use zmadu as a main selbri and as a tanru or lujvo piece, and never had to deal with those 2 modals. --xod
I don't think that there's a question that all uses of mau and me'a can be paraphrased with zmadu or mleca as the main selbri, but often it gives constructions whose main selbri is very different from the conceptually most significant selbri.
True. Still, it's my impression most Lojbanists do avoid it, because of its whiff of ka malrarbau (see below.) — nitcion.
.i zo mau zo'u rarbausmi jume'abo sarcu