On the symmetric goi story (given in Woldy), ko'a goi la djan is equivalent to la djan goi ko'a,
and goi does nothing more than indicate coreference between its arguments.
- No, it defines one of its arguments to be equal to the other.
- The most that can be said to justify that "No" is that goi indicates nothing more than indicate coreference between its arguments but does not *claim* coreference; i.e. it is not truthconditional and so is de facto defining if exactly one of its arguments is referentless. Since it has now been proposed that referentlessness can be indicated by da'o, the need for asymmetric goi disappears, and hence I shall move this page to the Dead in the Arse list. --And
I reject symmetric goi because:
- Even if ko'a has already been assigned a meaning, you may want to reassign a different meaning to ko'a You do that by unassigning ko'a first.
- You may want to assign the name la djan to something regardless of whether anything else in the world of discourse could plausibly bear that name. From the hearer's perspective, the hearer has no way of knowing whether to treat the name as simply a label assigned to ko'a, or whether to set off round the universe of discourse in search of a plausible referent for la djan and then assign that referent to ko'a. Not true. It there is no known djan then djan means ko'a, if there is no known ko'a then ko'a means djan. If both are known, it asserts that they are one and the same. see GOI
- symmetric goi = no'u Is no'u really any different from po'u? Just wondering.
Instead, I think that la djan goi ko'a should assign the referent of la djan to ko'a and ko'a goi la djan should assign the referent of ko'a to la djan.
I'd be cool with the assigning of a new value by goi to something that already has a value be a Gricean Relevance effect: "hang on, this assignment makes no sense. Oh, it must be a reassignment then." This follows my ideology of Gricean Relevance as a cure to all of Lojban's ills. — nitcion.
(I think of "symmetric goi" as having an arrow pointing to ko'a whichever side it's on; ko'agoi being standard and goiko'a being sort of like the co-form of it.)
For whatever it's worth, I have never seen a real case of confusion. I have only read idle English theorizing.
I think that the method I outline here is sufficient for unambiguity by cooperative speakers.
- goi is symmetric (ko'a goi A = A goi ko'a)
- goi always assigns ko'a to a referent. (It does not discuss facts about a ko'a, even if that ko'a was already given a value.) (If ko'a was previously assigned, it is hereby reassigned.)
- Use no'u if you want to discuss an already assigned ko'a without reassigning it.
- If you want to be understood, you will not use goi without ko'a, and you will not use ko'a no'u with a ko'a that has not been assigned!