ka'enai

4 views
Skip to first unread message

Nick Nicholas

unread,
Oct 10, 2002, 10:51:00 PM10/10/02
to loj...@yahoogroups.com
cu'u la djorden.

>>Changing CAhA to allow
>>NAI deliberately is (a few) *people* deciding, not usage deciding.
>>So CAhA+NAI remains bad grammar (what's so bad about saying "na'eka'e"
>>anyway) for now (I suppose after the baseline CAhA+NAI may be
>>adopted).

cu'u la xorxes.

>There is nothing bad about NAhE+KAhE. There is nothing bad about
>KAhE+NAI either. When Lojban forbids some potential form, it is
>usually because allowing it would cause ambiguity. In this case,
>there is no reason for the rule, so the only possible argument
>against using it is that the baseline does not contemplate it. A
>very lame argument for some.

Allow me to equivocate.

(1) Humans impose patterns on grammars. If you've been told that CAhA
is a tense as much as pu and fa'a; if you've seen that every single
other tense has NAI; if you see no logical reason why you wouldn't
say CAhA NAI, then of course you'll say CAhA NAI. I did. I probably
still do. I don't remember being corrected. If I was, I may have just
said "dumb rule", and gone about my business, because I may not have
realised it was fixable (see And's email.) I don't remember, and
right now, don't really care.

The reason for the asymmetry between CAhA and all the other rules
seems to me simple: it was forgotten. I'm willing to be corrected on
this.

And it's counterintuitive, and arbitrary, and people will not do it.
It has to be pointed out to people that CAhA NAI is wrong; the
natural assumption is that the grammar is internally consistent, and
that it is right, and CAhA behaves like all other tenses.
Particularly as noone's ever given a good reason why it shouldn't
(have they?) People don't come to Lojban to have to learn exceptions.
People will not learn 1500 rules when they can learn 500 and
generalise. Like, duh.

The baseline was dumb on this point; but we'd been told all the while
that stability was the thing, and noone seems to have cottoned on to
this. My suspicion is, I never even realised CAhA NAI was
ungrammatical. I think this exception is so criminally negligent, the
person responsible should be pilloried. And I agree with And that,
while there was piecemeal revision in the early '90s, there wasn't
ever the sense of "now we're throwing everything open for review".
There was a strong sense that even back then, existing usage
constrained things. There were a *lot* of rafsi reassignments that I
myself rejected as forcing too much relearning.

But...

(2) It's too late. The grammar is stuck. I think this rule is wrong,
and on this particular issue, I'm happy for people to use {ka'enai}
in real life. Because the rule is dumb. But in official LLG, such as
will be taught in lessons and published in LLG-approved texts, the
baseline must be adhered to for the foreseeable future. And I expect
fundamentalists to use {na'eka'e}.

(And it is possible to be a fundamentalist on most issues, and be
rankled by one or two.)

Furthermore, if fixes are proposed as techfixes to the grammar (which
we haven't talked about, but seems unlikely), things would have to be
really broken; as in, ambiguous. I don't think {ka'enai} passes that
bar, since NAhE CAhA is, after all, possible.

So I agree with And on this particular issue. The rule was dumb, but
we're stuck with it, and we need a baseline. I'm happy to see it go,
it won't go just yet, but I'd like for it to be possible to go one
day. So I'm happy for it to be 'subverted', in that individuals keep
saying {ka'enai}. (Try and stop them.) But there must be a Lojban
standard, and currently {ka'enai} is alien to that standard.

--
**** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****
* Dr Nick Nicholas, Linguistics/French & Italian ni...@unimelb.edu.au *
University of Melbourne, Australia http://www.opoudjis.net
* "Eschewing obfuscatory verbosity of locutional rendering, the *
circumscriptional appelations are excised." --- W. Mann & S. Thompson,
* _Rhetorical Structure Theory: A Theory of Text Organisation_, 1987. *
**** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****

Jordan DeLong

unread,
Oct 10, 2002, 11:59:30 PM10/10/02
to lojba...@lojban.org
On Fri, Oct 11, 2002 at 12:51:00PM +1000, Nick Nicholas wrote:
[...]

> Allow me to equivocate.
>
> (1) Humans impose patterns on grammars. If you've been told that CAhA
> is a tense as much as pu and fa'a; if you've seen that every single
> other tense has NAI; if you see no logical reason why you wouldn't
> say CAhA NAI, then of course you'll say CAhA NAI. I did.

But CAhA *isn't* actually the same as all other tenses. And neither
is fa'a the same as pu. You can't say "puzifa'abaca'apu". ca'a
*must* be at the end of the string of words in simple-tense-modal.
There are rules about where all the different tense-type words can
go as well.

VA and ZA and ZE'A can't take NAI either. I don't think this was
something which was simply forgotten. But it is nonimportant anyway:
it's better to have an imperfect language than no language at all.
Stability is neccesary.

--
Jordan DeLong - frac...@allusion.net
lu zo'o loi censa bakni cu terzba le zaltapla poi xagrai li'u
sei la mark. tuen. cusku

John Cowan

unread,
Oct 10, 2002, 11:35:43 PM10/10/02
to Nick Nicholas, loj...@yahoogroups.com
Nick Nicholas scripsit:
> To unsubscribe, send mail to lojban-un...@onelist.com
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>


--
One art / There is John Cowan <jco...@reutershealth.com>
No less / No more http://www.reutershealth.com
All things / To do http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
With sparks / Galore -- Douglas Hofstadter

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-->
Plan to Sell a Home?
http://us.click.yahoo.com/J2SnNA/y.lEAA/MVfIAA/GSaulB/TM
---------------------------------------------------------------------~->

To unsubscribe, send mail to lojban-un...@onelist.com

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages