# RE: indirect questions

19 views

### reci...@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca

Dec 12, 1999, 7:41:43 PM12/12/99
to

la .and pu ciske di'e

> Snags include
>
> 1. It just passes the problem, raising the question of the logical
> structure of "x is answer to question y".

I was going to respond to that, but then I thought too much and got a

> 2. And anyway, it doesn't work:
> "Johns wonders who came"
> "John wonders about the answer to the question 'Who came?' ."
> The answer to the question is Jane (or "Jane")
>
> ergo
>
>
> -- not a desirable inference.

One wonders whether a kau in a predicate like "kucli" has different
semantics than one somewhere else. Most other indirect questions can,
after all, be rewritten in the way BestATN suggests, regardless of whether
it helps.

co'omi'e xarmuj.

### John Cowan

Dec 12, 1999, 3:06:17 PM12/12/99
to
Bes...@aol.com scripsit:

> For "John knows who came", why not transform it to
> "John knows the answer to the question 'Who came?' ?"
[snip]
> Why doesn't this work?

Because you can't quantify into quotations. A sentence like
"For every sheriff, John wonders who shot him" can't be translated
as you suggest.

--
John Cowan co...@ccil.org
I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

### And Rosta

Dec 12, 1999, 3:41:31 PM12/12/99
to
> From: Bes...@aol.com

>
> For "John knows who came", why not transform it to
> "John knows the answer to the question 'Who came?' ?" and use
> something like
> la djan. djuno le danfu be lu ma klama
>
> The equivalent transformation for
> "Johns wonders who came" might be
> "John wonders what the answer to the question 'Who came?' is." or
> "John wonders about the answer to the question 'Who came?' ."
> la djan. kucli le danfu be lu ma klama
>
> No logic is involved, no kau, just simple transformations.

>
> Why doesn't this work?

Snags include

1. It just passes the problem, raising the question of the logical
structure of "x is answer to question y".

2. And anyway, it doesn't work:

"Johns wonders who came"
The answer to the question is Jane (or "Jane")

ergo

-- not a desirable inference.

--And.

### Bes...@aol.com

Dec 11, 1999, 6:22:07 PM12/11/99
to
For "John knows who came", why not transform it to
"John knows the answer to the question 'Who came?' ?" and use something like
la djan. djuno le danfu be lu ma klama

The equivalent transformation for
"Johns wonders who came" might be
"John wonders what the answer to the question 'Who came?' is." or
la djan. kucli le danfu be lu ma klama

No logic is involved, no kau, just simple transformations.

Why doesn't this work?

Steven

### Py...@aol.com

Dec 12, 1999, 8:38:55 PM12/12/99
to
The transformation of an indirect question into someting about the answer to
a direct question won't work because the knower/wonderer/whatever may have no
attitude toward/understanding of the direct question involved. If John is a
monlingual speaker of Chinese, he knows nothing of "Who went to the party?,"
an English question, and so doesn't even wonder about its answer. There are
ways to solve this problem, which, however, generate new problems of a
similar but increasing complex sort, leading to an eternal regress of
languages.
pc