[lojban] A (rather long) discussion of {all}

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Alex Martini

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May 13, 2006, 1:06:29 PM5/13/06
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It seems that part of the problem in the {lo}/{le} discussion revolves
around the behavior of {all} / {ro}. I'm going to define a few terms,
work through a dialogue, and then end with some general discussion
about {all}.

The terms {context} and {setting} are normally near synonyms. According
to the Oxford American Dictionary, here are their definitions:

context: noun the circumstances that form the setting for an
event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully
understood and assessed : the decision was taken within the context of
planned cuts in spending.

* the parts of something written or spoken
that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and
clarify its
meaning : word processing is affected by the context in which
words
appear.

setting: noun
1 the place or type of surroundings where something is positioned or
where an event takes place : cozy waterfront cottage in a peaceful
country setting.

* the place and time at which a play, novel, or film
is represented as happening : short stories with a contemporary
setting.
* a piece of metal in which a precious stone or gem is fixed
to form a piece of jewelry.
* a piece of vocal or choral music composed for particular words : a
setting of Yevtushenko's bleak poem. � short for place setting .

2 a speed, height, or temperature at which a machine or device
can be
adjusted to operate : if you find the room getting too hot, check
the thermostat setting.

For this discussion, I will use context specifically to refer to the
_spoken_ context into which the {all} is placed. This includes all of
the discourse prior to the {all}, the rest of the sentence after the
{all}, and possibly what the listener anticipates.

For this discussion, I will use setting specifically to refer to the
physical location, and the common ideas between the listener and speaker
The setting is common between the speaker and listener. The context is
set by the speaker and understood by the listener.

Here is the example dialogue from which I will pull:

A and B are sitting at a table in a garden. On the table is a generic
board game involving the use of small round stones. On the ground are
assorted large stones that are decorationally arranged in the garden.
There are two bags with stones in them on the table, a black bag and a
white bag. The stones on the table and in the bags are individually
either black or white. A has just won the game, and they are putting the
game away.

(1) A: Put all the black stones in the black bag, and all the white
ones in
the white bag.

(2) B: Just because you made all the captures doesn't mean that you
have to
tell me what to do.

(3) A: (joking) No, but the fact that I won all three games does.

(4) B: I think that's all the stones now. Let's go inside and eat lunch.

(5) A: Good idea. Watch out for all the stones that are along the path
that you don't trip.

In sentence 1, {all the black stones} refers to all of the black stones
that are on the table. A is not referring to any of the black garden
stones. This is apparent to B because the garden stones would not fit in
the bag, so this proposition would be silly. It also doesn't refer to
the white/black stones that are already in the bag. From here on {all
stones} will be assumed to mean {all of the black or white stones that
we just were talking about putting in the bag}. If A or B want to change
what {all stones} refers to, they will have to use a restrictive clause
with {all} or specify something about the stones to expand the
current meaning of {all}.

Sentence 2, {all} refers to all from this game. This is apparent to A
through setting. If B wanted to expand the usage of {all games we have
ever played or will play} he must say so. Here, without the setting,
context is not clear as to {all from this just finished game} versus
{all from every past finished game}. Only setting makes the difference
between these two.

Sentence 3, {all} here is used with a number. The phrase {all games}
would normally refer to every past game, so A must use {all three} to
restrict {all} to only the games he means to say that he has won. If A
says {I won all the games} then it is less clear to B what A means,
and B
will probably answer {All which games?}.

Sentence 4, here {all} refers back to the meaning set up by sentence 1.
Note that it does not include the garden stones. If A or B wanted to
talk about the garden stones in this context and setting, they need to
expand the scope of {all} to {all the stones, including the garden
stones} or replace the scope of {all} with {all the garden stones}.

Sentence 5, {all} is used with a restrictive clause to change its scope
here. Up to this point, {all stones} referred to the definition from
sentence one. However, since none of those stones are garden stones, the
restrictive clause forces a new scope on {all}. From now on, {all
stones}
means {all the stones that are decorating the path in the garden}.

In general, we can see the most of the definition of {all} is determined
by what was being discussed. We can therefore say that the scope of
{all} is determined by setting, and that the speaker adjusts this to
meet his intended meaning by context.

Another way to look at it is to walk through the process of finding what
{all} refers to in a context and setting. Since I'm a programmer, I'm
going to write out a sort of human program to illustrate this.

- Make a list of things in the setting. Call it The List.
- Examine the context for restrictive phrases. Cross off from the list
any things that do not satisfy the phrase. (all x that y)
- Examine the context for modifiers and cross off from the list any
things that don't meet the requirement (all x of type y)
- Examine the context and cross off lightly any things that don't make
sense. (i.e. put all the stones in the bag -> all the stones not
already
in the bag)
- If this gives a satisfactory scope for {all}, done. Otherwise, ask the
speaker about the things you lightly crossed off or the things
initially crossed off, depending on which is more plausible.

As you can see, there's quite a bit of work going on 'under the hood'
here in order for the speaker to use {all} in a way that the listener
will understand to mean the same thing. The biggest part is
plausibility; the listener simply ignores any situations that the
speaker
probably didn't mean based on context and setting.

To apply this to {ro} in Lojban, most everything still applies. To my
understanding, {ro} means {all x, as determined by plausibility,
context, and setting}. If the speaker wants to change the scope of {ro},
then he needs to use restrictive clause(s) and/or modifier(s) to force
{ro} into a different meaning.

mo'umi'e .aleks.


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John E Clifford

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May 13, 2006, 6:00:44 PM5/13/06
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Thid sounds about right, if a bit more formal tha
strictly plausible. But it does not answer what
has become for me the leading questions: what
does Maxim think is wrong with this and what does
he propose in its place. I was sure he had
something but every case he gives seems to me to
be just the same old stuff (pretty much as laid
out here)and what is wrong with it is just that
it may fail, as may the cases he proposes as
better (since they are just these same old
cases). Can someone clear this up for me?

=== message truncated ===

Maxim Katcharov

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May 13, 2006, 10:38:34 PM5/13/06
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On 5/13/06, Alex Martini <ale...@umich.edu> wrote:
> [...]

This is a good discussion of the subject. I'd like to expand on it in
a way that could shed some light on what I'm arguing regarding the
subject of {ro}/all. I'll use "context" and "setting" as they have
been defined.

When people speak, a referent is always involved. The referent could
be a number of things, it could be a single thing. Sometimes the
referent is not physical: "the concept of a bear...", "that word",
"that thought". Sometimes the number is very large: "all of
everything", "all bears(ever)". Sometimes it is very small - singular
even: "those bears", "me", "that cage".

A referent can be seen as "something that can be restricted to". A
restriction is the chopping off of all things such-that-aren't-X, and
leaving an antecedent that presents such-that-are-X. If you've chopped
off everything that isn't and are left with only your referent, then
the restriction is complete. Most of the time, people will make
incomplete restrictions - restrictions that nudge the listener towards
what is meant, but are missing some further restrictions that would
make them complete. The listener must determine what these missing
restrictions are based on context. Let's consider the same examples
previously given:

(1) A: Put all the black stones in the black bag, and all the white
ones in the white bag.
(2) B: Just because you made all the captures doesn't mean that you
have to tell me what to do.
(3) A: (joking) No, but the fact that I won all three games does.
(4) B: I think that's all the stones now. Let's go inside and eat lunch.
(5) A: Good idea. Watch out for all the stones that are along the path
that you don't trip.

Now, let's take the antecedents out of the context (but not out of the
setting). The given antecedents on the left (a), and those that would
restrict completely on the right (b):

1: all the black stones, all the white stones -- all black stones that
are now on this table, [same for white]
2: all the captures -- all the captures related to that last game
3: all three games -- all three just-previous games (or all games today?)
4: all the stones -- all stones related to that last game
5: all the stones that are along the path -- all stones that are along
this path (now?)

We see that the given antecedents (left) are not restricted
completely, except for perhaps 5a. Notice that of these given
antecedents, the only one that gives the proper indication of what the
referent is is 5a (unless we mean stones that are on the path /now/).
However, when reading the complete restrictions on the right, we know
exactly what the referents are, and they're exactly the referents
intended. It really isn't a difficult job to restrict your antecedents
completely, as we see here. Also of note is how the listener of the
full sentences (containing _a) above would fill in the remaining
restrictions, exactly as they are given on the right (_b), based on
context - for example, for 1a, the listener would fill in based on
context "...that are now on this table".

When you've given a completely-restricted antecedent (as I have on the
right), it's a good idea to let your listener know this, or they might
very well assume that context might need to be used to restrict
further (as it usually would).

English lets the listener know that the restriction is complete with
an emphasis on "all", or with additional explanations.

Now, an explanation of how all this currently applies to Lojban.

{L_ cribe} is a restriction to bears. {L_ cribe poi bajra} is a
restriction to bears and runners. Adding an {nau} restricts it to the
most immediate space and time, and so on.

Adding an explicit number into the inner quantifier will let the
listener know that the should restrict down to that number. {L_ pa
cribe} hints that the number of referents is one.

Now, when we say {L_ cribe} (blank inner) we leave the user to
restrict using context. The listener will pick out the most applicable
referents.

The current interpretation of {L_ ro cribe} is that it refers to all
relevant bears.

The current interpretation of {L_ su'o cribe} is that it refers to
some relevant bears.

What's the difference between {L_ cribe} and {L_ ro cribe}? There
isn't any practical difference. In the former, it is said "we don't
say anything about the number", in the latter "all those that are
relevant". These are two perspectives on (or parts of) the same
underlying principle: "Listener, we're not giving you a
number-restriction, so just use context to guess what the referent
is".

Lojban seems to have one way to signal that the restrictions are
complete: with additional explanations. I say "seems to" because this
is what has been told to me.

I find this more than strange. {ro}, being synonymous with a blank
inner quantifier is readily available (and perhaps may have been
intended) to serve as the marker that the restriction is complete and
that the listener shouldn't add any other restrictions using context.
Perhaps it served this function, and was confused to mean some
assertion regarding how many there really are in existence right now?
I don't know.

The definitions that make sense to me are:

{L_ ro cribe} - *all* such that are bears
{L_ su'o cribe} - some relevant bears
{L_ cribe} - the most contextually sensible number of relevant bears

(For the last one, I don't say "all relevant bears" because the given
definition is enough - the word "all" would not clarify it, and would
probably make it worse.)

I invite comments.

John E Clifford

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May 14, 2006, 10:11:12 AM5/14/06
to lojba...@lojban.org
Thanks. Having this all together in one place
does make the issue clearer.

--- Maxim Katcharov <maxim.k...@gmail.com>
wrote:

I'm not sure why a referent needs to be gotten by
restriction rather than by buiding up: starting
from a blank we add on qualities until we hve an
adequate represssntation of what is intended. I
don't say that this opposite approach makes any
significant difference in the result, just that
the chopping away idiom is not forced by what
actually occurs.



> (1) A: Put all the black stones in the black
> bag, and all the white
> ones in the white bag.
> (2) B: Just because you made all the captures
> doesn't mean that you
> have to tell me what to do.
> (3) A: (joking) No, but the fact that I won all
> three games does.
> (4) B: I think that's all the stones now. Let's
> go inside and eat lunch.
> (5) A: Good idea. Watch out for all the stones
> that are along the path
> that you don't trip.
>
> Now, let's take the antecedents out of the
> context (but not out of the
> setting). The given antecedents on the left
> (a), and those that would
> restrict completely on the right (b):
>
> 1: all the black stones, all the white stones
> -- all black stones that
> are now on this table, [same for white]

and are not already in the bag on the table. and
we mean only the game stones, not other stones
that are incidentally on the table. And by
"black" we mean the darker grays as opposed to
the distinctly lighter grays. And so on forever.

> 2: all the captures -- all the captures related
> to that last game

That is, actually occurring in the last game and
made in accordance with the rules of that game
...

> 3: all three games -- all three just-previous
> games (or all games today?)

Well, some unspecified (as noted) three games
with no other games of this sort between any two
of them and ending with the one just finished.
The time span involved is indefinite but -- we
assume -- known to the conversants, who keep
track of the games they play.

> 4: all the stones -- all stones related to that
> last game

I thought it was the ones on the table. These
need not be all used in the last game but should
be picked up and put away anyhow.

> 5: all the stones that are along the path --
> all stones that are along
> this path (now?)

The presentation seems to make this just the
ornamental stones along the path, not incidental
rocks, but, given the rest of the senrtence, this
is probably unimpotant (unless, of course, the
hearer slips on one of the rocks and says "Hey,
you should have warned me about these, too").



> We see that the given antecedents (left) are
> not restricted
> completely, except for perhaps 5a.

Notice that all the right one also have furhter
relevant restrictions which are nonetheless
correctly omitted as obvious from the
presentation. As are most of what is added in
moving from left to right.

> Notice that
> of these given
> antecedents, the only one that gives the proper
> indication of what the
> referent is is 5a (unless we mean stones that
> are on the path /now/).

What is imporoper about the left versions? To be
sure, we could add more, but we always can.

> However, when reading the complete restrictions
> on the right, we know
> exactly what the referents are, and they're
> exactly the referents
> intended.

As of course is the case with the left ones in
this situation.

> It really isn't a difficult job to
> restrict your antecedents
> completely, as we see here. Also of note is how
> the listener of the
> full sentences (containing _a) above would fill
> in the remaining
> restrictions, exactly as they are given on the
> right (_b), based on
> context - for example, for 1a, the listener
> would fill in based on
> context "...that are now on this table".

It is doubtful that the hearer actually does such
additions, he probably just acts on what is given
in the light of his understanding of the
situation. If he does something wrong, his
explanation is not usually in terms of a mistaken
addition to the given, nor is his explanation of
how he knew what to do right.



> When you've given a completely-restricted
> antecedent (as I have on the
> right), it's a good idea to let your listener
> know this, or they might
> very well assume that context might need to be
> used to restrict
> further (as it usually would).
>
> English lets the listener know that the
> restriction is complete with
> an emphasis on "all", or with additional
> explanations.

Examples? I don't see cases of "all" used in
this way as common. And, if the description is
complete, what is the additional explanation?

> Now, an explanation of how all this currently
> applies to Lojban.
>
> {L_ cribe} is a restriction to bears. {L_ cribe
> poi bajra} is a
> restriction to bears and runners. Adding an
> {nau} restricts it to the
> most immediate space and time, and so on.

OK, passing over the question about
"restriction."



> Adding an explicit number into the inner
> quantifier will let the

> listener know that they should restrict down to


> that number. {L_ pa
> cribe} hints that the number of referents is
> one.

It doesn't hint. It says the number of things
being referred to is one. "Restricts" seems even
less apt here, the number is where you end up,
not how you get there. To be sure, if you end up
with two things you know you are not yet where
the speaker meant you to be, but that is not --
in itself anyhow -- a help in getting there.

> Now, when we say {L_ cribe} (blank inner) we
> leave the user to
> restrict using context. The listener will pick
> out the most applicable
> referents.

Ahah! Here is where you are going to try to make
some sort of move. By stressing that {lo cribe}
is a case where the hearer picks things out using
context, you are setting up some other case --
presumably {lo ro cribe}, given all the talk
about "all" -- as a case where the hearer picks
thigs out without context. I don't see this --
if it is the way you want to go. It certainly is
not how Lojban works now and it does not seem to
be a useful way to change (even if it can be made
clear).



> The current interpretation of {L_ ro cribe} is
> that it refers to all
> relevant bears.

Yes. That is what is said literally: bears that
amount to all of them in number.



> The current interpretation of {L_ su'o cribe}
> is that it refers to
> some relevant bears.

Yes again, in the same way.



> What's the difference between {L_ cribe} and
> {L_ ro cribe}? There
> isn't any practical difference.

As noted, this is controversial. To be sure, CLL
says that {lo cribe} is just the implicit form of
the explicit {su'o lo ro cribe}, but I don't
think anyone really believes that any more (if
they ever really did -- it is borrowed from
Loglan, possibly uncritically). The present
position is clearly to deny implicit quantifiers
altogether and to treat the extension of the
referents as either unspecific or as determined
by external information. At the most
conservative, {lo cribe} would be taken as
equivalent to {ro lo su'o cribe}, exactly
parallel to {le cribe}.

> In the former,
> it is said "we don't
> say anything about the number", in the latter
> "all those that are
> relevant". These are two perspectives on (or
> parts of) the same
> underlying principle: "Listener, we're not
> giving you a
> number-restriction, so just use context to
> guess what the referent
> is".

"Guess" seems a little harsh; there are good,
albeit fallible, argument patterns to get to the
answer.


> Lojban seems to have one way to signal that the
> restrictions are
> complete: with additional explanations.

I am not sure what you mean here: what would
count as ana dditional explanation added to a
complete set of restrictions? This seems
paradoxical.

>I say
> "seems to" because this
> is what has been told to me.

Who told you this? This does not sound like
either CLL or xorxes or me. But then again, it
is not clear what this claimed report actually
said.



> I find this more than strange. {ro}, being
> synonymous with a blank
> inner quantifier is readily available (and
> perhaps may have been
> intended) to serve as the marker that the
> restriction is complete and
> that the listener shouldn't add any other
> restrictions using context.

This seems to me perverse. Internal {ro} is
about the number of things in the referent, not
about the completeness of the referring
expression (the similarity ot "all" would require
that "all" be used in the suggested way and that
is a claim that does not yet have any evidence
presented for it).
Of course, the claim about {lo cribe} and {lo ro
cribe} is not well founded either.

> Perhaps it served this function, and was
> confused to mean some
> assertion regarding how many there really are
> in existence right now?
> I don't know.

Well, of course, as a description of how many
there are in existence (or whatever) it is a
tautology; it is how many of those are being
referred to by this description (on one
explanation anyhow, the other is more complex).


> The definitions that make sense to me are:
>
> {L_ ro cribe} - *all* such that are bears

You mean, as opposed to relevant bears? That is
currently correct and I don't see any
justification in what you have said for changing
it.

> {L_ su'o cribe} - some relevant bears
> {L_ cribe} - the most contextually sensible
> number of relevant bears

This says nothing about the number of relevant
bears at all; the number is what it turns out to
be when all the relevant bears are assembled.


> (For the last one, I don't say "all relevant
> bears" because the given
> definition is enough - the word "all" would not
> clarify it, and would
> probably make it worse.)

Well, and also because that is not what the
original means.

> I invite comments.

Herewith.

Maxim Katcharov

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May 14, 2006, 11:41:33 PM5/14/06
to loj...@yahoogroups.com
On 5/14/06, John E Clifford <cliff...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
> I'm not sure why a referent needs to be gotten by
> restriction rather than by buiding up: starting
> from a blank we add on qualities until we hve an
> adequate represssntation of what is intended. I
> don't say that this opposite approach makes any
> significant difference in the result, just that
> the chopping away idiom is not forced by what
> actually occurs.

Because this is what occurs. The referent could be anything to start
(by the listener's reckoning). Then, we apply the first restriction
{__ cribe}. This restricts what our referent could be to bears. Then
we add a second restriction {__ cribe poi bajra}. We start with
anything, cut it down to bears, and cut it down again to runners. The
proposition that we start with nothing does not work: we would start
with nothing, and then that means "bears" ... and then we chop bears
down to bears that run? And if we don't place even the first
restriction, this means that we have nothing in mind? No, this does
not work. We add /words/, but as we add the words, we /narrow down/. I
meant what I said exactly as I said it: we let the listener know what
we're referring to via restriction.

> > 1: all the black stones, all the white stones
> > -- all black stones that
> > are now on this table, [same for white]
>
> and are not already in the bag on the table. and

This is a a different issue, but I do not consider the stones within
the bag to be on the table. They may be above the table, but they are
not on it. By a stretch they may be on the lower fabric of the bag,
but not on the table. The thing that is on the table is the group of
(white, black) stones. But again, this is a different issue, unrelated
to our current argument: yes, if you want to see it that way, the
restriction "not in the bag" needs to be added.

> we mean only the game stones, not other stones
> that are incidentally on the table. And by

There were no other stones on the table mentioned, and so I was
operating under the absolutely reasonable assumption that there were
none.

> "black" we mean the darker grays as opposed to
> the distinctly lighter grays. And so on forever.
>

No. I see that you're trying to argue that you can never restrict
absolutely, though you avoid explicitly saying this for some reason.
You seem to be expanding the example towards including an entire
rainbow of hundreds of stones that are now upon this table. But no,
there are simply black stones, and white stones. If you want, we'll
call them light stones (>=50% of some scientific color measurement),
and dark stones (<50%). You're adjusting the situation to make my use
of certain words incorrect, but this still doesn't show that you can't
restrict completely. The restriction /was/ complete, in accordance
/with the example given/.

Your objection may be due to your perception that restrictions build
up instead of narrowing down. It may be because you've heard that "the
price of infinite precision is infinite verbosity", which does not
apply here (though "the price of exact precision is exact verbage" may
apply). Regardless, this assumption (that you cannot completely
restrict) is wrong.

Now, I may be mistaken, so I ask: is it your position that you cannot
restrict until you are left with only the intended referents? (That
is, that one cannot restrict completely?)

> > 2: all the captures -- all the captures related
> > to that last game
>
> That is, actually occurring in the last game and
> made in accordance with the rules of that game
> ...

Adding those restrictions does nothing. It's like saying "that which
is an elephant... and (poi) that which is a mammal and that which is
an animal and that which is a thing...". No, I've given a complete
restriction.

>
> > 3: all three games -- all three just-previous
> > games (or all games today?)
>
> Well, some unspecified (as noted) three games
> with no other games of this sort between any two
> of them and ending with the one just finished.
> The time span involved is indefinite but -- we
> assume -- known to the conversants, who keep
> track of the games they play.

The example given implies a set of games. I'm trying to determine what
actually happened based on an English description of it. If I'm wrong,
and they actually mean "all the last three games in this garden", or
whatever, then I would have made my complete-restriction reflect that.
But I assumed that the referants in the speaker's mind were "all three
games of the last set that we played"/"all three just-previous games",
so that's how I said it, and based on my (perfectly reasonable)
assumption, my restriction was complete.

>
> > 4: all the stones -- all stones related to that
> > last game
>
> I thought it was the ones on the table. These
> need not be all used in the last game but should
> be picked up and put away anyhow.

You're correct, though it would probably be "all the stones related to
the game set (board, bags...)" (here I'm assuming that the speaker
doesn't consider that some stones may have rolled into the grass long
ago). Here we're deliberating on the best way to make a complete
restriction, but this doesn't indicate that a complete restriction
cannot be made, which seems to be your position.

>
> > 5: all the stones that are along the path --
> > all stones that are along
> > this path (now?)
>
> The presentation seems to make this just the
> ornamental stones along the path, not incidental
> rocks, but, given the rest of the senrtence, this
> is probably unimpotant (unless, of course, the
> hearer slips on one of the rocks and says "Hey,
> you should have warned me about these, too").
>

Yep, but if I was a speaker, I wouldn't make this restriction. In
fact, I may very well say "take care not to trip on stones along
paths" (which wouldn't restrict to ornamental stones or this certain
path at all, and would have a better ring to it in Lojban).

> > We see that the given antecedents (left) are
> > not restricted
> > completely, except for perhaps 5a.
>
> Notice that all the right one also have furhter
> relevant restrictions which are nonetheless
> correctly omitted as obvious from the
> presentation. As are most of what is added in
> moving from left to right.

These structures may be relevant, but they would be unneccisary. If
you mean that they are neccisary to provide a complete restriction,
I'd like to know what you think they are.

> > However, when reading the complete restrictions
> > on the right, we know
> > exactly what the referents are, and they're
> > exactly the referents
> > intended.
>
> As of course is the case with the left ones in
> this situation.

No, it is not the case. You'll notice that both the left and the right
have been taken out of their context, but not out of their setting.
The ones on the left become vague, the ones on the right mean exactly
what the speaker intends them to mean.

> > context - for example, for 1a, the listener
> > would fill in based on
> > context "...that are now on this table".
>
> It is doubtful that the hearer actually does such
> additions, he probably just acts on what is given
> in the light of his understanding of the
> situation. If he does something wrong, his
> explanation is not usually in terms of a mistaken
> addition to the given, nor is his explanation of
> how he knew what to do right.

I don't understand what you're saying. The hearer makes these
additions. This is how context works to help the listener determine
what the referent is.

> > English lets the listener know that the
> > restriction is complete with
> > an emphasis on "all", or with additional
> > explanations.
>
> Examples? I don't see cases of "all" used in
> this way as common. And, if the description is
> complete, what is the additional explanation?

Of the many examples that I've used just in the course of this
discussion, the most prevalent one is probably how I'm always forced
to either say "all (ever) bears", or "*all* bears". I'd also like to
point out that it doesn't have to be common, it has to be important.
You can make it as uncommon as you like, by relying only on incomplete
restrictions, by relying on context. And I can make it as common as I
like, by challenging myself to finding the most terse set of
restrictions that would do their job completely.

The additional explanation is given when the restriction is
incomplete: "all bears (ever, imaginary, past, present, future,
hypothetical...)" - in brackets is the additional explanation.

> > Adding an explicit number into the inner
> > quantifier will let the
> > listener know that they should restrict down to
> > that number. {L_ pa
> > cribe} hints that the number of referents is
> > one.
>
> It doesn't hint. It says the number of things
> being referred to is one. "Restricts" seems even
> less apt here, the number is where you end up,
> not how you get there. To be sure, if you end up

To say that that number is where you end up and not how you got there,
is like saying that "cribe" is where you end up, not how you got
there.

> > Now, when we say {L_ cribe} (blank inner) we
> > leave the user to
> > restrict using context. The listener will pick
> > out the most applicable
> > referents.
>
> Ahah! Here is where you are going to try to make
> some sort of move. By stressing that {lo cribe}
> is a case where the hearer picks things out using
> context, you are setting up some other case --
> presumably {lo ro cribe}, given all the talk
> about "all" -- as a case where the hearer picks
> thigs out without context. I don't see this --
> if it is the way you want to go. It certainly is
> not how Lojban works now and it does not seem to
> be a useful way to change (even if it can be made
> clear).

What certainly isn't how Lojban works now? My statement just above?

> > What's the difference between {L_ cribe} and
> > {L_ ro cribe}? There
> > isn't any practical difference.
>
> As noted, this is controversial. To be sure, CLL
> says that {lo cribe} is just the implicit form of
> the explicit {su'o lo ro cribe}, but I don't

The CLL also implies that an inner {ro} is an assertion regarding how
many bears exist. My position wants nothing to do with that.

> > In the former,
> > it is said "we don't
> > say anything about the number", in the latter
> > "all those that are
> > relevant". These are two perspectives on (or
> > parts of) the same
> > underlying principle: "Listener, we're not
> > giving you a
> > number-restriction, so just use context to
> > guess what the referent
> > is".
>
> "Guess" seems a little harsh; there are good,
> albeit fallible, argument patterns to get to the
> answer.

It's not meant to be harsh, it's meant to be accurate. I'm not at all
arguing that we should completely restrict every single referent - not
at all. In fact, I think that it is very important for this ability to
not have to restrict fully to exist. However, the ability to restrict
completely is more important, though much less practical.

> > Lojban seems to have one way to signal that the
> > restrictions are
> > complete: with additional explanations.
>
> I am not sure what you mean here: what would
> count as ana dditional explanation added to a
> complete set of restrictions? This seems
> paradoxical.

I mean what xorxes was getting at: "Now, taking into account not just
the twenty bears that we've been talking about but other bears as
well, ...". But I don't really know. All I know is that Lojban doesn't
have a solid way to do what I describe - to make an antecedent that
doesn't rely on context.

> > I find this more than strange. {ro}, being
> > synonymous with a blank
> > inner quantifier is readily available (and
> > perhaps may have been
> > intended) to serve as the marker that the
> > restriction is complete and
> > that the listener shouldn't add any other
> > restrictions using context.
>
> This seems to me perverse. Internal {ro} is
> about the number of things in the referent, not
> about the completeness of the referring

It /is/ about the number of things in the referent. When I say "all
bears", I damn well mean all bears - "all such that are bears". Do I
mean "all relevant things such that are bears"? No. I mean "all such
that are bears". This extra "relevant things" that has been tacked on
seems to /me/ perverse. If we have the clear and simple "all such that
are bears", then the listener doesn't have to worry that the
restriction is incomplete, that the speaker has ommited anything.

I understand how your inner ro, inner su'o, and blank inner work.
Since you do not see how my inner ro meaning *all* corresponds to it
being an indicator that a restriction is complete, I conclude that you
don't understand my position. I urge you to try to construct some
sentances using my proposed definitions, to get some idea of how
they're used. I've done the very same using your definitions.

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