[lojban] termsets and "equal scope"

17 views

Jorge Llambías

Jun 20, 2008, 12:50:56 PM6/20/08
to lojba...@lojban.org
In another message (<http://www.lojban.org/lists/lojban-list/msg29949.html>)
I discussed one problem of the "equal scope" rule proposed for termsets in
CLL <http://jbotcan.org/cllc/c16/s7.html>, namely that in some cases we
don't know whether the rule is to be in effect or not. Here I want to discuss
the definition of "equal scope", which I also find problematic. The CLL
example is:

<<
7.5) ci gerku ce'e re nanmu cu batci
nu'i ci gerku re nanmu [nu'u] cu batci
Three dogs [plus] two men, bite.

which picks out two groups, one of three dogs and the other of two
men, and says that every one of the dogs bites each of the men.
>>

For ease of discussion, let me change to a different example.
Let's consider the first line of letters of the qwerty keyboard layout:

Q W E R T Y U I O P

Suppose I say:

ci lerfu ce'e re lerfu cu zunle
Three letters [plus] two letters, left.

According to the CLL explanation, this picks out two groups, one of
three letters and the other of two letters, and says that every one of
the letters in the first group is to the left of each of the letters in the
second group.

Is that statement true or false? It's true. For example the groups
{Q, W, E} and {R, T} are such that each of the letters in the first group
is to the left of each of the letters in the second group. But where does
that leave the notion that numerical quantifiers in Lojban are "exact"
(meaning that if {ci broda cu brode} is true then {re broda cu brode} is
not true)? There are lots of different ways of picking two groups of letters,
with three and two, or many other different numbers of members, such
that every one of the letters in the first group is to the left of each of the
letters in the second group.

Perhaps the idea is not to say that there is *some* group of three and
*some* group of two, but that there are one and only one of each such
groups. In that case, we may consider

ci lerfu ce'e ze lerfu cu zunle
Three letters [plus] seven letters, left.

That would still be true, there is one (and only one) group of three letters
and one (and only one) group of seven letters, such that every letter in the
first group is to the left of every letter in the second group.

But could that really be what is meant? After all, the letter Q is to the left
of nine letters, and the letter W is to the left of eight letters.
Only the letter
E is to the left of exactly seven letters. And only the letter R has
exactly three
letters such that they are to its left. This modified definition would seem to
rescue a partial sense of the "exactness" of numerical quantifiers (at least in
the present example), but it still gives odd results. {ce'e} would then not only
give "equal scope" to the quantifiers but also introduce groups where there
were none.

If we want to introduce groups, then we can say:

ro lo ci gerku cu batci ro lo re nanmu
Each of three dogs bites each of two men.

ro lo ci lerfu cu zunle ro lo re lerfu
Each of three letters is to the left of each of two letters.

and we don't need to stipulate any "equal scope", because two {ro}
quantifiers are already independent of order, as CLL mentions in the same
section.

mu'o mi'e xorxes

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Minimiscience

Jun 20, 2008, 1:57:55 PM6/20/08
to lojba...@lojban.org
dei li 20 pi'e 06 pi'e 2008 la'o fy. Jorge Llambías .fy. cusku zoi skamyxatra.

> But where does that leave the notion that numerical quantifiers in Lojban are
> "exact" (meaning that if {ci broda cu brode} is true then {re broda cu brode}
> is not true)?
.skamyxatra

Where is it stated in the CLL that numbers are to be interpreted as "exact"?
That seems like it would limit speech quite a bit, and I personally find it to
be counter-intuitive and somewhat illogical.

mu'omi'e la'o gy. Minimiscience .gy.

--
mi pu klama .i mi pu viska .i mi pu fanva fi la lojban.

Jorge Llambías

Jun 20, 2008, 2:16:32 PM6/20/08
to lojba...@lojban.org
On 6/20/08, Minimiscience <minimi...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Where is it stated in the CLL that numbers are to be interpreted as "exact"?

<http://jbotcan.org/cllc/c6/s6.html>:
<<
In Lojban, you cannot say ``I own three shoes'' if in fact you own four
shoes. Numbers need never be specified, but if they are specified they
must be correct.
>>

> That seems like it would limit speech quite a bit, and I personally find it to
> be counter-intuitive and somewhat illogical.

Counter-intuitive, yes. I wouldn't say it's illogical, but the definition of
"exact" numerical quantifiers is certainly more complex than what it
would be otherwise. {N da broda} can be logically expressed as
{su'o N da broda .ije su'e N da broda}, rather than just the first part
as intuitively expected.

mu'o mi'e xorxes