Friday, August 22, 2014

toki unpa *184*

jan Oliwa en jan Malija li uta e sama li pilin suwi e sijelo sama la jan Oliwa li toki e ni:"mi pilin e ni:  tenpo ni li tenpo tawa .." jan Malija li toki kin: "mi tu li unpa.  a! lon! mi tu o kama tawa tomo mi."

ona tu li kama.

tomo lape la jan Oliwa li open weka e len pi jan Malija.  taso meli  li toki e ni.  "o pini.  o mi tu li kepeken tenpo suli  tawa open musi.  open la mi weka e len sina.  ni pini la sina pali e mi."  meli li open weka e len mije. nanpa wan la meli  li weka e len noka anpa pi tu en tu, mije.  meli li uta e noka mije li pilin suwi e ona.  nanpa tu la meli li weka e len pi sijelo sewi kepeken nasin ni: meli li open e nena len li uta e selo pi lukin sin. meli li pali e ni tawa nena ali. taso meli li lukin e sike pi loje walo la meli li awen li uta suwi e ona li kama e ni: ona li kama nena. ni pini la meli li awen open sin.  jan Malija li pini weka e len pi sijelo sewi la ona li open weka e len pi noka sewi.  kin la ona li pali ni la palisa mije pi jan Oliwa li kama suli li kama kiwen.  tan ni la meli li open e len sijelo sewi la len walo li nena wawa.  meli li pilin suwi e ona li a li awen weka e len.  meli li pini weka e len mije la jan Oliwa li toki e ni: "tenpo ni la mi ken weka e len sina.  mi musi mute ni."  taso ona sewi e len meli la jan Malija li len e ala kin e len insa anpa ala. e poki pi nena meli ala.  jan Maliaja li lon wawa e selo unpa lon palisa pi jan Oliwa li anpa wawa lon supa lape.

jan Oliwa li lon e noka sama lon insa pi noka meli.  mije li open uta e sike pi loje walo li kama e ni: ona li nena.  palisa luka mije li pilin suwi e nena unpa li kama e ni: jan Malija li a li a e kalama ni:"jan Oliwa o, o, o. Oli o unpa e mi, unpa, unpa". tenpo ni la meli li jo e palisa mije li lawa e ona tawa lupa meli.  palisa pi jan Oliwa li tawa insa,  mije li tawa en tan li tawa en tan.  tenpo tawa ali la meli li sewi e nena monsi sama li utala e palisa tawa.  ona tu li kalama wawa.  jan Oliwa li a e ni: "jan Malija o, o, Mali o, ma, o, mama o"  jan Malija li a wawa li anpa wawa sama lape.  tenpo sama la jan Oliwa li a wawa li pana e linja suli pi telo walo mije li anpa wawa tawa sewi meli.  tenpo lili pini la jan Malija li weka e selo jo pi telo walo li kama jo e len telo seli.  meli li pona e sama kepeken len ni.  ni pini la meli li open pona e palisa mije. tenpo ni la ona li suli ala li kiwen ala.

taso meli li pona e ona la meli li wile pilin suwi e ona.  tan ni la palisa li kama suli li kama kiwen..  jan Malija li lon e ona lon uta sama li pilin suwi e lawa ona kepeken  loje uta sama.  meli li tawa en tan lon palisa kepeken uta en luka.  jan Oliwa li a wawa li sewi e nena monsi mije.  jan Malija li kon kepeken uta li tawa en tan wawa mute.  jan Oliwa li a wawa mute li pana e linja suli pi telo walo tawa nena meli. meli li pilin sike e telo sama pona selo. meli li anpa lon supa li anpa e noka sama tawa supa anpa.

jan Oliwa li anpa e sama lon insa pi noka sama li lon e sinpin lawa ona lon insa pi noka meli.  mije li open pilin suwi e nene unpa meli kepeken loje uta sama.  meli li open a li sewi e nena monsi li tawa en tan wawa.  taso a pini meli kama la meli li kama jo e mije li lon e ona lon monsi mije li kama lon sewi mije li kama jo palisa mije li lawa e ona tawa lupa sama.  meli li awen linja e monsi sama li tawa en tan wawa.  nena meli kin li tawa en tan, li kama nena pi suli en kiwen.  tenpo ni la jan Malija kama tawa a pini.  jan Oliwa kin li a li pana e wan pi telo walo. jan Malija li kama jo sin e len telo seli li pona e sama en mije.   tenpo lili pini la jan Oliwa en jan Malija li kulupu kepeken luka en noka li kama lape.  taso ni kama la ona tu li toki e ni tawa sama:  "mi olin e sina"

Try first without looking here.  Let me know if you find other, better, meanings or other problems.
uta v "apply mouth to, kiss"
pilin suwi "touch sweetly, caress"
ni pini la "after that"
len noka anpa  apparently "shoes and socks"
len sijelo sewi "shirt" apparently: the lack of body parts and clothing names gets fuddling here
nena len "button"
selo pi lukin sin "newly exposed skin"
sike pi loje walo "pink circles" (the proverbial tits on a boar-hog)
awen  here apparently "pause, linger"
len walo "tighty whities"
nena wawa "popped up, became a hill rapidly"
awen weka  here apparently :kept on taking off"
len noka sewi "pants"
len insa anpa "panties"
poki pi nena meli "brassiere"
selo unpa "condom'  [Pedantic note: these were originally made out of selo insa pi mani len, sheep guts]
anpa wawa "fell back" or something like that.
nena unpa "clitoris"
a v "cry out, moan" something like that
tawa en tan "to-and-fro-ing" mixed action.
tenpo tawa ni la  "on the instrokes"
nena monsi "buttocks"  a lot of nena here
tawa sewi meli "on top of her"
tenpo lili pini "after a little while"
loje uta "tongue" or "lips"
kon kepeken uta  "suck"  I think
pilin sike "rubbed in circles"?
pona selo "lotion"? maybe "soap"
Last sentence of this section seems to work out to "Sat on the edge of the bed with her legs hanging over"
insa pi noka this has to be "knees"
sinpin lawa "face"
insa noka here must be "between the legs"
a pini meli kama  "before her last cry"
kulupu kepeken luka en noka  "Cuddled up intertwined together"
ni kama la "before this"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Note on temporal relations

Part of working on prepositions and on 'la'

Vector tense/implicit particular quantifiers over occasions.
X la = lon X
tenpo pini (P)/ tenpo ni ()/tenpo kama (F)

(fussinesses: 1) the scope of CP (condition phrases, 'la' phrases) are not defined, so subsequent unmarked sentences might be narratively continuing these times or revert to the moment of speech or some other contextually defined time. Similarly, subordinate sentences with these marks might be secondary tenses off the implicit axis or redefined from the absolute base: 'tenpo pini la jan li toki e ni: tenpo pini la meli li kama', her coming before person speech or just before utterance of this complex? I am inclined to think that a temporal in a CP would restrict one in a PP in the sentnece to which the CP was attrached or in a CP that followed it attached to the same sentence, but I can imagine a case being made for the opposite positions.
2) Strictly, 'tenpo ni' can mean “then, at the time of the just mentioned event” as well as “now” and so be a temporal connective. To avoid confusion – and because having a way to get back to the now is always handy – I recommend using 'tenpo sama' for the relative meaning.)

Extended vector tense (relative tensors)
Same pattern (?)
tenpo pini/kama lili/suli  "a little/long time ago, in a little while, a long time hence"
      (fussiness:  not sure how apt 'lon' is here. since it is not in the stretch of time put rather at the end of it --
      which is, admittedly probably 'lon' as well. The pattern 'tenpo lili pini' makes as much sense, apparently,
      but this one is established.)

Other quantifier cases
presumably also X la = lon X
tenpo ala/ ali “never/always”

(fussiness: I suppose this are usually in fact only about past occasions (and the present?) but that is only implied. The explicit cases do not seem to have occurred (and are rare in English, too) but would presumably be formed just by adding 'pini' or 'kama' to the end of the forms just given to make G and H:”has never/always” and “will never/always”. It is arguable that the forms should be with the opposite arrangement of quantifier and direction, e.g. 'tenpo pini ali' for G. Since there are no occasions, it is hard to figure out which is right or even what principle to use to decide. But see later. At least it is clear that dividing the quantifier and the vector into two phrases does not help: 'tenpo pini la tenpo ali la' and 'tenpo ali la tenpo pini la' bear undetermined relations to one another, some bound up in the metaphysics of time but also in the issue of the scope of 'la' phrases, but none of them giving the equivalent of what is intended here. And they raise issues about the scope of PPs which we really don't want to mess with now.))

(numerical) iterations
Still the same pattern, I suppose
tenpo N/mute/lili “N/many/(a) few times” (maybe also 'mute lili' and 'lili mute' ""several times”/”occasionally” and “rarely” - not, apparently set off with 'pi').

(fussiness: All the problems about past and future cases apply here, though the implication that this is about the past is even sharper. But the two prenex solution, assuming 'tenpo pini/kama la' subordinate 'tenpo N la', works better here. 'tenpo lili' can also mean “a short time” and so belongs in the duration section as well as here. Perhaps the PP form is distinctive.
Iteration needs to be distinguished from repetition, the same action done repeatedly on a single occasion. Contrast: “The officer has shot suspects on three occasions” with “The officer shot the suspect three times” It is not clear just how to do repetitions but apparently either an adverbial phrase 'pana pi tenpo tu wan' or even just 'pana tu wan' or some modification in the various nominal complements, 'pana e sike kiwen tu wan' or 'utala e ona kepeken sike pana tu wan' are adequate.)

Unitized occasions
presumably same pattern
tenpo suno/pimeja/esun/mun pini/ni/kama “yesterday, today, tomorrow, last night, tonight, tomorrow night, last week, this week, next week, last month, this month, next month”
sike suno pini/ni/kama “last year, this year, next year”

(fussiness: All non-ni strictly mean “some past/future day/week/month/year” but are used for the
proximal one by convention/implication. The more general understanding adds to the simple 'tenpo' only a sense of the length of the displacement from the present, which is not strictly relevant here. 'ni' again has the possible sense of “the same as that containing the latest mentioned event” and the 'sama' solution is recommended again.

Known phrase in 'la', preposition unknown

tenpo suli/lili “for a long/short time”
tenpo suno/esun/mun N (including 'mute', lili' and compounds) “for n days/weeks/months”
sike suno N “for n years”

The issue of the correct PP gets into the whole matter of prepositions in tp, which is the subject of another study under way. The “for” in the English for this notion means that the event referred to occupies the whole of that time and no tp preposition is obviously telic in this way ('tawa', for example, does not assert that goal is actually reached, so is “toward” as much as “to”). Parallels in other languages (“por” or “para” in Spanish, in particular, but also similar patterns in German and French and Latin) give varying suggestions for use in tp, based on equally dubious associations. Personally, I feel like promoting 'awen' to prepositional status for the occasion, but that is a bit radical until other options have played out. Even the use of 'lon' is not automatically excluded, since it is areal as well as punctal (“in” as well as “at”) and so is at least a partial fit (and as good as other obvious choices).

My attention has been called to the use of 'kepeken tenpo mute' as part of the expression for "slow" 'tawa ma lili kepeken tenpo mute'  Whether this can be generalized (maybe with 'mute' changed to suli') offers a way out of the usual preposition debate (and a nice counter to the arguments about how to indicate the language used).

Tp doesn't have words for hours, minutes and second, but, if it did, presumably this pattern would apply with them as well.

(fussiness: the numerical cases could also be read as iterations of specified periods. The difference seems to be mainly that duration has the event taking place throughout consecutive stretches of the sort mentioned, N weeks but attached end to end, where as iteration assumes some gaps between the weeks involved (and that the whole event is repeated, not part in one week and a further part in the next, although all of this is open to context. It might take me three months to walk the Appalachian Trail, even though the months were in fact divided into several disjoint stretches of a week or so each, so 'tenpo esun mute la mi tawa noka lon nasin Apalasi' is true in both senses.) Again, the PP might be different, but I am not sure.)

Temporal overlap
S1 la S2 “When/while/if S1, then S2”
Presumably the PP format is 'S2 Prep ni: S1'

This relation is so weak that it is enough for it to be true that there is one instant during S1 holding that S2 hold as well (and, of course, there can be true cases where even this does not apply). We usually (I think) have something more explicit in mind. And it may be that sorting these out is a necessary step before doing much more about the PP. We can clearly separate out the general claims as being 'tempo ali/mute' (and maybe a few non-temporal factors) with scope over the whole complex (which means we have some clues about scope!). What we seem to be left with are that either S2 holds at some point during S1 or that it follows “immediately” on S1. The first gets subdivided among cases where S2 and S1 coincide exactly or one falls wholly within the other or they overlap with a bit of one preceding the other and a bit of the other following the one. But this expressions does not indicate any of these differences, so we need just the minimal claim of a relationship and so are back to just what the prepositions say. It may be, of course, that the prepositions are all more explicit than 'la' and that this is a 'la' expression which does not have a prepositional analog.

Displacement (tensored vectors)

So, an event is in the past/future, but how far specifically? The answer is, presumably, in terms of some unit and some number of that unit, combined with the direction in time. We have the pattern already of unit + direction = displacement by one unit in that direction: 'tenpo suno pini', say. The only apparent question is where does the N, in this case the implicit one, go? That is, is “three days ago” 'tenpo suno tu wan pini' or 'tenpo suno pini tu wan'? And, of course, does it make a difference? It would, certainly, if there were another notion around that would take up the other form. In this case, the possible other notions seem to be directional duration, which seems highly unlikely (“for three past days”) or iteration with specified periods, which seems somewhat more likely (“in three separate past days”) but allows of a two-prenex solution. S, it seems just a matter of making a choice (and maybe coming up with a principle afterwords to justify it – no prior principle is obvious). The earlier case of relative displacement suggests puttting the number last, but it is itself open to question. Once the phrase is set, the X la = lon X patterns seems appropriate.

Relative position.
How are two event related in time, more precisely than the S la S pattern and, particular, relative to one another. The English patterns to be dealt with are
After S1, S2
Before S2, S1
While S1, S2 (with some of the subdivision mentioned under 'la' spelled out here)

Put this way, this appears to be about conjunctions, but, given the short supply of those in tp (and the unclarity about how to extend the list without creating more problems than it is worth), it is easier to think of the problem as being about PP, on the model of “because”, 'tan ni', or as introducing a new category of CP.
On the preposition side, for the first two cases, a single pattern presents itself, since 'tan' is pretty clearly retrospective, looking backward toward the beginning, That means that “after that” could be just 'tan ni', but, to keep our “post hoc” separated from our”propter hoc”, we would go for 'tan tempo ni'. By parity of reasoning (or parody), “before this” would be 'tawa tenpo ni' Thus we get the four patterns for the order S1 S2
S1. tan tenpo ni la S2
S 1 tawa tenpo ni: S2
S2. tawa tenpo ni la S1
S2 tan tenpo ni: S1
The other possible pattern takes up the general notion of a condition. To say that S2 is later than S1 is to say that S2 occurs in a condition in which S1 is done or that S1 occurs in a condition in which S2 is yet to come. Alternatively, we can say that S1 is in S2's past and S2 is in S1's future. This gives the following patterns
S1. ni pini la S2
S2. pini ni la S1
S1. kama ni la S2
S2. ni kama la S1
It must be said that the reading of 'ni pini' as “this being over” and “pini ni' as “in the past of this” is open to challenge with exactly the opposite readings. This is a reason to prefer the prepositional solution, although the fact that the PP with opposite results occur at virtually the same place (the difference between ':' and '.' being not very great and the 'la' coming late) makes it tricky as well (but the same situation has not caused obvious problems with 'tan ni').
The simple 'ni' and 'kama/pini' phrases could obviously be moved to PP, presumably with 'lon', but then the temptation might be to make that, like 'tan ni', into version which picks up the next sentence, reversing the order meaning yet again. That is, S1 lon pini ni: S2 = S1. kama ni S2 and so on.

The final, “while” case raises a number of problems, some already mentioned, others involving things like the aspect modals ('open, awen, pini, kama'), that lie outside this paper. The solutions are more or less the same as the other two. In the second version, for example, 'awen' can fill in for 'pini/kama'. The prepositional form is less obvious, but 'lon', being areal and also the only spatial preposition left, might work. But many questions seem to remain (mostly probably pure fussiness, the Lojban syndrome).

It would be nice if we had a firm grasp on sentential nominalization so that we could extend this discussion from the case of two sentences to to a sentence and a noun "after his coming" "before the battle" (don't even mention the "just" -- 'taso' just doesn't work).  I suppose the second could be 'utala kama' or 'pini utala' and the former similar things with 'kama ona', but problems seem sure to arise (as here already) and we don't know how to handle most sentences, "John hunted deer on Thursday," for example.

Displacement again
So, one event comes after the other; how soon after? Both parts of this issue have been dealt with (more or less), so the question here is how to combine them. They do appear to be independent in the sense that displacement does not depend upon whether we are talking about S1 before S2 or S2 after S1. The only significant fact is that the earlier discussion of displacement was in terms of past and future relative to the present (or whatever the axis is) and that factor drops out. But, on the other hand, we cannot, apparently use just the numbered units (or 'tenpo suli/lili'), since that is duration of the event, not of the gap between events. Using some preposition raises the question of which one again. Using the desperation 'pi' raises the question of what to attach it to. This seems the most open question.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

esun and commerce

The basic meaning of 'esun' is "swap, barter", the exchange of one object for another.  So it involves two people and two things.  Each person brings a thing to the exchange and leaves with what the other brought.  So a full description of a transaction is, in English, Person 1 exchanged object 1 for object 2 with person 2. In tp, the corresponding description starts 'jan nanpa wan li esun e ijo nanpa wan tawa ijo nanpa tu ... jan napa tu'. It is not clear what goes into the gap.  English suggests 'poka', but 'tan' (as the source of thing 2 and a natural for later "buy") and 'tawa' (as the final place of thing 1 and a natural for later "sell") also have merit; let's leave it as X for the moment.  What is central here is the symmetry of the situation: if we exchange one person or object for the other, we can get back to the same fact by also exchanging the object or person: jan nanpa tu li esun e ijo nanpa tu tawa ijor nanpa wan X jan nanpa wan.

Let us consider some reductions of the full form.  We might consider the case where the objects involved are ignored, for example, to talk about habitual activities: Bob trades with Bill, first 'jan Babi li esun X jan Bili' and then 'jan Babi en jan Bili li esun (X sama)'. Similarly, we can ignore the people (somewhat) and simply describe the exchange of thing 1 and thing 2: jan li esun e ijo nanpa wan e ijo nanpa tu (it might be argued that a "mixed" 'en' is appropriate here).  Putting these together, we get 'jan Babi en jan Bili li esun e ijo nanpa wan e ijo nanpa tu' (with the loss of the information of who brought what to the swap -- except by unreliable implication).  Or one person might be ignored and maybe even one of the objects.  So Bob, a collector of kiwen, might satisfy 'jan Babi li esun tawa kiwen', while Bill, a distributor of ko, might regularly fulfill 'jan Bili li esun e ko'.  Notice that here the connection between participant and what they bring o take away is maintained, so that we cannot say (with the same meaning) 'jan Babi li esun e kiwen', though 'jan Babi en jan Bili li esun e ko e kiwen' seems proper from ;jan Bobi li esun e ko tawa kiwen X jan Bili'

But we don't barter much anymore, but rather buy and sell.  This is a form or barter, of course, but one of the items is always money, which is always the "for" position in English, regardless of from whose point of view the transaction is viewed  The person who bring money to the swap is the buyer, the person who takes it away the seller,  So "Bob buys thing 1 from Bill" comes over as 'jan Babi li esun e mani tawa ijo nanpa wan X jan Bili', which, by a familiar transformation become 'jan Bili li esun e ijo nanpa wan tawa mani X jan Bobi', i.e., "Bill sells thing 1 to Bob",  Reducing to "Bill sells thing 1" gets 'jan Bili li esun e ijo nanpa wan'  and "Bob buys thing 1" is 'jan Babi li esun tawa ijo tu' (notably NOT 'jan Babi li esun e ijo nanpa wan').  Thus, the glosses that give both "buy" and "sell" for 'esun' need to be modified to make it clear that these are not simply to be used interchangeably: the DO is what you bring, what you go away with is a 'tawa' phrase' A better gloss than "buy" would be "pay ..." (with the 'tawa' to express "for" and the price as DO).  "Sell" actually works correctly, which suggests something about barter, perhaps.  This tends to increase the strength of the use of 'tawa' for X, but the difficulties with the two implicit 'tawa's works against it.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pretty Little Girls School (Teachers (Union ....))

James Cooke Brown, the creator of Loglan, confronted the ambiguity of "pretty little girls school" and various extensions to find all the possible readings and to build into his language a way to disambiguate them.  In the right grouping fashion of English and Loglan, he found the following possibilities:
P(L(GS)) a pretty example of a small school for girls.
P((LG)S) a beautiful example of a school for little girls
(PL)(GS) a beautifully small example of a school for girls
(P(LG))S a school for little girls who are beautiful
((PL)G)S a school for girls who are beautifully small
In each case, any binary pair could conceivably be not a subordination relation but a parallelism:
pretty examples of small girls and small schools, for example.

These patterns can be extended indefinitely in the grammar and quite a bit further in even in practice: pretty little girls school teachers union official, say.  Loglan's requirement of complete freedom from syntactic ambiguity naturally required a general scheme which would teat each such pattern differently yet still fall under a general rule.  The resulting system, while not terribly complex, is somewhat difficult to produce and interpret on the fly, but it does work.

Happily, tp does not require complete freedom from ambiguity but merely strives to bring out major differences in structure and ease the disambiguation task to (usually) manageable proportions.  It seems likely that, in the spoken language, further disambiguation comes in changes in voice and perhaps the written language should reflect that, but now we have only the abstract grammatical structures to suggest thaty these added features may occur and need to be recognized.

So, for tp, we might take something like "good little fish bowl", which, since tp groups left rather than right, comes out as 'tomo kala lili pona'.  As in the case of Loglan, the uniform default grouping is unmarked, though the grouping is mirror-imaged. The remaining cases are (with hypothetical commas to mark possible signs of the differences involved)
tomo pi kala lili, pona
tomo kala pi lili pona
tomo pi kala lili pona
tomo pi kala pi lili pona
Hopefully, the pattern is clear enough to extend to cases of good little fish bowl shelves (supo ...) and good little fish bowl shelf brackets (palisa ...) and beyond (but remember that tp style favors many short sentences over any kind of long structure).

When the items within a grouping are conjoined rather than subordinate, the rule seems to be the same: a pair in a modifier position is set off by 'pi'.  New issues arise about conjoined heads: does the 'lili' in 'tomo en kala lili pona' modify both 'kala' and 'tomo' or only 'kala' and the same applies to 'pona' and 'kala pili'?  that is, is this ((t+k)l)p, (t+(kl))p, t+((kl)p)?  And, it follows, 'tomo en kala pi lili pona; might be either t+(k(lp)) or (t+k)(lp).  This suggests that the rules for conjoined terms needs some further study, recommending commas at least and maybe even different markers.  Or, of course, prohibitions against certain kinds of conjunctions.  But this latter seems to prohibitive, since, even with many sentences rather than longer strings, some conjunctions seem inevitable (the red-and-blue ball on the beach, for example).  But at least more study and thought is needed here.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

'la' phrases

What all can go in front of 'la' in a sentence and to what end?  This is going to be an ongoing listing, adding new points as they turn up but striving to be, eventually, complete and informative.

1. Conditional sentences, the "if" part of "if,,, then..."
In S1 la S2, the overall claim is that S2 is true at least in a situation where S1 is true, should such a situation arise in the relevant time.  It can also be said as "When S1, then S1" and maybe even "S1 only if S2" and "Whenever S1, S2: and so on, though each of these adds (in English) other information or various implications that are not in the tp form: that S1 is likely to occur, say, or definitely did not occur but might have.  And so on.  Whether or not these added implications can be built into some other structure in tp, they do not occur in the rawest form here,

S1 la S2 is a relatively unsophisticated conditional, and possibly an ambiguous one.  The grammar, in a rare display of recursion,  seems to allow either S1 or  S2 to already include a 'la' phrase, so that both '(S1 la S2) la S3' and 'S1 la (S2 la S3)' appear to be grammatical.  The complexity of interpreting the first, however, makes the second the far more likely reading, so conditions may generally be taken as accumulating from the left (against the usual tp pattern).  This is useful, since tp does not permit sentential use of 'en' (or some other "and" word), though conjoined conditions are quite common and this patterns provides a way,  (The ambiguity may turn up again with non-sentential phrases and may be resolved differently there.)

For the Lojbanists among us, sentential 'la' does not seem to be a mere logical connective, but "modal".  That is, the  mere fact that S1 is not true at any point in the proceedings or that S2 is true, does not make the whole conditional true, though a relevant occasion (and that takes some unpacking) of S1 true and S2 false does falsify the whole.  Some connection, however worked out, is implied by the conditional claim.

2.  Tense. A. Vector

The most common use to 'la' in running text is probably to specify tense, which is not a mandatory category in tp but a felt need for many of us with tensed L1s.  The stock expressions here  are
'tenpo pini'  past (at some time now finished)
'tenpo kama' future (at some time yet to come)
'tenpo ni' present (at this time)
They place the whole event of the sentence after 'la' at a particular (though generally unspecified) time in relation to the present (or, as we see, the time of the events being narrated).  This temporal location may bleed over to other sentences in a narrative sequence, where, without further explicit markers, events in later sentences may be attached to the earlier established time (or a little later to keep up with the flow of events).  In this context, then, one of these markers may indicate a time remote from an already remote point and not explicitly attached to the time of uttering the sentence.  Even 'tenpo ni' in a narrative, may be just "at that time", not the "now" of the speaker, but of the event.  (How to break out of this context to return connection to the speaker's present is not an issue that has been dealt with - 'tenpo ni kin' or 'tenpo ni sin' seem likely candidates.)

'tenpo X la' has another version, a terminal PP 'lon tenpo X'.  The relation between the two is not worked out, but I assume that some differences will emerge, even if only rhetorical ones.  Other prepositions than 'lon' may also have a role (more later).

Whatever else may be the case with PPs here, they pretty clearly have restricted scope relative 'la' expressions. In S1 la S2 lon tenpo X, 'lon tenpo X' applies only to S2 directly (whatever may be the informal implications) .  In 'tenpo X la S1 la S2'  'tenpo X' may apply only to S1, but more likely applies to the whole conditional (we expect to use these initial 'la's to distinguish some of the various kinds of conditionals).  If 'tenpo x' is only for S1, it would be more natural (to a good Lojbanist, certainly) to say 'S1 lon tenpo X la S2.'

Taking these phrases as being, in effect, about some unspecified point in time rather than simply as directions without points at the end, opens a variety of possibilities.  The following sections look at some of these.(The theoretical purely vector tenses might use just the modifiers as pre-la or as prepositional complements.  But at least 'pini' and 'ni' have other uses both with 'la' and prepositions, so the present plan works better.)

B. Spcified times

One immediate response to saying that tense is about some unspecified time, is to ask about specified times.  Why not allow pinpointing a time ?  So we get dates as 'la' phrases.  Or we would if we had a settled system for dates, probably 'tenpo sunpo nanpa tu tu pi tenpo mun nanpa luka tu' or, colloquially, 'tu tu pi luka tu' (4/7) ?  but at least two such notions are well established in tp usage: going to the extremes and moving stepwise through time.

At the extreme we have (Gen 1:1) 'tenpo open la' (or just 'open la;, but this has a rhetorical use as well "to begin with")"At the beginning time"  (and, one expects in these apocalyptic times, 'tenpo pini la' now in a very different sense).  Presumably -- though not in the corpus yet -- other times that are pinned down to events will serve as well: 'tenpo pi utala suli'  "during the big war" and 'tenpo pi utala pini' "during the last war" (clear from context, we hope, though not in abstraction).

Stepwise we have 'tenpo suno pini', "yesterday" and similarly with 'pimeja' for "last night" and 'esun' for "week" and 'mun' for "month" and the same pattern with 'kama' and 'ni'  'sike suno' meaning "year" can also fit into this pattern, without needing 'tenpo'.   Strictly, all theses 'pini's and 'kama's are just any past/future one, but the use for the immediately past/future one is generally the understood convention (how to counter this convention is not clear, as is the reason for wanting to)

C. Quantifiers over moments of time

Another obvious question arising from a form that says "at some time in the past", say, is "What about 'at all times in the past'?"  and "What about getting rid of 'in the past'?".  So, 'tenpo pini' leads immediately to 'tenpo pini ali' (or is it 'tenpo ali pini'?) and just 'tenpo ali', "always".  And that leads naturally to 'tenpo ala pini' (or 'tenpo pini ala') "never".  But, if something can happen at no time and at every time, it can happen at one time or two or (in tp) at many,  And so we get 'tenpo wan pini' (or 'tenpo pini wan') and so on through whatever numbers we have, also with directional restrictions -- just 'tenpo mute la' "often"

At this point we  notice that 'tenpo seme' is also a possible 'la' phrase, here being taken as "How often"?  It could however equally be just "When?", as king for a specification of the sort just discussed or soon to be.  There is no obvious way to specify beforehand what kind of answer is sought (cf.  'sina seme?') , though I suppose modifiers could be used in some way: 'tenpo seme pini' vs. 'tenpo pini seme',  say.
The fact that something can occur on several occasions allows another way to specify a time: ordinally: 'tenpo nanpa tu la'  "on the second occasion".

Two side points here.  The same event occurring on several occasions is different generally from a single event that involves repetitive action, though they are clearly related.  The locution we are discussing here is about something that happens on separate occasions, not about repetitive actions.  So "He has attacked him three times" is clearly ' tenpo tu wan la jan mije nanpa wan li utala e jan mije nanpa tu' (to be terribly fussy),  But how do we say that on one occasion he hit him three times: 'tenpo wan la ona li utala e ona ... tu wan' but we do not know what goes in the blank -- nor exactly where the blank is.  It is assumed that 'tenpo' plays a role here, even though time is not particularly significant, compared to the notion of instances (but L1 is a powerful force here and most of ours use a time word here), so 'utala pi tenpo tu wan' is the leading contender.

Secondly, a number of "tenses" which seem to fit with this "always", "often: "once," "never" sequence do not fit naturally here: "usually, regularly, generally, more often than not" and so on.  They will turn up later in this discussion of 'la'.

D. Tensors

Since tenses place an event in relation to the present as being displaced from it forward or backward in time, it is natural to ask "Displaced how much?"  If we have a vector from one point to another, we can ask about its tensor, how long is the arrow?  tp provides days, weeks months and years as units (see above) and a few numerical units.  The move one of these units fore and aft is already covered, so the rest follow naturally 'tenpo suno pini tu' (or is it 'tenpo suno tu pini'?) is "two days ago" and so on in obvious patterns, including 'mute' for "a long time", measured in whatever units.  (It might be that, at least for 'mute', a useful distinction could be made between ' tenpo mute pini' and 'tenpo pini mute', one being "a long time ago"(unit unspecified) and the other "on many occasions in the past".  It is not clear which should be which, though I will -- I think at this moment -- argue for 'tenpo mute pini' for "a long time ago" and then extend that to answer other questions about the various placements of quantifiers in these expressions.  Stay tuned)

E.  Stretches of time.

In addition to the question of how much time has passed since an event, one can ask how long  the event took.  What little usage there is seems to point to a tensor without a vector for this purpose:  ' tenpo suno tu la jan li tawa tomo'  "For two days the person went toward home.'  and especially 'sike suno mute la jan li lon' "The person is old" (so maybe 'jan li lon sike suno mute'?).

3, Continuity

One common use of 'la' phrases is to attach the current sentence to the previous one,  The flip side of 'tan ni:' "because of the following" is 'tan ni la' "because of the preceding, therefore". Although far less common, this naturally suggests 'tawa ni:" and 'tawa ni la', "in order to, for".  

'taso' is another continuity word, but it does not require 'la'.  I suppose that 'anu' can be used in this way as well, again without 'la'

The most common continuity expressions, yet the ones with the fewest uses in tp, are temporal relations: "before, after, since, until, during/while" (others?).  I am inclined to think that "after that" is just 'ni pini la', "that being past" with some device for tensors again (presumably just the ternsor with 'pi' and the connector).  Of course, the case could be made that 'pini ni', "in this's past" means "before this", but I find that confusing (as others do my version).  The same contrast can be made for 'kama',  of course.  Perhaps we have to allow both and let folks sort out their own usage here (to everyone's confusion).  

"Since, until, during" delimit stretches of time again, not by a metric but by reference to another point or stretch,  Further, within that stretch we can manage the array of tense relation "Since I saw him, I have never/often/always/twice thought of him" So, the expression seems to be a first 'la,' after which others are possible but not required,  The temptation here is just to use "before" and "after" again, with the other terminus, now" understood, even though that leaves the stretch indistinguishable from a mere sequence if no subordinate tenses are used: 'ona li kama weka.  ni pini la mi li tawa noka'  "After he left, I walked" or "Since he left, I've been walking"  Perhaps  using modal 'awen' in the second case would do it,  Or putting 'awen' in the 'la' phrase: 'ni pini awen'  Or something else.  Such as insisting on secondary tenses to avoid ambiguity.  

But 'awen' does seem to fit naturally into "during, while." If "after this" is "this being done" (or "in this's future"), then "during this" seems to be "this going on" (or "in this's going on", the two seem to collapse), so "meanwhile: is 'ni awen' (or 'awen ni'),  This fits in pretty much with the modal uses of the three verbs for aspects, insofar as tp uses these at all ('pini' does both terminative and perfect, 'kama' inchoative, 'awen' progressive and superfective.  'open', with no role here, does initiative.) 

4.  Sources

This covers a variety of cases.

We can talk about where something is true as well as when.  Thus, we can use place names in 'la' phrases to discuss customs, habits, and the like of a particular place or even a group: 'ma Mewika la, sike suno tu tu ali la, jan ali li wile e jan lawa ma.' [Just noticed another temporal expression not discussed above.]   Like similar temporal expressions, these have a corresponding PP with 'lon'.

We can talk about where we get our information: "according to Wikipedia, " 'ilo Wikipesija la'.  Or, whether we take it as information or not, the source of a claim "In John's opinion," 'jan San la' ('mi la' is probably the one most usually accurate, but it is assumed throughout tp.)  All of these have the PP version with 'tawa' "according to" (though 'tan' would seem to make more sense).

The usual reasons for mentioning sources, aside from accuracy and avoiding responsibility, is to give some indication of what reliance the hearer should put on the claim (and maybe convey some indication of the speaker's reliance),  Another way to do this is to indicate how you came by the claim.  Of course, citing a source says you came by it second hand, but you can do that without citing a source: "I hear that...",  "science tells us" ('nasin la' or 'sona la'?), even "it follows that" (though this may overlap with 'tan ni').  So 'kute mi' and 'pilin mi' (stronger than just 'mi') and 'lukin mi' (eye witness) and the  like may be used (though rarely are -- L1 again).

5. Reaction (emotion, verification)

Aside from our confidence in a claim and its source, we may comment on a claim in terms of how it affects us or how we expect it to affect our hearers.  The most common o these are 'pona la' "Fortunately" and 'ike la' the opposite.  We also have 'wile la' "Hopefully" .  More generally, emotions show up as separate interjections, just 'a!' (for just about any\thing) or adjective interjected (with or without an 'a') to give a more specific response.
The most interesting reactions are actually ot attached but responses to someone else's claim 'lon' and 'ala'  "That right" and "Lies". They can be used in reporting claims, however.

6. Organization

When what one says is organized, one tries to project that organization to one's listeners and so gives guidelines:
open la.  "to begin with"
(nanpa) wan la "First"
wan la "On the one hand"
ante la "on the other hand"  But also "On the contrary" and "Otherwise" (after a list of objections or compliments)
kin la "Moreover, in addition"
pini la "in conclusion"
poka la  "by the way, digressing a bit"  (probably 'awen la' "to get back on track"
ali la  "in summary"
lawa la  "the main point, most importantly"
There ought to be things for "for example" and "expanding on that" but I don't know them

7. Topic?

Some folk say that the 'la' phrase can be used to front the topic, the focus of a point when it might be buried syntactically because of the fixed word order (or just for emphasis even if it normally came first, or just to satisfy some L1 pattern): 'kama kon ante la jan nasin li sona e lon ni'  "Climate change, scientists know it exists."

8.  Modals

The common use of modals in 'la' phrases is 'ken la'. "Possibly, maybe" ,  One would expect then to find 'wile la' "Necessarily, surely", but it hasn't occurred (a few logician show pieces aside).  The closest to it is 'lon la' , but that seem to be "In fact, actually" to contrast with speculation and errors.
The other technical modals (lukin, alasa, sona) don't have the lawlike character that this construction seems to require and 'kama' is wrapped up in tense.
The notions like "regularly, in general, usually, habitually" and the like need expression and words like 'nasin' and 'lawa'  and even 'awen' suggest themselves, but there is no usage.  'nasa,' of course, serves as the opposite point for at least some of this.  'kama la' alone might have the force the force of something occurs without regularity or even against it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Double objects

A theoretical possibility had occurred to me and then an actual case arose.  The theory is this: 'ken' takes whole VPs as complements, that is verb plus object plus prepositional phrases: "He can hunt birds in the forest": 'ona li ken (alasa e waso lon ma pi kasi suli)'.  'ken' is also a transitive verb meaning "enable" with DO for what is enabled and a complement for what it is enabled to do "Bill allowed Joe to hunt on his land" 'jan Pili li ken alasa lon ma sama e jan So' (or is it 'li ken e jan So alasa lon ma sama'?  It certainly is not 'li ken alasa e jan So lon ma sama', which clearly means that Bill can hunt Joe).  Clearly something has happened to the structure here.  In this case, the PP actually helps matters, since, if we drop it we get 'li ken alasa e jan So' immediately, which tends toward the non-transitive 'ken' reading, though keeps the grammar clear -- for both readings.  On the other hand, 'li ken e jan So alasa'  is clear but more difficult to fit into the grammar, where VP ends with the DO in the absence of a PP.

Now, suppose what is allowed involves an object as well, bird hunting again, say.  We end with
jan Pili li ken alasa e waso e jan So (so Joe is still a possible target on one natural reading) or
jan Pili li ken e jan So alasa e waso.

Once actual cases are laid out, the conclusion seems clear: the second option is to be taken.  Thus, the slot "Modal" becomes more complex than it seemed; it is not just the modal word plus possibly modifiers of manner and negation but also a possible direct object.  After all that the VP comes in.  I think that some examples of this use of 'ken' (and I suppose 'wile' and maybe others) have dealt with the situation otherwise, but I can't find any cases to check.

And then, I note that, if the DO of the modal is not a name, we get another structural ambiguity ' ona li ken e waso laso pona e tomo'  "He allows the bird to paint his nest a nice blue"  or "he allows the blue bird to fix his nest".  So, no solution really works and we have to rely on context (as usual).

Sunday, June 8, 2014

'sama' as pronoun

 'sama' is listed as both the reflexive and the reciprocal pronoun for toki pona, for "-self" and "each other".  That is, at some deeper level, the 'sama' as object arises from a more complex structure involving the subject as well.  The simplest cases are:
x li V e x  => x li V e sama
x li V e y, y li V e x => x en y li V e sama
(Some verbs are inherently reciprocal, e.g., 'wan', maybe 'unpa', so only one of the pair need be given.)

Similar rules will work for the case of prepositional objects, including the complements of prepositions as verbs and for modifiers.  But the details seem (to me, now) to get a bit messy, so I'll skip over them.

The case for modifiers and prepositions seems to be just what one expects, the same as above with "M (pi)x"  replacing "V e x" etc. through out, where M might be very complex, involving a verb, perhaps, and objects and other prepositions.  So the whole can be summed up as
x G x => x G sama
xG y, y G x => x en y G sama
There are surely some restrictions on these but just what are not yet clear.

Some complications can arise, ambiguities in fact.
given that is is (almost) always possible to drop the object of transitive verbs, with marginal loss of meaning,
x li V e y, y li V e x => x en y li V e sama => x en y li V
x li V e w => x li V  } => x en y li V [taso e sama ala]
y li V e z => y li V

 x li V e w, y li V e w => x en y li V e sama
(This is a more semantic or pragmatic rule, so probably has a lot of conditions on it.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Some fine points

This is not strictly about words, but about some constructions which have been discussed on various forums lately.  It is not perfectly clear (to me, at least) whether these are changes from earlier situations, e.g., Pije's lessons, or clarifications or extrapolations from them.  Nor is it clear that these are the final answers, but they are the standard for now (I think).

1.  No 'pi' with 'nanpa' followed by a number.  This does go against at least one example in Pije, but agrees with several early texts.  The pattern is to bring ordinal numbers into line with cardinals: we do not use 'pi' with numbers which take more than one word: 'tu wan', 'luka luka' and the like.  (Note, by the way, that 'luka' as "five," while regularly deprecated, is universally used.).  Thus, just as "three men" is 'jan tu wan' and not 'jan pi tu wan', the third man is designated 'jan nanpa tu wan'.  That is, 'nanpa' initiates a right grouped number.

2.  Still on 'pi', prepositional phrases that are meant to modify nouns (are adjectival) require 'pi' before them. This is just a clarification of a rule in Pije that right grouped strings of two or more terms require 'pi' (though there are some early examples of violations in both directions even without prepositions). This is particularly important toward the end of the sentence, where the adjective PP might be confused with the terminal adverbial PP, the classic "I saw the man with the telescope"  (mi lukin e jan (pi) kepeken ilo lukin).
But the rule applies in all positions: "The man with the telescope saw me too" (jan pi kepeken ilo lukin li lukin e mi kin).

3.  Contrary to what Pije says, but in keeping with some examples, 'en' can occur in verb and DO position.  But only for the mixed-lot case, not for the separable ("logical") "and".  'ni li loje en laso' is for something that is partly red and partly blue, but if there are more than one thing and some are red (totallty. for practical purposes, and others blue (ditto), the form is 'ni li loje li laso' and this is equivalent, as the first is not, to two separate sentences.  Similarly, 'mi lukin e soweli en waso' is legal to describe a chimera of some sort (half beast, half fowl), but not two separate animals. each totally of its proper kind (mi lukin e soweli e waso').

4.  Tying these together, compound modifiers -- which do take 'en' everywhere, whether mixed or logical -- require 'pi'.  Thus, 'mi lukin e waso pi pimeja en walo'; again, a result of the general rule about modifiers of more than one word.  This would apply equally to a particolored bird (or birds) and to several birds of one color each, though some different from others.

5.  The issue of proper of various sorts involving 'toki' has come back into play, after lying dormant for several years with a satisfactory set of solutions -- though ones not natural to English (and, apparently at least Spanish, German, and French) speakers.  The basic principle used earlier was that the DO of a verb had to be something that would also be referred to by that verb used as a noun (the moku e moku principle).  Thus, the DO of 'toki' had to have a message ('toki' again) as its referent.  So, the DO could not be a language or a topic talked about.
a. But the first of these, for which 'kepeken toki ...' was devised, came under attack, because a language is, of course, also a toki, so the standard argument falls through.  Yet the 'toki e toki pona' expressions always feels like a mere carry over of L1 habits and does not have a separate justification within tp.  One can, of course, be found easily by taking the expression as short for (a antidittophatic collapse of)  'toke e toki pi toki pona', which collapse seems likely to have occurred, given the opportunity.  The compromise, which avoids the supposed unnatural 'kepeken' construction and also puts the the language in a modifier role, is to make the verb 'toki pi toki pona', for which there are some early examples.  On the whole, my preference remains with 'kepeken' and the verb modifier as a legitimate alternative (but see below) and shun the DO form.  But the question is again open.
b. The "about" question is not so clearly opened as that of the language used.  It is opened, if at all, by the apparent expansion of the DO of 'toki', even though the cases are not really parallel -- the topic is not a toki, even if the general term for "topic" were 'toki' (which I am not sure it is; it seems more like 'sona' to me -- or 'pilin' or 'nasin').  On the other hand 'e ijo [(pi) topic]' does seem artificial, though literally accurate (it seems a Lojbanic solution, if you will).  The alternatives proposed  to the 'ijo' construction are to use the topic as a modifier to 'toki' or to invent a preposition with the meaning "about".  The first of these introduces another ambiguity: both with the above "in language" construction (for languages might be topics of discussion, as tp often is) and with the usual adverbs of manner: is 'toki wawa' shouting or talking quietly about force?  On the other hand, no preposition leaps to mind as the right one for "about." 'lon' has some history in other languages: "on", for example, but that is clearly just L1 relexing and the same applies to creating new prepositions like 'sike'  (though the process of making a word a preposition is not a problem per se).  On the whole, this issue seems the least in need of revision, but the possibility has arisen,