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telona (was: Re: Degree in Ithkuil vs. S7

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 0:14
Jonathan re T[elona]4:
> There is a very out-of-date summary of T4 at >, but this is probably more hindrance > than help at this stage given how much the > language has changed in the last eight months. :)
I read it a while ago but found it tantalizing more than enlightening.
> For your interest, the following are the major design principles of T4 > grammar as I see them: > > - an utterance consists of a single phrase, and is interpreted as the > assertion of the existence of at least one referent of that phrase > - the assertion of a sentence entails the assertion of the truth of > each of its subphrases, when these are interpreted as sentences in > their own right.
What about arguments of predicates like "is false", "is imagined", "is denied", "is believed", and so forth? I don't see the point of this design principle.
> - every word refers to an entity as well as describing it
Every *word*? How about words like "every", "some"?
> - a word in citation form may refer to any number of its potential > referents at any time, but not to less than 'one' referent (defined > as part of the lexical description of each word)
How do you capture the distinctions that other languages would generally capture by means of determiners or quantifiers?
> - strict binary branching syntax
How do you cope with predicates with more than one argument?
> - strictly head-first
Livagian used to be thus too, but has recently introduced head- finality and head-mediality. The overriding principle is that the sentence must be parsable with no lookahead and no backtracking. Within the limits of that principle I try to allow as much freedom as possible.
> - single open class, monomorphemic
Liv has a single open class underlyingly, but on the surface they divide into nounoids and verboids: certain predicate markers can be deleted before verboids and certain determiner+predicate marker combinations can be deleted before nounoids (all deletions are unambiguously recoverable during the incremental parse). In other words, the nounoid/verboid distinction is introduced as an abbreviatory device.
> Henrik continued: > >>> > > I believe that the more one gives thought to designing an "engelang" > > (as Jörg calls them), convergent design principles emerge from > > separate authors, so that interesting similarities arise. It makes > > one begin to wonder whether there are some hidden universal design > > principles even in non-natlang conlangs! > > Maybe. But maybe it's simply the mere number of languages that have > been discussed and the number of features a language have that can all > coincide. Up to now, all languages I saw where totally different at > closer look. ;-) > <<< > > Amen to that!
I'm very much inclined to agree with John Q that engelangs with similar goals will tend to converge on similar solutions. It's in the very nature of engineering that that will happen. There is such a thing as a best (or at least a better) solution. And on the whole, people are likely to choose similar goals, for functional reasons. In another message:
> Henrik Theiling wrote: > >>> > [I wrote with respect to T4 (Telona):] > > - an utterance consists of a single phrase, and is interpreted as > > the assertion of the existence of at least one referent of that > > phrase > Hmm, I don't know whether I understand that. How to you say: 'Goblins > never sleep?' (assuming that goblins don't exist) > <<< > > By creating a referent which means 'the generality of goblins at all > places and times', modifying it by 'is something other than asleep', > and then asserting the existence of the resulting modified referent - > that is, 'there exists a group of all goblins which is other than > asleep'. In T4 interlinear notation, {gen góblin not + asleep.}.
I understand how the nonexistent goblins aren't a problem, but the handling of "never" seems wrong. Just because one does something other than sleep doesn't mean one does not sleep. (Cf. you can eat something other than rice (e.g. cheese) yet still eat rice too.) Rather, it seems to me that the 'referent' of the phrase should be the absence/nonexistence of events of goblins sleeping. --And.