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Random questions about "not" and "and"

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 20:19
While parsing some sentences, it occurred to me that the sentence: "The ball is not
blue." can be interpreted two different ways:

the ball is-not blue.
the ball is not-blue.

"is-not" can be treated as a verb (or "not" taken as an adverb), or "not-blue" can be
treated as an adjective.

I tend to want to interpret "not-blue" as an adjective. Although it does
complicate sentences like "The ball is not blue OR green" which would have to
be interpreted as "The ball is not-blue AND not-green." as opposed to "The ball
is-not blue OR green."

But even "The ball is-not blue OR green." actually means "The ball is-not blue AND
is-not green." so again, when actually spelled out, the meaning can still be
interpreted two ways:

"The ball is-not blue OR green." =>
"The ball is-not blue AND is-not green." OR
"The ball is not-blue AND is not-green."

Which way do your conlangs handle this?

Another random question about "and":

"Go to the store and buy some bread."

can be interpreted as two commands:

"Go to the store."
"Buy some bread."

But in the following case, that doesn't work because the two separate commands do
not convey the intention of the original compound sentence:

"Do not open the cage and let the tiger out."

"Do not open the cage."
"Let the tiger out."

This implies that "Do not" must be distributed to all the verbs:

"Do not [open the cage and let the tiger out]." =>
"Do not open the cage."
"Do not let the tiger out."

But what about:

"Do not let the tiger out and lock the cage before you leave."

Clearly, "Do not" is NOT distributed to both verbs in this case.

How do any of your conlangs address this?



Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>
Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>
Njenfalgar <njenfalgar@...>