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Re: LUNATIC again

From:John Fisher <john@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 4, 1998, 23:02
In message <199811041622.LAA02934@...>, Logical Language
Group <lojbab@...> writes

>Alas, most conlangs that are not artlangs or fictional languages seem to me >to be "codes".
There's definitely something in this.
>[...] >I should note that I have even criticized Esperanto in this >area - I have not found a definition of the Esperanto word for "morning" that >tells me what semantic definition of morning is intended, when among even the >European languages that spawned Esperanto, the range of definitions of >"morning" is considerable (does morning start at dawn, before dawn, at midnight; >does it end at dawn, after breakfast, upon the start of the typical workday, >at lunchtime, at noon?) - a language with a word for "morning" that gives no >hint of this question is begging for skepticism that the language inventor >even realizes that there is an issue.
Fair comment. Actually, it's far from clear to me what the English word "morning" means. When does it start? I guess if you asked people when "morning" was, they would mostly say that it ran from when you get up till lunch. But we also say "two o'clock in the morning". So does "morning" start at midnight? And when does it end? If I have lunch at 2 pm, does that mean that one o'clock is in the morning for me? When I started working with computers, operators worked three shifts: Day (8am- 4pm), Back (4pm-midnight) and Morning (midnight-8am), so that "day" and "morning" were exclusive terms. And so on. I think there are heaps of words in a natural language that simply aren't defined strictly, and though you might say that's a failing, somehow we seem to manage. So if I were devising an auxlang, I might well decide not to define the words for the parts of the day too exactly, but leave them to acquire meaning by use. But I suspect that that wouldn't be the lojban way :-) --John --aware embarassedly that he didn't define MORNING ('april') at all --closely in his language... -- John Fisher