On Thu, 29 Nov 2001 21:51:35 -0500, Thomas Alexander <[log in to unmask]>

>For what it's worth, PMEG and PAG both
>support the following usage, which in my experience is fairly
>standard among fluent speakers:
>        - "la mamutoj formortis" (all mammoths have died out)
>          without "la" it's just any group of them, not all.
>        - "lakto estas blanka" (all milk is white.)
>          with "la" it refers only to a specific quantity of milk.
>None of this is discussed in the 16 rules, not because it isn't
>well defined now, but because it wasn't defined at the time the
>16 rules were written, or was "out of scope" for such a short
>grammatical summary.  If anything, this shows a bit about how
>difficult it is to create a language - you can't just say "the
>definite article is 'el' and expect that to actually explain

I don't think there is any doubt that the 16 rules are meant to be for
propagating how easy the language is. They are not the hole grammar of
course. Why should they? I have always wondered why most people concentrate
on this part of the Fundamento and did not consider the two (or three)
other: most important the Ekzercaro. It is in the Ekzercaro, that the
language itself is presented. It is in the Ekzercaro, that the very
language itself is defined. The 16 rules are a good résumé, to give you a
glimpse what the language might be. And of course they are part of the
Fundamento. But to actually understand the language, the Ekzercaro is a
necessary part.

Also I would suppose that the rules in PMEG about the article are extracted
out of the Fundamento, as PMEG is normally _very_ Fundamento-ous.