On Mon, Feb 02, 2004 at 05:32:54PM -0500, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> H. S. Teoh scripsit:
> > My point then, was that the arguments of verbs with different valencies
> > may not necessarily map to each other in an obvious way (or at all). For
> > example, consider three verbs of differing valencies:
> > a)      sit:    (1) the person/thing which sits
> Lojban actually reckons this to have two places, the sitter and the sat-upon
> surface.  But your point is sound.

True enough. Ebisedian allows the surface to be specified in the receptive
case. In fact, it even allows a third participant, the "seater", to be
specified in the instrumental case. (E.g., the mother(instr) seats her
toddler(cvy) on the stool(rcp).)

> > b)      love:   (1) the lover (2) the object of love
> > c)      give:   (1) the giver (2) the thing given (3) the recipient
> >
> > Nothing says that (a)(1) is the same as (a)(2), or that (b)(2) is the same
> > as (c)(2). It could easily be the case, in a particular language, that
> > (a)(1) corresponds with (b)(2), and (b)(2) corresponds with (c)(3).
> Indeed, Lojban abstains altogether from identifying any place of one predicate
> with any other place of another: they are simply ordered, like arguments to
> function calls.

That's a nice way to approach the problem. Ebisedian in contrast
identifies these places according to a particular worldview that happens
to be flexible enough to serve as a consistent mnemonic for the various
semantic roles needed.

> > The mappings for "see" may seem odd, but only because the accusative
> > mindset is used to thinking about agents and patients. In Ebisedian,
> > agents and patients are irrelevant; the semantically important concepts
> > are source and destination: from whence did the event originate, and to
> > what is it directed at, rather than who/what did it, and who/what
> > underwent it.
> Well, this requires a fairly sophisticated world view.  Even Aristotle still
> believed that seeing was a matter of something emerging from the eyes, rather
> than entering them, IIRC.  (Of course, it may well be that he believed
> that because he was a victim of Whorfian mind-lock.)

The Ebisedian worldview isn't quite that sophisticated. The Ebisedi
believe that *looking* is a matter of something emerging from the eyes,
whereas *seeing* was a matter of _receiving_ sight of something. Consider
the other cases where this "inversion" occurs. For example:

listen: listener(org)   thing-listened-for(rcp)
hear:   hearer(rcp)     sound-heard(cvy)        sound-cause(org)

seek:   seeker(org)     thing-sought(rcp)
find:   finder(rcp)     thing-found(cvy)

reach:  reacher(org)    thing-reached-for(rcp)
hold:   holder(rcp)     thing-held(cvy)

ask:    asker(org)      person-asked(rcp)
receive: recipient(rcp) giver(org)

You can see the dualities here analogous to look/see. I don't know what's
the word to express this duality---it's like volition but not quite.
Perhaps we can say it's a matter of _direction_: looking (out) vs. seeing
(taking in sight); turning one's ear outwards towards a source of sound,
vs. taking in the sound; reaching out vs. holding in.

> One Word to write them all,             John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
>   One Access to find them,    
> One Excel to count them all,  
>   And thus to Windows bind them.                --Mike Champion

Hilarious sig duly added to my sig file. :-)

P.S. I'm also duly impressed by Lojban's dispensation with the natlang
misfeature that one particular verb argument must always be present (eg.
the nominative or subject). Ebisedian also dispenses with this
requirement, having replaced the (in my view) cumbersome system of
passives with a unified system where active and passive are identical.
Take for example the verb _fa't3_ (to see); perfective _fww't3_:

        fww't3 ebu'.            I see.
        jhit0' fww't3.          She was seen.
        jhit0' fww't3 ebu'.     I see her / she was seen by me.

The active statement is formed simply by omitting the originative place,
and the passive statement is formed simply by omitting the receptive
place. When both are present, the distinction between active and passive
is semantically irrelevant, and the Ebisedian neatly (if I may say so
myself) uses the same expression for both.


Life is complex. It consists of real and imaginary parts. -- YHL