Jonathan Knibb:
> And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>
> > - every word refers to an entity as well as describing it
> Every *word*? How about words like "every", "some"?
> <<<
> Well, a large majority of words in any T4 utterance do have an obvious
> referent which is relevant to that utterance.  Some quantifier words
> co-refer with whatever is quantified - that is to say, in 'every
> rabbit', each of the two words refers to every rabbit.
> Other words, for example numbers, never have to co-refer with any
> other word or phrase.  These words are very much in the minority,
> however, and it does not introduce any inconsistency to assert that
> they too have referents, and that the identities of these referents
> are simply not relevant to the meaning communicated by the utterance.
> The simplest way of achieving this is to state that they actually *do*
> co-refer with the quantified word, so that 'six rabbits' behaves just
> like 'every rabbit' in that each word co-refers with the phrase.
> Again, this is in no way inconsistent - it is, so to speak, a cog
> which does not mesh with the syntactic gears of the sentence.

I understand.

> >>>
> > - strict binary branching syntax
> How do you cope with predicates with more than one argument?
> <<<
> There aren't any in T4.  So there.  :)
> That of course begs the question of how to translate 'X gives Y to Z.'
> etc.  This is achieved by having one word for 'gives (something)' and
> another for 'gives to (somebody)', and then the syntax goes like:
> { X [ (gives Y) (to Z) ] }

What is "to" here? Do you mean "{X[(gives Y) (gives-to Z)}"?

> Of course you could equally use a structure of the form:
> ( X { gives [ Y ( which-goes-to Z ) ] } )
> .. or a number of other alternatives.  Actually I don't find that
> this situation arises all that often, but it doesn't pose a big
> problem when it does.

In Livagian the max adicity is 3. Some common triadics:
X says information Y to Z
X insists to Y that Z
X opines Y to Z
X talks about Y to Z
X serves Y's intended purpose Z
X helps Y to do Z
X asks Y Z
X does Y with purpose Z
X uses Y for purpose Z
X uses Y to do to Z what Y is usually used for
X controls Y in doing Z
X has property Y most among members of set Z
X has property Y more than Z has property Y

But I do have devices (too complicated to explain easily) for coping
with predicates with more than three arguments.

> >>>
> > - 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.
> <<<
> Hmmm, that's interesting.  I wonder whether T4 is parsable in the ways
> you specify - I'm not syntactician enough to answer that question.  I
> have a gut feeling that it is, but I couldn't swear to it.

Telona is head-first and iirc it is fully predicatable whether a
node is terminal or (binary) branching. So yes, T4 is parsable in
that way.

> >>>
> 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.
> <<<
> I agree, of course, that similar goals tend to lead to similar results
> in most walks of life.  I wonder though whether any two conlangs'
> goals are really sufficiently similar to make this an important
> effect.  Goals are 'chosen for functional reasons' in the creation of
> computer languages, encodings for long-distance communication, and so
> forth ... but surely a language which would merit the term 'conlang'
> in our sense would have aesthetic as well as functional goals, and it
> is very unlikely in my view that two languages which share one set of
> goals would also share the other to a sufficient extent.  I may be
> wrong. :)

Although engelangs are less common than artlangs, one does see
recurrent goals and solutions. A common goal is self-segregating
words, for example. Another example is the similarily of S7's
root structure to that of whatever Rick Morneau's lg is called these

> And continues:
> >>>
> JK wrote:
> > Henrik Theiling wrote:
> > > How do you say: 'Goblins never sleep?'
> > 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. [...]
> Rather, it seems to me that the 'referent' of the phrase should
> be the absence/nonexistence of events of goblins sleeping.
> <<<
> I've just been contemplating this for half an hour, and I've come to
> the conclusion that you're absolutely right - there is something wrong
> with the way I've been thinking about this all these years.  I think
> however that the flaw is not fatal, and that the syntax comes through
> unscathed.
> The problem, I think, is that 'not X' in T4 (that is,
> {not + X} in T4 interlinear notation) doesn't mean 'something which
> can be described as something other than X', but rather 'something
> which cannot be described as X'.  That is, {not + X} describes the
> inverse set to {X}.  Now I can translate 'Goblins never sleep.' as
> 'All goblins / cannot be described as asleep', that is, 'All goblins
> are {not + asleep}.'  Does that make sense?

It does make perfect sense. Now, tell me how you say "Not all
goblins sleep"! My guess: you have a word meaning "not all".
If so, let's change to
(i) There are three books on my shelf that are not written by tolstoy.
(ii) There aren't three books on my shelf that are written by tolstoy.

Having a predicate "X is false" would make those easier!