----- "Jim Henry" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 

> On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 6:17 PM, Douglas Koller <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 

> > ----- "Jim Henry" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 

> >> "Rekta vojo estas pli mallonga, ol kurba." 

> >> (A straight path is shorter than a curvy [path].) 

> >> Granted, that's different in degree from the sentence we've been 
> >> discussing here -- the omitted head noun was just there in the first 
> >> half of the sentence, and doesn't need to be repeated after "kurba". 

> > I see your point, but why couldn't you mark the last part as a noun? 

> > Rekta vojo estas pli mallonga, ol purbo. 
> > A straight path is shorter than a shorter (one). 

> Assuming "purbo" is a typo for "kurbo" -- that wouldn't mean the same 
> thing. It would mean "A straight path is shorter than a curve". 

> There are languages where the simplest nominalization of an adjective 
> generally produces a noun meaning "a thing having this quality"; but 
> in Esperanto, it usually produces a noun meaning "this quality in the 
> abstract". Unless, as in this case, the adjective was itself derived 
> from a noun "kurba" = curvy, twisty, from "kurbo" a curve. There are 
> other ways to nominalize an adjective, with various suffixes in 
> addition to the -o ending; you could say: 

> Rekta vojo estas pli mallonga, ol kurbaĵo. 

Doesn't Esperanto have participles, like "curving", "curved", "will be curved"? So couldn't we use a (theoretical, since I'm not going to revisit Esperanto grammar just to make a point) form like: 

?kurbata - (having been) curved 

Rekta vojo estas pli mallonga, ol kurbato. 

A straight path is shorter than a curved (one). ? 

By not nominalizing the second element, I would think you would end up with sentences like: *"Your daughter is younger than my." 

(oh, that's just ellipsis, since we know what the co-referent is?!) 

> > If Esperanto is yawing into an artlang following, I would not at all complain. And I would say "bully" (à la Theodore Roosevelt) to its Utopian, internationalist goals; we should never lose sight of that (albeit, from a Eurocentric perspective). I thought the point was: Esperanto will not be hard and transparent for beginners. 

> Indeed, that's one of the main points; but one of the other main 
> points is that it should be useful for all purposes its speakers might 
> want to put it to. That means it needs to be more complex than, say, 
> Toki Pona (which is much easier for beginners, but not flexible or 
> expressive enough to be used for all the things people use Esperanto 
> for). Arguably it's become unnecessarily complex over time, with 
> poets and ordinary speakers stretching it in different directions over 
> 123 years, but I suspect that would happen to any auxlang or engelang 
> that was used on such a scale by so many diverse people. 

I completely agree. 

> I don't think the range of disagreement has been that wide, actually 
> -- we're agreed on what the sentence means, if it means anything; we 
> differ only on whether it's perfectly cromulent vs. markedly literary 
> vs. simply ungrammatical, and most if not all of the people thinking 
> it ungrammatical expressed that opinion tentatively, with the 
> reservation that they aren't thoroughly familiar with Esperanto. 

Of which I have been one.