Logan Kearsley, On 15/11/2012 16:50:
> Human languages *don't do* arbitrary variable bindings
> (except maybe for that spatial pronoun thing in sign languages, which
> I'm probably doing a horrible job of referencing accurately).

What are arbitrary variable bindings, such that human languages don't do them?

> A loglang should be based on logic, yes, but it should also be a
> *language*, and allowing arbitrary variable bindings makes the
> system seem to me less like a language and more like an obtuse
> mathematical notation with a weird pronunciation convention; we might
> as well just make up new names for the symbols and speak straight
> predicate calculus!

Well, the loglang challenge is to come up with something that is as comprehensive and unambiguous as spoken predicate calculus, while being more usable, more ergonomic than that and ideally no less ergonomic than natlangs.

>> Anyway, quantifiers are scary.  Donkey sentences and all that...
> Indeed they are. Their trickiness in most natural languages makes me
> gravitate towards them as a test of how well a loglang does at
> actually unambiguously encoding logical form.

Then I recommend Xorban. (I can't recommend Livagian, because of course it is not publicly accessible.)
Alex Fink, On 15/11/2012 20:43:
> On Thu, 15 Nov 2012 09:50:10 -0700, Logan Kearsley<[log in to unmask]>  wrote:
> I'll take that opportunity to raise a different point that crossed my
> mind about subclauses, though. Given that one of the impetuses for my
> case-lang scheme (which could also be applied to your pronoun-lang
> scheme) was avoiding ordered lists in its parsing, and given that
> parsing hierarchical structures wants some kind of stack, one might
> be moved to try to avoid hierarchical structures. I wonder if we lose
> an unacceptable amount of flexibility by flattening your structure
> here and saying, for instance, that the inner-subclause scope of an
> ALL is always precisely the material to its left (or you cd choose
> right) in the current clause,

Is it possible to have clausality without hierarchicality? It seems to me that 'clause' is here just a term for a certain sort of (sub)tree.

Logan Kearsley, On 15/11/2012 22:37:
> On 15 November 2012 13:43, Alex Fink<[log in to unmask]>  wrote:
>> More or less, at the extremest extreme, throwing out clauses
>> altogether and instead just having words, interpreted one at a time
>> as they come. Pronoun values would be persistent, unless one of the
>> words is a relative to move them around. Or probably, for
>> usability, there would need to be morphology that says "cancel the
>> old value of this variable, I'm starting afresh with it this
>> word".
> Ah! Yes, I had thought about that briefly. I would probably analyze
> such a language as simply having really enormous clauses with lots of
> serial verbs or somesuch, with clause boundaries indicated by whatever
> morphology is used for rebinding. But it would be a bit of a stretch.
> It doesn't seem to work at all with the suggestion for flattened out
> quantifiers, though. You need some kind of clause termination so that
> you aren't stuck with the entire remainder of your discourse stuck in
> quantifier scope!

Livagian quantifiers have three arguments:
(i) an event argument;
(ii) an argument that binds another complex predicate's event argument;
(iii) another argument of the complex predicate whose event argument the quantifier binds.
--(iii) gives the bound variable; (ii) gives the scope. A complex predicate is a simplex predicate or a fusion of complex predicates such that the whole complex predicate has a single event argument.

In Xorban, syntax is hierarchical, and quantifiers have scope over their complement phrases.