Bloated Gismu Syndrome

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Many gismu have places which are mostly irrelevant to the meaning of the predicate, or which are potentially relevant to every predicate, and serve mainly to obfuscate the place structures. Some support ignoring these places (when they are the last places) in order to simplify the gismu.

For example:

  • x4 and x5 of klama. The x4 is a pluta, or a se litru pluta, and the x5 is a klama marce. Likewise with cliva, muvdu, and litru.
  • All of the under conditions places should be replaced by tcini, vanbi or va'o: banzu, binxo, cenba, ckape, cumki, curmi, dirce, drani, frati, frili, friti, ganse, gapci, jdari, kakne, lakne, litki, macnu, nandu, pikta, pluka, randa, ranti, rigni, rinka, runta, sarcu, simlu, skari, sligu, srera, stodi, tadji, tarti, tcaci, tinsa, viknu, viska, vlipa, xanka, zgana, zifre, zmiku. If these gismu keep their under conditions places, they don't mean broda, but would broda, if ....
    • That depends how you interpret "under conditions" in the gismu list. I don't think "under conditions" means if, which is one reason I dislike va'o being used for that meaning. This might pose the dilemma which forces us to finally decide what va'o means - if va'o in fact does mean "if", then all these gismu in fact do in fact end up meaning "would broda, if..." --rab.spir
  • Likewise, most of the by standard places can be replaced by something like manri and ma'i: banli, barda, cacra, cafne, caxno, certu, cinla, cinse, citno, cladu, clite, cmalu, cnano, cnino, condi, dizlo, djedi, drani, drata, dukse, fenki, galtu, ganra, glare, jarki, jeftu, jinsa, jmive, juxre, kanro, kargu, lenku, linto, masti, melbi, mentu, mintu, mulno, nanca, palci, panra, plana, ponse, pluja, racli, rotsu, ruble, slabu, smaji, srera, tilju, tsali, virnu, vitno, vrude, xadba, xamgu, xlali, zasni.
  • Most of the places specifying an amount can be replaced by ni, se klani or sela'u: jdika, mleca, zenba, zmadu.
  • Others may also be unnecessary: x4 of djuno (djuno tadji/manri/ciste), x4 of jinvi (jinvi jicmu).
    • I happen to really love djuno4! --xod
  • x3 of tirxu (it's contained in the x2), and x3 of lanme (it's a lanme gunma/girzu).
  • Also, I don't understand the standards place in the metric units. Is there more than one standard for what a grake is?
    • Sure, there is the official gram in Paris, there is a cc of dirty water, a cc of distilled water, the gram you used in your high school chemistry class to measure amounts... da grake fi ti and then you hold up what you used to measure da
      • Okay, then include the following in the above list of by standard words: delno, grake, kelvo, litce, mitre, molro, radno, stero, xampo.
  • x3 of jbena is jaica jbena and x4 jaibu'u jbena.
  • Many of the material places are probably unnecessary and can be replaced with se marji and sema'e. The main use that I can see for the material places is in lujvo. Thus a gold arch would be a slobargu -> bargu fi lo solji. But gismu which specify materials in Lojban normally mean x1 is made of material y, so slobargu could equally well be solji je bargu. Thus the material places are unnecessary and can be eliminated. As an emergency there's still se marji and sema'e.
  • x4 of botpi is mostly irrelevant to the idea of a bottle (use botpi gacri). But botpi does not mean bottle. It means sealable container, so it needs a seal. That's questionable. A sealable container would more simply be expressed as se gacri or se gacri vasru.
  • etc.

I think the above list includes too many places. Many of those give me the impression of having been included just for the sake of changing stuff. However, I agree that the places which quite obviously should be modal - those being "by standard", "under conditions", and "of material" - should be deprecated. I think it would help just to focus on these three categories and not miscellaneous things like te lanme; this way it's not difficult to remember which gismu places are currently unpopular. Plus, I like ve/xe klama, ve djuno, ve jinvi te/ve jbena, and the "amount" places, and I've gotten used to ve botpi. --rab.spir

Simpler place structures

  • are more general in meaning.
  • make the gismu easier to use, since there aren't a bunch of extraneous places popping up in the middle. This is especially important in lujvo making, where the irrelevant places are likely to push more important places toward the back.
    • My all-time pet peeve for that is traji, whose x4 was inexplicably pushed back for x2 and x3, violating the parallel with zmadu. It makes havoc with dikyjvo, of course. This I could convince noone on, even while we could still have changed the place structures -- mi'e nitcion. --> traji
  • are easier to memorize.
  • are less likely to be used incorrectly.

I realize that some people find places like the x3 of barda especially lojbanic, but I just find them clumsy.

-- Adam

(cf. [1], [

Cf.] Lean Lujvo, for a similar position regarding lujvo.

I support this radical movement. --xod

A reminder that gismu place structures are considered baselined; such a movement would indeed be radical. -- mi'e nitcion

Radical mistakes call for radical corrections. -- Adam

Which fundamentalism undamentalists (by this I mean those who insist on the inviolability of the baseline, per orxes' proposed axes) will oppose precisely because they are radical. -- nitcion.

I agree with Adam's criticisms of existing place structures, but I also agree that changing them would be a baseline violation. Given that LLG has an overwhelming mandate to enforce the baseline, I advocate the following:

  • Use the bloated gismu only in lujvo (dropping superfluous places in the process);
  • Create unbloated lujvo to replace the bloated gismu (e.g. botpybotpi);
    • botpybotpi and all the other unbloated lujvo are even more clumsy that the strange place structure of botpi, without even getting into seljvajvo. -- Adam
  • Call for a revisable baseline.
    • If we don't use the excessive places now, a call for a revisable baseline will be more credible when the time comes. -- Adam

mi'e And.

Where is the baseline violation? Does the baseline say you must use every gismu place? --xod

The places are there no matter what. Botpi still have caps. Djuno still has epistemology. The filling of the places is not mandated, but their existence cannot be removed. Use zi'o.

Don't need zi'o to ignore a place: just don't fill it, and apply the appropriate modal if you need to express the concept. --xod

Not filling it still asserts that there is a true value for it, you just don't think it's important to say what that is. You still need zi'o if you want to remove the place.

When Adam talks of a klama without an x5, he is not talking about klama fu zi'o; vehicle-less travel. He simply means that the choice of vehicle is not central enough to the concept. --xod

Er, I thought klama fu zi'o did mean the choice of vehicle is not central enough to the concept. klama fu zi'o is not at all the same as klama fu noda. If Adam does indeed want to remove the place (i.e. always imply zi'o for the xe klama, which amounts to the same thing), for all Lojbanists, that's violating the baseline. If he wants to ignore it in his own usage (which is what the top of the page says, the way I read it), then that's fine, and more power to him: lots of places will get ignored. Of course, if you adhere by the baseline, you can't then complain if someone else chooses to use those places... -- nitcion

  • And nor can you complain if someone interprets you as having used those places. For example, if you say mi klama le zarci, you can't complain if someone understands you to be claiming that you went by means of a vehicle. -- Well, you can complain, but not if you're a hardliners ardliner and fundamentalism undamentalist. -- mi'e And Rosta.
    • That's okay, since I don't intend to go anywhere without a vehicle nor do I intend to know anything without an epistemology nor talk about something big without a standard of bigness. You'll just have to bear with me when I take the cap off my bottle in order to let a single sheep drink :-) -- Adam

ignore = treat as if it didn't exist = zi'o away for all practical purposes. klama fu zi'o at present would generally be interpreted to mean go without a vehicle, since there's no reason to call attention to the x5 and explicitly delete it otherwise. Ignoring the place doesn't draw attention to it when it's simply irrelevant. I'm not sure if you consider that I adhere to the baseline, but I can and will consider anyone who says klama fu da to be doing somersaults in the air when a simple about-face would have worked just as well.

  • Cool. And you're free to tell me I'm doing so. I just want to make sure you don't tell me that I'm wrong, in some sense, rather than just misguided. :-) --- because I will not necessarily be doing the same. -- nitcion

By the way, I find it extremely interesting that Lojban, which constantly claims that it tries to minimize metaphysical assumptions, puts all of these "by standard" places in the gismu. -- Adam

It did so, I think, precisely because it wanted to disclaim assumptions --- by making them explicit. Whether it should have is another matter. Realistically, I agree very few people will ever use the 'by standard' places. -- nitcion

That's not disclaiming assumptions, that's adding them. If there's a "by standard" place, it means there must be a standard. If there isn't one, there may or may not be a standard.

People who claim there is no standard needed for certain ideas do so simply because they want to convince others that their standard is objective, and no competing standard is worth discussing. --xod

I agree, but that's not the issue. Putting that philosophy into the gismu is not minimizing metaphysical assumptions. -- Adam

The vast majority of the usage advocated here would not be in violation of the baseline. If it's barda fi ko'a it's also barda ma'i ko'a. (Except for that one sheep I keep out in my backyard.) It's easier to remove places than to add them within the baseline. To remove them just requires ignoring them, and most of the time the ignored places are actually a part of the bridi, just a completely irrelevant part. To add them requires explaining to everyone what you mean. -- Adam

OK, Adam. This, I'm happy with, and de facto, it's already been happening. (The only issue is to how many gismu it's happening: There's a hierarchy of irrelevancy: more people will drop te barda than xe klama. So it devolves to a matter of degree.) Consensus at long last? :-) -- nitcion

Only if you don't use those places. :-) (Damn! know it was too good to be true. :-) -- n.)

I think we can all agree that these places should not be used in lujvo, can't we? -- Adam Em... er... -- nitcion.

But if we agree to that, we are pretending they don't exist. Thus, we are assuming zi'o instead of zo'e. If you want to follow standard lojban theory, you can't do that. If not, great - you're letting usage decide - but don't pressure us to, that's getting perilously close to changing the standard... and violating the baseline. - la .kreig.daniyl. (Phew. Yeah, what he said -- nitcion.)

Sorry, I meant when the gismu in question is the seltau of the veljvo. You ((nitcion), if I remember correctly, suggested that the x3 of "ponse" should be eliminated in "posydji" as irrelevant to the concept (in the original lujvo paper). So what's your objection? -- Adam

OK, for the tertau, we agree, dropping places in either tanru or lujvo is just like dropping places in gismu, with all that entails. For the seltau... I think you've got me; I think you should be able to drop places at your discretion, and certainly have the seltau places trailing, so they won't be missed. But (and please don't hit the roof when you see this) I now would keep the x3 of posydji. As the very last, trailing, everyone-will-drop-it place, but I'd now keep it nonetheless. -- nitcion.

Well, if you would have "posydji" be {d1=p1 p2 d3 p3} that's fine, because no one would use that seriously. But it violates seljvajvo principles. -- Adam (Don't mean to be obtuse, but how? --n) According to seljvajvo principles, it would have to be {d1=p1 p2 p3 d3}, no? Probably neither p3 nor d3 are very useful, but if either is, it's d3, not p3. -- Adam

I oppose this. Yesterday I discovered an important use for a sumti place that I'd never thought I'd expect. Similar to te barda. --Snan