Difference between revisions of "prior usage and discussions of vo'a"

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*Colin Fine<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9303/msg00107.html </ref>: '''lenu vo'a''', <u>short</u>-distance (nu clause is x1 of main bridi, so long-distance interpretation is blocked)
*Colin Fine<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9303/msg00107.html </ref>: '''lenu vo'a''', <u>short</u>-distance (nu clause is x1 of main bridi, so long-distance interpretation is blocked)
*Andrew Smith<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00017.html</ref>: '''lenu vo'a''', long-distance (I assume, since children are ordinarily washed by others)
*Andrew Smith<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00017.html</ref>: '''lenu vo'a''', long-distance (I assume, since children are ordinarily washed by others)
*Colin Fine<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00015.html , [http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00016.html]</ref>: '''lenu vo'a''', long-distance
*Colin Fine<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00015.html</ref><ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00016.html</ref>: '''lenu vo'a''', long-distance
*Colin Fine, '''lenu vo'a'''<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9309/msg00119.html</ref>: long-distance
*Colin Fine, '''lenu vo'a'''<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9309/msg00119.html</ref>: long-distance
*Chris Bogart<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9502/msg00056.html</ref>: '''be vo'a''', <u>ambiguous</u> (but probably <u>short</u>-distance)
*Chris Bogart<ref>http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9502/msg00056.html</ref>: '''be vo'a''', <u>ambiguous</u> (but probably <u>short</u>-distance)

Revision as of 14:04, 8 October 2014

The following is a collection of usage of vo'a as short scope and as long scope.

It has only a historical interest.

Note that in modern Lojban vo'a is always long scope, i.e. it always refers to the first sumti of the current sentence (not bridi).

See also Why the Book is Right and the ma'oste is Wrong

Times issue of the scope of vo'a has come up in the past

Inspired by Jay Kominek's dictum that if you're going to rehash a debate, just go to the archives and live vicariously. :-)

In the following, defenses, proposals, or usages of short-distance vo'a are highlighted, and usages ambiguous between short- and long-distance: le catra be vo'a as suicide, or .abu djuno ledu'u by. prami vo'a where vo'a=by are short-distance. 'Logophoric' use refers to vo'a refering to the preceding sentence, which is agreed to be wrong.

Old Lojban List (could only retrieve 100 of the 151 instances reported of vo'a so this is not complete.


  • John Cowan[1]: at the time, accepting vo'a as long-distance, I think
  • Lojbab[2]: long-distance (I think)
  • Colin Fine[3]: long-distance (agreeing with Y's hunch)
  • Nick Nicholas[4]: short-distance (!! I think I was arguing for a short distance default, back when vo'a was labile.)
  • Colin Fine[5]: non-comittal
  • Jorge Llambias[6]: short-distance
  • Lojbab[7]: long-distance (in response to Jorge, with history of vo'a)
  • Lojbab[8]: long-distance
  • Iain Alexander[9]: long-distance
  • Lojbab[10]: long-distance

Long:Short:Non-Commital: 7:2:1

People consistently Long:Short:Non-Commital: 3:2:1


  • Lojbab[11]: x1 of main bridi, logophoric (i.e. = le go'i)
  • John Cowan (heheh)[12]: be vo'a, long-distance (i.e. x1 of main bridi, not of sumti selbri)
  • Nick Nicholas[13]: ne vo'a and lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Mark Shoulson[14]: be vo'a, long-distance
  • Nick Nicholas[15]: pe/po/be vo'a, long-distance
  • Mark Shoulson[16]: lenu vo'a, short-distance (nu clause is x1 of main bridi, so long-distance interpretation is blocked)
  • Colin Fine[17]: du'u vo'a, long-distance
  • Iain Alexander[18]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • David Twery[19]: ka vo'a, long-distance
  • Colin Fine[20]: lenu vo'a, short-distance (nu clause is x1 of main bridi, so long-distance interpretation is blocked)
  • Andrew Smith[21]: lenu vo'a, long-distance (I assume, since children are ordinarily washed by others)
  • Colin Fine[22][23]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Colin Fine, lenu vo'a[24]: long-distance
  • Chris Bogart[25]: be vo'a, ambiguous (but probably short-distance)
  • And Rosta[26]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Chris Bogart. lenu..be vo'a[27]: ambiguous
  • And Rosta[28]: be fai voa, long-distance
  • Don Wiggins[29]: x1 of main bridi, logophoric (i.e. = le go'i)
  • And Rosta[30]: nunybroda be vo'a, long-distance
  • Iain Alexander[31]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Lojbab[32]: leni vo'a, long-distance

Long:Short:Other: 14:2:4

People consistently Long:Short:Non-Commital: 6:0:1 (Lojbab, Shoulson, Fine have varied.)

New Lojban list:


  • Nick Nicholas[33]: long-distance (recanting short-distance -- which is how he remembered it, or what he read in The Book if he didn't remember it)
  • Adam Raizen[34]: short-distance
  • Lojbab[35]: long-distance
  • Nick Nicholas[36]: long-distance
  • And Rosta[37]: long-distance
  • pc[38]: record, long-distance
  • pc[39]: record, long-distance

Long:Short:Non-Commital: 6:1:0

People consistently Long:Short:Non-Commital: 4:1:0



The original postings of Helsem's story are excluded, in favour of the aggregate posting[40]/

  • Michael Helsem[41]: le vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[42]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[43]: le vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[44]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[45]: le vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[46]: ge ... gi vo'a, short-distance? But no real nesting.
  • Michael Helsem[47]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[48]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[49]: lenu vo'a, ambiguous
  • Michael Helsem[50]: ledu'u vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[51]: be vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[52]: lenu vo'a, long-distance (Possibly, but the sentence is a little opaque for me.)
  • Michael Helsem[53]: le vo'a, long-distance
  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1995 : Michael Helsem (the short story):
    • le vo'a, long-distance;
    • be vo'a, long-distance;
    • be vo'a, long-distance;
    • le vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • le vo'a, long-distance;
    • ledu'u vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, ambiguous (mi xanka le karcynunpo'u calenu xruti vo'a le tcadu: I worry about my car trouble as i return to the City);
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • noi vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • ledu'u vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance (translation garbled: mi nu'o gasnu ge lenu do se xrani ginai lenu vo'a se xrani);
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • ge vo'a, short-distance? (ti'e ge le drata ba'o garkla je'a re lamji ginai vo'a facki le nu gleki) No real nesting here, though.
    • ledu'u vo'a, long-distance;
    • lesedu'u vo'a, long-distance;
    • ledu'u vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu... poi vo'a, long-distance;
    • poi.. ledu'u vo'a, long-distance;
    • lenu vo'a, long-distance;
    • ledu'u vo'a, long-distance;
  • Michael Helsem[54]: poi vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[55]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[56]: du'u vo'a, short-distance
  • Michael Helsem[57]: po'u na'ebo vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[58]: be vo'a, long-distance (explicitly defending interpretation)
  • Michael Helsem[59]: be vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[60]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[61]: be vo'a, long-distance (I'm pretty sure that's how it was meant)
  • Michael Helsem[62]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Michael Helsem[63]: lenu vo'a, short-distance
  • Michael Helsem[64]: le vo'a, long-distance

Counting the ge...gi vo'a as 'other':

Long:Short:Other: 43:2:4


  • Robin Turner[65]: lenu vo'a, unintentionally long-distance (the na'e should have been cu na'e, so this should not involve nesting at all)
  • tsali[66]: ledu'u... be vo'a, short-distance? (But, I personally think, logophoric instead.)
  • Spigot[67]: leka... soi vo'a, unintentionally long-distance (because there should have been a kei there, so in fact there is no nesting)
  • Robin Turner[68]: lenu... soi vo'a, short-distance (Gotcha! soi vo'a, of course, is treated as a fixed idiom)
  • Robin Turner[69]: lenu vo'a, long-distance (which is why he got it right in the lessons and Nick didn't)
  • Cyril Slobin[70]: noi vo'a, short-distance (is considering co'o mi'e... to be a separate sentence)
  • Adam Raizen[71]: cei to vo'a, long-distance (but grammatically anomalous context)
  • Nick Nicholas[72]: poi vo'a, long-distance
  • Bjoern Gohla[73]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Jorge Llambias[74]: le vo'a, long-distance (whether it picks up one or both referents is being questioned, but that the reference is long-distance, and this is not a "book about itself", is not in doubt.)
  • Lojbab[75]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • xod[76]: tu'a le vo'a, long-distance
  • Jorge Llambias[77]: lenu vo'a, long-distance
  • Jorge Llambias[78]: po'u le vo'a..., long-distance
  • Adam Raizen[79]: poi vo'a, ambiguous
  • Jorge Llambias[80]: poi vo'a, ambiguous
  • Jorge Llambias[81]: be vo'a, long-distance
  • Nick Nicholas[82]: poi vo'a, long-distance

Not counting unintentionals.:

Long:Short:Other: 11:2:3

People consistently Long:Short:Other: 4:1:0 (Turner, Raizen, Llambias have been inconsistent, although the latter two are probably long-distance.)

Usage is often determined, natural language style, by conflicting interpretations. For example, when vo'a appears as an x1, you can be pretty sure it's not going to be short-distance.


  1. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9008/msg00016.html
  2. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9201/msg00015.html
  3. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9201/msg00077.html
  4. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9201/msg00063.html
  5. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9201/msg00012.html
  6. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9407/msg00031.html
  7. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9407/msg00035.html
  8. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9507/msg00004.html
  9. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9708/msg00063.html
  10. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9708/msg00070.html
  11. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9103/msg00023.html
  12. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9011/msg00019.html
  13. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9112/msg00013.html
  14. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9201/msg00052.html
  15. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9201/msg00094.html
  16. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9203/msg00034.html
  17. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9203/msg00016.html
  18. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9208/msg00030.html
  19. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9208/msg00029.html
  20. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9303/msg00107.html
  21. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00017.html
  22. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00015.html
  23. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9305/msg00016.html
  24. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9309/msg00119.html
  25. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9502/msg00056.html
  26. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9509/msg00135.html
  27. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9509/msg00076.html
  28. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9510/msg00148.html
  29. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9601/msg00135.html
  30. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9612/msg00011.html
  31. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9708/msg00055.html
  32. http://balance.wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9804/msg00040.html
  33. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9108
  34. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9111
  35. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9113
  36. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9157
  37. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9182
  38. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9303
  39. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9463
  40. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1995
  41. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/538
  42. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/869
  43. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/877
  44. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1079
  45. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1081
  46. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1093
  47. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1336
  48. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1415
  49. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1578
  50. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1591
  51. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1628
  52. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1748
  53. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1760
  54. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/2348
  55. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/2362
  56. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/2383
  57. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/2454
  58. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/2457
  59. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/3143
  60. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/3150
  61. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/4270
  62. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/5093
  63. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/5231
  64. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/5622
  65. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/514
  66. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/893
  67. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1070
  68. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1190
  69. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/1549
  70. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/2308
  71. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/4393
  72. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/5489
  73. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/6463
  74. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/6953
  75. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/6956
  76. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/6970
  77. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/7642
  78. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/8310
  79. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9005
  80. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9009
  81. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9250
  82. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/9351