Again: ''only''

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Recently, I came across this famous quote in Lakota and Chinese versions:

Aguyapi ecela un wicasa kin ni pi sni...

Ren shenghuo bu dan kao shiwu, erqie...


(encoding UTF-8)

and was wondering how to render it in Lojban. Here's my try (plz comment!):

lo'e renma cu jmive co banro fi lo nanba nalpavmei...

lo'e renma cu mivyba'o fi lo nanba nalpavmei...

lo'e renma cu banro befi lo nanba nalpavmei be'o jmive...

lo'e renma cu nanba nalpavmei mivyterba'o...

I somewhat like the last one (being other than sure whether it's correct).


1 doesn't do it: {banro3} is the earlier stage of the growing one, not the means of growing. And, is {nalpavmei} well-formed? Surely the original has the {na} sentential rather than predicative. In this case it probably doesn't make much of difference, but there are cases where "does by something other than a monad" is different from "doesn't do by a monad" (which allows "doesn't do at all," for example). These objections run through all the permutations.

I thought the notion here was (in English, to be sure) "alone," whose relation to "only" is complex.

{lo nanba nalpavmei} most likely means "a mass of bread with other than one member" which is quite different from "a mass of supports for life with bread and other members," which is presumably what is wanted (one form of it anyhow).

Yes, thanks: _banro3_ cannot be used, but maybe a sumti tcita like _teri'a_??

Yet, the real point in question remains "not only/not alone :( (which in Chinese here is a conjunction _bu dan_ - not merely/only: not only A but also B - whereas an adverbal homophone has the meaning not alone/single).

In Lojban, I think, nalpavmei doesn't cover the notion of "...but also B" (I'd understand it as "other than a onesome with regard to bread" or such. I feel that not the somewhat "open" tanru construction of _nanba nalpavmei_ is the problem, but - dito - the lujvo with pamei. Any solutions?


Well, as always, the basic Lojban form for "only bread is what we live by" -- borrowed from formal logic -- is "if it is something we live by then it is bread," which is here to be denied: "something is something we live by and not bread." Relevantly in this case, this still does not say that bread is something we live by, as the original clearly intends. There does not seem to be a compact way of saying this in basic Lojban and I don't know which of the later idioms has been accepted (if any) and carries this version of the meaning: "Bread is something we live by but not everything we live by is bread." Of course it may be something like (as noted earlier) "What we live by is a mass, one component of which is bread but the others are not."

xorxes: Some possibilities are:

lo nanba na banzu lo nu lo remna cu jmive

Bread is not enough for Man to live.

lo remna cu nitcu lo na'e ji'a nanba lo nu jmive

Man needs non-bread too in order to live.

lo nanba na nonkansa lo nu se nitcu lo remna lo nu jmive

Bread is not alone in being needed by Man to live.

lo remna cu nitcu lo nanba po'onai lo nu jmive

Man needs (not only) bread in order to live.

The something-but-not-everything version might be:

su'o jeku'i me'i se nitcu be lo remna bei lo nu jmive cu nanba

Some but not all of the things needed by Man to live are bread.

pc: usual footnotes worrying about unflagged sumti after {nitcu} and whether {po'o} can come out of its adverbial use to play a quantifier role.

Does {lo na'e ji'a nanba} really work out right? It looks a natural for "bread alone."

  • {ji'a} modifies {na'e}, not the other way around.

Only the last of these obviously implies that bread is something which man lives by -- that is, the others get the weak "not only" -- which may be enough.

.aulun.: Thanks, very interesting examples!

lo nanba na banzu lo nu lo remna cu jmive

Bread is not enough for Man to live.

Could this be ambiguous: There is not enough bread for man to live ?

  • Hmm... I think that would be: {lo namba klani na banzu lo nu lo remna cu jmive}, the amount of bread is not enough for man to live.

lo remna cu nitcu lo nanba po'onai lo nu jmive

I also saw problems with {po'o} so I didn't use it.

lo nanba na nonkansa lo nu se nitcu lo remna lo nu jmive

{nonkansa}: "zero-accompany" -> not being together/along with -> being alone(?) hence:

lo nanba nonkansa lo nu se nitcu lo remna lo nu jmive (?)

pc: The last of these says "Bread is alone .." so the {na} is needed.

The first probably requires reading {lo nanba} as the substance, a problem without an agreed upon solution, to do what is wanted (maybe they all do).

xorxes' second -- even if it gets around the {nitcu} problem -- has the {lo na'e nanba} misplaced, since it -- in the original anyhow -- has longer scope than even the present sentence, leading up to the namely rider "but by every word of God."

  • I'm not sure I understand the objection. It basically says that man needs non-bread in order to live. It doesn't specify the kind of non-bread needed, but neither does the original. --xorxes
    • pc: Matthew 4:4 "One does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God," (NRSV -- the ooriginal is from the in this case slightly more accurate KJV) quoting some place else in the Bible that I can't track down at the moment. So {da poi na nanba ...} at the beginning and a "namely" at the end (I forget how that is lexed this time around).
      • Deuteronomy 8:3.
    • The external quantifier also saves the bacon with {nitcu}, guaranteeing that what is needed exists, as the buried one does not (though that is probably not a problem in this case). This is getting pretty non-gnomic and structurally pretty far from the original -- as usual when logic come in; maybe a rough approximation that is zippy would be better.
      • ? {lo remna na jmive sepi'o loi nanba joi no da i ku'i na go'i sepi'o ro valsi co se cusku be la cev}?
        • {loi nanba ku joi no da}. That's interesting. Presumably it is a different thing than plain {loi nanba}, but what is it? You need {ja'a} rather than {na} in the second bridi, as they act on go'i substitutively rather than cumulatively. --xorxes
          • Yes, {ku} indeed (note to loCCan: get the connectives regularized) -- though that does not explain why the parser just drops {loi naba joi} and gives a parse, rather than saying it is imparsible.
          • {ja'a} is less clear; it makes sense given the replacements elsewhere, but the denial of the previous sentence, in the one place where it is mentioned, is {na go'i}. To be sure that one example is of an affirmative sentence, but the rule is stated generally.
          • As I said, not quite accurate but zippier: {no da} for "nothing else" (as all to often generally) but I would work it out that loi nanba + nothing is loi nanba, with the addition that nothing else was involved at that place. Of course, putting it in the negative confuses issues a bit and loses the guarantee that bread is involved: "Man lives either by bread and something (else) or not by bread at all but something (else)" (and of course an arrray of other possibilities depending where the "not"s come down -- or the line between presupposition and claim.
          • (later) Ahah! An ambiguity in "alone." This version is for "by itself," which denied means that bread doesn't work unless acompanied by something else. The other meaning is nearer "only" -- bread and nothing else works at all. So, we need to deny as above but with {e} in place of {joi} and then work back in that bread does work (I think), which works out eventually to {loi nanba e lo na'e nanba} after all the various versions of De Morgan have been got through.
        • .aulun.: "{ja'a} is less clear..." - This I can't understand: {na go'i} denies that "man doesn't live from bread and nothing else" (which certainly is a statement that is meant to be true) where there should be an affirmative {ja'a} instead! What should be wrong with {ja'a}??
          • {na go'i sepi'o ro valsi co se cusku be la cev} denies {lo remna na jmive sepi'o ro valsi co se cusku be la cev}, that is, {go'i} with the given {sepi'o} replaced as indicated. All of this is arguable, of course, since CLL is either not forthcoming with information or is contradictory (or both, of course). It would seem that if I use replacement once, it should use it both times, and yet the principle stated is that {na} is to be used for denial -- with no special rule about negated sentences.
          • .aulun.: Thanks, got it now what's your idea (although don't think it's too intuitive - what maybe also depends from my Lojban being a bit rusty already).