new LoCCan

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(LoCCan is a conceptual third-generation logical language in the order of Loglan and Lojban. It is a storehouse of lessons learned but not applied in constructing and reconstructing the earlier versions. It is currently unlexed and unparsed. Although it would generally fit into both the vocabulary and the grammar of either Loglan or Lojban, it may prefer – as both Loglan and Lojban have – to build its own vocabulary and – especially – grammar. Examples here will be written as though in Lojban.)

Descriptions.

The Loglanide tradition is for descriptions 1) not to be restricted to single individuals (indeed, to be unmarked for number and presumptively plural) and thus not to be like the logical “definite description” about more than one fitting referent. On the other hand, they regularly require that there be a referent (i.e., the existence requirement holds). 2) There are two series, the unspecific/indefinite but veridical and the definite/specific but possibly (though rarely) misspoken. 3) In each series there are three forms, for individuals taken separately, for masses and for sets. We now understand masses as individuals taken collectively – for what more than one of them is involved in doing/being (and not automatically projectible back on any one individual – nor foreward from one). The other two types are normal – actual individuals and mathematical sets.

As in the earlier languages, the basic descriptor formula is #1D#2P, where the #s are all optional. In the case of the indefinite descriptor, D can be dropped if #2 is present (in which case, #1 must be absent). As this suggests, #2 is not, as in Loglan and Lojban, the total number of Ps but only the number currently being considered, including fractions (just as in the case of the definite description). #1 is partitive from a group established by D#2P – either by absolute numbers or by proportions. Semantically, #2 has to be at least 1 for individuals, at least 2 for collectives but may be 0 for sets (though why one would specify the group from which the null-set was drawn is hard to see) and #1 has to be no greater than #2. Exactly what happens when these restrictions are in fact violated is unclear, but these violations are not grammatical. There is in addition defined for collectives and sets (though grammatical with individuals as well) #3 which comes before #1 and is connected by a perhaps unique mark. The whole structure then indicates a multitude (#3) of sets or collectives drawn from the basic group. Structures beyond D#2P can be specified again with the specific marker and any structure can be prefixed by a status changer (description qualifier) which changes reference to one of individuals, collectives or sets into a reference to another of these types with the same individuals involved. Otherwise, descriptions of different statuses but otherwise the same need not refer to constructions of the same individuals.

Connectives

These are regularized from the present variety of systems so that either 1) all sorts have the same marker in a given context, or 2), preferably, each type has a single form used in all contexts. In either case, the amount word space used will be reduced. In the first, since the whole array of complete series will be replaced by a single series and a small number of role markers; in the second, since only the single series remains. The second plan may not be feasible and will, in any case, require many elidable terminators to appear before connectives to insure the right units get connected. A rough test suggests that the syllable counts will be about the same in the present system and either of the alternatives.

Anaphoric Pronouns

The dizzying array of such devices in Lojban and Loglan is reduced to a smaller number based on usable principles – not grammatical position or linear order, at least not across sentence boundaries. What such principles might be in a Loglanide needs investigation. Some suggestions are initial letters, numbers where given, or some abstract notion of type (human or not, male - female, animate or not, concrete – abstract) whether represented syntcatically or only semantically. Some combination of these -- and new principles that may arise in the investigation hold more hope of getting the right things most of the time than the present systems, much of marginal utility.

As noted elsewhere, Quantifiers and Pronouns, devices are needed for at least three special situations:

  • 1) Phrasal reference: a pronoun anaphorizes an indefinite phrase (one whose referent changes situationally) through a sequence in which changes may occur. While the norm is that the pronoun keeps the same referent(s) throughout, a mark is needed to indicate that the referent has changed to fit with the new situation (sugggestion that it operates like {ki} in tenses is not entirely off base).
  • 2) Partition of reference and restoration. This is not a new situation but it needs to be regularized somewhat. The basic reference of the pronoun remains the general case, but the pronoun may take partitive quantifiers to indicate parts of that general referent, generating new pronouns to refer to these parts as the general case in future referents, but keeping the original for later recombination. Closely related to this is the possibility of changing the status of a group among individuals, collectives, and sets in any direction, generating new possible referents for new pronouns and yet keeping the original as well.
  • 3) Combining pronouns to form referents to groups resulting from combining the original referents and thus generating new pronouns again. The combinations may, of course, be of any sort (as individuals, into a collective, or into a set).

There are probably other anaphoric pronoun problems that need to be met, but this is a start.

New Vocabulary

In addition to what is required by the above:

A “quantifier” for “the rest of” to be used when some expression has been partitively treated already and we need to discuss the remainder.