Relative Clause Veridical Quantification Gotcha

From Lojban
Jump to: navigation, search

Relative clauses can attach to the selbri of a sumti, or to the entire sumti:

  • mi viska le {prenu poi klama} ku
  • mi viska le {prenu ku} poi klama

The default is the first; and it doesn't normally any make any difference. But if you're using a veridical determiner (e.g. lo), and a non-veridical relativiser (noi), note that the claim is by default made of the selbri and not of the sumti. So

  • mi zvati re lo {muno merjecta noi snanu}

means I've been to 2 out of the {50 U.S. states, which are in the south}, and not I've been to {2 out of the 50 U.S. states}, which are in the south. What you should say is

  • mi zvati {re lo muno merjecta ku} noi snanu

Things get even worse without overt quantifiers. The Complete Lojban Language, hapter 8 gives example (6.8):

  • lo prenu noi blabi ku cu klama le zarci

This means not A person, who is white, went to the store, but One out of {all people, who incidentally are white} went to the store -- namely, it assumes that all people are white!

Sagely, therefore, does The Book state:

The safe strategy, therefore, is to always use ku when attaching a noi relative clause to a lo descriptor. Otherwise we may end up claiming far too much.