some discussions arising from XXS

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Moved from XXS: Extended XS proposal:

  • I ((Mark Shoulson ark) still think it's a bad plan to insist that a xod-collective share none of its properties with its constituents. You can never know that. I can see the value of having a gadri that refers to emergent properties, but you can't insist that a property of loi broda may not be a property of lo broda. This doesn't make loi redundant,though (but I suppose there will be a need to say, explicitly, that lei prenu cu bevri le pipno to ku'i no le prenu po'o cu bevri toi or something like that, somehow, preferably more tersely).
    • Getting rid of the notion that every property of a member of collectice is a property of the collective was a major advance. But it should not be pushed too far. As noted elsewhere, some acts of individual members do redound to the collective as a whole, as when the individual serves in some sense as a representative of the whole (Cole Younger sent off to rob a bank and returining with the loot certainly justifies both "Cole Younger robbed the bnk" and "The James Gang robbed the bank").
    • To insist that the group did something in collaboration, I'd use a predicate (kansi'u: "x1 (group) did x2 together"). {le ci nanmu cu kansi'u le nu bevri le pipno}. The xod-collective that carries the piano, for example, is not in the same room as the piano, because each of its members is in the room. --xorxes
      • I think the added details are unnecessary. While the group is recovering from the piano tote and congratuating themselves on the move and so on, it is in the room with piano. A couple of days later, when the three happen to drop by independently at the same time, it is not -- until someone mentions that they did move the piano. So, while we cannot infer from the three to the group, we can't infer the denial either. pc
        • I agree that the group is in the room in the first case, of course, but the xod-collective, as defined, is not in the room even while it is moving the piano. I'm not sure about the second part. Even before anyone mentions any piano moving, if they drop by independently at the same time, we are talking about them as a group again. It would not make much sense to say that "John dropped by independently at the same time". "Dropped by independently at the same time" is a property of "the three", i.e. of the group. We could say something like "John dropped by independently at the same time as the others", but the only way to make sense of "the others" is by considering them all as a group. So I can't see how we can talk about them in any way and at the same time deny that they (as a group) are in the room when each of them is. --xorxes
          • Hmmm! Yes! So, let's just say that it happens that A, B, and C are there at one time, each independently of the other two -- and of everyone else there, for that matter. Then, I think the collective is not there. But, as soon as they are joined by someone's intentional act, the collective is there again. It is surely in the room when moving the piano in the room. xod has just gone a skosh too far in the quite correct effort to relieve us of the old problems with collectives.
            • When you say "the collective is not there", you are joining them in an intentional act, so it is false. --xorxes
              • Meta level (do we need an indicator for that?) How else we describe how various pieces work, if we are constantly be taken back into the situation, rather than talking about it? Let's see. In the situation as described, {loi ci nanmu} does not have a referent or an application, or whatever, and then it does. Does this avoid obvious nitpickery?
                • My point was that you won't say {lei ci nanmu na zvati ta} if you will say {ro le ci nanmu ja'a zvati ta}. Whether something not mentioned or even thought about by anyone is there or not, I leave to philosophers to ponder, along with the question of whether a falling tree makes a sound or not when nobody is there to hear. --xorxes
                  • Good. We also won't say {lei ci nanmu cu zvati ta}, or, if we say either, we would be making a presupposition error (except the recursive paradox, which seem to me to be really too trivial to mess with). That is, we cannot infer from a fact about all the three to one about them collectively, nor conversely, in general. Nonetheless, the same claim may be true of both the distributive and the collective group -- as in the case of their being in the room where they set the piano down. Put another way, be cannot infer anything related about the individuals in a collective group from what is true about the group, though it may be true for all that. pc.
                    • I fully agree that "we cannot infer from a fact about all the three to one about them collectively, nor conversely, in general". There are no general rules valid for all properties: some properties are shared by members and groups, others aren't. A lot of the confusion about "masses" comes from trying to force some general such relationship between the properties of members and the properties of the group. Some properties may be shared accidentally, others intrinsically, others are exclusive of the members, others exclusive of the group. In the particular case of being present in a room, I have no problem inferring from the fact that each of them is in the room the fact that the group is in the room. I don't see how anyone would fail to infer that. --xorxes
                      • I actually don't have a problem with this either, though I am not sure that it is an inference so much as an observation. But the reason why the inference might fail is that the collective is an intentional entity, a taking together, and if no one does the intending, then the group is not around to do anything. Suppose the party is before the three get together to move the piano. Then, since at the party time there is no reason to group them (let's suppose), the group is not there, even though all of what will be its members are.
                      • If the members are there, the group is there, no additional reason to group them is needed. Suppose each of the three has been there for an hour, then a fourth person comes in and asks "Why, have you guys been just sitting there for an hour looking at each other's faces instead of moving the piano?" "No, we've just been created out of thin air, we weren't here until just now, when you mentioned us. Before that, each of us was here, but we weren't, so we couldn't move the piano." --xorxes
                        • I disagree. Until there is that whatever that takes them together they are not together (in the appropriate sense)even if all in one place. Otherwise, I think we will start getting the old "whatever one does the group does" problems. I think I would prefer xod's version to that. Suppose they had not been looking into one another's faces but just milling about, unknown to one another even, until recruited for the piano job.
                        • I don't think it matters at all what it is that they were doing. As far as I'm concerned, if each of them was in the room, then they were in the room. I emphatically reject any notion that this fact about how the property "... is in the room" behaves should be generalized to other properties. It should most certainly not be so generalized. --xorxes
                          • This just sounds like referential ambiguity: you want the fact that we refer to the three as "they" and "them" to mean that thye are already a collective group, whereas I see no problem in taking this usage as merely summing up three earlier references which happen to satisfy the same predicate, "in the room." Saying "A and B and C" (with propositional "and" ({e])every time is just too much trouble. I won't insist on this -- even though I think it is needed for consistency -- since you allow that it is a special case.
                    • It is a particular case, but not very special. Many properties behave like that. The mistake is to generalize to all properties. --xorxes

By the way, there is no guarantee that le ci nanmu are the same guys as the members of lei ci nanmu. I suppose you have to say {lu'i le ci nanmu} or {lu'a lei ci nanmu} to be safe.

  • I lost track of how lu'i/lu'a work in SS. In XS, there is only {le ci nanmu}, so the issue doesn't even arise.
    • I'm not sure what "only {le ci nanmu} excludes. In SS, as you might expect, {lu'a} makes a distributive group our of a collective or cumulative one, {lu'i} mmakes a collective out of the other kinds, and {lu'e} makes a cumulative out of the other kinds -- with the same members all around.
      • "Only {le ci nanmu}" excludes {lei/le'i/le'e ci nanmu}. The only gadri in XS are lo/le/la. (You probably meant lu'a/lu'o/lu'i rather than lu'a/lu'i/lu'e.) I take it then that {lu'i le te cuxna} is a set of sets of choices, not a set of choices, right? And {lu'a le pa te cuxna} is the same as {le pa te cuxna}, a set of choices, not a distributive group of choices? --xorxes
        • Yes, I do keep thinking there is system in Lojban in places where there is either none or precious little. Given that you don't have {lei, le'i} (I see {le'e}as being in a different group for this purpose), how do you talk about distributive and cumulative groups, as you seem to want to do elsewhere?
          • {le za'u broda} is a group of more than one broda, {ro le za'u broda) (Or {ro lu'a le za'u broda}) is each of the members of the group of more than one broda. I don't use cumulative groups. So, for example:

ro le ci verba cu cuxna le vo'a re cukta le so'i dacti poi mi friti

Each of the three children chose their own two books from the many objects that I offered.

I suppose you would use a variety of different gadri in each position there. --xorxes

            • In SS {lu'a le} is as redundant (or more) that {lu'i le'i}, it already is a distributive group.
              • Always? Didn't you say that {lu'a le te cuxna} gave you the choices individually? That's different from plain {le te cuxna} which gives you sets of choices individually.
            • You want to do without sets, so you don't need {lo'i/le'i} or {lu'i}, but what will you do for collectives?
              • I use unquantified {le} for collectives (ordinary groups, not xod-collectives which are forbidden to share properties with their members).
              • The sentence you offer here seems perfectly SS in the intended meaning (I suppose you can't offer all the many books toward the end of the process because earlier participants will have taken them away, so I assume the offer was made at the beginning, once for all).
                • There were only three participants, which took six books in all, so "many" could be 57, and 51 remains "many". But I thought SS would use a set gadri in x3. An example where I would use {le} and SS would presumably use {lei} is our old friend {le ci nanmu cu bevri le pipno}. I can also say things like {ko cuxna pada le ci nanmu poi bevri le pipno}. I don't know how SS would handle that. I suppose you'd have to say: {ko cuxna pada le'i ci nanmu poi lu'o ke'a bevri le pipno}.
                  • Why a set gadri? You presumably offer each and every one of them. If you offered the set, the first person would take the lot -- or nothing. But you are right; to be consistent I would have to say {le'i dacti poi mi friti lu'a ke'a} (I would probably have said {le'i se friti be mi}). I got off on {friti} and forgot {cuxna}.
                  • Sold on "many:" each occurrence comes under a different instance of the children and so may be a different multitude. But, on the other hand, I do not see quite why you think that a set of choices is a collective group of choices (now that I understand what you are saying -- which sure seems different from what you say below).
                    • It is a group of choices. I don't discriminate into different types of groups. You choose a member of a group. The group is the collection of potential choices.
                  • And why are each child's books referred to as a collective rather than a distributive group -- I assume the child selected each of them (and I am not sure what it would mean to select them collectively)?
                    • I don't say how the child selected them, all I say is that each child selects two. If for some reason I'd want to emphasize that heach child selects each of the two books, I simply say {ro le ci verba cu cuxna ro le vo'a re cukta}. But I don't see the point. I do need the first ro, otherwise we get the group of three children as one whole selecting two books.
                  • I think I would say just {lu'i lei ci nanmu poi bevri le pipno}. Or I might well drop the {da} and use {lu'a lei ci nanmu poi bevri le pipno}
        • If le te cuxna is a set of choices (that is, a set of things available to be chosen), then I would think {lu'i} was redundant. If {le te cuxna} allows for more than one set of choices (but I have trouble understanding that, since they could surely all be dumped into one set, rather than chosing a set and then chosing a member), the {lu'i le te cuxna} would be the set of those sets. If {le te cuxna} refers just to the things which can be chosen (and this presents some problems in expression), then {lu'i le te cuxna} would be the set of them. I take it that the first is what is involved here. {lo te cuxna} is a different matter, of course -- most likely the second interpretation.
          • Having a group of groups of choices doesn't seem like an odd concept to me. For example, each person may have to choose from a different group of choices, then we'd have so'i te cuxna, each of which may have only two members. I take it then that in SS whether lu'i le te cuxna is a set of choices or a set of choice-sets has to be glorked from context, depending on whether le te cuxna is le pa te cuxna or le za'u te cuxna?
            • I suppose that if {le te cuxna} is a single set of choice, saying {lu'i le te cuxna} would be redundant and not said.
              • So you can refer to sets whose members are at least two sets, but you have no way of referring to sets whose member is a single set, because the reference will collapse to that one set.
                • Pardon? If {le te cuxna} refers to a set with choices as members, {lu'i le te cuxna} refers to the set of the members of that set, which is just the set again. If {le te cuxna} refers to a group of sets of choices (even if it has only one member) then {lu'i le te cuxna} would be the set of the members of that group. Now that I know that {le te cuxna} refers to the collective group (which seems odd in this case), then I see that {lu'i le te cuxna} is the set of those sets, even if there is only one of them. So, when there is only one set of choices, le te cuxna is not that set, but the collective group of which that set is the only member. I must say that I don't like you way to collectives at all; it leaves too many holes (how do you do subgroups?).
                  • {le pa te cuxna} presumably refers to a set in SS, the one set, probably with several members, from which some choice is made. {le pa te cuxna} refers to a group in XS, the one group, probably with several members, from which some choice is made. I was asking about SS. I still don't know whether you want {lu'i le pa te cuxna} to be the same set {le pa te cuxna} or the singleton set whose only member is {le pa te cuxna}. I know that you want {lu'i le ci te cuxna} to be a set with three members, each of which is a set of choices, and I know that you want {lu'i le'i cukta noi te cuxna} to be the set of books, not a set of sets. I don't know what you want to do with the middle case, {lu'i le pa te cuxna} where {le pa te cuxna} is a set of books. Is it just another case of {lu'i le PA te cuxna}, which would give a singleton set whose only member is a set of books, or is it a special case, such that because {le pa te cuxna cu du le'i so'i cukta}, then {lu'i le pa te cuxna cu du lu'i le'i cukta}, which reduces to {le'i cukta} a set of books, not a singleton set of sets? As for subgroups, {le ci le reno} gives "the three of the twenty", is that what you mean?

As near as I can make out, this position does away with the notion of groups altogether; there are no sets and no distinction between collective and distributive. This is a good thing, if it is true. The notion of a group was introduced into the discussion in an attempt to satisfy in some intelligible way people who insisted that a single noun phrase had to have a single referent, even if the noun phrase itself said there were several (the x brothers in the forefront as near as I can recall). As a device for clarity, it was not much of a success, since none of us used it consistently in either sense of that term. It did have a role, I think, in several clarifications that have turned up in the last few weeks: the notion of Mr. Broda (the paradigm of the problem sort of thinking, though not something to which "group" applied), the rule for connecting attributes of individuals standing alone from those attributable to them working together (though this is still not nailed down), and the meanings of at least a few of the proposed changes for gadri. And perhaps more. The situation with sets is not yet pinned down, but is less significant since we know how to work with sets pretty well -- it is just a question of how to work with Lojban's haphazard requirement that sets be involved. In any case, maybe we can now get back to talking about three guys together moving a piano, rather than about some fourth object that moves the piano all alone but is somehow present when(ever?) and only when the three guys are. Mayhap Ockham's razor has returned. I hope so. But it still seems to me that the difference between three guys each doing something and the three of them doing it together deserves more than an accidental repesentation. But at least xorxes' formula is consistent: unquantified is a metaphysical entity (or the relic of one), quantified is just the critters one by one (though that too is sometimes presented as a metaphysical relic). Maybe that is enough, though I find myself worrying about some unspecified boys moving a piano together (but I suppose that {le} has lost its specificity somewhere along here, too).pc

  • {le} keeps its specificity in full, indeed that is its defining property. To say that the piano was moved by an unspecified trio we can say {lo ci nanmu cu bevri le pipno}: that's Mr Trio of Men doing the job, obviously through one of its avatars.
  • If PA fi'u PA means "x out of every y brodas", how can you use fractions for what they're supposed to mean, to say things like "three-quarters of a gallon" or "half a pie"? It seems to me that if pa tricu is one tree, then pa fi'u re tricu should have to mean half a tree. -- mi'e .mark.
    • The "half" in "half a tree" is not a quantifier, so it should not be in quantifier position. In XS, "half a tree" is {lo pa fi'u re tricu}, and {cixa lo pa fi'u re tricu} is "thirty-six half-trees". For "three-quarters of a gallon" we can say {lo dekpu be li ci fi'u vo} or {lo ci fi'u vo dekpu (be li pa)}. -- mi'e xorxes
      • Painful as it is to say this, I agree with xorxes on this one now -- at least that {pa fi'u re tricu} is not half a tree. I would say it means one half of the trees, or one out of every two trees (on average). I am less sure about what the quantifier-like expressions mean inside the description, but xorxes seems the best for now, since {mei} is in such sorry shape.pc


Trying to sort things out for myself from the plethora of information variously presented.

1. {le broda} refers to the collectivity selected by the speaker of things that may or may not be broda. It has the properties that these things achieve by collective activity. No inference (positive or negative) can be made either way between the properties of the collective and those of any or all its members, although, for particular properties – to be decided on individual cases -- it may be that some or all the members share the property with the collective. Of course, if the “collective” has a single member, properties of collective and member are the same. In {le PA broda} the PA merely specifies the number of members in appropriate units, so that fractional PA give a single fraction of a unit.

(This is approximately tidied CLL {lei broda}, although the bit about fractional internal PA is not the same.)

2. {PA1 le (PA2) broda} takes each of PA1 (unspecified) members of the collective le PA broda individually. That is it has exactly the properties that that all PA of them have individually. Fractional PA1 defines the number of members taken as a proportion of the whole, integral PA gives the number in absolute terms. To get specific PA1 members, {le PA1 le (PA2) broda} gets a specific subcollective, and {ro le PA1 le (PA2) broda} gets the members individually.

(This almost exactly tidied CLL {PA1 le (PA2) broda}, barring the difference about PA2. CLL {le (PA) broda} is here {ro le (PA) broda}; similarly, what is here {ro le PA1 le (PA2) broda} would be simply {le PA1 le (PA2) broda} in CLL and the here version of that expression would be {lei PA1 le (PA2) broda} in CLL (with some hesitation – {le lu’o PA1 le (PA2) broda} to be safe).

3. By parity of reasoning, {la (PA) Brod} would be the collective of PA selected things called “Brod,” however informally. The rest would go as above suitably modified. (In the parentheses, read {lai} for {lei} throughout.) The second {le} or {lei}, for specificity remains the e version, not the a.

4. {lo broda} is Mr. Broda, which has all the properties any actual or possible broda has, hence its properties can be inferred from those of any broda and from its having a property can be inferred that some broda has that property – though not that any actual one does. {lo PA broda} is Mr. PA Broda. It has the properties of any PA-sized collective of brodas and so on as above.

(The relation of this to CLL is complex. Each repeated or anaphorized occurrence is a new {lo broda} each time, a new “some broda, ” each typically inside the scope of a world changing prefix. (The world-changing prefixes mainly have to be glorked since Lojban is woefully deficient in such things outside the tense system and with curious gaps even there.) {lo PA broda} is {PA broda} in the same way, or possibly {lu’o PA broda}.)

5. {PA (lo) broda} is just as in CLL, except that {su’o {lo} broda) cannot be collapsed to {lo broda}: some actually existing PA brodas with the properties that those brodas all have. (Anaphora refer to the same PA brodas throughout the context (= the repeated {da} from {PA da poi broda}) and no prefix need be assumed.) {PA1 lo PA2 broda} is presumably some PA1 PA2-ads of brodas. (I am not sure how to say this in CLL without using {PA2mei}, maybe something like {PA1 lo lu’o PA2 broda} but expect some subtleties are lost here.)

6. There are no sets, nor any direct way of moving from some brodas to their collective nor from a collective to the members, so the whole {lu’a lu’i lu’o} series is freed. As far as I can tell, the role of sets is taken by collectives, when a set is required by the wordlist. It is unclear whether this requires some modification of the understanding above of collectives (or whether it will work at all).

Nice summary! What still needs to be worked out in detail is what happens with re-quantification... [[discussion moved to [User:xorxes on requantification|xorxes on requantification]] -- And Rosta