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Discussion of "bu'o'e"

Comment #1: Elliptical operand
Curtis W Franks (Mon Dec 26 07:01:18 2016)

In mekso, there are times when an operand is not mentioned explicitly. When
this is anything other than a numeral string or a number derived therefrom
(basically, just (2^n)-nions; mostly, just real numbers) - for example, a
matrix, a function, a set, etc. - use of xo'ei is insufficient. Would
this word (or certain generalizations thereof) work for this purpose (being
an elliptical mekso argument) when mekso is activated (such as in the case
of it following immediately after li)? I tentatively believe so, but
there may be complications to the way that Lojban handles lerfu which I
have not previously considered (such as an analog to the difference between
PA and numbers).

Comment #2: Re: Elliptical operand
Curtis W Franks (Mon Dec 26 07:27:40 2016)

krtisfranks wrote:
> there may be complications to the way that Lojban handles lerfu which I
> have not previously considered (such as an analog to the difference
> PA and numbers).

One such complication is the fact that concatenation with any immediately
previous lerfu string which is unconverted will occur automatically,
according to my current mental model of the language and how this word
should work (which is derived by analogy from the same model for xo'e and
xo'ei which I have constructed). I do not see this as too much of a
problem though because: On its own, this word would just potentially refer
to any context-allowed lerfu (producing a 1-string which then is
interpreted as referring to something, namely an operand, much as xo'e
produces a numerical 1-string which is then understood as a (Lojbanically
single-digit) number). But if there is an open letteral immediately
preceding it, then it just concatenates into that, thereby forming an
(n+1+m)-string which will then be interpreted to have a single referent
(so, still an operand, in this intended context); in this way, the
elliptical letteral is just 'modified' in its effect so that the pool of
referants of the whole string is restricted to the possibilities such that
the potential referents are named by strings of length n+1+m with the first
n and the final m letters matching the explicit ones specified by the
resulting string (much as "ci pa xo'e" produces, after interpretation, a
single number which belongs to a pool of potential referents such that all
of them are three digits long in the base, the first two digits are "3" and
"1" in that order, and the last digit has free variation bounded only by
context and the restrictions of the first two digits (so, if "317" is not
an option for some reason, then the number cannot be called such)).

A potentially bigger complication is the fact that operators and all sorts
of other things (even in the context of mekso) can be labelled by letters
or can have lerfu strings refer to them. For example, a function f is of
the first kind, but su'i (addition) may be referrenced by the lerfu string
sy ("s") and thus sy/s in combination with su'i is of the second kind. This
can potentially cause unintended consequences, confusion, incorrectness, or
could incur a typing error. I do not think that this is resolved by the
fact that ellipticals mean what the speaker wants (or, really, what the
audience thinks that they want) them to mean. I think that it would be a
fundamental flaw in the grammar simply because the elliptical lerfu could
mean, say, another operator instead. In that case, there would be nesting
an the second (potential) operator (the one referenced by the elliptical
lerfu) would have implicit elliptical operands. The functionality of
possibly referring to an operator or, indeed, anything which may be
labelled in mekso, is necessary/useful and guaranteed by the grammar thus
far, so we cannot avoid it here by artificially imposed restrictions
(admittedly, operators usually have some sort of modifier which makes them
clearly operators, but that is not sufficient help, I believe). Thus, I
think that this is a deal-breaker. We need another word for elliptical
operands, and a separate one for elliptical operators.

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