Sunday, July 10, 2011

More on 'what' words

Check this out.  If it makes sense to everybody, I'll write it into the wiki.

Loglan has five "what" words:
ie he hu ho ha 

ie is called the identity interrogative.  Steve Rice defines it as meaning "which of the ones called", and let's say that the Ceqli ki has that meaning.

Zi ten ki to hon?  You have which one of the books?

Go bekyam Janzo.  Ki Janzo?  My name is John.  Which John are you?

he asks to be replaced by a predicate, telling about the thing being questioned about.  Let's say that ka means the same.

Da ka?  Who is he?  or, better, "What is he?" or "What does he do?"  Because to say "Who is he" is sometimes a request for a name.

Da pamo go.  He's my father.  "Pamo" is a predicate, meaning "is a father".  "Go" is its object.

Da ka?  can of course also mean "What is it?" depending on the referent of  'da."

Da xyen.  It's a dog.

hu, now, doesn't ask for a predicate, but for an argument.  A name, or a noun phrase.  Let's let Ceqli 'ku' serve for that.

Da kusa xyen?  Whose dog is he?  Or, in certain contexts, it might be "What's dog is he?" if you're talking about dogs that belong to houses or something.

Note that

Da kasa xyen?  Would mean "What kind of dog is he?" because you're asking for a descriptive predicate to be inserted.

Da byelsa xyen.  It's a white dog.  Da hawsa xyen.  It's a good dog, etc.

As for ho, it's a Loglan word that asks for a number replacement, and means 'how many.'  I don't need it in Ceqli, because the word 'si' turns the preceding word into a quantifier, whether it's a number or anything else.  Numbers are in the shape of predicates, but being quantifiers, they behave a little differently.  Anyhow, then I affix 'si' to get how many from 'ku.'

Zi ten kusi xyen?  How many dogs do you have.  Go ten hansi xyen.  I have one dog.

ha is even more esoteric.  It asks for a connective to be inserted.  I haven't decided how to handle that yet, but I certainly don't want to waste a CV on it.  It could be as simple as 'kije'  Which and.

Loglan people.  Please critique this.

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