tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Apr 27 06:41:12 1999

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Logic in Language (was: RE: KLBC: Clause this right?)

On Mon, 26 Apr 1999, Andeen, Eric wrote: 
> Neither English nor Klingon are logical languages like Lojban or Vulcan.
> Does "I like Green Eggs and Ham." really mean I like them together? It
> probably does: it probably means I like a dish called "green eggs and ham".
> It could also mean I like green eggs AND I like ham, either together or
> separately. Does "I like deep sea diving, gardening and classical music."
> mean I like to do all three activities at the same time? It certainly does
> not. It means I like deep sea diving, AND I like gardening, AND I like
> classical music.
> The English noun phrase "A and B" could mean a single entity called "A and
> B" (e.g. Green Eggs and Ham; Simon and Garfunkle); it could also mean two
> separate entities, but always considered together; it could also mean two
> completely independent entities, so that given a proposition p, <p("A and
> B")> is equivalent to <p(A) AND p(B)>. It could also conceivably mean other
> things.
> When discussing logic using a set of well defined mathematical symbols, you
> need only concern yourself with logic. When discussing logic in a natural
> language, you need to consider not only logic, but also how the language
> works.


> ...I must point out another problem. The
> verb here is not <qotlhbe'>; it's <qotlhHa'>. This brings up an interesting
> question - does <-Ha'> correspond to logical negation? I really don't think
> it does. In this case, we are translating <qotlhHa'> as someting like
> "mis-deserve". <cha' peng bachHa'> doesn't sound even remotely like a
> logical negation of <bach>.
> My point is that you can't just jump right to mathematical symbols from the
> text. There needs to be an analysis of the text to see *what it means*.
> > i.e. he deserves not-freedom and not-security. He deserves 
> > neither. He does not deserve freedom {Hung} and/or security {tlhab}.
> I actually thought about this for a bit before posting my response, and I
> considered <joq>. However, what this really means is:
> <Hung qotlhHa' 'ej tlhab qotlhHa'>, and that is clearly <Hung tlhab je
> qotlhHa'>. If the verb had been <qotlhbe'>, things would have been
> different.
I must bow to a superior intellect.

Reflecting on all that has been said up to this point--especially the
point about {-Ha'}--I'm forced to agree that {je} is after all the correct
word. As you pointed out, tlhIngan ain't Vulcan.


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