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left

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

explication for

left

 

 


 

Proposal 1:

  • X left:

 

  • X did something because X thought like this:
    • if I do this,
      • I will be in another place
      • because of this, the people in the place where I am now will be able to say/think [which?] this about me:
          • this person is not here anymore
  • because of this, this happened

 

Discussion:

 

As an experiment, here's my current explication for monovalent 'leave'

(as in 'John left'), for people to contemplate and react to:

 

X left:

X did something because X thought like this:

if I do this,

I will be in another place

because of this, the people in the place where

I am now will be able to say/think [which?] this about me:

this person is not here anymore

because of this, this happened

 

Discussion: The ultimate origin of this is Cliff's explication

of 'go' in the textbook, which in some earlier work I'd adapted to:

 

X did something because X wanted to be somewhere else

....

 

However Peter Svenonius convinced me that this was wrong, because people

can say things like 'I left even though I didn't want to'; the present

formulation is consistent with this and gives a better account of

voluntary action, I think (I think there are some other similar

explications out there at this point).

 

Then the first clause of how you think says that you think that the action

will change your position, and the second that it does so enough so that

you count as 'gone' for the people at your original location. The

'because of this' link is supposed to exclude a situation where you move a

little bit (say from one side of the podium to another), but also become

invisible for some reason, so that the people present might be able to

say/think that you were gone (which it should be I don't know) even though

you weren't.

 

The last line is supposed to say that the action is 'effective'. Leaving

it out might be part of getting the attempted-but-unsuccessful action

interpretation of the imperfective in Russian and Ancient Greek (I don't

know about modern), but this isn't available in English. There's a

problem here in the interpretation of the 'this's, the first one is

supposed to be to the something that the X does, the second to the

consequent of the if-clause; I think this is the natural interpretation

but I'm not sure if everybody would agree. Maybe there's a better way to

capture 'effectiveness'.

 

- Avery Andrews

 

 

If it's all based on what X THINKS, isn't this

explication compatible with taking a potion and

believing that it will transport one to another place?

 

The "this" of "this happened" could be swallowing the

potion.

 

~ Chuck Fillmore

 

I'm far from an expert on NSM explications. However, let me take a

shot at contributing to a discussion of the interesting proposal.

The problems I see are:

1. There doesn't seem to be any natural interpretation of the this's

in the last clause. It is unclear what their antecedents are.

2. It doesn't cover "The train left" because X is claimed to be

conceived of as a person whose thinking is at issue. Neither the

wanting nor the thinking of the leaver seems to be relevant.

What is correct and what makes an explication tricky is that "leave"

designates more than an action with movement from some place to some

other place (ruling out something as simple as: X did something;

because of this X is in some other place now). Necessarily being

construed as "gone" relative to the place moved from has to be

accounted for.

 

Here's what I would suggest (not sure about the indenting conventions):

 

X left:

 

X was in someplace Y before now

X did something

because of this X is in some other place now

people in Y can think:

X is not here anymore

 

Patrick Farrell

 

Hello All,

 

Here are a few observations:

 

> If it's all based on what X THINKS, isn't this

> explication compatible with taking a potion and

> believing that it will transport one to another place?

>

> The "this" of "this happened" could be swallowing the

> potion.

>

> Chuck Fillmore

 

This would be true if the opening of the explication said:

"This 'happened' to X because X thought like this"

 

However it says

"X 'did' something because X thought like this:"

 

Thus inferring that a thought X had caused X to do something.

 

The issue I have with this one is that it doesn't cover leaving from

places that only one person can be at such as a very small phone booth or

a lonely place like an otherwise deserted island.

 

Also I think that the explication for "go" and "left" should be the same

except for what the object of the predicate is by default. Somehow, this,

I think would be the only difference.

 

ie: "I go home" and "I left home"

 

I'll have to think about this some more...

 

-Bill Branch

 

> The issue I have with this one is that it doesn't cover leaving from

> places that only one person can be at such as a very small phone

> booth or a lonely place like an otherwise deserted island.

>

> Also I think that the explication for "go" and "left" should be the

> same except for what the object of the predicate is by default.

> Somehow, this, I think would be the only difference.

>

> ie: "I go home" and "I left home"

>

> I'll have to think about this some more...

>

> -Bill Branch

 

Agreed.

 

I had thought about the leaving a deserted island or leaving a phone

booth problem. When I proposed:

 

people in Y can think:

X is not here anymore

 

I was really thinking something like: "if there were people in Y they

could think: ....".

 

The problem is that it seems that the conceptualizer (speaker) puts

themself in the place (origin in the case of "leave" and destination

in the case of "go") and calculates whether the actor of the leave/go

event counts as "here" or not with respect to that place.

Here's another stab at an explication along the same lines, which I

think is simpler and yields a symmetrical "go" explication as well:

 

X left (Y):

 

X did something

because of this X is not in someplace Y

people can think about Y:

X was here before

X is not here now

 

 

X went (to Y):

 

X did something

because of this X is in someplace Y

people can think about Y:

X was not here before

X is here now

 

- Patrick Farrell

 

> When I proposed:

>

> people in Y can think:

> X is not here anymore

>

> I was really thinking something like: "if there were people in Y they

> could think: ....".

>

> The problem is that it seems that the conceptualizer (speaker) puts

> themself in the place (origin in the case of "leave" and destination

> in the case of "go") and calculates whether the actor of the leave/go

> event counts as "here" or not with respect to that place.

> Here's another stab at an explication along the same lines, which I

> think is simpler and yields a symmetrical "go" explication as well:

>

> X left (Y):

>

> X did something

> because of this X is not in someplace Y

> people can think about Y:

> X was here before

> X is not here now

>

>

> X went (to Y):

>

> X did something

> because of this X is in someplace Y

> people can think about Y:

> X was not here before

> X is here now

 

I didn't think that 'someplace' was an NSM word/description.

 

- Joanne Marie Baumgartner

 

I have two comments about the proposed explications:

 

1. people can think about Y:

X was here before

X is not here now

 

The use of 'here' seems odd to me. People can think about Y without

being at Y, but the use of 'here' entails (I think - but maybe that's

too strong) that the thinker is actually at Y, if 'here' means Y in this

clause, which I take to be the intention. I can say, at my home in

Melbourne, 'John left Singapore today.' or 'John went to Singapore from

Sydney today.', so it is not a necessary condition that the people who

are doing the thinking are at the relevant deictic centre. I suggest

substituting 'at Y' for 'here':

 

people can think about Y:

X was at Y before

X is not at Y now

 

2. X did something

I share the intuition that 'going' and 'leaving' are intentional

activities, but nevertheless it's perfectly good English to say things

like:

 

The train left.

This bus goes to the city.

 

I think it is fairly clear that there is some attribution of agency to a

human who is in control of the vehicle (or the transport system in the

second example?). I think that this sort of usage should be accounted

for by the explication - but I have no idea of how this might be

accomplished!

 

Best, Simon

 

 

- Simon Musgrave

 

Or, in the case of the explication for 'go', you could end with

 

X is here now at Y because X did something

 

> On 7/27/06, Patrick Farrell wrote:

>

> > Here's another stab at an explication along the same lines, which I

> > think is simpler and yields a symmetrical "go" explication as well:

> >

> > X left (Y):

> >

> > X did something

> > because of this X is not in someplace Y

> > people can think about Y:

> > X was here before

> > X is not here now

> >

> >

> > X went (to Y):

> >

> > X did something

> > because of this X is in someplace Y

> > people can think about Y:

> > X was not here before

> > X is here now

>

> Joanne Marie Baumgartner

- Joanne Marie Baumgartner

 

Yes I agree that sounds better and in 'real' NSM language.

Joanne

 

On 7/28/06, Simon Musgrave wrote:

 

> I have two comments about the proposed explications:

>

> 1. people can think about Y:

> X was here before

> X is not here now

>

> The use of 'here' seems odd to me. People can think about Y without

> being at Y, but the use of 'here' entails (I think - but maybe that's

> too strong) that the thinker is actually at Y, if 'here' means Y in this

> clause, which I take to be the intention. I can say, at my home in

> Melbourne, 'John left Singapore today.' or 'John went to Singapore from

> Sydney today.', so it is not a necessary condition that the people who

> are doing the thinking are at the relevant deictic centre. I suggest

> substituting 'at Y' for 'here':

>

> people can think about Y:

> X was at Y before

> X is not at Y now

>

> 2. X did something

> I share the intuition that 'going' and 'leaving' are intentional

> activities, but nevertheless it's perfectly good English to say things

> like:

>

> The train left.

> This bus goes to the city.

>

> I think it is fairly clear that there is some attribution of agency to a

> human who is in control of the vehicle (or the transport system in the

> second example?). I think that this sort of usage should be accounted

> for by the explication - but I have no idea of how this might be

> accomplished!

>

> Best, Simon

>

> --

> Simon Musgrave

- Joanne Marie Baumgartner

 

> Here's another stab at an explication along the same lines, which I

> think is simpler and yields a symmetrical "go" explication as well:

>

> X left (Y):

>

> X did something

> because of this X is not in someplace Y

> people can think about Y:

> X was here before

> X is not here now

>

>

> X went (to Y):

>

> X did something

> because of this X is in someplace Y

> people can think about Y:

> X was not here before

> X is here now

 

Yes I think that 'X was not here before ' is important to say as an

indicator of place change. It's simpler and more in line with NSM theory

too.

 

 

- Joanne Marie Baumgartner

 

> I have two comments about the proposed explications:

>

> 1. people can think about Y:

> X was here before

> X is not here now

>

> The use of 'here' seems odd to me. People can think about Y without

> being at Y, but the use of 'here' entails (I think - but maybe that's

> too strong) that the thinker is actually at Y, if 'here' means Y in this

> > clause, which I take to be the intention. I can say, at my home in

> Melbourne, 'John left Singapore today.' or 'John went to Singapore from

> Sydney today.', so it is not a necessary condition that the people who

> are doing the thinking are at the relevant deictic centre. I suggest

> substituting 'at Y' for 'here':

>

> people can think about Y:

> X was at Y before

> X is not at Y now

 

'At Y' is good. It gives a clearer explication of where X is.

 

 

- Joanne Marie Baumgartner

 

Regarding the "magic potion" objection above, I think we have to allow that someone can think they have left, and say so, even if it's not objectively true. For example, there is a theory of Lucid Dreaming holding that you can leave your body in dreams (OOBE -- "Out of the Body Experience", "Astral Projection", "Soul Travel"). Sleep lab experiments by scientistis studying lucid dreaming appear to demonstrate that people believing this are just fooling themselves. But that's not what's important here, I think. As the linked Wikipedia entry for Astral Projection points out, some people really do think they are leaving their bodies in some psychotropic drug experiences or in trances or in dreams; "sense of departure facilitated by consciousness modification" is a significant feature of some (sub)cultures, and NSM should realistically reflect what people in those sub(cultures) mean even if there's no objective evidence for what they are talking about.

 

Being faithful to word sense over objective reality is more in the spirit of NSM as I understand it. Take "X is the Neville Chamberlain of our time." Google reports that people have written this about Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, even George W. Bush. These analogies reflect a misunderstanding of Chamberlain's real position on Hitler: that the Sudentenland "appeasement" was necessary to buy time for Britain to develop its defenses against what was even then regarded by Churchill et al. as an almost inevitable attack on Britain by the Nazis, with any significant Allied aid being far from certain at that point. Chamberlain's next assignment after returning from "appeasing" Hitler was to (quietly) whip British trade unions into line for war production. The subterfuge had to be maintained in statements for public consumption for quite a while, much to the chagrin of those propagating it (Churchill included). However, other people's ignorance of that history doesn't prevent me from understanding what they are trying to say in these cases: that "X thinks 'if I say "be good" to bad people, these people can become good'; this is not true". Gaining greater knowledge doesn't erase the knower's knowledge of the average level of ignorance. (It only makes average discourse more irritating ;-)

 

 

- Michael Turner

 

Proposal 2

 

X left:

Some time in the past, X leave

 

I think we might be going about this explication of "left" a little backwards. In a purer English NSM without allolexy for past tense and other "syntactic sugar" (as we software engineers would say), wouldn't "Left (departure-sense)" be explicated more like "Some time before now, someone move else where"? Or perhaps "Some time before now, someone leave", with a more comprehensive explication of "leave" getting an entry of its own? I'm all in favor of defining an allolexic layer on top of the primes for any given language on this Wiki, the better to facilitate writing and understanding. But I think allolexes should always be marked as such, and should refer directly to the primes or to subsequently-defined lexis that has been "syntactically sugared" for such ease of use.

 

- Michael Turner

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