lojbo karni number 11
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Copyright, 1989, 1991, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273 email@example.com All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted subject to your verification that this is the latest version of this document, that your distribution be for the promotion of Lojban, that there is no charge for the product, and that this copyright notice is included intact in the copy. le lojbo karni Number 11 - November-December 1989 Published by: The Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031 USA (703)385-0273 Editor and President: Bob LeChevalier This is the quarterly news and product announcements newsletter of The Logical Language Group, Inc., known in these pages as la lojbangirz. We are a non- profit organization formed for the purpose of completing and spreading the logical human language "Lojban". This issue (LK11) is being mailed at publication to over 600 subscribers, about 20% growth since last issue. Press run this issue, 650. Lojban Conversation Demonstrated Lojban Gains International Publicity Lead Stories on Page 3 IRS Approves Non-Profit Status - Page 2 Welcome to New Lojbanists - page 1 Your Mailing Label, Voluntary Balances and Our Non-Profit Status - page 2 Lojban Conversation Demonstrated, Lojban Gains International Publicity - page 3 Thanks to Some Friends - page 4 Research and Development - Grammar Changes Approved, Lojban Parser Status, cmavo List Update in Progress, Place Structure Revisions, Summary of Open Grammar Issues - page 5 Growth and Publicity - Record Growth, Worldcon Success, NYC and Boston Presentations, Athelstan's 'Lojban Mini-Lesson', Lojban Video, Advertising and Radio, A Logo Computer Networks, Where You Are - page 7 Education - DC Lojban Class Completed; Textbook, Blacksburg Class Stalled; New Classes Planned; Language Summary; Overview; Lojban Mini-Lesson Video - page 10 International News - International Finance; Brochure Translated into French and Italian - page 12 Products and Prices - LogFlash Conversion and Update Plans; Hypercard Teaching Materials, lujvo-making Program, cmavo List; Doudna Papers; Tape and Mini- Lesson Plans - page 13 Business - Finances; Non-Profit Status; Fund-Raising Plans- page 14 News from the Institute - Loglan 1 Reviews, Autumn Bulletin Summary - page 15 Future Plans - Lojban Chrestomathy/Reader - page 16 Contents of Ju'i Lobypli #11 - page 16 A News Note in Lojban - by T. Peter Park - page 17 Note: References to 'Loglan' in this text, unless specifically noted, do not relate to the 'trademark' claimed by The Loglan Institute, Inc., or to products described by that 'trademark'. Welcome to New Lojbanists We want to welcome a large number of new Lojbanists; our rate of growth continues to accelerate. Over 100 new Lojbanists have been added since the publication of LK10, half due to our trip to the World Science Fiction Convention in Boston, and the rest from a large variety of activities, including individual word-of-mouth. Keep telling others about this GREAT, NEW, LANGUAGE!; we'll happily supply copies of the Lojban brochure on request. You may be receiving more from us than you expected from an initial information request. A language is not a small thing, and Lojban has an especially large range of aspects, each interesting to different people. We want to attract a variety of people, and this requires a variety of information. Also, we'd rather take the chance of mailing this newsletter to all respondents, than to individually bring people up-to-date on what has happened since they last heard from us. 2 New people are assigned to level 0 unless we hear otherwise from you; this means that we send you the Overview of Lojban and the latest le lojbo karni newsletter, along with a brochure if you haven't received one. We also send an order form and registration form so you can let us know what else you might be interested in. See descriptions of mailing codes below and reports on ongoing activities, and write to us about any activities you are interested in. We want to hear from you. You will remain on our mailing list indefinitely, even if we don't hear from you. We think that you read our newsletters, and do not relegate us to the trash upon arrival like junk mail. While we hope to hear from you often, we've found that people can take months or years to respond. We'll drop you from our mailing list if you tell us you aren't interested. Your Mailing Label Your mailing label reports to you your current mailing status, and your current voluntary balance including this issue. Please notify us if you wish to be in a different mailing code category. Balances reflect contributions received thru 8 December 1989. Mailing codes (and approximate annual balance needs) are defined as follows: Level B - Product Announcements OnlyLevel 0 - le lojbo karni only - $5-10 balance requested Level 1 - le lojbo karni and Ju'i Lobypli - $15-20 balance requested Level 2 - Level 1 materials and baselined/final products - $20-25 balance requested Level 3 - Level 2 materials and draft textbook lesson materials as developed - $50 balance or more R indicates that you are receiving materials on a review basis pending some publicity we hope you will give us. If your publication can reimburse us for our costs, great, but it is not mandatory. Feel free to call or write to ask about your balance account or mailing code assignment. You are scheduled to receive Ju'i Lobypli if the level code on the top line of your mailing label is "1", "2", or "3", but not if it is "0". If you are listed as mailing code "0": YOU MUST WRITE TO US IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE Ju'i Lobypli. Voluntary Balances and Our Non-Profit Status Our orientation is non-profit. Almost every dollar we receive goes directly into producing the products that we send out, with a very small overhead and no paid salaries. We subsist entirely on your contributions against our costs of mailing to you. However, a large number of our respondents are college students and others with low incomes, who want our materials but couldn't afford them at our costs. Therefore, we operate on a voluntary balance system. We ask you to contribute what you can towards your balance, and maybe to make a donation to help cover those who can't afford theirs. Only 40% of you are making significant contributions now, and we need to raise this percentage - a small minority of you are supporting the rest. Please contribute, if only a little, against our costs. At least try to bring your balance up to 0, or even to a surplus as listed in the mailing codes above. Our rapid growth is straining our resources, and publishing the textbook will be very expensive. Please help! Perhaps consider donating to cover the costs of mailing to one, five, ten, or more new people; it costs us about $5.00 for each new person we add to the list. The IRS has approved our organization for Section 501(c)(3) status, back- dated to our incorporation last year. This approval means that donations (not contributions to your voluntary balance) by U.S taxpayers are tax-deductible. We need these donations in addition to and independent of your contributions to voluntary balances. Because IRS rulings of this sort are provisional (in our case for 4 years), we must document each year that a significant portion of our income is provided through such donations. Because of this, we are asking that people working who 3 spend money on our behalf for telephone, postage, transportation, and copying/printing send us logs or receipts showing your expenditures. We will record these amounts as donations. We note for all potential donors that our bylaws require that no more than 30% of our expenses be for administration and legal fees, and that you are welcome to make gifts conditional upon our meeting this requirement. To all donors: we will mail notifications of your deductible amounts shortly after the end of the calendar year. If your balance is negative, we must apply your donations to your balance before crediting you with a deductible contribution. Questionnaire It's time for our annual questionnaire. If we haven't heard from you, here is a chance to quickly let us know what you think. We are also seeking to identify some special interest groups that we believe exist among you. IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU RESPOND IF YOU HAVE NEVER RESPONDED TO OUR INITIAL MAILING. We also would like comments from more of the 200+ people added in the last year. Let us know how we are or aren't living up to your expectations. Lojban Conversation Demonstrated While Nora and Bob LeChevalier have enjoyed short exchanges of Lojban conversation over the past year, the last three months have finally proven that Lojban is speakable and teachable, as the members of the DC-area Lojban class joined the ranks of those able to speak the language. The first breakthrough took place en-route from Washington to the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Boston. Athelstan, Bob, and Nora joined in Lojban conversation for stretches of a couple of hours, though Bob did most of the talking. The confidence resulting from this exercise was germinal, though. Upon returning in mid-September, all of the remaining DC Lojban classes started with an hour long period of Lojban conversation of successively greater complexity. The crowning touch occurred at a party celebrating the end of the class on 5 November 1989 (a historical date indeed). Bob, Nora, Athelstan, Sylvia Rutiser, and Albion Zeglin, met for dinner and an evening of conversation at Bob & Nora's house. The homemade pizza was mediocre (Bob made it because no one wanted to try to order pizza from an outside vendor in Lojban), but the conversation was stimulating and entirely in Lojban for over 4 1/2 hours. Unlike previous efforts, class members did much of the talking (Bob was struggling with pizza dough). There was discussion of the menu and possible pizza toppings. Athelstan led a discussion on poker terminology, while Nora, Sylvia, Albion tried to decide the Lojbanic rules for various other games from Tic-Tac-Toe (kruca ce djine) to Crazy Eights (fenki melibiboi). Finally, as the dinner settled in full stomachs, the discussion turned to music, philosophy, and the future of the Lojban project. None of us is close to fluent in the language, but Bob used a word list only a couple of times during the evening, and even the class students found themselves looking at their lists less and less as the evening wore on. Part of the evening was taped, and, if the conversation wasn't always grammatical and smooth, history was made. (The tapes will be retained and eventually donated with other Lojban materials to the Library of Congress, which is monitoring the language development.) Lojban Gains International Publicity Just before we left for Worldcon, Bob was contacted by Don Oldenburg of the Washington Post. Don had been referred by Mike Gunderloy, and wanted to write a feature article about the Lojban efforts. Information was sent, and it turned out that the timing was perfect. After interviewing Bob, Athelstan, and several other Lojbanists around the country, Don wrote his article the week after the Lojban party that finally demonstrated that the language is useful in communication. A large article, over a half-page long, appeared in the Washington Post 'Style' section on 10 November 1989 (page D5 for those who want to look it up in 4 a library). The article was also sent out the following week on the LA Times/Washington Post News Service, and it appeared in the Los Angeles Times on 17 November 1989 ('View' section, page E9) and the San Francisco Chronicle on 26 November 1989 (Sunday 'Punch' section, page 6). The article is nicely positive, tells about our Lojban party, and the project goals. The News Service provides materials for most metropolitan newspapers; you may thus have seen the article by now in your local paper, probably in a features section. (Papers may wait weeks or months to print the article; it contains no time-dependent news.) If it hasn't appeared, or you aren't sure, call your paper's features department, mention the author and the key word 'Lojban', the LA Times/Washington Post News Service, that it was distributed approximately 15 November, and ask if they might run the article. If you want to serve as local point-of-contact for interested readers, you might volunteer to have them add a couple of paragraphs identifying you and other local Lojbanists, and your interests in the language. A big boost for the language will undoubtedly re- sult. Go ahead! Call today! (Please let us know if the article appears in your local paper, the date, page number, and send us a copy. We have no other way of knowing which papers run the article.) If we get permission from the Post, we will be including a copy of the article in this or the next issue of le lojbo karni. Put it on your office wall or a bulletin board with your name and phone number, and you will likely hear from a few people interested in learning about the language. Tell them what you know and pass their names along to us if they are interested. (Encourage them to write us with any questions you can't answer.) The Post article gives us national recognition, but had additional benefit. A reporter for the Copley News Service read the article and then interviewed Bob; a news-wire story was released on 27 November to Copley's customers, some 1800 radio stations in the US, Canada, and Europe. As a result, I've given live and recorded phone interviews to radio stations in the US and Canada. See publicity below for a detailed list. Thanks to Some Friends We have a policy against advertising. Those of you who contribute to our publication costs aren't paying to read such stuff, but rather to read about Lojban. I'm making an exception in this issue, on a one-time basis. Over the past year, the Lojban project has received publicity, support, and direct labor from many people, without whom our progress and growth would have been impossible. We can't possibly thank everyone who has contributed to the Lojban effort this past year; there are simply too many of you. Key individuals deserve some special recognition, which I am extending by listing services they offer to the public which are in some way tangential to Lojbanic activities. Your use of their services will perhaps encourage their continued efforts on our behalf. None of the following are solicited or paid advertisements. I made the decision based on contribution and possible audience interest in their services. Jeff Taylor, who is writing the Lojban parser and the new cmavo dictionary, is a programmer doing business as 'The Toolsmith', per the advertisement at right which describes his new product. He is also seeking contract programming work. He has extensive experience in compilers, parsers, and system and user utilities, and works in C, assembler, FORTRAN, Pascal and Modula-2. He has previously worked with several other languages. Abraxas Software, 7033 SW Macadam Ave., Portland OR 97219; 503-244-5253, provided us PCYACC, their PC-based equivalent of YACC, the Bell Labs Parser Generator. While we bought their 'personal' version of the program, they have provided exceptional customer support, including several specially tailored adaptations to our Lojban 5 needs. They also hired Jeff Taylor's services for several weeks, and have incorporated his efforts in error detection and processing that he also is putting in the Lojban parser. Abraxas also has MacIntosh and OS/2 parser generators. Brad Lowry, PO Box 42505, Philadelphia PA 19101- 2505; 215-923-9533, produced the Lojban video for Worldcon with the help of Elliott Deal. They also taped la sindereluyd. (JL9) at LogFest. Brad provides professional video and sound production services, and production electronics tech support. Nancy Lebovitz, 410 Wollaston C6, Newark DE 19711; 302-368-8398 does professional calligraphy and related artwork, sells a large variety of humorous and serious calligraphic buttons, including special orders. Her free catalog is entertaining on its own. She did the e'osai ko sarji la lojban button for us, has recruited for us at science fiction conventions, and put us in touch with: Mike Gunderloy, 6 Arizona Ave., Renssalaer NY 12144-4502; 518-479-3707; also BBS modem 518-479-3879; Mike publishes Factsheet 5, a bi-monthly journal reviewing the 'small press'. He reviews up to 1000 publications, software, music tapes, and other stuff each issue, good info for only a couple of bucks. Mike has recruited over 50 new Lojbanists through his favorable reviews of our materials. Mark Manning, 1400 East Mercer #19, Seattle WA 98112, publishes TAND, an amateur science fiction magazine. He reviewed Lojban in a recent issue, and will be carrying further discussion of language issues. The publication is free, but you must write to him each issue, with possible publication of your response. Rick Harrison, PO Box 507014, Orlando FL 32854, publishes The Alembic ($2/issue), another amateur publication, this one with broad intellectual subject matter. He published part of the Lojban brochure in his first issue. Notes There is still a computer bulletin board conference reserved for Loglan and Lojban on the AMRAD BBS here in the DC area. I am checking it ever week or two; it has, unfortunately, seen little use. We at one time had some pretty lively discussions going on the CLBB BBS, and I hope to get these going again. The BBS phone number is 703-734-1387, and it is PC PURSUIT-able. USENET, UUCP, and INTERNET mail should now be sent to me via Darren Stalder at dstalder@gmuvax2 .gmu.edu. Darren has the brochure and the gismu list available for on-line transmission via the net. Contact him to get either. Research and Development Grammar Changes Approved - Last issue described a grammar change proposal that was being circulated to those who were known to have finished Lesson 3. This proposal incorporated several minor fine-tunings of the language. I'm pleased to report that there was no objection to the proposals and they are therefore effectively adopted. Unfortunately, the promised description of the changes at a "student's" level is being put off - a useful description may not be possible at a low level. What is needed is a lot of examples showing the effects of the change; coming up with meaningful examples for specific grammar points, however, has proven to be the most difficult problem in teaching the language. What will probably happen is that we will incorporate the changes in textbook lesson revisions, and then use those revisions to write a change description for those who have already completed the unrevised lessons. This will not occur until sometime next year. 6 Meanwhile, don't let the changes slow you down in learning the language. Few of the changes will affect your first writings in the language. If you do send us writings that are affected by the grammar changes, we can use them as the examples we need to explain the changes to you (and eventually to others). Lojban Parser Status - Jeff Taylor has incorporated the grammar change proposal in his parser, as well as some changes in the grammar of tenses that were identified when we tried to teach that subject (these do not affect any of the written lessons). We have found a number of small problems in the cmavo-compounding software. These are being worked out slowly as we carefully test the parser prior to releasing it. The parser will be well-tested before we let people have it. We also will need to update the parser to reflect changes in the cmavo and grammar that surface in preparing the cmavo list update and resolving the remaining grammar issues (see following items for these topics). At a point where the word recognizer (lexer) is reasonably stable, we will probably attempt to see how well it works with Jeff Prothero's PLOP (Public Domain Lo**an Parser) which has some processing advantages (and disadvantages) compared to Jeff Taylor's parser. While I had hoped to be able to distribute one or both parsers by the end of the year, I now think that February/March is a more realistic estimate. This may be affected further by Jeff Taylor's job-hunting efforts. cmavo List Update in Progress - As a break from parser debugging, Jeff Taylor has performed a much-needed task. He assembled the cmavo information into an alphabetic cmavo list to replace the draft cmavo list that we are distributing now, which dates back to October 1988. The draft list was never intended to be used this long, and has numerous omissions, 'to be supplied's, and even a couple errors and inconsistencies. I made up a 2-page summary of some of the latter, and send this out to anyone who orders the list now, but that summary is incomplete; I haven't bothered to send it to people who earlier received the cmavo list. Jeff has formatted the cmavo list alphabetically, and it looks like a real dictionary; it may even be considered the first installment of the Lojban dictionary when it is completed. He is using his HP printer (see his ad above) to give us exceptional print quality. I'm going to have to go word by word through the list to verify it, and this will take time. I also need to incorporate the latest grammar changes, which are not fully reflected, and the results from studying the open grammar issues discussed below. Also needed are summary lists by lexeme and discussions of the role of each lexeme, possibly with some examples, things Jeff hasn't tried to write. These are partially written in the draft cmavo list, and should take relatively little time to update and complete. This will be my highest priority upon completing LK11, JL10, and JL11, and I hope to have copy to Jeff early next year. I want to publish the list by LK12, marking a major step forward in the language definition. After the list is updated, the changes will be verified in the parser and incorporated into the random sentence generator. The latter will then be re- leased as an update, and the former will be published. Place Structure Revisions - After the cmavo list and parser are done, the next priority will be to complete the review of gismu place structures started several months ago. We haven't had as many comments on place structures from different Lojbanists as we'd like. This is one area where you needn't be too expert in the language to contribute. We have completed updating the Roget's Thesaurus index of the gismu that was used in preparing the final baseline. This index is being used to compare place structures of similar gismu to ensure consistency. We are using a similar analysis done by Paul Doudna as well. The result will be more complete statements of the place structures for each gismu; the text field for the definitions is being expanded from a maximum 40 characters to over 100. The result should make it easier for you to understand what goes in each sumti of a place structure. The updated place structures will be incorporated in a new version of LogFlash, probably in spring. That version will also include instrumentation for scientific monitoring of volunteers who participate in learning experiments, such as the one described in JL9. 7 Summary of Open Grammar Issues - Now that the first Lojban class has been completed, we can summarize the language status as being demonstrably teachable and speakable. However, in teaching the class, questions came up about the thoroughness of our designs in four areas. We have chosen to resolve these four areas before writing textbook lessons beyond lesson 6, since they affect several of the lessons not yet written. The four areas are negation, attitudinals, tense, and MEX. I'll spend one or two paragraphs on each. Negation - Even JCB notes in the new L1 that the question of negation hadn't been thoroughly studied. When we tried to teach negation in class, questions immediately arose that we could not answer. Nora and pc (John Parks-Clifford, who is a professor of logic) started exchanging letters on the subject, finding more and more open issues as they discussed the subject. Suffice it to say that the design of negation in Lojban and all other versions of Loglan failed the tests of both logic and pragmatic usage in a number of ways. Just as we were at the point of total confusion, I discovered a recent book that has proven a godsend, an exhaustive treatment of the subject of negation. It was tough reading, and we let pc go through it in depth. He has finished that review, and has written a summary of requirements for logical and pragmatic negation in a logical language. We will review the requirements that he has identified, make any required design changes (new cmavo or definitions for old ones are expected to suffice to solve any problems). We hope to have the results completed in time to print the requirements and design in JL11, to be published at the end of December. Attitudinals - It was pointed out by two people on our recent travels that our set of attitudinals seemed disorganized and unsystematic. The design is actually more systematic than it appears; a lot of analysis was built into the list based on a paradigm devised last year by pc; but pc later retracted that paradigm, and the system embedded in the attitudinals is thus no longer apparent. Athelstan and I started to analyze the problem in September, but the effort got superseded in priority. The initial result was a very long list of several hundred possible emotions and attitudes that could be considered for attitudinals (there is no exhaustive treatment on this subject in any book - and we've looked). Included in this list were the attitudinals of L adan, the only other artificial language we've identified that has a defined set. (One of the criticisms of Esperanto that we've read is that it has no such set defined, thus making it impossible to 'read between the lines' of a statement to determine what a speaker intends in expressing it; intentional signals are generally based on usage forms and cultural associations, so a workable artificial language that is to be independent of the conventions of the speaker's native culture must address the issue explicitly.) Nora examined the list and identified a couple of simplifying paradigms, but we need to make at least one more simplification to fit the set of attitudes within available cmavo. As it appears now, though, this won't be too difficult, and may be solved in the next month. No change to the formal grammar is expected; there will be cmavo changes, but they are expected to primarily affect cmavo that have not been covered in existing lessons. Tense - The design of tense in the published grammar proved to be unteachable (even I couldn't figure out why I did some things - and we want the grammar to be pretty understandable to just about anyone), so Nora and I went back to first principles and tried to reestablish the grammar as I had intended it. This took only one evening, and then an all-night session of parsing, and voila, we had a new grammar of tense that was much more understandable. It took only one eve- ning to cover the subject in class, but we didn't have enough examples. As time has gone on, we've identified a few such examples in translations, and the design has had no trouble expressing all things we've devised. What remains is to write the grammar up so that pc, our expert on the subject of tense logic, can verify that the tense grammar design reflects the requirements that he has specified over the past few years. We don't expect any significant problems, but I will not consider the design done until it has been properly reviewed. MEX - Those who read JL9 saw the essentials of the MEX design as we were planning to teach it. Alas, again because I hadn't prepared examples, the teaching did not go well. MEX seemed very clumsy to use, requiring too many 'parenthesis' and the like. Furthermore, Athelstan, our most mathematically 8 inclined student, was not there that evening to react to the expressions we were devising on the fly. The others weren't particularly interested in MEX as a theoretical subject, and we don't have the usage experience to make the subject 'relevant' to speakers. When I get a chance to go over it with Athelstan and Nora, we may have a clearer idea whether there is a problem, or whether it was just a poorly prepared-for class. My instincts tell me that MEX will probably work as is, but will not be as usable as we'd like. We may, upon closer examination, find some minor improvements, but the design is unlikely to change significantly. I suspect that there will be few approaches to MEX that offer complete flexibility of notation systems in a predicate grammar, as we are requiring. Time will tell. Growth and Publicity Record Growth - The 3 months since LK10 have given us record growth; over 100 new people have been added to our subscriber lists from a variety of sources. Also, this number included an especially high percentage of people interested in learning the language NOW, i.e. people in Level 2 and Level 3. We can thank Athelstan's new 'mini-lesson' approach for these higher levels of interest; people are starting to realize just how easy Lojban is to learn. As a result of our growth, we now have more than 75 people with the draft textbook lessons; some 150 people have obtained flashcards or one of the computer teaching programs, and presumably are learning the vocabulary. People are hearing of Lojban from an increasingly wide variety of origins. We're being mentioned on computer networks, have had newspaper articles written about us, and have had ads in two different magazines, besides the convention appearances and simple word-of-mouth. Most recently, I have been giving telephone interviews to radio stations. Over the last two years we have distributed perhaps 3000 brochures, and these continue to be passed along until they find an interested reader. We recently heard from someone in Atlanta (with three other interested friends) who had been given a brochure that we had originally handed out over a year ago. Worldcon Success - Worldcon, the World Science Fiction Convention, was a big success for Lojban. We were well organized, had support from Todd Dashoff, our programming section leader (thanx, Todd), as well as several people at the con who already knew us and spread the word to others to come to our table. We ended up handing out nearly 600 brochures. An interesting juxtaposition found our table adjacent to the Esperanto table. This led to some interesting banter (and a few Esperantists becoming interested in Lojban). Due to demand, we added 3 extra mini-lesson presentations, thus contributing 7 hours of programming to the convention. These mini-lessons allowed us to gain much of the international benefits that we sought from Worldcon (it turned out that less than 10% of the attendees were from outside the U.S., and most of those were from Canada, so we were happy with what we got.) International recruits did include a Finlander who does translations, an American teaching English in Japan who hopes to use Lojban to bridge between science fiction fans in Japan and the U.S., and a few people from Britain, recruited with the help of longtime Loglanist/Lojbanist Colin Fine and his brother Philip. We also invested a lot of time staffing our table, a real benefit in garnering new people who had questions, and wanted to talk about their ideas. It was exhausting, typically 9 AM to midnight, most of the time at our table, and ALWAYS on the go. We learned a lot about how to give presentations so as to get and keep people interested in what we had to say. Those who are planning to give talks about Lojban at other conventions should be in touch with us for details. We'll be applying what we've learned at Evecon 90, shortly after the new year. NYC and Boston Presentations - In connection with our Worldcon trip to Boston, we held a meeting outside the convention (at the MIT campus) and a second one in New York City on the way back to Washington. Actually, we had two meetings in Boston. We got to spend a couple of hours talking to Lojbanist Dr. Guy Steele, who is noted for his contributions to artificial intelligence and computer language design. Guy made us feel really good when he told us that he saw nothing to criticize in our design approach - 9 we were 'doing fine' on our own. He gave us insights on what is needed to get industry or government financial support for research into AI applications for Lojban; we're quite far along on achieving the milestones he thinks are important. The MIT meeting was attended by about a dozen people. Noteworthy were Chris Moriondo, who had served as our Boston point-of-contact for organizing the meeting. Jay Dobis and Coranth D'Gryphon, both recruited at Worldcon, agreed to assist Chris in organizing a class in the Boston area. Chuck Barton, a professional language teacher and longtime Lojbanist, will also be helping with the class once it gets organized. Coranth is giving talks, including a version of Athelstan's mini-lesson, early in December, after which a class will start. Deb Wunder organized a meeting in midtown Manhattan, attended again by about a dozen people, all of which were interested in a class. Eric Tiedemann, recruited at Worldcon, is assisting Deb in organizing an NYC area class, which should be starting shortly. T. Peter Park will also be assisting in teaching that class. Eric is also giving mini-lesson presentations to add to the number of class participants. The night after this meeting, we attended the NYUSFS science fiction gathering, which is a common interest of several of our Lojbanist friends in New York. We got to talk to several potential new Lojbanists through this meeting as well. Still, the meetings continued, and the following night saw another meeting and mini-lesson at Art Wieners' house in the New Jersey suburbs. We also got to see Art show off his rapidly growing Lojban software suite, including a flashcard program that uses a voice synthesizer to speak the words, and a word resolver that can put unambiguously words together from phonemes and stress, using the morphology rules in the Synopsis. This can eventually be combined with the Lojban parser, and with front-end speech recognizer hardware that can pick out phonemes and stress, we will be able to go from spoken Lojban to grammatically parsed text, a major accomplishment towards AI applications of the language. Athelstan's 'Lojban Mini-Lesson' - In preparing for Logfest 89, Athelstan got the idea of preparing a short mini-lesson that could quickly get people up to a level where they could comfortably participate in language discussions. Un- fortunately, his bout of poison ivy prevented him from putting much effort into this, although he was able to try a few ideas. At Unicon in August, though, he actually had a prepared talk, which went especially well: all 8 people attend- ing signed up as Level 3 language students. As a result, we went to Worldcon prepared to repeat the mini-lesson, using Athelstan's experience from this first attempt. Athelstan had planned to do only one mini-lesson; there was so much interest that he eventually gave four, and with a little better ability to advertise these on-the-spot programming changes, we could have easily given a few more. Athelstan is doing an outline of the mini-lesson to aid others in learning these basics of the language, and to help those who want to give similar talks. We are hoping to record or make a video out of the mini-lesson, which can then be distributed to those of you who want a livelier source than our textbook lessons provide. Athelstan is hoping to give a couple of mini-lessons at Evecon in January, and is also working on a second, more advanced mini-lesson that will move beyond the initial lesson's material. This also may eventually be taped. Lojban Video - Brad Lowry and Elliott Deal took several hours of video footage during LogFest last June. The result was edited into a short (3 minute) professional video on the language, which we used at Worldcon. Due to the lo- gistic problems resulting from staying at a hotel a mile from the convention center, we didn't get to use the video as much as we wanted, but those who watched it found it eye-catching. If we can avoid logistic problems, we hope to use the video at other conventions, including Evecon. We also will be showing the video at next year's LogFest in June, along with the comical footage of our little-rehearsed production of la sindereluyd., discussed in LK10 and JL9. Advertising and Radio - The following is a list of those radio interviews I have given or scheduled. Since, at this writing, I am getting calls daily to do additional interviews, this may be just the beginning: 10 11/28/89 WDWS Champaign-Urbana IL interviewer Stevey Jay (live) 11/28/89 KYW Philadelphia PA interviewer Karen Phillips (taped for broadcast on 12/3/89) 11/28/89 WSPD Toledo OH interviewer Dave Macy (live) 11/29/89 WHIO Dayton OH morning show (live) 11/29/89 KOA Denver CO interviewer Steve Kelly (live) 12/1/89 WHDH Boston MA morning show (live) 12/1/89 CBC Winnepeg, Manitoba interviewer Jack Farr (taped for use on Saturday 12/30/89 - nationally broadcast at about 3:15 PM Central time) 12/6/89 WLW Cincinnati OH interviewer Mike McCall (taped for later broadcast - date uncertain) 12/14/89 (Thursday) CKNW Vancouver BC host - Terry Moore (talk show live at 6:50 PM Pacific time) 12/19/89 (Tuesday) KVEN Ventura CA host - Ross Olney (15 minute talk show - live at 2:05 PM Pacific time) I am also contacting with Voice of America and National Public Radio about possible features on Lojban, and will be pursuing other radio efforts as opportunities present themselves. We are pursuing other avenues for advertising. A Lojbanist donated an advertisement in the October issue monthly national Mensa magazine. This brought in at least a dozen (some respondents don't say where they heard of us). We are also contacting the Mensa artificial languages special interest group. Two small press magazines have run articles on Lojban; one of these, TAND, by Mark Manning (see pg 4) promises a continuing dialogue between us and Mark's various correspondents. We expect to shortly be assigned a subject heading in the Library of Congress, as a result of our working relationship with their linguistics acquisitions section. They will be binding our publications into a book, which will then be put on the shelf. Recent contacts may lead to a working relationship with the San Francisco Exploratorium, noted for its scientific and education emphasis. We also are communicating with interested scientists and teachers at several academic institutions, including some in England. People are also talking about us on computer networks. While we don't yet have any direct connection, apparently enough of you are talking about Lojban on computer networks that we are gaining a lot of name recognition there, and 1 or 2 new people a week. We are also continuing our support of various conventions, and I've shifted the job of attending most of these to people including Athelstan, Eric Tiedemann, John Hodges, and Coranth D'Gryphon, who among them will probably represent us at over a dozen conventions during the next year. We've found that copies of the brochure on college and university bulletin boards have led to many responses. We will supply you with brochures for this purpose, or you make copies yourself (cheaper because it saves postage); we will credit your balance or donation upon receiving a receipt. See international news below, for more on how we are spreading Lojban overseas. In short, our name is growing, and our numbers will as well. We should have a significant audience by the time the textbook is published, You can help by spreading the word yourself, or by suggesting possible avenues for publicity. A Logo - Some may recall Jamie Bechtel's suggestion that we establish a logo for la lojbangirz. We got very little feedback on this idea, and we put off any decision until we have a real need for such a symbol. Finally another sugges- tion has arisen, this time from Kit Archer. Kit proposes a Mbius strip, horizontal, and inscribed with Claude van Horn's slogan "e'osai ko sarji la lojban." Reactions? Computer Networks - We have not yet gained direct access to any computer network such as Compuserve, and finances will not allow it for a while; we may 11 be able to get free access to USENET/UUCP/Internet through a local university now that we have our non-profit status, but I don't have time to check on this yet. However, others among you have access to a wide variety of networks and bulletin boards, more than we could ever afford to be on from here. You may wish to consider putting announcements about Lojban on your boards and networks; we can supply text. We also need people to provide mailboxes, gathering messages and relaying them to us by 'mundane' mail. Eric Tiedemann and Eric Raymond are planning another service using the UNIX networks. Eric Raymond is setting up a 'reflector' program that will accept messages on his computer and then redistribute them to the entire list of Lojbanists on the net. I am providing Eric with the entire set of net addresses that people have given me on registration forms. I'm also asking in the ques- tionnaire if you want to participate, but those that I have addresses for now may have already received a message from Eric by the time you get this newsletter. Where You Are - Each year, I summarize where Lojbanists are located. A point of contact is also given where we have identified one. Note where people are outside your immediate area. When you travel you can visit another Lojbanist; if you have friends in other cities, tell them that we have other Lojbanists there. In the following, the number before the slash is the total number of people; the number after the slash is the number of people at level 1 or higher, and thus more likely to be actively studying the language either now or in the near future. US 578/260 Alabama 2/1 Alaska 3/1 Arizona 7/3 Arkansas 1/0 California 106/48 Los Angeles Central Area 21/11 LA - North/East Suburbs 11/8 San Diego 18/5 Orange County 4/4 San Francisco 9/3 SF Peninsula 9/3 SF East Bay 14/6 San Jose/Santa Cruz 6/1 Doug Landauer 408-336-5005 (h) 415-336-6277 (w) Sacramento 4/3 Jeff Taylor 916-753-5040 net LA 36/22 Rory Hinnen 818-796-8096 (h) 818-354-7180 (w) net SF 38/13 Dave Cortesi 415-321-1986 (h) 415-926-6641 (w) Colorado 10/5 Denver 8/4 Steve Wheeler 303-422-5611 (h) 303-422-8088 (w) Claude Van Horn 307-634-8181 (h) 303-353-3866 (w) Delaware 5/3 Nancy Lebovitz 302-368-8398 District of Columbia 8/2 net Washington DC area 93/46 Bob LeChevalier 703-385-0273 net Baltimore/Washington area 109/55 Florida 15/4 Gainesville 6/2 12 Georgia 4/1 Hawaii 1/0 Idaho 1/1 Illinois 14/4 Chicago 10/4 Indiana 4/2 Guy Townsend 812-273-6908 (h) Iowa 2/1 Kansas 6/1 Kansas City 5/1 Kentucky 1/0 Louisiana 5/3 Maine 2/1 Maryland 55/31 Washington DC suburbs 38/21 Baltimore & suburbs 16/9 Gary Burgess 301-551-3121 (h) Massachusetts 65/35 Boston - North 21/11 Boston - Central 37/19 Boston - West/South 6/4 net Boston 64/34 Jay Dobis 617-354-5433 Chris Moriondo 508-481-9986 (h) 508-870-6927 (w) net Boston, NH, & RI 73/37 Michigan 10/2 Minnesota 8/3 Missouri 7/5 St. Louis 6/5 John Parks-Clifford 314-727-1250 Nebraska 1/1 Jamie Bechtel 402-556-8312 Nevada 4/0 New Hampshire 3/0 New Jersey 13/8 NYC suburbs 12/7 Art Wieners 201-271-1483 (h) 201-949-2748 (w) New Mexico 1/1 New York 40/18 New York City - Manhattan 17/8 Eric Tiedemann 212-316-6889 (h) NYC - Bronx & Suburbs 4/2 NYC - Brooklyn/Queens/L.I. 8/6 Albany 5/2 NYC net 41/23 North Carolina 11/4 Raleigh/Durham 7/3 Jack Waugh 919-834-0764 (h) Ohio 12/2 Cleveland 6/1 Oklahoma 2/1 Oregon 6/5 Portland 7/5 Bill Gustafson 503-645-4810 (h) 503-645-4141 (w) Pennsylvania 19/8 Philadelphia 12/5 Eric Raymond 215-296-5718 net Phila/Wilmington 18/9 Puerto Rico 1/1 Rhode Island 5/2 RI & SE Massachusetts 11/6 South Carolina 2/1 13 Tennessee 4/1 Texas 19/9 Austin 5/3 Jay Hart 512-482-7419 Houston 5/3 Derrith Wieman 713-859-7685 Dallas/Ft. Worth 4/2 Michael Helsem 214-943-6835 (h) 214-922-6498 (w) Utah 3/2 Vermont 1/0 Virginia 60/29 Washington DC suburbs 47/23 Bob LeChevalier 703-385-0273 Blacksburg 5/4 John Hodges 703-552-0986 (h) Washington 15/6 Seattle 13/6 Preston Maxwell 206-328-2081 West Virginia 2/2 Wisconsin 3/1 Wyoming 1/1 International 56/23 Australia 2/0, Austria 1/0, Canada 19/9 (Ottawa 3/1, Toronto 5/3), Denmark 2/1, Finland 2/1, France 1/1, Great Britain 12/5 (Cambridge 4/2), Italy 1/1, Japan 1/1, Mexico 1/0, Netherlands 3/0, New Zealand 1/1, Poland 1/0, Sweden 1/0, Switzerland 2/2, Thailand 1/0, USSR 1/1, West Germany 4/0 Net Total: 634 Lojbanists 283 Level 1 or higher Education DC Lojban Class Completed - We started with 12 students. Three students (plus Nora and I, who were studying with the class by the end) survived all the way until November; we had expected to complete the class in June, and 4 students dropped at that time. Two others attended intermittently, and cannot be said to have learned to speak the language, even though they were still technically in the class at the end. The main weakness of the class was in vocabulary building. Unfortunately, only one student ever finished the vocabulary with LogFlash or flashcards; Carl Burke had mostly finished before the class started. I was generally unable to get the students to spend much time outside of class on either vocabulary work or on practice exercises, and it showed in the last several months when we made very slow progress. We cannot stress enough the need for anyone trying to learn ANY language to set aside some time, preferably daily or close to it, to practice the language skills you are trying to learn. It needn't be a lot of time, but without such practice, a weekly class will spend much of its time relearning old material that students never learned the first time. Lojban can probably be learned to conversational fluency in either a semester or full year course, if the students devote time to the course as they would a normal college class. We didn't get this, and were further handicapped by my slow development of class materials. The experiment did work, though. Nora and I transferred our knowledge to new Lojbanists. Athelstan now ranks nearly equal with us in language competence, and the other two students who completed the course, Sylvia Rutiser and Albion Zeglin, are not too far behind. Both Athelstan and Sylvia translated English texts to demonstrate their competence. Their writings will be found in JL10, which should be distributed at the same time as this issue. 14 Textbook and Blacksburg Class Stalled - My failure to complete the textbook as scheduled has more drastically affected students outside the DC area. Without lessons beyond #6, any further study has to be individual, with me and Nora con- ducting tutoring by mail in response to students attempts to write in the language and their questions. While the DC area class finished the course, the Blacksburg class has stalled. With the fall semester, John Hodges, who was leading the class, resumed his schooling (inspired by his Lojban work to study artificial intelligence). Since John is also working full time, he hasn't been able to exercise the needed organizational leadership, and the class therefore hasn't been meeting very often. They have continued slowly, and were last reported in the middle of Lesson 5. The lack of lessons beyond 6 has apparently reduced motivation to proceed at a higher rate. We hope to get things moving again when more of the textbook is completed. The only self-teaching student, Jamie Bechtel, completed Lesson 6 back in June, and has demonstrated writing competence in an short story, the first Lojban science fiction, which is also in JL10. We are trying to get another Lojbanist up to Jamie's level of competence in writing so that they can maintain a correspondence and grow in the absence of new lessons. Jamie is handicapped by living in Omaha, where there are no other Lojbanists within a reasonable distance. He also doesn't have or use a computer, and thus cannot use the various computer-oriented aids to learn the language. Thus his remarkable accomplishments so far should inspire those similarly lacking computers. Hopefully, early next year, I'll be able to return to writing the textbook, no longer bogged down with teaching the class and with very time-consuming legal work. We have a good plan for rewriting and completing it, so when I do get started, things should go much more quickly. I won't be working on it though, until the backlog of distractions gets caught up. I've learned that textbook writing is a very intense activity for me, and I have to be able to concentrate on it for several days at a time to make reasonable progress. I intend the text wave of classes will have textbook materials by the time they need them. I expect that new classes starting will get to Lesson 7 by sometime in spring. By then, I should be producing lessons at the rate of 1 every 2 weeks like I was last spring, which would give us a completed textbook by sometime in summer. New Classes Planned - At present, I know of 3 classes actively being organized. These are in Boston, New York City, and here in DC. The first two classes have been trying to set up organizational meetings, which hopefully will take place in the next couple of weeks. The DC class will be conducted in a Maryland suburb (possibly at the U. of Maryland in College Park or at Athel- stan's house in Beltsville). The organizational meeting will take place the week after Evecon 90 (which is the weekend of 6-7 January, 1990); if you are in the DC or Baltimore area, you will hear from us directly around the first of the year. Athelstan will be teaching the class, starting with his mini-lessons that have now been proven before several audiences. Bob and Nora will help as required, but will be concentrating on developing the advanced lessons. pc is planning to organize the half-dozen St. Louis Lojbanists into a class, but has not yet started contacting them. All but one of the Lojbanists there is level 1 or above, so a small group of together-students (kastadni) should be achieved shortly. Attempts to organize in Los Angeles have thus far been unsuccessful. Rory Hinnen has called everyone that he has a phone number for, but can't find people willing to make a commitment to learn the language yet. Perhaps, new Lojbanists recruited through the LA Times article will help get things together. Meanwhile Rory has studied the vocabulary and most of the lesson materials himself, and will be well-qualified to lead the class when it can be organized. There are hints that organizing activities are ready to start in the San Francisco area, but things haven't jelled; possibly the quake has had an impact in this, but geographical dispersion seems to also be a factor in that some Lojbanists in the Bay Area are about 100 miles from those at the other end. We may eventually have two or more study groups as a solution to this problem. Recent contacts with the Exploratorium in San Francisco may help in getting us a place to meet. But given our experience in Boston and New York, the SF-area Lojbanists may not get together until Nora and I visit and conduct a few 15 meetings and lectures. We had planned to visit this winter, but now expect to go in spring. Our plans will appear in the next issue of LK in February. Other groups of Lojbanists are possible, as can easily be seen by looking at the lists of where you are located. Signs of interest in class organization have occurred in over a dozen other cities, but he have no results to report. The main problem seems to be a lack of people willing to call and write the others to get that critical first meeting together. Lack of time may be a factor. However, the Lojban class here succeeded, if slowly, with about 3-4 hours a week on the part of those who participated (including commute time to the meetings - the students who completed the class lived 20 miles or more from my house.) Nora's Language Summary - As a follow-on to those who have completed the class, and as an aid to those studying on their own, Nora has been working on an outline synopsis of the grammar. Loaded with lots of examples, this summary will step from the basic Lojban sentence pattern to more elaborate convolutions of that pattern. She is writing it to be compatible with Athelstan's mini- lessons, and the result may be included as a reference appendix in the textbook. She hopefully will complete this within a month or two, and we will probably release it as a product by the next LK issue. T. Peter Park's Overview - Nora isn't the only one working to make Lojban accessible to more people. T. Peter Park has been so prolific in writing about Lojban and in Lojban, such that I haven't been able to keep up with him in re- viewing and responding. Among his writings is a new introductory overview of the language, much less 'dry' than our current one, and loaded with interesting examples. He avoids or explains technical terminology a little better than I did in the current overview, which was intended as much as anything to serve as a reference document more than as an introductory one. We may retain both products, with the old overview combined with a written form of Athelstan's mini-lesson and with Nora's summary, as an introduction for students of the language - as opposed to T. Peter's overview, which will become the one sent to new people to tell them what the language is like. Again, I hope this to be completed for publication by the LK12 issue in February. Lojban Mini-Lesson Video Possible - As we've mentioned or implied several times, we're quite proud of Athelstan's Lojban mini-lesson, and intend to use it as a basis for our other activities in teaching the language. It has proven very effective in convincing people just how easy Lojban is to learn. One thing we intend is to write the mini-lesson in text, so that those who participate in the mini-lesson have something to remind them later of what was covered. This written mini-lesson will then become the first lesson of the textbook. Since Athelstan has gotten the mini-lesson down to a firm outline that he regularly covers in almost exactly an hour, we are also planning to record the mini-lesson as a video that you will be able to order. Since we are talking about small production amounts, an hour video will probably cost us about $20.00. Unless our finances improve tremendously, we may be unable to afford to give these away per our normal balance ordering system. So the practicality of this venture at this time depends on how many of you will commit to buying the video if we produce it. The questionnaire enclosed in this issue thus asks about your interest in such a video. International News Among significant international news was the recorded interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that will be broadcast nationally on Saturday, 30 December 1989 at about 3:15 PM. The CBC station theoretically could reach over 200 million people; more realistically, the show's producers estimate that there will be at least a million people listening to that broadcast, perhaps 5% of the Canadian populace. We hope that this will significant expand our numbers in Canada, perhaps making classes possible in major cities, including French- speaking Quebec. Bob will also be interviewed live on a Vancouver BC station CKNW talk show at about 6:50 Pacific time on Thursday, 14 December 1989. 16 I've also had contact with the French news agency 'ASP', and expect to give an interview in the near future, that will presumably result in a story being printed in France and other French-speaking countries. International Finances - As announced last time, we experimented with a new service for mailing overseas, international airlift postage. The experiment was successful and we expect to continue to use it. Most significantly, our overseas postage costs will drop dramatically when we mail more than one package outside the U.S., which we normally do. We will get near air mail speed of delivery, but at a cost closer to surface mail rates. Thus, effective with this issue, we are dropping our prices for newsletter and orders sent overseas. We are setting our prices based on an average rate of 30- 35 cents (US) per ounce, or about 2c/page higher than US postage. Thus our prices except for US, Canada, and Mexico, will be set at 12c/page. We will no longer charge the 50c/$1.00 surcharge for overseas mailing. We are also arranging to be able to cash checks in most national currencies at a cost of $3.50 US per check. Our non-profit status gives us this benefit with a company that does international exchange. From what I've been told, this is far cheaper than it is for you to get a check in US dollars overseas. When our credit is approved we will then accept your contributions for your balances in your native currency, which should be much cheaper for you. We will deduct the $3.50 service charge we pay for each transaction from your contribution, so sending larger amounts less often is preferred. Also, PLEASE make sure your checks are good. The bad check charges under this service are very large. Brochure Translated into French and Italian - Andr Bergeron has completed translating the brochure into French (note the name correction from last issue; Ren Bilodeau is another Quebec Lojbanist, and I accidently looked at the wrong name on the list). Since Andr is from Quebec, I am sending the translation to France for review to make sure that we don't end up with idioms or language problems due to local dialects. Local French-reading Americans seem to think the translation is quite good, and Andr has added in explanations of some of our peculiar terms and Americanisms to make the result more understandable. He also identified some problems in the translation that we are working on. The result is some changes to the brochure that will have to also be translated before we publish the result. So it may be a few months yet. Meanwhile, new Lojbanist Silvia Romanelli has translated the brochure into Italian. We will be having the text back-translated in the next week or two by a local Italian native speaker. Silvia has identified a group of Italians that may be interested in studying together. Our ability to translate critical materials into Italian will enhance the chances for this group to succeed. We are not limited to these two languages. One person is working on a German brochure, and we are looking for a volunteer to translate the brochure into Spanish. We have also identified a foundation that we will be talking to in order to get grants for translating our more advanced teaching materials into other languages. The four European languages mentioned will probably be our first priority, but we would also like to try to get brochures and some introductory teaching materials into other languages, especially Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Russian, and Japanese. If you know anyone who would be interested in helping with this effort, please let us know. We can't pay for translation services, which range in cost from 5c to 15c per word - we will support any translator with materials in trade, but since we don't require payment for materials anyway, this isn't of particular value. Probably the best we can offer is the knowledge that you are helping contribute in a unique way, and making it possible for other speakers of your language to learn about Lojban. Products and Prices LogFlash Conversion and Update Plans - Lojbanist Eric Raymond has been converting LogFlash to machine-portable C language. Several others previously worked on the conversion; we believe that Eric has been the most successful. Problems include major differences in string handling, screen input/output and keyboard access between C and Turbo-Pascal. However, we are confident that we will shortly have a portable C version. 17 From the portable C version, we will back-fit to a Pascal version that matches the C version to make later modifications and enhancements easier. We may at some later date decide to go entirely to C, but this isn't practical right now, since Nora doesn't know C well enough to write or support programs written in it. We are asking for volunteers to take Eric's program and get it working on other machines - he apparently can provide the appropriate libraries, etc. I think we have volunteers to convert for the MacIntosh and the Amiga, but I'll happily accept redundant volunteers since the conversion problem has persisted far too long to depend on individuals. Meanwhile Nora and I will be modifying the Pascal version to accept the new gismu lists, which have a much larger definition field for each word. We also will be putting in instrumentation that will allow statistical analysis of individual learning rates. Those who received JL9 will recall that we wish to measure and study actual learning rates in comparison with our gismu word recognition scores. When the cmavo list is done, we will be making up the cmavo and grammar data set for LogFlash 3. When the place structure review is finished, we will be building data for LogFlash 4, which will teach place structures. When will all this be done? Hopefully in spring, though probably not before LK12. Since we haven't heard of anyone even using LogFlash 2 yet outside of this household, we haven't been rushing. Hypercard Teaching Materials - Esperantist Mike Urban has published a Hypercard program for the MacIntosh that teaches Esperanto. He has recently joined the Lojban community as well. Two people have independently expressed interest in working on a similar Hypercard program for Lojban, and they will hopefully have heard from Mike by now. I'll be trying to get the three of them to work together to get a useful product, but I can't promise any schedule. Since we don't have a MacIntosh here, we won't be able to support the development effort directly. lujvo-making Program - Nora has completed a short program that builds lujvo from your entered English keywords, and which optionally tests you on randomly generated lujvo using the lujvo-making algorithm. The program is much simpler than LogFlash and doesn't use the same testing philosophy. Eric Raymond may also port this program, since much of the code overlaps LogFlash, especially in the areas where C and Pascal are incompatible. We will supply this program to anyone who wants it now for $10, but you may want to wait a few weeks because we will probably have room to put some of the other new material on the same diskette, such as the cmavo list. See the order form. cmavo List - The cmavo list will be made available in text and on-line when it is completed. As just mentioned, depending on diskette space, the on-line list may be combined with some other on-line products to maximize the use of the disk. Doudna Papers - Last issue included a review of Loglan 1 by Bob and Athelstan. Since then, we have received one other review, by Paul Doudna, which we are sending to those who requested to read Loglan 1 review materials. Paul also has sent other papers and analyses of a fairly technical nature, which I want to share with interested Lojbanists. These were generated on the MacIntosh, so I don't have on-line versions. Paper copies will be available at 15c/page unless I (unlikely) get close to 25 orders, reducing our print costs. See the order form for a list. Tape and Mini-Lesson Plans - We still haven't made any Lojban tapes for distribution. After several attempts to tape our class sessions, and even Athelstan's mini-lesson, we've decided that any tape that we are actually going to sell has to be scripted. (If we don't get anything together soon, though, we may offer one of the better mini-lesson tapes - just don't expect the best quality.) The first planned tape will either be a pronunciation tape with sample dialogs, that will be matched with early textbook lessons, or it will be designed for use with a written form of Athelstan's mini-lesson. As mentioned above, we may also do a video version of the mini-lesson. Business 18 Finances - Our finances have been stable for the last three months, but only because of careful cost controls. We haven't gotten much money in, and so have had to cut our expenses to the bone. I also had to space out trips to the printer, which slowed down my responses to new people when we ran out of brochures. We're hoping that our non-profit status motivates some of you to donate to la lojbangirz. We certainly need the money. Non-Profit Status - As mentioned on page 2, our non-profit status is back- dated to our date of incorporation, which was in November, 1988. Under current law, this status is provisional and subject to review for 4 years from that date. We have to be prepared to show that 'a substantial amount of our support' comes from public donations, or we may be classified as one of a variety of different kinds of organizations, each with its own peculiar tax rules and filing requirements. The one we have is the simplest, so hopefully we can get sufficient donations to keep it. Our letter of determination of non-profit status is required to be available to all requesting to see it. We will provide a copy for anyone that asks. It's several pages, mostly tax-related instructions that describe what rules we have to follow. Our next goal in the non-profit arena is to get the US Postal Service to also declare us non-profit, which should be easy now that we have the IRS ruling. Non-profit status will cut our bulk rate postage approximately in half, possibly allowing our bulk-rate newsletters to drop in price by 10-30%. Fund-Raising Plans - The main objectives of getting non-profit status were to allow your donations to be tax-deductible, to minimize the tax paperwork we have to do each year, and to allow us to seek grants. With the backlog of work described above, we won't be able to undertake any major grant seeking for a few months. We do have a couple of organizations that we will contact, but proposal writing takes more time than I can afford right now. Probably I will start by seeking grants to support translations of our materials into other languages, and to pay for international education activities. As we get close to publishing the textbook, we may also seek grants to pay for that publication, but I suspect that our timing will not be too good for that. It typically takes several months to get a grant, and when we get close to publishing, we won't want to wait. Grants for scientific research, such as from the NSF, will probably have to wait until we can demonstrate significant numbers of reasonably fluent speakers, and until we can cite recognition by some significant linguists, though we may be able to get grants for education-related research before then. We will probably also need to have published one or more papers in the academic press to gain scientific credibility. Such papers are several months away, and would take several more months to appear and be recognized. Another avenue for funding would be grants for AI-related computer work. We may have the best chance in this area, based on Guy Steele's comments. We will probably be seeking assistance from both private industry and the US government, but again, not for a few months. Final decisions on fund-raising activities will be made by the Board of Directors, not just by me. Right now, the Board believes that grant-seeking should be lower priority to completing our teaching materials, baselining the language, and building our speaker base. All of these require more of you to be involved in learning and using the language, so your decisions will be most significant in whether we can seek funding from other sources in the near future. News from the Institute Loglan 1 Reviews - Only two people have bothered to ask for Bob and Athelstan's longer review of Loglan 1; we delayed sending it out in hopes of getting more requests (to keep the copying cost down. In addition to our published review, we received a review from Paul Doudna which we are making available to interested people. Paul was critical of Loglan 1, although for separate reasons than we identified. Paul concentrated signi- ficant analysis on the Institute's gismu list, identifying inconsistencies and unclarities in definitions and place structures of that list. Paul previously 19 analyzed our list the same way, and we incorporated many of his comments; our list is thus much more solid than the Institute's. Another area of criticism was in Jim Brown's discussion of various types of modifying and relative clauses. Paul identifies several areas where Loglan 1 contains errors of logic and terminology leading to inevitable confusion in this critical area of the language. pc has also looked at Loglan 1. His general comment was that a lot of things that he thought had been agreed upon and adopted during the years of The Loglanist (1976-1983) were not incorporated into Loglan 1. Dr. Brown several times makes reference to articles in The Loglanist, but pc found that his text on each subject often contradicts the discussion in TL. pc concentrated his review efforts on the new chapter on the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. He concludes, as did we, that it is useful to know Dr. Brown's interpretation and how he thinks it can be tested, but that the test he has devised is seriously flawed. We have printed pc's comments in JL10, along with Bob and Athelstan's more detailed review of this material. Autumn Bulletin Summary - The Institute published an Autumn Bulletin (apparently written entirely by Jim Brown) which, on its surface, implies that a lot is going on under its auspices. A second reading shows that most of the discussions are proposals and wishful thinking about what Jim Brown would like to see happen. For example, Jim reports more income in two months than in the prior two years. But since the Institute hasn't advertised nor sold any new products on the open market for several years, this is to be expected. The Institute is placing several national advertisements, but response to our Discover ad suggests that he will find such advertising only minimally cost effective without a meaningful organization to retain new people. Jim spends about 6 pages on the organization of the Institute, providing little new information and revealing his misunderstanding of what people need and expect from a viable Institute. He describes several offices, but they are mostly held by either him or Bob McIvor. The governance of the Institute is described as a benevolent dictatorship by him. He claims meaningful governance by a Board of Trustees and a Board of Directors, but one Director has told us that the latter hasn't even met in several years. The 'Loglan Academy' is unchanged in critical factors and therefore meaning- less. Dr. Brown has not realized that, if he has a veto power over any proposal, no one will submit an idea to the Academy until they know he approves of it. He also defines unworkably bureaucratic rules for change proposals, and a ludicrous rule that no part of a rejected proposal may be included in another proposal for two years. Thus the baby goes out with the bath water. In discussing the role of the 'Chief Grammarian', Dr. Brown reveals the instability of the Institute's version of Loglan. He reports that the grammar has on average been changed EVERY TWO WEEKS over the last two years, a pitiable state for a supposedly complete language. The Members Council, the body that would supposedly involve the members, doesn't exist. Jim reports no new activity in bringing this council into exis- tence; he doesn't seem sure of what its mission is supposed to be. Having de- fined a wide range of functions for the rest of the organization, and no official input into those function required of the Member's Council, there is very little reason for it to exist. Unfortunately, Jim has stolen the one activity the Members were intended to control: the publication of Lognet. Jim has appointed a new editor for Lognet, a power specifically withheld from him by his Board. The new editor's name isn't given in the Bulletin, but we've found out that Kathy Macedon of Columbia SC was given the position. Bob has written to Kathy and offered encouragement and permission to reprint from our publications, but as the job is described, it looks as though Jim is still retaining final editorial control. Jim also announces the intent to restart The Loglanist as a multi-department magazine, repeating a failed plan from several years ago. We note that all of the proposed editors have either dropped out of Loglan activities due to the In- stitute's practices, or are among the leaders of la lojbangirz. We suspect therefore that his idea is but a pipe dream. A misleading one at that, since he implies that these people might work on The Loglanist, which is most unlikely. Jim suggests that the quality of writing will be higher than in the old TL, which would require better writers to contribute than the last time around. 20 Unlikely! TL was supposed to be out this month, no one reports hearing that editors have been named yet. Don't expect much. The remainder of the issue reports changes in MacTeach software prices, and lists activities people might participate in. MacTeach 2&3 is significantly higher than LogFlash 1&2 in price. MacTeach 2b is now the same price as presumably identical Mac LojFlash except for the word list. (Only two Lojbanists have reported ordering MacTeach; we are hoping for a review eventually.) Jim's wish list for Institute volunteers looks surprisingly like ours - to be expected since he gets le lojbo karni and Ju'i Lobypli. Except that ours isn't a wish list anymore - we're doing all the things he wants to see done, from classes to interviews to talks at conventions. Jim offers one thing we don't. He is giving a drastic discount on software and Loglan 1 books for those teaching a class. The Institute's discount policy suggests that it is making a tremendous profit off of everyone else's purchases in order to afford such discounts. la Lojbangirz., of course, sells materials at cost, and so cannot give discounts except for bulk reductions in postage. But then, we also use donations to give teaching materials for free to students who cannot afford them. Future Plans - Lojban Chrestomathy/Reader A chrestomathy is a collection of materials in a language that is designed to show its relationships with other languages. Usually, a chrestomathy contains a variety of texts, both short and long, originally written in several other lan- guages, that are translated into the target language. Such a collection is vital to demonstrating that an artificial language is usable; Esperanto has had several chrestomathies published. (According to one source, though, the original chrestomathy by Zamenhof was noteworthy in its violations of his 16 rules for the language. We haven't verified this.) One of our criticisms expressed in last issue's review of Loglan 1 was the extremely limited set of translation material used to show that Jim Brown's version of Loglan works. When JL10 and JL11 are completed, we will have already published much more Lojban text, of wider variety, than Jim and The Loglan Institute have published in 35 years. Yet this collection will be but a fraction of the initial Esperanto chrestomathy in length. More needs to be done. As such, our intent is to collect of such a variety of Lojban translations and original writings over the next several months and to publish them as our first chrestomathy. We will use the Esperanto chrestomathies for ideas of what types of things to translate. Also, a little-known artificial language named 'Frater', invented by a Vietnamese, was published with an excellent chrestomathy. Our volunteers will translate additional materials of their own choice, as well. Athelstan has indicated that he intends to translate several works from ancient Latin and Greek. Nora and Bob are working on the Scheherazade story and one of the Sinbad stories from Sir Richard Burton's Arabian Nights translation, which is as close as we can come to translating directly from the Arabic. Bob has also been working on the first chapter of Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, in which Loglan is mentioned, and may translate some writings by Polish computer scientists on their computer language named 'Loglan' (as a sample of technical Lojban). Michael Helsem has tried writing original poetry in a variety of cultural forms, and has translated a Latin poem. T. Peter Park has translated writings in a variety of styles. For future translations works, Preston Maxwell has short stories from a variety of cultures and languages. I will ask T. Peter to locate and translate writings from his native Estonian. Eventually, we plan to have writings from each of our source languages. We want as many people as possible involved in this effort, which will build up our vocabulary lists while proving that our language design and grammar rules work. While Lojban material is being written slowly now, our pace and skill is increasing. With only a few more of you working on the project, we can have a good-sized sample of readings by the time the textbook is done. Some of your translations may find themselves into the textbook; the rest can go into the chrestomathy, which will also serve as the first Lojban 'reader' (if not as ele- mentary in difficulty as that word implies). 21 Contents of Ju'i Lobypli #11 JL11 will obviously be late. JL10 is being mailed at about the time JL11 should be coming out. However, we already have much of the material intended to go into that issue. I expect to publish JL11, therefore, in about a month, which should give people a little time to digest this newsletter and JL10. So let us say that JL11 will be out around the beginning to the middle of January. In our continuing and thus far unsuccessful attempt to move our publishing calendar one month earlier, I will be trying to put out LK12 in February, and JL12 towards the end of February. Issue #13 of each should then come out in May. Wish us luck! JL11 will have plenty of Lojban text to digest. Athelstan has written up a 'new' formulation of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as it may apply to Lojban. The description of the Sapir-Whorf-Athelstan Hypothesis is being written in 'technical Lojban' and seems fairly complex to read, so get your cmavo lists and grammars ready. T. Peter Park has written and translated several things in Lojban, and even more in articles about the language, almost drowning me in his high volume of productivity. His Lojban is reasonably good for someone who hasn't yet taken a class or studied the textbook lessons, but he has some consistent errors. Luckily he provides good English translations as shown above, so that we can figure out what was intended. (Make sure that any Lojban you write and send to us or anyone else includes such a translation until you are sure of your Lojban skills - and your readers'.) Michael Helsem has also been fairly prolific, but in a more poetic mode. He has written some original Lojban poetry and poetic prose, and translated one poem from Latin. He is trying some very complex things in these writings, and most will take at least one revision to be publishable, but we hope to accomplish this by JL11. I am a bit more reluctant to make grammatical corrections to poetry, since I claim no particular poetic sense that would ensure that I am retaining the author's intent in making changes. The highlight article, by Athelstan, will be a discussion at some length comparing Lojban and Esperanto. There are many misconceptions regarding these two languages, and we get lots of questions. These include questions about why Lojban is needed, since 'Esperanto is good enough' (this question usually comes from Esperantists). Such a question presumes that Lojban and Esperanto are trying for the same goals, which is not the case: Lojban is not in competition with Esperanto. Of the question of 'good enough': can any language be said to be 'good enough'? We certainly have learned a lot more about the nature of language than Zamenhof knew in the 1880's, so Lojban should be better designed than Esperanto. The biggest misunderstanding comes when we say that Lojban's grammar is completely and unambiguously expressed with about 500 rules, which is several orders of magnitude less than any natural language. Esperantists usually then say 'but Esperanto has only 16 rules'. Athelstan responds to this claim (rather critically I might add), and shows that a similar description of Lojban is ex- pressible in 11 'rules'. We'll try to have a response/rebuttal from an Esperantist who disagrees with Athelstan (I'm sure there will be one). This might have to wait until JL12, though. As discussed in the R&D section above, we intend to discuss some of the last remaining grammatical issues in JL12, as well as any decisions on those issues which will have been made. And of course, even more Lojban text, hopefully from people who haven't yet written to us. I've talked to at least a dozen Lojbanists who claim to have read through at least Lesson 4, which is enough to write simple Lojban paragraphs. Some of these claim to have already written things in Lojban. But most of them haven't sent us their writings. They'll remain nameless, at least for now. (Hint! Hint!) Seriously, I'm hoping that all of you who are trying to learn the language will 'write early and often', and that you will send us stuff you have written. I may be too swamped to respond quickly at present, but I 22 hope to have several more people competent to review Lojban writings within the next few months, now that the first class is done. So let's hear from you. A News Note in Lojban by T. Peter Park (with corrections by Bob) le jbotadni tadgri THE LOJBAN CLASS mi de'i la vodjed. pe li xa pe la somast. pe puzaku cu zvati le jbotadni tadgri noi la .ATlstan. cu'urtanc. vi la niuIORK. cu ctuca I, on date Wednesday (4th-Day) of number 6 of September (9th-Month), which was some time ago, attend (was at) the Lojban-studying study-group which Athelstan Wormtongue, at the one called New York, teaches. .i la .ATlstan. cu'urtanc. .e la lojbab. lecevalier. .e la noras. lecevalier. pu vitke klama la niuIORK. The one named Athelstan Wormtongue and the one named Loj-Bob LeChevalier and the one named Nora LeChevalier had visitingly-gone to the one called New York. .i mi vi le briju po la deb. .UYNdr. cu penmi la .ATlstan. .e la lojbab. .e la noras. .e la deb. I, at the office of the one named Deb Wunder, then meet the one named Athelstan, the one named Loj-Bob, the one named Nora, and the one named Deb. .i mi'a cu klama lo spano gusta gi'e cavi citka le vanci sanmi We (me and others unspecified) then go to a Spanish restaurant and there-at eat the evening meal. .i la deb. .e mi ca citka loi spano seljukpa poi sunga kansa seljukpa relcalkyranda'u The one named Deb and I at that time eat of the mass of Spanish-cooked (things) which are with-garlic cooked type-of two-shelled-soft-animals (i.e., Spanish- style clams with garlic). .i mi'a ba lenu citka cu klama le dansyku'a po la morakos. We, after the event of eating, go to the dance-room of the one named Morocco. .i mi'a vi zvati le jbotadni tadgri poi pu se ctuca la .ATlstan. We there attend the Lojban-studying study-group which was taught by the one named Athelstan. .i bi .onai so prenu cu zvati le tadgri 8 or 9 people attend the study-group. (Bob: The MEX for "8 or 9" in such usage is not allowed for in the current grammar, but will be added.) .i le tadgri cu mutce cinri gi'e mutce pluka terji'i vau ro lovi prenu The study-group is very-interesting and very-pleasingly thought of by all these people. (Bob: The only sentence I had to change significantly to correct it.) .i la deb. .e la lojbab. e la noras. .e la .ATlstan. cu mutce pluka mi The one called Deb, the one called Loj-Bob, the one called Nora, and the one called Athelstan (all) much please me. [bridi left tenseless to indicate continuity not limited to past of being pleased!] (Bob: A tenseless selbri doesn't necessarily imply this, but doesn't rule it out either. The directional tense "zai" instead of "cu" would explicitly indicate that the pleasing continued on at least into the present, but this is an advanced usage that T. Peter hasn't seen yet. co'o, until next issue.