Difference between revisions of "me lu ju'i lobypli li'u 13 moi"

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(Created page with "<pre> Copyright, 1990-1, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273 lojbab@grebyn.com All rights reserved. Permission...")
 
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''For a full list of issues, see '''[[zo'ei la'e "lu ju'i lobypli li'u"]]'''.''<br/>
 +
''Previous issue: '''[[me lu ju'i lobypli li'u 11 moi]]'''.''<br/>
 +
''Next issue: '''[[me lu ju'i lobypli li'u 13 moi]]'''.''
 +
 +
__TOC__
 +
 
<pre>
 
<pre>
 
Copyright, 1990-1, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane,
 
Copyright, 1990-1, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane,
Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273
+
Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273
 
lojbab@grebyn.com
 
lojbab@grebyn.com
 +
</pre>
 +
 +
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.
  
All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted subject to your
+
<pre style="text-align: center">
verification that this is the latest version of this document, that your
+
Number 13 - August 1990
distribution be for the promotion of Lojban, that there is no charge for
+
Copyright 1990, The Logical Language Group, Inc.
the product, and that this copyright notice is included intact in the
+
2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031 USA (703)385-0273
copy.
+
Permission granted to copy, without charge to recipient, when for purpose of promotion of Lojban.
 +
</pre>
  
Number 13 - August 1990
+
<pre style="text-align: center">
  Copyright 1990,  The Logical Language Group, Inc.
+
Lojban Grammar Baselined
  2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031 USA (703)385-0273
 
  Permission granted to copy, without charge to recipient, when for purpose of promotion of Lojban.
 
  
Lojban Grammar Baselined
+
cmavo list Completed
  
  cmavo list Completed
+
Details Inside, and More.
 +
</pre>
  
      Details Inside, and More.
+
Ju'i Lobypli (JL) is the quarterly journal of The Logical Language Group, Inc., known in these pages as la lojbangirz. la lojbangirz. is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of completing and spreading the logical human language "Lojban", and informing the community about logical languages in general. la lojbangirz. is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Your donations (not contributions to your voluntary balance) are tax-deductible on U.S. and most state income taxes. Donors are notified at the end of each year of their total deductible donations. We note for all potential donors that our bylaws require us to spend no more than 30% of our receipts on administrative expenses, and that you are welcome to make you gifts conditional upon our meeting this requirement.
  
    Ju'i Lobypli (JL) is the quarterly journal of The Logical Language Group, Inc., known in these pages as la
+
Press run for this issue of Ju'i Lobypli: 360. We now have over 680 people on our active mailing list.
lojbangirz.  la lojbangirz. is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of completing and spreading the logical
 
human language "Lojban", and informing the community about logical languages in general.  la lojbangirz. is a non-
 
profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Your donations (not contributions to
 
your voluntary balance) are tax-deductible on U.S. and most state income taxes. Donors are notified at the end of each
 
year of their total deductible donations.  We note for all potential donors that our bylaws require us to spend no more
 
than 30% of our receipts on administrative expenses, and that you are welcome to make you gifts conditional upon our
 
meeting this requirement.
 
    Press run for this issue of Ju'i Lobypli: 360. We now have over 680 people on our active mailing list.
 
  
Note: References to 'Loglan' in this text, unless specifically noted, do not relate to the 'trademark' claimed by The
+
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 identified by that 'trademark'.
Loglan Institute, Inc., or to products identified by that 'trademark'.
 
  
  Your Mailing Label
+
''' Your Mailing Label '''
  
Your mailing label reports your current mailing status, and your current voluntary balance including this issue. Please
+
Your mailing label reports 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 15 August 1990. Mailing codes (and approximate annual balance needs) are defined as follows:
notify us if you wish to be in a different mailing code category. Balances reflect contributions received thru 15
 
August 1990. Mailing codes (and approximate annual balance needs) are defined as follows:
 
  
Level B - Product Announcements Only Level R - This is a Review Copy for Publications
+
Level B - Product Announcements Only
Level 0 - le lojbo karni - $4 initially + $5/year balance requested
+
<br />Level R - This is a Review Copy for Publications
Level 1 - Ju'i Lobypli - $20 initially + $20/year balance requested
+
<br />Level 0 - le lojbo karni - $4 initially + $5/year balance requested
Level 2 - Level 1 materials and baselined products - $25 initially + $25/year balance requested
+
<br />Level 1 - Ju'i Lobypli - $20 initially + $20/year balance requested
Level 3 - Level 2 materials and lesson materials - $50 initially + $40/year balance requested
+
<br />Level 2 - Level 1 materials and baselined products - $25 initially + $25/year balance requested
 +
<br />Level 3 - Level 2 materials and lesson materials - $50 initially + $40/year balance requested
  
OUR FINANCES HAVE REACHED A CRISIS; we will have to take action. Please read the news on Finances inside. If you have
+
OUR FINANCES HAVE REACHED A CRISIS; we will have to take action. Please read the news on Finances inside. If you have a negative balance over -$50, we must reduce your mailing level to level 0 unless you contact us with a very special reason. If you have a balance between $-25 and $-50, we are also likely to reduce you to level 0, but can be more flexible, especially if we hear from you. Those with lower negative balances will be reduced on a case-by-case basis. If you have a negative balance, write to us, and try to contribute something towards your balance; even if you only send $5 or $10. Those who contribute some money will not be cut back yet, but we need to hear from you by 20 October. Note that, due to size, the base price for this issue of JL is just short of $10.00.
a negative balance over -$50, we must reduce your mailing level to level 0 unless you contact us with a very special
 
reason. If you have a balance between $-25 and $-50, we are also likely to reduce you to level 0, but can be more
 
flexible, especially if we hear from you. Those with lower negative balances will be reduced on a case-by-case basis.
 
If you have a negative balance, write to us, and try to contribute something towards your balance; even if you only send
 
$5 or $10. Those who contribute some money will not be cut back yet, but we need to hear from you by 20 October. Note
 
that, due to size, the base price for this issue of JL is just short of $10.00.
 
  
Contents of This Issue
+
''' Contents of This Issue '''
  2
 
  
 +
This issue marks major milestones, but reports our serious financial situation. The issue was delayed almost a month because we didn't have enough money to pay for it. This issue includes the new grammar baseline and the cmavo list as separate enclosures to an over-50 page issue. However, if our finances do not improve significantly, future issues will be much shorter. The choice is up to all of you.
  
    This issue marks major milestones, but reports our serious financial situation.  The issue was delayed almost a
+
Bob LeChevalier starts a regular 'column' written directly in Lojban, and without translation. As of this issue, all the materials needed to read Lojban text have been distributed - its time to set an example of using the language. We also include Lojban writings from Michael Helsem, who has written some 40 poems in Lojban, and from Athelstan and John Cowan.
month because we didn't have enough money to pay for it.  This issue includes the new grammar baseline and the cmavo
 
list as separate enclosures to an over-50 page issue.  However, if our finances do not improve significantly, future
 
issues will be much shorter.  The choice is up to all of you.
 
    Bob LeChevalier starts a regular 'column' written directly in Lojban, and without translation. As of this issue,
 
all the materials needed to read Lojban text have been distributed - its time to set an example of using the language.
 
We also include Lojban writings from Michael Helsem, who has written some 40 poems in Lojban, and from Athelstan and
 
John Cowan.
 
    Our regular news section discusses results from LogFest 90, an update on the textbook plans, and our financial
 
woes.  We also include two items from the editor of the Esperanto League for North America newsletter, Don Harlow, a
 
response to JL11's Esperanto article and an article by Don on artificial languages, reprinted from his newsletter with
 
permission.  We have some writings from Andy Hilgartner, outlining his several decades of General Semantics research
 
that have recently been affected by his contact with Lojban.
 
    Finally, LogFest attendees chose to have the community vote on the logo and another issue. Please respond by 20
 
October.  If you are level 3, or have used LogFlash, we are also asking you to report on where you are at in learning
 
the language by then.  There will be another weekend get-together at Bob and Nora's place that weekend and everyone is
 
invited.  Let us know you are coming.
 
  
 +
Our regular news section discusses results from LogFest 90, an update on the textbook plans, and our financial woes. We also include two items from the editor of the Esperanto League for North America newsletter, Don Harlow, a response to JL11's Esperanto article and an article by Don on artificial languages, reprinted from his newsletter with permission. We have some writings from Andy Hilgartner, outlining his several decades of General Semantics research that have recently been affected by his contact with Lojban.
 +
 +
Finally, LogFest attendees chose to have the community vote on the logo and another issue. Please respond by 20 October. If you are level 3, or have used LogFlash, we are also asking you to report on where you are at in learning the language by then. There will be another weekend get-together at Bob and Nora's place that weekend and everyone is invited. Let us know you are coming.
 +
 +
 +
<pre>
 
  Table of Contents
 
  Table of Contents
  
Line 93: Line 76:
 
Enclosures - Baselined Machine Grammar, Abbreviated cmavo List, Ballot/Questionnaire
 
Enclosures - Baselined Machine Grammar, Abbreviated cmavo List, Ballot/Questionnaire
  
Computer Net Information
+
</pre>
 +
 
 +
''' Computer Net Information '''
 +
 
 +
If you have access to Usenet/UUCP/Internet, you can send messages and text files (including things for JL publication) to Bob at: lojbab@snark.thyrsus.com
 +
 
 +
Join the Lojban news-group.
 +
<br />Send your mailing address to: lojban-list-request@snark.thyrsus.com
 +
<br />Send traffic for the news-group to: lojban-list@snark.thyrsus.com
 +
 
 +
Please keep us informed if your network mailing address changes.
 +
 
 +
Compuserve subscribers can participate. Precede any of the above addresses with INTERNET: and use your normal Compuserve mail facility (its possible that you can send only to addresses in the '@' format). Usenet/Internet people can send to Compuserve addresses by changing the comma in the Compuserve address to a period: nnnnn.mmmm@compuserve.com
 +
 
 +
Whether you wish to participate in the news-group or not, it is useful for us to know your Compuserve address. For example, any decision for la lojbangirz. to obtain a Compuserve account will be based on a need to serve a goodly number of you that want to exchange information.
 +
 
 +
We've been requested to more explicitly identify people who are referred to by initials in JL, and will regularly do so in this spot, immediately before the news section. Note that 'Athelstan' is that person's real name, used in his public life, and is not a pseudonym.
 +
 
 +
'pc' - Dr. John Parks-Clifford, Professor of Logic and Philosophy at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and Vice-President of la lojbangirz.; he is usually addressed as 'pc' by the community.
 +
 
 +
'Bob', 'lojbab' - Bob LeChevalier - President of la lojbangirz., and editor of Ju'i Lobypli and le lojbo karni.
 +
 
 +
'JCB', 'Jim Brown'- Dr. James Cooke Brown, inventor of the language, and founder of the Loglan project.
 +
 
 +
'The Institute' - The Loglan Institute, Inc., JCB's organization for spreading his version of Loglan, which we call 'Institute Loglan'.
 +
 
 +
== News ==
 +
 
 +
=== LogFest Results ===
 +
 
 +
Lojban Grammar Baselined - By consensus, the attendees at LogFest approved a preliminary baseline of the Lojban grammar, subject to minor corrections and typos that were expected to show up before publishing in this issue. (An awful lot of work was accomplished in the last two weeks before LogFest, and the copies printed for LogFest were rather hurriedly prepared.)
 +
 
 +
A final baseline is expected in about 6-9 months, after the textbook is completed. However, given the extremely slow rate of change to the grammar up until now, few if any substantive changes are expected before the final baseline. All major subsections of the grammar have now been examined at least twice, and Bob was able to give lectures on the attitudinal, tense/modal, negation, MEX, and lerfu systems at LogFest with minimal preparation, demonstrating that these new developments are teachable.
 +
 
 +
The grammar has of course been verified through usage, with translations and original materials in a variety of styles and on a variety of subjects, as well as in conversation. The design has proven solid and robust.
 +
 
 +
The grammar still requires formal usage testing (as opposed to disambiguity testing with the computer tool 'YACC'), and no one has stepped forward to update the parser to the new grammar. In lieu of this, we will be updating the random sentence generator to the new grammar, and examining its outputs manually. We also will be using the older parser to examine Michael Helsem's poetry and any other Lojban text that is submitted during the preliminary baseline period, and will ensure that discrepancies are accounted for by known changes to the grammar.
 +
 
 +
A copy of the approved grammar is included with this issue. The grammar is a 'machine' grammar, and designed primarily for computer use. However, people can understand and use it, too, with explanation. We've provided such an explanation as front matter for the grammar copy, and would appreciate comments, especially from non-computer people, as to its understandability and usefulness.
 +
 
 +
Several people are working on condensed versions of the grammar that are more understandable to everyday people. These versions, written in a format called 'Extended BNF' are only two to three pages long. The primary weakness of E-BNF grammars is that they cannot be verified by YACC; we therefore want to ensure that the versions are thoroughly checked before publishing them.
 +
 
 +
Anyone interested in working on the E-BNF effort should contact us. John Cowan and Carl Burke are leading the effort, and will respond to you. Include a Compuserve or Usenet/Internet/ Bitnet address if you have one, and want to communicate via net.
 +
 
  
    If you have access to Usenet/UUCP/Internet, you can send messages and text files (including things for JL
+
gismu List Baseline Changes - The list of proposed new gismu swelled just before LogFest from the list presented in the last JL issue, making for a lively, if long, session at LogFest devoted to going over the proposals. About 3/4 of the changes were adopted, with a couple of issues left up in the air for further comment from the community.
publication) to Bob at:     lojbab@snark.thyrsus.com
 
    Join the Lojban news-group.
 
Send your mailing address to:   lojban-list-request@snark.thyrsus.com
 
Send traffic for the news-group to:   lojban-list@snark.thyrsus.com
 
    Please keep us informed if your network mailing address changes.
 
  
    Compuserve subscribers can participate.  Precede any of the above addresses with INTERNET: and use your normal
+
Almost all of the changes are additions to the list of gismu, the type of change having least impact on someone learning the language. There was one word change accepted, the change from "ckamu" to "mleca" discussed in the last issue.
Compuserve mail facility (its possible that you can send only to addresses in the '@' format). Usenet/Internet people
 
can send to Compuserve addresses by changing the comma in the Compuserve address to a period:
 
nnnnn.mmmm@compuserve.com
 
  
    Whether you wish to participate in the news-group or not, it is useful for us to know your Compuserve address. For
+
There are three changes to keywords for existing gismu, specifically the gismu for some of our basic Lojban language concepts ("gismu", "tanru", and "lujvo"); these word changes are not changes to the meaning of the gismu, but are instead corrections to eliminate misconceptions. The existing keywords are the words that Jim Brown used in his writings for the concepts, and have historically been criticized as being 'the wrong word'. We've stuck with them for tradition, but reactions from the community when the proposals were circulated on the computer network indicated that the keywords were causing confusion and that it was time for a change.
example, any decision for la lojbangirz. to obtain a Compuserve account will be based on a need to serve a goodly number
 
of you that want to exchange information.
 
  
  3
+
The problem is, of course, that these concepts are not commonly used in English, and no English word accurately reflects their meaning. LogFest came up with the phrase "root word" to serve for gismu, but was unable to agree on new phrases for "tanru" and "lujvo". Some of the proposals are described below. For purposes of discussion at LogFest, we limited keyword proposals to 15 characters or less, the existing LogFlash limit. Since we are increasing that limit to 20 characters to support the cmavo keywords, some of you may be able to devise clearer phrases than we did at LogFest; for example, some of Bob's preferences for "tanru", "modification pair", "modified concept", or "modified relation", are now permitted. We need your suggestions within the next month or two.
  
 +
For the new words that have been approved, and for the open issues that have obvious new word implications, we have already started the word-making process. For the first time, we are able to use a native speaker for the primary research in a non-English source language. Vijay Vaidyanathan of Albany NY, a native Tamil speaker who is fluent in Hindi (and whose wife is a native Hindi speaker) is providing the original Hindi research. Mimi Herrmann, a DC-area language aficionado, is researching the Arabic words. We turned to Russian translator Gary Burgess for aid in Russian, and Bob did the other three languages using his shelf of dictionaries. When all of the contributors get finished, hopefully in a few weeks, Bob's new 386 computer should make short work of building the possible words, and we'll be able to tell you the results next issue.
  
  We've been requested to more explicitly identify people    Several people are working on condensed versions of the
+
Lojban gismu are made by searching for sound patterns that most match the words from the source languages. A score, called a recognition score, is calculated based on weighted averages using the speaker population for each source language. The weighting system for language populations takes the number of native speakers and adds half of the number of second language speakers.
who are referred to by initials in JL, and will regularly  grammar that are more understandable to everyday people.
 
do so in this spot, immediately before the news section.    These versions, written in a format called 'Extended BNF'
 
Note that 'Athelstan' is that person's real name, used in  are only two to three pages long.  The primary weakness of
 
his public life, and is not a pseudonym.     E-BNF grammars is that they cannot be verified by YACC; we
 
    therefore want to ensure that the versions are thoroughly
 
  'pc' - Dr. John Parks-Clifford, Professor of Logic and    checked before publishing them.
 
Philosophy at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and      Anyone interested in working on the E-BNF effort should
 
Vice-President of la lojbangirz.; he is usually addressed  contact us. John Cowan and Carl Burke are leading the
 
as 'pc' by the community.     effort, and will respond to you.  Include a Compuserve or
 
  'Bob', 'lojbab' - Bob LeChevalier - President of la     Usenet/Internet/ Bitnet address if you have one, and want
 
lojbangirz., and editor of Ju'i Lobypli and le lojbo karni. to communicate via net.
 
  'JCB', 'Jim Brown'- Dr. James Cooke Brown, inventor of
 
the language, and founder of the Loglan project.       gismu List Baseline Changes - The list of proposed new
 
  'The Institute' - The Loglan Institute, Inc., JCB's     gismu swelled just before LogFest from the list presented
 
organization for spreading his version of Loglan, which we  in the last JL issue, making for a lively, if long, session
 
call 'Institute Loglan'.     at LogFest devoted to going over the proposals.  About 3/4
 
    of the changes were adopted, with a couple of issues left
 
    up in the air for further comment from the community.
 
  News       Almost all of the changes are additions to the list of
 
    gismu, the type of change having least impact on someone
 
      LogFest Results     learning the language.  There was one word change accepted,
 
    the change from "ckamu" to "mleca" discussed in the last
 
  Lojban Grammar Baselined - By consensus, the attendees at issue.
 
LogFest approved a preliminary baseline of the Lojban gram-  There are three changes to keywords for existing gismu,
 
mar, subject to minor corrections and typos that were     specifically the gismu for some of our basic Lojban
 
expected to show up before publishing in this issue.  (An  language concepts ("gismu", "tanru", and "lujvo"); these
 
awful lot of work was accomplished in the last two weeks    word changes are not changes to the meaning of the gismu,
 
before LogFest, and the copies printed for LogFest were     but are instead corrections to eliminate misconceptions.
 
rather hurriedly prepared.)     The existing keywords are the words that Jim Brown used in
 
  A final baseline is expected in about 6-9 months, after  his writings for the concepts, and have historically been
 
the textbook is completed.  However, given the extremely    criticized as being 'the wrong word'.  We've stuck with
 
slow rate of change to the grammar up until now, few if any them for tradition, but reactions from the community when
 
substantive changes are expected before the final baseline. the proposals were circulated on the computer network
 
All major subsections of the grammar have now been examined indicated that the keywords were causing confusion and that
 
at least twice, and Bob was able to give lectures on the    it was time for a change.
 
attitudinal, tense/modal, negation, MEX, and lerfu systems    The problem is, of course, that these concepts are not
 
at LogFest with minimal preparation, demonstrating that     commonly used in English, and no English word accurately
 
these new developments are teachable.     reflects their meaning.  LogFest came up with the phrase
 
  The grammar has of course been verified through usage,    "root word" to serve for gismu, but was unable to agree on
 
with translations and original materials in a variety of    new phrases for "tanru" and "lujvo".  Some of the proposals
 
styles and on a variety of subjects, as well as in     are described below.  For purposes of discussion at
 
conversation.  The design has proven solid and robust.     LogFest, we limited keyword proposals to 15 characters or
 
  The grammar still requires formal usage testing (as     less, the existing LogFlash limit. Since we are increasing
 
opposed to disambiguity testing with the computer tool     that limit to 20 characters to support the cmavo keywords,
 
'YACC'), and no one has stepped forward to update the     some of you may be able to devise clearer phrases than we
 
parser to the new grammar.  In lieu of this, we will be     did at LogFest; for example, some of Bob's preferences for
 
updating the random sentence generator to the new grammar,  "tanru", "modification pair", "modified concept", or
 
and examining its outputs manually.  We also will be using "modified relation", are now permitted.  We need your
 
the older parser to examine Michael Helsem's poetry and any suggestions within the next month or two.
 
other Lojban text that is submitted during the preliminary    For the new words that have been approved, and for the
 
baseline period, and will ensure that discrepancies are     open issues that have obvious new word implications, we
 
accounted for by known changes to the grammar.     have already started the word-making process.  For the
 
  A copy of the approved grammar is included with this     first time, we are able to use a native speaker for the
 
issue. The grammar is a 'machine' grammar, and designed    primary research in a non-English source language. Vijay
 
primarily for computer use.  However, people can understand Vaidyanathan of Albany NY, a native Tamil speaker who is
 
and use it, too, with explanation.  We've provided such an  fluent in Hindi (and whose wife is a native Hindi speaker)
 
explanation as front matter for the grammar copy, and would is providing the original Hindi research.  Mimi Herrmann, a
 
appreciate comments, especially from non-computer people,  DC-area language aficionado, is researching the Arabic
 
as to its understandability and usefulness.     words.  We turned to Russian translator Gary Burgess for
 
  
  4
+
Bob researched how the last several years affected the language population weights. We had expected a significant growth in speakers of other languages, but was surprised to find that English has receded, and rather rapidly. While it is still the language of choice in international business and in science, there are now considered to be fewer speakers of the language worldwide than there were just a few years ago. If we use the new data in making the gismu, English drops to 3rd place well behind Hindi, and is being threatened by Spanish.
  
 +
The most striking cause of this change is in India. When India first became independent in 1948, English was often the language of choice as a lingua franca for communication between speakers of the several hundred different languages spoken in India (there were some 15 languages cited as 'official' at the time of independence). Now, however, only English and Hindi are considered 'official', and there is a decided bent towards Hindi. There are some 230 million native Hindi speakers (and perhaps another 60 million Urdu speakers - Urdu is considered by linguists to be the same language as Hindi, but is written in Arabic script). This is about the same number of native speakers as English has world-wide. In second language speakers, the real difference shows up. Hindi is the lingua franca of around 400 million speakers in India, and this number is rapidly increasing under the Indian literacy program. English is now spoken by only 21 million Indians, only 2% of the population.
  
aid in Russian, and Bob did the other three languages using favor, since Bengali is Indo-European and confined almost
+
English is also receding in Africa, although not as dramatically.
his shelf of dictionaries.  When all of the contributors    entirely to two countries.
 
get finished, hopefully in a few weeks, Bob's new 386
 
computer should make short work of building the possible    Language  Native 2nd  Net 1990  1987
 
words, and we'll be able to tell you the results next Score Wt.  Wt.
 
issue.     Chinese    754M  339M 923M 35.5  33.5
 
  Lojban gismu are made by searching for sound patterns     Hindi      288M  478M 528M 20.5  16.5
 
that most match the words from the source languages.  A     English    299M  228M 413M 16    18
 
score, called a recognition score, is calculated based on  Spanish    300M  38M 319M 12    12.5
 
weighted averages using the speaker population for each     Russian    170M  118M 229M 9    12
 
source language.  The weighting system for language popula- Arabic    181M  22M 192M 7    7.5
 
tions takes the number of native speakers and adds half of  Bengali    176M  26M 189M -
 
the number of second language speakers.     Portuguese 156M  12M 161M -
 
  Bob researched how the last several years affected the
 
language population weights.  We had expected a significant  We will experiment with both sets of weights in making
 
growth in speakers of other languages, but was surprised to the 20 new gismu to be constructed; there is no policy on
 
find that English has receded, and rather rapidly.  While  whether to update weights periodically, since we don't
 
it is still the language of choice in international     anticipate making many more gismu.
 
business and in science, there are now considered to be       Now, here is the summary of decisions made by the LogFest
 
fewer speakers of the language worldwide than there were    attendees:
 
just a few years ago.  If we use the new data in making the
 
gismu, English drops to 3rd place well behind Hindi, and is
 
being threatened by Spanish.
 
  The most striking cause of this change is in India.  When
 
India first became independent in 1948, English was often
 
the language of choice as a lingua franca for communication
 
between speakers of the several hundred different languages
 
spoken in India (there were some 15 languages cited as
 
'official' at the time of independence).  Now, however,
 
only English and Hindi are considered 'official', and there
 
is a decided bent towards Hindi.  There are some 230
 
million native Hindi speakers (and perhaps another 60
 
million Urdu speakers - Urdu is considered by linguists to
 
be the same language as Hindi, but is written in Arabic
 
script).  This is about the same number of native speakers
 
as English has world-wide.  In second language speakers,
 
the real difference shows up.  Hindi is the lingua franca
 
of around 400 million speakers in India, and this number is
 
rapidly increasing under the Indian literacy program.
 
English is now spoken by only 21 million Indians, only 2%
 
of the population.
 
  English is also receding in Africa, although not as
 
dramatically.
 
  The Russian numbers have also changed, as greater
 
recognition has been placed on the non-Russian
 
nationalities in the Soviet Union.
 
  The numbers are confirmed in another source, a survey
 
description of the world's languages edited by B. Comrie,
 
an expert on language universals.  The section on English
 
estimates the number of speakers as 350 million, whereas
 
quotes as high as a billion were easy to find when we
 
started surveying languages in 1987 before the initial
 
gismu-making effort.
 
  Following are the numbers of speakers in millions derived
 
from the 1990 Britannica Book of the Year.  The final
 
column gives the weights normalized to 100.  We've given
 
numbers for the next two languages behind Arabic, which are
 
rapidly gaining.  However, we are unlikely to replace
 
Arabic with Bengali until the numbers are solidly in its
 
  
  5
+
The Russian numbers have also changed, as greater recognition has been placed on the non-Russian nationalities in the Soviet Union.
  
 +
The numbers are confirmed in another source, a survey description of the world's languages edited by B. Comrie, an expert on language universals. The section on English estimates the number of speakers as 350 million, whereas quotes as high as a billion were easy to find when we started surveying languages in 1987 before the initial gismu-making effort.
  
The following proposals were approved with little     2. Add "tears";
+
Following are the numbers of speakers in millions derived from the 1990 Britannica Book of the Year. The final column gives the weights normalized to 100. We've given numbers for the next two languages behind Arabic, which are rapidly gaining. However, we are unlikely to replace Arabic with Bengali until the numbers are solidly in its favor, since Bengali is Indo-European and confined almost entirely to two countries.
controversy:     3. Add "ugly", the opposite of "beautiful";
 
    4. Add "diffuse", the opposite of "concentrated";
 
1. Change "ckamu" to "mleca" for rafsi considerations;     5. Add "deficient", (after discussion, it was decided that
 
2. Add "daytime", change keyword for "day" ("full day"?,      "deficient" is the opposite of "excess" with "sufficient"
 
  "24hr day"?);       as middle ground. The opposite of "sufficient" then,
 
3. Add "virtue", as distinct from "good", to parallel with    encompasses both excess or deficient;
 
  "evil";     6. Add "alfalfa";
 
4. Add "citrus";     7. Add a common term for the Western Hemisphere continents.
 
5. Add "cabbage", to include broccoli, cauliflower, and
 
  perhaps lettuce;     The following are still open issues:
 
6. Add "hemp", to include natural rope, burlap, marijuana,
 
  and hashish;     1. The definition of "arm" was not discussed; we forgot.
 
7. Add "protein";       The issue was based on our learning that different
 
8. Add "buckwheat";       cultures include/exclude the hand and the shoulder from
 
9. Add "cassava", to include taro and yam, and other       the concept of "arm".  Tentatively, we will define an
 
  starchy roots (not tubers);       "arm" as a non-supporting limb, without specifically
 
10. Add "sorghum";       excluding or including the extremity.
 
11. Add "magenta" and "cyan" as the missing two subtractive 2. It was decided to change the keywords for "tanru" and
 
  primary colors;       "lujvo". Unfortunately, there has been no consensus on
 
12. Change the keyword of "gismu" from "primitive" to "root  what to change them to.  The clear sense is to avoid
 
  word";       linguistic jargon and words that have multiple meanings
 
13. Add "North America", the continent, as distinct from      in English such as "compound".  There is some sentiment
 
  "merko", referring to the U.S.;       for keywords that show a parallelism in definitions of
 
14. Add "South America", the continent, as distinct from      the two concepts, though alternatively the parallelism
 
  "xispo", referring to Latin America;       could be made clear in the extended definition.  The
 
15. Add "Antarctica".       proposed choices, in roughly chronological order are:
 
  
The following proposals were added with considerable debate   tanru     lujvo
+
<pre>
and discussion:       open compoundclosed compound
+
Language  Native 2nd  Net 1990  1987                   
      relation phraseaffix compound
+
    Score Wt.  Wt.                   
1. Add "glimmering" to cover the concepts of morning and     relation phraserelation compound
+
Chinese    754M  339M 923M 35.5  33.5                   
  evening twilight, as well as the phenomena of       word cluster    cluster word
+
Hindi      288M  478M 528M 20.5  16.5                   
  "astronomical terminator" and "penumbra"; the poetic       word cluster  affix cluster
+
English    299M  228M 413M 16    18                     
  usefulness and the astronomical extension of the concept   word grouping affix grouping
+
Spanish    300M  38M 319M 12    12.5                   
  led to passage;       grouped words  affix word(s)
+
Russian    170M  118M 229M 9    12                     
    a. "dawn"/"morning twilight" and "evening twilight"     modified phrasemodified word
+
Arabic    181M  22M 192M 7    7.5                     
  were voted down.       phrase relationaffix relation
+
Bengali    176M  26M 189M -                           
2. Define "morning" and "evening" symmetrically;
+
Portuguese 156M  12M 161M -                           
    a. The specific symmetry required much debate;       As noted earlier, some slightly longer keywords can be
+
 
  consensus was finally built around a culture-dependent     considered, since we have to create a version of LogFlash
+
</pre>
  definition, wherein morning is the time between sleep and   supporting the 20-character keywords for cmavo data.  Bob
+
 
  work, and evening is the time between work and sleep,       is adding the following based on this new option:
+
We will experiment with both sets of weights in making the 20 new gismu to be constructed; there is no policy on whether to update weights periodically, since we don't anticipate making many more gismu.
  according to the cultural norm. In a tanru this could be
+
 
  modified to a personal norm.       modification pairmodification word
+
Now, here is the summary of decisions made by the LogFest attendees:
3. In a discussion of "decrease" as an opposite of
+
 
  "increase", initial sentiment for adding it was weak;
+
The following proposals were approved with little controversy:
    a. It was noticed that the existing place structure of
+
 
  increase was transitive; it was proposed that by changing
+
# Change "ckamu" to "mleca" for rafsi considerations;
  the place structure to the intransitive "x1 increases in
+
# Add "daytime", change keyword for "day" ("full day"?, "24hr day"?);
  property x2 by amount x3", an opposite gismu for "de-
+
# Add "virtue", as distinct from "good", to parallel with "evil";
  crease" would be better justified. Without the change,
+
# Add "citrus";
  the semantic difference from "adjust" and "add" was felt
+
# Add "cabbage", to include broccoli, cauliflower, and perhaps lettuce;
  to be too small.
+
# Add "hemp", to include natural rope, burlap, marijuana, and hashish;
    b. The vote to add "decrease" in parallel to the new
+
# Add "protein";
  meaning of "increase" was then successful.
+
# Add "buckwheat";
 +
# Add "cassava", to include taro and yam, and other starchy roots (not tubers);
 +
# Add "sorghum";
 +
# Add "magenta" and "cyan" as the missing two subtractive primary colors;
 +
# Change the keyword of "gismu" from "primitive" to "root word";
 +
# Add "North America", the continent, as distinct from "merko", referring to the U.S.;
 +
# Add "South America", the continent, as distinct from "xispo", referring to Latin America;
 +
# Add "Antarctica".
 +
 
 +
The following proposals were added with considerable debate and discussion:
 +
 
 +
# Add "glimmering" to cover the concepts of morning and evening twilight, as well as the phenomena of "astronomical terminator" and "penumbra"; the poetic usefulness and the astronomical extension of the concept led to passage;  
 +
## "dawn"/"morning twilight" and "evening twilight" were voted down.
 +
# Define "morning" and "evening" symmetrically;  
 +
## The specific symmetry required much debate; consensus was finally built around a culture-dependent definition, wherein morning is the time between sleep and work, and evening is the time between work and sleep, according to the cultural norm. In a tanru this could be modified to a personal norm.
 +
# In a discussion of "decrease" as an opposite of "increase", initial sentiment for adding it was weak;  
 +
## It was noticed that the existing place structure of increase was transitive; it was proposed that by changing the place structure to the intransitive "x1 increases in property x2 by amount x3", an opposite gismu for "decrease" would be better justified. Without the change, the semantic difference from "adjust" and "add" was felt to be too small.  
 +
## The vote to add "decrease" in parallel to the new meaning of "increase" was then successful.  
  
 
The following changes were voted down:
 
The following changes were voted down:
  
1. Add "text";
+
# Add "text";
 +
# Add "tears";
 +
# Add "ugly", the opposite of "beautiful";
 +
# Add "diffuse", the opposite of "concentrated";
 +
# Add "deficient", (after discussion, it was decided that "deficient" is the opposite of "excess" with "sufficient" as middle ground. The opposite of "sufficient" then, encompasses both excess or deficient;
 +
# Add "alfalfa";
 +
# Add a common term for the Western Hemisphere continents.
 +
 
 +
The following are still open issues:
 +
 
 +
1. The definition of "arm" was not discussed; we forgot. The issue was based on our learning that different cultures include/exclude the hand and the shoulder from the concept of "arm". Tentatively, we will define an "arm" as a non-supporting limb, without specifically excluding or including the extremity.
 +
2. It was decided to change the keywords for "tanru" and "lujvo". Unfortunately, there has been no consensus on what to change them to. The clear sense is to avoid linguistic jargon and words that have multiple meanings in English such as "compound". There is some sentiment for keywords that show a parallelism in definitions of the two concepts, though alternatively the parallelism could be made clear in the extended definition. The proposed choices, in roughly chronological order are:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
tanru     lujvo                             
 +
open compoundclosed compound                             
 +
relation phraseaffix compound                             
 +
relation phraserelation compound                         
 +
word cluster    cluster word                             
 +
word cluster  affix cluster                             
 +
word grouping affix grouping                             
 +
grouped words  affix word(s)                             
 +
modified phrasemodified word                             
 +
phrase relationaffix relation                             
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
 
 +
As noted earlier, some slightly longer keywords can be considered, since we have to create a version of LogFlash supporting the 20-character keywords for cmavo data. Bob is adding the following based on this new option:
 +
 
 +
modification pairmodification word
 +
 
 +
3. The familial relationships never quite seem to satisfy. It was agreed to add "sire" and "dam" to the definitions of "patfu" and "mamta". Later it was suggested that we retain some unsatisfactory holes and combinations, which are of uncertain importance. The fact that American culture is shifting away from traditional family structures makes it unlikely that we (who are almost all Americans) can decide on a culturally neutral solution. The choices are then to be maximally inclusive of the possible relationships, or to pare the list in ways that ignore American sensibilities. The general preference seems to be for the former. Thus, we can make the following matrix:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
Gender-neutral Male Female   Gender-neutral  
 +
but genetic not-necessarily-         
 +
    genetic  
 +
 
 +
panzi bersa   tixnu       se rirni  
 +
offspring son   daughter    reared  
 +
 
 +
      verba  
 +
      child  
 +
 
 +
      cifnu  
 +
      infant  
 +
 
 +
bruna   mensi      tunba  
 +
brother   sister    sibling  
 +
 
 +
se panzi patfu   mamta      rirni  
 +
  ? father   mother    rearer  
 +
sire   dam  
 +
 
 +
se jbena  
 +
mother/father  
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Note that as currently defined, "patfu" and "mamta" are defined biologically, whereas their counterparts (except "se jbena") need not be.
 +
 
 +
An obvious suggestion is to make "patfu" and "mamta" non-biological. However, it can be argued that with animal breeding and genetics, and in some less transitional cultures, the biological parents have a uniquely important role enough to be considered 'primitive'. If so, the tanru "mamta se panzi" and "patfu se panzi" may be too long to be satisfactory. (We asked Vijay, our Hindi/Tamil expert, though, and at least for human parents, the biological aspect is secondary to the social relationship - non-biological parents are called by the same 'mother' and 'father' terms as biological parents. If this is the case, the longer tanru for specifying biological parents may be acceptable.)
 +
 
 +
Other options:
 +
<br />a. Change "panzi" to be its inverse, making "se panzi" into "offspring";
 +
<br />b. Add a different gismu to be the inverse of "panzi", with a keyword something like "engender";
 +
<br />c. Add two gismu to specifically represent the genetic relationships "sire" and "dam" as distinct from the social terms "mother" and "father";
 +
<br />Other options are possible. Note also that "rirni" is not quite the same as "mother/father", so we may need another genderless general term here.
 +
 
 +
For now, we are making up gismu for "engender" as one of the 20 words. The actual word that results may affect the decision.
 +
 
 +
In addition to the above, there is also the question of the extended family, which we have long ignored. We can be very specific about "mother-mother", "father-sister", and other extended family relationships, but we cannot be general. Most cultures either use very general terms or very specific ones (Hindi and Chinese distinguish between a father's older brother and younger brother as different word-concepts); in American culture, of course, divorce and remarriage is causing extended family relationships to become so complex that specific terms will not suffice. For discussion purposes then, Bob is proposing (and making):
 +
<br />a. "elder/ancestor" for family members of generations preceding the parents (including non-direct line, the relationship is more social/ethnic than biological). Gender would be added via tanru, as would explicit biological lineage (or a place could be used for specifying lineage, with specific names used in alternation with properties of the lineage of relation). The conversion would give "descendant" as well as "grandkids" in the broadest sense. This was independently proposed by John Cowan as "x1 is an ancestor of x2 of degree x3".
 +
<br />b. "aunt/uncle/godparent" for non-lineal (socio-ethnic) family members of the parental generation. The conversion would give "niece/ nephew".
 +
<br />c. "cousin" for non-immediate (socio-ethnic) family members of the same generation.
 +
 
 +
The generalized family relationship is still expressed by "lanzu", which can be modified via tanru.
 +
 
 +
Related Discussion - Days of the week were dis-cussed prior to the gismu baseline discussion, and it was decided to add color-and continent-based names as alternatives to the number based names that have been standard (it was at this point that we realized that we were missing 3 of the 7 continents). In addition, the number based names will be set to run from 0 to 7, with Sunday serving as both 0 and 7, depending on speaker preference and cultural orientation.
 +
 
 +
John Cowan expressed great skepticism that any alternate system would catch on. They seem too much like crackpot 'calendar reform' efforts, and also aren't well supported in numerical date representations. He also noted that not all cultures have a 7-day week. The generic concept of a week is the time between successive market days, which ranges from 4 to 9 days in agrarian non-Western cultures. He thus suggested that "jeftu" add a place to indicate the culture (it was later realized that a 'standard' is already in the place structure). He is using days of the week based on the International names of the classically known heavenly bodies, thus allowing him to parallel Romance languages that did likewise. (English and the Germanic languages loan-translated the Roman gods used in planet names to the corresponding gods' names from German mythology.)
 +
 
 +
Athelstan notes that in Israel, the days are number-named from 1st-day to 6th-day, followed by the Sabbath; this is similar to our adopted system.
 +
 
 +
Other LogFest Results - LogFest only had about 18 attendees, but they were a truly exceptional crowd that demonstrated by their commitment to the language that Loglan/Lojban is going to continue to grow and prosper. More than half were from out of town; three graduates of the Blacksburg class came. Almost all were level 3 active language students; thus we never really got to exercise our plans to support activities for newcomers at the same time as a main track.
 +
 
 +
Unfortunately, a lot of key people we thought were going to come didn't. For example, Dr. Yorke, scheduled to lead a discussion of his proposal (printed in JL12), didn't make it, but won an award for the best excuse ever for not coming to LogFest. He called Friday evening to tell us that his house was surrounded by fire trucks. (The lengths people will go to avoid coming! Luckily, the fire was not too serious.)
 +
 
 +
We discussed Dr. Yorke's proposal anyway. There was little support - the people working on Lojban are interested in a full language, not a hybrid form. la lojbangirz. thus will not change its goals and plans to match his ideas, although we are willing to support and encourage anyone who wants to develop the idea further and give it a proper test. Most participants, though, said that a hybrid LogEnglish might as well use straight English words for the predicates. The loss of audiovisual isomorphism is not significant until someone comes up with a speech recognizer. It was also suggested, and we will consider, using such a hybrid form in teaching materials for beginners, so that they do not need to master the vocabulary to get a start on the unique grammar features of Lojban. This will not be used for the initial textbook, however. If someone wants to try this technique in teaching a class, let us know.
 +
 
 +
Saturday was primarily devoted to technical presentations on the major areas of the grammar that had been reviewed for the baseline. Athelstan gave his mini-lesson during one gap in this, and we had a short period of Lojban conversation during another gap (Bob was able to make do without his word lists. But especially gratifying was that several others participated, including some who had not been part of a class.)
 +
 
 +
We also discussed John Hodges' proposals on time and typography. Bob's counter-proposals on these issues were adopted, although with no change to the period before the "i" at the beginning of the sentence (see JL12 for both the original proposals and the counters). All typography symbols are optional, and do not affect grammar or pronunciation - symbols of punctuation are used IN ADDITION to the Lojban punctuation words. We won't promise to use them in most JL writings. We type Lojban text slowly enough now, without trying to master some new conventions. However, we will accept and print Lojban text that uses the optional conventions.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Annual Member's Meeting - On Sunday was the annual meeting of Members of la lojbangirz., which ran over as usual, ending rather hurriedly at 3pm after 5 hours of most lively discussion.
 +
 
 +
While everyone in the community is considered a member of la lojbangirz., we must maintain a formal membership for election of Board members, changes to Bylaws, and as it turns out, whatever else the membership decides to act on. We added 4 new formal members, making a total of 12.
 +
 
 +
One major item of business was adoption of the grammar baseline, and this was pro forma, almost a letdown after the intensity of the previous day's work. We also moved LogFest back a week, effective in 1991. Next year it will be on the weekend of June 23, 1991. Make your plans early.
 +
 
 +
If June is a bad time of year for you, there may be another chance. A second get-together will be held this fall at Bob and Nora's house (so save your maps to LogFest), tentatively the weekend of October 20-21. Because the next JL issue will come out too close to then to allow meaningful publicity, this is your only notice. This year's 'Log-Fair' will be an experiment that will be repeated if there is interest. This year's meeting may also serve as a textbook review party, if Bob has gotten sufficient done to justify this.
 +
 
 +
Electronic mail distribution of our materials was also discussed in the meeting, and a committee was formed to devise a policy on what things will be released in this form. We will use the Planned Languages File Server (discussed in JL12), as well as similar forums such as the Compuserve Foreign Languages Forum, as official repositories. All electronic media distributions will have some type of header giving its status as a draft or baseline, 'copyleft' (similar to Free Software Foundation policies) or public domain status or full copyright if appropriate. In general, our books and major publications that we need to get income from to survive will be protected - unless events transpire to eliminate need for that income. All material that defines the language will be public domain, along with some other things like the brochure that we want widely distributed. Most of our stuff will be 'copyleft', allowing distribution without charge as long as various notices attached are retained.
 +
 
 +
One fear of public domain status before the language has a solid community was that there is no way that electronic media readers can be certain that they have gotten the 'real thing'; someone could modify the official documents, attach any labels we put on to certify 'officialness', and redistribute them. The 'correct' solution lies in trademark law, but we are reluctant to go in that direction given our disputes with the Institute. Since we are committed to a public domain language, we will probably just say that if you want to be absolutely certain you have the latest and greatest version of something, you will have to order it from la lojbangirz.
 +
 
 +
The electronic media committee was also charged with developing an introductory lesson for distribution on electronic (and paper) media. This will be tied in with our policy on who gets materials without paying for them (see Finances below). The lesson may have some similarity to the Esperanto postal mail course. Athelstan has prepared a draft mini-lesson for this purpose, which is being tried by a few people. The mini-lesson will also partially replace the current, rather unsatisfactory, Overview that we send to new people.
 +
 
 +
A second committee was charged with developing a plan to restore our fiscal integrity. The details will be discussed in the next section.
 +
 
 +
Most surprising about these two committees is that the membership insisted that Bob not be actively involved. "These are NOT Bob jobs!" said Karen Stein. The membership seemed concerned that Bob has been spread too thin, and these committees could handle things without his active involvement. So all of the preceding is subject to change by the committees; your Editor doesn't know much more than you beyond what has been said. The formal membership will hopefully have a report from each committee in August, in order to allow decisions before Athelstan leaves for Europe (he is on both committees).
 +
 
 +
Bob comments: It is gratifying that the members feel enough commitment to volunteer significantly firmly to relieve me of what has become too much responsibility. This is your language, not mine. Finally, a group of people is acting like they believe me, and acting like it is THEIR language, and taking the responsibility needed to make it succeed.
 +
 
 +
=== cmavo Dictionary Progress ===
 +
 
 +
John Cowan has assumed responsibility for producing a draft version of the cmavo portion of the dictionary, taking over from earlier work done by Jeff Taylor. His first product for us is the abbreviated definition cmavo list included in this issue.
 +
 
 +
John has proven extremely productive in the last few weeks, helping with the grammar baseline and the E-BNF effort, compiling the cmavo index included with this issue, and volunteering for major work responsibilities on the dictionary, while contributing valuable suggestions on a variety of other topics. He also has started writing a 'daily' Lojban journal, believed to be a first in that category (although Jim Carter reported doing likewise with an earlier version of the language in the early 1980's). John first learned about Lojban only a couple of months ago, thus showing how quickly a motivated person can master enough of the language to take a leading role.
 +
 
 +
The cmavo index included with this issue is the first complete list with definitions since the draft list of October 1988. The definitions are short, and not very explanatory in some cases; John is working on expanding them. You can use the partial cmavo list from JL10 to make additional notes on many of the cmavo; the exercise will also help you to learn those cmavo that were on that list.
 +
 
 +
In many cases, you will need to look up the lexeme for each cmavo in the machine grammar in order to know how it is used; some 100 cmavo are each 'in a class by itself' - a lexeme with only 1 member whose meaning is solely grammatical.
 +
 
 +
Most of the remaining cmavo are found in a very few lexemes. Members of lexeme UI are the attitudinals, discursives, and observationals used to comment metalinguistically on what you are saying. Lexeme BAI contains the modals; these can be used somewhat like adverbs to modify the selbri, or can be used somewhat like prepositions to tag sumti that are not part of the place structure, thus tying them into the bridi relationship being expressed in the sentence. Lexeme KOhA has the 'pro-sumti', which act somewhat like English pronouns. Lexeme COI has vocatives, which are like attitudinals but are addressed specifically to a listener. Lexeme BY is the lerfu - the letters and symbols of the alphabet, and various auxiliary shifts and markers. Lexeme PA are the numbers and related symbols used to read off numerical strings.
 +
 
 +
The English 'keywords' intended for use in LogFlash 3 (which will teach the cmavo), all 20 characters or less, are included in the abbreviated cmavo list. Bob and Nora reviewed John's list, adding these keywords (needed for LogFlash 3 - Bob has learned most of the cmavo now in testing that program. See the products section below). We want comments from the community on the keyword choices before releasing LogFlash 3. Do the keywords make sense to you (assuming that the cmavo definitions do)?
 +
 
 +
The shortened definitions in this list will be expanded into full text definitions for the dictionary, and John intends to devise examples for each grammatical usage of each cmavo. This effort is only a goal, and may not be practical for all words.
 +
 
 +
=== Finances ===
 +
 
 +
LogFest attendees recognized that our finances have reached the point of crisis. The 18 attendees, in exceptional gestures of support, donated over $1000 to la lojbangirz., but this was merely enough to keep our bank balance positive, allowing this issue to be printed.
 +
 
 +
Even with these donations, our income for this year is running well behind the income for last year, in spite of the fact that our audience/customer base is some 50% larger. We've kept expenses down; they are also running behind last year, but this is primarily due to firm controls on non-vital expenditures. Our new 501(c)(3) status makes U.S. donations tax deductible, but donations are also well below last year even with the recent influx from LogFest.
 +
 
 +
The problem is that, while most people who order stuff pay for it, not all of you do. Our prices have been set at a non-profit level, so each non-paid sale is a pure loss that has to be made up from donations. Sales of our software, the only products with a price that makes us some profit, are down, and probably will continue to be until the textbook is published.
 +
 
 +
Less than 100 people had positive balances at a recent audit. Only a couple of dozen have the balance amounts corresponding to each level that we request on our registration forms and in the mailing label summary in each JL issue. Most magazine publishers require you to pay for subscriptions in advance - we cannot afford to have people paying for issues after their balance goes negative.
 +
 
 +
Several of our largest contributors, who are footing the bill, are starting to get angry about all this, and have demanded changes in policy. They want their money going to promote growth in the language, and not to finance 'deadbeats'. (Harsh words, but that is a direct quote from one major contributor.)
 +
 
 +
The most extreme position is that everyone should be able to afford to contribute something towards their balances - the price of an order of french fries every couple of weeks would fully pay for a level 1 subscription. Anyone not willing to contribute this amount simply isn't interested in supporting us.
 +
 
 +
The counter to this position recognizes that some people don't have the money for french fries, or for Lojban. We don't want to exclude prisoners, students, and people from other countries where incomes are a fraction of those in the U.S. Lojban is not supposed to be a language for the 'monied' class, but for everyone.
 +
 
 +
An intermediate position, which may win out in the long run, is that we are going to have to insist on payment from most people, and make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, only by special request, and often with strings attached such as required volunteer work or the submission of writings to show that the beneficiaries are actually using what we're giving them.
 +
 
 +
Regardless of the final decision, something must be done, and now. Less than 20% of our people have positive balances, and we must get the rest of you to pay some amount towards our expenses on your behalf or we'll have to cut you back, or cut you off.
 +
 
 +
Some decisions have been made. If your balance is more than $50 negative as of 20 October, you will be cut to level 0. Only a special pleading will change this. Contributing some money, even a little, will probably put off a cutback, if we are convinced that you are likely to continue using the material and contributing some money. If you can pay off your balance, or make a commitment to do so by a specific time, all the better.
 +
 
 +
If your balance is more than $20 negative as of 20 October, you being put on notice that we may have to drop you to level 0 as well. You should write to us, and try to send some money, even if it is only $5 or $10. Ideally, you will bring your balance positive.
 +
 
 +
If your balance is negative at all, and we haven't heard from you in over a year, we need to hear from you, or you also may be dropped in level. Even a short note to let us know you are still interested and reading the material we send you will help; if you send some money to bring your balance positive, all the better. The Ballot/Questionnaire enclosed with this issue is an opportunity to respond without writing a letter.
 +
 
 +
Of course, we would strongly prefer that you bring your balance up to the desired support level listed on the front of each issue for your level ($40 for level 3, $25 for level 2, $20 for level 1, and $5 for level 0); that way we don't have to keep asking for money each issue. We'll accept whatever you can contribute. But the bottom line is that those who want the language to succeed, and can afford it, should have balances over $20, or even $50, for our use as operating funds, and are contributing a little extra on the side to help us with those who do not pay.
 +
 
 +
If you feel that your balance charges have been unfair, that we've charged you for something you haven't gotten, let us know, and we will make the situation right. If you question whether our material to you isn't worth what we are charging you, let us know what you think it is worth, and we may be willing to negotiate - but be aware that we are spending what we charge you.
 +
 
 +
Your negative voluntary balance is not a 'bill'. We have no legal way to collect it if you don't want to pay it. But if we can't get much higher percentages of people paying for the stuff we send them, we will be in serious trouble. The question is whether you want us to succeed. If so, you'll contribute.
 +
 
 +
Even if most people bring their balances positive, this won't be enough; our expenditures will be rising as we get ready to publish the textbook, and as our numbers continue to grow. We actually need to convince many more of you to keep the specified positive balances to support your subscription level. Those positive balances are our operating funds that allow us to keep day-to-day business going; we currently spend about $1000 a month.
 +
 
 +
We've also learned more about the realities of the book publishing business, and why book prices have gone up so much in recent years; bookstores and distributors demand and get 40-55% off list price, and even then don't pay for 3 months or more and expect to return the covers of any books they don't sell (they discard the books - postage and labor is too high to send the whole book back) for credit.
 +
 
 +
Based on this, we need enough income from sales within the existing community to pay the entire pre-publication print and marketing bill, or we'll be bankrupt. Either that or get a lot of donations, which seems unlikely.
 +
 
 +
As a result of our financial situation and this future reality, all existing discounts are terminated as of 1 August 1990 pending any decisions from the finance committee and the membership. Overseas people (excluding US/Canada/Mexico) will be charged a flat 20% surcharge to handle the increased postage. The primary impact of this will be that JL prices inside the US will no longer be discounted for bulk mail.
 +
 
 +
A 20% discount will be given on any order over $20 which is prepaid - i.e. you have enough in your balance, or contribute enough to cover the price. (This discount will cancel the surcharge for people outside North America.)
 +
 
 +
At textbook time, there will probably be a further carrot for those with positive balances. Everyone in the community will get an offer to buy the textbook in advance of the official publication date at some discount from list price. We expect that for prepaid orders from people with positive balances, we will be discounting the textbook price as much as $10. This of course means that the price will be that much higher for everyone else. Those with negative balances will likely receive little or no discount.
 +
 
 +
In addition to all of the above, the finance committee will probably be recommending that we send a fund-raising letter to each of you, independent of JL, pointing out how much we've accomplished on a mere shoestring and asking you to contribute so that we can continue to produce your language. We still need donations above and beyond paid sales in order to finance our continued growth (and to pay off existing debts).
 +
 
 +
With our finances as they are, we are at a disadvantage in seeking outside grants; donors look for financial stability and community support, and we just aren't getting enough. It also costs money to prepare grant proposals, and we don't have it.
 +
 
 +
The finance committee will be considering how to value volunteer efforts on our behalf, and we may offer volunteer work as a way to ameliorate a negative balance. The offerings will be slim; there isn't much volunteer work that we can place value on, and we can't afford to 'pay' much.
 +
 
 +
Volunteer activities include translating materials into foreign languages, giving talks and recruiting new people, and writing significant amounts of Lojban text. In the short term, we're looking for volunteers in the DC area to come over to Bob's house and type several hundred addresses into the computer - these are addresses of book dealers and reviewers that we will have to contact before the textbook is published.
 +
 
 +
Your response to all these measures will determine where we go from here. The 350 JL subscribers are Lojban's best supporters but also the biggest drain on our resources. If we can go from 100 people with positive balances (the current number) to 250, we will probably survive. If we can get to 300 or more with balances over $10, the Lojban project may again be fiscally healthy.
 +
 
 +
We welcome all suggestions for other ways to raise money, to gain donations, and get more balance contributions.
 +
 
 +
=== Language Definition Status Summary ===
 +
 
 +
With all that hand-wringing about finances, it is worth reviewing what your contributions have bought so far in terms of products and services, and most important, in terms of the language itself.
 +
 
 +
The design of the language is basically complete; we await various write-ups before final baseline of the design, because we need to have a clear written statement of what the design is in order to protect that design against change.
 +
 
 +
The language is stable. Preliminary baseline changes have been minimal, and have almost entirely been additions to the language that have no impact on people who have already started learning. Let us look at each design area to see where it stands:
 +
 
 +
Phonology - Lojban pronunciation has not changed since being baselined over 2 years ago. Few questions have been raised about the design. There is no reason to expect changes for the indefinite future, although we will be trying to make the Synopsis discussion more readable to the average person before incorporating it into the dictionary.
 +
 
 +
Morphology - The Lojban morphology has also been baselined for over 2 years without significant questions being raised. There is a remaining open issue on the exact rules for borrowing words from other languages. The required form - the essence of the design - is firm, but whether there needs to be additional constraints on borrowing forms remains a matter to be decided by the people who use the language.
 +
 
 +
There has been a proposal, supported most notably by Michael Helsem, that would allow either 'r' or 'n' as the 'hyphen' after a CVV rafsi, unless the following consonant is the same letter. This is a simple change that would only increase options (currently, you use only 'r', unless the following letter is an 'r', in which case you use 'n'), but we are reluctant to make the change. One reason is that it seems too unimportant to justify a baseline change. Another is that it further increases the number of possible forms for a lujvo, making it harder to produce the dictionary (and taking up more space). Finally, the change would constrain le'avla (borrowing) space, something we should avoid unless we have a good reason.
 +
 
 +
Orthography - The Lojban alphabet and required writing conventions are unchanged since the baseline over 2 years ago. In JL12, Bob proposed some additional optional conventions, which were adopted at LogFest. We've been given a proposal to use different letters to represent the 'i' and 'u' glides in diphthongs, since these technically are different sounds than those in the non-diphthong vowels; we'll probably discuss this proposal prior to next issue, but expect no changes.
 +
 
 +
gismu - The gismu list was baselined just about two years ago. Specifically baselined were the gismu themselves and the corresponding English keywords. (The rafsi and place structures are discussed below.) Exactly one gismu was changed at the recent LogFest; no other changes have been even proposed. There have been 4 changes to keywords, including the three for "gismu", "tanru", and "lujvo" mentioned above as just approved. All 4 changes were instigated by Lojban learners who expressed confusion about the meaning of the word based on the keyword, and suggested a clearer word; none of the gismu meanings, as expressed by the keyword, have changed. Further changes are not expected.
 +
 
 +
The recent LogFest provided the first additions to the gismu list since the baseline. There are looser controls against adding words, since these cause no relearning; we've been surprised to go two full years (until the recently approved changes) with no additions at all. The couple of open issues mentioned above may lead to further additions, and there is an ongoing re-review of the gismu in thesaurus fashion that may reveal one or two possible words, but we don't expect many.
 +
 
 +
Two noted Lojbanists, Athelstan and Michael Helsem, have voiced the opinion that we should be much more willing to add new gismu to the existing set. Tommy Whitlock, on the other hand, is adamantly opposed to adding new gismu, since he thinks there are too many already. This balance of opinions among the most senior Lojbanists, and the increasing number of active students, means that additions will occur slowly if at all, and with extensive review from several members of the community.
 +
 
 +
rafsi - The rafsi list has proven as stable as the gismu list, even though it was not baselined. The reluctance to change anything that has been released via LogFlash lists has been enough to defer change proposals indefinitely. There was one change early on, when we changed the rafsi of "narge" to "-nag-", freeing "-nar-".
 +
 
 +
The recently adopted negation proposal split the negation cmavo "na" into three words, two of which needed rafsi. "- nar-" was assigned as the rafsi for "na", while "-nal-" was assigned to "na'e". All of the other grammar changes led to the addition of perhaps a half dozen rafsi assigned to cmavo, and a couple of the rafsi being freed. (See the summary with the JL12 attitudinal proposal for a list.)
 +
 
 +
There are two change proposals to be considered prior to the next LogFlash release, to make more 'hyphen-friendly' rafsi for the abstractors "ka" and "ni" which are being used more commonly in lujvo that require hyphen 'y' than originally estimated. Again, no other changes are planned, although we will be looking at the rafsi more thoroughly at the time the dictionary is written, when the rafsi list will be formally baselined.
 +
 
 +
We don't want to freeze the rafsi list until we've analyzed a lot of lujvo made by as many different Lojbanists as possible, thus minimizing the likelihood that usage statistics (applied to 'fine-tuning' the selections) are skewed towards words favored by one or two Lojbanists who do not know all the gismu equally well.
 +
 
 +
Place structures - Place structures will also not be baselined until the dictionary is written. A very slow review and rewrite of all of the place structures is in progress, and will be completed for the next release of LogFlash and the textbook. The new versions of place structures being examined will be expressed in greater detail than those included with the current gismu list, and should be easier to understand. (The maximum definition size will be 96 characters instead of the current 40.)
 +
 
 +
A change to the place structure is inherently a meaning change, and we try to avoid them. Almost all changes have been additions and deletions to the last trailing places that few have learned or used. More commonly, the changes are clarifications to better let a reader know what type of sumti value is expected in a sumti place.
 +
 
 +
Of all parts of the language design, the place structures are the least stable and finalized, but Bob can testify from his experience that only a few changes have ever affected anything he's written. (Most significant of these is the place structure of "bridi", which was modified to put the selbri in the 2nd place; the x2 place of the place structure for "bridi", as printed in the gismu list, makes no sense - a bridi is a sentence/relationship and has no 'meaning' independent of context. The change, of course, rendered "selbri" as the appropriate word for the concept, since the word relates by definition to the x2 place of "bridi". ("kunbri", for those who were not aware or have forgotten, is an artifact-word from before the gismu baseline, and should be replaced by "selbri" where ever you see it.)
 +
 
 +
Grammar - The Lojban grammar is defined by a computer-verified definition called the machine grammar. As reported above, this grammar has now been baselined. Even before the baseline, there had been only 3 or 4 changes in the last year as we wrote the draft textbook lessons and re-examined entire areas of the grammar. These changes were in the more esoteric portions of the grammar that were seldom being used, and text written in Lojban since around JL8 (including all of the draft lessons) is nearly as grammatical now as it was when written.
 +
 
 +
The new baseline is a 'soft' baseline, that will allow us to make minor corrections that show up in textbook writing. Few such changes are expected, but we may find that we can allow some constructs that are currently forbidden, as well as rules that we thought were in the grammar that were omitted typographically. These changes will not 'enter the language' officially until the textbook is published.
 +
 
 +
The strength of the grammar is that each of the special areas like negation, tense, MEX, and attitudinal indicators, has received thorough 'end-of-development' analyses that make it unlikely that the language will prove inconsistent or incomplete in these areas. As recently as last issue, we were uncertain that our MEX design would stand up to analysis; the final design proved quite versatile, and we believe that we have met the goal of being able to readily express any mathematical expression 'reading it off the notation'.
 +
 
 +
The weakness of the grammar is that we do not have a parser that reflects the final grammar; such a parser is needed to test the grammar against a corpus of prepared sentences, ensuring that the grammar breaks sentences up the way we think it does. We are thus forced to use the random sentence generator as a 'backwards test tool', looking at the sentences it generates from the baseline grammar, and seeing that they match our intended grammar.
 +
 
 +
Still, we don't anticipate that the grammar will change much before its final baseline when the dictionary is published.
 +
 
 +
cmavo - The cmavo list in this issue is the first complete one in two years, and reflects a lot of changes. There could be a more cmavo added prior to final baseline, but probably very few (there isn't a lot of spare words available for adding); we expect almost no changes other than additions. The fact that the list has been published will serve as a stabilizing factor.
 +
 
 +
The keywords for the cmavo are likely to change. Simply put, they haven't been looked at by many people, and are inherently less valid than the gismu keywords. Since cmavo have little semantic meaning, we have to use short phrases that don't say a lot to try to convey the memory hook that an English keyword is supposed to provide. We'd like feedback on the keywords, while recognizing that most readers don't know that many of the cmavo.
 +
 
 +
All in all, we've accomplished a lot in just 3 years. With your support, imagine what the next 3 years will bring.
 +
 
 +
=== Products Status ===
 +
 
 +
First a reminder that the discount policy has been drastically changed, effective 1 August. A flat 20% surcharge outside of North America; a 20% discount for a paid order (positive balance exceeding the price at the time of shipment) over $20. (The discount will cancel the overseas surcharge.) Virginia orders should add 4.5% sales tax. Note also that for software, there is no surcharge for MS-DOS 3 1/2" diskettes, but you must specify in your order if you want them.
 +
 
 +
Remember that we cannot promise to fill your order unless it is prepaid; our finances are too thin right now.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Textbook Status - Believe it or not, the textbook is finally started (again). Spaced around 3 issues of JL and one issue of LK in 3 months, planning and conducting LogFest, researching MEX and tense grammar in time for the grammar baseline, and assisting John Cowan in assembling the gismu list, along with some major work on our legal battle, Bob finally sat down at the keyboard shortly after midnight on July 4.
 +
 
 +
The new version of the textbook is already unrecognizable as compared to the first, even though only 20 odd pages are written so far. The first lesson, which will serve as a language overview, is divided into short sections only a page or two long, with many examples and exercises in each section to help you see whether you understand. Using a much smaller vocabulary (perhaps only 25 gismu in lesson 1), we will examine much more of the basic grammatical features of the language. By page 20 you will be making Lojban sentences, hopefully with little trouble; in the draft lessons you did not make sentences until late in lesson 2 - about 80 pages along.
 +
 
 +
The textbook will be more interesting to read. We are trying to put more interesting examples in (difficult with very little vocabulary). Several pages have boxed and highlighted recaps of the key points of the text. Many of the most significant and unique features of the language will be touched on by the end of the first lesson. You will know that Lojban is a truly different language quite quickly. The text also ties back to English examples, helping you understand better how English works, based on a comparison with Lojban. Thus, even if you never find a practical use for Lojban, you will receive benefits in terms of expressing yourself better in English (and any other language you learn).
 +
 
 +
Under the current outline, the text is divided into three parts. The first part, which will consist of an introduction and the single overview lesson, will tell you about Lojban, lightly introducing the basic concepts and giving you the 'big picture' of the language. Some areas are treated very lightly - pronunciation is conveyed only by guides that tell you how to say each word and sentence. This is because pronunciation is a 'big subject' and a very boring one to start off with. We want you to be motivated to speak the language, not bored. Some of the topics are: the concepts of bridi, cmavo, selbri, tanru, sumti, place structures, conversion, ellipsis, elision, descriptions, abstractions, questions in Lojban. We include a brief summary of several other unique features that are too difficult to cover in the first lesson.
 +
 
 +
Part II will be about ten lessons long, each much shorter than the draft lesson size. This part of the book will build depth on the basic concepts presented in the introduction and explain many of the secondary structures that you need to say what you want in Lojban. The Part II lessons continue to use a much smaller vocabulary than the draft lessons (perhaps 300 words), but expect you to look up some words that are not formally part of the vocabulary to be learned.
 +
 
 +
A major change is that we will not expect you to learn most of the gismu vocabulary within the first 8 or 9 lessons. While some people have demonstrated that it can be done, most students in the classes have not kept up with the expected pace. The current plan is to add an extra stage in LogFlash, before Gaining Control, that exposes you to a lot more words quickly, but does not expect you to master them. There will be only 'New Word lessons', 'error practices' and some brief reviews in this introductory mode - the object is to have you quickly able to recognize more words in Lojban text and to learn the scope of the vocabulary. Many who have learned part of the vocabulary have tried to write sentences, but have not been able to find the right word because they didn't know it was there. You should do better using this modified technique.
 +
 
 +
The goal is that by the end of Part II, you will have completed this initial review of the words, and will be started in 'Gaining Control', which will hopefully go much smoother for you as you work through Part III. We are hoping to shrink the huge demoralizing bubble of error words in the 'Failure Pile' that seems to afflict many people.
 +
 
 +
Following are the topics to be covered in Part II, according to the current outline. This is of course subject to change as the book is written:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
Lesson 2 -    Pronunciation and Word Forms Some Classroom
 +
      Expressions  
 +
Lesson 3 -    Learning Vocabulary; Simple tanru         
 +
Lesson 4 -    Making Names  
 +
Lesson 5 -    Numbers  
 +
Lesson 6 -    tanru and lujvo; selbri Structure  
 +
Lesson 7 -    sumti and Place Structures; Relative Clauses
 +
Lesson 8 -    Tenses and Modals; se tcita sumti  
 +
Lesson 9 -    Logical Connectives and Negation  
 +
Lesson 10 -    Discursives and Vocatives  
 +
Lesson 11 -    Keeping Lojban Unambiguous and Clear  
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
By the time you start on Part III, you should know some 300 gismu and 50 cmavo by actually having used them in sentences. You will not be expected to produce longer text than single sentences. In Part II, grammatical features will be pretty much covered in isolation to help you recognize the key point of each section; this is a bit like Jim Brown's technique in Loglan 1, but the earlier introductory lesson will allow us to keep the concepts tied together much better than he was able to - you'll know the destination while travelling a most interesting journey through the language.
 +
 
 +
In Part III, we will start presenting longer texts and dialogues, which will have enough vocabulary available to be meaningful and adult. Exercises will require you to more spontaneously produce original Lojban sentences, especially in a classroom or study group. Unlike the draft lessons, though, you should have the knowledge and confidence you need to make up sentences by the time we ask you to do so. In classroom use, bits of Lojban conversation should start occurring.
 +
 
 +
After the first few lessons in Part III, the remaining lessons will be less oriented around specific concepts in the language than Part II. Instead, we will explore the vocabulary associated with some topic, present some of the more esoteric grammar points that are useful for talking about that subject, and then use the language to do just that. Some problems in translation and original composition in Lojban will be covered.
 +
 
 +
Whereas Part II is called 'Learning Lojban', Part III is called 'Using Lojban'. You will be expected to write and/or converse in the language throughout Part III, and should be comfortable doing so by the end of the book, with vocabulary limits as your main constraint.
 +
 
 +
There is a lot of writing ahead, but the book is off to a good start. Moreover, with the baselined grammar and the compiled cmavo list, we are much more confident that what gets written will not have to be continually rewritten.
 +
 
 +
We're not going to promise a publication date. As mentioned above, we've learned a bit about the lengthy process of publishing a book if you want to make money at it (and we can't afford to lose money).
 +
 
 +
What we can promise is that the book will be available to the Lojban community (you) in advance of the official publication date at a substantial discount. This helps us in that we pay for the printing bill without waiting for distributors and vendors to pay us, and it rewards you for sticking with us up until now. But to receive the best discount you must have a positive voluntary balance.
 +
 
 +
Another progress report will be given next issue, and perhaps we'll be able to guess at a date by then.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Other Products - With the baseline of the grammar and the preparation of the cmavo list, we are moving forward on a variety of teaching products.
 +
 
 +
Most directly dependent on the grammar and the cmavo list is the random sentence generator, which will also be used to test the grammar. It takes only a few days to incorporate the new standards, and we will probably have an update available by 1 October. The update price will be $10; due to our financial situation, we can no longer provide updates any cheaper than this. The original price will be $12.
 +
 
 +
The lujvo-maker has now been completed, providing drills and demonstrations of both lujvo-making and decomposition. Updates are available for $10; the original price will be $12. The only future enhancement to the lujvo-maker that seems to make sense would be a feature that builds and tests le'avla (borrowings) for proper structure. Because the lujvo-maker does not take a lot of space on a 360K floppy disk, we will include computerized text copies of various word lists and the grammar on the disk.
 +
 
 +
The only stalled product based on the grammar is the Lojban parser; we have had no volunteers to complete the work. There is a possibility, however, that Jeff Prothero will soon have a new version of 'PLoP', his "Public Domain Loglan Parser" updated to the Lojban grammar. This would be an 'unofficial' parser, using the YACC grammar, but not the YACC algorithm. PLoP is of a type called a 'recursive descent' parser, which is more flexible than a YACC parser, but can be much slower. It will work fine on individual sentences up to some length, taking at most a few seconds, but it is very slow on blocks of text. By comparison, the last version of Jeff Taylor's parser processes a full page of text in a couple of seconds, albeit based on an older grammar.
 +
 
 +
A new version of LogFlash for MS-DOS machines will be prepared and hopefully released this fall, and it will be significantly enhanced. First of all, we are already testing 'LogFlash 3', which teaches the cmavo (we can provide this test version now to people who are ready to learn the cmavo and don't want to wait for the full release, but please don't ask for it unless you are ready to use it).
 +
 
 +
Second of all, we are adding an initial review stage prior to 'Gaining Control' that will quickly expose you to a lot of words in 'New Word Recognition mode', hopefully allowing you to read language text earlier while enhancing scores when you advance to the more difficult stages.
 +
 
 +
We are also adding several user-friendly features. First will be an installation program that will ensure that floppy disk users have 'COMMAND.COM' available, and unpack any packed data on disk automatically. LogFlash will ask you for confirmation before overwriting an existing file. It will allow you to tune the program by changing the default of 6 repetitions in error practices and/or the number of review words from the 'Under Control' pile that are presented in each session. It will also allow you to more easily switch between learning modes. We will also be try to make large error practices more friendly, giving you a sense of progress by telling you how many times you have done a word successfully. An option we are considering will allow you to look at the entire list of words for a lesson prior to taking the test. We may also allow you to add or update your own memory hook data during the review portion of a lesson. (We welcome additional suggestions on how we can make the program more friendly, but we need your responses quickly.)
 +
 
 +
We want to increase the speed of the program by reducing the amount that it has to read files from disk. We aren't sure how much work this will be, and are not making specific promises.
 +
 
 +
Finally, we will also be adding instrumentation that will allow LogFlash to be used for scientific research into how different people learn words, most especially to see if recognition scores used to make Lojban gismu have any correlation with actual learning rates. Depending on finances, we may be offering a volunteer credit to anyone who (learns the words and) returns their instrumentation files within a specified time after we send you your order (instrumentation data is only useful to us if you work at LogFlash consistently - the time limit will help motivate you to keep at it).
 +
 
 +
Finally, the new LogFlash version will support the updated gismu list. The gismu list as it is being revised will allow 20-character keywords instead of 15, and the definition field will be 96 characters, instead of the current 40 character limit. As a result, the definitions will be much clearer and you should have a better idea what a Lojban word really means. We may be providing an editable hint field that you can use to add mnemonic aids, and we may also allow you to change the keywords from their official values to something more memorable (most useful to British users who have suffered American spellings for too long).
 +
 
 +
Not included in this update are LogFlash versions that will teach place structures and grammar (although learning the modal cmavo of lexeme BAI will teach you a lot of important place structures). Maybe next year.
 +
 
 +
We are hoping to have Eric Raymond's UNIX version of LogFlash available by the end of the year. Unfortunately, due to the lag in development time, both the UNIX version and the Mac LojFlash version will be stuck with the current file formats for a while. Dave Cortesi plans to update his Hypercard flash program for the MAC to use the new file formats; if so, this program will also be available at approximately the same time as the new version of PC LogFlash.
 +
 
 +
We are undecided about whether to produce and distribute the revised gismu list separately, as well as John Cowan's cmavo dictionary, or wait a few extra months and try to get it into a first edition dictionary format. The textbook effort will probably be the determining factor. Publishing these revisions will be lower priority, since you can use copies of the existing lists for most purposes. The revised lists would also be very expensive - the bi-directional gismu list might run up to 60 pages, and 100 pages if we add a thesaurus-sorted list. At those sizes, it would be cheaper to produce the dictionary; we don't have the money to maintain such large documents in inventory.
 +
 
 +
We also want to publish a 'tiny gismu and cmavo list', having only keywords on the English side, that would be small enough to carry in your pocket or purse.
 +
 
 +
Of course, the textbook and dictionary will be the centerpiece of our product line. We hopefully will be able to follow up these two books with a 'Best of JL' and a first book of Lojban writings during 1991 - but this is again dependent on money.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
=== International News ===
 +
 
 +
We don't have a lot of news this time that is specific to the international Lojban community. We have now successfully processed Master Card/ Visa orders from overseas, as well as one larger Canadian-denominated check. We ask that those of you sending checks from Canada clearly indicate whether the check amount is in Canadian or American dollars; apparently some of your banks will issue U.S. dollar checks, and we do not need to use the more expensive service to process them. We can't be sure, however, that our banks here will process your check correctly if you are non-specific as to the currency.
 +
 
 +
Our major international event in the next few months is Athelstan's planned visit to Europe. On that, we have worse than no news. Just as we were going to press with this issue, some problems came up that threaten whether the trip will take place as planned. It is possible that the trip may be delayed (causing Athelstan to miss Worldcon at the end of August), and possibly even cancelled.
 +
 
 +
Assuming the trip does come off as planned, we have few additional itinerary details - only two of you have written to us letting us know you want Athelstan to visit. Athelstan does now have a point of contact in Europe. He plans to visit Peter and Mary Lynn in Goettingen, West Germany around the first week of September. If you haven't made contact with Athelstan by writing to us here, you can contact the Lynns:
 +
 
 +
Peter and Mary Lynn
 +
<br />Schopenhauer Weg 13
 +
<br />Goettingen D3400 FDR
 +
<br />WEST GERMANY
 +
 
 +
home telephone: (49)-551-706485
 +
 
 +
Peter is also working on a German translation of the brochure, which may or may not be ready by Athelstan's visit.
 +
 
 +
Athelstan also plans to be in northern Italy around 21-23 September, visiting Lojbanist Silvia Romanelli (who also reports having translated some of the draft textbook lessons into Italian).
 +
 
 +
=== News From the Institute ===
 +
 
 +
The Loglan Institute published another Lognet around mid-July. Dr. Brown has apparently assumed editorship with Rex May's resignation reported last issue.
 +
 
 +
There is little news in the issue. The issue was dominated by half of a paper by Rex May challenging some of the basic design points of the language. The second half of the paper is supposed to be in the next Lognet issue, and will present Rex's proposal for radical changes in the Loglan morphology. (Rex sent a copy of his paper to Bob for comment independent of submitting it to Dr. Brown.)
 +
 
 +
Dr. Brown discusses and responds to each of Rex's major points. Bob observes that Dr. Brown's discussion is an excellent defense of the basic language design, providing a few previously unknown historical details about the language design process. Most important of these is the revelation that Dr. Brown did conduct some 'engineering tests' of the recognition scores algorithm used to make gismu, something we had no evidence of when we responded to Sheldon Linker's questions on the subject several issues ago. While we could wish that such tests were better documented, it is reassuring to be able to say to critics that they were conducted. All in all, our plaudits to Dr. Brown.
 +
 
 +
Dr. Brown also reports on solutions to two outstanding morphological issues in Institute Loglan; these problems were discovered by Nora and raised in Bob and Athelstan's review of the 4th edition of Loglan 1 last year.
 +
 
 +
Nora is skeptical that the solution devised for names containing "la" will work universally, but with the Institute grammar a 'trade secret', it is impossible to analyze the current design. (Unlike Institute Loglan, Lojban forbids the various name markers from being embedded in names to prevent such problems.)
 +
 
 +
The solution to the other problem, that of hyphenating borrowings, is similar to our own solution for Lojban.
 +
 
 +
There is brief mention that the Institute plans to revise The Loglanist under a new name, possibly by the end of the year. There also is a report that one of the Institute's software packages had a bug that is now fixed, but there were no details given.
 +
 
 +
----
 +
 
 +
== JL11 Esperanto Discussion ==
 +
A Response from Don Harlow
 +
 
 +
[Don Harlow is editor of the Esperanto League of North
 +
 
 +
America newsletter. His position makes him a natural spokesperson for the Esperanto community in responding to our essays in JL11. However, see also Ralph Dumain and John Hodges in the 'Letters' section below for more comments on Lojban and Esperanto.]
 +
 
 +
Thanks for the latest copy of Ju'i Lobypli. I was particularly interested in Athelstan's comparison of Esperanto's "16 rules" with a similar set of rules for Lojban.
 +
 
 +
Athelstan is quite right in suggesting that "the rule set is incomplete." In fact, the "16 rules" are largely a heuristic device created to introduce Esperanto to persons with a late 19th-century European education, by describing Esperanto in very simple terms relating the language to something more familiar to the student -- i.e., the Indo-European languages. This can be seen by the reference in rule 2 to the "two cases of Esperanto" (Esperanto has as many cases as any other language), the reference in rule 6 to the passive voice of verbs formed by compounding (there are no compound verbs in Esperanto), by the reference to the "imperative mood" in the same rule (the -U ending subsumes, but is hardly restricted to, the traditional IE imperative), and particularly by rule 8; logically, prepositions (which are basically case-forming morphemes) should govern an unmodified noun form, and it is only because of the contrast with the Indo-European languages, where they usually do not, that this rule is necessary.
 +
 
 +
The so-called "Fundamento de Esperanto" is, in fact, about 200 pages long, and includes the "16 rules" (repeated in five different languages), a complete dictionary of some four thousand roots -- an additional four thousand or so have been added to the canon since that time, plus between eight and sixteen thousand unofficial roots that need not be considered part of the language -- and a series of some 42 exercises designed by Zamenhof to demonstrate aspects of syntax and the Esperanto word-formation system. The "16 rules" themselves are, as I say, a heuristic device, and a convenient skeleton on which to hang the language's "flesh." Most of the material in these rules would, today, be better presented in tabular form.
 +
 
 +
A few points about Athelstan's presentation:
 +
 
 +
# Athelstan does "not describe word or sentence order...." This seems a bit ingenuous to me, since as far as I can tell word and sentence order play a more significant role in Lojban than they do in Esperanto, and so to describe a "set" of Esperanto rules and equate them to a single Lojban "rule" that is at a much higher level is not quite cricket. An example is rule 3. The Esperanto presentation of the morphology of the adjective is quite complete in four lines; the Lojban presentation says only that "any selbri may modify any other selbri by position," but does not define how this is done (do selbri modify other selbri preceding them? by following them? by sitting in the next line up?) This is like saying that Lojban code is more concise simply because the reader is presented only with a subroutine call, while in the Esperanto code the reader is shown the entire content of the subroutine. The content is there in Lojban; Athelstan has merely found it convenient to overlook it.<ref name=pa />
 +
# Granting Athelstan's contention that several of Esperanto's "single rules" contain other rules, he does himself the favor of counting some of those sub-rules more than once, if they are referred to in another "super-rule." For instance, he counts the rule that the direct object is shown by affixing the -N ending at least three times (rule 2, rule 3, rule 5). The computer equivalent would be rewriting the subroutine each time it was called -- at which the compiler would, no doubt, burp.
 +
# Given that Esperanto's "16 rules" are a heuristic device, they are certainly more complete and successful than those presented by Athelstan for Lojban. Speaking "quantitatively," they are accessible to a much wider range of people than the Lojban rules. The Esperanto rules refer largely to nouns, verbs, adjectives, past tenses, etc., which are terms that are generally recognizable to graduates of the seventh grade, or equivalent (my ten year old daughter is familiar with them, from school). Athelstan's Lojban rules, on the other hand, use unglossed terminology that might confound a college graduate -- anaphora, non-veridical, place tags, etc. (I consider myself moderately well educated, but I had to look up "anaphora" in a dictionary -- and was not much wiser for the experience.)
 +
# Speaking "qualitatively," Athelstan in many places describes his Lojban rules using Lojban terms that will have no meaning to the casual reader -- a rather recursive sort of action, if you ask me. "Lujvo are formed by simple junction of the gismu or rafsi??? The definition of each one of those terms should be counted as a separate rule (axiom, if you will).
 +
# Some comments on individual rules:
 +
## The description of participles in Esperanto rule 6 is not properly part of this rule but belongs in the hidden (also for Esperanto!) working of word-building (rule 11 see below); the description of the passive voice properly belongs to the Ekzercaro. I do not, however, fault Athelstan for taking these items as he found them.
 +
## "Every word is pronounced as it is spelt." Pardon me for referring to Loglan rather than Lojban -- and if this is not also true for Lojban, you need not pay attention to this comment -- but this is not completely true for the language. Loglan treats the sound written in English as "CH" as a stop "t" followed by a fricative "sh", written "tc," rather than as, more correctly, a single harsh fricative halfway between the stop and the fricative. Brown was here apparently influenced by the (not invariably phonetic) International Phonetic Alphabet, which in this case appears to have been heavily influenced by French. Esperanto more correctly treats this single sound with a single letter. I am not sure whether Loglan and Lojban treat the single sound written in English as "ts" as two sounds (again as a stop followed by a sibilant, rather than as a single harsh sibilant) or as a single sound/letter ("c") as in Esperanto. (A similar use of two letters to designate an intermediate sound is the occasional use of "kh" in English to describe the Esperanto "h^", a sound intermediate between "k" and "h".)
 +
## Esperanto's Rule 11, of course, refers to the Ekzercaro -- see particularly Exercise 42. Athelstan refers to some sort of "variant compounding rules"; I would be interested in seeing these. The actual rules describing the word-formation system are neat but complex; they were first formulated as late as 1910 by de Saussure, writing under the pen-name "Antido", and expanded by Kalocsay in the 1920's in a well-known essay. The latest set appear in the Plen Analiza Gramatiko de Esperanto (1985 edition), where they fill some 148 pages and differ little form Kalocsay's earlier rules. That these rules are of little use and less interest to the practicing Esperantist can be seen from the fact that their earliest codification occurred some 23 years after the language began to be spoken; most people can figure the system out after looking at a page or so of examples, and never bother to refer to the rules, to which they don't have access anyway.<ref name=re />
 +
 
 +
Unfortunately, a couple of Athelstan's comments suggest that he isn't really qualified to comment on Esperanto in general, any more than I am on Lojban (which is why I keep correcting you on Esperanto rather than commenting on various points of Lojban grammar, syntax, etc.). For instance, on p. 20 he refers to "Esperanto's dependency on case declensions." There are no declensions in the traditional/IE sense in Esperanto. The -N ending, to which he is probably referring, defines the target of an action (direct object) or, if no action is committed, the destination of a movement<ref name=ci />; it can be applied to adverbs as easily as to nouns and their accompanying adjectives. Again, the terms "nominative case" and "accusative case" in this sense are sops to Indo-European sensibilities; Esperanto has neither one in the narrow sense of a declension. In the broader sense, of course, it does have nominative and accusative cases, as do English, Chinese, or -- one presumes -- Lojban; it also has genitive, dative, instrumental, ellative, terminative, sociative, etc. cases, as do English, Chinese, and -- I again presume -- Lojban.
 +
 
 +
Regarding your own essay "On Comparing Lojban and Esperanto" let me make several short (I hope, as, I am sure you do) comments:
 +
 
 +
# Under "aesthetics" you mention a couple of sentences that "are longer than the colloquial English translation"; and in an earlier issue you begged off translating a song from English into Lojban because the translation would be longer than the original. This seems to me to be an acceptance of the old saw that "any translation into any other language will average about 25% longer than the English original" -- and (a word to the wise) it seems to be a very dangerous attitude to take.<ref name=vo /> Every translation I make into Esperanto from English comes out significantly shorter then the original. More than that, so far as I know a competent translator can get the same results in just about any language going. I would hope, for the sake of Lojban, that this "expansion effect" is a function of the translator rather than a function of the language. If not, it is a strike against Lojban.
 +
# You have again quoted the "like it is done in your own language" comment, which was not made by Zamenhof, but in the basic Interlingua textbook of 1950!!! Esperanto is extremely well-defined, partly through the 16 rules as described above, but mainly through the Ekzercaro, which also appeared in the Unua libro in 1887. No reference to outside languages was or is necessary. I thought we'd been over that ground before! As to the Europeanness of Esperanto ... proof of the pudding. Esperanto's greatest successes in the past few years have been outside of the Indo-European language area. (From May to October of this year, a nationwide Esperanto course is running on Chinese television -- a more significant matter, I think, in a country with only one national TV network instead of four or five, and no more than two or three channels in even the largest cities.)
 +
# The comment that "Lojban took 35 years to reach a point of development where it was speakable" might perhaps have been avoided. Esperanto took some 12-14 years to reach the point (1887) at which Zamenhof considered it optimal; but the Ur-Esperanto of 1878 was already speakable, at least according to the anecdotal information. That it took Lojban (I presume you mean Loglan) 35 years to reach the point at which it was speakable is not, I think, a point in its favor as a means of communication. <br />The rapid growth of Esperanto in its first years after public release was a spontaneous affair. You quote a figure of 8% a month growth in the number of Lojban students. Based on Zamenhof's published address lists -- and making a conservative assumption that only ten percent of those who claimed to be able to speak Esperanto could actually do so -- in the first half year after Esperanto's publication, the number of Esperanto speakers grew at a rate of more than 100% per month. (This high figure, of course, like your own, comes from starting with such a small base; and it dropped considerably by the early 1890's)
 +
# You attribute some significance to the fact that you "NEVER [HEARD] A SINGLE CONVERSATION IN ESPERANTO" at the Esperanto table at Worldcon. I personally have met only one of the people who worked at that table (and he was there for only an hour or so), and I know that he speaks fluent Esperanto; I can't answer for the others. But when you've sat at a few more tables at conventions, and have carried on a few conversations in Lojban under such circumstances, you will learn an interesting fact: more people -- or at least Americans -- are repelled when they hear a conversation they don't understand than are attracted.<ref name=mu /> When possible, I always use English under such circumstances. (This is not always possible; at the last three conferences of the Foreign Language Association of Northern California that I've attended as an exhibitor, my co-exhibitor and I have spoken nothing but Esperanto -- because he's a Rumanian, and not terribly comfortable in English.)
 +
 
 +
Hope that you have found all this of some interest.
 +
 
 +
----
 +
 
 +
Bob responds - That the 16 rules are intended only a heuristic device seems to be lost on many Esperantists, who often try compare the 16 rules to our set of YACC rules, which number about 550; Athelstan's effort was an answer to those critics. See Ralph Dumain's discussion and my response in the letters section below for more on this.
 +
 
 +
Don effectively supports our assertion that the 16 rules have as a subtext the entire grammar of European languages. "The Esperanto rules refer largely to nouns, verbs, adjectives, past tenses, etc., which are terms that are generally recognizable to graduates of the seventh grade, or equivalent". But these terms are only recognizable to students of European languages.
 +
 
 +
The emphasis should be on 'student', by the way. While Don's 10-year old may find the terms familiar, we have found college graduate English speakers who have long since forgotten the terminology of grammar classes. To many of our audience, 'noun' is as bad as 'anaphora' (maybe worse, since no one feels guilty that they don't know what anaphora are. Anaphora are, by the way, the superset of 'pronouns' - the things that stand for and refer to earlier referents in the discussion; 'cataphora', the opposite term, cover variable words that refer to things in future discussion, but 'anaphora' also is used as the general term covering both sets of variable reference words. Based on Don's comment, however, we will start using a Lojban lujvo "ba'ivla" - /bah,HEE,vlah/ for the general concept of 'anaphora'; the source metaphor 'replacer-word' should help people remember what the word means).
 +
 
 +
Athelstan intentionally used specialized Lojban terms that were as opaque to a European language speaker as they would be to a speaker of a non-European language. This may help point out what a Chinese or Swahili speaker suffers reading the Esperanto rules. We don't seriously intend using the 11 Lojban rules as a heuristic device; as Don says, they just aren't very understandable. Furthermore, they cover no more of the Lojban grammar than the Esperanto rules cover of its grammar. However, they do help point out some ways in which Lojban is similar to European languages, including Esperanto.
 +
 
 +
I remain unconvinced that Esperanto's grammar is unlike Indo-European languages. As an example, contrary to what Don implies, the number and specific cases in a language are not universals, and are significant aids to classifying them. That a language has 'nouns' and 'verbs' and 'adjectives' that work in ways familiar to us, that most sentences have a 'nominative' agent case as the subject, usually appearing before the verb, and an 'accusative' object case that usually appears right after the verb. These are anything but universal, though they are found in most, if not all Indo-European languages. Many languages have no nominative or accusative cases, being organized around cases called 'ergative' and 'passive'. Some languages do not even have a clearly identifiable subject, and Japanese has both 'subjects' and 'topics' that each serve some of the purposes of the Indo-European 'subject'.
 +
 
 +
Now what Don says later about the "-N" ending could be used to argue that Esperanto's cases are different from the Indo-European ones, but by standard linguistic terminology, that ending is a 'declension' that marks its word as being in a case (grammatical role) which differs from the grammatical role it would be in if the declension were not present.
 +
 
 +
Lojban has NO grammatical cases. Linguists and artificial intelligence people can assign 'case labels' to the various sumti places in the structure, but these are not grammatical cases. They are semantic cases that indicate the semantic relationship between the place and the rest of the sentence. In Lojban there are as many potential semantic cases as there are words in the language - an infinite number. The places defined in the place structure are merely those most essential to conveying a relationship. We list the places in the definitions of the words partly to remind people that Lojban bridi express relationships, and to remind them of the essentials of the concept to be related.
 +
 
 +
In one sense, Lojban doesn't even have a 'subject'. Technically, all of the sumti places are 'objects' that are related by the selbri. However, in at least two ways, the 1st (x1) place of any given bridi predicate, whichever of the sumti it happens to be in a given arrangement, has a unique role among the places which might as well be labelled as 'subject', for consistency with the terminology of linguistics. We'll let linguists determine if the x1 sumti really is a 'subject' in the traditional sense, or whether another term better applies.
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 +
Now it turns out that many of our relations resemble European languages in that the first place is often an agent and the second place is an object. This may represent a European bias, albeit unintentional. The intent is to include places in approximate order of frequency of use in discourse; our model for usage frequency is unfortunately the English language we hear most often. The desire to bring in a broader perspective before finalizing the structures is one reason why we are avoiding baselining the place structures until the last possible minute, and why place structures will be among the first things to be re-evaluated after the 5-year freeze.
 +
 
 +
In any event, the resemblance does not give Lojban the Indo-European cases of Esperanto. There are no case endings, no grammatical requirements such as that adjectives must 'agree' with a particular case. We have 'case tags' in Lojban, but these are optional and even frowned upon for 'cases' in the place structure, and anyway resembles a combination of 'prepositions' and 'adverbs' more than case inflections on words. (They also resemble what Don calls 'case-forming morphemes'; however, in Lojban they are separate words that do not 'govern the form' of any other word.)
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 +
Lojban has no 'passive voice' either - a 'passive voice' is an artifact of Indo-European grammar which is used less in English and Germanic languages than in other European languages. In Lojban, there are various methods of rearranging the sumti places of a predicate. One might label any arrangement that doesn't have an active agent in the x1 position 'passive', but again, this isn't the same as the European 'passive voice'. (See B. Comrie's books The World's Major Languages and Language Typology and Linguistic Universals for excellent discussions of the typological features of language.)
 +
 
 +
Lojban is distinctly different from any natural language in several ways. The first step in learning Lojban, therefore, involves stepping out of the constraining ideas of natural language to learn these new concepts. Once that is accomplished, then for European speakers, Lojban is probably comparable in learning difficulty to Esperanto; Lojban has a somewhat simpler grammar, but Esperanto's roots are more highly recognizable to Europeans (and English speakers). For Chinese speakers, Lojban may actually be easier, since many features of Lojban's grammar at least superficially resemble Chinese features.
 +
 
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 +
"Athelstan ... describes his Lojban rules using Lojban terms ... The definition of each one of those terms should be counted as a separate rule (axiom, if you will)." - Should the definition of each of the Indo-European grammatical terms used in the Esperanto rules have also been counted as 'axioms'? If so, I think Esperanto comes out far the worse for the added criteria. The number of specialized Lojban words we need to discuss the grammar is fewer than the number of words needed to discuss a European language.
 +
 
 +
"Athelstan does 'not describe word or sentence order....' This seems a bit ingenuous to me..." - There are two types of word order that can be talked about. The order of words of particular grammatical type in a sentence is specified by the entire set of rules of the grammar. There is no meaningful 'rule' or 'rules' that govern this kind of word order. The order of the places for a given brivla, on the other hand, is not a grammatical issue in Lojban at all, unlike European languages and Esperanto (I understand that Chinese is also relatively free in word order).
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 +
Thus, Athelstan did not discuss word order because it is not part of the Lojban grammar. The order of the places is part of the semantic meaning of each word, just as the meanings of 'subject' and 'object' for each Esperanto verb are part of the meaning of that verb. From our perspective, such semantic rules are at a lower level of the language than grammatical rules. Lojban has no higher level rule that can be said to govern the order of places. There may be some patterns, but we haven't really tried to find them.
 +
 
 +
"The Esperanto presentation of the morphology of the adjective is quite complete in four lines; the Lojban presentation ... does not define how this is done (do selbri modify other selbri preceding them? by following them? by sitting in the next line up?)" - The Lojban 'morphology of the adjective' is complete in zero lines, since we don't have adjectives. selbri modify other selbri in many ways, some of which are adjective-like. The modification can be left-modifies-right or right-modifies-left, logical connection, or non-logical connection. In all but the simplest left-to-right modification, there are cmavo that can be translated literally into English or other languages, revealing the order, and we believe that all possible orders and groupings can be represented in some way. Athelstan simply didn't find anything to say about Lojban that corresponded to what was being said in the Esperanto rule. What he said was complete and accurate - position in a Lojban sentence totally determines what modifies what.
 +
 
 +
As for Don's facetious suggestions on how selbri might modify each other by position, I reply in kind: do Esperanto adjectives get written on the line before?
 +
 
 +
Interestingly, in other places, Don excuses his 16 rules for non-specificity: "the description of the passive voice properly belongs to the Ekzercaro" and talking about word-formation rules "they fill some 148 pages". Again, our purpose was to compare what was present in the Esperanto rules with a corresponding level of detail about the Lojban rules. We recognize that neither set of rules is complete; we want to be able to point this out to Esperantists that cite the 16 rules as a statement of Esperanto's simplicity. So Don has made our point for us.
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 +
"Most Esperantists ... definitely obey a particular rule of word-formation ... -- one that, so far as I know, has never been written down, and would be difficult to codify in a few simple sentences." - Hopefully Lojban is sufficiently regular that no one ever will have to say this about the language. Our word compounding rules are quite rigid, and yet fairly unrestricted. We don't constrain any word from modifying another, and provide some fairly esoteric grammatical conversions to allow you to combine concepts that are grammatically incompatible.
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 +
"Athelstan refers to some sort of 'variant compounding rules'" - I believe Athelstan was referring to the extensive set of additional rules, not conveyed in the set of 16, that take 148 pages to describe, as well as rules such as the ones Don describes as not written down.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
"... he does himself the favor of counting some of those sub-rules more than once, if they are referred to in another "super-rule." - Athelstan was merely trying to show that the 'super-rule' grouping concealed the true rule count. The exact number of rules, I'd hoped we had demonstrated, was quite irrelevant. Lojban's 550-odd stated rules, by the way, are expanded by YACC into about 800 unique computer-labelled 'states' which correspond to expanding and repeating each of the 'subroutines' Don refers to as often as is necessary.
 +
 
 +
A Lojban-based computer process does not choke on such expansion, since the expansion is a natural product of YACC. When we say Lojban is grammatically unambiguous, it is because in each of these 800 states, by looking at the next word only, a Lojban processor knows what state to go to next. The grammar process consists simply of jumping from state to state until the end is reached.
 +
 
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 +
"Loglan treats the sound written in English as 'CH' as a stop 't' followed by a fricative 'sh', written 'tc,' rather than as, more correctly, a single harsh fricative halfway between the stop and the fricative. Brown was here apparently influenced by the (not invariably phonetic) International Phonetic Alphabet, which in this case appears to have been heavily influenced by French. Esperanto more correctly treats this single sound with a single letter..." - Correct by whose standard? (Correctness always has a standard, as any Lojbanist knows from the place structure of "drani"). The IPA is the standard alphabet of linguistic phonology, and hence is the way that one must describe sounds when talking to a linguist. To claim that the linguistic standard phonetic alphabet is wrong because it doesn't agree with Esperanto seems a bit backwards.
 +
 
 +
The combination of a stop and a fricative is called an 'affricate' and can be treated as either one sound or as two. In Lojban, we treat all affricates, including 'tc' and 'ts', as two sounds; so do most linguists.
 +
 
 +
This is due to the simple reason that if you say the stop and the fricative together, they phonetically blend to form the affricate in a way indistinguishable to most listeners. Thus, if we were to write the affricates as a single letter, we would have to forbid the two-letter combinations that are equivalent. Since no other single letter sound in Lojban can alternatively be expressed as two sounds, to match the Esperanto distinction in only a couple of cases would be inconsistent. (Does Esperanto forbid the two-letter equivalent combinations of the affricates to prevent confusion?)
 +
 
 +
Esperanto's approach causes untold heartache to typists, forcing the addition of non-standard diacritical marks to several letters to fit the language within the Roman alphabet. (There is at least one typo in the Esperanto rules because of this - I forgot to manually go back and add an Esperanto diacritical mark that is not supported by my word processor or printer.)
 +
 
 +
Esperanto is not consistent on the matter of the affricates, by the way. While representing the affricate sounds that are expressed by Lojban 'tc' and 'ts' with a single letter, as well as the voiced equivalent of the first ('dj' = English 'j'), Esperanto does not have the voiced equivalent of 'ts' as a single letter as consistency would require. The sound of 'dz' in it is expressed using two letters in Esperanto words (an example is found in one of Don's footnotes), even though it is a 'single sound' by the identical logic as the other three.
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 +
In Comrie's book on the languages of the world, similar comments to mine are made in explaining why 'ts' and others are not considered as one in Germanic languages. It is pointed out that linguistically, any stop can be combined with any fricative, and each such 'affricate' combination could be treated as one sound or as two. Examples include 'ps', which will be recognized from Greek, and 'pf' from German. But neither Esperanto nor English nor Lojban treat 'ps' or 'pf' as a single sound.
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 +
Don is wrong in equating the 'kh'/Lojban 'x' sound with the two affricates. 'x' is a pure fricative - called an 'unvoiced velar fricative' or an 'unvoiced palato-velar' fricative depending on exactly where the tongue is placed (these are the sounds of German 'doch' and 'ich', respectively). The 'x' sound linguistically has nothing to do with an 'h' sound, which is actually formed in the epiglottal region. That we represent 'x' as 'kh' in English is a convention; it has nothing to do with sounds (notwithstanding this, trying to combine a 'k' with an 'h' will give a reasonable 'x' sound).
 +
 
 +
Unlike English and German, IPA does use a single letter for this sound. (The true velar affricates - combinations of stops and fricatives - aren't pronounceable either as single or double sounds for English speakers - in Lojban, they would be expressed as 'kx' and 'gq', if 'q' is defined as the voiced equivalent of 'x' - found in Arabic as the sound at the beginning of Libyan leader Qaddafi's name.)
 +
 
 +
 
 +
"... the old saw ... 'any translation into any other language will average about 25% longer than the English original' ..." - Almost any literal translation will take longer than the original. Translating Lojban to English literally is usually even more expansive than 25%, often 2- to-1 or greater; just look at any of our translations here in JL. On the other hand, the reverse direction gives the same result.
 +
 
 +
The translator's art involves producing idiomatic non-literal translations that capture the approximate sense of the original. This will sometimes be shorter, sometimes longer, since the source language may be using an idiom that has no counterpart in the target language (which is always the case with Lojban at this point). Also, almost any culturally-based word has to be expanded into a phrase in another language if meaning is to be preserved. If Don is 'always shorter' as he claims, he is undoubtedly omitting subtleties of the source language version that he considers either obvious or irrelevant given the context. If he is correct, he is a true artist; otherwise, his readers are missing useful and perhaps important information.
 +
 
 +
In Lojban, there are other factors, based on its unusual grammar. Where logical structure is always explicit, the convoluted logic of some English sentences has to be expanded to great length; on the other hand the English "it is not the case that" is expressed briefly as Lojban "na". When Athelstan translated Saki (see JL10) he found the resulting text was about the same length or shorter. (There are actually more words, since Lojban words seem to average about 30% shorter than English words; there are also more syllables - Lojban words seldom have syllables more than 3 letters and certainly not as long as 'strengths'.)
 +
 
 +
I doubt that Don's objection to the old saw proves true for all languages, by the way. I suspect that regardless of the translator, most Romanized Chinese (where most words are one or two syllables) translates to Russian (with inflectional suffixes that are one or two syllables long on most words) resulting in a longer text.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
"That it took Lojban 35 years to reach the point at which it was speakable is not, I think, a point in its favor as a means of communication." - Wrong. It shows that we were diligent in our research. And with good reason; we know much more about language now than in Zamenhof's time, and we have a tougher and more skeptical audience (the academic world) to please. We also had a bigger job to do, since Lojban was designed from scratch.
 +
 
 +
Whether or not Don is right about the Indo-European-ness of Zamenhof's grammar, there is no doubt that Zamenhof started with European grammar and simplified. We (originally Brown and later others as well) started with nothing except a goal of matching predicate logic structures, and the vague notion of speakability. Because we had no working language to emulate, there were undoubtedly going to be false starts and re-engineering of major features. I suspect that much of Zamenhof's development period was used to select the root word stock; only a small fraction of Loglan/Lojban development time has gone into word-making.
 +
 
 +
In a sense, Esperanto took the entire evolutionary period of Indo-European grammar to be developed. (Of course, by the same logic, Lojban took 2500 years, since predicate logic was invented, to be developed).
 +
 
 +
(You can also compare the actual Esperanto development period with the time that we've taken to redevelop the Lojban version of Loglan from scratch to avoid copyright - less than 3 1/2 years so far, and I suspect that our design is far more intricately specified than Zamenhof's was when he published. By Don's histories that I've read, I gather that Esperanto was not complete in a sense of being standardized until sometime after 1900. Depending on your definitions, we will be comparably standardized either when the textbook and dictionary are done or after the 5 year baseline period proves the language is stable.)
 +
 
 +
I've been told that a major milestone occurred as late as 1905 when the annual Esperanto meeting was first conducted in Esperanto; at this meeting it could first truly be said that Esperanto was a 'living language'. Lojban should achieve that status in a much shorter time, although possibly with a smaller speaker base.
 +
 
 +
I note that Jim Brown considered his language speakable in 1977, or possibly even earlier (there are reports that a group called the 'Loglan Sogrun' conversed to a minimal extent in the 60's). Brown actually tried to teach the language to college students in the 50's - though with no particular success - and sold books teaching the language starting in 1966.
 +
 
 +
Brown's books of the 60's were probably as complete as Zamenhof's 1888 book, but Brown did not have the follow-through that Zamenhof did, nor the 'market' ripe for the language that Zamenhof had with the simultaneous collapse of Volapk. Also, to put it simply, Brown's books, while they explained things in considerable detail, had no text longer than individual sentences. They were thus at best mediocre in teaching the language for actual use. But this was not a flaw in the language or its design, but rather in its inventor's teaching and writing style.
 +
 
 +
Loglan/Lojban has had an added handicap over Esperanto - a changing plural set of goals which is more than mere 'speakability', and rising standards on what it takes to achieve those goals. The standard of unambiguity changed with the development of computer tools like YACC, and a language thought to be unambiguous suddenly wasn't. I believe I've done more work researching language universals than Brown did.
 +
 
 +
The whole point of the JL11 discussion, of course, was that comparison of development periods just isn't practical, and the various numbers in the above discussion should prove this. But Athelstan and I were trying to respond to comments and questions that have been frequently raised by Esperantists. If the '35-year' development effort can be claimed as a strike against us, we have the right to argue it as a virtue instead.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
"... more people -- or at least Americans -- are repelled when they hear a conversation they don't understand than are attracted. When possible, I always use English under such circumstances." - I was merely observing that at a convention table 'selling' a language, it seemed strange not to hear the language. I would expect that Americans are not much repelled to hear a 'strange' language if they expect to hear one, and one would expect to hear one at an Esperanto table, which is not a BART train. I certainly did, which is why I made the comment.
 +
 
 +
(On the other hand, Americans are often offended to hear a language other than English when visiting a foreign country, but this is the Americans' problem, not the natives. In the US these days, perhaps 10-20% of the people have a native language other than English, so Americans will have to get used to hearing things other than English.)
 +
 
 +
I also have a different philosophy as to what it takes to sell a new language to Americans. If you use English whenever that is a possibility because it is a common language, you merely support the argument that 'we don't need Esperanto (or Lojban) because English is already spoken by most everyone who wants to talk to people from another culture'. Regardless of whether it is true or not, the average American is going to think that you are speaking English because it is easier or more convenient than Esperanto. And if it IS easier for you to speak English than Esperanto to another Esperantist, you are missing out on a prime opportunity to learn to speak it better, while demonstrating that the language is useful to passers-by (something most of them are probably unconvinced of).
 +
 
 +
When I can speak Lojban fluently I will try to speak Lojban at convention tables promoting the language, if the other people manning the table also speak comparably well. If I have problems with people who seem repelled, I'll add a sign inviting them to ask us what we're saying.
 +
 
 +
This will entice people and cause them to see that we think the language is worth speaking when we could be speaking English instead; they will also be curious as to what we are saying, and we'll happily explain. This may not be how it works out in reality, but this is our goal, and our limited experience so far is that using the language in public prompts curiosity and not repulsion. (We've done nicely at conventions with people who notice our buttons with the slogan "e'osai ko sarji la lojban.")
 +
 
 +
If we're wrong, Don can say "I told you so". But if this turns out to be the case, then I am most pessimistic that any language will be acceptable as an International language to Americans. At any given time on the path to acceptance, there will be Americans who don't know the language. If a foreigner is not going to learn English (in which case English is the international language), then the American must learn Esperanto or whatever before the need arises where it must be used, or she/he won't be fluent when that need arises. And this means speaking the language extensively with English-speaking cohorts before then, by definition.
 +
 
 +
In any event, to go from a few thousand to 250 million Americans speaking a particular foreign language will take some aggressive (and skillful) marketing which may be offensive to some people. Possibly as offensive as the USEnglish people are in promoting English (whether one agrees with their opinions or not, their words and tactics are pushy and offensive). The trick is to market aggressively while minimizing offense.
 +
 
 +
I should note that I while I disagree with Don on this point, I find many of the Esperanto marketing techniques quite skillful, and hope that we Lojbanists can learn from them. This is only practical under a cooperative, as opposed to competitive relationship between the two communities.
 +
 
 +
''' Footnotes '''
 +
<references>
 +
<ref name=pa>Your example on p. 25, "X1 is good for X2 by standard X3," which I presume is written in Lojban -- from your past references to Prolog -- as something like "Good X1 X2 X3" - - would indicate that the position rules in Lojban are much more complex than those in English, and vary from property to property. With regard to my later comments on case, the descriptive rule for speakers of Indo-European languages would be: "The property good relates a noun in the nominative case in the immediately subsequent position, a noun in the dative case in the third position, and a noun in the "standardize" case in the fourth position." Hopefully Lojban's rules are more consistent than some of those of English, in which, for instance, the accusative succeeds a positional dative but precedes a prepositional one...</ref>
 +
<ref name=re>Some of these rules have not yet been codified. For instance, Kalocsay and Waringhien, the authors of PAG, recognize that Esperantists regularly use adjective roots as prefixes for noun roots -- novedzino, dikfingro are common examples -- but do not admit that this usage is grammatically justified. Most Esperantists go on doing this anyway, and they definitely obey a particular rule of word-formation in doing so -- one that, so far as I know, has never been written down, and would be difficult to codify in a few simple sentences.</ref>
 +
<ref name=ci>Which, if we suppose the -N ending to mark the accusative case in the traditional Indo-European sense, makes vers such as "to go" transitive in Esperanto -- something most IE languages would not allow.</ref>
 +
<ref name=vo>When I was young I read -- in a number of places -- that no other language is nearly as good as English for swearing. In fact, English is a rather pale language in this regard; compare it with any Eastern European language, for instance.</ref>
 +
<ref name=mu>I was carrying on a private conversation in Esperanto on a BART train a week ago, and was excoriated for this by the middle-aged lady sitting next to me.</ref>
 +
</references>
 +
 
 +
== Masters of Tongue Fu ==
 +
by Donald J. Harlow
 +
 
 +
originally published in The ELNA Newsletter
 +
<br />reprinted with permission
 +
 
 +
When people say "International Language" today, they are probably talking about Esperanto. In China, in fact, the language is better known as shi jie yu, which simply means "international language," than as "Esperanto." In those parts of the world where "interlinguistics" is an accepted part of the science of linguistics, articles on the subject -- if they are not purely historical in nature -- will almost certainly refer almost exclusively to Esperanto. Discussions of the literature of artificial languages will concentrate totally on that of Esperanto, since only very underdeveloped literatures exist for other artificial languages, and for most of them, don't exist at all. Any study of the sociology of an artificial language, too, will concern itself only with Esperanto, since only two other artificial languages ever had populations of adherents even remotely comparable to that of Esperanto, and then only for very short periods of time.
 +
 
 +
But Esperanto is neither the first not the only "international language." Attempts to create such a language go back at least to the thirteenth century, when the Abbess Hildegarde of Rupertzberg, a lady more recently exhumed -- and justly so! -- by the women's movement, the gnostics, and various musical organizations (how refreshing it is that Hildegarde, one of the earliest of the "Renaissance Men," was a woman!), created her "Lingua Ignota." The philosophers Comensky, Leibniz, and Descartes all wrote about the international language; Bishop Berkeley worked at developing one. In the last century, the Frenchman Sudre created Solresol, a language meant to be whistled or trumpeted, and it enjoyed a very long period of popularity in some circles in France; at one point the French military even considered adopting it, possible because trumpets can be heard over greater distances than shouted commands. Who knows? Had the French followed through with this idea, their defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 might not have occurred, and all later history would have been different.
 +
 
 +
No one knows how many "international languages" have actually been proposed. The figure certainly exceeds a thousand. These range from genuine a priori languages, all of whose material is invented out of whole cloth, to slightly modified ethnic languages, such as Basic English. But of the thousand or so such languages, only a few have ever attained any degree of popularity, and most of that has been spurious -- a creation of the news media, ever in search of some new and interesting story. Chronologically, these most famous of international languages have been: Volapk, Esperanto, Ido, Occidental, Basic English, and Interlingua. For those who know little or nothing about the origins and fates of these languages, I would like to give an introduction to them.
 +
 
 +
Volapk was invented in 1880 by a German priest, Monsignor Johann Martin Schleyer. Schleyer, a polyglot, recognized among his less talented parishioners the need for a language to communicate across national boundaries, and set our to create on. The result was Volapk. The language enjoyed tremendous popularity over the next decade, but, because of certain aspects of its grammar and vocabulary, it generated a strong movement for reforms among many of its speakers; and Schleyer, who saw himself as the language's Pope, so to speak, refused to even consider such reforms. The language's most vocal adherents split into two factions, one supporting Schleyer and on supporting his chief opponent, a French professor named Auguste Kerckhoffs. The resulting struggle destroyed the language, many of whose proponents in any case were shifting their allegiance to the rising (green) star of Esperanto by the end of the eighties. By the beginning of the new century, Volapk was all but dead, though at least one (very small, very irregular) bulletin in the language seems to have appeared as late as 1960. When Bernard Golden went in search of speakers of Volapk on the language's 100th birthday, he found a total of ten -- all of whom also spoke Esperanto.
 +
 
 +
It is worth noting, however, that at its peak Volapk boasted perhaps 100,000 adherents -- though how many of them could actually speak the language is open to question. In this regard, it is interesting that it shared several characteristics with Esperanto. The two of these that are perhaps most important, in my view, are: (1) an agglutinative system of word-formation, in contrast to the standard Indo-European system (more correctly: lack of a system); and (2) the desire of the inventor to solve the problem of communication between people of different languages, not just to invent an artificial language.
 +
 
 +
I don't want to go into Esperanto's history in any detail here. If you want to read a good book about the early period, get a copy of Edmond Privat's Historio de la Lingvo Esperanto, or his Vivo de Zamenhof. I would only wish to say that, more than a hundred years into its existence, Esperanto's eventual fate has not yet been decided. Given that over its history the language has had few friends, except for a (relatively few) far-sighted and courageous souls who have actually gone out and learned it, while it has succeeded in gaining for itself a notable array of enemies -- Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin spring immediately to mind -- the staying power that the language has demonstrated is quite encouraging.
 +
 
 +
Let me only add here that Zamenhof, like Schleyer, was interested not in creating and artificial language but in finding some viable solution to the problem of communication between different peoples. And in Zamenhof's case -- he was a Jew living in late 19th century Russia -- the problem was far from a theoretical one.
 +
 
 +
Zamenhof stated (in his First book) that Esperanto was not our typical European language. Arguments over Esperanto's Europeanness go on even today. Certainly, despite recent modest accretions from Japanese and other non-European languages, Esperanto's lexical material remains primarily European, chiefly Romance, in origin. Other aspects of the language's structure are less convincingly European. Certain tendencies in popular use of the language -- for instance, the occasional doubling of short adjective roots to show emphasis, rather than through use of the -EG suffix -- show a pattern of thought in the language reminiscent of Chinese.
 +
 
 +
I don't intend to argue here over whether Esperanto is fundamentally European or non-European; but certainly many early speakers of the language in Western Europe found it less European (more particularly, less West-European) than they would have liked. This was particularly true in France, where many early leaders of the national Esperanto movement would have preferred a more Francophone, or even Anglophone, tone to the language. A few of these gentlemen, in fact through a rather underhanded process, set themselves up as "reformers" of Esperanto, and in 1907 produced a version of Esperanto that appeared much more in tune with the linguistic norms of the world -- i.e., French and English. For a while, they expected that their new language would replace classical Esperanto, but when this did not happen -- a vast majority of ordinary speakers of the language refused to make the necessary changes in their habits -- the "reformed Esperanto" split off and became an artificial language in its own right, Ido.
 +
 
 +
While Ido shows a decided shift away from Esperanto's agglutinative word-formation system, back towards a more Western European orientation, it does not represent a complete break with the linguistic ideas expressed first in Volapk and then more clearly in Esperanto. The real difference between the two languages lay in the motivations of the men who developed them. It is fairly apparent that the problem of communication was of little interest to Prof. Louis Couturat, Louis de Beaugront, and Major Charles Lemaire, the primary motors behind the development of Ido; they were more concerned with what they saw as Esperanto's linguistic blemishes. This is hardly surprising; the pleasant little conspiracy into which they entered for the purpose of replacing that Russian Jewish eye-doctor as the guiding force in the international language movement shows in them an ethical blind spot that would not fit well with a genuine concern for the communications needs of ordinary people. Insofar as I do did prosper -- and it prospered, in fact, much more than did any other "international language" except Volapk and Esperanto -- it did so, I believe, despite the people behind it, not because of them.
 +
 
 +
Ido, in fact, appears to have attained a maximum population of about 10,000 adherents by the early 1920's -- not all that far behind Esperanto in that period. But as the ranks of Esperanto swelled through the twenties, to reach more than a hundred thousand by 1930, those of Ido appear to have declined. It nevertheless remains extant even today, though in what seems to be a basically moribund state. Ido, like Esperanto, has actually produced a small original literature -- though, strangely enough, so far as I know the only genuine literary work ever published in Ido, a collection of original poetry, was published by the Kultura Centro Esperantista in Switzerland.
 +
 
 +
A recent newspaper article about another constructed language project referred to Esperantists as "verbal hobbyists." As a matter of fact, Ido did much to cull the verbal hobbyists out of the Esperanto movement very early on. One result of this is that, for many years, the Esperanto movement has been remarkably free of individuals who see the language only as an interesting project, whose main purpose in existing is to improve itself by adopting their recommended reforms. Another result is that the Ido movement ended up consisting mainly of just such people. It is hardly surprising, then, that when yet another "improved" international language came along, it would skim off a far greater percentage of members from the Ido movement than from the Esperanto movement. This language was Occidental, proposed in 1922 by the Estonian Edgar De Wahl.
 +
 
 +
The language's very name gives away De Wahl's motivation. An early Esperantist, he also abandoned the language early on, apparently in protest against its non-traditional structure. Whether he was ever a practicing Idist, I don't know, but suspect that from the time he left Esperanto he followed a very different and more radical route. Occidental, built upon the basis of an earlier project, Julius Lott's Mundolingue, can best be described, I think, as a late and very highly rationalized Romance dialect, with noticeable German accretions. It was, in fact, nothing less than an attempt to codify West European thought processes in a constructed language. Supporters of Occidental justified this by asserting that civilization, being essentially European in nature, should be represented by an essentially European language. In this way, the language would help make the blessings of European thought available to the rest of the world -- or help keep the rest of the world under the European thumb, as the more cynical might tend to think.
 +
 
 +
The nineteen thirties were, in some ways, the apogee of language construction; Occidental was merely the most successful and best known of a series of attempts to create a new international language. The famous Danish linguist Otto Jespersen, for instance, a long-time mainstay of the Ido movement, abandoned the language in favor of his own project, Novial, which was largely a clone of Occidental. But the best-known project of this period probably remains Basic English.
  
  6
+
Basic English, invented in 1930 by the Englishman C. K. Ogden, was an attempt to simplify English and make it more suitable for international use. Ogden claimed to have reduced the entire vocabulary of the language to 850 words. The problem was that his claims were spurious; the language included far more than 850 words (Ogden did not count "international" words such as alcohol in his 850 word vocabulary, though they were considered part of the language; and he added several 1000-word technical vocabularies). Also, many people felt that Basic English was merely a "Trojan horse" for a more standard brand of the language. The event proved this latter group correct; in the 1960's, the British Council, a government-sponsored organization devoted to spreading English among the heathens, bought the rights to Basic English, and since that time it has been used only as in introduction to standard (read: British) English. Though several famous English-speakers supported the language from time to time, among them Winston Churchill and H. G. Wells (who, in The Shape of Things to Come, had the whole world speaking Basic English), no popular movement for this language was ever generated.
  
 +
Because of the growing number of language projects, there was some confusion as to which one would be, or even should be, the ultimate international language. This confusion had begun when Volapk, which had offered such high hopes to the world, fell apart and was replaced by Esperanto; and it had become endemic when the Ido schism occurred in 1907. By the late twenties, with Esperanto and Ido and Occidental and who knew how many other projects vying for attention, it was understandable that the ordinary individual would throw up his hands in disgust. An American Esperantist, Mrs. Alice Vanderbilt Morris -- of the New York Vanderbilts, I believe -- funded the establishment of a new organization to do research into the problem and find some sort of acceptable solution, for instance a compromise between the different language projects. The organization was called the International Auxiliary Language Association, or IALA for short.
  
3. The familial relationships never quite seem to satisfy.    Other options:
+
IALA, located in England, though it did valuable research work, had little luck in convincing anyone to compromise. The Romance-based "naturalistic" languages such as Occidental and Novial would not be ready to yield in the direction of "schematic" Esperanto; and Esperantists at that time were not yet ready to forgive the Idists for the dirty work at the 1907 crossroads. In any case, the Esperantists, who even then made up between 80 and 95% of the entire International Language movement, felt that they had no need to compromise. Furthermore, by the mid thirties they had other and more pressing problems to attract their attention -- proscriptions in Germany and the USSR, for instance.
  It was agreed to add "sire" and "dam" to the definitions  a. Change "panzi" to be its inverse, making "se panzi" into
 
  of "patfu" and "mamta".  Later it was suggested that we    "offspring";
 
  retain some unsatisfactory holes and combinations, which  b. Add a different gismu to be the inverse of "panzi", with
 
  are of uncertain importance. The fact that American       a keyword something like "engender";
 
  culture is shifting away from traditional family     c. Add two gismu to specifically represent the genetic
 
  structures makes it unlikely that we (who are almost all    relationships "sire" and "dam" as distinct from the
 
  Americans) can decide on a culturally neutral solution.    social terms "mother" and "father";
 
  The choices are then to be maximally inclusive of the     Other options are possible. Note also that "rirni" is not
 
  possible relationships, or to pare the list in ways that    quite the same as "mother/father", so we may need another
 
  ignore American sensibilities.  The general preference      genderless general term here.
 
  seems to be for the former.  Thus, we can make the
 
  following matrix:       For now, we are making up gismu for "engender" as one of
 
    the 20 words.  The actual word that results may affect the
 
Gender-neutral Male Female   Gender-neutral     decision.
 
but genetic not-necessarily-
 
    genetic       In addition to the above, there is also the question of
 
    the extended family, which we have long ignored.  We can be
 
panzi bersa   tixnu       se rirni     very specific about "mother-mother", "father-sister", and
 
offspring son   daughter    reared     other extended family relationships, but we cannot be
 
    general.  Most cultures either use very general terms or
 
      verba     very specific ones (Hindi and Chinese distinguish between a
 
      child     father's older brother and younger brother as different
 
    word-concepts); in American culture, of course, divorce and
 
      cifnu     remarriage is causing extended family relationships to
 
      infant     become so complex that specific terms will not suffice.
 
    For discussion purposes then, Bob is proposing (and
 
bruna   mensi      tunba     making):
 
brother   sister    sibling       a. "elder/ancestor" for family members of generations
 
    preceding the parents (including non-direct line, the
 
se panzi patfu   mamta      rirni     relationship is more social/ethnic than biological).
 
  ? father   mother    rearer     Gender would be added via tanru, as would explicit
 
sire   dam     biological lineage (or a place could be used for specifying
 
    lineage, with specific names used in alternation with
 
se jbena     properties of the lineage of relation).  The conversion
 
mother/father     would give "descendant" as well as "grandkids" in the
 
    broadest sense.  This was independently proposed by John
 
  Note that as currently defined, "patfu" and "mamta" are  Cowan as "x1 is an ancestor of x2 of degree x3".
 
defined biologically, whereas their counterparts (except      b. "aunt/uncle/godparent" for non-lineal (socio-ethnic)
 
"se jbena") need not be.     family members of the parental generation. The conversion
 
  An obvious suggestion is to make "patfu" and "mamta" non- would give "niece/ nephew".
 
biological. However, it can be argued that with animal       c. "cousin" for non-immediate (socio-ethnic) family
 
breeding and genetics, and in some less transitional     members of the same generation.
 
cultures, the biological parents have a uniquely important
 
role enough to be considered 'primitive'.  If so, the tanru  The generalized family relationship is still expressed by
 
"mamta se panzi" and "patfu se panzi" may be too long to be "lanzu", which can be modified via tanru.
 
satisfactory.  (We asked Vijay, our Hindi/Tamil expert,
 
though, and at least for human parents, the biological       Related Discussion - Days of the week were dis-cussed
 
aspect is secondary to the social relationship - non-     prior to the gismu baseline discussion, and it was decided
 
biological parents are called by the same 'mother' and     to add color- and continent-based names as alternatives to
 
'father' terms as biological parents.  If this is the case, the number based names that have been standard (it was at
 
the longer tanru for specifying biological parents may be  this point that we realized that we were missing 3 of the 7
 
acceptable.)     continents).  In addition, the number based names will be
 
    set to run from 0 to 7, with Sunday serving as both 0 and
 
    7, depending on speaker preference and cultural
 
    orientation.
 
John Cowan expressed great skepticism that any
 
    alternate system would catch on.  They seem too much like
 
    crackpot 'calendar reform' efforts, and also aren't well
 
    supported in numerical date representations. He also noted
 
  
  7
+
Eventually, IALA, after moving to the United States at the outbreak of war, came under the directorship of Dr. Alexander Gode, and set out to create its own language, which was published in 1950 and given the name Interlingua.
  
 +
Interlingua is even more quintessentially Romance that Occidental, and in its turn attracted away many of the remaining adherents of Occidental, which tried to stave off the inevitable by renaming itself "Interlingue." But again its creator really had no interest in resolving communications problems; he himself stated that his real purpose was to provide the world with a "standard average European" vocabulary, culled from the Romance languages. Interlingua made modest inroads in the American press's coverage of attempts to solve the language problem through the fifties and early sixties, and there exists a small Interlingua movement, mainly in Europe, even today; but the language never had the widespread support that Esperanto developed even in its earliest years. Its one notable success was in giving the coup de grace to Occidental, whose last magazine bit the dust in 1985.
  
that not all cultures have a 7-day week.  The generic     adopted, although with no change to the period before the
+
To recap the situations of these various languages today:
concept of a week is the time between successive market     "i" at the beginning of the sentence (see JL12 for both the
 
days, which ranges from 4 to 9 days in agrarian non-Western original proposals and the counters).  All typography
 
cultures.  He thus suggested that "jeftu" add a place to    symbols are optional, and do not affect grammar or
 
indicate the culture (it was later realized that a     pronunciation - symbols of punctuation are used IN ADDITION
 
'standard' is already in the place structure). He is using to the Lojban punctuation words.  We won't promise to use
 
days of the week based on the International names of the    them in most JL writings.  We type Lojban text slowly
 
classically known heavenly bodies, thus allowing him to     enough now, without trying to master some new conventions.
 
parallel Romance languages that did likewise.  (English and However, we will accept and print Lojban text that uses the
 
the Germanic languages loan-translated the Roman gods used  optional conventions.
 
in planet names to the corresponding gods' names from
 
German mythology.)       Annual Member's Meeting - On Sunday was the annual
 
  Athelstan notes that in Israel, the days are number-named meeting of Members of la lojbangirz., which ran over as
 
from 1st-day to 6th-day, followed by the Sabbath; this is  usual, ending rather hurriedly at 3pm after 5 hours of most
 
similar to our adopted system.     lively discussion.
 
      While everyone in the community is considered a member of
 
  Other LogFest Results - LogFest only had about 18     la lojbangirz., we must maintain a formal membership for
 
attendees, but they were a truly exceptional crowd that     election of Board members, changes to Bylaws, and as it
 
demonstrated by their commitment to the language that     turns out, whatever else the membership decides to act on.
 
Loglan/Lojban is going to continue to grow and prosper.     We added 4 new formal members, making a total of 12.
 
More than half were from out of town; three graduates of      One major item of business was adoption of the grammar
 
the Blacksburg class came.  Almost all were level 3 active  baseline, and this was pro forma, almost a letdown after
 
language students; thus we never really got to exercise our the intensity of the previous day's work.  We also moved
 
plans to support activities for newcomers at the same time  LogFest back a week, effective in 1991.  Next year it will
 
as a main track.     be on the weekend of June 23, 1991. Make your plans early.
 
  Unfortunately, a lot of key people we thought were going    If June is a bad time of year for you, there may be
 
to come didn't. For example, Dr. Yorke, scheduled to lead  another chance.  A second get-together will be held this
 
a discussion of his proposal (printed in JL12), didn't make fall at Bob and Nora's house (so save your maps to
 
it, but won an award for the best excuse ever for not     LogFest), tentatively the weekend of October 20-21.
 
coming to LogFest.  He called Friday evening to tell us     Because the next JL issue will come out too close to then
 
that his house was surrounded by fire trucks.  (The lengths to allow meaningful publicity, this is your only notice.
 
people will go to avoid coming! Luckily, the fire was not  This year's 'Log-Fair' will be an experiment that will be
 
too serious.)     repeated if there is interest.  This year's meeting may
 
  We discussed Dr. Yorke's proposal anyway.  There was     also serve as a textbook review party, if Bob has gotten
 
little support - the people working on Lojban are     sufficient done to justify this.
 
interested in a full language, not a hybrid form.  la       Electronic mail distribution of our materials was also
 
lojbangirz. thus will not change its goals and plans to     discussed in the meeting, and a committee was formed to
 
match his ideas, although we are willing to support and     devise a policy on what things will be released in this
 
encourage anyone who wants to develop the idea further and  form.  We will use the Planned Languages File Server
 
give it a proper test. Most participants, though, said     (discussed in JL12), as well as similar forums such as the
 
that a hybrid LogEnglish might as well use straight English Compuserve Foreign Languages Forum, as official
 
words for the predicates.  The loss of audiovisual     repositories.  All electronic media distributions will have
 
isomorphism is not significant until someone comes up with  some type of header giving its status as a draft or
 
a speech recognizer.  It was also suggested, and we will    baseline, 'copyleft' (similar to Free Software Foundation
 
consider, using such a hybrid form in teaching materials    policies) or public domain status or full copyright if
 
for beginners, so that they do not need to master the     appropriate.  In general, our books and major publications
 
vocabulary to get a start on the unique grammar features of that we need to get income from to survive will be pro-
 
Lojban. This will not be used for the initial textbook,    tected - unless events transpire to eliminate need for that
 
however.  If someone wants to try this technique in     income.  All material that defines the language will be
 
teaching a class, let us know.     public domain, along with some other things like the
 
  Saturday was primarily devoted to technical presentations brochure that we want widely distributed.  Most of our
 
on the major areas of the grammar that had been reviewed    stuff will be 'copyleft', allowing distribution without
 
for the baseline.  Athelstan gave his mini-lesson during    charge as long as various notices attached are retained.
 
one gap in this, and we had a short period of Lojban       One fear of public domain status before the language has
 
conversation during another gap (Bob was able to make do    a solid community was that there is no way that electronic
 
without his word lists. But especially gratifying was that media readers can be certain that they have gotten the
 
several others participated, including some who had not     'real thing'; someone could modify the official documents,
 
been part of a class.)     attach any labels we put on to certify 'officialness', and
 
  We also discussed John Hodges' proposals on time and     redistribute them. The 'correct' solution lies in
 
typography.  Bob's counter-proposals on these issues were  trademark law, but we are reluctant to go in that direction
 
  
  8
+
# Volapk is a dead issue and has been for the better part of a century. It is not and has not ever been represented by any kind of corpus of literature.
 +
# Esperanto continues to grow, and today boasts at least two million speakers, perhaps more, of whom some one hundred thousand actively use the language and participate in the movement to promote the language. Some 150 to 200 periodicals appear regularly in the language, not counting local club bulletins. It has a large and growing body of literature, both original and translated.
 +
# Ido retains a small movement and several periodicals to link that movement, though none of them seem to appear more often than quarterly. It has a very small body of original and translated literature.
 +
# Occidental is dead.
 +
# Basic English as a separate language is dead.
 +
# Interlingua has a small relict supporting movement, mainly in Europe. It has few if any periodicals, and no body of original literature to speak of.
  
 +
Although Interlingua is not the only postwar entry into the international language competition, it is the only one to receive any publicity and to generate a supporting movement of any size. And it is a product of the year 1950. It appears that, to a great extent, the production of such languages peaked in the 1930's, and went largely out of style after the Second World War. Why?
  
given our disputes with the Institute. Since we are com-  explanatory in some cases; John is working on expanding
+
I would tend to blame the apparent "success" of English for this. The War gave French, already in decline, a deathblow, and by about 1950 it was apparent that English was destined to become the international language, by default. So what need for Esperanto, Interlingua, Ido, and other entries into the competition? The outcome was already decided. The other postwar projects -- the Romanids, Neos, Intals, Loglans, etc. -- were doomed to obscurity. Esperanto survived this period, and even prospered to some degree, not because people saw it as the coming world language (though there were those who never lost this hope) but because (a) it had already developed an independent infrastructure that could keep it going even through the most difficult periods -- as Soviet Esperantists proved during the period from 1937 to 1956 -- and (b) it had already developed other reasons for existence besides as a solution to the world language problem.
mitted to a public domain language, we will probably just  them.  You can use the partial cmavo list from JL10 to make
 
say that if you want to be absolutely certain you have the additional notes on many of the cmavo; the exercise will
 
latest and greatest version of something, you will have to  also help you to learn those cmavo that were on that list.
 
order it from la lojbangirz.       In many cases, you will need to look up the lexeme for
 
  The electronic media committee was also charged with     each cmavo in the machine grammar in order to know how it
 
developing an introductory lesson for distribution on     is used; some 100 cmavo are each 'in a class by itself' - a
 
electronic (and paper) media.  This will be tied in with    lexeme with only 1 member whose meaning is solely grammati-
 
our policy on who gets materials without paying for them    cal.
 
(see Finances below).  The lesson may have some similarity    Most of the remaining cmavo are found in a very few
 
to the Esperanto postal mail course.  Athelstan has     lexemes.  Members of lexeme UI are the attitudinals,
 
prepared a draft mini-lesson for this purpose, which is     discursives, and observationals used to comment
 
being tried by a few people. The mini-lesson will also     metalinguistically on what you are saying. Lexeme BAI
 
partially replace the current, rather unsatisfactory,     contains the modals; these can be used somewhat like
 
Overview that we send to new people.     adverbs to modify the selbri, or can be used somewhat like
 
  A second committee was charged with developing a plan to  prepositions to tag sumti that are not part of the place
 
restore our fiscal integrity.  The details will be     structure, thus tying them into the bridi relationship
 
discussed in the next section.     being expressed in the sentence.  Lexeme KOhA has the 'pro-
 
  Most surprising about these two committees is that the    sumti', which act somewhat like English pronouns.  Lexeme
 
membership insisted that Bob not be actively involved.     COI has vocatives, which are like attitudinals but are
 
"These are NOT Bob jobs!" said Karen Stein.  The membership addressed specifically to a listener. Lexeme BY is the
 
seemed concerned that Bob has been spread too thin, and     lerfu - the letters and symbols of the alphabet, and
 
these committees could handle things without his active     various auxiliary shifts and markers.  Lexeme PA are the
 
involvement.  So all of the preceding is subject to change  numbers and related symbols used to read off numerical
 
by the committees; your Editor doesn't know much more than  strings.
 
you beyond what has been said. The formal membership will    The English 'keywords' intended for use in LogFlash 3
 
hopefully have a report from each committee in August, in  (which will teach the cmavo), all 20 characters or less,
 
order to allow decisions before Athelstan leaves for Europe are included in the abbreviated cmavo list. Bob and Nora
 
(he is on both committees).     reviewed John's list, adding these keywords (needed for
 
  Bob comments: It is gratifying that the members feel     LogFlash 3 - Bob has learned most of the cmavo now in
 
enough commitment to volunteer significantly firmly to     testing that program.  See the products section below).  We
 
relieve me of what has become too much responsibility.     want comments from the community on the keyword choices
 
This is your language, not mine.  Finally, a group of     before releasing LogFlash 3.  Do the keywords make sense to
 
people is acting like they believe me, and acting like it  you (assuming that the cmavo definitions do)?
 
is THEIR language, and taking the responsibility needed to    The shortened definitions in this list will be expanded
 
make it succeed.     into full text definitions for the dictionary, and John
 
    intends to devise examples for each grammatical usage of
 
    each cmavo. This effort is only a goal, and may not be
 
cmavo Dictionary Progress     practical for all words.
 
  
  John Cowan has assumed responsibility for producing a
+
But the success of English has always been more apparent than real. The growth of English in the intervening period carried the language from 11% of the world's population to about 8.5% -- not the most inspiring rate of growth. Where English has failed, of course, we have tended to blame local conditions for this, or to assume that this failure is non-representative of the world as a whole -- as when, for instance, after a hundred years of concentrated English teaching has not produced a nation of English-speakers in Japan, we insist that "improved teaching methods" would no doubt resolve this problem, or when columnist Neal Peirce, supporting California's English-only initiative, insists that we tend to retreat from English in this country "while the rest of the world stampedes to English."
draft version of the cmavo portion of the dictionary,     Finances
 
taking over from earlier work done by Jeff Taylor.  His
 
first product for us is the abbreviated definition cmavo      LogFest attendees recognized that our finances have
 
list included in this issue.     reached the point of crisis. The 18 attendees, in
 
  John has proven extremely productive in the last few     exceptional gestures of support, donated over $1000 to la
 
weeks, helping with the grammar baseline and the E-BNF     lojbangirz., but this was merely enough to keep our bank
 
effort, compiling the cmavo index included with this issue, balance positive, allowing this issue to be printed.
 
and volunteering for major work responsibilities on the       Even with these donations, our income for this year is
 
dictionary, while contributing valuable suggestions on a   running well behind the income for last year, in spite of
 
variety of other topics.  He also has started writing a     the fact that our audience/customer base is some 50%
 
'daily' Lojban journal, believed to be a first in that     larger.  We've kept expenses down; they are also running
 
category (although Jim Carter reported doing likewise with  behind last year, but this is primarily due to firm con-
 
an earlier version of the language in the early 1980's).    trols on non-vital expenditures.  Our new 501(c)(3) status
 
John first learned about Lojban only a couple of months     makes U.S. donations tax deductible, but donations are also
 
ago, thus showing how quickly a motivated person can master well below last year even with the recent influx from
 
enough of the language to take a leading role.     LogFest.
 
  The cmavo index included with this issue is the first       The problem is that, while most people who order stuff
 
complete list with definitions since the draft list of     pay for it, not all of you do. Our prices have been set at
 
October 1988.  The definitions are short, and not very     a non-profit level, so each non-paid sale is a pure loss
 
  
  9
+
Forty five years after the end of World War II it is, I think, apparent to anyone that if English has not failed as THE international language, it has certainly come nowhere near fulfilling all those promises that were made for it at that time. Nor is it likely to do so in the foreseeable future, even granting continued U.S. military and economic primacy in the world -- a very unlikely possibility.
  
 +
Which means that the whole question of the international language is open again. It means that the Esperanto movement, barring the sort of deliberate repression we've seen from time to time in Russia and China and Rumania and Germany and elsewhere, will prosper anew. Indeed, it has been doing so since the mid-seventies.
  
that has to be made up from donations. Sales of our     enclosed with this issue is an opportunity to respond
+
And it means that, in the field of artificial languages, Esperanto may begin to see some aspiring competitors spring up. In fact, those competitors are already here. In 1972, an Englishman, Leslie Jones, published his Eurolengo, a basically Romance language based on English and Spanish. A young French teacher made the pages of the Guardian in Britain (favorably) with his Uropi. Two summers ago, several Esperanto clubs in this country received letters from a young man developing a project he called Linguos. Loglan, a product of the late fifties which made the pages of Scientific American in June, 1960, has recently been revived in two different forms. And just the other day the ELNA Central Office received a booklet, mostly in German, about a new Romance-based project called Unitario.
software, the only products with a price that makes us some without writing a letter.
 
profit, are down, and probably will continue to be until      Of course, we would strongly prefer that you bring your
 
the textbook is published.     balance up to the desired support level listed on the front
 
  Less than 100 people had positive balances at a recent    of each issue for your level ($40 for level 3, $25 for
 
audit. Only a couple of dozen have the balance amounts     level 2, $20 for level 1, and $5 for level 0); that way we
 
corresponding to each level that we request on our     don't have to keep asking for money each issue.  We'll
 
registration forms and in the mailing label summary in each accept whatever you can contribute. But the bottom line is
 
JL issue.  Most magazine publishers require you to pay for  that those who want the language to succeed, and can afford
 
subscriptions in advance - we cannot afford to have people  it, should have balances over $20, or even $50, for our use
 
paying for issues after their balance goes negative.     as operating funds, and are contributing a little extra on
 
  Several of our largest contributors, who are footing the  the side to help us with those who do not pay.
 
bill, are starting to get angry about all this, and have      If you feel that your balance charges have been unfair,
 
demanded changes in policy.  They want their money going to that we've charged you for something you haven't gotten,
 
promote growth in the language, and not to finance     let us know, and we will make the situation right. If you
 
'deadbeats'.  (Harsh words, but that is a direct quote from question whether our material to you isn't worth what we
 
one major contributor.)     are charging you, let us know what you think it is worth,
 
  The most extreme position is that everyone should be able and we may be willing to negotiate - but be aware that we
 
to afford to contribute something towards their balances -  are spending what we charge you.
 
the price of an order of french fries every couple of weeks  Your negative voluntary balance is not a 'bill'. We have
 
would fully pay for a level 1 subscription.  Anyone not     no legal way to collect it if you don't want to pay it.
 
willing to contribute this amount simply isn't interested  But if we can't get much higher percentages of people
 
in supporting us.     paying for the stuff we send them, we will be in serious
 
  The counter to this position recognizes that some people  trouble.  The question is whether you want us to succeed.
 
don't have the money for french fries, or for Lojban.  We  If so, you'll contribute.
 
don't want to exclude prisoners, students, and people from    Even if most people bring their balances positive, this
 
other countries where incomes are a fraction of those in    won't be enough; our expenditures will be rising as we get
 
the U.S.  Lojban is not supposed to be a language for the  ready to publish the textbook, and as our numbers continue
 
'monied' class, but for everyone.     to grow.  We actually need to convince many more of you to
 
  An intermediate position, which may win out in the long  keep the specified positive balances to support your
 
run, is that we are going to have to insist on payment from subscription level. Those positive balances are our
 
most people, and make exceptions on a case-by-case basis,  operating funds that allow us to keep day-to-day business
 
only by special request, and often with strings attached    going; we currently spend about $1000 a month.
 
such as required volunteer work or the submission of       We've also learned more about the realities of the book
 
writings to show that the beneficiaries are actually using  publishing business, and why book prices have gone up so
 
what we're giving them.     much in recent years; bookstores and distributors demand
 
  Regardless of the final decision, something must be done, and get 40-55% off list price, and even then don't pay for
 
and now.  Less than 20% of our people have positive     3 months or more and expect to return the covers of any
 
balances, and we must get the rest of you to pay some     books they don't sell (they discard the books - postage and
 
amount towards our expenses on your behalf or we'll have to labor is too high to send the whole book back) for credit.
 
cut you back, or cut you off.       Based on this, we need enough income from sales within
 
  Some decisions have been made.  If your balance is more  the existing community to pay the entire pre-publication
 
than $50 negative as of 20 October, you will be cut to     print and marketing bill, or we'll be bankrupt.  Either
 
level 0.  Only a special pleading will change this.     that or get a lot of donations, which seems unlikely.
 
Contributing some money, even a little, will probably put    As a result of our financial situation and this future
 
off a cutback, if we are convinced that you are likely to  reality, all existing discounts are terminated as of 1
 
continue using the material and contributing some money.    August 1990 pending any decisions from the finance
 
If you can pay off your balance, or make a commitment to do committee and the membership.  Overseas people (excluding
 
so by a specific time, all the better.     US/Canada/Mexico) will be charged a flat 20% surcharge to
 
  If your balance is more than $20 negative as of 20     handle the increased postage. The primary impact of this
 
October, you being put on notice that we may have to drop  will be that JL prices inside the US will no longer be
 
you to level 0 as well. You should write to us, and try to discounted for bulk mail.
 
send some money, even if it is only $5 or $10. Ideally,      A 20% discount will be given on any order over $20 which
 
you will bring your balance positive.     is prepaid - i.e. you have enough in your balance, or
 
  If your balance is negative at all, and we haven't heard  contribute enough to cover the price. (This discount will
 
from you in over a year, we need to hear from you, or you  cancel the surcharge for people outside North America.)
 
also may be dropped in level.  Even a short note to let us    At textbook time, there will probably be a further carrot
 
know you are still interested and reading the material we  for those with positive balances. Everyone in the
 
send you will help; if you send some money to bring your    community will get an offer to buy the textbook in advance
 
balance positive, all the better.  The Ballot/Questionnaire of the official publication date at some discount from list
 
  
  10
+
None of these projects has, at least in this country, received the sort of publicity that panicked Esperantists in the early fifties when Interlingua appeared. A recent article on Lojban (a schismatic variant of Loglan) that was picked up by the wire services and published in many newspapers around the country, appears to have been less than enthusiastic about the language; with the exception of Uropi, none of the others listed above have even been mentioned in the American press.
  
 +
But I think that we will hear more of them -- and others like them -- in the future. And much of what we hear, as was the case with Ido and Occidental and Interlingua, will not be why they are ideal solutions to the problem of communication between different peoples, but why they are superior to Esperanto.
  
price. We expect that for prepaid orders from people with
+
Are they superior to Esperanto? Probably so, at least on their own terms. Ido was superior to Esperanto in its adherence to West European linguistic norms. Occidental was superior to Esperanto in its similarity to other Western languages. Interlingua was certainly superior to Esperanto as a quintessential Romance language. And if what you wanted was a watered-down form of English, Basic English certainly filled the bill better than Esperanto.
positive balances, we will be discounting the textbook     Phonology - Lojban pronunciation has not changed since
 
price as much as $10.  This of course means that the price  being baselined over 2 years ago.  Few questions have been
 
will be that much higher for everyone else.  Those with     raised about the design.  There is no reason to expect
 
negative balances will likely receive little or no dis-     changes for the indefinite future, although we will be
 
count.     trying to make the Synopsis discussion more readable to the
 
  In addition to all of the above, the finance committee    average person before incorporating it into the dictionary.
 
will probably be recommending that we send a fund-raising
 
letter to each of you, independent of JL, pointing out how  Morphology - The Lojban morphology has also been baselined
 
much we've accomplished on a mere shoestring and asking you for over 2 years without significant questions being
 
to contribute so that we can continue to produce your     raised.  There is a remaining open issue on the exact rules
 
language.  We still need donations above and beyond paid    for borrowing words from other languages.  The required
 
sales in order to finance our continued growth (and to pay  form - the essence of the design - is firm, but whether
 
off existing debts).     there needs to be additional constraints on borrowing forms
 
  With our finances as they are, we are at a disadvantage  remains a matter to be decided by the people who use the
 
in seeking outside grants; donors look for financial     language.
 
stability and community support, and we just aren't getting  There has been a proposal, supported most notably by
 
enough. It also costs money to prepare grant proposals,    Michael Helsem, that would allow either 'r' or 'n' as the
 
and we don't have it.     'hyphen' after a CVV rafsi, unless the following consonant
 
  The finance committee will be considering how to value    is the same letter. This is a simple change that would
 
volunteer efforts on our behalf, and we may offer volunteer only increase options (currently, you use only 'r', unless
 
work as a way to ameliorate a negative balance. The     the following letter is an 'r', in which case you use 'n'),
 
offerings will be slim; there isn't much volunteer work     but we are reluctant to make the change.  One reason is
 
that we can place value on, and we can't afford to 'pay'    that it seems too unimportant to justify a baseline change.
 
much.     Another is that it further increases the number of possible
 
  Volunteer activities include translating materials into  forms for a lujvo, making it harder to produce the dic-
 
foreign languages, giving talks and recruiting new people,  tionary (and taking up more space). Finally, the change
 
and writing significant amounts of Lojban text. In the     would constrain le'avla (borrowing) space, something we
 
short term, we're looking for volunteers in the DC area to should avoid unless we have a good reason.
 
come over to Bob's house and type several hundred addresses
 
into the computer - these are addresses of book dealers and Orthography - The Lojban alphabet and required writing
 
reviewers that we will have to contact before the textbook  conventions are unchanged since the baseline over 2 years
 
is published.     ago.  In JL12, Bob proposed some additional optional
 
  Your response to all these measures will determine where  conventions, which were adopted at LogFest. We've been
 
we go from here.  The 350 JL subscribers are Lojban's best  given a proposal to use different letters to represent the
 
supporters but also the biggest drain on our resources. If 'i' and 'u' glides in diphthongs, since these technically
 
we can go from 100 people with positive balances (the cur-  are different sounds than those in the non-diphthong
 
rent number) to 250, we will probably survive. If we can  vowels; we'll probably discuss this proposal prior to next
 
get to 300 or more with balances over $10, the Lojban     issue, but expect no changes.
 
project may again be fiscally healthy.
 
  We welcome all suggestions for other ways to raise money, gismu - The gismu list was baselined just about two years
 
to gain donations, and get more balance contributions.     ago. Specifically baselined were the gismu themselves and
 
    the corresponding English keywords. (The rafsi and place
 
    structures are discussed below.)  Exactly one gismu was
 
    Language Definition Status Summary     changed at the recent LogFest; no other changes have been
 
    even proposed.  There have been 4 changes to keywords,
 
  With all that hand-wringing about finances, it is worth  including the three for "gismu", "tanru", and "lujvo"
 
reviewing what your contributions have bought so far in     mentioned above as just approved.  All 4 changes were
 
terms of products and services, and most important, in     instigated by Lojban learners who expressed confusion about
 
terms of the language itself.     the meaning of the word based on the keyword, and suggested
 
  The design of the language is basically complete; we     a clearer word; none of the gismu meanings, as expressed by
 
await various write-ups before final baseline of the     the keyword, have changed. Further changes are not
 
design, because we need to have a clear written statement  expected.
 
of what the design is in order to protect that design       The recent LogFest provided the first additions to the
 
against change.     gismu list since the baseline.  There are looser controls
 
  The language is stable. Preliminary baseline changes     against adding words, since these cause no relearning;
 
have been minimal, and have almost entirely been additions  we've been surprised to go two full years (until the
 
to the language that have no impact on people who have     recently approved changes) with no additions at all.  The
 
already started learning.  Let us look at each design area  couple of open issues mentioned above may lead to further
 
to see where it stands:     additions, and there is an ongoing re-review of the gismu
 
  
  11
+
In Esperanto's own terms -- facility of learning, cultural and political neutrality -- none of these languages was in any way superior to Esperanto, nor even equal to it. The same can be said, I think, about recent and future projects.
  
 +
The mentioned projects fall basically into two categories, from what I have seen of them, Eurolengo, Uropi, Linguos and Unitario appear to be fundamentally what we may call Euroclones, like Occidental and Interlingua. The designers of these languages, apparently unfamiliar with the work of De Wahl, Jespersen and Gode, are making the same mistakes again -- assuming that the world will best be served, and will let itself be served, by an artificial language with nothing to recommend it but its Europeanness. They don't realize that if this is what the world wants, it is more likely to learn Spanish.
  
in thesaurus fashion that may reveal one or two possible    put the selbri in the 2nd place; the x2 place of the place
+
Loglan and its offshoot Lojban fall into quite a different category. Of the mentioned languages, they have been getting the most publicity. But it should be noted that no language as a priori in its origins as Loglan has ever succeeded in generating a body of speakers. To add to Loglan's difficulties, it was originally created as a means of testing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (now largely discredited), and for this reason its author claims to have made it as far from ordinary linguistic patterns as he could. This may be a fine way of establishing an experiment, but for purposes of communication it's a non-starter. Loglan will most likely go the way of Barnett's Suma; a few years from now, if you want to learn about it, you will probably be able to get a book out the state library, but nowhere else will any information be available.
words, but we don't expect many.     structure for "bridi", as printed in the gismu list, makes
 
  Two noted Lojbanists, Athelstan and Michael Helsem, have  no sense - a bridi is a sentence/relationship and has no
 
voiced the opinion that we should be much more willing to  'meaning' independent of context. The change, of course,
 
add new gismu to the existing set.  Tommy Whitlock, on the  rendered "selbri" as the appropriate word for the concept,
 
other hand, is adamantly opposed to adding new gismu, since since the word relates by definition to the x2 place of
 
he thinks there are too many already.  This balance of     "bridi".  ("kunbri", for those who were not aware or have
 
opinions among the most senior Lojbanists, and the     forgotten, is an artifact-word from before the gismu base-
 
increasing number of active students, means that additions  line, and should be replaced by "selbri" where ever you see
 
will occur slowly if at all, and with extensive review from it.)
 
several members of the community.
 
    Grammar - The Lojban grammar is defined by a computer-
 
rafsi - The rafsi list has proven as stable as the gismu    verified definition called the machine grammar.  As
 
list, even though it was not baselined. The reluctance to  reported above, this grammar has now been baselined.  Even
 
change anything that has been released via LogFlash lists  before the baseline, there had been only 3 or 4 changes in
 
has been enough to defer change proposals indefinitely.     the last year as we wrote the draft textbook lessons and
 
There was one change early on, when we changed the rafsi of re-examined entire areas of the grammar. These changes
 
"narge" to "-nag-", freeing "-nar-".     were in the more esoteric portions of the grammar that were
 
  The recently adopted negation proposal split the negation seldom being used, and text written in Lojban since around
 
cmavo "na" into three words, two of which needed rafsi. "- JL8 (including all of the draft lessons) is nearly as
 
nar-" was assigned as the rafsi for "na", while "-nal-" was grammatical now as it was when written.
 
assigned to "na'e".  All of the other grammar changes led    The new baseline is a 'soft' baseline, that will allow us
 
to the addition of perhaps a half dozen rafsi assigned to  to make minor corrections that show up in textbook writing.
 
cmavo, and a couple of the rafsi being freed.  (See the     Few such changes are expected, but we may find that we can
 
summary with the JL12 attitudinal proposal for a list.)     allow some constructs that are currently forbidden, as well
 
  There are two change proposals to be considered prior to  as rules that we thought were in the grammar that were
 
the next LogFlash release, to make more 'hyphen-friendly'  omitted typographically. These changes will not 'enter the
 
rafsi for the abstractors "ka" and "ni" which are being     language' officially until the textbook is published.
 
used more commonly in lujvo that require hyphen 'y' than      The strength of the grammar is that each of the special
 
originally estimated.  Again, no other changes are planned, areas like negation, tense, MEX, and attitudinal
 
although we will be looking at the rafsi more thoroughly at indicators, has received thorough 'end-of-development'
 
the time the dictionary is written, when the rafsi list     analyses that make it unlikely that the language will prove
 
will be formally baselined.     inconsistent or incomplete in these areas. As recently as
 
  We don't want to freeze the rafsi list until we've     last issue, we were uncertain that our MEX design would
 
analyzed a lot of lujvo made by as many different     stand up to analysis; the final design proved quite
 
Lojbanists as possible, thus minimizing the likelihood that versatile, and we believe that we have met the goal of
 
usage statistics (applied to 'fine-tuning' the selections)  being able to readily express any mathematical expression
 
are skewed towards words favored by one or two Lojbanists  'reading it off the notation'.
 
who do not know all the gismu equally well.       The weakness of the grammar is that we do not have a
 
    parser that reflects the final grammar; such a parser is
 
Place structures - Place structures will also not be     needed to test the grammar against a corpus of prepared
 
baselined until the dictionary is written.  A very slow     sentences, ensuring that the grammar breaks sentences up
 
review and rewrite of all of the place structures is in     the way we think it does.  We are thus forced to use the
 
progress, and will be completed for the next release of     random sentence generator as a 'backwards test tool',
 
LogFlash and the textbook.  The new versions of place     looking at the sentences it generates from the baseline
 
structures being examined will be expressed in greater     grammar, and seeing that they match our intended grammar.
 
detail than those included with the current gismu list, and  Still, we don't anticipate that the grammar will change
 
should be easier to understand. (The maximum definition    much before its final baseline when the dictionary is
 
size will be 96 characters instead of the current 40.)     published.
 
  A change to the place structure is inherently a meaning
 
change, and we try to avoid them.  Almost all changes have  cmavo - The cmavo list in this issue is the first complete
 
been additions and deletions to the last trailing places    one in two years, and reflects a lot of changes.  There
 
that few have learned or used. More commonly, the changes  could be a more cmavo added prior to final baseline, but
 
are clarifications to better let a reader know what type of probably very few (there isn't a lot of spare words
 
sumti value is expected in a sumti place.     available for adding); we expect almost no changes other
 
  Of all parts of the language design, the place structures than additions.  The fact that the list has been published
 
are the least stable and finalized, but Bob can testify     will serve as a stabilizing factor.
 
from his experience that only a few changes have ever       The keywords for the cmavo are likely to change. Simply
 
affected anything he's written. (Most significant of these put, they haven't been looked at by many people, and are
 
is the place structure of "bridi", which was modified to    inherently less valid than the gismu keywords. Since cmavo
 
  
  12
+
Esperanto remains the only truly viable artificial international language: easy to learn, relatively neutral, with a wide base of cultural and practical services for the user to call on around the world. Of all the artificial languages extant today, only Esperanto is, not the result of an attempt to create a language, but the result of an attempt to solve a problem.
  
 +
And only Esperanto lives.
  
have little semantic meaning, we have to use short phrases  introduction and the single overview lesson, will tell you
+
----
that don't say a lot to try to convey the memory hook that  about Lojban, lightly introducing the basic concepts and
 
an English keyword is supposed to provide.  We'd like     giving you the 'big picture' of the language.  Some areas
 
feedback on the keywords, while recognizing that most     are treated very lightly - pronunciation is conveyed only
 
readers don't know that many of the cmavo.     by guides that tell you how to say each word and sentence.
 
    This is because pronunciation is a 'big subject' and a very
 
  All in all, we've accomplished a lot in just 3 years.     boring one to start off with.  We want you to be motivated
 
With your support, imagine what the next 3 years will     to speak the language, not bored.  Some of the topics are:
 
bring.     the concepts of bridi, cmavo, selbri, tanru, sumti, place
 
    structures, conversion, ellipsis, elision, descriptions,
 
    abstractions, questions in Lojban. We include a brief
 
      Products Status     summary of several other unique features that are too
 
    difficult to cover in the first lesson.
 
  First a reminder that the discount policy has been
 
drastically changed, effective 1 August.  A flat 20%       Part II will be about ten lessons long, each much shorter
 
surcharge outside of North America; a 20% discount for a    than the draft lesson size. This part of the book will
 
paid order (positive balance exceeding the price at the     build depth on the basic concepts presented in the
 
time of shipment) over $20.  (The discount will cancel the  introduction and explain many of the secondary structures
 
overseas surcharge.)  Virginia orders should add 4.5% sales that you need to say what you want in Lojban.  The Part II
 
tax.  Note also that for software, there is no surcharge    lessons continue to use a much smaller vocabulary than the
 
for MS-DOS 3 1/2" diskettes, but you must specify in your  draft lessons (perhaps 300 words), but expect you to look
 
order if you want them.     up some words that are not formally part of the vocabulary
 
  Remember that we cannot promise to fill your order unless to be learned.
 
it is prepaid; our finances are too thin right now.       A major change is that we will not expect you to learn
 
    most of the gismu vocabulary within the first 8 or 9
 
  Textbook Status - Believe it or not, the textbook is     lessons.  While some people have demonstrated that it can
 
finally started (again).  Spaced around 3 issues of JL and  be done, most students in the classes have not kept up with
 
one issue of LK in 3 months, planning and conducting     the expected pace. The current plan is to add an extra
 
LogFest, researching MEX and tense grammar in time for the  stage in LogFlash, before Gaining Control, that exposes you
 
grammar baseline, and assisting John Cowan in assembling    to a lot more words quickly, but does not expect you to
 
the gismu list, along with some major work on our legal     master them.  There will be only 'New Word lessons', 'error
 
battle, Bob finally sat down at the keyboard shortly after  practices' and some brief reviews in this introductory mode
 
midnight on July 4.     - the object is to have you quickly able to recognize more
 
  The new version of the textbook is already unrecognizable words in Lojban text and to learn the scope of the vo-
 
as compared to the first, even though only 20 odd pages are cabulary.  Many who have learned part of the vocabulary
 
written so far. The first lesson, which will serve as a    have tried to write sentences, but have not been able to
 
language overview, is divided into short sections only a    find the right word because they didn't know it was there.
 
page or two long, with many examples and exercises in each  You should do better using this modified technique.
 
section to help you see whether you understand. Using a      The goal is that by the end of Part II, you will have
 
much smaller vocabulary (perhaps only 25 gismu in lesson    completed this initial review of the words, and will be
 
1), we will examine much more of the basic grammatical     started in 'Gaining Control', which will hopefully go much
 
features of the language.  By page 20 you will be making    smoother for you as you work through Part III.  We are
 
Lojban sentences, hopefully with little trouble; in the     hoping to shrink the huge demoralizing bubble of error
 
draft lessons you did not make sentences until late in     words in the 'Failure Pile' that seems to afflict many
 
lesson 2 - about 80 pages along.     people.
 
  The textbook will be more interesting to read.  We are
 
trying to put more interesting examples in (difficult with
 
very little vocabulary).  Several pages have boxed and
 
highlighted recaps of the key points of the text.  Many of
 
the most significant and unique features of the language
 
will be touched on by the end of the first lesson.  You
 
will know that Lojban is a truly different language quite
 
quickly.  The text also ties back to English examples,
 
helping you understand better how English works, based on a
 
comparison with Lojban. Thus, even if you never find a
 
practical use for Lojban, you will receive benefits in
 
terms of expressing yourself better in English (and any
 
other language you learn).
 
  Under the current outline, the text is divided into three
 
parts. The first part, which will consist of an
 
  
  13
+
Bob responds (actually not very much): Funny, I thought Don Oldenburg's article was quite favorable towards the language (and so did he), though I'll admit that the headlines used in some newspapers could be taken as satirical. Certainly the amount of print space given the language was quite significant. But a good news story reports facts rather than conveys enthusiasm, so I can understand Don not finding much enthusiasm therein.
  
  
  Following are the topics to be covered in Part II,     in that we pay for the printing bill without waiting for
+
"In Esperanto's own terms -- facility of learning, cultural and political neutrality -- none of these languages was in any way superior to Esperanto, nor even equal to it." - This invites all kinds of disagreement. Facility of learning is of course an open question. Esperanto probably has better teaching materials at the moment because of 100 years to develop them; probably many of the other languages proposed would be equally easy to learn. As to cultural neutrality, Don admits early on that Esperanto derives its lexical materials from European languages. Even if Sapir-Whorf is true, it is likely that a language's word-stock has far more overt ties to culture than does grammar. Don has (in letters to us) written about the ideology held by Esperantists - a language with an ideology is the antithesis of politically neutrality. The goal of being a world language is itself inherently political; some cultures will view such a concept as a threat. Lojban's goals as a whole are basically non-political; international language aspects are a side-benefit rather than a primary goal.
according to the current outline.  This is of course     distributors and vendors to pay us, and it rewards you for
 
subject to change as the book is written:     sticking with us up until now.  But to receive the best
 
    discount you must have a positive voluntary balance.
 
Lesson 2 -    Pronunciation and Word Forms Some Classroom    Another progress report will be given next issue, and
 
      Expressions     perhaps we'll be able to guess at a date by then.
 
Lesson 3 -    Learning Vocabulary; Simple tanru
 
Lesson 4 -     Making Names       Other Products - With the baseline of the grammar and the
 
Lesson 5 -     Numbers     preparation of the cmavo list, we are moving forward on a
 
Lesson 6 -     tanru and lujvo; selbri Structure     variety of teaching products.
 
Lesson 7 -    sumti and Place Structures; Relative Clauses  Most directly dependent on the grammar and the cmavo list
 
Lesson 8 -    Tenses and Modals; se tcita sumti     is the random sentence generator, which will also be used
 
Lesson 9 -    Logical Connectives and Negation     to test the grammar.  It takes only a few days to
 
Lesson 10 -    Discursives and Vocatives     incorporate the new standards, and we will probably have an
 
Lesson 11 -    Keeping Lojban Unambiguous and Clear     update available by 1 October.  The update price will be
 
    $10; due to our financial situation, we can no longer
 
  By the time you start on Part III, you should know some  provide updates any cheaper than this. The original price
 
300 gismu and 50 cmavo by actually having used them in     will be $12.
 
sentences.  You will not be expected to produce longer text  The lujvo-maker has now been completed, providing drills
 
than single sentences. In Part II, grammatical features    and demonstrations of both lujvo-making and decomposition.
 
will be pretty much covered in isolation to help you rec-  Updates are available for $10; the original price will be
 
ognize the key point of each section; this is a bit like    $12. The only future enhancement to the lujvo-maker that
 
Jim Brown's technique in Loglan 1, but the earlier     seems to make sense would be a feature that builds and
 
introductory lesson will allow us to keep the concepts tied tests le'avla (borrowings) for proper structure.  Because
 
together much better than he was able to - you'll know the the lujvo-maker does not take a lot of space on a 360K
 
destination while travelling a most interesting journey     floppy disk, we will include computerized text copies of
 
through the language.     various word lists and the grammar on the disk.
 
  In Part III, we will start presenting longer texts and      The only stalled product based on the grammar is the
 
dialogues, which will have enough vocabulary available to   Lojban parser; we have had no volunteers to complete the
 
be meaningful and adult.  Exercises will require you to     work.  There is a possibility, however, that Jeff Prothero
 
more spontaneously produce original Lojban sentences,     will soon have a new version of 'PLoP', his "Public Domain
 
especially in a classroom or study group.  Unlike the draft Loglan Parser" updated to the Lojban grammar.  This would
 
lessons, though, you should have the knowledge and     be an 'unofficial' parser, using the YACC grammar, but not
 
confidence you need to make up sentences by the time we ask the YACC algorithm. PLoP is of a type called a 'recursive
 
you to do so. In classroom use, bits of Lojban     descent' parser, which is more flexible than a YACC parser,
 
conversation should start occurring.     but can be much slower.  It will work fine on individual
 
  After the first few lessons in Part III, the remaining    sentences up to some length, taking at most a few seconds,
 
lessons will be less oriented around specific concepts in  but it is very slow on blocks of text.  By comparison, the
 
the language than Part II.  Instead, we will explore the    last version of Jeff Taylor's parser processes a full page
 
vocabulary associated with some topic, present some of the  of text in a couple of seconds, albeit based on an older
 
more esoteric grammar points that are useful for talking    grammar.
 
about that subject, and then use the language to do just      A new version of LogFlash for MS-DOS machines will be
 
that.  Some problems in translation and original     prepared and hopefully released this fall, and it will be
 
composition in Lojban will be covered.     significantly enhanced.  First of all, we are already
 
  Whereas Part II is called 'Learning Lojban', Part III is  testing 'LogFlash 3', which teaches the cmavo (we can
 
called 'Using Lojban'. You will be expected to write     provide this test version now to people who are ready to
 
and/or converse in the language throughout Part III, and    learn the cmavo and don't want to wait for the full re-
 
should be comfortable doing so by the end of the book, with lease, but please don't ask for it unless you are ready to
 
vocabulary limits as your main constraint.     use it).
 
  There is a lot of writing ahead, but the book is off to a  Second of all, we are adding an initial review stage
 
good start.  Moreover, with the baselined grammar and the  prior to 'Gaining Control' that will quickly expose you to
 
compiled cmavo list, we are much more confident that what  a lot of words in 'New Word Recognition mode', hopefully
 
gets written will not have to be continually rewritten.     allowing you to read language text earlier while enhancing
 
  We're not going to promise a publication date. As     scores when you advance to the more difficult stages.
 
mentioned above, we've learned a bit about the lengthy       We are also adding several user-friendly features.  First
 
process of publishing a book if you want to make money at  will be an installation program that will ensure that
 
it (and we can't afford to lose money).     floppy disk users have 'COMMAND.COM' available, and unpack
 
  What we can promise is that the book will be available to any packed data on disk automatically.  LogFlash will ask
 
the Lojban community (you) in advance of the official     you for confirmation before overwriting an existing file.
 
publication date at a substantial discount. This helps us  It will allow you to tune the program by changing the
 
  
  14
+
(In one letter to Dr. Brown, Don actually criticizes us for not having an underlying ethic other than ensuring clear communication - a purely linguistic goal. Apparently Don doesn't realize that a non-linguistic ethic is inherently a cultural bias. If Esperanto has such an underlying ethic, it is false to claim that it is culturally neutral without demonstrating that the ethic is universally accepted in all cultures - an unlikely prospect.)
  
  
default of 6 repetitions in error practices and/or the     revised lists would also be very expensive - the bi-
+
"Of all the artificial languages extant today, only Esperanto is, not the result of an attempt to create a language, but the result of an attempt to solve a problem." - Don says this right after saying that Lojban was designed to test the 'untestable' Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which was 'discredited' primarily because it was untestable (which is obviously bad science). Testing an untestable hypothesis as important as Sapir-Whorf sounds like an attempt to solve a problem to me. So is developing a speakable language with an unambiguous syntax, as well as developing an a priori language that removes constraints on thought rather than imposing them (as all other attempts I know of tried). There are other problems in the world relevant to language besides the one Esperanto is associated with.
number of review words from the 'Under Control' pile that  directional gismu list might run up to 60 pages, and 100
 
are presented in each session. It will also allow you to  pages if we add a thesaurus-sorted list.  At those sizes,
 
more easily switch between learning modes.  We will also be it would be cheaper to produce the dictionary; we don't
 
try to make large error practices more friendly, giving you have the money to maintain such large documents in
 
a sense of progress by telling you how many times you have  inventory.
 
done a word successfully.  An option we are considering       We also want to publish a 'tiny gismu and cmavo list',
 
will allow you to look at the entire list of words for a    having only keywords on the English side, that would be
 
lesson prior to taking the test.  We may also allow you to  small enough to carry in your pocket or purse.
 
add or update your own memory hook data during the review    Of course, the textbook and dictionary will be the
 
portion of a lesson. (We welcome additional suggestions on  centerpiece of our product line.  We hopefully will be able
 
how we can make the program more friendly, but we need your to follow up these two books with a 'Best of JL' and a
 
responses quickly.)     first book of Lojban writings during 1991 - but this is
 
  We want to increase the speed of the program by reducing  again dependent on money.
 
the amount that it has to read files from disk. We aren't
 
sure how much work this will be, and are not making
 
specific promises. International News
 
  Finally, we will also be adding instrumentation that will
 
allow LogFlash to be used for scientific research into how    We don't have a lot of news this time that is specific to
 
different people learn words, most especially to see if     the international Lojban community. We have now
 
recognition scores used to make Lojban gismu have any     successfully processed Master Card/ Visa orders from
 
correlation with actual learning rates. Depending on     overseas, as well as one larger Canadian-denominated check.
 
finances, we may be offering a volunteer credit to anyone  We ask that those of you sending checks from Canada clearly
 
who (learns the words and) returns their instrumentation    indicate whether the check amount is in Canadian or Ameri-
 
files within a specified time after we send you your order  can dollars; apparently some of your banks will issue U.S.
 
(instrumentation data is only useful to us if you work at  dollar checks, and we do not need to use the more expensive
 
LogFlash consistently - the time limit will help motivate  service to process them.  We can't be sure, however, that
 
you to keep at it).     our banks here will process your check correctly if you are
 
  Finally, the new LogFlash version will support the     non-specific as to the currency.
 
updated gismu list.  The gismu list as it is being revised    Our major international event in the next few months is
 
will allow 20-character keywords instead of 15, and the     Athelstan's planned visit to Europe.  On that, we have
 
definition field will be 96 characters, instead of the     worse than no news. Just as we were going to press with
 
current 40 character limit. As a result, the definitions  this issue, some problems came up that threaten whether the
 
will be much clearer and you should have a better idea what trip will take place as planned.  It is possible that the
 
a Lojban word really means.  We may be providing an     trip may be delayed (causing Athelstan to miss Worldcon at
 
editable hint field that you can use to add mnemonic aids, the end of August), and possibly even cancelled.
 
and we may also allow you to change the keywords from their  Assuming the trip does come off as planned, we have few
 
official values to something more memorable (most useful to additional itinerary details - only two of you have written
 
British users who have suffered American spellings for too  to us letting us know you want Athelstan to visit.
 
long).     Athelstan does now have a point of contact in Europe.  He
 
  Not included in this update are LogFlash versions that   plans to visit Peter and Mary Lynn in Goettingen, West
 
will teach place structures and grammar (although learning  Germany around the first week of September. If you haven't
 
the modal cmavo of lexeme BAI will teach you a lot of     made contact with Athelstan by writing to us here, you can
 
important place structures). Maybe next year.     contact the Lynns:
 
  We are hoping to have Eric Raymond's UNIX version of
 
LogFlash available by the end of the year.  Unfortunately,  Peter and Mary Lynn
 
due to the lag in development time, both the UNIX version  Schopenhauer Weg 13
 
and the Mac LojFlash version will be stuck with the current Goettingen D3400 FDR
 
file formats for a while.  Dave Cortesi plans to update his WEST GERMANY
 
Hypercard flash program for the MAC to use the new file
 
formats; if so, this program will also be available at ap-  home telephone: (49)-551-706485
 
proximately the same time as the new version of PC
 
LogFlash.     Peter is also working on a German translation of the
 
  We are undecided about whether to produce and distribute  brochure, which may or may not be ready by Athelstan's
 
the revised gismu list separately, as well as John Cowan's  visit.
 
cmavo dictionary, or wait a few extra months and try to get
 
it into a first edition dictionary format.  The textbook      Athelstan also plans to be in northern Italy around 21-23
 
effort will probably be the determining factor. Publishing September, visiting Lojbanist Silvia Romanelli (who also
 
these revisions will be lower priority, since you can use  reports having translated some of the draft textbook
 
copies of the existing lists for most purposes. The     lessons into Italian).
 
  
  15
+
"And only Esperanto lives." - A nice slogan, but questionable at best. Don seems to base this on the existence of an original literature. (By most other standards of 'living' Don mentions in his article, at least Interlingua would be considered 'alive', if sick-a-bed.) Michael Helsem seems to be on the road to matching the entire original literary production of Ido and Volapk before Lojban has a single fluent speaker, and I know of at least two or three others that have more than contemplated literary efforts in Lojban, but either want to acquire more skill before trying or (in at least one case) are waiting for people who can read the language without translating it first.
  
 +
----
  
    Esperanto's "16 rules" with a similar set of rules for
+
== Two Essays by Andy Hilgartner ==
    Lojban.
 
  News From the Institute       Athelstan is quite right in suggesting that "the rule set
 
    is incomplete."  In fact, the "16 rules" are largely a
 
  The Loglan Institute published another Lognet around mid- heuristic device created to introduce Esperanto to persons
 
July.  Dr. Brown has apparently assumed editorship with Rex with a late 19th-century European education, by describing
 
May's resignation reported last issue.     Esperanto in very simple terms relating the language to
 
  There is little news in the issue.  The issue was     something more familiar to the student -- i.e., the Indo-
 
dominated by half of a paper by Rex May challenging some of European languages. This can be seen by the reference in
 
the basic design points of the language.  The second half  rule 2 to the "two cases of Esperanto" (Esperanto has as
 
of the paper is supposed to be in the next Lognet issue,    many cases as any other language), the reference in rule 6
 
and will present Rex's proposal for radical changes in the  to the passive voice of verbs formed by compounding (there
 
Loglan morphology.  (Rex sent a copy of his paper to Bob    are no compound verbs in Esperanto), by the reference to
 
for comment independent of submitting it to Dr. Brown.)     the "imperative mood" in the same rule (the -U ending
 
  Dr. Brown discusses and responds to each of Rex's major  subsumes, but is hardly restricted to, the traditional IE
 
points. Bob observes that Dr. Brown's discussion is an     imperative), and particularly by rule 8; logically,
 
excellent defense of the basic language design, providing a prepositions (which are basically case-forming morphemes)
 
few previously unknown historical details about the     should govern an unmodified noun form, and it is only
 
language design process.  Most important of these is the    because of the contrast with the Indo-European languages,
 
revelation that Dr. Brown did conduct some 'engineering     where they usually do not, that this rule is necessary.
 
tests' of the recognition scores algorithm used to make       The so-called "Fundamento de Esperanto" is, in fact,
 
gismu, something we had no evidence of when we responded to about 200 pages long, and includes the "16 rules" (repeated
 
Sheldon Linker's questions on the subject several issues    in five different languages), a complete dictionary of some
 
ago.  While we could wish that such tests were better     four thousand roots -- an additional four thousand or so
 
documented, it is reassuring to be able to say to critics  have been added to the canon since that time, plus between
 
that they were conducted.  All in all, our plaudits to Dr.  eight and sixteen thousand unofficial roots that need not
 
Brown.     be considered part of the language -- and a series of some
 
  Dr. Brown also reports on solutions to two outstanding    42 exercises designed by Zamenhof to demonstrate aspects of
 
morphological issues in Institute Loglan; these problems    syntax and the Esperanto word-formation system.  The "16
 
were discovered by Nora and raised in Bob and Athelstan's  rules" themselves are, as I say, a heuristic device, and a
 
review of the 4th edition of Loglan 1 last year.     convenient skeleton on which to hang the language's
 
  Nora is skeptical that the solution devised for names     "flesh."  Most of the material in these rules would, today,
 
containing "la" will work universally, but with the     be better presented in tabular form.
 
Institute grammar a 'trade secret', it is impossible to       A few points about Athelstan's presentation:
 
analyze the current design.  (Unlike Institute Loglan,       1)  Athelstan does "not describe word or sentence
 
Lojban forbids the various name markers from being embedded order...." This seems a bit ingenuous to me, since as far
 
in names to prevent such problems.)     as I can tell word and sentence order play a more
 
  The solution to the other problem, that of hyphenating    significant role in Lojban than they do in Esperanto, and
 
borrowings, is similar to our own solution for Lojban.     so to describe a "set" of Esperanto rules and equate them
 
  There is brief mention that the Institute plans to revise to a single Lojban "rule" that is at a much higher level is
 
The Loglanist under a new name, possibly by the end of the  not quite cricket. An example is rule 3.  The Esperanto
 
year.  There also is a report that one of the Institute's  presentation of the morphology of the adjective is quite
 
software packages had a bug that is now fixed, but there    complete in four lines; the Lojban presentation says only
 
were no details given.     that "any selbri may modify any other selbri by position,"
 
    but does not define how this is done (do selbri modify
 
  _____________________________________     other selbri preceding them? by following them? by sitting
 
    in the next line up?)  This is like saying that Lojban code
 
    is more concise simply because the reader is presented only
 
JL11 Esperanto Discussion     with a subroutine call, while in the Esperanto code the
 
A Response from Don Harlow     reader is shown the entire content of the subroutine.  The
 
    content is there in Lojban; Athelstan has merely found it
 
  [Don Harlow is editor of the Esperanto League of North    convenient to overlook it.1
 
  America newsletter. His position makes him a natural    ____________________
 
spokesperson for the Esperanto community in responding to  1Your example on p. 25, "X1 is good for X2 by standard X3,"
 
  our essays in JL11.  However, see also Ralph Dumain and  which I presume is written in Lojban -- from your past
 
    John Hodges in the 'Letters' section below for more     references to Prolog -- as something like "Good X1 X2 X3" -
 
    comments on Lojban and Esperanto.]     - would indicate that the position rules in Lojban are much
 
    more complex than those in English, and vary from property
 
  Thanks for the latest copy of Ju'i Lobypli.  I was     to property.  With regard to my later comments on case, the
 
particularly interested in Athelstan's comparison of     descriptive rule for speakers of Indo-European languages
 
  
  16
+
[Andy is interested in anybody's comments on these papers, which are tangential to Lojban, but are definitely tied to logic and language. You can also write to him for more information; indicate whether you have any familiarity with the theory called 'General Semantics'. We also have copies of a couple of his papers, including one inspired by his contact with Lojban, available at the special-order price of 15c/page. Andy's address is: 254 Kensington Place, Marion OH 43302, and his phone is (614) 389-4595.]
  
 +
<pre style="text-align: center">
 +
STATEMENT OF INTENT
 +
</pre>
  
  2)  Granting Athelstan's contention that several of       whether Loglan and Lojban treat the single sound written
+
I ASSERT that the patterns by which we and our ancestors for the past several thousand years have lived have now failed us.
Esperanto's "single rules" contain other rules, he does       in English as "ts" as two sounds (again as a stop
 
himself the favor of counting some of those sub-rules more    followed by a sibilant, rather than as a single harsh
 
than once, if they are referred to in another "super-rule."  sibilant) or as a single sound/letter ("c") as in
 
For instance, he counts the rule that the direct object is    Esperanto.  (A similar use of two letters to designate an
 
shown by affixing the -N ending at least three times (rule    intermediate sound is the occasional use of "kh" in
 
2, rule 3, rule 5).  The computer equivalent would be       English to describe the Esperanto "h^", a sound
 
rewriting the subroutine each time it was called -- at       intermediate between "k" and "h".)
 
which the compiler would, no doubt, burp. c)  Esperanto's Rule 11, of course, refers to the
 
  3)  Given that Esperanto's "16 rules" are a heuristic       Ekzercaro -- see particularly Exercise 42.  Athelstan
 
device, they are certainly more complete and successful       refers to some sort of "variant compounding rules"; I
 
than those presented by Athelstan for Lojban.  Speaking       would be interested in seeing these.  The actual rules
 
"quantitatively," they are accessible to a much wider range  describing the word-formation system are neat but
 
of people than the Lojban rules.  The Esperanto rules refer  complex; they were first formulated as late as 1910 by de
 
largely to nouns, verbs, adjectives, past tenses, etc.,       Saussure, writing under the pen-name "Antido", and
 
which are terms that are generally recognizable to       expanded by Kalocsay in the 1920's in a well-known essay.
 
graduates of the seventh grade, or equivalent (my ten year    The latest set appear in the Plen Analiza Gramatiko de
 
old daughter is familiar with them, from school).       Esperanto (1985 edition), where they fill some 148 pages
 
Athelstan's Lojban rules, on the other hand, use unglossed    and differ little form Kalocsay's earlier rules. That
 
terminology that might confound a college graduate --       these rules are of little use and less interest to the
 
anaphora, non-veridical, place tags, etc.  (I consider       practicing Esperantist can be seen from the fact that
 
myself moderately well educated, but I had to look up       their earliest codification occurred some 23 years after
 
"anaphora" in a dictionary -- and was not much wiser for      the language began to be spoken; most people can figure
 
the experience.)       the system out after looking at a page or so of examples,
 
  4)  Speaking "qualitatively," Athelstan in many places      and never bother to refer to the rules, to which they
 
describes his Lojban rules using Lojban terms that will       don't have access anyway.2
 
have no meaning to the casual reader -- a rather recursive Unfortunately, a couple of Athelstan's comments
 
sort of action, if you ask me. "Lujvo are formed by simple  suggest that he isn't really qualified to comment on
 
junction of the gismu or rafsi???  The definition of each    Esperanto in general, any more than I am on Lojban (which
 
one of those terms should be counted as a separate rule       is why I keep correcting you on Esperanto rather than
 
(axiom, if you will).       commenting on various points of Lojban grammar, syntax,
 
  5)  Some comments on individual rules:       etc.).  For instance, on p. 20 he refers to "Esperanto's
 
    a) The description of participles in Esperanto rule 6  dependency on case declensions." There are no
 
  is not properly part of this rule but belongs in the       declensions in the traditional/IE sense in Esperanto.
 
  hidden (also for Esperanto!) working of word-building       The -N ending, to which he is probably referring, defines
 
  (rule 11 see below); the description of the passive voice  the target of an action (direct object) or, if no action
 
  properly belongs to the Ekzercaro.  I do not, however,      is committed, the destination of a movement3; it can be
 
  fault Athelstan for taking these items as he found them.    applied to adverbs as easily as to nouns and their ac-
 
    b) "Every word is pronounced as it is spelt."  Pardon  companying adjectives.  Again, the terms "nominative
 
  me for referring to Loglan rather than Lojban -- and if    case" and "accusative case" in this sense are sops to
 
  this is not also true for Lojban, you need not pay       Indo-European sensibilities; Esperanto has neither one in
 
  attention to this comment -- but this is not completely    the narrow sense of a declension. In the broader sense,
 
  true for the language.  Loglan treats the sound written    of course, it does have nominative and accusative cases,
 
  in English as "CH" as a stop "t" followed by a fricative    as do English, Chinese, or -- one presumes -- Lojban; it
 
  "sh", written "tc," rather than as, more correctly, a       also has genitive, dative, instrumental, ellative, termi-
 
  single harsh fricative halfway between the stop and the  ____________________
 
  fricative.  Brown was here apparently influenced by the  2Some of these rules have not yet been codified.  For in-
 
  (not invariably phonetic) International Phonetic     stance, Kalocsay and Waringhien, the authors of PAG,
 
  Alphabet, which in this case appears to have been heavily recognize that Esperantists regularly use adjective roots
 
  influenced by French. Esperanto more correctly treats    as prefixes for noun roots -- novedzino, dikfingro are
 
  this single sound with a single letter.  I am not sure    common examples -- but do not admit that this usage is
 
___________________________________________________________ grammatically justified.  Most Esperantists go on doing
 
would be:  "The property good relates a noun in the     this anyway, and they definitely obey a particular rule of
 
nominative case in the immediately subsequent position, a  word-formation in doing so -- one that, so far as I know,
 
noun in the dative case in the third position, and a noun  has never been written down, and would be difficult to cod-
 
in the "standardize" case in the fourth position."     ify in a few simple sentences.
 
Hopefully Lojban's rules are more consistent than some of  3Which, if we suppose the -N ending to mark the accusative
 
those of English, in which, for instance, the accusative    case in the traditional Indo-European sense, makes vers
 
succeeds a positional dative but precedes a prepositional  such as "to go" transitive in Esperanto -- something most
 
one...     IE languages would not allow.
 
  
  17
+
In my view, these patterns center on the lived assumption that "I already know how things REALLY ARE" -- the perhaps unspoken, even unrecognized, pretense to "absolute certainty," with a consequent unwillingness to re-examine and revise "what I thought I knew." From that lived assumption follows a certain quarrelsomeness: If I already know "how things really are," and you express a view which differs from mine, I will find your PROVOCATIVE BEHAVIOR a THREAT to my AUTHORITY. And if I cannot persuade, manipulate or coerce you to revise what you say so it matches what I ALREADY KNOW, I may take steps to defend my own TRUTHS by suppressing your mistaken OPINIONS -- or may even set out to suppress YOU. And the means of suppressing YOU range from verbal putdowns, to fisticuffs, to murder, war and genocide.
  
 +
Today, we know how to use cosmic forces (such as nuclear fission and fusion -- A-bombs and H-bombs) to defend our "absolute certainties." Under these conditions, I assert, those lived assumptions which lead us to pretend to "absolute certainty" have outlived their usefulness. To persist in relying on them will, I predict, lead us into species suicide and extinction.
  
  native, sociative, etc. cases, as do English, Chinese,    publication, the number of Esperanto speakers grew at a
+
I DECLARE the possibility of intentionally revising our lived assumptions. We can re-build these patterns we live by so that we live not from the practice of defending our presumed "absolute certainties" (or from what I call self-defending), but rather, from the practice of testing our own guesses (which I call self-correcting).
  and -- I again presume -- Lojban.     rate of more than 100% per month.  (This high figure, of
 
    course, like your own, comes from starting with such a
 
  Regarding your own essay "On Comparing Lojban and     small base; and it dropped considerably by the early
 
Esperanto" let me make several short (I hope, as, I am sure 1890's)
 
you do) comments:       4)  You attribute some significance to the fact that you
 
  1)  Under "aesthetics" you mention a couple of sentences  "NEVER [HEARD] A SINGLE CONVERSATION IN ESPERANTO" at the
 
that "are longer than the colloquial English translation";  Esperanto table at Worldcon.  I personally have met only
 
and in an earlier issue you begged off translating a song  one of the people who worked at that table (and he was
 
from English into Lojban because the translation would be  there for only an hour or so), and I know that he speaks
 
longer than the original.  This seems to me to be an ac-    fluent Esperanto; I can't answer for the others.  But when
 
ceptance of the old saw that "any translation into any     you've sat at a few more tables at conventions, and have
 
other language will average about 25% longer than the     carried on a few conversations in Lojban under such
 
English original" -- and (a word to the wise) it seems to  circumstances, you will learn an interesting fact: more
 
be a very dangerous attitude to take.4 Every translation I people -- or at least Americans -- are repelled when they
 
make into Esperanto from English comes out significantly    hear a conversation they don't understand than are
 
shorter then the original.  More than that, so far as I     attracted.5 When possible, I always use English under such
 
know a competent translator can get the same results in     circumstances.  (This is not always possible; at the last
 
just about any language going. I would hope, for the sake  three conferences of the Foreign Language Association of
 
of Lojban, that this "expansion effect" is a function of    Northern California that I've attended as an exhibitor, my
 
the translator rather than a function of the language. If  co-exhibitor and I have spoken nothing but Esperanto --
 
not, it is a strike against Lojban.     because he's a Rumanian, and not terribly comfortable in
 
  2) You have again quoted the "like it is done in your    English.)
 
own language" comment, which was not made by Zamenhof, but   Hope that you have found all this of some interest.
 
in the basic Interlingua textbook of 1950!!!  Esperanto is       ______________________________________
 
extremely well-defined, partly through the 16 rules as
 
described above, but mainly through the Ekzercaro, which      Bob responds - That the 16 rules are intended only a
 
also appeared in the Unua libro in 1887.  No reference to  heuristic device seems to be lost on many Esperantists, who
 
outside languages was or is necessary. I thought we'd been often try compare the 16 rules to our set of YACC rules,
 
over that ground before!  As to the Europeanness of     which number about 550; Athelstan's effort was an answer to
 
Esperanto ... proof of the pudding.  Esperanto's greatest  those critics.  See Ralph Dumain's discussion and my re-
 
successes in the past few years have been outside of the    sponse in the letters section below for more on this.
 
Indo-European language area.  (From May to October of this    Don effectively supports our assertion that the 16 rules
 
year, a nationwide Esperanto course is running on Chinese  have as a subtext the entire grammar of European languages.
 
television -- a more significant matter, I think, in a     "The Esperanto rules refer largely to nouns, verbs,
 
country with only one national TV network instead of four  adjectives, past tenses, etc., which are terms that are
 
or five, and no more than two or three channels in even the generally recognizable to graduates of the seventh grade,
 
largest cities.)     or equivalent".  But these terms are only recognizable to
 
  3)  The comment that "Lojban took 35 years to reach a     students of European languages.
 
point of development where it was speakable" might perhaps    The emphasis should be on 'student', by the way. While
 
have been avoided.  Esperanto took some 12-14 years to     Don's 10-year old may find the terms familiar, we have
 
reach the point (1887) at which Zamenhof considered it     found college graduate English speakers who have long since
 
optimal; but the Ur-Esperanto of 1878 was already     forgotten the terminology of grammar classes.  To many of
 
speakable, at least according to the anecdotal information. our audience, 'noun' is as bad as 'anaphora' (maybe worse,
 
That it took Lojban (I presume you mean Loglan) 35 years to since no one feels guilty that they don't know what
 
reach the point at which it was speakable is not, I think,  anaphora are.  Anaphora are, by the way, the superset of
 
a point in its favor as a means of communication.     'pronouns' - the things that stand for and refer to earlier
 
  The rapid growth of Esperanto in its first years after    referents in the discussion; 'cataphora', the opposite
 
public release was a spontaneous affair.  You quote a     term, cover variable words that refer to things in future
 
figure of 8% a month growth in the number of Lojban     discussion, but 'anaphora' also is used as the general term
 
students.  Based on Zamenhof's published address lists --  covering both sets of variable reference words.  Based on
 
and making a conservative assumption that only ten percent  Don's comment, however, we will start using a Lojban lujvo
 
of those who claimed to be able to speak Esperanto could    "ba'ivla" - /bah,HEE,vlah/ for the general concept of 'ana-
 
actually do so -- in the first half year after Esperanto's  phora'; the source metaphor 'replacer-word' should help
 
____________________     people remember what the word means).
 
4When I was young I read -- in a number of places -- that
 
no other language is nearly as good as English for     ____________________
 
swearing.  In fact, English is a rather pale language in    5I was carrying on a private conversation in Esperanto on a
 
this regard; compare it with any Eastern European language, BART train a week ago, and was excoriated for this by the
 
for instance.     middle-aged lady sitting next to me.
 
  
  18
+
In other words, I declare that we humans now have it within our grasp to produce a fundamental, principled, conscious, and deliberate revision of the structure of human social transacting. For example, we can build up social patterns with which to replace our non-viable social institutions: the self-defeating or self-eliminating aspects of our dealings with ourselves, and the self-defending patterns in what we now call "nuclear family," "friendship," "social group," "corporation," "local government," and "nation-state." We can come to recognize our patterned dealings with the-human-species-as-a-whole. And, having built up these newer, potentially viable patterns, we have it within our grasp to replace the older, non-viable patterns with the newer ones.
  
  
  Athelstan intentionally used specialized Lojban terms     represent a European bias, albeit unintentional.  The
+
I PROMISE to catalyze this revision of the fundamental lived assumptions of the humans species so that, by the year 2007, we have put the new patterns into use planet-wide.
that were as opaque to a European language speaker as they  intent is to include places in approximate order of
 
would be to a speaker of a non-European language.  This may frequency of use in discourse; our model for usage
 
help point out what a Chinese or Swahili speaker suffers    frequency is unfortunately the English language we hear
 
reading the Esperanto rules.  We don't seriously intend     most often. The desire to bring in a broader perspective
 
using the 11 Lojban rules as a heuristic device; as Don     before finalizing the structures is one reason why we are
 
says, they just aren't very understandable.  Furthermore,  avoiding baselining the place structures until the last
 
they cover no more of the Lojban grammar than the Esperanto possible minute, and why place structures will be among the
 
rules cover of its grammar.  However, they do help point    first things to be re-evaluated after the 5-year freeze.
 
out some ways in which Lojban is similar to European       In any event, the resemblance does not give Lojban the
 
languages, including Esperanto.     Indo-European cases of Esperanto.  There are no case
 
  I remain unconvinced that Esperanto's grammar is unlike  endings, no grammatical requirements such as that
 
Indo-European languages.  As an example, contrary to what  adjectives must 'agree' with a particular case.  We have
 
Don implies, the number and specific cases in a language    'case tags' in Lojban, but these are optional and even
 
are not universals, and are significant aids to classifying frowned upon for 'cases' in the place structure, and anyway
 
them.  That a language has 'nouns' and 'verbs' and 'adj-    resembles a combination of 'prepositions' and 'adverbs'
 
ectives' that work in ways familiar to us, that most     more than case inflections on words.  (They also resemble
 
sentences have a 'nominative' agent case as the subject,    what Don calls 'case-forming morphemes'; however, in Lojban
 
usually appearing before the verb, and an 'accusative'     they are separate words that do not 'govern the form' of
 
object case that usually appears right after the verb.     any other word.)
 
These are anything but universal, though they are found in    Lojban has no 'passive voice' either - a 'passive voice'
 
most, if not all Indo-European languages.  Many languages  is an artifact of Indo-European grammar which is used less
 
have no nominative or accusative cases, being organized     in English and Germanic languages than in other European
 
around cases called 'ergative' and 'passive'.  Some     languages. In Lojban, there are various methods of
 
languages do not even have a clearly identifiable subject,  rearranging the sumti places of a predicate.  One might
 
and Japanese has both 'subjects' and 'topics' that each     label any arrangement that doesn't have an active agent in
 
serve some of the purposes of the Indo-European 'subject'.  the x1 position 'passive', but again, this isn't the same
 
  Now what Don says later about the "-N" ending could be    as the European 'passive voice'. (See B. Comrie's books The
 
used to argue that Esperanto's cases are different from the World's Major Languages and Language Typology and
 
Indo-European ones, but by standard linguistic terminology, Linguistic Universals for excellent discussions of the
 
that ending is a 'declension' that marks its word as being  typological features of language.)
 
in a case (grammatical role) which differs from the       Lojban is distinctly different from any natural language
 
grammatical role it would be in if the declension were not  in several ways.  The first step in learning Lojban,
 
present.     therefore, involves stepping out of the constraining ideas
 
  Lojban has NO grammatical cases.  Linguists and     of natural language to learn these new concepts.  Once that
 
artificial intelligence people can assign 'case labels' to  is accomplished, then for European speakers, Lojban is
 
the various sumti places in the structure, but these are    probably comparable in learning difficulty to Esperanto;
 
not grammatical cases. They are semantic cases that     Lojban has a somewhat simpler grammar, but Esperanto's
 
indicate the semantic relationship between the place and    roots are more highly recognizable to Europeans (and
 
the rest of the sentence.  In Lojban there are as many po-  English speakers). For Chinese speakers, Lojban may
 
tential semantic cases as there are words in the language - actually be easier, since many features of Lojban's grammar
 
an infinite number.  The places defined in the place     at least superficially resemble Chinese features.
 
structure are merely those most essential to conveying a
 
relationship.  We list the places in the definitions of the  "Athelstan ... describes his Lojban rules using Lojban
 
words partly to remind people that Lojban bridi express     terms ... The definition of each one of those terms should
 
relationships, and to remind them of the essentials of the  be counted as a separate rule (axiom, if you will)." -
 
concept to be related.     Should the definition of each of the Indo-European
 
  In one sense, Lojban doesn't even have a 'subject'.     grammatical terms used in the Esperanto rules have also
 
Technically, all of the sumti places are 'objects' that are been counted as 'axioms'?  If so, I think Esperanto comes
 
related by the selbri. However, in at least two ways, the  out far the worse for the added criteria.  The number of
 
1st (x1) place of any given bridi predicate, whichever of  specialized Lojban words we need to discuss the grammar is
 
the sumti it happens to be in a given arrangement, has a    fewer than the number of words needed to discuss a European
 
unique role among the places which might as well be     language.
 
labelled as 'subject', for consistency with the terminology
 
of linguistics. We'll let linguists determine if the x1      "Athelstan does 'not describe word or sentence order....'
 
sumti really is a 'subject' in the traditional sense, or    This seems a bit ingenuous to me..." - There are two types
 
whether another term better applies.     of word order that can be talked about. The order of words
 
  Now it turns out that many of our relations resemble     of particular grammatical type in a sentence is specified
 
European languages in that the first place is often an     by the entire set of rules of the grammar. There is no
 
agent and the second place is an object.  This may     meaningful 'rule' or 'rules' that govern this kind of word
 
  
  19
+
And I REQUEST your direct and immediate participation in this project.
  
 +
<pre style="text-align: right">
 +
C. A. Hilgartner, MD
 +
</pre>
  
order. The order of the places for a given brivla, on the    "Athelstan refers to some sort of 'variant compounding
+
=== Course of Development of a Theory ===
other hand, is not a grammatical issue in Lojban at all,    rules'" -  I believe Athelstan was referring to the
 
unlike European languages and Esperanto (I understand that extensive set of additional rules, not conveyed in the set
 
Chinese is also relatively free in word order).     of 16, that take 148 pages to describe, as well as rules
 
  Thus, Athelstan did not discuss word order because it is  such as the ones Don describes as not written down.
 
not part of the Lojban grammar. The order of the places is
 
part of the semantic meaning of each word, just as the       "... he does himself the favor of counting some of those
 
meanings of 'subject' and 'object' for each Esperanto verb  sub-rules more than once, if they are referred to in
 
are part of the meaning of that verb.  From our     another "super-rule." -  Athelstan was merely trying to
 
perspective, such semantic rules are at a lower level of    show that the 'super-rule' grouping concealed the true rule
 
the language than grammatical rules.  Lojban has no higher  count.  The exact number of rules, I'd hoped we had
 
level rule that can be said to govern the order of places.  demonstrated, was quite irrelevant. Lojban's 550-odd
 
There may be some patterns, but we haven't really tried to  stated rules, by the way, are expanded by YACC into about
 
find them.     800 unique computer-labelled 'states' which correspond to
 
    expanding and repeating each of the 'subroutines' Don
 
  "The Esperanto presentation of the morphology of the     refers to as often as is necessary.
 
adjective is quite complete in four lines; the Lojban       A Lojban-based computer process does not choke on such
 
presentation ... does not define how this is done (do     expansion, since the expansion is a natural product of
 
selbri modify other selbri preceding them? by following     YACC.  When we say Lojban is grammatically unambiguous, it
 
them? by sitting in the next line up?)" -  The Lojban     is because in each of these 800 states, by looking at the
 
'morphology of the adjective' is complete in zero lines,    next word only, a Lojban processor knows what state to go
 
since we don't have adjectives. selbri modify other selbri to next.  The grammar process consists simply of jumping
 
in many ways, some of which are adjective-like. The     from state to state until the end is reached.
 
modification can be left-modifies-right or right-modifies-
 
left, logical connection, or non-logical connection.  In      "Loglan treats the sound written in English as 'CH' as a
 
all but the simplest left-to-right modification, there are  stop 't' followed by a fricative 'sh', written 'tc,' rather
 
cmavo that can be translated literally into English or     than as, more correctly, a single harsh fricative halfway
 
other languages, revealing the order, and we believe that  between the stop and the fricative. Brown was here ap-
 
all possible orders and groupings can be represented in     parently influenced by the (not invariably phonetic)
 
some way.  Athelstan simply didn't find anything to say     International Phonetic Alphabet, which in this case appears
 
about Lojban that corresponded to what was being said in    to have been heavily influenced by French. Esperanto more
 
the Esperanto rule.  What he said was complete and accurate correctly treats this single sound with a single letter..."
 
- position in a Lojban sentence totally determines what     -  Correct by whose standard? (Correctness always has a
 
modifies what.     standard, as any Lojbanist knows from the place structure
 
  As for Don's facetious suggestions on how selbri might    of "drani").  The IPA is the standard alphabet of
 
modify each other by position, I reply in kind: do Es-     linguistic phonology, and hence is the way that one must
 
peranto adjectives get written on the line before?     describe sounds when talking to a linguist. To claim that
 
  Interestingly, in other places, Don excuses his 16 rules  the linguistic standard phonetic alphabet is wrong because
 
for non-specificity:  "the description of the passive voice it doesn't agree with Esperanto seems a bit backwards.
 
properly belongs to the Ekzercaro" and talking about word-    The combination of a stop and a fricative is called an
 
formation rules "they fill some 148 pages".  Again, our     'affricate' and can be treated as either one sound or as
 
purpose was to compare what was present in the Esperanto    two.  In Lojban, we treat all affricates, including 'tc'
 
rules with a corresponding level of detail about the Lojban and 'ts', as two sounds; so do most linguists.
 
rules. We recognize that neither set of rules is complete;  This is due to the simple reason that if you say the stop
 
we want to be able to point this out to Esperantists that  and the fricative together, they phonetically blend to form
 
cite the 16 rules as a statement of Esperanto's simplicity. the affricate in a way indistinguishable to most listeners.
 
So Don has made our point for us.     Thus, if we were to write the affricates as a single
 
    letter, we would have to forbid the two-letter combinations
 
  "Most Esperantists ... definitely obey a particular rule  that are equivalent.  Since no other single letter sound in
 
of word-formation ... -- one that, so far as I know, has    Lojban can alternatively be expressed as two sounds, to
 
never been written down, and would be difficult to codify  match the Esperanto distinction in only a couple of cases
 
in a few simple sentences." -  Hopefully Lojban is     would be inconsistent.  (Does Esperanto forbid the two-
 
sufficiently regular that no one ever will have to say this letter equivalent combinations of the affricates to prevent
 
about the language.  Our word compounding rules are quite  confusion?)
 
rigid, and yet fairly unrestricted.  We don't constrain any  Esperanto's approach causes untold heartache to typists,
 
word from modifying another, and provide some fairly     forcing the addition of non-standard diacritical marks to
 
esoteric grammatical conversions to allow you to combine    several letters to fit the language within the Roman
 
concepts that are grammatically incompatible.     alphabet.  (There is at least one typo in the Esperanto
 
    rules because of this - I forgot to manually go back and
 
  
  20
+
The theoretical system developed by our research group demonstrably and verifiably opens up a new domain of human knowledge. As of this date, it amounts to approximately 50 person-years of innovative work. In the following four pages, let me tell you something about the background, the increasing rigor, and the further promise of this inquiry.
  
 +
Since 1963, the work has gone through at least three distinct developmental stages:
  
add an Esperanto diacritical mark that is not supported by  readers are missing useful and perhaps important
+
A) My earliest paper on this topic (1963) presents a theory of human behavior, stated in ordinary scientific English, but based on known premises which no one else had successfully used in this way. In a paper presented before the International Conference on General Semantics in 1965, I extended this theory of human behavior into the arena of large social institutions. Also, I made logical claims for the doctrine: self-consistency, and parsimony. When I gave the paper, I found myself applauded rather than shot down.
my word processor or printer.)     information.
 
  Esperanto is not consistent on the matter of the       In Lojban, there are other factors, based on its unusual
 
affricates, by the way. While representing the affricate  grammar.  Where logical structure is always explicit, the
 
sounds that are expressed by Lojban 'tc' and 'ts' with a    convoluted logic of some English sentences has to be
 
single letter, as well as the voiced equivalent of the     expanded to great length; on the other hand the English "it
 
first ('dj' = English 'j'), Esperanto does not have the     is not the case that" is expressed briefly as Lojban "na".
 
voiced equivalent of 'ts' as a single letter as consistency When Athelstan translated Saki (see JL10) he found the
 
would require. The sound of 'dz' in it is expressed using  resulting text was about the same length or shorter.
 
two letters in Esperanto words (an example is found in one  (There are actually more words, since Lojban words seem to
 
of Don's footnotes), even though it is a 'single sound' by  average about 30% shorter than English words; there are
 
the identical logic as the other three.     also more syllables - Lojban words seldom have syllables
 
  In Comrie's book on the languages of the world, similar  more than 3 letters and certainly not as long as
 
comments to mine are made in explaining why 'ts' and others 'strengths'.)
 
are not considered as one in Germanic languages.  It is       I doubt that Don's objection to the old saw proves true
 
pointed out that linguistically, any stop can be combined  for all languages, by the way.  I suspect that regardless
 
with any fricative, and each such 'affricate' combination  of the translator, most Romanized Chinese (where most words
 
could be treated as one sound or as two.  Examples include  are one or two syllables) translates to Russian (with in-
 
'ps', which will be recognized from Greek, and 'pf' from    flectional suffixes that are one or two syllables long on
 
German. But neither Esperanto nor English nor Lojban treat  most words) resulting in a longer text.
 
'ps' or 'pf' as a single sound.
 
  Don is wrong in equating the 'kh'/Lojban 'x' sound with    "That it took Lojban 35 years to reach the point at which
 
the two affricates.  'x' is a pure fricative - called an    it was speakable is not, I think, a point in its favor as a
 
'unvoiced velar fricative' or an 'unvoiced palato-velar'    means of communication." - Wrong. It shows that we were
 
fricative depending on exactly where the tongue is placed  diligent in our research.  And with good reason; we know
 
(these are the sounds of German 'doch' and 'ich', respec-  much more about language now than in Zamenhof's time, and
 
tively).  The 'x' sound linguistically has nothing to do    we have a tougher and more skeptical audience (the academic
 
with an 'h' sound, which is actually formed in the     world) to please.  We also had a bigger job to do, since
 
epiglottal region.  That we represent 'x' as 'kh' in     Lojban was designed from scratch.
 
English is a convention; it has nothing to do with sounds    Whether or not Don is right about the Indo-European-ness
 
(notwithstanding this, trying to combine a 'k' with an 'h'  of Zamenhof's grammar, there is no doubt that Zamenhof
 
will give a reasonable 'x' sound).     started with European grammar and simplified.  We
 
  Unlike English and German, IPA does use a single letter  (originally Brown and later others as well) started with
 
for this sound. (The true velar affricates - combinations  nothing except a goal of matching predicate logic
 
of stops and fricatives - aren't pronounceable either as    structures, and the vague notion of speakability.  Because
 
single or double sounds for English speakers - in Lojban,  we had no working language to emulate, there were un-
 
they would be expressed as 'kx' and 'gq', if 'q' is defined doubtedly going to be false starts and re-engineering of
 
as the voiced equivalent of 'x' - found in Arabic as the    major features.  I suspect that much of Zamenhof's
 
sound at the beginning of Libyan leader Qaddafi's name.)    development period was used to select the root word stock;
 
    only a small fraction of Loglan/Lojban development time has
 
  "... the old saw ... 'any translation into any other     gone into word-making.
 
language will average about 25% longer than the English       In a sense, Esperanto took the entire evolutionary period
 
original' ..." -  Almost any literal translation will take  of Indo-European grammar to be developed. (Of course, by
 
longer than the original.  Translating Lojban to English    the same logic, Lojban took 2500 years, since predicate
 
literally is usually even more expansive than 25%, often 2- logic was invented, to be developed).
 
to-1 or greater; just look at any of our translations here    (You can also compare the actual Esperanto development
 
in JL. On the other hand, the reverse direction gives the  period with the time that we've taken to redevelop the
 
same result.     Lojban version of Loglan from scratch to avoid copyright -
 
  The translator's art involves producing idiomatic non-    less than 3 1/2 years so far, and I suspect that our design
 
literal translations that capture the approximate sense of  is far more intricately specified than Zamenhof's was when
 
the original. This will sometimes be shorter, sometimes    he published.  By Don's histories that I've read, I gather
 
longer, since the source language may be using an idiom     that Esperanto was not complete in a sense of being
 
that has no counterpart in the target language (which is    standardized until sometime after 1900.  Depending on your
 
always the case with Lojban at this point).  Also, almost  definitions, we will be comparably standardized either when
 
any culturally-based word has to be expanded into a phrase  the textbook and dictionary are done or after the 5 year
 
in another language if meaning is to be preserved.  If Don  baseline period proves the language is stable.)
 
is 'always shorter' as he claims, he is undoubtedly       I've been told that a major milestone occurred as late as
 
omitting subtleties of the source language version that he  1905 when the annual Esperanto meeting was first conducted
 
considers either obvious or irrelevant given the context.  in Esperanto; at this meeting it could first truly be said
 
If he is correct, he is a true artist; otherwise, his     that Esperanto was a 'living language'. Lojban should
 
  
  21
+
But, while still at that conference, I came to an uncomfortable insight: I recognized that at that time, no one had yet specified the relations between logical assumptions and grammar for even one discursive language. That means that any discursive language remains in the role of "a language of unknown structure." Further, I recognized that one cannot know a doctrine better than one knows the language in which one states the doctrine.
  
 +
Therefore, my theory lacked rigor -- as long as I left it stated only in a discursive language such as English, I could not back up logical claims made for it.
  
achieve that status in a much shorter time, although     the average American is going to think that you are
+
I left that conference determined to perform a logical analysis of my doctrine, and to state it as an axiomatic system in a mathematical language of known structure. I intended to satisfy myself as to whether one could in fact back up the logical claims I had made for it.
possibly with a smaller speaker base.     speaking English because it is easier or more convenient
 
  I note that Jim Brown considered his language speakable  than Esperanto.  And if it IS easier for you to speak
 
in 1977, or possibly even earlier (there are reports that a English than Esperanto to another Esperantist, you are
 
group called the 'Loglan Sogrun' conversed to a minimal     missing out on a prime opportunity to learn to speak it
 
extent in the 60's).  Brown actually tried to teach the     better, while demonstrating that the language is useful to
 
language to college students in the 50's - though with no  passers-by (something most of them are probably unconvinced
 
particular success -  and sold books teaching the language  of).
 
starting in 1966.       When I can speak Lojban fluently I will try to speak
 
  Brown's books of the 60's were probably as complete as    Lojban at convention tables promoting the language, if the
 
Zamenhof's 1888 book, but Brown did not have the follow-    other people manning the table also speak comparably well.
 
through that Zamenhof did, nor the 'market' ripe for the    If I have problems with people who seem repelled, I'll add
 
language that Zamenhof had with the simultaneous collapse  a sign inviting them to ask us what we're saying.
 
of VolapЃk.  Also, to put it simply, Brown's books, while    This will entice people and cause them to see that we
 
they explained things in considerable detail, had no text  think the language is worth speaking when we could be
 
longer than individual sentences.  They were thus at best  speaking English instead; they will also be curious as to
 
mediocre in teaching the language for actual use.  But this what we are saying, and we'll happily explain.  This may
 
was not a flaw in the language or its design, but rather in not be how it works out in reality, but this is our goal,
 
its inventor's teaching and writing style.     and our limited experience so far is that using the
 
  Loglan/Lojban has had an added handicap over Esperanto -  language in public prompts curiosity and not repulsion.
 
a changing plural set of goals which is more than mere     (We've done nicely at conventions with people who notice
 
'speakability', and rising standards on what it takes to    our buttons with the slogan "e'osai ko sarji la lojban.")
 
achieve those goals.  The standard of unambiguity changed    If we're wrong, Don can say "I told you so".  But if this
 
with the development of computer tools like YACC, and a     turns out to be the case, then I am most pessimistic that
 
language thought to be unambiguous suddenly wasn't.  I     any language will be acceptable as an International
 
believe I've done more work researching language universals language to Americans.  At any given time on the path to
 
than Brown did.     acceptance, there will be Americans who don't know the
 
  The whole point of the JL11 discussion, of course, was    language. If a foreigner is not going to learn English (in
 
that comparison of development periods just isn't     which case English is the international language), then the
 
practical, and the various numbers in the above discussion  American must learn Esperanto or whatever before the need
 
should prove this.  But Athelstan and I were trying to     arises where it must be used, or she/he won't be fluent
 
respond to comments and questions that have been frequently when that need arises.  And this means speaking the
 
raised by Esperantists. If the '35-year' development     language extensively with English-speaking cohorts before
 
effort can be claimed as a strike against us, we have the  then, by definition.
 
right to argue it as a virtue instead.       In any event, to go from a few thousand to 250 million
 
    Americans speaking a particular foreign language will take
 
  "... more people -- or at least Americans -- are repelled some aggressive (and skillful) marketing which may be
 
when they hear a conversation they don't understand than    offensive to some people.  Possibly as offensive as the
 
are attracted. When possible, I always use English under  USEnglish people are in promoting English (whether one
 
such circumstances." - I was merely observing that at a    agrees with their opinions or not, their words and tactics
 
convention table 'selling' a language, it seemed strange    are pushy and offensive).  The trick is to market
 
not to hear the language.  I would expect that Americans    aggressively while minimizing offense.
 
are not much repelled to hear a 'strange' language if they    I should note that I while I disagree with Don on this
 
expect to hear one, and one would expect to hear one at an  point, I find many of the Esperanto marketing techniques
 
Esperanto table, which is not a BART train.  I certainly    quite skillful, and hope that we Lojbanists can learn from
 
did, which is why I made the comment.     them.  This is only practical under a cooperative, as
 
  (On the other hand, Americans are often offended to hear  opposed to competitive relationship between the two
 
a language other than English when visiting a foreign     communities.
 
country, but this is the Americans' problem, not the
 
natives.  In the US these days, perhaps 10-20% of the
 
people have a native language other than English, so       Masters of Tongue Fu
 
Americans will have to get used to hearing things other by Donald J. Harlow
 
than English.)
 
  I also have a different philosophy as to what it takes to     originally published in The ELNA Newsletter
 
sell a new language to Americans.  If you use English     reprinted with permission
 
whenever that is a possibility because it is a common
 
language, you merely support the argument that 'we don't      When people say "International Language" today, they are
 
need Esperanto (or Lojban) because English is already     probably talking about Esperanto.  In China, in fact, the
 
spoken by most everyone who wants to talk to people from    language is better known as shi jie yu, which simply means
 
another culture'.  Regardless of whether it is true or not, "international language," than as "Esperanto."  In those
 
  
  22
+
B) Working with John F. Randolph, then Fayerweather Professor of Mathematics at the University of Rochester, I succeeded in doing the required logical analysis. We wrote four long papers which utilized an algebraic set theory notation -- the very paradigm of "a mathematical language of known structure" -- to put the doctrine into the form of an axiomatic system.
  
 +
At that point, we had something really new: a logically rigorous and empirically testable theory which comprehensively accounts for how a human deals with himself, with his non-living environment, with other humans and (in principle) with other species
  
parts of the world where "interlinguistics" is an accepted  Auguste Kerckhoffs. The resulting struggle destroyed the
+
To call the theory comprehensive means that one can use it to study "happenings" on any level of interest, from that of molecular structure -- e.g. the structure of heme molecules with various possible side chains, only a few of which have a shape that will allow the ring to combine with divalent iron so as to form the active center of a hemoglobin molecule -- up to that of how the human species as a whole gains its living in the biosphere.
part of the science of linguistics, articles on the subject language, many of whose proponents in any case were
 
-- if they are not purely historical in nature -- will     shifting their allegiance to the rising (green) star of Es-
 
almost certainly refer almost exclusively to Esperanto.     peranto by the end of the eighties. By the beginning of
 
Discussions of the literature of artificial languages will  the new century, VolapЃk was all but dead, though at least
 
concentrate totally on that of Esperanto, since only very  one (very small, very irregular) bulletin in the language
 
underdeveloped literatures exist for other artificial     seems to have appeared as late as 1960.  When Bernard
 
languages, and for most of them, don't exist at all.  Any  Golden went in search of speakers of VolapЃk on the lan-
 
study of the sociology of an artificial language, too, will guage's 100th birthday, he found a total of ten -- all of
 
concern itself only with Esperanto, since only two other    whom also spoke Esperanto.
 
artificial languages ever had populations of adherents even  It is worth noting, however, that at its peak VolapЃk
 
remotely comparable to that of Esperanto, and then only for boasted perhaps 100,000 adherents -- though how many of
 
very short periods of time.     them could actually speak the language is open to question.
 
  But Esperanto is neither the first not the only     In this regard, it is interesting that it shared several
 
"international language." Attempts to create such a     characteristics with Esperanto.  The two of these that are
 
language go back at least to the thirteenth century, when  perhaps most important, in my view, are:  (1) an
 
the Abbess Hildegarde of Rupertzberg, a lady more recently  agglutinative system of word-formation, in contrast to the
 
exhumed -- and justly so! -- by the women's movement, the  standard Indo-European system (more correctly:  lack of a
 
gnostics, and various musical organizations (how refreshing system); and (2) the desire of the inventor to solve the
 
it is that Hildegarde, one of the earliest of the     problem of communication between people of different
 
"Renaissance Men," was a woman!), created her "Lingua     languages, not just to invent an artificial language.
 
Ignota."  The philosophers Comensky, Leibniz, and Descartes  I don't want to go into Esperanto's history in any detail
 
all wrote about the international language; Bishop Berkeley here.  If you want to read a good book about the early
 
worked at developing one.  In the last century, the     period, get a copy of Edmond Privat's Historio de la Lingvo
 
Frenchman Sudre created Solresol, a language meant to be    Esperanto, or his Vivo de Zamenhof. I would only wish to
 
whistled or trumpeted, and it enjoyed a very long period of say that, more than a hundred years into its existence, Es-
 
popularity in some circles in France; at one point the     peranto's eventual fate has not yet been decided.  Given
 
French military even considered adopting it, possible     that over its history the language has had few friends,
 
because trumpets can be heard over greater distances than  except for a (relatively few) far-sighted and courageous
 
shouted commands.  Who knows?  Had the French followed     souls who have actually gone out and learned it, while it
 
through with this idea, their defeat in the Franco-Prussian has succeeded in gaining for itself a notable array of
 
War in 1871 might not have occurred, and all later history  enemies -- Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin spring immediately
 
would have been different.     to mind -- the staying power that the language has
 
  No one knows how many "international languages" have     demonstrated is quite encouraging.
 
actually been proposed. The figure certainly exceeds a       Let me only add here that Zamenhof, like Schleyer, was
 
thousand.  These range from genuine a priori languages, all interested not in creating and artificial language but in
 
of whose material is invented out of whole cloth, to     finding some viable solution to the problem of
 
slightly modified ethnic languages, such as Basic English.  communication between different peoples.  And in Zamenhof's
 
But of the thousand or so such languages, only a few have   case -- he was a Jew living in late 19th century Russia --
 
ever attained any degree of popularity, and most of that    the problem was far from a theoretical one.
 
has been spurious -- a creation of the news media, ever in    Zamenhof stated (in his First book) that Esperanto was
 
search of some new and interesting story.  Chronologically, not our typical European language. Arguments over
 
these most famous of international languages have been:     Esperanto's Europeanness go on even today. Certainly,
 
VolapЃk, Esperanto, Ido, Occidental, Basic English, and     despite recent modest accretions from Japanese and other
 
Interlingua.  For those who know little or nothing about    non-European languages, Esperanto's lexical material
 
the origins and fates of these languages, I would like to   remains primarily European, chiefly Romance, in origin.
 
give an introduction to them.     Other aspects of the language's structure are less
 
  VolapЃk was invented in 1880 by a German priest,     convincingly European.  Certain tendencies in popular use
 
Monsignor Johann Martin Schleyer.  Schleyer, a polyglot,    of the language -- for instance, the occasional doubling of
 
recognized among his less talented parishioners the need    short adjective roots to show emphasis, rather than through
 
for a language to communicate across national boundaries,  use of the -EG suffix -- show a pattern of thought in the
 
and set our to create on.  The result was VolapЃk.  The     language reminiscent of Chinese.
 
language enjoyed tremendous popularity over the next       I don't intend to argue here over whether Esperanto is
 
decade, but, because of certain aspects of its grammar and  fundamentally European or non-European; but certainly many
 
vocabulary, it generated a strong movement for reforms     early speakers of the language in Western Europe found it
 
among many of its speakers; and Schleyer, who saw himself  less European (more particularly, less West-European) than
 
as the language's Pope, so to speak, refused to even     they would have liked.  This was particularly true in
 
consider such reforms. The language's most vocal adherents France, where many early leaders of the national Esperanto
 
split into two factions, one supporting Schleyer and on     movement would have preferred a more Francophone, or even
 
supporting his chief opponent, a French professor named     Anglophone, tone to the language. A few of these
 
  
  23
+
In 1969, the Journal of Theoretical Biology printed three of these four papers. That, too, created something of a stir -- we received more than 1200 requests for reprints of one or more of these papers.
  
 +
Meanwhile, I had what mathematicians refer to as a "new toy" -- an empty form composed of empty set theory symbols, devised originally to account for the behaving-and-experiencing of individuals -- and I set about finding out what else it could do. I successfully applied it to a number of topics: small group phenomena; large social systems; biological theory. I even made some trespassing ventures into the physical sciences. Eventually, I began using it to focus on the topic of the foundations of logic and mathematics. And at that point (Fall 1971), I began developing another uncomfortable insight.
  
gentlemen, in fact through a rather underhanded process,      The language's very name gives away De Wahl's motivation.
+
C) The difficulty centered about a possible contradiction between the "content" of the theory and the notation in which I expressed this "content" -- a collision between central premises. To express this difficulty, I will need to state the setting ("universe of discourse") for the developing theory, its central tenet, and the contrary of this central tenet.
set themselves up as "reformers" of Esperanto, and in 1907  An early Esperantist, he also abandoned the language early
 
produced a version of Esperanto that appeared much more in on, apparently in protest against its non-traditional
 
tune with the linguistic norms of the world -- i.e., French structure. Whether he was ever a practicing Idist, I don't
 
and English.  For a while, they expected that their new     know, but suspect that from the time he left Esperanto he
 
language would replace classical Esperanto, but when this   followed a very different and more radical route.
 
did not happen -- a vast majority of ordinary speakers of  Occidental, built upon the basis of an earlier project,
 
the language refused to make the necessary changes in their Julius Lott's Mundolingue, can best be described, I think,
 
habits -- the "reformed Esperanto" split off and became an  as a late and very highly rationalized Romance dialect,
 
artificial language in its own right, Ido.     with noticeable German accretions. It was, in fact,
 
  While Ido shows a decided shift away from Esperanto's     nothing less than an attempt to codify West European
 
agglutinative word-formation system, back towards a more    thought processes in a constructed language.  Supporters of
 
Western European orientation, it does not represent a     Occidental justified this by asserting that civilization,
 
complete break with the linguistic ideas expressed first in being essentially European in nature, should be represented
 
VolapЃk and then more clearly in Esperanto.  The real     by an essentially European language.  In this way, the
 
difference between the two languages lay in the motivations language would help make the blessings of European thought
 
of the men who developed them. It is fairly apparent that  available to the rest of the world -- or help keep the rest
 
the problem of communication was of little interest to     of the world under the European thumb, as the more cynical
 
Prof. Louis Couturat, Louis de Beaugront, and Major Charles might tend to think.
 
Lemaire, the primary motors behind the development of Ido;    The nineteen thirties were, in some ways, the apogee of
 
they were more concerned with what they saw as Esperanto's  language construction; Occidental was merely the most
 
linguistic blemishes.  This is hardly surprising; the     successful and best known of a series of attempts to create
 
pleasant little conspiracy into which they entered for the  a new international language. The famous Danish linguist
 
purpose of replacing that Russian Jewish eye-doctor as the  Otto Jespersen, for instance, a long-time mainstay of the
 
guiding force in the international language movement shows  Ido movement, abandoned the language in favor of his own
 
in them an ethical blind spot that would not fit well with  project, Novial, which was largely a clone of Occidental.
 
a genuine concern for the communications needs of ordinary  But the best-known project of this period probably remains
 
people. Insofar as Ido did prosper -- and it prospered, in Basic English.
 
fact, much more than did any other "international language"  Basic English, invented in 1930 by the Englishman C. K.
 
except VolapЃk and Esperanto -- it did so, I believe,     Ogden, was an attempt to simplify English and make it more
 
despite the people behind it, not because of them.     suitable for international use.  Ogden claimed to have
 
  Ido, in fact, appears to have attained a maximum     reduced the entire vocabulary of the language to 850 words.
 
population of about 10,000 adherents by the early 1920's -- The problem was that his claims were spurious; the language
 
not all that far behind Esperanto in that period.  But as  included far more than 850 words (Ogden did not count
 
the ranks of Esperanto swelled through the twenties, to     "international" words such as alcohol in his 850 word
 
reach more than a hundred thousand by 1930, those of Ido    vocabulary, though they were considered part of the
 
appear to have declined.  It nevertheless remains extant    language; and he added several 1000-word technical
 
even today, though in what seems to be a basically moribund vocabularies).  Also, many people felt that Basic English
 
state. Ido, like Esperanto, has actually produced a small  was merely a "Trojan horse" for a more standard brand of
 
original literature -- though, strangely enough, so far as  the language.  The event proved this latter group correct;
 
I know the only genuine literary work ever published in     in the 1960's, the British Council, a government-sponsored
 
Ido, a collection of original poetry, was published by the  organization devoted to spreading English among the
 
Kultura Centro Esperantista in Switzerland.     heathens, bought the rights to Basic English, and since
 
  A recent newspaper article about another constructed     that time it has been used only as in introduction to stan-
 
language project referred to Esperantists as "verbal     dard (read: British) English.  Though several famous
 
hobbyists."  As a matter of fact, Ido did much to cull the  English-speakers supported the language from time to time,
 
verbal hobbyists out of the Esperanto movement very early  among them Winston Churchill and H. G. Wells (who, in The
 
on.  One result of this is that, for many years, the Esper- Shape of Things to Come, had the whole world speaking Basic
 
anto movement has been remarkably free of individuals who  English), no popular movement for this language was ever
 
see the language only as an interesting project, whose main generated.
 
purpose in existing is to improve itself by adopting their    Because of the growing number of language projects, there
 
recommended reforms.  Another result is that the Ido     was some confusion as to which one would be, or even should
 
movement ended up consisting mainly of just such people.    be, the ultimate international language.  This confusion
 
It is hardly surprising, then, that when yet another     had begun when VolapЃk, which had offered such high hopes
 
"improved" international language came along, it would skim to the world, fell apart and was replaced by Esperanto; and
 
off a far greater percentage of members from the Ido     it had become endemic when the Ido schism occurred in 1907.
 
movement than from the Esperanto movement.  This language  By the late twenties, with Esperanto and Ido and Occidental
 
was Occidental, proposed in 1922 by the Estonian Edgar De  and who knew how many other projects vying for attention,
 
Wahl.     it was understandable that the ordinary individual would
 
    throw up his hands in disgust.  An American Esperantist,
 
  
  24
+
# I can express the setting for this developing theory by means of a run-on phrase such as an-organism-as-a-whole-dealing-with-its-environment-at-a-date. When one defines a notational theory on a setting, one restricts discussion to the topics which fit onto that setting -- thereby preventing oneself from unknowingly getting off the subject.
 +
# I can express the central tenet of the developing theory in terms of the construct of an organism making a distinction or discrimination -- expressible by a sentence such as "This IS NOT that!" In a world of ceaseless change ("at-a-date"), this sentence appears valid in general.
 +
# To express the contrary of this tenet requires the construct of our organism not-making a distinction, expressible by a sentence such as "This IS that!" In a world of change, this sentence appears never valid. Indeed, by the common definition of the term mistake (Old Norse, "to take wrongly"), whenever an organism non-verbally TAKES some non-verbal this as if it WERE some other non-verbal that, he makes a mistake.
  
 +
Let me paraphrase these simple-sounding phrases into more pretentious logical terminology: Where, in dealing with his environment, an organism non-verbally TREATS this as if it were that, in effect he posits the identity of this and that -- he errs fundamentally; where he non-verbally distinguishes between them, he posits their non-identity -- in that respect, he does not err.
  
Mrs. Alice Vanderbilt Morris -- of the New York
+
Then the central postulate of the developing theory requires that, on this setting, we disallow the construct of identity (or the binary relation of identical with) in any guise of form, explicit or tacit. In the developing frame of reference, the construct of identical with has no usage except to designate situations in which somebody makes a mistake. In discrediting the construct of identity, I explicitly extend the designated realm of error to include the case in which our organism posits the identity of this with this (or of A with itself). The construct of self-identity conceals the claim that we KNOW what we have perceived and designated as A -- knowledge we do not and cannot have.
Vanderbilts, I believe -- funded the establishment of a new  Although Interlingua is not the only postwar entry into
 
organization to do research into the problem and find some  the international language competition, it is the only one
 
sort of acceptable solution, for instance a compromise     to receive any publicity and to generate a supporting
 
between the different language projects.  The organization  movement of any size.  And it is a product of the year
 
was called the International Auxiliary Language     1950.  It appears that, to a great extent, the production
 
Association, or IALA for short.     of such languages peaked in the 1930's, and went largely
 
  IALA, located in England, though it did valuable research out of style after the Second World War.  Why?
 
work, had little luck in convincing anyone to compromise.    I would tend to blame the apparent "success" of English
 
The Romance-based "naturalistic" languages such as     for this.  The War gave French, already in decline, a
 
Occidental and Novial would not be ready to yield in the    deathblow, and by about 1950 it was apparent that English
 
direction of "schematic" Esperanto; and Esperantists at     was destined to become the international language, by
 
that time were not yet ready to forgive the Idists for the  default. So what need for Esperanto, Interlingua, Ido, and
 
dirty work at the 1907 crossroads.  In any case, the     other entries into the competition? The outcome was
 
Esperantists, who even then made up between 80 and 95% of   already decided.  The other postwar projects -- the
 
the entire International Language movement, felt that they  Romanids, Neos, Intals, Loglans, etc. -- were doomed to
 
had no need to compromise.  Furthermore, by the mid     obscurity. Esperanto survived this period, and even
 
thirties they had other and more pressing problems to at-  prospered to some degree, not because people saw it as the
 
tract their attention -- proscriptions in Germany and the   coming world language (though there were those who never
 
USSR, for instance.     lost this hope) but because (a) it had already developed an
 
  Eventually, IALA, after moving to the United States at    independent infrastructure that could keep it going even
 
the outbreak of war, came under the directorship of Dr.     through the most difficult periods -- as Soviet
 
Alexander Gode, and set out to create its own language,     Esperantists proved during the period from 1937 to 1956 --
 
which was published in 1950 and given the name Interlingua. and (b) it had already developed other reasons for
 
  Interlingua is even more quintessentially Romance that    existence besides as a solution to the world language prob-
 
Occidental, and in its turn attracted away many of the     lem.
 
remaining adherents of Occidental, which tried to stave off  But the success of English has always been more apparent
 
the inevitable by renaming itself "Interlingue."  But again than real. The growth of English in the intervening period
 
its creator really had no interest in resolving com-     carried the language from 11% of the world's population to
 
munications problems; he himself stated that his real     about 8.5% -- not the most inspiring rate of growth.  Where
 
purpose was to provide the world with a "standard average  English has failed, of course, we have tended to blame
 
European" vocabulary, culled from the Romance languages.    local conditions for this, or to assume that this failure
 
Interlingua made modest inroads in the American press's     is non-representative of the world as a whole -- as when,
 
coverage of attempts to solve the language problem through  for instance, after a hundred years of concentrated English
 
the fifties and early sixties, and there exists a small     teaching has not produced a nation of English-speakers in
 
Interlingua movement, mainly in Europe, even today; but the Japan, we insist that "improved teaching methods" would no
 
language never had the widespread support that Esperanto    doubt resolve this problem, or when columnist Neal Peirce,
 
developed even in its earliest years.  Its one notable     supporting California's English-only initiative, insists
 
success was in giving the coup de grace to Occidental,     that we tend to retreat from English in this country "while
 
whose last magazine bit the dust in 1985.     the rest of the world stampedes to English."
 
  To recap the situations of these various languages today:  Forty five years after the end of World War II it is, I
 
  1) VolapЃk is a dead issue and has been for the better    think, apparent to anyone that if English has not failed as
 
part of a century.  It is not and has not ever been     THE international language, it has certainly come nowhere
 
represented by any kind of corpus of literature.     near fulfilling all those promises that were made for it at
 
  2) Esperanto continues to grow, and today boasts at least that time. Nor is it likely to do so in the foreseeable
 
two million speakers, perhaps more, of whom some one     future, even granting continued U.S. military and economic
 
hundred thousand actively use the language and participate  primacy in the world -- a very unlikely possibility.
 
in the movement to promote the language.  Some 150 to 200    Which means that the whole question of the international
 
periodicals appear regularly in the language, not counting  language is open again.  It means that the Esperanto
 
local club bulletins.  It has a large and growing body of  movement, barring the sort of deliberate repression we've
 
literature, both original and translated.     seen from time to time in Russia and China and Rumania and
 
  3) Ido retains a small movement and several periodicals  Germany and elsewhere, will prosper anew.  Indeed, it has
 
to link that movement, though none of them seem to appear  been doing so since the mid-seventies.
 
more often than quarterly.  It has a very small body of       And it means that, in the field of artificial languages,
 
original and translated literature.     Esperanto may begin to see some aspiring competitors spring
 
  4) Occidental is dead.     up. In fact, those competitors are already here.  In 1972,
 
  5) Basic English as a separate language is dead.     an Englishman, Leslie Jones, published his Eurolengo, a ba-
 
  6) Interlingua has a small relict supporting movement,    sically Romance language based on English and Spanish. A
 
mainly in Europe.  It has few if any periodicals, and no    young French teacher made the pages of the Guardian in
 
body of original literature to speak of.     Britain (favorably) with his Uropi. Two summers ago,
 
  
  25
+
To take the rejection of identity as one's central postulate does not lead to paralysis or aphasia. Instead, it strips away the pretense to delusional "knowledge," leaving us ready to act on our assumptions.
  
 +
However, this central tenet MIGHT contradict the modern logical axiom of identity, which states, "For all x that belong to the delimited domain D, x is identical with x." Thus, in the mathematical theory of sets, one cannot dispense with the construct of identity: for, by postulate, every set qualifies as identical with itself.
  
several Esperanto clubs in this country received letters    probably be able to get a book out the state library, but
+
Hence, I feared, there might exist or arise a contradiction between what my theory SAYS and the notation in which it says it. At this point, I can prove that such a contradiction does arise; then, however, I could only sense it as possible and feel sick to the stomach over it.
from a young man developing a project he called Linguos.    nowhere else will any information be available.
 
Loglan, a product of the late fifties which made the pages    Esperanto remains the only truly viable artificial
 
of Scientific American in June, 1960, has recently been     international language: easy to learn, relatively neutral,
 
revived in two different forms. And just the other day the with a wide base of cultural and practical services for the
 
ELNA Central Office received a booklet, mostly in German,  user to call on around the world.  Of all the artificial
 
about a new Romance-based project called Unitario.     languages extant today, only Esperanto is, not the result
 
  None of these projects has, at least in this country,     of an attempt to create a language, but the result of an
 
received the sort of publicity that panicked Esperantists  attempt to solve a problem.
 
in the early fifties when Interlingua appeared. A recent    And only Esperanto lives.
 
article on Lojban (a schismatic variant of Loglan) that was
 
picked up by the wire services and published in many __________________________________
 
newspapers around the country, appears to have been less
 
than enthusiastic about the language; with the exception of  Bob responds (actually not very much):  Funny, I thought
 
Uropi, none of the others listed above have even been     Don Oldenburg's article was quite favorable towards the
 
mentioned in the American press.     language (and so did he), though I'll admit that the
 
  But I think that we will hear more of them -- and others  headlines used in some newspapers could be taken as
 
like them -- in the future.  And much of what we hear, as  satirical. Certainly the amount of print space given the
 
was the case with Ido and Occidental and Interlingua, will  language was quite significant.  But a good news story
 
not be why they are ideal solutions to the problem of     reports facts rather than conveys enthusiasm, so I can
 
communication between different peoples, but why they are  understand Don not finding much enthusiasm therein.
 
superior to Esperanto.
 
  Are they superior to Esperanto?  Probably so, at least on  "In Esperanto's own terms -- facility of learning,
 
their own terms.  Ido was superior to Esperanto in its     cultural and political neutrality -- none of these
 
adherence to West European linguistic norms.  Occidental    languages was in any way superior to Esperanto, nor even
 
was superior to Esperanto in its similarity to other     equal to it." -  This invites all kinds of disagreement.
 
Western languages.  Interlingua was certainly superior to  Facility of learning is of course an open question. Esper-
 
Esperanto as a quintessential Romance language. And if     anto probably has better teaching materials at the moment
 
what you wanted was a watered-down form of English, Basic  because of 100 years to develop them; probably many of the
 
English certainly filled the bill better than Esperanto.    other languages proposed would be equally easy to learn.
 
  In Esperanto's own terms -- facility of learning,     As to cultural neutrality, Don admits early on that
 
cultural and political neutrality -- none of these     Esperanto derives its lexical materials from European lan-
 
languages was in any way superior to Esperanto, nor even    guages.  Even if Sapir-Whorf is true, it is likely that a
 
equal to it. The same can be said, I think, about recent  language's word-stock has far more overt ties to culture
 
and future projects.     than does grammar. Don has (in letters to us) written
 
  The mentioned projects fall basically into two     about the ideology held by Esperantists - a language with
 
categories, from what I have seen of them, Eurolengo,     an ideology is the antithesis of politically neutrality.
 
Uropi, Linguos and Unitario appear to be fundamentally what The goal of being a world language is itself inherently po-
 
we may call Euroclones, like Occidental and Interlingua.    litical; some cultures will view such a concept as a
 
The designers of these languages, apparently unfamiliar     threat.  Lojban's goals as a whole are basically non-
 
with the work of De Wahl, Jespersen and Gode, are making    political; international language aspects are a side-
 
the same mistakes again -- assuming that the world will     benefit rather than a primary goal.
 
best be served, and will let itself be served, by an       (In one letter to Dr. Brown, Don actually criticizes us
 
artificial language with nothing to recommend it but its    for not having an underlying ethic other than ensuring
 
Europeanness.  They don't realize that if this is what the  clear communication - a purely linguistic goal.  Apparently
 
world wants, it is more likely to learn Spanish.     Don doesn't realize that a non-linguistic ethic is
 
  Loglan and its offshoot Lojban fall into quite a     inherently a cultural bias. If Esperanto has such an
 
different category.  Of the mentioned languages, they have  underlying ethic, it is false to claim that it is cul-
 
been getting the most publicity.  But it should be noted    turally neutral without demonstrating that the ethic is
 
that no language as a priori in its origins as Loglan has  universally accepted in all cultures - an unlikely
 
ever succeeded in generating a body of speakers.  To add to prospect.)
 
Loglan's difficulties, it was originally created as a means
 
of testing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (now largely       "Of all the artificial languages extant today, only
 
discredited), and for this reason its author claims to have Esperanto is, not the result of an attempt to create a
 
made it as far from ordinary linguistic patterns as he     language, but the result of an attempt to solve a problem."
 
could. This may be a fine way of establishing an experi-  - Don says this right after saying that Lojban was designed
 
ment, but for purposes of communication it's a non-starter. to test the 'untestable' Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which was
 
Loglan will most likely go the way of Barnett's Suma; a few 'discredited' primarily because it was untestable (which is
 
years from now, if you want to learn about it, you will     obviously bad science).  Testing an untestable hypothesis
 
    as important as Sapir-Whorf sounds like an attempt to solve
 
  
  26
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Eventually (Christmas 1971) I concluded that, so long as I continued using the mathematical theory of sets, I left myself no way of avoiding or otherwise handling that possible contradiction. So I resolved to abandon set theory, and all other formalized or discursive languages from the Western Indo-European (WIE) tradition, and to devise my own.
  
 +
To shorten an already-lengthy story, in the spring of 1972, I made a fundamental discovery. It concerns the assumptions encoded, within WIE languages such as English or set theory, in the grammatical distinction between noun and verb. Briefly, we tell the nouns from the verbs by regarding any noun as identical with itself, and regarding no verb as identical with itself. By the same token, we regard that which we designate by a noun as also self-identical (really existing, persisting, static-and-unchanging), and that which we designate by a verb as also not-self-identical (somehow transient). In the WIE pattern, one obtains a "complete sentence" or a "well-formed formula" by placing at least one noun or noun-phrase next to at least one verb or verb-phrase. Thus, regardless of our intentions, regardless of whether we noticed or not, every time we form a complete sentence in a WIE discursive language or a well-formed formula from a notational language, we posit at least one static-and-unchanging "thing" which enters into more or less transient "relations." In other words, by utilizing the grammar of the WIE languages, we ACT as if, independent of any observer, that which exists independent of any observer has a structure identical with that of the grammar of the WIE languages.
  
a problem to me.  So is developing a speakable language     persist in relying on them will, I predict, lead us into
+
This discovery opened the way toward the development of the desired non-WIE formalized language. I found a way to disallow the hidden assumption I had disclosed, and by means of a small number of explicit logical steps, to derive a grammar from by chosen premises.
with an unambiguous syntax, as well as developing an a     species suicide and extinction.
 
priori language that removes constraints on thought rather
 
than imposing them (as all other attempts I know of tried).  I DECLARE the possibility of intentionally revising our
 
There are other problems in the world relevant to language  lived assumptions. We can re-build these patterns we live
 
besides the one Esperanto is associated with.     by so that we live not from the practice of defending our
 
    presumed "absolute certainties" (or from what I call self-
 
  "And only Esperanto lives." - A nice slogan, but     defending), but rather, from the practice of testing our
 
questionable at best.  Don seems to base this on the     own guesses (which I call self-correcting).
 
existence of an original literature. (By most other       In other words, I declare that we humans now have it
 
standards of 'living' Don mentions in his article, at least within our grasp to produce a fundamental, principled,
 
Interlingua would be considered 'alive', if sick-a-bed.)    conscious, and deliberate revision of the structure of
 
Michael Helsem seems to be on the road to matching the     human social transacting.  For example, we can build up
 
entire original literary production of Ido and VolapЃk     social patterns with which to replace our non-viable social
 
before Lojban has a single fluent speaker, and I know of at institutions: the self-defeating or self-eliminating
 
least two or three others that have more than contemplated  aspects of our dealings with ourselves, and the self-
 
literary efforts in Lojban, but either want to acquire more defending patterns in what we now call "nuclear family,"
 
skill before trying or (in at least one case) are waiting  "friendship," "social group," "corporation," "local
 
for people who can read the language without translating it government," and "nation-state."  We can come to recognize
 
first.     our patterned dealings with the-human-species-as-a-whole.
 
  ______________________________________     And, having built up these newer, potentially viable
 
    patterns, we have it within our grasp to replace the older,
 
    non-viable patterns with the newer ones.
 
      Two Essays by Andy Hilgartner
 
      I PROMISE to catalyze this revision of the fundamental
 
[Andy is interested in anybody's comments on these papers,  lived assumptions of the humans species so that, by the
 
which are tangential to Lojban, but are definitely tied to year 2007, we have put the new patterns into use planet-
 
  logic and language.  You can also write to him for more  wide.
 
information; indicate whether you have any familiarity with
 
the theory called 'General Semantics'. We also have copies  And I REQUEST your direct and immediate participation in
 
of a couple of his papers, including one inspired by his  this project.
 
contact with Lojban, available at the special-order price
 
  of 15c/page. Andy's address is: 254 Kensington Place,   C. A. Hilgartner, MD
 
    Marion OH 43302, and his phone is (614) 389-4595.]
 
  
    STATEMENT OF INTENT Course of Development of a Theory
+
This too constituted a new development. Humans had never before had a DERIVED grammar to play with, only inherited, traditional ones; although the works of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf predict or foreshadow this development.
  
  I ASSERT that the patterns by which we and our ancestors    The theoretical system developed by our research group
+
About then I started collaborating with the linguist Ronald V. Harrington of the University of Rochester. On this derived grammar we developed a "Let's keep track of what we say" language, analogous to set theory but fundamentally different in structure. As one way it differs from set theory and other traditional WIE notational languages, the developing notation systematically takes into account the observer. In this notation, one finds it impossible to make a statement except from the point of view of "an-observer-observing-the-observed."
for the past several thousand years have lived have now     demonstrably and verifiably opens up a new domain of human
 
failed us.     knowledge. As of this date, it amounts to approximately 50
 
  In my view, these patterns center on the lived assumption person-years of innovative work. In the following four
 
that "I already know how things REALLY ARE" -- the perhaps  pages, let me tell you something about the background, the
 
unspoken, even unrecognized, pretense to "absolute     increasing rigor, and the further promise of this inquiry.
 
certainty," with a consequent unwillingness to re-examine    Since 1963, the work has gone through at least three
 
and revise "what I thought I knew." From that lived     distinct developmental stages:
 
assumption follows a certain quarrelsomeness:  If I already  A)  My earliest paper on this topic (1963) presents a
 
know "how things really are," and you express a view which  theory of human behavior, stated in ordinary scientific
 
differs from mine, I will find your PROVOCATIVE BEHAVIOR a  English, but based on known premises which no one else had
 
THREAT to my AUTHORITY. And if I cannot persuade,     successfully used in this way.  In a paper presented before
 
manipulate or coerce you to revise what you say so it     the International Conference on General Semantics in 1965,
 
matches what I ALREADY KNOW, I may take steps to defend my  I extended this theory of human behavior into the arena of
 
own TRUTHS by suppressing your mistaken OPINIONS -- or may  large social institutions. Also, I made logical claims for
 
even set out to suppress YOU.  And the means of suppressing the doctrine:  self-consistency, and parsimony.  When I
 
YOU range from verbal putdowns, to fisticuffs, to murder,  gave the paper, I found myself applauded rather than shot
 
war and genocide.     down.
 
  Today, we know how to use cosmic forces (such as nuclear    But, while still at that conference, I came to an
 
fission and fusion -- A-bombs and H-bombs) to defend our    uncomfortable insight:  I recognized that at that time, no
 
"absolute certainties." Under these conditions, I assert,  one had yet specified the relations between logical
 
those lived assumptions which lead us to pretend to     assumptions and grammar for even one discursive language.
 
"absolute certainty" have outlived their usefulness.  To    That means that any discursive language remains in the role
 
  
  27
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Subsequently, we extended the notation, and
  
 +
# translated the findings of the set theory calculus of human behaving-and-experiencing into the new notation, obtaining a general theory of social systems;
 +
# developed a "numbering theory," a "personal geometry", and a "notational physics with physicists in it";
 +
# provided evidence suggesting that we humans can now encompass the physical, biological and human psycho-social sciences within a single frame of reference, based on a single set of postulates. This possibility seems to me to exceed the dreams of the seekers after a unified field theory in physics.
  
of "a language of unknown structure."  Further, I rec-       ii)  I can express the central tenet of the developing
+
At the very least, the new frame of reference gives us an unfamiliar standpoint from which to view, and re-think, human concerns. That alone warrants studying it with care.
ognized that one cannot know a doctrine better than one     theory in terms of the construct of an organism making a
 
knows the language in which one states the doctrine.     distinction or discrimination -- expressible by a sentence
 
  Therefore, my theory lacked rigor -- as long as I left it such as "This IS NOT that!" In a world of ceaseless change
 
stated only in a discursive language such as English, I     ("at-a-date"), this sentence appears valid in general.
 
could not back up logical claims made for it.       iii)  To express the contrary of this tenet requires the
 
  I left that conference determined to perform a logical    construct of our organism not-making a distinction,
 
analysis of my doctrine, and to state it as an axiomatic    expressible by a sentence such as "This IS that!"  In a
 
system in a mathematical language of known structure.  I    world of change, this sentence appears never valid.
 
intended to satisfy myself as to whether one could in fact  Indeed, by the common definition of the term mistake (Old
 
back up the logical claims I had made for it.     Norse, "to take wrongly"), whenever an organism non-
 
  B)  Working with John F. Randolph, then Fayerweather     verbally TAKES some non-verbal this as if it WERE some
 
Professor of Mathematics at the University of Rochester, I  other non-verbal that, he makes a mistake.
 
succeeded in doing the required logical analysis.  We wrote  Let me paraphrase these simple-sounding phrases into more
 
four long papers which utilized an algebraic set theory     pretentious logical terminology:  Where, in dealing with
 
notation -- the very paradigm of "a mathematical language  his environment, an organism non-verbally TREATS this as if
 
of known structure" -- to put the doctrine into the form of it were that, in effect he posits the identity of this and
 
an axiomatic system.     that -- he errs fundamentally; where he non-verbally
 
  At that point, we had something really new:  a logically  distinguishes between them, he posits their non-identity --
 
rigorous and empirically testable theory which     in that respect, he does not err.
 
comprehensively accounts for how a human deals with       Then the central postulate of the developing theory
 
himself, with his non-living environment, with other humans requires that, on this setting, we disallow the construct
 
and (in principle) with other species     of identity (or the binary relation of identical with) in
 
  To call the theory comprehensive means that one can use  any guise of form, explicit or tacit.  In the developing
 
it to study "happenings" on any level of interest, from     frame of reference, the construct of identical with has no
 
that of molecular structure -- e.g. the structure of heme  usage except to designate situations in which somebody
 
molecules with various possible side chains, only a few of  makes a mistake.  In discrediting the construct of
 
which have a shape that will allow the ring to combine with identity, I explicitly extend the designated realm of error
 
divalent iron so as to form the active center of a     to include the case in which our organism posits the
 
hemoglobin molecule -- up to that of how the human species  identity of this with this (or of A with itself). The
 
as a whole gains its living in the biosphere.     construct of self-identity conceals the claim that we KNOW
 
  In 1969, the Journal of Theoretical Biology printed three what we have perceived and designated as A -- knowledge we
 
of these four papers.  That, too, created something of a    do not and cannot have.
 
stir -- we received more than 1200 requests for reprints of  To take the rejection of identity as one's central
 
one or more of these papers.     postulate does not lead to paralysis or aphasia.  Instead,
 
  Meanwhile, I had what mathematicians refer to as a "new  it strips away the pretense to delusional "knowledge,"
 
toy" -- an empty form composed of empty set theory symbols, leaving us ready to act on our assumptions.
 
devised originally to account for the behaving-and-       However, this central tenet MIGHT contradict the modern
 
experiencing of individuals -- and I set about finding out  logical axiom of identity, which states, "For all x that
 
what else it could do. I successfully applied it to a     belong to the delimited domain D, x is identical with x."
 
number of topics:  small group phenomena; large social sys- Thus, in the mathematical theory of sets, one cannot
 
tems; biological theory. I even made some trespassing     dispense with the construct of identity:  for, by postu-
 
ventures into the physical sciences.  Eventually, I began  late, every set qualifies as identical with itself.
 
using it to focus on the topic of the foundations of logic    Hence, I feared, there might exist or arise a
 
and mathematics.  And at that point (Fall 1971), I began    contradiction between what my theory SAYS and the notation
 
developing another uncomfortable insight.     in which it says it.  At this point, I can prove that such
 
  C)  The difficulty centered about a possible     a contradiction does arise; then, however, I could only
 
contradiction between the "content" of the theory and the  sense it as possible and feel sick to the stomach over it.
 
notation in which I expressed this "content" -- a collision  Eventually (Christmas 1971) I concluded that, so long as
 
between central premises.  To express this difficulty, I    I continued using the mathematical theory of sets, I left
 
will need to state the setting ("universe of discourse")    myself no way of avoiding or otherwise handling that
 
for the developing theory, its central tenet, and the     possible contradiction.  So I resolved to abandon set
 
contrary of this central tenet.     theory, and all other formalized or discursive languages
 
  i)  I can express the setting for this developing theory  from the Western Indo-European (WIE) tradition, and to
 
by means of a run-on phrase such as an-organism-as-a-whole- devise my own.
 
dealing-with-its-environment-at-a-date.   When one defines    To shorten an already-lengthy story, in the spring of
 
a notational theory on a setting, one restricts discussion  1972, I made a fundamental discovery.  It concerns the
 
to the topics which fit onto that setting -- thereby     assumptions encoded, within WIE languages such as English
 
preventing oneself from unknowingly getting off the     or set theory, in the grammatical distinction between noun
 
subject.     and verb.  Briefly, we tell the nouns from the verbs by re-
 
  
  28
+
== Letters, Comments, and Responses ==
  
 +
from Ralph Dumain
 +
<br />on Sapir-Whorf Discussions at LogFest 89, and other topics
  
garding any noun as identical with itself, and regarding no
+
I don't recall having taken detailed notes at last year's Logfest, hence I was worried at not being able to recollect the discussion sufficiently to be able to write up my own version of the Sapir-Whorf debate. I was hoping that the other participants' reports in the newsletter would either suffice or help to jog my memory. Of course, these reports were published last year, so my memory now requires drastic jogging for me to be able to remember the discussion. At the moment my memory is extremely vague, so forgive factual errors on my part.
verb as identical with itself. By the same token, we       I don't recall having taken detailed notes at last year's
 
regard that which we designate by a noun as also self-     Logfest, hence I was worried at not being able to recollect
 
identical (really existing, persisting, static-and-     the discussion sufficiently to be able to write up my own
 
unchanging), and that which we designate by a verb as also  version of the Sapir-Whorf debate. I was hoping that the
 
not-self-identical (somehow transient). In the WIE pat-    other participants' reports in the newsletter would either
 
tern, one obtains a "complete sentence" or a "well-formed  suffice or help to jog my memory. Of course, these reports
 
formula" by placing at least one noun or noun-phrase next  were published last year, so my memory now requires drastic
 
to at least one verb or verb-phrase.  Thus, regardless of  jogging for me to be able to remember the discussion. At
 
our intentions, regardless of whether we noticed or not,    the moment my memory is extremely vague, so forgive factual
 
every time we form a complete sentence in a WIE discursive  errors on my part.
 
language or a well-formed formula from a notational       I can only remember that I saw the light bulb go off in
 
language, we posit at least one static-and-unchanging     at least one person's head -- Athelstan's perhaps --
 
"thing" which enters into more or less transient     meaning that I convinced one or more of you that you have
 
"relations."  In other words, by utilizing the grammar of  to refine your conception of exactly what "Whorfian
 
the WIE languages, we ACT as if, independent of any     effects" you anticipate finding and how to construct an
 
observer, that which exists independent of any observer has adequately defined and controlled test.  I was disappointed
 
a structure identical with that of the grammar of the WIE  by pc, however, who stuck fast to his ill-informed notion
 
languages.     that metaphysical bias resides in the grammatical
 
  This discovery opened the way toward the development of  categories, and that one should commence a Sapir-Whorf
 
the desired non-WIE formalized language.  I found a way to  experiment based on that assumption.  I believe I stressed
 
disallow the hidden assumption I had disclosed, and by     then, and remind you now, that meaningful experiments re-
 
means of a small number of explicit logical steps, to     quire that the variables be controlled.  Not only that, one
 
derive a grammar from by chosen premises.     must know what the variables are.  In comparing Lojban to
 
  This too constituted a new development.  Humans had never any natural language, there are not only several variables
 
before had a DERIVED grammar to play with, only inherited,  involved, but the significance of those variables and their
 
traditional ones; although the works of Edward Sapir and    relation to hidden variables may be problematic.  Suppose
 
Benjamin Lee Whorf predict or foreshadow this development.  it turns out, for example, that languages vary greatly in a
 
  About then I started collaborating with the linguist     given set of surface-level grammatical features but prove
 
Ronald V. Harrington of the University of Rochester.  On    not to have any significant difference at the deep-
 
this derived grammar we developed a "Let's keep track of    structural level.  In that case, the surface differences
 
what we say" language, analogous to set theory but     would be deceptive and should not even be compared one-to-
 
fundamentally different in structure.  As one way it     one, but rather the structures of the entire grammatical
 
differs from set theory and other traditional WIE nota-     systems and their semantic interpretations would have to be
 
tional languages, the developing notation systematically    investigated, understood, and compared.  The level at which
 
takes into account the observer.  In this notation, one     pc is thinking is but a shallow caricature of scientific
 
finds it impossible to make a statement except from the     method.
 
point of view of "an-observer-observing-the-observed."       Aside from reconstructing my own version of last year's
 
  Subsequently, we extended the notation, and     discussion, which I could still attempt to do with the
 
  i)  translated the findings of the set theory calculus of prompting of others, I have nothing further to contribute
 
human behaving-and-experiencing into the new notation,     on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis at this point.  It is your
 
obtaining a general theory of social systems;     move now, and if someone in the group can refine the Loj-
 
  ii)  developed a "numbering theory," a "personal     banist conception of Sapir-Whorf and Lojban's relevance to
 
geometry", and a "notational physics with physicists in     it, then I am open to further discussion.
 
it";       I don't think you will get very far based upon your
 
  iii) provided evidence suggesting that we humans can now current thinking about Sapir-Whorf. Rather than worrying
 
encompass the physical, biological and human psycho-social  yourself about metaphysical bias and the ways different
 
sciences within a single frame of reference, based on a     languages supposedly limit what can be thought, it would be
 
single set of postulates.  This possibility seems to me to  better simply to focus on what a more precise language can
 
exceed the dreams of the seekers after a unified field     do. As with formal logic and mathematics, or Arabic
 
theory in physics.     numerals as compared to Roman numerals, it is possible to
 
  At the very least, the new frame of reference gives us an extend one's thinking beyond what one can normally do
 
unfamiliar standpoint from which to view, and re-think,     otherwise. This is not exactly Sapir-Whorf, but it is
 
human concerns. That alone warrants studying it with care. Lojban's only convincing selling point.  The creation of a
 
    cognitive community that demands precise expression and
 
    provides a language for it is intriguing even if it does
 
    Letters, Comments, and Responses     not attract research dollars.  Precision and explicitness
 
    in communication, assuming that Lojban is workable in
 
    from Ralph Dumain     everyday social interaction, can further the expression of
 
on Sapir-Whorf Discussions at LogFest 89, and other topics  and maybe even the formulation of thoughts, and remove sig-
 
  
  29
+
I can only remember that I saw the light bulb go off in at least one person's head -- Athelstan's perhaps -- meaning that I convinced one or more of you that you have to refine your conception of exactly what "Whorfian effects" you anticipate finding and how to construct an adequately defined and controlled test. I was disappointed by pc, however, who stuck fast to his ill-informed notion that metaphysical bias resides in the grammatical categories, and that one should commence a Sapir-Whorf experiment based on that assumption. I believe I stressed then, and remind you now, that meaningful experiments require that the variables be controlled. Not only that, one must know what the variables are. In comparing Lojban to any natural language, there are not only several variables involved, but the significance of those variables and their relation to hidden variables may be problematic. Suppose it turns out, for example, that languages vary greatly in a given set of surface-level grammatical features but prove not to have any significant difference at the deep-structural level. In that case, the surface differences would be deceptive and should not even be compared one-to-one, but rather the structures of the entire grammatical systems and their semantic interpretations would have to be investigated, understood, and compared. The level at which pc is thinking is but a shallow caricature of scientific method.
  
 +
Aside from reconstructing my own version of last year's discussion, which I could still attempt to do with the prompting of others, I have nothing further to contribute on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis at this point. It is your move now, and if someone in the group can refine the Lojbanist conception of Sapir-Whorf and Lojban's relevance to it, then I am open to further discussion.
  
nificant interpretive ambiguities and other difficulties on mandatory features of the language. Together with a basic
+
I don't think you will get very far based upon your current thinking about Sapir-Whorf. Rather than worrying yourself about metaphysical bias and the ways different languages supposedly limit what can be thought, it would be better simply to focus on what a more precise language can do. As with formal logic and mathematics, or Arabic numerals as compared to Roman numerals, it is possible to extend one's thinking beyond what one can normally do otherwise. This is not exactly Sapir-Whorf, but it is Lojban's only convincing selling point. The creation of a cognitive community that demands precise expression and provides a language for it is intriguing even if it does not attract research dollars. Precision and explicitness in communication, assuming that Lojban is workable in everyday social interaction, can further the expression of and maybe even the formulation of thoughts, and remove significant interpretive ambiguities and other difficulties on the part of the hearer. I say significant, because a lot of expressions that would confound a computer are easily interpreted without mistakes by humans. You once mentioned the issue of forcing assumptions on the listener. In those cases where such "assumptions" actually imply misinterpretation of meaning or intent, they could be removed by more exact expression. It should be understood, though, that those "assumptions" are not metaphysical except when the utterance itself involves ideological issues, in which case the conceptual bias is located in the terminology used in the utterance.
the part of the hearer. I say significant, because a lot   lexicon and a set of examples illustrating the language in
 
of expressions that would confound a computer are easily   use (including syntactic features not explicitly described
 
interpreted without mistakes by humans. You once mentioned elsewhere), the "16 rules" formed the Fundamento.  Of
 
the issue of forcing assumptions on the listener. In those course, Esperanto like all other languages contains
 
cases where such "assumptions" actually imply     thousands of syntactic rules, some of which are captured in
 
misinterpretation of meaning or intent, they could be     prescriptive grammars, and many more of which the speakers
 
removed by more exact expression. It should be understood, are unconscious.  Esperanto is learned as other languages
 
though, that those "assumptions" are not metaphysical     are learned, without complete formal grammars at hand, and
 
except when the utterance itself involves ideological     non-Europeans do not have to learn an Indo-European
 
issues, in which case the conceptual bias is located in the language before they learn Esperanto, any more than they
 
terminology used in the utterance.     would have to learn French before they could learn English.
 
  Thanks for finally publishing my bibliography, after     Also, Esperanto can borrow words from any language, not
 
stalling for a year using the lamest excuses.  The intent  just European ones.
 
and viewpoint of my annotated bibliography were clearly       On the alleged non-competition between Esperanto and
 
stated, hence there never was a question of misleading the  Lojban.  They are non-competitive if Lojbanists refrain
 
reader. Both the references and my comments help to com-  from pushing Lojban as an international language, since the
 
municate to the reader just how many factors and     Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is of no concern to Esperanto.
 
subdisciplines are involved in dealing with the issue of    However, the minute someone makes a claim for a new inter-
 
the relationship between language and thought. Now that    national language, several issues arise.  Anyone coming
 
the readers know the different things that need to be     forth with a new language who looks like a crackpot
 
considered, they can take it from there.  Since I lack the  automatically discredits the international language
 
time now to take care of it, it would help you to find a    movement in the eyes of the public, hence Esperantists have
 
linguist who could find up-to-date information on advances  a stake in the matter.  In the past, this means that
 
in linguistic theory since the early 1970s that bear upon  somebody hides in their attic for 15 years creating a
 
clarification of the relation of language to cognition.     language, self-publishes a little book describing his new
 
  The closest I have come to dealing with linguistics in a  language, and announces in a press conference that he has
 
long time was attending a linguistics conference here in    just created the now world language.  It is one thing to
 
December.  I queried a couple of friends about the current  have a hobby, it is another to make bombastic proclamations
 
state of linguistic theory, who were rather cynical.  They  that one's creation (whether of a language, a new monetary
 
did not feel, however, that any given school of thought was system, or any utopian scheme) will change the world when
 
being discriminated against in terms of research funding;  the lack of social realism is so obvious to all.  Those
 
the politics is more personal than doctrinal.  The book     kind of people are obvious cranks, and hence they
 
exhibit was overwhelming; there is more going on than     compromise Esperanto whenever they claim that they have
 
anyone can assimilate -- books on syntax, discourse analy-  concocted a new world language, as if the adoption of an
 
sis, you name it -- it's hard to get a grip on. I saw the  international language were some kind of magic.  Hence
 
new book that Mouton has published on interlinguistics     Esperantists have justifiably reacted negatively.
 
(i.e. international planned languages like Esperanto), but    Now, I do not claim that Lojban/Lojban is guilty of this
 
it was too expensive to buy even at a discount. There were extreme behavior.  The Washington Post article did not cast
 
6 books in a series on the DLT project, the machine     Lojban in such a light.  You have not yet claimed Lojban to
 
translation system that uses Esperanto as the interlan-     be the future international language.  But you have already
 
guage. With two other books I know about, that makes 8     resorted to dubious propaganda in order to make yourself
 
books in all.  One of those books includes articles about  look good and Esperanto bad.
 
other machine translation projects, including one that uses  You suggest that, as Lojban is a superior engineering
 
the purportedly logical Indian language Aymara as its     effort than Esperanto, it can quickly catch up even though
 
interlanguage!     Esperanto has a century-long head start.  The creators of
 
  A few comments on articles in your recent newsletters.    Ido also thought they were superior language engineers, and
 
The lengthy article that compares Lojban to Esperanto     where are they today?  There are social, political and
 
struck me as much to-do about nothing, as no Esperantist    economic reasons why no planned language, Esperanto or
 
today believes that his language only has 16 rules.  That  otherwise, has been universally adopted, and those
 
was used at one time as a propaganda device by careless     obstacles cannot be surmounted by the most able of
 
people, but I think people are more thoughtful nowadays, at engineers. Here the narrow, blinkered mentality of the
 
least on that point.  Anyway, it is necessary to understand computer specialist is so painfully evident.
 
the historical origin of the "16 rules."  They are not       There is also the supposed cultural neutrality of Lojban
 
descriptive but prescriptive.  They came from the effort to that makes it superior to Esperanto.  But Lojban has not
 
put and end to the constant attempts at reforming the     only neutrality, but cultural nullity.  Esperanto had
 
grammar that people who are never satisfied with the form  social roots (and still does today) in the circumstances of
 
of Esperanto or any other planned language kept attempting  late 19th century Eastern Europe, and in spite of the
 
to make.  Adopted as part of the "Fundamento," the 16 rules provinciality of the Warsaw Ghetto, Zamenhof and Esperanto
 
declared those easily describable, non-negotiable,     still managed to attract the admiration and loyalty of
 
  
  30
+
Thanks for finally publishing my bibliography, after stalling for a year using the lamest excuses. The intent and viewpoint of my annotated bibliography were clearly stated, hence there never was a question of misleading the reader. Both the references and my comments help to communicate to the reader just how many factors and subdisciplines are involved in dealing with the issue of the relationship between language and thought. Now that the readers know the different things that need to be considered, they can take it from there. Since I lack the time now to take care of it, it would help you to find a linguist who could find up-to-date information on advances in linguistic theory since the early 1970s that bear upon clarification of the relation of language to cognition.
  
 +
The closest I have come to dealing with linguistics in a long time was attending a linguistics conference here in December. I queried a couple of friends about the current state of linguistic theory, who were rather cynical. They did not feel, however, that any given school of thought was being discriminated against in terms of research funding; the politics is more personal than doctrinal. The book exhibit was overwhelming; there is more going on than anyone can assimilate -- books on syntax, discourse analysis, you name it -- it's hard to get a grip on. I saw the new book that Mouton has published on interlinguistics (i.e. international planned languages like Esperanto), but it was too expensive to buy even at a discount. There were 6 books in a series on the DLT project, the machine translation system that uses Esperanto as the interlanguage. With two other books I know about, that makes 8 books in all. One of those books includes articles about other machine translation projects, including one that uses the purportedly logical Indian language Aymara as its interlanguage!
  
people throughout the world. The European "bias" of     hence metaphysical bias) of Lojban: science fiction and
+
A few comments on articles in your recent newsletters. The lengthy article that compares Lojban to Esperanto struck me as much to-do about nothing, as no Esperantist today believes that his language only has 16 rules. That was used at one time as a propaganda device by careless people, but I think people are more thoughtful nowadays, at least on that point. Anyway, it is necessary to understand the historical origin of the "16 rules." They are not descriptive but prescriptive. They came from the effort to put and end to the constant attempts at reforming the grammar that people who are never satisfied with the form of Esperanto or any other planned language kept attempting to make. Adopted as part of the "Fundamento," the 16 rules declared those easily describable, non-negotiable, mandatory features of the language. Together with a basic lexicon and a set of examples illustrating the language in use (including syntactic features not explicitly described elsewhere), the "16 rules" formed the Fundamento. Of course, Esperanto like all other languages contains thousands of syntactic rules, some of which are captured in prescriptive grammars, and many more of which the speakers are unconscious. Esperanto is learned as other languages are learned, without complete formal grammars at hand, and non-Europeans do not have to learn an Indo-European language before they learn Esperanto, any more than they would have to learn French before they could learn English. Also, Esperanto can borrow words from any language, not just European ones.
Esperanto's grammar is a non-issue, as that is the part of  computer buffs and the like.
 
the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that has been thoroughly
 
discredited. The European lexicon of the Esperanto       Bob responds on a couple of items - I'm not going to
 
language is advantageous to technologically oriented non-  discuss all of Ralph's points - I'll leave that to the
 
Europeans, though it may ideologically repulse others. But community, especially the discussion on Sapir-Whorf.
 
the speech community of Esperanto is most diverse, whereas  Suffice it to say that I think Ralph makes some different
 
the community of Lojban is extremely uniform and narrow --  assumptions than we do about what kind of useful
 
computer nerds, sci-fi buffs, people interested in logic    information can be obtained by studying Lojban in a Sapir-
 
and semantics -- not much of a basis for an international  Whorf context. For example, he makes comments about the
 
culture, and certainly not an ideologically neutral or even possibility that all languages have a common 'deep
 
divers culture. Esperantists, in spite of the European     structure'. This may be so, but even if only surface
 
bias of their language's lexicon, have risked and even     structures are directly related to culture, it would be
 
sacrificed their lives in fighting racism and fascism; no  useful to confirm it. (If the only 'important' features
 
Lojbanist I know would ever make such a sacrifice.     about a language's structure are in its 'deep structure'
 
  What is most irritating is misusing facts in order to     and all language 'deep structures' are the same, then
 
support misleading generalizations.  I accept as truthful  Sapir-Whorf is claiming the nonsensical idea that all
 
the statement that while sitting next to the Esperanto     cultures are the same.)
 
booth at a sci-fi convention, you did not overhear the       We of course do not consider that the Sapir-Whorf claim
 
Esperantists speaking Esperanto to one another. You     of a relationship between culture and a language's grammar
 
dishonestly suggest by that example that Esperantists are   has been 'discredited', as both Ralph and Don describe it.
 
not even accustomed to speaking the very language they are  It is precisely that claim that Lojban is designed to test.
 
advertising to others. What hypocrisy, in light of the     Thus, a clear separation from European language structures
 
fact that Esperanto conversation has been going on for a    is vital to Lojban's goals, and Esperanto's lack in this
 
century in the most diverse of circumstances, while no     area is a primary reason for its unsuitability for our
 
Loglan/ Lojban conversation in the context of any normal    purposes.
 
social interaction has ever taken place!  I too have       I think Ralph has an incorrect view of the Lojban
 
staffed an Esperanto booth upon occasion, and I too have    community. You are far more diverse than he claims.  A
 
only used English to speak to my fellow American     large percentage are computer-literate, and many read
 
Esperantist booth-mates, because it is basically an     science fiction, but not all; in any case, even those two
 
English-speaking environment, and I do not generally speak  categories define widely varied audiences. I can see that
 
Esperanto in an English-speaking setting although I am per- education is inherently a potential bias, but I challenge
 
fectly capable of speaking the language.     Ralph or anyone else to state actual metaphysical biases
 
  So it seems that in spite of your lip service to non-     that are common to all members of either group, or to the
 
competition, you are already pitting Lojban against     Lojban community.
 
Esperanto in a competitive fashion, and you have also       To tie back to something I said regarding Don Harlow's
 
resorted to duplicity in doing so.  Under those     writings, Lojban's metaphysical diversity can be shown by a
 
circumstances, you cannot realistically expect amicable     wide diversity in political beliefs among the community.
 
relations between Lojban and the Esperanto movement.  You  Within the Lojban community are sizeable numbers of
 
know that I do not tolerate dishonest propaganda on the     libertarians, socialists, and anarchists, extremes of both
 
part of Esperantists, as evidenced by my disagreements with the right and left, along with more mainstream political
 
Don Harlow.  I surely am not going to let the young     philosophies. It is an incomplete argument to infer
 
upstarts of Lojban get away with any nonsense, especially  metaphysics from politics, but I think it is a reasonable
 
when they are highly educated people who claim to be able  idea.
 
to use their language in order to improve their thinking      Whether most Lojbanists (the majority of whom probably
 
and their world view.     oppose both racism and fascism) would die for their
 
  I enclose a photocopy of a commentary on Loglan/Lojban    beliefs, I cannot say.  At least some of our supporters are
 
from Rick Harrison's The Alembic.  I pass this along for    in the Armed Forces and are committed to die for their
 
the completeness of your archives, not to torment you.     country if necessary.  Ralph impugns the honor of these and
 
Mark Tierisch's reasoning leaves something to be desired in other Lojbanists with his statements.
 
many parts of this article. Although this article makes      I recognize that Esperanto has had its martyrs.  One
 
Esperanto look good in comparison to Loglan, its reasoning  would hope that martyrdom is not a vital prerequisite to
 
doesn't hold up, especially since Esperanto like all other  achieving an international language.  One 'problem' with
 
languages has a lot more than 30 grammatical rules, let     martyrdom, is that, while it draws together the community
 
alone 16.  The only place where I unequivocally agree with  associated with those who have died, that same strong feel-
 
Tierisch is where he refers to Loglan as not culturally     ing alienates those outside of the community, and causes
 
neutral but as a reflection of the "culture of nerds." The them to misunderstand.  Some may be drawn to a movement
 
disparaging term "nerd" is hardly necessary, but the     that people are willing to die for; others are repelled by
 
description accurately pinpoints the subcultural basis (and the 'fanaticism' that they perceive in such an attitude.
 
  
  31
+
On the alleged non-competition between Esperanto and Lojban. They are non-competitive if Lojbanists refrain from pushing Lojban as an international language, since the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is of no concern to Esperanto. However, the minute someone makes a claim for a new international language, several issues arise. Anyone coming forth with a new language who looks like a crackpot automatically discredits the international language movement in the eyes of the public, hence Esperantists have a stake in the matter. In the past, this means that somebody hides in their attic for 15 years creating a language, self-publishes a little book describing his new language, and announces in a press conference that he has just created the now world language. It is one thing to have a hobby, it is another to make bombastic proclamations that one's creation (whether of a language, a new monetary system, or any utopian scheme) will change the world when the lack of social realism is so obvious to all. Those kind of people are obvious cranks, and hence they compromise Esperanto whenever they claim that they have concocted a new world language, as if the adoption of an international language were some kind of magic. Hence Esperantists have justifiably reacted negatively.
  
 +
Now, I do not claim that Lojban/Lojban is guilty of this extreme behavior. The Washington Post article did not cast Lojban in such a light. You have not yet claimed Lojban to be the future international language. But you have already resorted to dubious propaganda in order to make yourself look good and Esperanto bad.
  
  In any event, fighting racism and fascism is not what       Tierisch's letter made many incorrect claims about the
+
You suggest that, as Lojban is a superior engineering effort than Esperanto, it can quickly catch up even though Esperanto has a century-long head start. The creators of Ido also thought they were superior language engineers, and where are they today? There are social, political and economic reasons why no planned language, Esperanto or otherwise, has been universally adopted, and those obstacles cannot be surmounted by the most able of engineers. Here the narrow, blinkered mentality of the computer specialist is so painfully evident.
Lojban is about, although I personally would hope that with language and suggested that he felt threatened in some way
 
increased understanding of other cultures that is possible  by Lojban's ideas (perhaps in the way Ralph suggests
 
through learning Lojban, people would find it more     Esperantists feel about 'crackpot' language inventors).  We
 
difficult to persecute those who differ from them.     wrote a reply, but The Alembic folded without printing an-
 
  I will admit that any discussion of Esperanto and Lojban  other issue.
 
will lead to some comparisons. Our purpose in the articles  My own feeling is that people should not feel threatened
 
was to blunt the validity of such comparisons. My     by ideas that differ from their own.  I can understand that
 
statements about Esperanto do not claim that anything is    Esperantists dislike the 'guilt by association' that comes
 
'wrong' with it; I merely feel that Lojban is better de-    from association with 'crackpots'. But this is just part
 
signed for the purposes it is meant for than Esperanto is.  of the territory.  People like playing with language and
 
But those purposes are different from Esperanto.     new invented 'languages' will crop up all the time.
 
  Only where we talk about the potential for Lojban as an  Reacting by disparaging the inventor merely offends the
 
international language is there even a basis for     inventor; it doesn't stop other inventors, nor helps
 
comparison.  In this area, though, I stated that Lojban     Esperanto's image. I think there are better approaches.
 
would have no significant role unless both a) Esperanto       My main point here is that the positive effects possible
 
clearly fails as an international language and b) Lojban's  if both of our efforts worked at promoting created
 
other uses make it attractive as an international language. languages in general, as well as our specific versions,
 
The international language goal is an incidental one for    instead of knocking at each other. The potential benefits
 
Lojban (though important to some among Lojbanists,     of cooperation far exceed the benefits we can gain at each
 
including some who are also Esperantists).  There is plenty other's expense.
 
of room for both languages to successfully achieve their     ___________________________________________
 
goals.
 
  My point is that both languages can gain by cooperation
 
rather than competition.  An Esperantist is already more    from John Hodges:
 
open to the possibilities that make Lojban interesting than
 
a typical member of the non-Esperanto public.  Similarly, a ...
 
higher percentage of Lojbanists are aware of and interested  I took to heart your essay in JL11 that "there is no
 
in Esperanto than of the general public.  If this     competition between E. and L., because their goals are
 
commonalty can be harnessed, positive synergistic effects  different." But I'm not sure your argument succeeds.
 
are likely.       The goal of E. is to be an international language, to be
 
  In this light, my comments about Esperanto being spoken  "everybody's second language".  Notice that this is a
 
at convention tables should be taken much more positively.  global ambition, and implies that any other "second" or
 
I did not and do not claim that Esperantists cannot speak  "international" language is a competitor.  They have an
 
their language. Rather, I believe that the outside image  established claim to this role, with 100 years of
 
of Esperanto as 'useful' and 'important' suffers when they  experience, 10,000 books, and 2,000,000 speakers (1990
 
do not and they can; Lojban will similarly suffer if     World Almanac figure).  Also some martyrs, persecuted by
 
Lojbanists do not use their language.  My calling this     the Nazis and other militant nationalists.
 
situation to peoples' attention, and saying that I plan to    Lojban has three major goals:  1) to be a research tool
 
do differently, says nothing at all about the relative     for scientific study into the relationships between
 
merits of the two languages.  It was a friendly, and I     language, thought, and culture - we hope that studies will
 
thought constructive, criticism.  (As an aside, Ralph is    prove that people think more flexibly and/or more logically
 
incorrect in stating that Lojban has not been used in     in Lojban than in any other language;  2) to find computer
 
'normal' social conversation.  Extensive use, not yet - but applications, e.g. in artificial intelligence,
 
surely within a year even this will have changed.)     human/machine interface, and machine translation; 3) to be
 
  As a final note, Ralph's last reference is to an letter  an international language. (We welcome anyone to use it
 
in The Alembic that was a diatribe against Lojban.  In it,  for anything, but these are the goals we had in mind during
 
writer Tierisch (who hasn't ever been on our mailing list  all those years of development.)
 
and is unlikely to know much about the language) compares    Goals 1) and 2) are less-than-global ambitions, which
 
Lojban's rules to Esperanto's 16 that we discussed last     genuinely do not challenge Esperanto.  But your essay in
 
issue. Ralph mentions this, but just a few paragraphs     JL11 keeps goal 3), which does.  You soften it by saying
 
earlier said "no Esperantist today believes that his     that the challenge will not be a serious one for many
 
language only has 16 rules.  That was used at one time as a years, and people should have their own choice on it,
 
propaganda device by careless people, but I think people    anyway.  But it is still there, and there may be a
 
are more thoughtful nowadays, at least on that point." Don practical conflict between goals 3) and 1).
 
Harlow said something similar. Apparently they are wrong.    Goal 1) is to be a research tool for learning about
 
Perhaps the leaders of the Esperanto movement know the     language, and the relationships between language and
 
significance of the 16 rules, but the community of     thinking.  To achieve our scientific goals, we want/need to
 
Esperantists as a whole may not.     gather a body of at least several hundred fluent L.
 
    speakers from a wide variety of linguistic and cultural
 
  
  32
+
There is also the supposed cultural neutrality of Lojban that makes it superior to Esperanto. But Lojban has not only neutrality, but cultural nullity. Esperanto had social roots (and still does today) in the circumstances of late 19th century Eastern Europe, and in spite of the provinciality of the Warsaw Ghetto, Zamenhof and Esperanto still managed to attract the admiration and loyalty of people throughout the world. The European "bias" of Esperanto's grammar is a non-issue, as that is the part of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that has been thoroughly discredited. The European lexicon of the Esperanto language is advantageous to technologically oriented non-Europeans, though it may ideologically repulse others. But the speech community of Esperanto is most diverse, whereas the community of Lojban is extremely uniform and narrow -- computer nerds, sci-fi buffs, people interested in logic and semantics -- not much of a basis for an international culture, and certainly not an ideologically neutral or even divers culture. Esperantists, in spite of the European bias of their language's lexicon, have risked and even sacrificed their lives in fighting racism and fascism; no Lojbanist I know would ever make such a sacrifice.
  
 +
What is most irritating is misusing facts in order to support misleading generalizations. I accept as truthful the statement that while sitting next to the Esperanto booth at a sci-fi convention, you did not overhear the Esperantists speaking Esperanto to one another. You dishonestly suggest by that example that Esperantists are not even accustomed to speaking the very language they are advertising to others. What hypocrisy, in light of the fact that Esperanto conversation has been going on for a century in the most diverse of circumstances, while no Loglan/ Lojban conversation in the context of any normal social interaction has ever taken place! I too have staffed an Esperanto booth upon occasion, and I too have only used English to speak to my fellow American Esperantist booth-mates, because it is basically an English-speaking environment, and I do not generally speak Esperanto in an English-speaking setting although I am perfectly capable of speaking the language.
  
backgrounds, who can participate in controlled studies. No remaining places added using lexeme BAI?  Could we seri-
+
So it seems that in spite of your lip service to non-competition, you are already pitting Lojban against Esperanto in a competitive fashion, and you have also resorted to duplicity in doing so. Under those circumstances, you cannot realistically expect amicable relations between Lojban and the Esperanto movement. You know that I do not tolerate dishonest propaganda on the part of Esperantists, as evidenced by my disagreements with Don Harlow. I surely am not going to let the young upstarts of Lojban get away with any nonsense, especially when they are highly educated people who claim to be able to use their language in order to improve their thinking and their world view.
doubt to get these, we will have to recruit and teach     ously imagine making a Lojban Mark II that was a superset
 
thousands.     of Esperanto, so that existing E. speakers and books would
 
  To gather such a varied body of speakers, we could     remain compatible? Or perhaps one that was designed to
 
translate our teaching materials into Chinese AND Hindi AND make conversion from Esperanto as easy as possible?
 
French AND Spanish AND so forth, or we could translate them  I am out of my depth here.  But if we are to seriously
 
into Esperanto, a relatively simple task.  If we CAN     recruit among Esperantists, we may have to commit in
 
recruit Esperantists, we should try to do so.  But CAN we?  advance to something like this, provided the experiments
 
  It is clear what the Esperanto community can do for     show Lojban Mark II to be a worthwhile effort.  Then again,
 
Lojban. But what does Lojban offer the Esperanto     perhaps these thoughts are way off base, and the future of
 
community?  Why should they host our experiment, given the  Lojban does not lie in recruiting Esperantists.  Are we,
 
conflict implied by our goal 3)?     ultimately, competitors after all?
 
  One line of thought I have explored in recent days (many
 
of my lines of thought are half-baked - I am asking for
 
feedback).  Perhaps we should explicitly make goal 3)       Bob responds - John stated the 'flaw' in my competition
 
conditional on prior success in goals 1) and/or 2), and     argument better than anyone else, but I still stand by what
 
commit to cooperation with the Esperanto community should  I said above, that both languages can co-exist without
 
the event arise.     competition between them.  There are some hidden
 
  We begin by describing Lojban as "an experimental human  assumptions behind a deduced 'unavoidable' competition
 
language".  (I think this is true, anyway.  I expect that  based on John's logic.
 
our first five years of use will show us changes we want to  The most important flawed assumption is natural for most
 
make, when our 5-year baseline expires.)  We point out that Americans: that for one language to be 'everyone's second
 
carrying a Lojban textbook written in Esperanto book in E.  language', there can be no other international language.
 
book services will hardly threaten the spread of E.; it is  For monolingual Americans, learning a second language seems
 
just one more cultural opportunity that opens up if you     onerous enough - why would anyone want to learn two
 
learn E.     'international languages'?
 
  If the L. experiments to test Sapir-Whorf show that, as    Simple.  One learns different languages for different
 
we hope, people think more flexibly and/or more logically  purposes.  Languages are tools for communication; you use
 
in Lojban than in any other language, OR IF future     the best tool available for the communications job at hand.
 
computers still find transcribing/parsing/translating     By this argument, of course, Don Harlow is right in using
 
Esperanto to be beyond them, while Lojban is translated     English to talk to another English speaker, and Esperanto
 
with ease, THEN AND ONLY THEN will the question arise of    when he wants to talk to someone who doesn't know English
 
whether to trade in Esperanto for a newer model. By     as well as they know Esperanto.  (Which I agree with in
 
hosting our experiment, the E. movement will have stuffed  general, making exceptions for the times when the language
 
the ranks of L-speakers with Esperantists, assuring them    is on display for outsiders, or when a particular edu-
 
the loudest possible voice in the future development of     cational purpose would be served.)
 
Lojban Mark II.       Especially if Lojban proves Sapir-Whorf true to any
 
  Carrying the thought further... How much good would such  extent at all, someone learning Lojban will think
 
a voice do them?  English speakers have suggested deriving  differently (and perhaps 'better' by some standard) than if
 
the gismu from English alone; this is still a rotten idea  they know only Esperanto or their native language.
 
if the favored language is Esperanto.  Lojbanized gismu do    We have no problem recruiting Esperantists.  They have
 
not resemble their source words closely enough. Even if    the same range of interests as any other group of similar
 
pure source words are used for gismu, they float in a sea  size.  In fact, Esperantists are a fertile recruiting
 
of cmavo that makes the result incomprehensible to speakers ground because they are already interested in language.
 
of the source language. Lojban is just too radically       Some Esperantists will find the design goals of Lojban,
 
different.  But current Lojban has rules of spelling and    or specific design features, worthy enough for them to
 
word-formation designed so that today's computers, with     further study the language. Then, when they know more,
 
PRIMITIVE abilities at pattern-recognition, could     they can decide to study both languages or to just study
 
transcribe and parse spoken Lojban correctly.  The     one.  John's argument is flawed here; he assumes that,
 
abilities of future computers may allow us to relax those  because the goal for Esperanto is to become "everyone's
 
rules. (neural nets, optoelctronics, etc.)     second language", every Esperantist holds that goal as a
 
  For the rationale above to work, Lojban Mark II would     nirvana that they cannot turn away from.
 
have to be rebuilt from the ground up. SO- hypothetical      But Esperanto is not likely to achieve its purpose within
 
question, for 10 to 20 years hence - if we wished to make a our lifetimes.  So many Esperantists will be interested in
 
language with predicate grammar, and accommodating the     the language that offers them more personal gratification
 
limits of computers of the time. and as compatible as pos-  within their lifetime.  Some will find this in Lojban;
 
sible with Esperanto, how close could we come? Could,     possibly others in some other language.  Many, perhaps even
 
e.g., the prefixes and suffixes of Esperanto substantially  most, will concentrate on Esperanto, or will work with
 
replace to cmavo?  Could all brivla have only one or two    Esperanto and Lojban. For these, Esperanto provides the
 
places, mimicking conventional parts of speech, with the    immediate satisfaction of a large speaker population with
 
  
  33
+
I enclose a photocopy of a commentary on Loglan/Lojban from Rick Harrison's The Alembic. I pass this along for the completeness of your archives, not to torment you. Mark Tierisch's reasoning leaves something to be desired in many parts of this article. Although this article makes Esperanto look good in comparison to Loglan, its reasoning doesn't hold up, especially since Esperanto like all other languages has a lot more than 30 grammatical rules, let alone 16. The only place where I unequivocally agree with Tierisch is where he refers to Loglan as not culturally neutral but as a reflection of the "culture of nerds." The disparaging term "nerd" is hardly necessary, but the description accurately pinpoints the subcultural basis (and hence metaphysical bias) of Lojban: science fiction and computer buffs and the like.
  
  
which to communicate, while Lojban presents a peculiar in-   People in the Loglan community are tired of learning a
+
Bob responds on a couple of items - I'm not going to discuss all of Ralph's points - I'll leave that to the community, especially the discussion on Sapir-Whorf. Suffice it to say that I think Ralph makes some different assumptions than we do about what kind of useful information can be obtained by studying Lojban in a Sapir-Whorf context. For example, he makes comments about the possibility that all languages have a common 'deep structure'. This may be so, but even if only surface structures are directly related to culture, it would be useful to confirm it. (If the only 'important' features about a language's structure are in its 'deep structure' and all language 'deep structures' are the same, then Sapir-Whorf is claiming the nonsensical idea that all cultures are the same.)
tellectual challenge that may at some later time prove more changing target.  Regardless of how flawed Dr. Brown's
 
rewarding.  There is no competition implicit in our     versions of Loglan are, the Lojban development would never
 
existence for such people.     have been conceived of, much less completed, if not for
 
  An Esperantist who denies the value of learning other     Brown's intellectual property claims that forced us to work
 
languages is as close-minded as the nationalists that     from outside rather than within the Institute.
 
oppose Esperanto.  Some will be this way, and that is their  If Lojban does evolve in new ways, the speakers will be
 
right. But far more valuable to both Esperanto and Lojban  the ones who decide, as John suggests.  If the speakers are
 
would be cooperation between the two groups.  Undoubtedly,  Esperantists, some of the underlying concepts of Esperanto
 
Lojban will attract a lot of people that would not be     will find their way into the language.
 
interested in Esperanto (as Ralph says, computer people and  However, as John points out, Lojban and any natural
 
other scientists, and science fiction readers, are a     language are too different. Lojban is also too different
 
natural audience for Lojban).  Some of these may not find  from Esperanto to offer significant pattern matching.  A
 
Lojban to their liking (too different, too small a speaker  predicate language is too unlike an Indo-European grammar,
 
base, etc.), and may proceed onward to discover Esperanto.  or anything that can even be described like an Indo-Eu-
 
The reverse will be true among Esperanto recruits.  By     ropean grammar.  If you rule out changing all the words
 
having information on both languages available, people can once again (a relearning burden that would be unacceptably
 
make an informed choice as to which language serves their  high - as anyone who has used LogFlash with both Institute
 
interests.     Loglan and Lojban words can testify), there simply isn't
 
  A side benefit results.  A cooperative, open, attitude is that much that is worth changing.  (It is also possible
 
presented to the public.  This attitude ameliorates the     that to make such changes would destroy whatever there is
 
impression that international linguists are fanatical     about Lojban that makes it worth 'trading in' for.
 
idealists, an impression that turns off a lot of people.      No.  Lojban will stand on its own, and will gain support
 
Our relaxed attitude towards international language success from Esperantists on its own merits, or not at all. As
 
has not only reduced Lojban's 'threat' to Esperanto, it has long as I have influence, I will resist attempts to make
 
calmed the portion of the Lojban community that opposes the there be an 'exclusive or' choice between Lojban and Es-
 
idealistic 'world language' effort.     peranto among potential speakers.  If we do this, there
 
  Incidentally, one member of our original class here in    will be no competition.  (Hmmm!  Could increased competi-
 
the DC-area, Paul Francis O'Sullivan, is a lifetime member  tiveness be a fallout of linguistic confusion between
 
of the local Esperanto chapter. He finds no conflict in    'inclusive or' and 'exclusive or'? A Sapir-Whorf effect
 
working with both languages and is translating the brochure that we might find negated among Lojbanists!)
 
into Esperanto for us. (Reviewers are welcome to
 
volunteer.)  Jamie Bechtel, our first Lojban 'creative       Let's turn to one more letter on Esperanto (and a few
 
writer', is also an Esperantist, as is poet Michael Helsem. other subjects), from Paul Doudna. Bob's responses to some
 
Numerous others, too.     of them are embedded:
 
  We are gaining cooperation from Esperantists. Bruce Arne
 
Sherwood, a 'big name' in Esperanto, taught courses and     ...
 
wrote articles comparing Loglan and Esperanto in the early    The discussions of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis have been
 
1980's, and carried on a lengthy correspondence with pc to  interesting.  However, I'm inclined to think that testing
 
ensure that the facts were right.   No animosity or     this hypothesis may be like testing the Shroud of Turin.
 
competition was evidenced.  Mike Urban, an Esperantist     That is, no matter how it is tested and no matter what the
 
known for developing MacIntosh Hypercard teaching software  results are, people will continue to believe as they did
 
for Esperanto (and one of the Worldcon table     before.
 
representatives), has advised us on some technical points
 
of Esperanto, as well as on teaching software. Etc.       I am sending you an article on E-Prime.  If you haven't
 
  We cannot test Sapir-Whorf based on teaching the language seen this already, I think you will find it interesting.
 
through Esperanto.  If all of the target population spoke  The article is written in E-Prime, which is almost the same
 
Esperanto as well as Lojban, there would be no way to     as English. The author obviously believes that language
 
separate effects of the two languages from each other. We  does have a significant effect on our thinking.
 
must use monolingual speakers who learn Lojban as their
 
first non-native language, or better, bilinguals raised       [Bob:  E-Prime is a variation on English devised by
 
speaking Lojban and their native language from birth.  In  General Semanticists that avoids using the verb 'to be' in
 
this way, Sapir-Whorf effects would be least hidden by     all its forms.  Andy Hilgartner's articles above are
 
uncontrolled variables (a problem mentioned by Ralph that  written in his version of E-Prime, and Andy, also,
 
we are indeed concerned with).     apparently believes that language has a significant effect
 
  As for Lojban Mark II, I doubt if it will happen.  If     on thinking.  Score one against Ralph's and Don's claim
 
there are changes after 5 years, they will be minor,     that S-W has been totally discredited.]
 
evolutionary ones.  That is why we are forcing the 5-year
 
period, to ensure that inertia keeps the language stable.    Concerning the Lojban logo, I notice that most of the
 
    suggestions involve some kind of visual ambiguity.
 
  
  34
+
We of course do not consider that the Sapir-Whorf claim of a relationship between culture and a language's grammar has been 'discredited', as both Ralph and Don describe it. It is precisely that claim that Lojban is designed to test. Thus, a clear separation from European language structures is vital to Lojban's goals, and Esperanto's lack in this area is a primary reason for its unsuitability for our purposes.
  
 +
I think Ralph has an incorrect view of the Lojban community. You are far more diverse than he claims. A large percentage are computer-literate, and many read science fiction, but not all; in any case, even those two categories define widely varied audiences. I can see that education is inherently a potential bias, but I challenge Ralph or anyone else to state actual metaphysical biases that are common to all members of either group, or to the Lojban community.
  
Considering that one of the primary claims of Lojban is its mately the same for all languages. A language that divides
+
To tie back to something I said regarding Don Harlow's writings, Lojban's metaphysical diversity can be shown by a wide diversity in political beliefs among the community. Within the Lojban community are sizeable numbers of libertarians, socialists, and anarchists, extremes of both the right and left, along with more mainstream political philosophies. It is an incomplete argument to infer metaphysics from politics, but I think it is a reasonable idea.
freedom from ambiguity and also the fact that some critics  up semantic space into fewer words tends to end up with
 
claim that Lojban is actually more ambiguous than English, words being used for multiple meanings.  Lojban has one
 
the use of an ambiguous design for a logo would be quite    advantage in that Lojbanists generally try to avoid
 
ironic.     unnecessary figurative extensions of meaning and to explic-
 
  I showed the articles comparing Esperanto and Lojban to a itly mark those extension where accurate interpretation is
 
friend of mine who is an Esperantist.  His reactions were  important.]
 
very negative. I must agree with him that many of the
 
points of comparison were not valid. The articles       The article on negation was enlightening, as far as I
 
themselves contained some disclaimers, implying that the   could follow it.  I'm not familiar enough with Lojban
 
comparison should not be taken too seriously.  In     grammar to fully appreciate its significance for Lojban.  I
 
particular, the attempt to compare "rules" I don't think    would have two observations:
 
really works.  The meaning of the word "rules" is used       (1) I'm not sure how this will work in Lojban, but in
 
quite differently in [discussing] the two languages.     English, we typically form negatives which theoretically
 
  Here are two suggestions for a more meaningful     represent contradictory statements or complement classes.
 
comparison:     In practice, in spite of the language representation, we
 
  (1) Translate some sample sentences in English (chosen    tend to think in terms of contrary stereotypes.  To treat
 
equally by Lojbanists and Esperantists) into both     these contrary stereotypes as if they were jointly
 
languages.  Include relevant comments on any peculiar     exhaustive concepts (as the language form would seem to
 
features of the translations.     indicate) can lead to illogical conclusions.  For example,
 
  (2) Compare the underlying assumptions behind the two     "Un-American" and "unchristian", to give two extreme
 
languages.  Zamenhof and Brown had in mind quite different  examples.
 
concepts of what constituted an ideal language. These       (2) It is pointed out, quite correctly, that negation in
 
concepts of course determined the way the resulting     English is very complex in practice.  It is only roughly
 
language should be constructed. This type of comparison    analogous to the vastly simplified negation of formal
 
might be very difficult since in many cases these underly-  logic.  Basically, the same conclusion applies to the
 
ing assumptions are not made explicit.     logical connectives AND, OR, and IF.  That is, these words
 
    (along with NOT) in the context of formal logic do not mean
 
  When I heard a talk on Esperanto about a year ago, it     what their counterparts mean in English. It will be
 
sounded almost like the speaker was talking about     interesting to see if those who use Lojban will adhere to
 
Loglan/Lojban. There is no ambiguity in Esperanto, it was  the theoretical meanings of such words (thus resulting in a
 
claimed.  (But the two languages mean something different  logical form of thinking far beyond what is normally found
 
by "ambiguity".)  It was further claimed that Esperanto is  among human beings), or will the meanings of these words
 
culturally neutral.  (Again, the meaning of "cultural     merely shift, losing their precise logical definition (in
 
neutrality" is not quite the same in both languages.)     terms of truth tables) and evolving to something much
 
Esperanto is completely "logical".  (Meaning that the     closer to English.
 
grammar is free of irregularities typical of most
 
languages, not that it is based on a system of logic as       [Bob:  On the first, we ended up adding two cmavo to
 
Lojban attempts to do.) And of course the spelling is     lexeme NAhE, the contrary negation lexeme. In addition to
 
completely phonetic.  (Both languages are alike in this re- na'e, which refers to the generalized scalar contrary,
 
spect, although Esperanto doesn't have spoken punctuation.) we've added no'e as a scalar 'middle' or neutral, and to'e
 
    as a polar opposite.  Thus Lojban allows explicit distinc-
 
[Bob:  A good response and some good suggestions. Any     tions in "un-" that are not possible for English.
 
volunteers among the Esperantists to devise some sentences    On the second, Jim Brown and the Loglan community in
 
to translate and/or some lists of assumptions and ideals.  general have looked at AND, OR, and IF, much more
 
We may need Paul to serve as a moderator to point out where thoroughly than they had NOT.  In addition, with the
 
our definitions don't jibe.]     possible exception of IF, these do not have the complex
 
    questions of 'scope' that negation has.  We're fairly
 
  Have the 600 rules of Lojban been published? I suspect  confident that no problems remain here.  When I write the
 
that no matter how many rules are stated explicitly, that  textbook on those parts of the language, we'll be more
 
there will be a potentially unlimited number of implicit    certain.
 
semantic rules that are used in any language to actually      There should not be much backsliding to English versions
 
understand what any given sentence means.     of the logical connectives if we've properly taught them,
 
    because the various non-logical English versions of these
 
  [Bob: On the first: Yes, this issue! Though the number  connectives are also built into Lojban.  For example, we
 
is now closer to 550, depending on how you count.  Every    have causal connectives for causal IF, a wide variety of
 
word has a 'rule' defining its semantic meaning.  If you    ANDs, and a flexible restatement of OR in terms of set
 
count those as rules, than a language with fewer words has  membership. The availability of the English non-logical
 
fewer rules.  However, you can turn this around.  The     combining forms should keep the pure logical connectives
 
universe of discourse for 'all of language' is approxi-     'pure'.  We'll certainly find out. (Note that most of the
 
  
  35
+
Whether most Lojbanists (the majority of whom probably oppose both racism and fascism) would die for their beliefs, I cannot say. At least some of our supporters are in the Armed Forces and are committed to die for their country if necessary. Ralph impugns the honor of these and other Lojbanists with his statements.
  
 +
I recognize that Esperanto has had its martyrs. One would hope that martyrdom is not a vital prerequisite to achieving an international language. One 'problem' with martyrdom, is that, while it draws together the community associated with those who have died, that same strong feeling alienates those outside of the community, and causes them to misunderstand. Some may be drawn to a movement that people are willing to die for; others are repelled by the 'fanaticism' that they perceive in such an attitude.
  
English-like forms are more highly marked in Lojban than    or use it as the basis for the textbook glossary.  People
+
In any event, fighting racism and fascism is not what Lojban is about, although I personally would hope that with increased understanding of other cultures that is possible through learning Lojban, people would find it more difficult to persecute those who differ from them.
the logical connectives, so there will be some caution     are encouraged to write in with lists of words they would
 
necessary in this area.)     like to see defined in a glossary (other than the obvious
 
    Lojban ones).]
 
  In the process of trying to sort out and file the
 
material I have accumulated over the years about
 
Loglan/Lojban, I notice that in many cases material (such le lojbo se ciska
 
as the article on Lojban Negation) does not contain the
 
date and does not contain the name of the author.  I First this issue is a little ditty written by
 
realize that in the past I have written some things myself  Athelstan. It's cute, if not profound.  Sing it to the
 
that are not properly identified.  However, I think it     tune of 'Oscar Meyer' jingle.
 
would be useful if all material that is distributed was
 
identified with a date and name. My Lojban has a first name
 
  it's 'logical', you see
 
  [Bob: Good idea, and we'll try to do better. We've put My Lojban has a second name
 
out JL with enclosures on the assumption that most people   the 'language' that's for me
 
who save the material put it in notebooks as they get it, I like to use it ev'ry day
 
and hence have stuff associated together in a 'useful'   and if you ask me why, I'll say
 
order, which is usually not by date.  For next issue, I'll la lojban. cu se nelci mi
 
try to come up with a list of our publications of the past,   gi'e ve tavla do fo mi
 
which ones are worth keeping (other than for historical
 
interest), and explain how Nora and I have set up notebooks The last line is pronounced:
 
to keep the 'useful' information at hand.
 
  la lojbangirz. publications often do not bear an author's     /lah,LOHZH,bahn.  shoo,seh NEHL,shee,mee/
 
name if we want the article to be seen as a product of the       /gee,heh veh,TAH,vlah  doh,foh,mee/
 
organization rather than of an individual.  In such a case,
 
we'll try to make sure the organization name is on it.]     and means, roughly:
 
  
  Another thing that I think would be useful would be a       "Lojban is liked by me,
+
I will admit that any discussion of Esperanto and Lojban will lead to some comparisons. Our purpose in the articles was to blunt the validity of such comparisons. My statements about Esperanto do not claim that anything is 'wrong' with it; I merely feel that Lojban is better designed for the purposes it is meant for than Esperanto is. But those purposes are different from Esperanto.
short glossary of often used Lojban terms, to be updated at   and is spoken to you by me."
 
frequent intervals.  This might be published as a separate
 
sheet to be kept as reference, or if short enough, included Also on a light note, John Cowan made his first Lojban
 
on the back page of each newsletter.  There are certain     effort a real humdinger.  Here's his introduction and the
 
terms used frequently which I don't always remember (and    text.  See the translation section if you can't figure it
 
new readers of the newsletter will not know at all). For  out.  (If you haven't tried a translation before, you may
 
example, I am trying to find the difference in meaning     want to try John's journal entries, which follow this
 
between the definitions of bridi and selbri. They are     monstrosity, first.)
 
defined somewhere, I'm sure, but I can't locate the In this month's writings, we've tried to use the added
 
definitions.     writing conventions to make the text easier to read.  Hope
 
    it helps.  Hope we are reasonably consistent in our usage
 
  [Bob: I explained selbri above, but in case you missed    of the conventions.
 
it, selbri corresponds to the logic term 'predicate', while
 
bridi (in the gismu list) corresponds to the term     John:
 
'predication'. In other words, the bridi is the whole     And (ta-dah!) my first piece of Lojban.  I'm using a format
 
sentence, while the selbri is the thing in the middle that  similar to JL10's, so you can see what I said, what I meant
 
determines the relationship among the sumti.     to say, and what I was trying to say.  The original, by the
 
  We used to have a glossary in every issue, up to around  way, is the 1984 winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction
 
JL4 or JL5, but it got too big. The Overview was written  Contest, an international bad-writing contest where the
 
to be a textual glossary for newcomers, figuring that old-  contestants submitted the opening paragraph from "the worst
 
timers were tired of seeing (and paying for) the     of all possible novels".  I found it in a book called "It
 
definitions for words they already knew.  The Overview, of  Was A Dark And Stormy Night", a collection of entries.
 
course, is getting old, and has kunbri for what is now sel-
 
bri and a couple of other minor errors. But the errors
 
have thus far been seen as too minor to justify a revision
 
sent to everybody.
 
  The textbook will contain a glossary of both Lojban words
 
of this sort and English linguistic terms that are used a
 
lot in describing the language. In addition, Lojbanist
 
Nancy Thalblum has started putting a glossary together as
 
she studies the language. We may publish this separately,
 
  
  36
+
Only where we talk about the potential for Lojban as an international language is there even a basis for comparison. In this area, though, I stated that Lojban would have no significant role unless both a) Esperanto clearly fails as an international language and b) Lojban's other uses make it attractive as an international language. The international language goal is an incidental one for Lojban (though important to some among Lojbanists, including some who are also Esperantists). There is plenty of room for both languages to successfully achieve their goals.
  
 +
My point is that both languages can gain by cooperation rather than competition. An Esperantist is already more open to the possibilities that make Lojban interesting than a typical member of the non-Esperanto public. Similarly, a higher percentage of Lojbanists are aware of and interested in Esperanto than of the general public. If this commonalty can be harnessed, positive synergistic effects are likely.
 +
 +
In this light, my comments about Esperanto being spoken at convention tables should be taken much more positively. I did not and do not claim that Esperantists cannot speak their language. Rather, I believe that the outside image of Esperanto as 'useful' and 'important' suffers when they do not and they can; Lojban will similarly suffer if Lojbanists do not use their language. My calling this situation to peoples' attention, and saying that I plan to do differently, says nothing at all about the relative merits of the two languages. It was a friendly, and I thought constructive, criticism. (As an aside, Ralph is incorrect in stating that Lojban has not been used in 'normal' social conversation. Extensive use, not yet - but surely within a year even this will have changed.)
 +
 +
As a final note, Ralph's last reference is to an letter in The Alembic that was a diatribe against Lojban. In it, writer Tierisch (who hasn't ever been on our mailing list and is unlikely to know much about the language) compares Lojban's rules to Esperanto's 16 that we discussed last issue. Ralph mentions this, but just a few paragraphs earlier said "no Esperantist today believes that his language only has 16 rules. That was used at one time as a propaganda device by careless people, but I think people are more thoughtful nowadays, at least on that point." Don Harlow said something similar. Apparently they are wrong. Perhaps the leaders of the Esperanto movement know the significance of the 16 rules, but the community of Esperantists as a whole may not.
 +
 +
Tierisch's letter made many incorrect claims about the language and suggested that he felt threatened in some way by Lojban's ideas (perhaps in the way Ralph suggests Esperantists feel about 'crackpot' language inventors). We wrote a reply, but The Alembic folded without printing another issue.
 +
 +
My own feeling is that people should not feel threatened by ideas that differ from their own. I can understand that Esperantists dislike the 'guilt by association' that comes from association with 'crackpots'. But this is just part of the territory. People like playing with language and new invented 'languages' will crop up all the time. Reacting by disparaging the inventor merely offends the inventor; it doesn't stop other inventors, nor helps Esperanto's image. I think there are better approaches.
 +
 +
My main point here is that the positive effects possible if both of our efforts worked at promoting created languages in general, as well as our specific versions, instead of knocking at each other. The potential benefits of cooperation far exceed the benefits we can gain at each other's expense.
 +
 +
----
 +
 +
from John Hodges:
 +
 +
...
 +
 +
I took to heart your essay in JL11 that "there is no competition between E. and L., because their goals are different." But I'm not sure your argument succeeds.
 +
 +
The goal of E. is to be an international language, to be "everybody's second language". Notice that this is a global ambition, and implies that any other "second" or "international" language is a competitor. They have an established claim to this role, with 100 years of experience, 10,000 books, and 2,000,000 speakers (1990 World Almanac figure). Also some martyrs, persecuted by the Nazis and other militant nationalists.
 +
 +
Lojban has three major goals: 1) to be a research tool for scientific study into the relationships between language, thought, and culture - we hope that studies will prove that people think more flexibly and/or more logically in Lojban than in any other language; 2) to find computer applications, e.g. in artificial intelligence, human/machine interface, and machine translation; 3) to be an international language. (We welcome anyone to use it for anything, but these are the goals we had in mind during all those years of development.)
 +
 +
Goals 1) and 2) are less-than-global ambitions, which genuinely do not challenge Esperanto. But your essay in JL11 keeps goal 3), which does. You soften it by saying that the challenge will not be a serious one for many years, and people should have their own choice on it, anyway. But it is still there, and there may be a practical conflict between goals 3) and 1).
 +
 +
Goal 1) is to be a research tool for learning about language, and the relationships between language and thinking. To achieve our scientific goals, we want/need to gather a body of at least several hundred fluent L. speakers from a wide variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, who can participate in controlled studies. No doubt to get these, we will have to recruit and teach thousands.
 +
 +
To gather such a varied body of speakers, we could translate our teaching materials into Chinese AND Hindi AND French AND Spanish AND so forth, or we could translate them into Esperanto, a relatively simple task. If we CAN recruit Esperantists, we should try to do so. But CAN we?
 +
 +
It is clear what the Esperanto community can do for Lojban. But what does Lojban offer the Esperanto community? Why should they host our experiment, given the conflict implied by our goal 3)?
 +
 +
One line of thought I have explored in recent days (many of my lines of thought are half-baked - I am asking for feedback). Perhaps we should explicitly make goal 3) conditional on prior success in goals 1) and/or 2), and commit to cooperation with the Esperanto community should the event arise.
 +
 +
We begin by describing Lojban as "an experimental human language". (I think this is true, anyway. I expect that our first five years of use will show us changes we want to make, when our 5-year baseline expires.) We point out that carrying a Lojban textbook written in Esperanto book in E. book services will hardly threaten the spread of E.; it is just one more cultural opportunity that opens up if you learn E.
 +
 +
If the L. experiments to test Sapir-Whorf show that, as we hope, people think more flexibly and/or more logically in Lojban than in any other language, OR IF future computers still find transcribing/parsing/translating Esperanto to be beyond them, while Lojban is translated with ease, THEN AND ONLY THEN will the question arise of whether to trade in Esperanto for a newer model. By hosting our experiment, the E. movement will have stuffed the ranks of L-speakers with Esperantists, assuring them the loudest possible voice in the future development of Lojban Mark II.
 +
 +
Carrying the thought further... How much good would such a voice do them? English speakers have suggested deriving the gismu from English alone; this is still a rotten idea if the favored language is Esperanto. Lojbanized gismu do not resemble their source words closely enough. Even if pure source words are used for gismu, they float in a sea of cmavo that makes the result incomprehensible to speakers of the source language. Lojban is just too radically different. But current Lojban has rules of spelling and word-formation designed so that today's computers, with PRIMITIVE abilities at pattern-recognition, could transcribe and parse spoken Lojban correctly. The abilities of future computers may allow us to relax those rules. (neural nets, optoelctronics, etc.)
 +
 +
For the rationale above to work, Lojban Mark II would have to be rebuilt from the ground up. SO- hypothetical question, for 10 to 20 years hence - if we wished to make a language with predicate grammar, and accommodating the limits of computers of the time. and as compatible as possible with Esperanto, how close could we come? Could, e.g., the prefixes and suffixes of Esperanto substantially replace to cmavo? Could all brivla have only one or two places, mimicking conventional parts of speech, with the remaining places added using lexeme BAI? Could we seriously imagine making a Lojban Mark II that was a superset of Esperanto, so that existing E. speakers and books would remain compatible? Or perhaps one that was designed to make conversion from Esperanto as easy as possible?
 +
 +
I am out of my depth here. But if we are to seriously recruit among Esperantists, we may have to commit in advance to something like this, provided the experiments show Lojban Mark II to be a worthwhile effort. Then again, perhaps these thoughts are way off base, and the future of Lojban does not lie in recruiting Esperantists. Are we, ultimately, competitors after all?
 +
 +
 +
Bob responds - John stated the 'flaw' in my competition argument better than anyone else, but I still stand by what I said above, that both languages can co-exist without competition between them. There are some hidden assumptions behind a deduced 'unavoidable' competition based on John's logic.
 +
 +
The most important flawed assumption is natural for most Americans: that for one language to be 'everyone's second language', there can be no other international language. For monolingual Americans, learning a second language seems onerous enough - why would anyone want to learn two 'international languages'?
 +
 +
Simple. One learns different languages for different purposes. Languages are tools for communication; you use the best tool available for the communications job at hand. By this argument, of course, Don Harlow is right in using English to talk to another English speaker, and Esperanto when he wants to talk to someone who doesn't know English as well as they know Esperanto. (Which I agree with in general, making exceptions for the times when the language is on display for outsiders, or when a particular educational purpose would be served.)
 +
 +
Especially if Lojban proves Sapir-Whorf true to any extent at all, someone learning Lojban will think differently (and perhaps 'better' by some standard) than if they know only Esperanto or their native language.
 +
 +
We have no problem recruiting Esperantists. They have the same range of interests as any other group of similar size. In fact, Esperantists are a fertile recruiting ground because they are already interested in language.
 +
 +
Some Esperantists will find the design goals of Lojban, or specific design features, worthy enough for them to further study the language. Then, when they know more, they can decide to study both languages or to just study one. John's argument is flawed here; he assumes that, because the goal for Esperanto is to become "everyone's second language", every Esperantist holds that goal as a nirvana that they cannot turn away from.
 +
 +
But Esperanto is not likely to achieve its purpose within our lifetimes. So many Esperantists will be interested in the language that offers them more personal gratification within their lifetime. Some will find this in Lojban; possibly others in some other language. Many, perhaps even most, will concentrate on Esperanto, or will work with Esperanto and Lojban. For these, Esperanto provides the immediate satisfaction of a large speaker population with which to communicate, while Lojban presents a peculiar intellectual challenge that may at some later time prove more rewarding. There is no competition implicit in our existence for such people.
 +
 +
An Esperantist who denies the value of learning other languages is as close-minded as the nationalists that oppose Esperanto. Some will be this way, and that is their right. But far more valuable to both Esperanto and Lojban would be cooperation between the two groups. Undoubtedly, Lojban will attract a lot of people that would not be interested in Esperanto (as Ralph says, computer people and other scientists, and science fiction readers, are a natural audience for Lojban). Some of these may not find Lojban to their liking (too different, too small a speaker base, etc.), and may proceed onward to discover Esperanto. The reverse will be true among Esperanto recruits. By having information on both languages available, people can make an informed choice as to which language serves their interests.
 +
 +
A side benefit results. A cooperative, open, attitude is presented to the public. This attitude ameliorates the impression that international linguists are fanatical idealists, an impression that turns off a lot of people. Our relaxed attitude towards international language success has not only reduced Lojban's 'threat' to Esperanto, it has calmed the portion of the Lojban community that opposes the idealistic 'world language' effort.
 +
 +
Incidentally, one member of our original class here in the DC-area, Paul Francis O'Sullivan, is a lifetime member of the local Esperanto chapter. He finds no conflict in working with both languages and is translating the brochure into Esperanto for us. (Reviewers are welcome to volunteer.) Jamie Bechtel, our first Lojban 'creative writer', is also an Esperantist, as is poet Michael Helsem. Numerous others, too.
 +
 +
We are gaining cooperation from Esperantists. Bruce Arne Sherwood, a 'big name' in Esperanto, taught courses and wrote articles comparing Loglan and Esperanto in the early 1980's, and carried on a lengthy correspondence with pc to ensure that the facts were right. No animosity or competition was evidenced. Mike Urban, an Esperantist known for developing MacIntosh Hypercard teaching software for Esperanto (and one of the Worldcon table representatives), has advised us on some technical points of Esperanto, as well as on teaching software. Etc.
 +
 +
We cannot test Sapir-Whorf based on teaching the language through Esperanto. If all of the target population spoke Esperanto as well as Lojban, there would be no way to separate effects of the two languages from each other. We must use monolingual speakers who learn Lojban as their first non-native language, or better, bilinguals raised speaking Lojban and their native language from birth. In this way, Sapir-Whorf effects would be least hidden by uncontrolled variables (a problem mentioned by Ralph that we are indeed concerned with).
 +
 +
As for Lojban Mark II, I doubt if it will happen. If there are changes after 5 years, they will be minor, evolutionary ones. That is why we are forcing the 5-year period, to ensure that inertia keeps the language stable.
 +
 +
People in the Loglan community are tired of learning a changing target. Regardless of how flawed Dr. Brown's versions of Loglan are, the Lojban development would never have been conceived of, much less completed, if not for Brown's intellectual property claims that forced us to work from outside rather than within the Institute.
 +
 +
If Lojban does evolve in new ways, the speakers will be the ones who decide, as John suggests. If the speakers are Esperantists, some of the underlying concepts of Esperanto will find their way into the language.
 +
 +
However, as John points out, Lojban and any natural language are too different. Lojban is also too different from Esperanto to offer significant pattern matching. A predicate language is too unlike an Indo-European grammar, or anything that can even be described like an Indo-European grammar. If you rule out changing all the words once again (a relearning burden that would be unacceptably high - as anyone who has used LogFlash with both Institute Loglan and Lojban words can testify), there simply isn't that much that is worth changing. (It is also possible that to make such changes would destroy whatever there is about Lojban that makes it worth 'trading in' for.
 +
 +
No. Lojban will stand on its own, and will gain support from Esperantists on its own merits, or not at all. As long as I have influence, I will resist attempts to make there be an 'exclusive or' choice between Lojban and Esperanto among potential speakers. If we do this, there will be no competition. (Hmmm! Could increased competitiveness be a fallout of linguistic confusion between 'inclusive or' and 'exclusive or'? A Sapir-Whorf effect that we might find negated among Lojbanists!)
 +
 +
 +
Let's turn to one more letter on Esperanto (and a few other subjects), from Paul Doudna. Bob's responses to some of them are embedded:
 +
 +
...
 +
 +
The discussions of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis have been interesting. However, I'm inclined to think that testing this hypothesis may be like testing the Shroud of Turin. That is, no matter how it is tested and no matter what the results are, people will continue to believe as they did before.
 +
 +
I am sending you an article on E-Prime. If you haven't seen this already, I think you will find it interesting. The article is written in E-Prime, which is almost the same as English. The author obviously believes that language does have a significant effect on our thinking.
 +
 +
[Bob: E-Prime is a variation on English devised by General Semanticists that avoids using the verb 'to be' in all its forms. Andy Hilgartner's articles above are written in his version of E-Prime, and Andy, also, apparently believes that language has a significant effect on thinking. Score one against Ralph's and Don's claim that S-W has been totally discredited.]
 +
 +
Concerning the Lojban logo, I notice that most of the suggestions involve some kind of visual ambiguity. Considering that one of the primary claims of Lojban is its freedom from ambiguity and also the fact that some critics claim that Lojban is actually more ambiguous than English, the use of an ambiguous design for a logo would be quite ironic.
 +
 +
I showed the articles comparing Esperanto and Lojban to a friend of mine who is an Esperantist. His reactions were very negative. I must agree with him that many of the points of comparison were not valid. The articles themselves contained some disclaimers, implying that the comparison should not be taken too seriously. In particular, the attempt to compare "rules" I don't think really works. The meaning of the word "rules" is used quite differently in [discussing] the two languages.
 +
 +
Here are two suggestions for a more meaningful comparison:
 +
 +
# Translate some sample sentences in English (chosen equally by Lojbanists and Esperantists) into both languages. Include relevant comments on any peculiar features of the translations.
 +
# Compare the underlying assumptions behind the two languages. Zamenhof and Brown had in mind quite different concepts of what constituted an ideal language. These concepts of course determined the way the resulting language should be constructed. This type of comparison might be very difficult since in many cases these underlying assumptions are not made explicit.
 +
 +
When I heard a talk on Esperanto about a year ago, it sounded almost like the speaker was talking about Loglan/Lojban. There is no ambiguity in Esperanto, it was claimed. (But the two languages mean something different by "ambiguity".) It was further claimed that Esperanto is culturally neutral. (Again, the meaning of "cultural neutrality" is not quite the same in both languages.) Esperanto is completely "logical". (Meaning that the grammar is free of irregularities typical of most languages, not that it is based on a system of logic as Lojban attempts to do.) And of course the spelling is completely phonetic. (Both languages are alike in this respect, although Esperanto doesn't have spoken punctuation.)
 +
 +
[Bob: A good response and some good suggestions. Any volunteers among the Esperantists to devise some sentences to translate and/or some lists of assumptions and ideals. We may need Paul to serve as a moderator to point out where our definitions don't jibe.]
 +
 +
Have the 600 rules of Lojban been published? I suspect that no matter how many rules are stated explicitly, that there will be a potentially unlimited number of implicit semantic rules that are used in any language to actually understand what any given sentence means.
 +
 +
[Bob: On the first: Yes, this issue! Though the number is now closer to 550, depending on how you count. Every word has a 'rule' defining its semantic meaning. If you count those as rules, than a language with fewer words has fewer rules. However, you can turn this around. The universe of discourse for 'all of language' is approximately the same for all languages. A language that divides up semantic space into fewer words tends to end up with words being used for multiple meanings. Lojban has one advantage in that Lojbanists generally try to avoid unnecessary figurative extensions of meaning and to explicitly mark those extension where accurate interpretation is important.]
 +
 +
 +
The article on negation was enlightening, as far as I could follow it. I'm not familiar enough with Lojban grammar to fully appreciate its significance for Lojban. I would have two observations:
 +
 +
# I'm not sure how this will work in Lojban, but in English, we typically form negatives which theoretically represent contradictory statements or complement classes. In practice, in spite of the language representation, we tend to think in terms of contrary stereotypes. To treat these contrary stereotypes as if they were jointly exhaustive concepts (as the language form would seem to indicate) can lead to illogical conclusions. For example, "Un-American" and "unchristian", to give two extreme examples.
 +
# It is pointed out, quite correctly, that negation in English is very complex in practice. It is only roughly analogous to the vastly simplified negation of formal logic. Basically, the same conclusion applies to the logical connectives AND, OR, and IF. That is, these words (along with NOT) in the context of formal logic do not mean what their counterparts mean in English. It will be interesting to see if those who use Lojban will adhere to the theoretical meanings of such words (thus resulting in a logical form of thinking far beyond what is normally found among human beings), or will the meanings of these words merely shift, losing their precise logical definition (in terms of truth tables) and evolving to something much closer to English.
 +
 +
[Bob: On the first, we ended up adding two cmavo to lexeme NAhE, the contrary negation lexeme. In addition to na'e, which refers to the generalized scalar contrary, we've added no'e as a scalar 'middle' or neutral, and to'e as a polar opposite. Thus Lojban allows explicit distinctions in "un-" that are not possible for English.
 +
 +
On the second, Jim Brown and the Loglan community in general have looked at AND, OR, and IF, much more thoroughly than they had NOT. In addition, with the possible exception of IF, these do not have the complex questions of 'scope' that negation has. We're fairly confident that no problems remain here. When I write the textbook on those parts of the language, we'll be more certain.
 +
 +
There should not be much backsliding to English versions of the logical connectives if we've properly taught them, because the various non-logical English versions of these connectives are also built into Lojban. For example, we have causal connectives for causal IF, a wide variety of ANDs, and a flexible restatement of OR in terms of set membership. The availability of the English non-logical combining forms should keep the pure logical connectives 'pure'. We'll certainly find out. (Note that most of the English-like forms are more highly marked in Lojban than the logical connectives, so there will be some caution necessary in this area.)
 +
 +
 +
In the process of trying to sort out and file the material I have accumulated over the years about Loglan/Lojban, I notice that in many cases material (such as the article on Lojban Negation) does not contain the date and does not contain the name of the author. I realize that in the past I have written some things myself that are not properly identified. However, I think it would be useful if all material that is distributed was identified with a date and name.
 +
 +
 +
[Bob: Good idea, and we'll try to do better. We've put out JL with enclosures on the assumption that most people who save the material put it in notebooks as they get it, and hence have stuff associated together in a 'useful' order, which is usually not by date. For next issue, I'll try to come up with a list of our publications of the past, which ones are worth keeping (other than for historical interest), and explain how Nora and I have set up notebooks to keep the 'useful' information at hand.
 +
 +
la lojbangirz. publications often do not bear an author's name if we want the article to be seen as a product of the organization rather than of an individual. In such a case, we'll try to make sure the organization name is on it.]
 +
 +
Another thing that I think would be useful would be a short glossary of often used Lojban terms, to be updated at frequent intervals. This might be published as a separate sheet to be kept as reference, or if short enough, included on the back page of each newsletter. There are certain terms used frequently which I don't always remember (and new readers of the newsletter will not know at all). For example, I am trying to find the difference in meaning between the definitions of bridi and selbri. They are defined somewhere, I'm sure, but I can't locate the definitions.
 +
 +
[Bob: I explained selbri above, but in case you missed it, selbri corresponds to the logic term 'predicate', while bridi (in the gismu list) corresponds to the term 'predication'. In other words, the bridi is the whole sentence, while the selbri is the thing in the middle that determines the relationship among the sumti.
 +
 +
We used to have a glossary in every issue, up to around JL4 or JL5, but it got too big. The Overview was written to be a textual glossary for newcomers, figuring that old-timers were tired of seeing (and paying for) the definitions for words they already knew. The Overview, of course, is getting old, and has kunbri for what is now selbri and a couple of other minor errors. But the errors have thus far been seen as too minor to justify a revision sent to everybody.
 +
 +
The textbook will contain a glossary of both Lojban words of this sort and English linguistic terms that are used a lot in describing the language. In addition, Lojbanist Nancy Thalblum has started putting a glossary together as she studies the language. We may publish this separately, or use it as the basis for the textbook glossary. People are encouraged to write in with lists of words they would like to see defined in a glossary (other than the obvious Lojban ones).]
 +
 +
 +
== le lojbo se ciska ==
 +
 +
First this issue is a little ditty written by Athelstan. It's cute, if not profound. Sing it to the tune of 'Oscar Meyer' jingle.
 +
 +
<pre>
 +
    My Lojban has a first name                           
 +
      it's 'logical', you see                           
 +
    My Lojban has a second name                           
 +
      the 'language' that's for me                       
 +
    I like to use it ev'ry day                           
 +
      and if you ask me why, I'll say                   
 +
    la lojban. cu se nelci mi                             
 +
      gi'e ve tavla do fo mi                             
 +
</pre>
 +
 +
 +
The last line is pronounced:
 +
 +
<pre style="text-align: center">
 +
/lah,LOHZH,bahn. shoo,seh NEHL,shee,mee/
 +
/gee,heh veh,TAH,vlah doh,foh,mee/
 +
</pre>
 +
 +
and means, roughly:
 +
 +
<pre style="text-align: center">
 +
"Lojban is liked by me,
 +
and is spoken to you by me."
 +
</pre>
 +
 +
Also on a light note, John Cowan made his first Lojban effort a real humdinger. Here's his introduction and the text. See the translation section if you can't figure it out. (If you haven't tried a translation before, you may want to try John's journal entries, which follow this monstrosity, first.)
 +
 +
In this month's writings, we've tried to use the added writing conventions to make the text easier to read. Hope it helps. Hope we are reasonably consistent in our usage of the conventions.
 +
 +
John:
 +
 +
And (ta-dah!) my first piece of Lojban. I'm using a format similar to JL10's, so you can see what I said, what I meant to say, and what I was trying to say. The original, by the way, is the 1984 winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, an international bad-writing contest where the contestants submitted the opening paragraph from "the worst of all possible novels". I found it in a book called "It Was A Dark And Stormy Night", a collection of entries.
  
 
Herewith the Lojban:
 
Herewith the Lojban:
  
    ni'oni'o le nimcitno goi ko'a po'u la ka,as. noi ko'a melbi bai jorne le sramudri noi ke'a kusru zi'e po le dabli'e
+
ni'oni'o le nimcitno goi ko'a po'u la ka,as. noi ko'a melbi bai jorne le sramudri noi ke'a kusru zi'e po le dabli'e goi ko'e po'u la danlu ku secau le kecti .i le'i prenu poi ke'a se saptutklu zi'e po ko'e ca zbasu lo derxi be loi mudri bei leko'a jamfu noi ke'a cisyselpli .ibabo le voksa noi ke'a cladu je klina zi'e po'e la nebnauzag. noi ke'a te pemci je tajnau cu fegcru <<lu ganai le do fagryrinka cu rinka lei fagri ja'e le nimcitno se jukpa gi do lifri lenu mi setca le xarci le do se citka poi ko'a romoi ko'u li'u>>
goi ko'e po'u la danlu ku secau le kecti .i le'i prenu poi ke'a se saptutklu zi'e po ko'e ca zbasu lo derxi be loi
+
 
mudri bei leko'a jamfu noi ke'a cisyselpli .ibabo le voksa noi ke'a cladu je klina zi'e po'e la nebnauzag. noi ke'a te
+
As mentioned earlier, John Cowan has started writing a Lojban journal. Here are the first 3 days of his journal entries. Only minor corrections were needed. John's pleasant rhyme (you'll see), used an incorrect word. We corrected the word, calling the result a near-rhyme.
pemci je tajnau cu fegcru <<lu ganai le do fagryrinka cu rinka lei fagri ja'e le nimcitno se jukpa gi do lifri lenu mi
 
setca le xarci le do se citka poi ko'a romoi ko'u li'u>>
 
  
    As mentioned earlier, John Cowan has started writing a Lojban journal.  Here are the first 3 days of his journal
+
Most new Lojbanists should be able to understand this text using only the gismu list, rafsi list and cmavo list, and making literal translations and educated guesses as to how the result goes together. Try it and see:
entries.  Only minor corrections were needed.  John's pleasant rhyme (you'll see), used an incorrect word.  We corrected
 
the word, calling the result a near-rhyme.
 
    Most new Lojbanists should be able to understand this text using only the gismu list, rafsi list and cmavo list,
 
and making literal translations and educated guesses as to how the result goes together. Try it and see:
 
  
ni'oni'o de'i le djedi po la lunas. vau
+
<pre style="text-align: center">
 +
ni'oni'o de'i le djedi po la lunas. vau
 +
</pre>
  
    ni'o le mutce cmalu jukni cu cpare le djacu tubnu .i carvi ja'e le nu ko'a farlu .i le solri cu febri'a le carvi
+
ni'o le mutce cmalu jukni cu cpare le djacu tubnu .i carvi ja'e le nu ko'a farlu .i le solri cu febri'a le carvi .i le jukni cu rapli cpare
.i le jukni cu rapli cpare
 
  
ni'oni'o de'i le djedi po la mars. vau
+
<pre style="text-align: center">
 +
ni'oni'o de'i le djedi po la mars. vau
 +
</pre>
  
    ni'o le mi tixnu po'u la airin. verba .i ko'a nanca li ci .i ko'a kelci je krixa .i je ko'a sipna .i ko'a bacru
+
ni'o le mi tixnu po'u la airin. verba .i ko'a nanca li ci .i ko'a kelci je krixa .i je ko'a sipna .i ko'a bacru fi la gliban. .i mi bacru fi la gliban. .e la lojban. .i mi na'e drani bacru fi la lojban. .i mi zutse .i je mi viska le nu le mi tixnu cu kelci .i glare
fi la gliban. .i mi bacru fi la gliban. .e la lojban. .i mi na'e drani bacru fi la lojban. .i mi zutse .i je mi
+
<br />ni'o mi jdice le nu mi te cmene le'i djedi le'i plini
viska le nu le mi tixnu cu kelci
+
<br />ni'o cusku fa la viktorias <<lu mi ga'i ba'e na'e se zdile li'u>> .i di'u xajmi mi .i zo ga'i jibni rimni zo ba'e la lojban. .i zo na'e go'i .i le nu le'i rimni cu porsi cu xajmi mi
.i glare
 
    ni'o mi jdice le nu mi te cmene le'i djedi le'i plini
 
    ni'o cusku fa la viktorias <<lu mi ga'i ba'e na'e se zdile li'u>> .i di'u xajmi mi .i zo ga'i jibni rimni zo ba'e
 
la lojban. .i zo na'e go'i .i le nu le'i rimni cu porsi cu xajmi mi
 
  
ni'oni'o de'i le djedi po la saturn. vau
+
<pre style="text-align: center">
 +
ni'oni'o de'i le djedi po la saturn. vau
 +
</pre>
  
    ni'o cusku fa la daisets. suzukis. <<lu mi po la zen. skicu lo kilycna fo lo na'e kilycna li'u>>
+
ni'o cusku fa la daisets. suzukis. <<lu mi po la zen. skicu lo kilycna fo lo na'e kilycna li'u>>
    ni'o mi tirna lo verba zgike .i ri mutce pluka mi
+
<br />ni'o mi tirna lo verba zgike .i ri mutce pluka mi
    ni'o mi pu tcidu lo cukta be le nu ke pamoi penmi le na'e terdi prenu po'u la tranx. bei la alan. din. fostr.
+
<br />ni'o mi pu tcidu lo cukta be le nu ke pamoi penmi le na'e terdi prenu po'u la tranx. bei la alan. din. fostr.
  
    Next we have a letter and another poem by Michael Helsem, who has been extremely prolific in the last few months
+
Next we have a letter and another poem by Michael Helsem, who has been extremely prolific in the last few months (we are pleasantly drowning in his Lojban poetry). Due to our tight schedule, we've made some changes to what he wrote that we haven't been able to run by him, so hopefully he'll forgive us if we messed something up. Michael does follow the excellent practice of sending us fairly literal English translations of everything he writes so we can (usually) figure out his intent.
(we are pleasantly drowning in his Lojban poetry). Due to our tight schedule, we've made some changes to what he wrote
 
that we haven't been able to run by him, so hopefully he'll forgive us if we messed something up. Michael does follow
 
the excellent practice of sending us fairly literal English translations of everything he writes so we can (usually)
 
figure out his intent.
 
    Michael's text is very complex, indeed probably too complex either for him or for a typical reader; it appears that
 
Michael was trying to paraphrase his natural English idiom, throwing in plenty of attitudinals and discursives.
 
However, the result is worth studying; the letter exemplifies several more esoteric features of Lojban grammar as well
 
as the problems in translating idiom.  At least look up the words and make your best guess what he's trying to say.
 
Then check the translation to see what he intended.
 
    A far better practice in writing your own letters, by the way, is to figure out what you want to say, then express
 
it in short Lojban sentences as John Cowan did in his journal. You will find after writing only a few pages that you
 
will develop a more Lojbanic idiom.
 
    Michael actually made very few grammatical errors. There are, however, some 'wrong words', some unfortunate
 
Americanisms that translate poorly when he tries to do them literally, and some equivalents to English pronouns, that in
 
Lojban are frustratingly vague or misleading.  All in all, though, this is an excellent effort.
 
    I editorially embedded the original of the poem included in the letter within the non-grammatical quotes "lo'u ...
 
le'u"; the poem had one 'grammatical error' that could not be corrected without destroying the sense of his introductory
 
comments regardin the poem.
 
  
    di'e zirjbo po'a xatra de'i la xav. po'e la mumast.
+
Michael's text is very complex, indeed probably too complex either for him or for a typical reader; it appears that Michael was trying to paraphrase his natural English idiom, throwing in plenty of attitudinals and discursives. However, the result is worth studying; the letter exemplifies several more esoteric features of Lojban grammar as well as the problems in translating idiom. At least look up the words and make your best guess what he's trying to say. Then check the translation to see what he intended.
    ni'o coido'u mi dopeza ledo nu jarco le mi pemci cu ckire ra'u  .i puvi'eku mi mutce cutyzu'e pi'o gi'e pu'i
 
ninpemci jmina la'u lo mo'amei .u'u ne ki'u lemi cabi'ibajenairu'i .ia li'anai zmadu nu mutce cutyzu'e .i ta'onai pu ra
 
ku mi pinka so'u lepu selja'o ti'u
 
  
  37
+
A far better practice in writing your own letters, by the way, is to figure out what you want to say, then express it in short Lojban sentences as John Cowan did in his journal. You will find after writing only a few pages that you will develop a more Lojbanic idiom.
  
 +
Michael actually made very few grammatical errors. There are, however, some 'wrong words', some unfortunate Americanisms that translate poorly when he tries to do them literally, and some equivalents to English pronouns, that in Lojban are frustratingly vague or misleading. All in all, though, this is an excellent effort.
  
    .i pamai sera'a le pemci po'u se tcita <<lu leka sarcu kei vau li'u>> ku'o mi na jimpe le krinu be ledo nu punji zo
+
I editorially embedded the original of the poem included in the letter within the non-grammatical quotes "lo'u ... le'u"; the poem had one 'grammatical error' that could not be corrected without destroying the sense of his introductory comments regardin the poem.
<<cu>> le crastu po zo <<nu>> mu'inai lemi pu nu dunda (sei zo <<sabji>> lu'anai cu drani se'u) lo temge'a tcita (to
+
 
te'i zo <<ba>> vau toi) pe vi le trixystu ne seba'i .i ti jufra <<lu le nunsti ne sekai leka pratci cu batci mu'anai
+
di'e zirjbo po'a xatra de'i la xav. po'e la mumast.
li'u>> vau ?xu
+
 
    .i remai .uocai sera'a le seltcita be <<lu le firgai mu'anai vau li'u>> ku vi le da'amoi vlali'i ku zo <<co>> cu se
+
ni'o coido'u mi dopeza ledo nu jarco le mi pemci cu ckire ra'u .i puvi'eku mi mutce cutyzu'e pi'o gi'e pu'i ninpemci jmina la'u lo mo'amei .u'u ne ki'u lemi cabi'ibajenairu'i .ia li'anai zmadu nu mutce cutyzu'e .i ta'onai pu ra ku mi pinka so'u lepu selja'o ti'u
setca fi <<lu fasnu cictcima li'u>> ja'e <<lo'u lo nalsti nu cictcima fasnu le'u>> (sei zo <<za'i>> basti ?xu be zo
+
 
<<nu>> se'u) .i zo <<fasnu>> ca nalsarcu .i'a .iku'i ta rinka lenu mi ninzga lo puze'u nandu .i mi su'oroi pilno zo
+
 
<<nu>> lo paroi tortei bo fasnu gi'e drata go'i fi lo ranji clatei bo fasnu .i re frica valsi cu sarcu vau pe'i .ije
+
.i pamai sera'a le pemci po'u se tcita <<lu leka sarcu kei vau li'u>> ku'o mi na jimpe le krinu be ledo nu punji zo <<cu>> le crastu po zo <<nu>> mu'inai lemi pu nu dunda (sei zo <<sabji>> lu'anai cu drani se'u) lo temge'a tcita (to te'i zo <<ba>> vau toi) pe vi le trixystu ne seba'i .i ti jufra <<lu le nunsti ne sekai leka pratci cu batci mu'anai li'u>> vau ?xu
.ie mi pujeca luzypli (to tai zirjbo cai vau toi) zo <<go'i>> .iku'i .ei zasti fa le nuncumki be lo naldikni se spicru
+
 
poi kakne lenu sisti vi lo crastu mu'anai
+
.i remai .uocai sera'a le seltcita be <<lu le firgai mu'anai vau li'u>> ku vi le da'amoi vlali'i ku zo <<co>> cu se setca fi <<lu fasnu cictcima li'u>> ja'e <<lo'u lo nalsti nu cictcima fasnu le'u>> (sei zo <<za'i>> basti ?xu be zo <<nu>> se'u) .i zo <<fasnu>> ca nalsarcu .i'a .iku'i ta rinka lenu mi ninzga lo puze'u nandu .i mi su'oroi pilno zo <<nu>> lo paroi tortei bo fasnu gi'e drata go'i fi lo ranji clatei bo fasnu .i re frica valsi cu sarcu vau pe'i .ije .ie mi pujeca luzypli (to tai zirjbo cai vau toi) zo <<go'i>> .iku'i .ei zasti fa le nuncumki be lo naldikni se spicru poi kakne lenu sisti vi lo crastu mu'anai
    .i ta'onai cimai sera'a le romoi pemci ku le da'aremoi vlali'i cu binxo <<lo'u lo pamei seizga le'u>> vau lu'anai
+
 
.io .i banzu fa ta
+
.i ta'onai cimai sera'a le romoi pemci ku le da'aremoi vlali'i cu binxo <<lo'u lo pamei seizga le'u>> vau lu'anai .io .i banzu fa ta
    ni'o levi pemci cu pilno pa leimi terga'i be fe le sumti tcita purste (sei mi camdji djuno be leri romoi tarmi
+
 
se'u) .i mi pilno <<lo'u sexebe'i le'u>> zo <<be'i>> vi le pemci noi se tcita <<lu le te pemci .e le se binxo vau
+
ni'o levi pemci cu pilno pa leimi terga'i be fe le sumti tcita purste (sei mi camdji djuno be leri romoi tarmi se'u) .i mi pilno <<lo'u sexebe'i le'u>> zo <<be'i>> vi le pemci noi se tcita <<lu le te pemci .e le se binxo vau li'u>> .i [<<lo'u sa'a]
li'u>> .i [<<lo'u sa'a]
+
 
ko mi zasyspo
+
::: ko mi zasyspo
.ije mi ba vuzyvuzyxru
+
::: .ije mi ba vuzyvuzyxru
sexebe'i do
+
::: sexebe'i do
.i makfa
+
::: .i makfa
.i roroi ku
+
::: .i roroi ku
mi'o zukte ra
+
::: mi'o zukte ra
le'u>> vau sa'a
+
<br />le'u>> vau sa'a
  
    Finally, Bob promised to try writing some of his 'natural' Lojban (almost everything else he's written in the
+
Finally, Bob promised to try writing some of his 'natural' Lojban (almost everything else he's written in the language has been constrained to a limited vocabulary, such as the short readings in the draft textbook lessons). The issue is so delayed that he promised to keep it short this time (relatively). Remember. No translation is provided. You can write and ask specific questions if you make the attempt and get lost. I can't promise perfection at this stuff yet.
language has been constrained to a limited vocabulary, such as the short readings in the draft textbook lessons). The
 
issue is so delayed that he promised to keep it short this time (relatively). Remember. No translation is provided.
 
You can write and ask specific questions if you make the attempt and get lost. I can't promise perfection at this stuff
 
yet.
 
  
    .uo .uonai .i dukti .i na go'i .i mi ciksi
+
.uo .uonai .i dukti .i na go'i .i mi ciksi
    ni'o zu'u zo <<.uo>> noi smuni lenu mulno cilmo ku'o cu mapti leza'i da lojbo gerna .e leza'i de lojbo gismu .i
+
<br />ni'o zu'u zo <<.uo>> noi smuni lenu mulno cilmo ku'o cu mapti leza'i da lojbo gerna .e leza'i de lojbo gismu .i so'u cilre girzu zu'o tadni cu mulno .i so'u drata ke cilre girzu caze'a penmi joi tadni vijevajevuku .i cabi'iba le karni ke cabna selci po'u <<lu ju'i lobypli li'u>> cu se pagbu loi lojbo selsku .i ri krasi selci'a bau la lojban. (to mi bau la gliban. na pensi ja ciska [sei .ue .o'a lo pluja logji selsku po'u dei cu frili se'u] loi mulno selpei pu lenu mi samci'a dei pe ve'a toi) .i la maiky'elsym. cu te pemci bau la lojban gi'e ca mansa ke gerna drani .i la djan. kau,n. cu dikni skuci'a bau la lojban vi levo'a seirkarni .i .ua la lojbangirz. cu se ganzu fo loi lojbo .i ri mutce snada ke mulno selzu'e mi'o pe ve'u
so'u cilre girzu zu'o tadni cu mulno .i so'u drata ke cilre girzu caze'a penmi joi tadni vijevajevuku .i cabi'iba le
+
<br />ni'o zu'unai zo <<.uo>> .ebazibo zo <<.nai>> cu mapti le lojbo pu'u farvi .i ri ba'e na mulno .i .ei .uonai le ctucku vau .i mi dunku ri ki'u lenu mi nalbanzu mulri'a .i mi xaksu loi dukse temci le zu'o ganzu joi si'orcanja joi flagau joi dintro .ianai .au .i le vlacku gunka cu balvi .i .ei la lojbangirz. ba banro zukte .i .ei loi zmadu be loi ca lobypre ba cilre .a'o le bangu .i .ei piro lei cempre ba se ganzu fo lenu pejri'a le cecmu
karni ke cabna selci po'u <<lu ju'i lobypli li'u>> cu se pagbu loi lojbo selsku .i ri krasi selci'a bau la lojban. (to
+
<br />ni'o .einai mi zukte pamei .i .ei roko zukte .i ko cilre la lojban. .i ko dunda piro lei jdini poi te marde pagbu be le selfai poi dinselxaksu .i .uuse'i loi nalbanzu jdini cu seldu'u mi gi'e rinka lenu mi gunka dirsno
mi bau la gliban. na pensi ja ciska [sei .ue .o'a lo pluja logji selsku po'u dei cu frili se'u] loi mulno selpei pu lenu
+
<br />ni'oku'i .ia ba'a le tcini cu xagmaubi'o .i piso'ado ba sidju .i so'ida ba cilre je pilno la lojban. .i .ai .au .eicai ko morji je tinbe le selsku cnimu'i be la lojbangirz. be'o po'u <<lu .e'osai ko sarji la lojban li'u>> .i ganai ko go'i gi la lojban. snada gi'e bangu do
mi samci'a dei pe ve'a toi) .i la maiky'elsym. cu te pemci bau la lojban gi'e ca mansa ke gerna drani .i la djan.
+
<br />ki'emi'e la lojbab. po'u la bab. leceval,ier.
kau,n. cu dikni skuci'a bau la lojban vi levo'a seirkarni .i .ua la lojbangirz. cu se ganzu fo loi lojbo .i ri mutce
+
<br />fe'o
snada ke mulno selzu'e mi'o pe ve'u
 
    ni'o zu'unai zo <<.uo>> .ebazibo zo <<.nai>> cu mapti le lojbo pu'u farvi .i ri ba'e na mulno .i .ei .uonai le
 
ctucku vau .i mi dunku ri ki'u lenu mi nalbanzu mulri'a .i mi xaksu loi dukse temci le zu'o ganzu joi si'orcanja joi
 
flagau joi dintro .ianai .au .i le vlacku gunka cu balvi .i .ei la lojbangirz. ba banro zukte .i .ei loi zmadu be loi
 
ca lobypre ba cilre .a'o le bangu .i .ei piro lei cempre ba se ganzu fo lenu pejri'a le cecmu
 
    ni'o .einai mi zukte pamei .i .ei roko zukte .i ko cilre la lojban. .i ko dunda piro lei jdini poi te marde
 
pagbu be le selfai poi dinselxaksu .i .uuse'i loi nalbanzu jdini cu seldu'u mi gi'e rinka lenu mi gunka dirsno
 
    ni'oku'i .ia ba'a le tcini cu xagmaubi'o .i piso'ado ba sidju .i so'ida ba cilre je pilno la lojban. .i .ai .au
 
.eicai ko morji je tinbe le selsku cnimu'i be la lojbangirz. be'o po'u <<lu .e'osai ko sarji la lojban li'u>> .i ganai
 
ko go'i gi la lojban. snada gi'e bangu do
 
    ki'emi'e la lojbab. po'u la bab. leceval,ier.
 
    fe'o
 
  
      Translations
+
=== Translations ===
  
 
Our first translation is John Cowan's first paragraph, which we'll repeat so you have it handy:
 
Our first translation is John Cowan's first paragraph, which we'll repeat so you have it handy:
  
    ni'oni'o le nimcitno goi ko'a po'u la ka,as. noi ko'a melbi bai jorne le sramudri noi ke'a kusru zi'e po le dabli'e
+
ni'oni'o le nimcitno goi ko'a po'u la ka,as. noi ko'a melbi bai jorne le sramudri noi ke'a kusru zi'e po le dabli'e goi ko'e po'u la danlu ku secau le kecti .i lei prenu poi ke'a se saptutklu zi'e po ko'e ca zbasu lo derxi be loi mudri bei leko'a jamfu noi ke'a cisyselpli .ibabo le voksa noi ke'a cladu je klina zi'e po'e la nebnauzag. noi ke'a te pemci je tajnau cu fegcru <<lu ganai le do fagryrinka cu rinka lei fagri ja'e le nimcitno se jukpa gi do lifri lenu mi setca le xarci le do se citka poi ke'a romoi ko'u li'u>>
goi ko'e po'u la danlu ku secau le kecti .i lei prenu poi ke'a se saptutklu zi'e po ko'e ca zbasu lo derxi be loi mudri
 
bei leko'a jamfu noi ke'a cisyselpli .ibabo le voksa noi ke'a cladu je klina zi'e po'e la nebnauzag. noi ke'a te pemci
 
je tajnau cu fegcru <<lu ganai le do fagryrinka cu rinka lei fagri ja'e le nimcitno se jukpa gi do lifri lenu mi setca
 
le xarci le do se citka poi ke'a romoi ko'u li'u>>
 
  
 
Pidgin translation:
 
Pidgin translation:
  
  38
+
Totally new subject. The woman-youth known-as she1 who-is-identically the-one-called Kaa who-incidentally-is beautiful, forcedly is-joined-to the upright-wood such-that it is cruel and such that it is specific-to the fight-leader known-as he2 who-is-identically the-one-called Animal without the mercy. The-mass-of persons such-that they are-simple-tool-culture-people which-are-specific-to him2 simultaneously make a heap-of some wood at her1 feet such-that they are-sexually-used. And-then the voice such-that it is-loud and is-clear and is inalienably-possessed-by the-one-called Beautiful-male-buttocks who-incidentally-is a poem-maker and a superlative-man angrily-utters, quote, if your fire-causer causes some fire with-result the woman-youth is-something-cooked then you experience that I insert the weapon into your something-eaten such-that it is last, unquote.
 +
 
 +
English original:
 +
 
 +
The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarian tribe now stacking wood at her nubile feet, when the strong clear voice of the poetic and heroic Handsomas roared, "Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my steel through your last meal."
  
Totally new subject.  The woman-youth known-as she1 who-is-identically the-one-called Kaa who-incidentally-is
+
John's notes on the translation:
beautiful, forcedly is-joined-to the upright-wood such-that it is cruel and such that it is specific-to the fight-leader
 
known-as he2 who-is-identically the-one-called Animal without the mercy.  The-mass-of persons such-that they are-simple-
 
tool-culture-people which-are-specific-to him2 simultaneously make a heap-of some wood at her1 feet such-that they are-
 
sexually-used. And-then the voice such-that it is-loud and is-clear and is inalienably-possessed-by the-one-called
 
Beautiful-male-buttocks who-incidentally-is a poem-maker and a superlative-man angrily-utters, quote, if your fire-
 
causer causes some fire with-result the woman-youth is-something-cooked then you experience that I insert the weapon
 
into your something-eaten such-that it is last, unquote.
 
  
English original:
+
There doesn't seem to be any way to say "mercy" in Lojban. I substituted "pity", which is adequate in the negative, because "pitiless" = "merciless", but pity and mercy are quite distinct in the positive. [Bob: "mercy" can be derived as a scalar negative either from the gismu for "cruel" or for "severe". Since he's already used "kusru" in the text, "naljursa" or "to'e jursa" seem like better choices.]
  
The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of the warrior-chief Beast, with his
+
I attempted to avoid the excessive use (to my way of thinking) of tanru in much of the Lojban I've seen to date, in favor of relative clauses. On the other hand, I'm far from sure that I have their syntax correct. [Bob: He was close, omitting only the zi'e connectives for multiple relative clauses and phrases attached to the same sumti.]
barbarian tribe now stacking wood at her nubile feet, when the strong clear voice of the poetic and heroic Handsomas
 
roared, "Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my steel through your last meal."
 
  
John's notes on the translation:
+
I'm rather proud of "la nebnauzag." = "Handsomas".
  
    There doesn't seem to be any way to say "mercy" in Lojban. I substituted "pity", which is adequate in the
+
The clumsiness of "fagryrinka rinka lei fagri" is a deliberate attempt to translate "Flick your Bic" into something that sounds equally idiotic. Unfortunately Handsomas loses his terseness (strong, silent male type) in Lojban, at least in my Lojban.
negative, because "pitiless" = "merciless", but pity and mercy are quite distinct in the positive. [Bob:  "mercy" can be
 
derived as a scalar negative either from the gismu for "cruel" or for "severe". Since he's already used "kusru" in the
 
text, "naljursa" or "to'e jursa" seem like better choices.]
 
    I attempted to avoid the excessive use (to my way of thinking) of tanru in much of the Lojban I've seen to date, in
 
favor of relative clauses.  On the other hand, I'm far from sure that I have their syntax correct. [Bob:  He was close,
 
omitting only the zi'e connectives for multiple relative clauses and phrases attached to the same sumti.]
 
    I'm rather proud of "la nebnauzag." = "Handsomas".
 
    The clumsiness of "fagryrinka rinka lei fagri" is a deliberate attempt to translate "Flick your Bic" into something
 
that sounds equally idiotic. Unfortunately Handsomas loses his terseness (strong, silent male type) in Lojban, at least
 
in my Lojban.
 
  
    [Bob adds: The Bulwar-Lytton competition is actually a contest for the worst first-line of a novel. John's
+
[Bob adds: The Bulwar-Lytton competition is actually a contest for the worst first-line of a novel. John's translation breaks it up into multiple sentences, but it is possible to combine all the separate Lojban pieces into a single sentence. (To make elidable terminators easier to track, I'm removing John's excess relative clauses; I'm also making a couple of other minor changes that I think are improvements):
translation breaks it up into multiple sentences, but it is possible to combine all the separate Lojban pieces into a
 
single sentence. (To make elidable terminators easier to track, I'm removing John's excess relative clauses; I'm also
 
making a couple of other minor changes that I think are improvements):
 
  
    ni'oni'o ba lenu le melbi nimcitno po'u la ka,as. goi ko'a bai jorne binxo le kusru sramudri po le dabli'e po'u la
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ni'oni'o ba lenu le melbi nimcitno po'u la ka,as. goi ko'a bai jorne binxo le kusru sramudri po le dabli'e po'u la danlu goi ko'e secau loka naljursa kei kei ca lenu lei se saptutklu po ko'e cu zbasu lo derxi be loi mudri bei leko'a cisyselpli jamfu kei le cladu je klina voksa be la nebnauzag. noi te pemci je tajnau cu fegcru <<lu ganai ledo fagryrinka cu rinka lei fagri ja'e le nimcitno se jukpa gi ko lifri leli'i mi setca le xarci ledo se citka poi seri'a romoi li'u>>
danlu goi ko'e secau loka naljursa kei kei ca lenu lei se saptutklu po ko'e cu zbasu lo derxi be loi mudri bei leko'a
 
cisyselpli jamfu kei le cladu je klina voksa be la nebnauzag. noi te pemci je tajnau cu fegcru <<lu ganai ledo
 
fagryrinka cu rinka lei fagri ja'e le nimcitno se jukpa gi ko lifri leli'i mi setca le xarci ledo se citka poi seri'a
 
romoi li'u>>
 
  
  
The translation is fairly close to John's:
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The translation is fairly close to John's:
  
Totally new subject. After the beautiful woman-youth who-is-identically the-one-called Kaa (known-as she1)
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Totally new subject. After the beautiful woman-youth who-is-identically the-one-called Kaa (known-as she1) forcedly joined-becomes-to the cruel upright-wood which-is-specific-to the fight-leader who-is-identically the-one-called Animal (known-as he2) without mercy, and while the-mass-of simple-tool-culture-people which-are-specific-to him2 make a heap-of wood at her1 sexually-used feet, the loud and clear voice of the-one-called Beautiful-male-buttocks who-incidentally-is a poet and a superlative-man angrily-utters, "if your fire-causer causes some fire with-result of the woman-youth cooked-thing then (imperative) experience the experience of my inserting the weapon into your something-eaten which is the causedly-therefore last".
forcedly joined-becomes-to the cruel upright-wood which-is-specific-to the fight-leader who-is-identically the-one-
 
called Animal (known-as he2) without mercy, and while the-mass-of simple-tool-culture-people which-are-specific-to him2
 
make a heap-of wood at her1 sexually-used feet, the loud and clear voice of the-one-called Beautiful-male-buttocks who-
 
incidentally-is a poet and a superlative-man angrily-utters, "if your fire-causer causes some fire with-result of the
 
woman-youth cooked-thing then (imperative) experience the experience of my inserting the weapon into your something-
 
eaten which is the causedly-therefore last".
 
  
    If that was too hard, you may or may not benefit from the Lojban parser output for this sample. In this c