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For a full list of ju'i lobypli publications, see ju'i lobypli.
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Ju'i Lobypli *   Number 4 - February 1988


See below for details.

* It has become a standing joke for our name to change each issue. I think this one is for keeps, though. This title is almost identical to the previous newsletter, but is based on the new public-domain vocabulary. Ju'i replaces Hoi; it is pronounced /zhu-hi/ (italics indicates special sounds that are unusual to English speakers in some way), and is based on the new word for 'attention' : jundi. The apostrophe stands for the consonant buffer that occurs in the middle of all two-syllable vowel pairs - it is pronounced by English speakers as an 'h', though it is formally defined as the 'rough breathing' of Greek and certain other languages. Lobypli, like Loglypli, means 'Loglan User'. The new Loglan predicate for something Loglandic is lojbo, with affix lob. The new word for 'x uses y' is pilno, with affixes which include pli. Because b/p is not a permissible medial consonant pair, the y hyphen is required to join the two affixes so the word sticks together and is understandable. The resulting word is pronounced /LOB-uh-pli/ (Capitalization indicates stress). Penultimate stress, the Loglan standard, does not include 'y' hyphens in counting the syllables.

This newsletter is an unofficial publication by and for the Loglan community. Ju'i Lobypli has no connection with the Loglan Institute, and has received the express disapproval of the CEO of that organization. In spite of this, our mail unanimously agrees that we have a right to publish, and that we should continue to do so. Since the Institute has abdicated its role in supporting interchange of ideas and information in the community, we are for the first time expanding our mailing to the entire community, insofar as we have valid addresses. We invite you all to add to this community. You can start learning Loglan now, and will have a complete language to share with others this year.

Your editor is Bob LeChevalier. In addition to publishing this newsletter, I am leading the efforts of a few dozen of you to complete and publish a baselined version of Loglan this year. When I use 'we', I am generally referring to the team producing the publication version of Loglan, which we call "Lojban - The Realization of Loglan".

This newsletter is going to over 300 people in about a dozen countries. Of these, over 80 are new recruits to the language, averaging 2-3 per week since the last publication. We have continued to distribute the newsletter without charge. It is getting expensive though; last issue cost about $500, and was not nearly covered by contributions. We thus are asking for contributions from those who find this newsletter valuable. Our costs are about 3-4 cents per page plus postage - or some $2.50-$3.50 a copy. We have topped the magic 200 U.S Mail copies needed for bulk rate, so that this is the last first class mailing, and our postage costs will drop. We are also planning on establishing a non-profit organization, as described below, which will allow tax-deductible contributions, and further reduce our bulk postage costs.

We are specifically asking for donations from people requesting back copies of JL and other publications. We are low on issues, but will make additional copies as necessary; our costs go up to 5-8 cents per page, depending on the size of the run. More below on how we will be trying to establish fiscal integrity, hopefully with your assistance.

For those who have been following with interest, Nora Tansky and I were married on 23 October 1987. The ceremony was attended by several local Loglanists, and the wedding vows were written and spoken in Loglan. A copy of the vows may be found in an Appendix.

Contents of this issue:

  • GPA Has Begun!
  • Loglan Bulletin Boards
  • Status of Public Domain Loglan (Lojban): Primitive Remaking, Grammar, LWs, MEX, LogFlash, Dictionary, Textbook and Teaching Aids
  • Our GPA Plans and Schedule
  • Loglan Class
  • Report on Logfest 4
  • News from the Institute: NB3, Institute GPA Plans, Case Tags, Humor in Loglan, Prolog and Loglan, the Aficianado Program, Dictionary, CACM Paper, Policy on NB3 Loglan usage, Policy on Public Domain Loglan
  • Letters to the Editor: Paul Doudna and Jeff Prothero
  • Editorials: The Purpose of Loglan, Why Linguists Ignore Us, Two Loglans, The Future of the Institute, Piracy
  • Honor Roll of Contributors
  • Glossary Update
  • Fiscal Integrity, Pricing Policy, What's Available
  • Appendices: JL Subscribers Questionaire, Our Wedding Ceremony, Transgrammar on Cases, Capital Loglan Bulletin Board, Loglan Brochure

For those who wish to contact us with address changes, letters to the Editor, orders for Loglan materials, contributions textual and financial, inquiries, or whatever:

                         Robert LeChevalier
                          Nora LeChevalier
                           2904 Beau Lane
                          Fairfax VA 22031

                     Home Phone (703) 385-0273
                  Bob's Work Phone (703) 847-4465

 Capital Loglan Bulletin Board - Virginia/DC Area : (703) 391-8873
                  (1200 Baud - See Details Below)

        Loglan Bulletin Board - California : (415) 538-3580
 (300 baud - type 'help complete' and/or 'read Loglan' and go from

GPA Has Begun

For over 5 years, we've been promised a new publication of Loglan, called within the community 'GPA' for 'Going Public Again'. Finally, that promise is being kept.

On January 1, 1988, at the EVECON science fiction convention here in the Washington DC area, I announced to a standing-room-only crowd (well - it was a smaller room than we expected) that the republication of Loglan will occur throughout this year. The first publications, a completely rebuilt Loglan primitive list and our computer-aided primitive teaching program LogFlash were announced as available, and the first copy was given out. 'Going Public Again' means that we intend to launch public advertising efforts, and to distribute Loglan materials on a scale never before achieved. We are counting on you - the existing Loglan community - to make this possible. Tell friends, neighbors, and colleagues about Loglan. Form small groups to learn and speak Loglan together. Use our new teaching materials and aids to speak, read, and write Loglan. Devise new applications for Loglan; your creativity will make Loglan successful.

Unlike previous versions of Loglan, this one is for keeps; the primitive list is in preliminary baseline, and will be frozen as of June 1988, at the next LogFest meeting. The Little Words (LWs) that constitute the grammar controls of Loglan will be baselined by June, and frozen by the end of the year. Loglan has stopped changing - it has finally come of age. It is now time for you to learn and use Loglan.

This version of Loglan will be distinguished from previous versions in several major ways. First of all, because of the rebuilding of the primitive list, it is only logical to use a name derived from the new Loglan words for 'logical language': logji bangu. Using the new resolvable-complexes algorithm, the affixes for the two words are attached. We choose affixes so as to end the name with a consonant (as do all Loglan names) and VOILA!

LOJBAN - A Realization of Loglan

This name is nice in that it clearly resembles the English name 'Loglan', which will be used in English-language publications. But it clearly distinguishes this usable, learnable, version of the language from the 1960, 1968 and 1975 publications of the language, and the unpublished GMR version. Also, since this version of the language is being placed in the public domain in its entirety, there will be no questions about your right to use and apply Lojban in the many ways that have been conceived over the years.

Other major distinctions of Lojban are a somewhat revised phonology (speech sound rules) and morphology (word formation rules). We've kept to the spirit of previous versions of Loglan - few rules have been changed. But the new language is easier than ever to speak, and to listen to, while maintaining the full resolvability and the one-to-one correspondence between speech and text that is a hallmark of Loglan.

We also have the syntactically unambiguous grammar that has been unique to Loglan. The current grammar is almost identical to the GMR Loglan grammar that Dr. James Cooke Brown (JCB), the original inventor of Loglan, devised. A few changes have been made, or are currently being made under the auspices of Dr. John Parks-Clifford, or 'pc' to all who read 'The Loglanist' during its publication. pc can certainly be said to be the most knowledgeable Loglanist after JCB, and his help has been critical to our successful completion of the language. We also have had the aid of Jeff Prothero, who devised the first provably unambiguous Loglan grammar, and Jeff Taylor, of the Loglan Word Makers Council - who obtained his master's degree through his Loglan parser work.

What may be most important about Lojban is that in publishing it, we are committing ourselves to making it available, usable, and successful - now! We are going to stop tinkering with Loglan. We are instead going to write in Loglan, and to speak in Loglan. Nora and I plan to raise our children as bilingual Loglanists. Rather than concentrating on a formal dictionary, our highest priority is the writing of a Loglan textbook - so that you also can read, speak, and write Loglan. Other artificial languages have failed because they never got much further than writing a dictionary. We will skip the dictionary for now, and instead teach you how to determine new words and their meanings so that others can understand them without a dictionary. Oh, yes - we will write a dictionary. But it will be next year, after your usage has made it more clear what such a dictionary must contain. Until then, we will produce public domain short-format word lists that are easy to prepare, copy, and distribute.

We also expect this to be the first Loglan to achieve international language status. While a few dozen of you on our mailing list are in countries outside the United States, no real effort has been made to interface Loglan with any language other than English. But we believe that there now exists a community of German speakers large enough to make German-Loglan teaching possible. With some help from our German-speaking community, we hope to follow our English-language teaching materials with German-language materials. Then on to Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, and the rest of the world's languages.

For the sake of clarity, in this newsletter we will henceforth be using 'Lojban' to refer to the current language, to make clear that we are referring to the Loglan that realizes the commitments of the past 35 years of development. However, we will use 'Loglan' when referring to the generic properties of the language that it holds in common with all previous versions, and we will use 'Loglan' when writing materials intended for newcomers and outsiders; these might have heard of the language, and who would not recognize without explanation that 'Lojban' is the completed version of 'Loglan'.

Loglan Bulletin Boards

Bill Ragsdale's west coast bulletin board is working, although some of you may have unsuccessfully tried it when it was last mentioned. Actually, he was having phone line problems when I called him just before this publication, but he expects the problem to be fixed by the time you receive this. Since I only recently got a working modem and software, I was not able to meaningfully support this board until now. If you people are using it, we'll keep it going, and I'll be checking it every week or two. The primary purpose of this board is to give west coast Loglanists a more local interchange forum, and as a distribution point for announcements in between newsletters. It does not support file transfer, which is needed for our primary distribution point.

Joel Shprentz followed up a Logfest commitment with action, and we now have an east coast bulletin board here in the Washington DC area. For those outside of DC, it is in the DC metropolitan area and hence is PC Pursuitable. This is apparently a service that allows you low cost off-hours computer phone access to bulletin boards in most major metro areas of the U.S.

The Capital Loglan Bulletin Board runs at 1200 Baud, and has file upload and download capabilities. You must register with name and address, and Joel will give you the read and write permissions to upload and download within a few days. You can read and write messages immediately upon registering. We are also working on connecting the board into Usenet/Arpanet, to give us long distance mail capability. This board will be our initial distribution point for products that can be made available in computer form.

Anyone who has written to me over the last year knows that I am not too swift at responding. In general, I reply to letters when I send out newsletters; I'm working to improve by getting more organized, but I won't be up to a proper standard for a while. (If I owe you something and you do not get a response in this mailing, please tug my chain again.) But I do check the Capital board at least weekly, and I can give you much quicker replies if the board is a suitable media.

Incidentally, for anyone who tried to reach me using the Usenet address given in the last issue - my apologies. Our company's mail system turned out to be an unworkable hassle, and I never was able to get messages either into or out of the company network. I've been told they have a new system being brought up now, but you are better off reaching me through Joel's USENET address - just ask him to pass the message on to me. That address is:

Lojban Status - Where do We Stand?

Primitives: First and most important - we have completed the remaking of the Loglan primitive list. As described in the last issue, due to copyright claims by JCB, legal complications were threatening to suffocate the language. Instead, we chose to rebuild the entire set of primitives from scratch. We decided to use current language population figures, which are significantly changed from the 1950 data used by JCB. This led to our use of six languages: Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic - instead of JCB's original eight. We also used our slightly modified phonology.

It turns out that language dictionaries (especially Chinese) are much better than they were when JCB did his original work. The original etymologies would have been embarrassing, had we attempted to introduce Loglan in China. We probably still have some Chinese errors in the new etymologies, but we did consult with one native Taiwanese; she gave us some confidence that our choices were reasonable. However, even with computer processing of JCB's algorithm for composite primitive construction, it took several hours per word to do the entire set of primitives. We have concluded that human selection of the 'best' scoring primitives is generally wrong. More often than not, the word we thought would score highest came in second or lower. We also concluded that the effort to rebuild the primitives was worthwhile for scholarly integrity - the set of words we now have is much more defensible than the repeatedly modified and rebuilt list it replaced. We did make some assumptions that led to systematic phonemic transcription errors, but the words were made consistently, and the errors had predictable effects. We therefore decided that no further effort on rebuilding is justified, and indeed that any future additions should use the same rules.

The other major accomplishment was a thorough review of the concepts included in the primitive list. As described in issue #2, several of the previous concepts embedded cultural biases that had not been recognized. In addition, dozens of proposals for additions and deletions that appeared in TL were considered. Our basic assumption was to start from JCB's list of concepts as a baseline, and to apply changes systematically, justifying each change (often with considerable discussion).

In any case, this major step in finishing a public domain Loglan is now complete. The list of 1272 primitives has been preliminarily baselined, and several Loglanists are already working to master the new list. The decreased English weighting seems to make some words a little harder to learn than their predecessors. But our mean algorithmic recognition score was about 54%, probably about 10 points higher than the previous list.

While we have established a preliminary baseline, changes backed by good argument may still be suggested until LogFest in June. At LogFest, we intend to seek the approval of the attending community for a final baseline. After baselining, we intend it to be very difficult to make changes; the community needs to feel sure that the language is stable and therefore worth the learning effort. Anyone can comment on the primitive list before this baseline, and you all are encouraged to make suggestions. Note that those who have learned the bulk of the new primitives are most likely to produce acceptable proposals, so try a little time with LogFlash soon.

The place structures embedded in the primitive list are not as solidly nailed down. Only usage will prove the viability of a primitive's place structure definition. This is one reason why we are de-emphasizing the production of a dictionary until more of you have mastered the primitives, and have used the language a bit.

Little Words: The grammatical controls, or 'little words' (LWs) are also being redone. This is partially to avoid the same copyright problems that caused the primitive remaking. But in addition, JCB built several LWs from closely related primitives, which have now changed. We also have some important proposals that, while they only change a few LWs, require sweeping changes in the existing set of LWs just to fit them in. This is because every CV-form and VV-form possibility had a LW assigned in the previous list - leaving no room for change without rearranging the entire list. This had frozen some outdated or erroneous concepts into the list, which we are now taking the singular opportunity to fix. But overall, the new list reflects the old list rather thoroughly, even if most of the words have changed. Our experience is that most of you who were familiar with the old words at one time have forgotten them due to the long period of disuse - and new Loglanists have no relearning handicap.

The LW list is a little behind the primitive list in being completed; since some LWs are derived from primitives, we had to finish the primitives to even assemble a proposed list. pc and others are currently reviewing the draft list, and several changes will be made - mostly deletions of new proposals that turn out not to be that good. But the most important words - the ones that are unquestionably basic to Loglan - are fairly stable now. These can be learned, and serve as a minimum set for us to start on teaching materials. We expect to have a preliminary baseline by LogFest in June, with a final baseline when we complete the textbook and have determined that all of the LWs are both usable and teachable.

Grammar: Almost no changes are expected in the grammar, insofar as the previous grammar can be determined. JCB tied up his last description of the grammar in a restrictive 'trade secret' legal agreement that most active Loglanists refused to sign. There is little other problem in using the old grammar, otherwise. Copyright law does not allow the protection of a 'formal language specification' of a computer language, which is essentially a mathematical formula - and that is what the YACC grammar is - and that grammar is the best freely available description of JCB's intent. In any case, we have the aid of Jeff Prothero, the original author of the machine grammar, and will be redoing descriptions of the grammar to ensure that JCB's rights are not violated.

We also will be attempting to fix three problems with the grammar that affect teachability. These are:

  • The elimination of the lexemic pause - which cannot be distinguished from a non-lexemic pause. Pauses are used in Loglan morphology - to separate names and vowel initial words from preceding vowel final words. Also, normal speech, Loglan or otherwise, uses pauses for phrasing and simply to take a breath. We don't believe that this is either teachable or consistent with the Loglan philosophy of one sound, one meaning.
  • The reduction or elimination of 'machine lexemes'. These are artificial constructs used to make the Loglan grammar fit YACC's constraints. It is sufficient to derive some other formal language specification that is arguably unambiguous, even if YACC cannot prove it so without machine lexemes. But we cannot tolerate a basic language description that does not match what people will speak – and much of the definition of the 'human' grammar of Loglan is hidden in the PreParser computer program where only the most studied C programmers will be able to figure it out.
  • Related to the latter is the reduction of the PreParser program so that it truly only performs non-grammatical functions. Only then can the YACC grammar withstand scholarly criticism as a proof of semantic disambiguity. The worst problem in the PreParser is that it violates Loglan's resolution principle which requires a unique breakdown of a string of sounds into words. In JCB's most recent grammar, lepo is grammatically different from le po. This state violates the basic concepts behind Loglan, and is unacceptable. The PreParser will be rewritten to break such compound LWs into their components, and the YACC grammar will be made unambiguous at this component level. This is not believed to be a major problem, but will add several simple rules to the grammar specification.

MEX: Mathematical expressions (MEX) are a long outstanding problem. Two or three previous versions were neither unambiguous, nor covered the range of mathematical ideas needed by potential users of Loglan - especially for mathematical applications. Last year, though, I touched on the area of mathematical verification of computer software. This esoteric field uses techniques similar to those needed for MEX. I've taken ideas from some experts in the field, and generalized those ideas to form a new, more generalized, approach to MEX. I believe we will be able to complete it along with the rest of the grammar changes as described above - this year. If you are interested in the problem, I can add you to the more limited mailings of my MEX work, but a reasonable familiarity with Loglan's overall grammar will be necessary to follow the discussions.

LogFlash: The LogFlash teaching program for primitives was released as Shareware at the beginning of the year. It is available on the Capital Loglan Bulletin Board for IBM PCs and compatibles, along with full user's documentation. I have recruited people to convert it to MacIntosh, Apple II, Atari, and UNIX C versions, but I can promise no schedule. The Turbo-Pascal source is also available for someone to modify for other machines, subject to a Shareware license prohibiting sale of such modified programs. Please let me know if you are doing so, to prevent duplication of effort, and to make your results available to others. We may have trouble, by the way, with an Apple II version, or a CP/M version. The program and data are fairly large for a 64K system, so I cannot promise a successful conversion at this time.

  • LogFlash 1 will be modified one more time, when we get the textbook far enough along. The current program gives you new words to learn randomly from the set, and we will be modifying it to give you words in an order matching the textbook. The change is minor. We do not expect to produce the audio tape for LogFlash until this modification is made - but that is subject to change if enough of you are using LogFlash before then to justify repeating the tape- production process.
  • LogFlash 2, which teaches affixes, was completed once - it is being updated to match the new version of LogFlash 1, and will be done by the time anyone has finished learning the primitives with LogFlash 1.
  • LogFlash 3 will teach Little Words, using frames and sentences where necessary. It will be started when LogFlash 2 is done, although we've already started building the data file.
  • LogFlash 4 will teach complex-making, and is currently on low priority, since you will need to know both affixes and primitives to effectively use this program.

Eventually, we may bundle these programs into a single Loglan teaching program, for sale as a package with the textbook and tapes. But that will be for next year.

Dictionary: My work on the dictionary for JCB convinced me that the effort was a major one that will take months of dedicated time. There are as yet no volunteers, and it really isn't a priority until we have a meaningful body of active Loglanists who use and invent words. Instead, we will be accumulating computer-indexed word lists that will be made available as public domain files, or published as a working notebook, at about the same time that the textbook is completed. We will, of course, have a more abbreviated word-list in the textbook.

Textbook and Teaching Aids: The effort to produce a Primer has changed focus. With the availability of guides and experienced language teachers, we are choosing the more ambitious goal of producing a full Loglan textbook, with supporting teaching materials to enable either classroom or self-teaching. We are using proven techniques, and expect the result to be a fully professional textbook, comparable with the better ones on the market for other languages. It will be aimed for adults who have not necessarily studied any other language. We will be trying to take advantage of Loglan's simplicity to teach the entire language to fluency in less than a college classroom year, if you have others to practice speaking with. A working knowledge suitable to get by should be achievable in much less time - perhaps a quarter or semester class.

The textbook and supporting materials will be developed during 1988, and tested by the DC-area Loglan class. Those of you who are outside DC may obtain the materials as we can make them available. You will not have to wait until the whole thing is done in order to learn Loglan. We expect to produce the textbook, tapes, exercises, and instructions to tailor the program to your intended needs.

Our GPA Plans and Schedule

This is the year of GPA - Loglan is Going Public Again - hopefully For The Last Time. We've tried to lay out a plan that is ambitious, yet achievable. We believe that the Loglan community has waited too long for a stable language, and intend to provide one. But we also do not want to fall into the habit of making promises that we don't keep, as the Institute did. We need your faith in us - it is your word-of- mouth that will enable Loglan to spread.

We do not claim to be all-knowing about Loglan and its potential uses. We can and will make mistakes. So we do need review periods on all of our Loglan materials to remove errors, clarify confusion, and fix undetected bugs. We have decided that all Loglan concepts and materials will be pre-released for six months when we think they are ready for public consumption. You may comment during that six month period - pointing out our flaws - and then we will freeze that portion of the language. By freeze, we mean that we intend no 'on high' changes that will render invalid anyone's attempt to learn Loglan. Of course, if Loglan is indeed a language, it will be prone to various forms of language drift.

Our major milestones this year include LogFest 5, which will take place tentatively around 10-13 June, with the bulk of activities scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday. We intend to have several people competent at speaking Lojban by then, and will probably have short tutorials going on to help all attenders able to participate in Lojban conversation during the gathering.

To achieve this, we must have basic teaching materials done for a good portion of the language, and we must be well along in teaching the DC area Loglan class. So we intend to start the latter around early April, and will probably meet on a weekly basis.

We have committed, in claiming this year as the year of GPA, to completing sufficient material to define the language and teach it by the end of the year. We have chosen to reach this goal by completing the Loglan textbook and associated materials by then.

We also have organizational matters to attend to. We need a non- profit organization to avoid trouble with the IRS, to cut our postage costs, and to make it easier to raise money. We've avoided this in hopes of reaching an accommodation with the Institute, but there has been no sign of negotiations that would eliminate the need for a separate organization. We also have to engage in fund-raising and publicity activities to maintain our growth and to keep our financial heads above water.

And of course, all this must be done in our spare time, hopefully with lots of volunteer help from you. Nora, Tommy, and I, as well as pc, Jeff Taylor, Jeff Prothero, Chuck Barton, and others who have volunteered to help, all have jobs. None of us are independently wealthy like JCB, able to devote full time to Loglan. This also means that we must spend more money - either hiring assistants, or using the telephone to coordinate a nationwide corps of volunteers. As JCB found out the hard way, one cannot co-ordinate by mail and meet any reasonable schedules.

Note that our schedule assumes we get both significant volunteer help from you and sufficient financial contributions to keep us solvent. Without these, it is dependent on our spare time availability. Even failing this, though, we expect to be able to show meaningful progress throughout this year.

Our proposed schedule now looks like this:

January 1988 - Evecon GPA announcement, release of LogFlash 1 and primitive list. Preliminary LW list out for review.

February - This newsletter. Write language synopsis (comparable to L4/L5 dictionary introduction, only more complete. Start expanding synopsis, with examples and exercises, into lessons. Final revision of phonology/morphology synopsis for Lojban. Finish the LW review and start on formal grammar revisions. Write and circulate proposed non-profit charter.

March - Non-profit incorporation. Prepare class-sized lessons at about 1 per week. Organize DC-area class. Complete MEX proposal.

April - Start DC-area class. Continue lesson production.

May - Next newsletter. Continue class and lesson production. Release LogFlash 2 for learning affixes. (Nora and I will be gone for 1+ weeks on a belated honeymoon trip to England - where we hope to meet some of the British Loglanists.)

June - LogFest 5. Continue class and lesson production. Preliminary baseline of LWs and formal grammar for LogFest.

July - Continue class and lesson production. We may reduce class to bi-weekly during the summer to keep attendance up.

August - Same as July. We should reach 500 Loglanists by this time. Revision of Logflash 1 with tape matching textbook. Revision and publication of Loglan learner's glossary.

September - Newsletter. Start Boston-area class. More DC-area classes and lesson production. LogFlash 3 complete (LWs).

December - Complete DC area class. Baseline formal grammar. Complete textbook. Newsletter. Start class in third (or more) locations. 750 Loglanists.

January 1989 - LogFlash 4 (Complex-making) complete. Publication of Textbook as a single volume, probably in notebook form. Start on Loglan dictionary. Incomplete word lists also available, probably in computer form. Start preparing teaching materials in German. Start significant translation efforts to build Loglan literature.

June 1989 - LogFest 6. Publish complete Loglan teaching materials package. Rough dictionary, with computer-based word lists available. 1500 Loglanists. Start teaching materials in another new language.

December 1989 - Publish English-Loglan/Loglan-English Dictionary. 3000 Loglanists, and hopefully doubling every 6 months or so. (If kept up, we would match Esperanto by the new millennium. Even doubling every six months takes that long to reach a few million. But why not think big.)

Report on LogFest 4

LogFest 4 was held on 31 July through 3 August 1987, as announced last issue. We had 20 attenders altogether, though typically only 12- 15 at any given time. These included pc (from Missouri), Jeff Taylor (from California), Tom Birchmire (from Florida), Bob Chassell (from Massachusetts), and Bob McIvor(RAM) (from Canada) (among others). Truly a nationwide (indeed, international!) meeting befitting the widespread and diverse interest in Loglan.

Our peaks of attendance were on Saturday, at a discussion of the future of Loglan-88 (at which the name 'Lojban - A Realization of Loglan' was declared), and on Sunday when, for the first time in nearly 10 years, we recorded sustained, spontaneous Loglan conversation.

Using the old LWs and a mixture of old and new primitives, which we had listed for everyone's reference, everyone participated to some extent - including several novices who had not heard or seen Loglan before LogFest. We dropped into English, once - to answer the door. The person who arrived, previously unexposed to Loglan, was involved in the conversation before we stopped. Loglan is that easy to pick up when you have someone to talk with.

Saturday's discussions were dominated by the potential conflict between Lojban and its allies and the Institute, which sent a letter signed by 8 Loglanists. Bob McIvor (RAM) brought the letter, and served as a representative for the letter writers and for JCB. Jeff Taylor, like RAM, is a member of the Word Makers' Council; he therefore considered himself also to be a representative of the Institute, due to his position. Four motions were eventually made, and were approved either unanimously or nearly so, by secret ballot. They urged the continuation of our Lojban efforts, and the simultaneous effort to resolve the conflict by offering negotiation, compromise, and peace in the community. It was agreed that 'ownership' of Loglan in the form of copyrights and restrictive agreements was detrimental to the language and to the community. I generated a 'consensus' reply 'from LogFest' to the letter writers stating the results of the discussion and votes (copies available on request). I also later drafted a letter to JCB - in Trial 55 Loglan, though I translated it back to English - offering my personal commitment to compromise and assistance in the success of Loglan. JCB never replied directly, but letters sent out about at the same time as LogFest accused me of piracy, and his LogNet writings two weeks later extended that label and the libelous charge of illegal activities to all LogFest attenders. (At the same time, he had his lawyer threaten Jeff Prothero with a lawsuit or criminal action. As can be seen in the letter below, Jeff had no connection with our efforts at that time, and he did not attend LogFest.)

We also had several discussions of technical issues. The Questions and Answers in HL3 were gone over in depth, and conclusions reached on most of them. Paul Doudna's letter below was discussed, and some of the ideas expressed are incorporated in my reply. Art Wieners managed (while also participating in the other activities) to write and demonstrate the first program completely implementing the Loglan complex-making and scoring algorithms, as formally described in our first newsletter. We also showed off LogFlash. All in all, LogFest was great fun, and a big success. Being over twice the size of LogFest 3, it bodes well for future growth.

Plans for LogFest 5

We decided to make LogFest an at-least-annual event. As Washington DC is a central hub, aeronautically if not geographically, LogFest 5 will also be held here, though pc offered to host the following one in St. Louis. To beat the heat of DC in August, the next LogFest will be moved up to mid-June. pc will again be present, and possibly Chuck Barton (who has summer military service that may conflict) - most of the LogFest 4 attenders have indicated an intention to return. Our tentative dates are 11-12 June 1988 (though some activities may take place on the 10th and the 13th). We ask that people give us indication of possible attendance, so we can plan logistics. We can sleep from 10 to 20 indoors in sleeping bags and have tents to sleep at least that many in the back yard (which is spacious enough for more tents). There are also motels about 2 miles from my place. We are on the DC Metro line - and hence easily accessible to Amtrak and National Airport without a rental car (we are 30 minutes from Dulles - and there is indirect bus service. All attendees and their families are welcome to use our place as a base for DC-area sightseeing, subject to space, during the week before and after Logfest; we ask that you let us know in advance. We will have activities for novices as well as more experienced Loglanists, and will repeat our everyone-included spontaneous conversation attempt. I will be trying to arrange secondary meeting sites in the immediate vicinity, in case we get more attendees than we can comfortably fit in my house.

DC Area Loglan Class

I reported that we had started a DC area Loglan class in the last issue. We only continued for about five sessions, though before it was agreed to stop. With no indication of a change in Institute policy, we could not freely copy classroom materials - which hurt our preparation. The students also could not use LogFlash without our challenging JCB's copyright claim. With the decision to redo the primitive list, the class decided to wait until the list was complete, rather than trying to learn words that were changing. The class was appreciated, however - and was picking up the language quickly when we quit.

Now that the primitives are remade, we have turned to the question of continuing the class. But we've added several new Loglanists in the DC area, and have decided that it would be better to start over. We also decided to use the class as the testing ground for the Loglan textbook; this ensures a good product and prevents class preparations from interfering with our commitment to all of you who are waiting to use Loglan. We thus are clearing out other commitments, completing the little words, and settling in for the major project of textbook-writing.

The DC area Loglan class is now expected to start around the beginning of April. We should be about a month ahead of the class in lesson writing, and hopefully will stay that way. From Evecon, we have additional names totalling as many as 30 people locally who may take the class. Problems in scheduling will probably eliminate some of those - we will probably start a second class later in the year on a different day to catch those unable to make the day we choose.

We intend the class to meet weekly, for about 3 hours. After the first 2 weeks, the class will start with a short, but growing period in which Loglan-only will be spoken. There will also be breaks - 3 hour classes need them - and we will try to make them Loglan-only, as well. Thus people will have a chance to use Loglan in ordinary conversation, which Nora and I have found is the best way to learn it. The textbook will actually be structured around shorter lessons - probably 1 hour periods, that we will be combining into a single session. The course will not require LogFlash or a computer, though any student using them will probably progress much faster than without, due to enhanced vocabulary. There will be 'homework' - out of class exercises, which hopefully the students will spend a little time on daily. It is difficult to learn a language of any type without thinking about (and in) it frequently. In addition, we need to have people moving along. Participants in the class will be interrupted occasionally in attendance or time commitment for job, family, or personal conflicts. To keep a class of several people from continually backtracking to help people catch up, requires real commitment from the participants to do their share outside of class.

By LogFest 5, class members will hopefully be able to showcase their skills, and to help in teaching the LogFest attenders. If interest and capability is high, we may have a intensive Loglan course at LogFest to cover the material that has been covered in the class by then. The course will continue after LogFest, possibly reducing to bi-weekly for the summer months to give class members a chance to schedule vacation activities around the class without conflicting. We do not yet know how long the class will run, but we hope to have fully fluent Loglan speakers before the end of the year (including us).

There are a large number of Boston-area Loglanists waiting to use the language, and definitely enough for a critical mass to support a class of this type. But we need a teacher, and teaching materials. I am hoping that Chuck Barton, a professional language teacher and longtime Loglanist who lives in Foxborough, will be able to give the time to this when he returns from a summer of military training. He will be learning the current language as he teaches it, which makes his job doubly difficult, though we will help from DC where we can. To minimize the load on Chuck, I am trying to identify at least 1 or 2 Boston-area Loglanists who are willing to organize the community, identify the students, and assist in the chores that are involved in keeping a group together. The more such work is spread around, the less each has to do - but I need some meaningful commitments in order to assist a class from long distance. So with your help, look forward to a Boston-area Loglan class starting around September.

As for other cities, we clearly have enough Loglanists in The San Francisco and Los Angeles areas to support a class, though both areas are geographically large. Portland has a smaller group, but Ken Dickey made some preliminary attempts to organize it last year. We are writing the textbook to make it usable for self-teaching - all you need is a few people to get together to practice using the language. (We also plan to have a cassette tape or tapes in support of the textbook, as well as one or more in support of LogFlash.) The locations of the third and following Loglan cities are therefore up to you who organize groups to learn the language. You will have all the support we can give from here in DC.

News from the Institute

Unfortunately, most of the Institute's activities in the past year have been determined by the need to give the appearance of strength, power, and control, none of which it really has. The politics of dealing with the Institute has become the dominating factor in all of its communications, so little of news from the Institute is free from the taint of conflict. For those unfamiliar with the history of the situation, I will spare you by urging you to skip to the next section of this newsletter.

The Institute has been completely shut down since August, from everything I can determine. Mike Parish received a postcard from JCB, but no other activities seem to be occurring. He has not even gotten any responses to the last LogNet, published in August before JCB left to cross the Atlantic on his boat. Glen Haydon, whom JCB left in charge, believes that no Institute activity will take place without JCB there to direct it. Scott Layson, whom JCB dropped from his crew at the last minute, is the focal point for technical comments on NB3 - but had received nothing as of my last contact with him.

There remain only about 40-odd members of the Institute, including Nora and myself (Nora is paid up some 10 years in advance due to her large donations over the years). Nearly all of these are receiving this newsletter; about half have contributed money to our efforts as well as to JCB's.

By chance, our last issue came out almost simultaneously with the 2nd issue of LogNet, which completed reporting the status of the language according to JCB. A third issue of LogNet came out in August. Except for an excerpt from our Primer introduction, and a short piece by JCB's daughter Jenny, all material was written by JCB or by editor Mike Parish. Some letters to JCB were published, but our LogFest letter - which I sent to Mike for inclusion in the August LogNet, was apparently censored by Gainesville before publication (without Mike's knowledge or approval). (JCB also directed Mike to publish no information about our activities in producing Lojban, or any other unapproved Institute versions of Loglan such as Jeff Prothero's public domain Loglan parser - which is based on, but not identical to, Trial 55).

About half of the last two issues have been JCB pronouncing on Institute copyright policy, and accusing me, the LogFest attenders, and unnamed others of piracy and illegal activities. The June mailing included something called an Aficianado Agreement, a legal contract resembling a trade secret agreement similar to those that many professionals are required to sign as a condition of employment. This agreement granted the Institute copyright claim on all Loglan material, including derivative work claims on anything written by signees in the future. It also gave the Institute rights of first refusal on publishing anything in or about Loglan, specified royalties to the Institute regardless of who published such material, and was worded so as to allow the Institute prior censorship rights on anything Loglandic, due to the combination of copyright and other privileges claimed for the Institute. The agreement also barred the release of any information given out by the Institute to any non- signee, thus preventing LogNet from publishing any material in or about Loglan with translation or other explanation. (JCB's daughter, Jenny, then broke the agreement by writing an article about case tags - there is no provision in the agreement allowing waiver of the Institute 'trade secret' rights for anyone, including JCB - if he has signed his own agreement). Most members balked at signing the agreement - those who I've talked to that signed it, did so because they wanted NoteBook 3, which JCB published under the agreement in August, and did not intend to write anything in or about Loglan that could possibly be subject to the Agreement.

Based on what the Institute has let out (and my conversations with JCB last year), Notebook 3 is apparently a rewrite of the last two issues of The Loglanist (TL6/1 and TL7/1), updated to clarify questions raised and to reflect changes since 1984. In addition, the grammar (reportedly Trial 66) was re-documented in an update of Notebook 1, with a little more explanation. This is nothing more than what was promised to be included in TL7/2, the grammar description that was promised to everyone but never published (Although much of it was given in NB1, the grammar changed somewhat after its publication). So purchasers got the equivalent of 3 issues (unbound) of TL for $31.80 and a binding legal contract (which is not the binding used in TLs). I have, of course, heard no reports as to what purchasers thought of the quality of the book.

Based on the available information on JCB's intentions, and the expertise of pc, Jeff Prothero, Jeff Taylor, and other Loglanists, we do not anticipate JCB's aficianado agreement to seriously interfere with our capability to produce a Lojban which is fully consistent with the JCB's basic concepts that he has set forth over the years - perhaps even more so than his latest version.

According to LogNet, and JCB's direct mailings, he intends to be on his boat until sometime between February and April, then intended to return to work, process comments on NB3, and do a minor update on Loglan 1, the 1974 book, republishing it in notebook form. This is to be done by 1 August 1988, his scheduled date for GPA. Word lists may also be available by then, but he was counting on the Word Maker's Council to complete them, and conversations with all 5 members indicate that the material is a long way from being ready to publish. JCB, like us, feels that the dictionary cannot be properly revised in the short term. He had intended that the long worked-over Communications of the ACM paper would be submitted and published before August. But Jeff Prothero, who is a co-author, has not seen a final draft (which he presumably has a right to approve since his name is on it), and I am told that CACM has a typical publishing delay of a year for non-critical material, after the refereeing process approves it, which can take 6 months or more. (At least one reviewer of a late draft does not believe that the paper will pass refereeing without requirements for significant rewrite.)

The only technical content in the two LogNets were Jenny's article on case tags, a short piece with examples of metaphor-making by JCB, the excerpt from our Primer, and Mike Parish's article comparing Loglan and the computer language PROLOG, in which he suggested that a Loglan to PROLOG translation or conversion would be a straightforward effort, since both have similar predicate grammars. It isn't clear whether the complexities in Loglan grammar will translate as cleanly, but the article was clear and well-written in showing the correlation in the basic grammar.

Mike also posed a question about how difficult it will be to create humor in unambiguous Loglan. He did not know of a TL article several years ago that gave several examples of unique forms of Loglan humor, nor did he know of the cartoons by Birrell Walsh that were published in early LogNet. Birrell's poem, published at the height of the 1984 Board dispute, was also humorous in a bitter way - though JCB did not see it that way. But we relay the challenge. Any humorists out there willing to generate a few Lojban jokes or puns are welcome to submit your submissions.

Letters to the Editor

A Letter Received from Paul Doudna

(I received this letter just before LogFest. It raises many good points that others have also questioned, and seems to serve as good forum for discussion of those points. RJL)

1.0 My main interest in Loglan is based on a lifelong interest in semantics, logic, and constructed languages. I don't like the terms "artificial language" or "natural languages" since it is hard to imagine anything more artificial than English or other "natural" languages.

1.1 The development of Loglan-88 comes as somewhat of a surprise. I have rather mixed feelings about it.

Perhaps I'm in no position to make an informed judgment in the matter but it does seem to me that the creation of a language is in a quite different category from the creation of literature, works of art, or music. A language is not simply a static creation that remains fixed in time but by its very nature must change and evolve. And if the purpose is communication (as opposed to a private system of symbols for organizing one's own ideas), then necessarily many people must be involved. That means that many different, often contradictory, ideas will be used to construct the language. It also means that any attempt to have and "official" fixed prescriptive statement of the language will be impossible and obviously unenforceable.

I would suggest that the name "Loglan" be changed to avoid confusion. It is bad enough that such terms as "Webster's" or "Roget's Thesaurus" are used for works which are neither, I don't have any suggestions as to what to call it but it does sound like Loglan-88 will be different enough that it can hardly be called a dialect of Loglan.

1.2 I read with interest that Loglan-88 vocabulary will be developed using six languages using methods developed by JCB. Why not base it on one language--English? I understand the rational for using various languages in proportion to their number of users, but I question whether such procedures are worth the trouble. Further, I would suggest that such efforts may be counterproductive and actually decrease the number of people willing to take the time to learn several thousand words. I have nothing against the Chinese but what is the probability that within the foreseeable future someone who knows Mandarin Chinese and who does not know English, will be interested in learning Loglan? The trend is for English to develop into a de facto international language. I believe that is more relevant than the fact that 788 million people speak Chinese.

How about blak kat, blu haus, or litl gurl? Admittedly such forms do not have quite the exotic look of their current Loglan counterparts, but I think the number of people willing to learn the language would greatly increase. Even I would be willing to learn such a vocabulary; but I don't have the patience to learn the current vocabulary, especially when I know that next year much or all of it may be changed. And I suspect the Chinese would probably not feel insulted at being left out.

2.0 I personally see a large number of problems with Loglan as it is presently constructed, I am not convinced that Loglan can effectively express a person's ideas as well as English. I judge from the "Loglan Questions and Answers" that others are aware of many problems as well. I note that the "questions and answers" are more questions than answers.

I have some other rather opinionated ideas about what should or should not be in a constructed language. I am willing to write about them if anyone is interested. The following is a summary of what I consider to be major problems of Loglan as it currently exists.

2.1 Purpose: According to Loglan 1, Loglan was originally devised to test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. That original plan has now been forgotten. The purpose of Loglan is not at all clear. Much of what is written seems to assume that Loglan will be a spoken language used someday by a significant portion of the human race. Increasingly we hear of its use in computers or with AI. Whether or not a significant number of people will ever speak Loglan is somewhat dubious. But in any case, it should be pointed out that a language designed to be used as a means of communication among human beings is not necessarily the same as one designed to be used primarily with computers.

For one thing, a computer's method of resolving ambiguity is completely different that a human's method. A language that appears not to be ambiguous to humans may be unacceptably ambiguous to a computer. (Humans use plausibility, which is not easy to program in a computer).

Vagueness is an essential part of a language designed to deal with everyday human experiences, but it cannot be tolerated in a computer. A language can perhaps be designed that can be used either by humans or computers, but it needs to be kept in mind that the requirements are quite different. In any case, the purpose of Loglan needs to be clarified and clearly stated.

2.2 Ambiguity: There are a number of different kinds of ambiguity, most of which are being ignored by Loglan. Its claim of being free of ambiguity is simply not true. For example: "tourist information booth" is ambiguous in English. Its counterpart in Loglan is equally ambiguous and for the same reason. Ambiguity cannot be resolved through either parentheses or logical connectives.

2.3 Vagueness: This is another problem largely ignored. Loglan is supposed to be based on (or compatible with) the predicate calculus of logic. But all of logic (except for some of the unconventional "fuzzy" logic) is based on well-defined concepts, hardly what one finds in English or Loglan and any language which is intended to be used to talk about human experience in the everyday world. The 14 logical connectives based on a truth table may work well enough with a well-defined logic, but their use is questionable with the necessarily vague terms of Loglan. It should be noted that the ordinary use of and, or, if, and not in English frequently does not correspond with their truth table definitions. Some and all are likewise questionable.

2.4 Predicate pairs: In general, all predicate pairs in Loglan are ambiguous. Their counterparts in English are also ambiguous when expressed as noun/noun pairs but are not ambiguous when expressed as adjective/noun pairs. The discussions about PLGS some years ago were all concerned with three, four, and five or more terms in a string. It was assumed that reducing the string to a binary structure of predicate pairs would resolve the ambiguity; it obviously does not if the predicate pairs themselves are ambiguous. I don't have the space here to give relations similar to the logical connectives. The predicates themselves are systematically ambiguous.

2.5 Loglan independence from English: The interpretation of Loglan expressions (in particular predicate pairs) often appears to be simple and unambiguous. However we tend to translate the Loglan words into their English counterparts and them apply the rules of English interpretation to the separate words. For example: We translate blanu kusfa as "blue house" and assume it means what it does in English. The fact that "blue" is an adjective is essential to arriving at that interpretation. How do we know that blanu kusfa doesn't really mean "house containing blue objects", "house built under a blue sky", "house inhabited by blue-skinned persons", etc?

If Loglan is really and independent language (and not just a way of coding English) then we should not have to know that blanu kusfa translates into an English adjective plus noun to know the correct the correct interpretation of the predicate string.

2.6 Case relations: [This relates to Loglan Q&A 3-15, 3-36, and 3-46} Every predicate/argument relation (i.e. "case relation"), currently indicated simply by an argument position before or after the predicate, should have an explicit word (modal operator?). This is necessary for several reasons:

  1. Just as we find prepositions convenient in English, it can often be useful to have an explicit word to represent a specific relationship rather that merely a word position. (It is difficult to use or talk about a word that has no sound and shows up as a blank space.)
  2. We may wish to use a given relation with another predicate not currently supplying an argument position in its current definition.
  3. We need a way to define predicates and their argument positions in Loglan and not have to rely on an English.
  4. Every case relation should be derivable from a Loglan predicate, to unify the language and to make it independent from English.
  5. Explicit inverse case relations (i.e. argument/predicate relations) need to be defined for use in making predicated pairs unambiguous.

2.7 Loglan self-reference: Loglan needs a vocabulary which contains sufficient redundancy that one can write a Loglan/Loglan dictionary. There also needs to be enough of a metalanguage that one can describe Loglan grammar in Loglan. If Loglan is dependent on English to define Loglan words then Loglan is not an independent language but merely a way of coding English. It would seem obvious that the Loglan vocabulary should also include any word necessary to describe itself.

2.8 Metaphysical bias: Loglan is said to be metaphysically neutral. However, one need merely analyze the various predicates and see what kind of argument places are provided by definition with each predicate. Why are the predicates defined as they are? For example, why not define "red" as "x appears red to y using light source z". Or "man" as "x is a man from country y of race z" There is obviously a lot that is arbitrary in designing built-in argument positions. Loglan needs to be developed so that any argument relation may be used with any predicated.

2.9 Defining the predicate "blue": This letter is already too long but I can't resist adding comments to Loglan Q&A 3-22 concerning the defining of the predicate blanu. This illustrates several of the problems mentioned above. It is curious that da blanu is defined as x is bluer that something". Obviously, with that kind of definition some very simple statements in English cannot be translated, or at least in a simple way. The use of the comparative as a built-in argument place with certain predicates should be seen as a convenience and not as a requirement that the comparison must occur in the definition of the predicate.

Consider a universe consisting of 5 balls: one dark blue, one light blue, two of an intermediate shade of blue (not identical but such that one cannot determine which one is bluer that the other), and one red ball. Each of the balls will reflect at least a certain amount of both blue and red light. Question: In Loglan, how many balls are blue and how many are red?

When we say something is "blue" we mean that it appears to be identical or at least similar in color to something else that is called "blue". It may appear to be an identical color, it may be more blue, it may be less blue, or it may be a different shade of blue (but not necessarily more not less blue). In addition, it will probably be considered to be more similar to the color of objects called "blue" than to the color of objects called by some other color name.

Incidentally, dictionaries generally define "blue" as the color of the clear sky. Yet it is a matter of simple observation that the sky is less blue than most objects we call "blue".

All of this illustrates another point, namely the Whorf hypothesis that the structure of the language affects the way we think. I don't know of any English dictionaries that try to define color in comparative terms in the way it is being done in Loglan. It illustrates too that Loglan has its metaphysical assumptions just as other languages do.

As a practical matter, it would be simpler if no predicates were defined with a comparative argument place. The use of a single LW could be used when required by any predicate. This would make comparison universally available but optional, similar to the way tense is treated.

Da blanu should be defined simply as "x is blue". Or is that too simple-minded?

3.0 Thanks for your A Not So Quick Glossary. It is much needed. Much of the Loglan writing has been unnecessarily obscure to the uninitiated.

3.1 You may publish my name and address if you wish. I have in the past sent several long letters to pc for which I have received equally long replies. Most of the discussion concerned PLGS, predicate strings, and ambiguity. But I was not aware until now that anyone else was interested in what I had to say. I had forgotten that I had sent him a study of primitives. I had developed that mainly for my own use, and didn't think anyone else would be interested. It contained no Loglan; I was primarily interested in seeing which categories of predicates were developed and what kind of case relations (argument places) were assumed for those predicates.

3.2 Concerning Loglan Q&A 3-36, I am enclosing a reprint from Transgrammar by Jean Miamstrom in Fillmore's case grammar.

Good luck on Loglan-88. I will be interested in seeing how it develops.

Paul Doudna

RJL's responses (with help from Nora, Tommy Whitlock and Art Wieners)

1.0 We've taken to calling Loglan an engineered language. The concept of artificial language (vs. natural) is not ours. This is a good example of an English metaphor that has taken on different meanings from the two component words.

1.1 Lojban should not be greatly different from JCB's last Loglan, except for the vocabulary words. But JCB changed primitive words for GMR, sometimes repeatedly, without considering this a major change to the language concept. Our scope of effort is comparable to GMR, we used computer time in place of labor to compress the schedule to less than that of GMR. Since few still know "old" Loglan, we don't consider relearning a major problem. In fact, except for the Word Makers Council and JCB's shop in Gainesville, I suspect that few others besides Nora and me remember more than a few primitives. The other areas of the language are changing minimally. We feel we are close enough to the basic concepts of Loglan to justify our continued use of the name in English-language discussion.

Most of the world that has heard of this effort over the past 30 years, whether through Scientific American, Heinlein's references, or other media, know of a language called Loglan. This language is identified by certain key concepts that JCB devised 30 years ago. There have been several versions of the language over the years (1960, 1968, 1974, NB1, TL6/TL7, and NB3), all different from the previous ones. JCB has written or published all existing versions of the language, but he did not do all of the work, and US government funding in the early 60's ensures the public right to know about the language. (See the glossary for reports of a Loglan totally independent of JCB's efforts - though perhaps taking its name from Heinlein or some other reference.) It is our belief that there are several possible Loglans which meet JCB's conceptual requirements, though it is of course desirable for the community to line up behind one version to ensure acceptance.

It is our hope and intention that there be only one such Loglan, not a bunch of competing versions that confuse. This version must be freely available, indeed supported and advertised and explained as JCB has never managed to. We have more capability to support a GPA than does the Institute, and the Institute's foolish policies will kill the "proprietary" language quickly, especially with JCB off in Job Market.

JCB has the continued option to negotiate with us to ensure that his ideals are maintained, and that due respect is given to his contribution. All I am doing on Loglan is through affection for JCB and the language he conceived - even though he may not accept that sentiment without a legal agreement.

1.2 The first problem with using a pidgin English vocabulary is that the present language is designed so that the primitives are the same length, in order to achieve resolvability. But why bother to make another pidgin English, anyway? There are already several; some (e.g. Basic English) are even the basis for international languages. Many Loglanists harbor hopes that Loglan may someday be used as an international medium of communication. The biggest bone of contention about the current front-running candidate, Esperanto, is that it is a European language, based on European word-stock with a basically European grammar. It hasn't had much currency outside of Europe and possibly lands settled by Europeans for this very reason. (The Chinese and Japanese have apparently shown interest in recent years - probably out of desire to learn some international language other than English, which is very difficult for both cultures. Contrary to your comment, there are far more Chinese and Japanese - by number or percentage - that are interested in an international language than Americans. We simply are too self-centered a culture to consider any possibility other than that the world revolves around America, and thus must learn English. Hence the low rate of study of foreign language in the melting pot of nations.)

English is even more culturally biased - there are a lot of people in the world who resent every step that English makes toward dominating other languages. Loglan is trying to avoid cultural bias as much as possible in the method employed to create its word-stock. As such, we hope to not meet the nationalistic resistance that English and Esperanto face.

The Chinese might not be insulted by our dropping them, but they might be less inclined to use such a language - especially if we clearly dropped Chinese because we felt they weren't as important as English-speakers. The type of attitude that others must do things our good-old-American way has led to our negative image in the Third World. (By the way, which is becoming an international language - American English or British English?)

Another problem - more severe to a potential Loglanist, is that Loglan primitives do not mean the same thing as their English keywords, whether cognate or not. Loglan primitives are predicates, and embed a place structure in their meaning. English doesn't. Loglan predicates are neither nouns, verbs, or adjectives (or rather - they are all of the above). One will not speak Loglan properly without learning this. The Lojban word kurji means either 'x takes care of y', 'x is a care-taker for y', or 'x is a taking-care-of-y type of thing/person'. Loglan predicates do not carry the notions of singular vs. plural, either. They also require no tense to be meaningful. The nature of Loglan predicates ensures that Loglan will never be the encoding of English that you fear. It is indeed a new language with new concepts embedded in its structure. We do not want English speakers to transfer the semantic load that we have on English equivalents to Loglan words - we will not achieve any level of cultural neutrality that way.

As to learning vocabulary, there are 1272 basic words in Loglan (at least in Lojban); the rest of the concepts are derived as metaphors from these to give the complexes, or borrowed from other languages. We are committed to baseline the primitives this year; they will not be changing again next year, or the year after. When the baseline occurs, the inclusion of a given primitive in the set will be an academic issue, and no more. Get your comments in early, or forever hold your peace.

Generally the intended new meaning is supposed to be obvious enough to grasp with little trouble. This process is the same as generally used by "natural" languages, for example German and Chinese.

English has tended to soak up words from other sources rather that rely on its own word-stock, which makes it necessary for a non- English-speaker to know French, Latin, Greek, and probably German to have any hope of guessing what the meaning of a newly encountered word may be.

The inclusion of such generally over-looked languages as Chinese (which has more than twice as many native speakers as English) and Hindi might flatter them enough to pique their curiosity about the language. In any case, if we limit our audience to American English speakers, that's all that will pay attention. And Americans are among the least likely of the world's peoples to bother learning a foreign language.

The question of language incorporation has been raised by many. A short-lived viewpoint when we were first discussing rebuilding the primitive list was that we should generate primitives randomly. Another Loglanist mentioned that he was working on a language with alphabetical words in 'semantic order' per Roget's Thesaurus. I've found that many are attracted to Loglan because of a dislike for English, so your idea of basing words on English ones has not been popular. We also felt that any major change to JCB's word-building philosophy would not be true to his vision as inventor of the language - and hence to the validity of our claim that our language fulfills the concept of 'Loglan'.

English is, like other natural languages, culturally biased. We do not want to burden Loglan with English semantics. Of course, nearly all current Loglanists are English speakers. Until we develop materials in other languages, this will be so. But we are already making plans to do so.

Incidentally, how do you pronounce 'blak kat' to clearly show two k's? If we lose audiovisual isomorphism, we may as well stick to English.

2.0 Everyone has his own (generally opinionated) ideas about the language, and its various features. As you said in 1.1, many different ideas have gone into Loglan over 30 years of development. But Loglan will cease to be a toy, or it will never be a language. Those of us determining the nature of Lojban are examining the 30 years of proposals, attempting to weed out the contradictory ones, and get a language together. No one, including me, will like everything about the language. But I intend that we will show respect to all ideas that have been proposed, and I intend that one single language definition result, from which everyone can learn and use it. Hopefully I am showing reasonable respect for your ideas in this letter as an example to all who have, or will have, contributed.

As for the Loglan Questions and Answers - they were posed to document questions that had been raised over 10 years. There are no answers given because I wanted to get any other ideas on the subjects raised before stating conclusions. In nearly all cases, there is a clear answer. The problems are either solvable, or are not important. We strongly believe that Loglan will express more ideas, more easily, than English. When people speak Loglan and write it, we will know.

2.1 Sapir-Whorf is alive and well in the Loglan community. But we need speakers to proceed with an experiment. To assume Loglan's failure to build a community would be to assume we are wasting our time. So we assume success, and determine how to best achieve it. The clearest avenues to success are via the International Language route, the computer/AI route and most recently, via the science fiction community. I'm in favor of pursuing all of them, since we have supporters interested in each of these avenues. This will also reduce bias towards any one potential community.

If we were developing a language only for computers, we would stick to ADA or PROLOG. Loglan may be useful as a crossbreed language for use in humans speaking to computers, or for internal representation of knowledge in computers. This causes us to consider computer problems to some extent, though not as a dominating basis for all decisions. The language must be understandable and usable for humans. The secret of AI may well be to program plausibility. This would be easier to do in Loglan than in other languages. (An unsupported assertion that I truly believe.)

2.2 Loglan is (at least theoretically) grammatically unambiguous. But semantic disambiguity has not been claimed, nor even tackled in Loglan. Part of semantic interpretation can be solved with good grammar, but to teach a computer to understand Loglan, (or any natural language) one must teach it to make and interpret plausible metaphors. This should be easier in Loglan than in other languages because the only load on an interpretation is semantic - the syntactic relations between metaphor terms will be unambiguous. This is the 'point' of the endless discussions of 'pretty little girls school' (PLGS) that have taken place over the years.

To tackle your example, I presume that your intent requires distinguishing between 'a booth to find out about tourists' and 'a booth for tourists to find out about other things'. One can distinguish in Loglan, although not without parentheses or elaboration of the metaphor.

travel(ler)-information-counter in Loglan metaphorical terms could be 'travel-knowledge-give-shelf' (Lojban: litru-djuno-dunda- kajba). But one can be more specific in Lojban by asking ma stuzi co dunda lo se litru se djuno (what argument? is the place which is for giving of travelled-to knowledge) or ma stuzi co dunda lo litru se djuno (what argument? is the place which is for giving of traveller knowledge) (For old Loglanists ma <= old hu, co <= old go, se <= old nu, lo is unchanged, and the primitives should be deducible from their position compared with the literal translation. You will note that the words have changed - not the grammar underlying them.)

2.3 Loglan uses the non-vague connectives of predicate calculus. If the terms that are connected are vague, so be it. But the connectives are not themselves. This reduces the disambiguation burden somewhat. We don't need to solve the semantic ambiguity. Yes, English connectives are not the same as those of Loglan. To speak Loglan, you cannot always use "{a}" in the same way as English "or", or you will get strange results. Whether people speaking Loglan will adapt to this different way of thinking is part of the Sapir-Whorf test.

2.4 Agree entirely. As you said above (I think), vagueness is probably necessary to human languages. We've confined it here to a considerable extent. And as in the example I gave above, you [can] express the exact distinction if necessary. One can define (at least theoretically) a concept in terms of primitives without any metaphors - it will take multiple utterances. (x is a place and x gives information y to traveller w, and y is information about the place travelled to by w. Where is x?) is such an expansion of the example. Incidentally, the question has been raised whether Loglan will be suitable for poetry, or for humor. The richness of Loglan metaphor will enhance the opportunities for creative ambiguity. Grammatical ambiguity is not generally the basic component in either humor or poetry.

2.5 This is again a plausibility problem. You have 'x is a house of y, modified by x is bluer than w' in English translation. But since Loglan predicates can be verbs as well as nouns and adjectives, I can conceive of a Loglan place which houses things that are blue, or a place which causes things to be blue. But these are probably not going to be plausible in the context where I use the phrase (blanu xasfa in Lojban), so I reject them. But if there is any doubt, a listener can ask me which interpretation I mean, and I can explain quite exactly.

Note that in the example you give, probably all natural languages have the same problem. So Loglan is no worse than natural languages in this regard. Indeed, it is probably better, given its capability of easily clarify semantics to whatever extent is necessary, and its capability to remove the problem of syntactic interpretation from the analysis.


  1. Certainly. We have predicates for explaining most any kind of relation. English prepositions are the most ambiguous things in our language. Let me know when you can go through a drawer in the same way you can go through a door, through an experience, or through a meal. Also, Loglan predicates include multiple places as part of their definition. If you know Loglan, then you know the places. Compare Loglan predicates with mathematical functions. If you read '5-2', you know what to do with the 5 and what to do with 2, but they have no prepositions. With matrix calculations, you have structures more complex than most Loglan predicates, but many can perform matrix algebra. Likewise probability functions and complex numbers.
  2. We need a way to do this. Lojban will include at least one way to do so.
  3. Loglan must eventually be written up in Loglan - agreed. We can't sell Loglan to the AI community as a practical language until we are capable of doing so. But capability need not match actuality. We will have no Loglan audience for quite a while to justify the time we must spend to write such material, while we have dozens of other languages and cultures to interface and teach Loglan to. But perhaps you and the others in the community will accomplish this.
  4. Agreed. Lojban includes primitives supporting the place relations of the set of new primitives. But until we have a group of people who know the language, no one will clearly understand these derivations.
  5. I don't think I understand your point. I don't see how inverse cases, or anything related to argument/predicate relationships has anything to do with predicate pairs (metaphors). To algorithmically express metaphor relations is to program plausibility, or minimally to require the computer/algorithm processor to be able to ask intelligent questions about the relationship - preferably with a learning capability.

2.7 See 2.6.3 and 2.6.4. We will do this when we have time, fluent Loglanists, and an audience. Right now our audience is English speakers, and we need to satisfy them. We have added primitives for some grammar concepts, and defined metaphors for most others that can be used to build complexes. While not Eaton-common (a hopefully clear metaphor), these concepts will be a major part of early Loglan speech. Our Zipfian requirements differ in this respect from natural languages.

2.8 I agree. The current structures are geared so that argument structures default to the most common (in the word-maker's opinion) of a concept. Means of efficiently adding 'arguments' for non-standard relationships are being built in. They will expand the power of the language immensely and will reduce the difficulty in clearly identifying an idea - even a metaphorical one. But new Loglanists need something to learn in order to speak the language, so here we are indeed arbitrary - at least for now. The place structure of arguments will no doubt be a lively area of language drift, since the relations you refer to are the heart of semantics. But only fluent Loglanists will be competent to determine the metaphysical drift of their language.

I will take our example, and pursue a definition of the relationships in Lojban. How about:

    x is the site of y                       ko'a stuzi
     (y=x1 is of form y1                       ta'i
       (y1=x2 is a counter of purpose y2         le nuke kajba mu'i
         (y2=x3 imparts/gives y3 to w3            le nuke da dunda
          (y3=x4 is knowledge about/of y4           le se djuno
            (y4=x5 is a site of y5                    be fi le stuzi
              (y5=x6 is near x)                        vaza ko'a ku
          (w3=x4 is a traveller)                    le litru ku
         )                                            ku
       )                                          ku

We've attached the new argument "of form/manner..." to site stuzi using the modal operator ta'i from tarmi(form), "with purpose..." to counter kajda using causal operator mu'i from mukti(motive/purpose), and "near place..." to the second stuzi from location operator vaza (va=near to/za= medium size region; this is unchanged from 1974/75 Loglan), while keeping standard arguments for dunda(give), and djuno(know). There is no apparent great difficulty in expanding to this level. Of course, most speakers will use the shorter metaphor, but a computer might build a knowledge base representing the concept in the complex form. Incidentally, if ta'i and mu'i had not been already made as part of our current LW proposal, I could be more explicit with foi tarmi and foi mukti, foi being a new LW that turns the following predicate into a modal operator defining an 'unusual' relation for which no regular LW was created.

For old Loglanists, the following LW definitions will show that we have maintained the same basic grammar:

         ko'a is the 'specific x' usage of old 'da', which was common
    (though officially incorrect) in old Loglan.
         le nuke is the old 'lepo', nu being the old 'po', and ke,
    the old 'ge', which causes po/nu to be long scope.  The current
    old Loglan grammar doesn't require the 'ge', but at the cost of
    defining a grammatical difference between 'lepo' and 'le po'
    (which are aurally identical) in the Preparser.  The use of ge/ke
    in this way is consistent with other areas of the grammar, though
    this specific rule must be added to the grammar and tested to
    confirm its apparent disambiguity.
         ku is the old gu comma.
         be is the old je, attaching a clarifying place structure to
    an argument.
         fi is the old H-B tag 'pui', to refer to the third place.
    Used in this way after be, it specifies that the place being
    attached to djuno with be is the third place of djuno.  This is
    our proposed answer to one of the HL3 questions that JCB
    apparently never has defined - how to skip an argument in
    attaching with je/be.
         da is the old 'ba' - a bound variable: 'something x'.

2.9 I've added your comment to the several responses to 3.22. I generally agree. Primitives should not be comparatives; an added argument or metaphor built on mordu (Lojban zmadu) can be used if the comparative is desired. But, please be careful in your wording. You seem to equate primitive with predicate (a common mistake - I do it often myself). It should be allowable to define a predicate with comparatives, if not a primitive. To not so allow would constrain thought, unnecessarily. But we are striving to regularize the forming of comparatives to reduce semantic confusion, by eliminating them from the place structures of all primitives where they are not vital to the concept (such as zmadu itself). Proposal well-justified and accepted.

The question of what standard we compare blue to, is different depending on whether we are using additive or subtractive colors, and what standard we use to set the limits of blue, which is culturally dependent (Russian has two primitives for blue, while few other languages distinguish red from pink like English does. The dictionary definition you give is an English one - not a Loglan one). If a Loglanist specifies no standard, he simply is being semantically ambiguous. We've added the modal operator ma'i (from manri = reference), meaning 'according to standard/frame of reference...'. If not attached, a speaker defines no standard. This is semantic ellipsis.

pc located a paper on ellipsis which suggested solutions to several problems of this type. When a place is omitted, the ellipsis can be filled in with 'the whatever-I-mean-to-fill-in-this-place-but- haven't-bothered-to-specify'. In Loglan, this ellipsis can be expanded to cover all possible relations which are unspecified, regardless of whether they are part of the 'official' place structure.

3.0 Join the crowd. We'll add addenda to it in each issue, and eventually collect them together and make it available in published form (after removing bad jokes that will hopefully be obsolete by then).

3.1 The Loglan community is interested in what you, and every Loglanist has to say. We've got limited resources (time and money) to respond. But I, for one, want to hear what people have to say. Most of the Lojban phonetic concepts came from two linguists who confess little knowledge of the existing language, aided by tough questions from Chuck Barton, pc, Jeff Taylor, Jack Waugh, Nora and myself, as well as feedback from our Loglan class (consisting entirely of novices who have never read a word by JCB). Keep those comments coming. We won't always agree, and may not even have time to respond. But we'll always be listening. (We will respond when we can - but I'd love to have more inputs than I can publish or respond to).

Paul's address is: 10644 Jesskamp Drive, Ferguson, MO 63136.

3.2 Excerpts are included in an Appendix below.

Letter from Jeff Prothero

The next letter is from Jeff Prothero. I open the floor to all of you out there to respond.

                           Jeff Prothero
                    221 S.W. 153rd St, Suite 194
                         Seattle, WA 98105
                           August 7, 1987

After the Abdication -- A Loglan User's Group?

Editor, Hoi Loglypli:

As a longtime Loglanist, I'd like to welcome your newsletter to the Loglan community. In the last few years, the Loglan Institute has, no doubt for good and sufficient reasons, seen fit to abdicate its roles as forum for, and leader of, the Loglan community. In fact, the Institute seems to have completely withdrawn from the Loglan community: it no longer publishes any periodical for the community at large, neither seeks nor accepts external contributions to its internal publications, no longer shares its results with the Loglan community, and (to put it mildly!) shows no interest in cooperating with the Loglan community on projects of general interest. The Institute may possibly have abdicated by force of necessity (lack of resources) rather than policy; the effect in either case has been to leave the vast majority of the Loglan community without a forum to meet at or an organization to standardize Loglan.

Hoi Loglypli fills part of the vacuum left by the departure of the Loglan Institute, by providing a forum at which the Loglan community can meet to discuss problems, exchange results, organize projects, advertise products, and generally interact as a community. As a Loglanist, I thank you for filling this void, and hope your newsletter can quickly be put on a financially sound footing, so as to ensure the Loglan community of a stable communication channel.

In addition, I wonder if we should not consider the formation of a Loglan User's Group, modelled on the User's Groups available for most programming languages and software environments. It is essential to avoid conflicts of interest by keeping major vendors separate from the User's Group and standards organizations for a given community. This is true of DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) and DECUS (DEC User's Group, and it is true for the Loglan community.

The Loglan Institute clearly sees itself as a major vendor of Loglan products, hence can no longer presume to speak for the Loglan community at large, or to serve as a standards-making organization for the community. (As with any major vendor, the Loglan Institute would, of course, be expected to play a major role in any standards-making effort.)

I think it is important to keep Hoi Loglypli from developing a similar conflict of interest. Your activities developing Loglan-88, and products based thereon, are likely to be of inestimable value to the Loglan community, and are certainly appreciated. But it would be a tragic loss for the Loglan community if, as a result, Hoi Loglypli were to become simply another captive publication of a major Loglan vendor -- or to be perceived as such -- forcing the Loglan community to once more seek elsewhere for an independent voice. I don't want to see this happen, and I don't think you, as a Loglanist, want to see this happen either.

Thus, I think it would be wise at this point to lay down at least a framework for an independent, self-supporting Loglan User's Group, and to associate Hoi Loglypli specifically and exclusively with the User's Group, which in turn should be (formally) totally distinct from your proprietary Loglan product-development efforts. As time passes, both the User's Group and your commercial efforts are likely to grow: at some point increasing workload (on one hand) and conflict of interest (on the other) will presumably make it necessary to pass leadership of the Loglan User's Group to a volunteer lacking strong ties to any major Loglan vendor.

I'd like to hear what you, and the rest of the Loglan community, think of this proposal. Is there indeed a Loglan community out there? Does it want an independent voice? Does it deserve an impartial standards committee?

Bob LeChevalier responds:

First and foremost - I agree that it is desireable to have a Loglan Users Group. I believe that it must be run by the Loglan community for the Loglan community. I also believe that, like most User's Groups of the type you describe, the core strength of such an organization must lie with local subgroups that meet and interchange information locally, delegating to the national organization those issues that require broad solutions. It also requires national leaders willing to put in the time and effort to support those national issues. I don't believe that the infrastructure exists now to do this, nor that it can exist until we have a complete set of Loglan materials. Until then, most who volunteer time for Loglan activities will be spending that time to learn the language, leaving little for the time necessary to support a useful organization.

At one time The Institute could have served the role you describe. But JCB, who was providing the time and money resources to keep the language going, wanted control. At that time, no one stood up to him - the leaders of the community basically dropped out, accepting the 1984 Board election as a mandate for JCB's policies - which it was not. Instead, that election was a submittal to his blackmail in threatening to drop out of Loglan, and was coupled with an attitude that as the original inventor, he had a right to do anything with 'his' language that he chose. This was in spite of the fact that you and dozens of others had contributed to the point of having a personal stake in the language, too. You, Jeff, among others including Nora and myself, made this choice. We abdicated our responsibility. The community was left without leaders as alternatives to JCB. This only made the language more dependent on JCB. We will pay the price now by having to wait a year or two to regain the infrastructure formerly provided by the Institute.

Your letter seems to reflect the opinion that Loglan must eventually belong to the community of users. I share this opinion, and am committed to achieving a Loglan which is independent of individuals. The community is again listening and involved in Loglan. I need that community to show that it has leaders, other than Nora and myself, who will assume the responsibility that goes with the authority implicit in your proposal.

For now, while I fully support the concept of an independent organization and a standards group, I seem to be leading both, while serving as editor, and as leader of the development team as well. I'll happily abdicate from one or more of these positions if anyone volunteers. (This newsletter, especially, absorbs considerable time from my textbook writing and other efforts.) But the fact that I'm stuck doing all these things reflects, unfortunately, the failure of anyone else to do them.

As a developer committed to seeking the opinions of the community, I must have a publication which indicates the decisions on which views are solicited, and which makes available the information I believe is needed to make those decisions. I can't take the time to build, or to wait for, an independent Users Group. We need the language first, and I need the audience now. I need timely publication, and Nora and I have therefore paid the bills, which have significantly exceeded contributions.

We've reached the point where numbers have made this a strain, and so are making efforts to establish an organization to attract more contributions, and to separate Loglan's finances from our own. This could eventually become a national User's Group, but not yet. Until financial stability is achieved, we will be sinking our own time and money into Loglan, and must ensure that our primary interest in spending these resources - the promotion and success of a single, public, Loglan language - remains the sole function of that organization.

I can't call the organization we are forming an independent group without hypocrisy. For financial reasons, our relationship to the organization will be similar to JCB's with the Institute. It is our burden to prove that such an organization can rise above its inherent conflict of interest to serve the community while protecting the interests of its founders. The only way I know that will do that is to take the contributions that I can get and respect those that give them, to charge only for what I actually deliver, and to deliver what you - the community - want. I can also commit to getting out of the conflict of interest situation as soon as possible.

To do this, I will continue to put all major decisions to the community in some way. LogFest may be seen as a Board meeting or a convention, or perhaps we can have some type of mass-voting as did the Institute in the 1981-84 period. I don't think the latter will work - it didn't then. In our society, correspondence is no longer the desired means of communications, and mail balloting will be doomed to slow, minimal response. We also must ensure that, when broadening the decision-making process, we do not overlook those who contribute time rather than money for 'dues', nor the silent majority of users which will let others decide, but which still deserves our respect.

Meanwhile, a separate standards setting group can be formed, independent of a Users Group. There are some obvious people to serve in such a group, including you, Jeff. This group must be established to make decisions, to respond to the community, and to not be dominated by one individual. JCB's Academy, which gave him a veto on all changes, and never established procedures to serve the community, will not do. I'll be happy to abdicate my role as arbiter and consensus builder in favor of such a group, as soon as I have a baseline set down for them to manage.

Money is a key factor in any long term solution to the Loglan organization problem. Without money, no newsletter can or will be published to reach the large audience Loglan needs. Until a Loglan Users Group can generate sufficient money to publish a newsletter from internal revenues, there will be no independent publication. For now, the newsletter must be oriented towards publicizing and promoting the language, and products related to the language, in order to attract money to publish. This means that it will have bias - mine in this case, since I'm stuck wearing all these hats. But I see no way to change the situation in the near term. All I can do is present the aura of open-mindedness and fairness, and show myself able to rise above the conflict of interest - and therefore worthy of support.

As such, JL's policy of being open to JCB's comments as been maintained, even though he has never taken advantage of it. As editor of JL, I simply refuse to consider JCB a competitor in the commercial sense, and intend to continue this attitude. I still have no intent to be a 'Loglan vendor'; all proceeds from my 'products' go to support this newsletter and the preparation of Lojban. I intend to take no profits, royalties, salary, or otherwise from my Loglan activities until and unless Loglan has stable finances. (I will not be the one to decide this state - there must be an independent vote, by whatever authority exists, from which I will abstain due to potential conflict of interest if I am a part of that authority). I also will not make binding loans or contracts that would give me a controlling hold over the policies of any Loglan organization.

But until there is an organized community to take responsibility from me, you have either to trust in my integrity, or abandon Loglan to oblivion (or JCB). Will you, Jeff, and the Loglan community, rise to the challenge of creating that organization and actively participating? I will look upon the responses to your letter as a measure of the community's willingness to do so. The Loglan ball, and the future of that Loglan community, is again in that community's collective hands. Take it, folks!


Well, my responses to those two letters were editorials, too. But some issues were raised in the events of the last few months and in those letters that simply didn't flow well in the discussion. These issues are deserving of your careful thought. I don't expect all of you to agree with me, and newcomers may choose to skip the 'political' aspects of these issues. We are trying to put past disputes behind us, and I'm hoping that these editorials indicate a potential consensus that does so, while ensuring that the community meets its needs for a single, stable language. As always, subject to space, I will print signed replies.

The Purpose of Loglan

The purpose of Loglan - why each of us chooses to spend time studying and learning it - is an old question. In taking the lead on completing Loglan for GPA, I have been forced to consider the question often, as I have dealt with the problem of determining and reaching our potential audiences. Most recently, we went through the exercise of writing down a thorough description of the Loglan audiences, in preparing a focus for the Textbook.

JCB sought to answer it in L1 with short essays on Loglan as a Logical Language (whatever that may be), as a laboratory tool, as an international language, and as a linguistic toy. Acknowledging that many of you come from the computing profession, pc added an essay on Loglan as a computer tool in TL4/3. Kieran Carroll specifically added AI research as a target application in a proposal written about 3 years ago. And most recently, John Hodges and I have heard from people who were interested in Loglan as a possible tool for teaching and working with the handicapped - deaf, autistic, and dyslexic children. One Loglanist suggested that we might get funding from the Defense Department - attempting to capitalize on liberal funding for anything that could be tied to Star Wars. (JCB, an avowed pacifist, has expressed strong opposition to even the hint of using Loglan for military application.)

The many applications that I have mentioned suggest that there may be others which have never been formally written up or acknowledged. Any of you who have ideas for applications of Loglan, whether practical or impractical - write them down, and I'll publish them - every such idea will inspire others, and pave the way towards acceptance of Loglan.

But something, lying under the surface of what people have said, is deeply troubling to me. It appears that many people have trouble accepting that others are interested in Loglan for different reasons than themselves. Paul Doudna, in his letter above, speaks of the Sapir-Whorf experiment as dead, even though that goal was never abandoned. There are others for whom the only attraction of Loglan is the potential of conducting that experiment. Routinely, computer people forget that Loglan was, and still is, primarily intended to be a spoken language. Some people, quite knowledgeable, are convinced that Loglan has no particular advantage in computer applications, while others are equally convince that Loglan is the wave of the future in computers.

In considering Loglan as an international language, we are even more two-faced to the world. Some view this as a practical target worth striving for as our basic goal. Others feel that international languages are idealistic pipe dreams. Many, including myself, feel that it would indeed be nice to have Loglan succeed as an international language - but we also feel that this is too long range a goal to be useful. The latter group apparently bothers some Esperantists, who feel that Loglanists may be opportunists - not supporting the international language movement - yet ready to declare Loglan as the new international language should a bandwagon suddenly appear.

There is one thing that is certain. None of us truly knows the fate of Loglan. Many want it to succeed, in whatever way(s) that it can - but no one can know what avenues will bear fruit. We must take off our blinders. Open Loglan to the world and encourage all users and all purposes, without constraint. This is the essence of what 'Going Public Again' means. No individual or group should (or should be able to) constrain the direction that others choose to take in their use of Loglan.

But, even more important, we must all open our minds to multiple perspectives on Loglan. If we allow ourselves to constrain thoughts on what are valid and useful purposes for Loglan, this bodes ill for our ability to effectively use a language which is designed to remove constraints on human thought.

Why Linguists Ignore Loglan

This is another frequent question or topic when I introduce Loglan to new people. Loglan, originally designed as a linguistic research tool, has indeed been ignored or rejected by the linguistic community. JCB submitted at least 3 proposals to the NSF in the late 1970's, all of which were rejected by linguists who seemed to wear the sort of blinders I just mentioned in the essay above.

But we have to face reality - linguists tend to ignore Loglan. As they also ignore other artificial languages. Why? Because, to many linguists, Loglan isn't and will never be a 'language'. Until Loglan has a significant speaking community, they will not accept Loglan - and perhaps not even then. (Esperanto is generally ignored as well, even though it has such a community.) Many linguists consider only spoken languages to be true languages worthy of study - Loglan is not yet spoken by anyone as a primary tongue. Others are interested in the interaction of language and culture - and Loglan has no culture. Sapir-Whorf, the hottest idea in linguistics when JCB started the project in the 1950s, is now a dead issue - a footnote in textbooks that is passed over, while linguists consider the analytical concepts that were introduced by Chomsky just a few years after Loglan was started.

We also have to deal with the essence of academic society in the US. JCB was not trained as a linguist, but as a sociologist. That is one strike against him by the standards of many academics - who detest amateurs meddling in their turf. And Loglan is still an endeavor by amateurs - however well we may train ourselves (and excluding the few such as pc and Scott Layson who have some credentials in linguistics - but no Loglanist who is actively working on the language design has a PhD in Linguistics, which is all that matters to some academics). JCB has the added handicap of having officially left the academic community in 1962, when he resigned from the U. of Florida. He succeeded in getting papers about Loglan published (in Scientific American, of course, but also in refereed journals) while he was in that community. But since then, Loglan has not been published in the scientific press - except for the self-publishing of the Loglan Institute.

This lack of refereed publication gives Loglan the aura of a hobby, or even worse, of a private domain of its inventor. Such pursuits are not subject to peer review from outside. Loglan has had the image, since 1962, of a toy whose sole reason for existence has been for people to fiddle with. There has been no organized scientific program, and the language has been dominated by non- scientists, and especially by non-academics (computer people generally don't qualify). Loglan publications have never made an effort to separate the fiddling from the science. As such, peer review is not even possible from outside Loglan - the volume of non-scientific material that has appeared in TL, LogNet, the three Notebooks, and even my publications, is simply too much to be worth a disinterested volunteer's time. And if the reviewer is not disinterested, he is not an outside reviewer.

Loglan also bears an additional political handicap in the linguistic community since JCB's NSF proposals were rejected in the late 70s. Those proposals were doomed because JCB ignored the rules of academic linguistics. But JCB also submitted proposals that apparently were not within NSF guidelines. Faced with a lack of published material about Loglan, his proposals dealt in depth with the concepts, and he included a collection of Institute publications amounting to several hundred pages. Referees, who are unpaid volunteers, were bound to reject the effort of weeding through volumes of text to find the academic meat - which was sparse in early TLs - unless they were already attracted to Loglan. JCB apparently went one step further, protesting the NSF rejections. As a government contractor, I know that a sure way to ensure that a bureaucracy will be prejudiced against your future proposals is to 'go over their heads' with a protest, so I suspect that Loglan will meet a chilly NSF reception in the future.

In short, Loglan is probably dead to linguistics as an academic endeavor, for the time being. We cannot change this unless we do so on the terms of American academics - to have some active member of the academic community with necessary credentials choose to invest in Loglan with his/her professional reputation, conduct research that is relevant to the narrow constraints of current linguistics, and submit publication(s) to refereed journals that demonstrate Loglan's real relevance to linguistic problems. Failure to recognize this reality doomed JCB's proposals.

Some alternatives remain untried for loglan research funding, which is the mark of acceptance in the academic community, and a necessary prerequisite to 'professional' (read 'paid') Loglan workers. Computer academics have given Loglan a warmer reception than the linguists have. There are also other sources of research funds besides NSF, with different criteria for awarding grants. Foundations are an obvious place to start. The Defense Department, in spite of JCB's objections, is another - they fund a lot of AI work. A third approach is entrepreneurial - find people willing to create marketable products that use Loglan. The first such product will ensure that there will be more. Our best approach is to find graduate students who are interested in Loglan, who might be more likely to 'sell' Loglan to their thesis advisors than we outsiders would be. (Jeff Taylor and Jeff Prothero, among others, did Loglan machine grammar work while as students.) Again, once we get some acceptance, more will follow.

Acceptance of Loglan by linguists and other academics is a difficult problem, but one which is solvable as we grow in numbers, and more importantly, in active speakers and users of Loglan.

Two Loglans?

One of the major fears that long-time Loglanists have had about our Lojban efforts, is that we will end up with two Loglans. Even worse, some fear that there will be many versions of the language, as each dissenter goes off to do his/her own thing. Paul Doudna, above, expresses this fear well, indicating the confusion that is possible when multiple Loglan's exist.

This is actually a reasonable fear, with precedent in the artificial language field. Volupuk (or any one of alternate spellings) peaked in the mid-to-late 1800's, just before Esperanto was published. Interestingly, it died because of events similar to what happened in Loglan. The inventor of the language wouldn't give up control of the language to the 'board' representing the community. In that case, however, the community split into many factions, with each faction going its own direction, and no central group keeping the language community in one piece. Now, I am told that the Esperanto word for nonsense is 'volupuki'.

I believe that our efforts will not result in this situation. Rather, this would have been the fate of Loglan if either a) JCB had lost the 1984 Institute power struggle, and gone off to form a new group, or b) I had not started my SIG effort, but JCB completed enough language material to keep the community alive. After JCB passes away (he is after all in his late 60's, so this must be considered), with no strong leader or organization and with JCB's tradition of tinkering with the language as our example, people would appear, each devising their own variant, calling it Loglan, and real confusion would result.

So why won't this happen with Lojban? First of all, I believe that JCB's version of Loglan is dead. Essentially no one except him and possibly Jenny are doing anything with that version of the language. In the four months after the August NB3 publication, neither Mike Parish (LogNet) nor Scott Layson (NB3 comments) had heard a word from the community. There are only about 30 'aficionados', all constrained against using the language freely. And JCB's Institute has only 40-odd members left (including Nora and myself). I don't believe that the Institute has the wherewithal to produce a GPA package for their language, and certainly cannot support it after GPA - not even if JCB doesn't go off to do his Job Market book. More important, I have found that too many Loglanists, whether apostate or driven off by the politics, will not support a language effort led by JCB. And he is the only leader that the Institute has left.

We who have developed Lojban have no significant fear of other competition, either. Jim Carter and several others have spun off their own efforts, but they are all individual ones - basically linguistic toys with one person constituencies. This isn't to say that they don't have good ideas. But these other languages aren't Loglan, nor do their authors claim rights to the Loglan legacy; they generally make no particular attempt to remain true to JCB's original concepts or goals.

We feel that Lojban does have the right to claim that legacy. We have kept true to the concepts of morphology, word resolution, phonology, and grammar that JCB devised. Our changes in each area are minor - less significant than the changes JCB himself devised in GMR and MacGram. The primitive words have indeed changed - only about 5% stayed the same, and this by pure happenstance. But the principles of word-making, and most of the concepts behind the primitive words, are essentially the same. Lojban is indeed a Loglan, and we feel that we honor JCB (contrary to his perceptions) by ensuring that his ideas survive.

We also know that there will be no other Lojban-like Loglan derivative, at least not with the credentials that we've put together, and the amount of work that has been put into Lojban. I estimate that we've put in about 5 person-years to put together what has been done in the last year-and-a-half. That is hard to do with little money. We also have assembled nearly all of the Loglan community to back us, and have most of the people who have contributed ideas in the last 10 years either sympathetic or actively aiding our efforts. Lojban is not the effort of one or two people, but the collected efforts of the community, operating by consensus wherever possible. And we don't intend to change this. When we stop listening to you, we are merely a vendor selling a product to you, and our product is limited by our own vision. As Paul Doudna said in his letter, a human language requires many people to achieve its potential.

We believe that Lojban will be successful, and that is the main reason why the Volupuk experience will not recur. None of the Volupuk splinters gathered a consensus, and there forever remained a vacuum to be filled by another version. Lojban would not have been possible - none of us would even have considered the possibility - if JCB had produced a product that had any vitality, or if he hadn't forced us to split off to form a separate version with his legal threats. We can therefore compare Lojban instead with Esperanto. Zamenhov gave up control of Esperanto; a strong community was formed, which even survived the splintering version Ido - there was a successful language and an active community - so Ido had no real 'market'. And Zamenhov is honored today as the inventor, though he had no control over Esperanto's spread, nor participated in the governance of its community organization.

We call on JCB to follow in Zamenhov's footsteps. We believe Loglan to have as much or greater potential than Esperanto had a hundred years ago, and Lojban to have the most potential for success of any Loglan, past or present. A community again including JCB, united behind Lojban, can ensure that no flaws persist into publication. JCB's support will ensure its success in the community, and remove the stigma of politics. And with JCB a figure of unity rather than of division, the honor and respect due the Founder and Inventor of Loglan can be given freely and accepted.

Wither the Institute?

And now, I answer Jeff Prothero's comment on the relationship between the community and the Institute. His letter led to my opinion, by focussing my attention on the need for Loglan to not be seen as a vendor product, or a marketing venture. Loglan is a language, not a product. It can belong to no one, and cannot be bought and sold. A language pertains, not belongs, to those who use and speak it.

The Institute has invested its existence in Loglan as a product. It is nominally a three-body organization. But the emphasis in its activities has not been the Academy, deciding what Loglan is in an intellectual manner. The Academy consists of Scott Layson and JCB. It has never indicated any meaningful procedures of operation or means of interacting with those of the community - indeed, Scott at one time thought the Academy to be dead because it had never done anything as a body.

The Membership Council was never even created, so the Institute has no claim remaining to represent the Loglan community. And its limitation to members that can pay $50 dues every year reduces the possibility that such a group could represent the community.

This leaves only the Board of Directors. The vendor attitude referred to by Jeff is strongly evidenced by the name of the only meaningful organization of the three bodies, as well as JCB's assumption of the title CEO. The Institute has become a business, and the Board of Trustees has given all power to the business-like body within the Three Bodies. If the Trustees had wanted to stress the academic or community aspects of Loglan, the Academy or Member's Council would have received more priority. What remains is a one body organization, and it is failing.

The Institute has 40-odd members, at about $50 each. It sold about 30 copies of NB3, at about $30 each. The Institute thus has about $3000 to support its activities for the year to come, less the costs of producing NB3. The Institute had a debt to JCB of some $27,000 in 1983. The loan bears no interest, but is indexed for inflation. So no doubt the amount is more than $30,000 by now. JCB has made it clear that the debt will not be forgiven, and the income of the Institute barely matches the increase in debt each year.

In short, the Institute is bankrupt. As a business, the Institute has failed. But unlike most bankruptcies, we don't expect the government to step in and replace management. The Institute has thus failed in all three of its organizational aspects. And I leave it to the community to decide whether the purpose of the Institute, as expressed by its Charter, can be fulfilled by its current structure and policies:

    "to promote the scientific study of the relationships
    between language, thought, and human culture; to conduct and
    support experimental and scholarly research in the fields of
    linguistics, psychology, philosophy, logic, mathematics,
    computer science, anthropology, sociology, and human biology
    as they may bear upon these relationships; to devise and
    develop means and instruments for the conduct of such
    studies including, but not confined to, the constructed
    language Loglan; and to accumulate and publish the results
    of such studies and developments."

It is therefore with regret that I have come to the conclusion that the Institute should come to a conclusion. It is dead as a purposeful organization. It can no longer fulfill its Charter, nor its commitments: either organizational, academic, or financial. It has no purpose in continuing.

I don't say this as a competitor, or even as a frustrated negotiator. I say it as a member, after consulting with other members. Nora has several hundred dollars invested in future membership, so we would lose money if the Institute dies. But Loglan has become more important to us than that money. And Loglan's success requires unity that will never exist until the Institute dies, along with its disruptive claims.

I suspect that the Institute will die eventually, should JCB pass away. But, in the spirit of the previous editorial, we would much prefer to have JCB with us.


I was going to constrain my comments on JCB's absurd accusations of piracy to my entry for piracy in the glossary below. But JCB's widespread dissemination of these charges demands refutation. His irresponsible statements, which would be grounds for a libel suit if we were as legal-minded as he has been recently, defame the character of many Loglanists without justification.

In his publications, JCB has clearly identified my efforts as the subject of his complaints of piracy by the use of details that apply only to my communications with him. Some of his charges are beneath my dignity to respond to - I'll let the community judge my intent, and my lack of enmity towards JCB, much less criminal intent, from my actions and my writings.

But lest it be unclear - I am not trying to compete with JCB. Even while we were negotiating with JCB, Nora and I had agreed that we would donate all proceeds from LogFlash to the Institute. But he demanded the right to determine how we marketed and distributed the program, the amount of our royalties (regardless of what we did with them), and of course the acknowledgement of his copyrights to individual Loglan words, which we believe to be neither legal nor proper. Legitimate disagreement over means and ends is not piracy - and I challenge JCB to show where I haven't bent over backwards to respect his claimed 'rights' to the Loglan words, even though I feel those 'rights' improper. To put it simply, Lojban would not exist if JCB hadn't made it impossible to do otherwise.

I believe that Lojban is a better language than previous versions, but I also respect JCB's prior work that made it possible. I have never claimed JCB's work as my own, and have gone out of my way to state that Lojban is not sanctioned by JCB or the Institute. How is this piracy?

JCB is also upset because I obtained a copy of an outdated Institute mailing list when I started publishing this newsletter. I did so as a member of the Institute, doing activities that I believe all members have the right to do - communicating with other members. It was with his permission that I started the Washington Loglan interest group, and with the encouragement of his then-appointed LogNet editor that I published this newsletter nationwide. The story is long-winded, but I used no false pretenses to obtain the mailing list, and confined my use to specific and stated purposes that were consistent with the Institute charter. I even gave JCB all the address corrections I obtained to update Institute records, which is how he found out that I had the list (these amounted to some 30% of those I had mailed to - the list was very old) - I never hid my possession of the list from him or anyone else. I have not, nor expect to make any financial gain from the list (see the discussion of finances below for my 'gains' from this effort). How is this piracy?

And finally, I want to deal with LogFest. In one mailing, JCB referred to LogFest 4 as a meeting of would-be pirates. Regardless of how JCB feels about my activities, this characterization is un-called for, and is insulting to the several attendees who had no particular stand on my activities and no particular knowledge of or interest in the dispute. JCB actually recognized this; he even sent RAM as a delegate and signed a letter wishing us well in our meeting. But the piracy label he used impugns the motives for the meeting, and the intent of all attendees. LogFest was, as its name implied, a celebration of Loglan. Future LogFests will remain so, in spite of JCB's inappropriate labels.

Roll Call of Contributors

Our list of contributors has gotten too long to list everyone's specific contribution. Instead, we will only list names. Those who contributed in 2 different endeavors will be italicized; if 3 different endeavors, then bold face; if 4 or more different endeavors, then bold italics. Endeavors include the Loglan class, LogFest 4, visits and letters which helped our efforts, the primitive remaking, EVECON presentation, MEX concepts, answers to HL3 questions, recruiting of new Loglanists, testing or modifying LogFlash, preparation and review of publications, Textbook planning, and financial contributions.

Rebecca Bach, Chuck Barton, Tom Birchmire, Gary Burgess, James Carter, Bob Chassell, Christian Clausen, Dave Cortesi, Bill Dorian, Paul Doudna, Lee Douglas, Dave Drake, Jeff Dutky, Elladan, Richard Hall, John Hodges, Phillip Hutchinson, Richard Kennaway, Andrew Koenig, Nancy Lebowitz, Bob LeChevalier, Nora LeChevalier, Fabien Lubais, Kalman Lynch, Keith Marshall, Bob McIvor, Emerson Mitchell, Buddy Myers, Paul Francis O'Sullivan, Mike Parish, John Parks- Clifford, Mike Pique, Kim Pizer, Craig Presson, Jeff Prothero, Bill Ragsdale, Paul Reiber, Faith Rich, Simha Rubin, Rick Sakamoto, Jeff Saxe, Joel Shprentz, Jeffrey Siskind, Roger Skutt, Darren Stalder, Art Tansky, Ron Tansky, Jeff Taylor, Laura Thompson, Jonathan Tite, Claude Van Horn, Jack Waugh, Tommy Whitlock, Art Wieners

Special thanks to Bruce Evry and Fantek, the organizers of EVECON, for fitting us into the schedule with inadequate advance notice.

Glossary Update

The following terms were defined in the HL3 glossary (last issue). If you did not get this issue and want it, please write:

affix, algorithm, argument, Bulletin board (see BBS), C, composite primitive (see C-prim), case tag, compound LW, CP/M, CV, GPA, H-B tag (see Hixson-Bonewits), hyphen, JCB, lexeme, lexemic pause, linguist, LogFest, LogFlash, Loglan Institute (see Institute), Loglan-88, LW, machine grammar (see MacGram), metaphor, morphology, modal operator, NB3, operator, phonology, predicate, PreParser, public domain, shareware, The Loglanist (see TL), Turbo-Pascal, Usenet, VV, Whorf, Word Makers Council, YACC

64K - 64000 bytes, an amount of memory in a personal computer; generally this is a small amount by current standards. LogFlash source is more than this in length, and the running program takes about 25K bytes. This will cause conversion of LogFlash to CP/M and Apple computers to be more difficult than for the IBM PC.

ACM - A professional organization for computer types.

ADATM - The new Defense department standard computer programming language.

address - on computer networks, as on houses, a means of getting mail to its proper destination. If the one you give out is bad (as was mine in last issue), your mail gets lost.

aficianado - a person who signed JCB's trade secret agreement for NB3. From the Spanish for affectionate. Only those willing to sign legal contracts are considered by JCB to be affectionate towards Loglan. Apparently, affection is now a legal concept, but also is now equated with loyalty and total trust in the Board and CEO.

AI - Artificial Intelligence; a new field ranging from science fiction and fantasy, to direct and current practical applications. Loglan may be useful in AI applications in several ways, but only when we complete the language definition.

Apple II - an older computer that is not IBM PC-compatible. It also often has little memory. Hence, converting LogFlash for it will be difficult.

archive - a technique for compressing computer data for cheaper storage and transmission. LogFlash is normally delivered for the PC as an archived file, along with the Shareware programs for maintaining that file.

Arpanet - a computer mail network for Defense department work; it connects to the university network UUCP and the UNIX network USENET, allowing mail to go amongst all three systems.

artificial language - a man-made language; but since all are man-made, this term usually refers to languages invented by one or a small group of people, rather than naturally evolved. Most artificial languages never develop a community of speakers, and thus are ignored by linguists.

Atari - a manufacturer of computers. The Atari ST can be made to run IBM PC programs, and the PC version of LogFlash has successfully run in this environment. John Hodges is working on a full conversion. An earlier computer is more of a game computer and there is no current plan to convert LogFlash to run on it.

audiovisual isomorphism - the feature of Loglan whereby one sound is represented by on symbol, and vice-versa.

baseline - a computer development term; a baseline is formed when a program or set of programs having common features is set aside as a stable standard. Development may continue, but meanwhile the standard can be used, or can serve as a fall-back when a later change doesn't work. Changes can be made to a baseline, but only in a controlled manner after the change is fully justified and tested. A preliminary baseline is a temporary standard that is set aside, usually for review and comment, when a system is not complete. After being reviewed, a final baseline is formed incorporating comments. This baseline is then 'frozen' unless a severe problem is found requiring an emergency change (which is applied in a controlled manner even then). A final baseline can be replaced by a new baseline, but such changes take place infrequently, and in such a way to minimize user impact. All this is relevant to Loglan, which has suffered from free, uncontrolled changes for its entire period. Major areas of the language will spend 6 months under preliminary baseline for comment, then will be frozen in a final baseline. When all aspects of the language are in final baseline, you can be sure that the standard language will remain the same for some time in the future. Either an Academy or some other standards process will exist to ensure that any future changes are careful considered.

bound variable - in logic, a quantified variable, represented in old Loglan as ba, be, bo, and bu and in Lojban as da, de, and di. In Loglan these variables are assumed to quantify as: 'There exists some x1 (some x2, some x3)'. In English, this is often translated as 'someone' or 'something'.

CACM - Communications of the ACM; a refereed journal for computer professionals. causal operator (see operator in HL3) - a LW which indicates a causal relationship between the associated predicate and an argument- like structure following the operator. Translates into English as 'because' or 'therefore', depending on the structure - but there are four types of 'because', and four types of 'therefore' in Loglan. In compound LWs, these operators indicate causal relationships between sentences.

CEO - Chief Executive Officer; a title conferred on JCB by the Institute in accordance with a contract signed several years ago. One of its provisions guaranteed editorial freedom for LogNet, but the contract has never been effectively enforced, since JCB is the only agent of enforcement in the current Institute organization.

comparative - a type of relation between an argument and its predicate. Lojban indicates a comparative by a modal operator that appends the comparison to the main predicate. This is different from earlier Loglan, which was frequently attacked for having comparison automatically inferred in all predications. complex (update) - in future issues, this concept will be referred to by the new Lojban primitive for the concept: lujvo (from pluja valsi = complicated word).

complex numbers - a mathematical concept based on the square root of -1. Complex arithmetic is indeed more complex than normal arithmetic.

complex-making - Loglan uses a fixed algorithm to build complex predicates from metaphors composed of primitive roots. See our first issue (UL1) for the preliminary baseline of this algorithm, which was finally implemented on computer by Art Wieners for testing.

consonant buffer - In Lojban, we have recognized the need to clearly distinguish a vowel pair in a single word from a similar pair in separate words. In the name la Alis, a speaker would put a glottal stop between the two a's, which in Loglan is considered a pause. But in *laa Lis, a pause between the two a's is not allowed, since it couldn't be distinguished from the former. After several proposals, it was decided to insert an apostrophe between the two a's in the latter case. This symbol represents a short unvoiced non-standard Loglan consonant which is inserted between the two vowels, thus allowing them to be separately distinguished. See rough breathing.

consonant pair - Two adjacent consonants, often abbreviated CC, or C/C. The latter emphasizes a syllable split between the two consonants. Loglan (Lojban or otherwise) has specific rules for what consonant pairs are allowed at the beginning of a word (permissible initials), and which are allowed in the middle of a word (permissible medials); the rules differ, though. L1's rules changed into GMR's rules. Lojban's rules have reverted to be more like L1's. In all Loglans, all predicates are required to contain at least one consonant cluster.

cultural bias - something we don't want in Loglan. There are a lot of cultural biases in our thinking that restrict our thoughts. These range from ethical issues (whether a fetus is 'alive') to the definition of murder (is it murder to kill in wartime, or to kill in self-defense or to kill an animal?) to hidden biases in the words we use (such as the masculine pronouns embedded in English words like chairman). Other biases are embedded in English by its structure. Can you clearly see that 'to take care of' is semantically equivalent to 'caretaker'? Yet, you would be surprised and perhaps confused if your boss said 'Be a caretaker of this problem'. Cultural neutrality is an ideal in the design of Loglan, striven for but never achieved, since its developers have cultural biases that they do not always recognize. Minimizing cultural bias does have the potential advantage of reducing obscuring effects of culture from a Sapir-Whorf test involving a language. But more practically, it serves as a means of attracting people to Loglan, if only to 'get out of their cultural shells' and to look at the world in new ways. It also makes Loglan attractive as an international language, where cultural biases rouse nationalistic feelings that impede acceptance. See also metaphysically neutral, a related concept.

DEC - Digital Equipment Corporation, a large computer manufacturer.

DECUS - DEC USers' Group, a formal organization of DEC users which influences DEC corporate decisions as the sanctioned 'voice' for all users. Not all such users' groups are sanctioned or listened to. But a vendor that ignores any group that speaks for many users finds itself out of business. The only exception to this principle is an unregulated monopoly (which presumably is what Jeff Prothero proposes to keep Loglan from being).

ellipsis - the semantic or grammatical component of communication which is omitted, either intentionally or unintentionally. Ellipsis can be explicit ('etc.'), embedded in other words ('That!' while pointing), or implicit ('Get that!' has the elliptical 'and bring it here'). Ellipsis is inherently ambiguous (In the last example, I might have wanted you to throw it in the trash, or bring it along); the listener must interpret what the speaker means. And sometimes, even the speaker doesn't know what he means.

Esperanto - an International language first published in 1887 by Zamenhof. It is the most successful 'artificial' language, with anywhere from 1 to 6 million speakers, and with from 8000 to 250,000 native speakers. It boasts a very simple grammar and European roots (borrowed haphazardly from various languages) with suffixes that modify the meaning and indicate the part of speech.

etymology - the origin of a word, as derived from roots in the same or other languages.

EVECON - a science fiction and fantasy convention held in the DC area on the weekend after New Years' Day. It is sponsored by an organization known as Fantek, and was attended this year by between 1000 and 2000 people.

file upload and download - the transferring of computer programs or data via modem from a bulletin board. Upload is putting a file onto the bulletin board. Download is getting a copy from a bulletin board into your computer system.

Fillmore's case grammar - a linguistic analysis of English and other natural languages that says that the semantics of various parts of a sentence may be categorized as relations to the verb. Case grammars have never really caught on in linguistics, and the theory has evolved over the years. See the Appendix attached for a brief description of the concepts behind the theory.

final baseline - a baseline which is complete and ready for use, and which will be changed only under the most stringent of conditions, after such changes have been thoroughly tested.

fluency - able to communicate freely in a language without hesitation, and making errors rarely - comparable with a native educated speaker of the language. In natural languages, levels of fluency might also add knowledge of the full range of idioms and common slang, and/or knowledge of a vocabulary comparable with that of an educated speaker. Fluency in Loglan (which has no idiom or native speaker) will incorporate knowledge of all primitives, their affixes and place structures (JCB set a standard of 97% at one time). A facility at putting primitives together into complexes and at interpreting plausible meanings and place structures for complexes is also needed. Ability to phrase correct grammatical sentences of first order complexity without hesitation (97% of the time) seems to be a comparable standard for grammar fluency.

formal language specification - a definition of an grammar (a computer language or Loglan) which allows mathematical manipulation of the rules comprising the language. A particular format most used by computer people is BNF (Backus-Naur or Backus Normal Form).

frozen - in computer terms, equivalent to a final baseline, but easier to use in sentences (see GMR Loglan below). It means that it ain't gonna change no more (at least not without great care and consideration for the users). Like Lojban after this year.

fuzzy logic - a new concept in logic that assigns a truth value between 1 (completely true) and 0 (completely false) to any statement, thus allowing analysis of partially or occasionally true ideas.

Gainesville - a city in Florida; JCB lives a few miles east of the city.

GMR Loglan - the version of Loglan that has been used from about 1983 (after the publication of NB1 and NB2 at the end of GMR) till now. It has changed over that time, never being either defined or baselined. Presumably, NB3 is a partial or complete statement of GMR Loglan, a preliminary baseline that JCB implies will be frozen at GPA.

HL3 - Hoi Loglypli issue number 3; the previous issue of this newsletter.

Hoi Loglypli - the name of this newsletter last issue. The first two issues were entitled 'me la Uacintyn Loglytuan', or abbreviated as UL1 and UL2.

human grammar - in Loglan, the grammatical interpretation of a Loglan utterance by human analysis. YACC deals only with restricted types of grammars, so the PreParser inserts 'invisible LWs' called machine lexemes to convert an utterance in the human grammar into one that the computer can analyze using YACC (the machine grammar). It is argued that since this is a definite and reversible process that is hard-coded in a computer program, it does not weaken the ambiguity proof for the language. Effective Loglan speaking, though, requires a person to be able to do the equivalent of the PreParser, to the extent of recognizing the constructs that the computer program recognizes when it decides to insert a machine lexeme. Institute (update) - see Loglan (update)

international language - a language spoken by people of many nations. Usually intended to refer to a language that is (or will eventually be) universally known to all educated people in the world, either as a primary or secondary language. Many, but not all Loglanists share this idealistic dream for Loglan. Loglan's design, which emphasizes cultural neutrality, and easy of learning, are advantages to those who would have Loglan succeed in this way. But this is not a/the primary goal of Loglan - rather it is a goal of opportunity that will be assumed if the world decides that Loglan is appropriate for a world language. JL - Ju'i Lobypli, the current (and hopefully future) name of this newsletter location operator - a member of the PA lexeme which locates the predicate in space. The most used Lojban location operators are vi, va, and vu (unchanged from earlier Loglans), which mean approximately 'here' or 'at', 'there' or 'near to', and 'yonder' or 'far from', respectively.

logical connectives - a set of 14 LWs and their derivatives which reflect the 14 useful logical groupings of two concepts. (There are actually 16, but two are not useful.) These groupings are defined by each having unique 'truth tables'. Logical connectives correspond to conjunctions in English, but are rigorously defined. In addition to logical connectives, there are connectives which are non-logical, which are found in lexeme ZE. Loglan (update) - a computer language developed in the 1970's by the Polish Institute in Warsaw. Similar to the computer languages PASCAL and ALGOL, it is an attempt to come up with a generic computer language. Apparently it was first published in the early 1970's in Poland, though its first English publication was in 1982. (We accidentally discovered this interesting coincidence while researching artificial languages and copyrights in the Library of Congress). Brief mention is made in the English-language translation of another Loglan - 'an Esperanto- like language being developed over in the States'. No mention of trademarks or copyrights. Will the Institute sue the Institute for infringement? Which one?

Lojban - The realization of the Loglan promise which we intend the current effort to be. There have been several 'Loglans' over the years, the 1960 version, the 1968 version, the dictionary version, the L1 version, the GMR version. We have chosen a unique name for the language, based on the Lojban primitive for 'Loglandic' which is in turn derived from the Lojban metaphor for 'logical language': logji bangu. The resulting name is pleasingly similar to the English name 'Loglan', yet uniquely identifies the current version - setting it apart from other versions by having its name derived internally rather than externally to emphasize Lojban's internal completeness. LW (update) - in future issues, this concept will be referred to by the new Lojban primitive for the concept: cmavo (from cmalu valsi = small word)

machine lexemes - a set of 8 to 13 'invisible LWS' that are inserted by the grammar to resolve ambiguities that cannot be resolved by looking ahead only one word (a requirement of YACC). To compare with English, if you say 'I picked up the book and ...', a listener cannot tell what part of speech will come after 'and'. As a result, 'the' and 'book' remain incompletely classified. Examples of possible endings are 'walked away', 'three pencils', 'paper', and 'the ruler'. Loglan has a similar problem, though the set of possibilities is very limited.

MacIntosh - a line of computers made by Apple Corporation, not normally compatible with IBM PC software, or with that of other Apple computers or with other non-IBM computers.

matrix, matrix algebra - a way of organizing numbers that has its own 'arithmetic', which is much more complex than normal arithmetic.

member - in the Loglan community, a member of the Loglan Institute. The qualifications of membership are currently $50 per year dues, for which you apparently receive nothing except an occasional LogNet and other notices from JCB. As many of you know, there was thus no difference between being a member and not being one during the publishing period from LogNet 1 to LogNet 2. Nominally, LogNet is a publication by and for the members of the Institute. But only JCB, Jenny, Mike Parish, and I have contributed since it was last reborn. It is supposed to be put out by a group called the Member's Council, but JCB never set one up. (Better stated, he expected the members to set it up themselves, but he drove off those who were willing to lead and organize, as he almost drove me off.)

messages - on bulletin boards, individual notices put upon the board for specific people, or for everyone, to read. They are exactly parallel to notices on a regular bulletin board; private messages are like those with the top folded down and a name on the outside, so that only the addressee reads it; public messages are in the open so that all can read them, even though they may have a name or addressee on them to indicate a primary recipient. Sometimes bulletin boards may be connected together (a network, like COMPUSERVE), or several computers may each handle messages for a limited set of addressees (electronic mail).

metalanguage - that portion of a language that is used to talk about language, specifically about the language itself. In English, we use quotes metalinguistically to mark phrases or sentences. "The main verb of the last sentence is 'use'" is a metalinguistic statement, using a metalinguistic phrase ('the last sentence') and one type of metalinguistic quotation inside, in addition to the quotes around the statement.

metaphysically neutral - compare with culturally neutral. In addition to striving for cultural neutrality, Loglan strives for metaphysical neutrality, a related ideal. Metaphysics involves ways of looking at the world, so that metaphysical neutrality means that Loglan tries to avoid imposing metaphysical assumptions on its users. This is done by minimizing the number of required structures in Loglan, and making them as similar to each other as possible. Thus all predicates can be considered a single part of speech, even though in English, for example, they are nouns, verbs, or adjectives. We allow arguments to be added, or left out. No tense or location or modal inflection is required, and in Lojban, one cannot even make any assumptions about elliptical (omitted) places in a multi-place predicate. As many things in Loglan as possible are interchangeable, lest we impose a mandatory assumption by saying, for example, that what you are standing on cannot be considered to be 'flooring you'. Like cultural neutrality, this ideal is only a goal. But a legitimate claim can be made that Loglan is 'metaphysically parsimonious' - it imposes a minimum set of assumptions that are needed for full human communication.

MEX - an abbreviation for 'mathematical expressions', intended to refer to their grammar as defined in the broadest, most abstract sense - thereby enabling the potential expression of any of the totality of mathematical thoughts in grammatical Loglan sentences. In future issues, we will use the Lojban primitive mekso or its related name la meks, to indicate that this is a uniquely Loglandic concept.

modem - an electronic device used to enable computers to communicate via wires, especially via telephone, by encoding the data sent with control signals (a 'protocol').

PC Pursuit - a service available in many metropolitan areas, that networks many bulletin boards together, and allows off-hours computer connections to bulletin boards in other metropolitan areas, without long distance charges. A fixed price is charge per month for this service. The Capital Loglan Bulletin Board is in an area served by PC Pursuit, and so can be cheaply reached from other cities in the U.S.

pause - a break in speech. In Loglan, there are several linguistic expressions of pause, and uses to which pauses are put. Not all of these are shared with other languages. The glottal stop, not always recognized as a pause in English, is part of the Arabic alphabet. In Loglan it is a full pause, fully equivalent to a long pause between sentences. As such, glottal stops are not permitted inside words, especially between vowel pairs in a single word - hence the consonant buffer as Lojban's solution to pronouncing such pairs unambiguously. GMR Loglan also uses 'lexemic pauses', which indicate how to grammatically break up a sentence - Lojban will avoid them. All Loglans contain 'morphemic pauses', which define the ends of names, the boundaries of certain quotation words, and the break between a final vowel of one word and a beginning vowel in the next, if there is one. Pauses must be minimized in importance, since people pause naturally for phrasing, to take a breath, or simply to think of what they will say next. The lexemic pause could be confused with these types of pauses to the detriment of understanding; this is not as true for morphemic pauses.

pc - John Parks-Clifford, editor of The Loglanist, while it was being published, and former President of the Institute Board. The most knowledgeable Loglanist after JCB (though possibly Scott Layson could argue), he was pushed out by JCB during JCB's political battle to regain control of the Institute from its members in 1984. He was inactive until I invited him to advise me in my work, independent of JCB. Now that that effort has become Lojban, pc is our primary reference as to 'what Loglan really is'. As a professional linguist, logician, and philosophy professor, he is a valuable resource indeed.

penultimate stress - a pattern of emphasizing the next to last (penultimate) syllable of a word. This pattern is common in Spanish and other Romance languages, and serves as a keystone of Loglan's resolution algorithm while imparting a natural, flowing rhythm to Loglan speech.

permissible medial - a set of consonant pairs that are allowed in the middle of a Loglan word. The set is limited by what is both speakable and understandable, with training, to the bulk of potential Loglan speakers. The exact rules defining the set have changed over time. Lojban uses simple, systematic, and easy-to- learn rules that do not necessitate memorizing lists of permissible combinations.

phonemic transcription - writing down the sounds one hears in speech so as to clearly reflect each sound (phoneme) (as well as stress, tone, and pitch,if they are important to word recognition) with a symbol or symbols. Loglan is defined so as to have a unique phonemic transcription for every valid utterance, such that exactly one symbol represents each phoneme, and the resulting transcription can be uniquely resolved into words.

phrasing - the grouping, using pause, emphatic stress, intonation, and pitch, within an utterance to clearly associate grammatically- related words. Provided that emphatic stress does not conflict with the penultimate stress rule for word resolution, all of these variable ways of speaking are completely free in Loglan. They are not required at all, nor important (part of the metaphysical neutrality). But for non-fluent speakers, they may be useful in conveying grammatical intent.

piracy - see the editorial in this issue. A possible definition of pirate might be 'a sea-going individual intent on appropriating that which belongs to others, hoarding those gains, and distributing their use meagerly among a limited set of totally loyal followers'.

place, place structure - a set of relations associated with each predicate which defines a fixed number of arguments that are semantically inferred from the concept that the predicate represents. Thus a predicate is both the central word and the places that are attached. This is vital to remember in learning Loglan. The place structure embeds a semantical concept, and a change in the place structure would change that semantical concept. The 1272 Lojban primitives each have a defined place structure, thus defining 1272 unique concepts. The identifying of these particular concepts as primitive (instead of other potential choices) is one way in which Loglan is not metaphysically neutral. Complex predicates also have place structures, and the extent to which those place structures are not fixedly determined independently of the semantic types of the component words is another limitation of Loglan's metaphysical neutrality. It is hoped, though, that we have patterned our choices and place structures so as to minimize embedding cultural biases in them.

plausibility - reasoning by means of analyzing what makes the most sense in a given context. Plausibility is also a limit to metaphysical neutrality. The speaker inherently makes a metaphysical assumption in assigning a metaphor to a semantic concept. But in Loglan, it is not mandatory that the listener accept that assumption. It thus is valid to question the speaker to an arbitrary level of specificity to pinpoint the exact relationship intended - as shown in my response to Paul Doudna.

PLGS - an abbreviation for the English phrase 'pretty little girls school'. An early grammatical problem in Loglan was to analyze all possible metaphorical groupings in this four-place metaphor, and to represent each as unambiguously different from the others within the Loglan grammar. This is impossible in English without significant paraphrasing. After 25 years, the analysis finally defined 20 unique meanings and a unique way to say each in Loglan using only three LWs to indicate groupings. predicate (update) - in future issues, this concept will be represented by the new Lojban primitive word for the concept: bridi. Specific examples for predicates, formerly referred to as preda, prede, predi, etc., will be represented by the primitives broda, brode, brodi, brodo, and brodu (These are the only Lojban primitives which differ only in the final vowel - because they are not allowed to be used in complexes, which require uniqueness in the first four letters).

predicate calculus - a term from logic referring to the mathematical manipulation of symbols representing statements and their logical relationships. Loglan is imbedded with constructs of predicate calculus, with the intent of potentially enabling speakers to more easily talk about logic, or to think logically. This would presumably demonstrate the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

predicate pair - any pair of adjacent Loglan predicate words or phrases, without attached arguments, such that the first modifies the second in some way - this is a Loglan 'metaphor', or as it is sometimes called, a 'binary metaphor'. In Lojban, all such relations have the restriction that the second predicate is somehow more basic, and the first predicate restricts or constrains the second in some way. A limited number of metaphors in the 1974 dictionary (such as mother-father for 'parent') did not meet this restriction. This made interpretation of complexes more difficult by allowing multiply plausible choices ('maternal grandfather' is an equally valid - and in Lojban, more correct - interpretation of mother-father).

preliminary baseline - a setting aside of a portion of a system for review, analysis, and testing - before freezing it with a final baseline.

primitive - a basic predicate concept in Loglan, used as a building block of other words; the concept is similar in intent to the concept of 'root' in other languages. The attempt was made to select concepts that are basic to human speech and thought, regardless of culture, but adding additional concepts needed to build complexes that are expected to be frequently used in Loglan. Because of its unique meaning, the Lojban primitive word for the concept gicmu will be used in future issues.

PROLOG - a computer language, often used in AI applications. Like Loglan, it uses a predicate grammar. JCB was far ahead of the inventor of PROLOG in this concept, though.

read and write permissions - As a security measure, in some computer systems, the system manager has controls which protect data and programs from unauthorized use. Joel Shprentz's computer, supporting the Capital Loglan Bulletin Board (CLBB), is such a system. One type of protection requires the manager to specifically authorize a user to read and write specific files. After you become a CLBB user, wait a few days to allow Joel to give you these permissions, before attempting to upload and download files such as the LogFlash program and Lojban primitive list. You need not wait to send and read mail, however.

recognition score - a percentage number that is calculated by weighted average based on the number of speakers of each source language. Matches between the phonemic transcription for a source language word for a concept, and a possible Loglan word for the concept are scored. The highest scoring word is used, subject to conflicts with other concepts that result in too similar words and the requirement for unique affixes for frequently used concepts. Lojban recognition scores are significantly higher than those for previous Loglan versions. This is partially due to fewer languages and a change in the method of phonemic transcription, and partially due to the inaccuracy of manually trying to pick the highest scoring word. Lojban used a computer for this effort.

redundancy - in communications, the repeating of information (often in slightly different form) so as to reduce the chance that it is erroneously received or heard. Lojban appears to be significantly lower in redundancy than most natural languages. (I've asked Rick Sakamoto to do some testing to see if this is real or illusion.)

resolution principle, resolvability, resolvable complexes - the requirement that Loglan words be uniquely resolvable from a speech stream. More recently, the requirement to uniquely resolve complexes into their component metaphors was added as a basis for both GMR and Lojban.

rough breathing - for English speakers, this sounds like an 'h'. It is sound of quickly and voicelessly aspirating (breathing out) before a vowel (in Loglan, generally between two vowels). The ancient Greeks called their country Ellas, with this sound before the vowel. Modern Greek writes the country name as Hellas. To explore the sound, say 'three apples', enunciating the word break (don't say 'threeyapples'). You will feel a stop in your throat - a glottal stop. Now say 'threehapples'. You will not make a glottal stop because the 'h' forces air through to prevent it. In Lojban, this voiceless non-glottal stop is used between vowel pairs in one word, and is represented by an apostrophe. See consonant buffer.

semantics - the study of the meanings of words or phrases, especially as distinguished from the structure of their expression (grammar). semantic disambiguity(ambiguity) - the capability (or lack thereof) to uniquely determine the semantics of a word in a given context. Loglan does not have this type of disambiguity - nor does any natural language. This type of ambiguity is the basis for many types of humor, as well as poetry. This is why Loglan's logicalness does not impede creativity. In fact, the increased flexibility of Loglan's grammar actually enhances the variety of things that can be said succinctly, probably enhancing poetry.

semantic load - the amount of difficulty a listener bears in trying to figure out what an utterance means. If the grammar is ambiguous, the semantic load is much higher, since the listener must potentially examine the semantics for each non-unique grammatical interpretation in order to determine meaning. In some English sentences, these interpretations may amount to thousands of possibilities - many of which aren't even perceived due to the conflicting and convoluted rules of English grammar. syntactically unambiguous - the claim that each Loglan utterance may be uniquely parsed into a single grammatical structure (syntax). This makes no claims about semantic ambiguity.

trade secret - a legal field, exclusive of copyright and patent law, to protect proprietary informations and techniques from use by others without authorization. The 'secrets' must have been maintained as such from the time of development, and all parties must have signed written agreements against disclosure, in order to properly protect a trade secret. It is impossible to copyright a 'trade secret', since implicit to copyright is the making public of the material, while the author retains 'copy rights'. Copyrights apply only to expressions of ideas, patents apply to invented, specific techniques or applications of an idea. Only trade secrets can protect an idea, and then only if all parties keep the 'secret' secret.

Trial 55, 66 - As the machine (YACC) grammar was developed, each version was incrementally numbered. Some were ambiguous, and some were potentially valid unambiguous grammars which correctly parsed some or all of the test cases they ran. (It is not sufficient that the Loglan grammar be unambiguous - it also has to work in a human-predictable way to be used by people). The first published grammar was Trial 19 in NB1. JCB also has sent out unsolicited copies of Trial 24, Trial 31, and Trial 55, among others. JCB originally claimed that Trial 55 was the 'final grammar' that was both unambiguous and which correctly parsed the set of utterance in TL7/1 which was the closest thing he had to a definition of the desired grammar. That grammar turned out to be flawed - it was overly complex, and the YACC Parser 'blew up' (literally, it got stuck in 'infinite gu loops' that locked up the computer system). Scott Layson then revised it, removing some of JCB's added machine lexemes in the Preparser. The result was Trial 66, which is the grammar apparently enshrined in NB3. Since Trial 66 is available only to people with NB3, and not to the entire community, it cannot be the Loglan grammar. So we have started on our own grammar, starting from first principles, but using Trial 55 as a guide post. This ensures that more respect is paid to JCB's rights than he has paid to those who have contributed to Loglan over the years.

truth table - a means of evaluating the truth or falsity of expressions involving logical expressions. A table is built using an exhaustive list of possible truth values for each component statement in the logical expression. Then each case is evaluated using the rules of predicate calculus.

UNIX - an operating system, or environment for running computer programs, so that they don't have to worry about machine-related things. UNIX was originally designed by Ma Bell when it was still in one piece. It is now in widespread use on many different types of computers. YACC was developed as part of UNIX.


I've saved this topic for last, to let you all know that we do not consider it our highest priority. But preparing this newsletter costs money, and responding to requests for LogFlash and copies of old newsletters and other material also costs. With our priority on completing the Lojban primitive list and keeping this newsletter going, we have responded to few such requests, or even letters, in the last few months. But this can't continue, or our effort will end up like the Institute, unable to fulfill the needs of the community.

Our costs over the past year and a half have been roughly $7600. This is broken up as follows:

Newsletters:    #1  $200  #2  $300   #3  500   #4  ~700   Net 1700
Other printing and mailing
Misc. EVECON expenses
LogFests        #3  $50   #4  $250                             300
Telephone       est. ave. $50/mo. above personal exchanges
Support for Tommy Whitlock 6/87 - 1/88 (Room and Board and
                incidentals - treat as minimum wage
                equivalent, full time (Tommy is now working
                outside and is no longer 'an expense'.)
                1250 hours @ 3.35                                4200

We have received about $1100 in outside contributions, in addition to $480 that Nora donated before we got engaged. So our donations do not even cover the costs of these newsletters. This obviously cannot continue - Nora and my combined income could probably support this level of expenditure for a while, but we can't grow. At least one person has questioned our extensive phone use. We've cut back, but consultations with key people like pc, Jeff Taylor, and Jeff Prothero must be done via telephone, or we'll never finish. The Institute's failure to get a widespread working community was probably due to its attempt to conduct such activity by mail. Even if we were the best of correspondents in 1980's America, the cycle time for letter and response is about 2 weeks.

Our mailing costs will go down after this issue when we get a bulk mailing permit. We could have done so this time, but we still have about 80 unverified addresses, and first class mail allows us to get updates on these. We also are seeking a way to cut printing costs. We are paying 3 cents a page for Xeroxing now for bulk copies, and up to 10 cents a page for incidentals like fulfilling your mail requests (except when we can combine them with a newsletter run).

But we need a more stable financial basis, and we need to be able to separate Loglan funds from our personal finances. Thus we will be setting up a non-profit organization. This will have the side benefit of making your contributions tax deductible. To avoid the Institute's problems with loans, we will invest no money in Loglan except as contributions. We feel that it is a conflict of interest for an organization officer to set terms for financial claims in which he/she has a personal stake.

We have not gotten enough from the community as donations - while many of you respond by letter to our mailings, you haven't been contributing to pay for us to keep responding. Some cannot through financial straits, and we would prefer not to exclude people who wish to be active but have no money. But I suspect that most of you haven't contributed either because we haven't been direct enough in our requests, or because we must live down the reputation of the Institute for its years of non-responsiveness.

For the latter reason, we will not have 'memberships' or dues. We want you to contribute only for what we deliver. It will keep us honest, and you satisfied.

We have therefore decided to set up a balance structure similar to that used for TL before its demise. We will not necessarily stop mailing if your balance is below zero. If you are contributing labor, or otherwise showing active effort in learning and using Loglan, we will absorb such costs ourselves. Otherwise, we will at least notify people before giving up on them.

We are asking everyone to establish a balance of at least $10.00, and preferably at least $20.00. Or to respond asking us to continue you on a non-paying basis for financial reasons. Because these balances are thus not a required subscription fee, they can possibly be considered as contributions. Consult your tax authority.

We are also seeking contributions independent of the balance system. Please indicate if some amount is to be considered such a contribution. We will be keeping necessary records on each type of receipt to support our non-profit status.

Because we do not yet have non-profit status, and because I wish to reward those who contributed before now, I will be fully crediting all donations before now, along with a 50% bonus, to your balance. And I will credit money received between now and our non-profit status with a 25% bonus.

As the Institute did, we will report our expenditures for each issue and the per person charge. If we add in an overhead amount to cover other costs, we will also report that. We consider ourselves fully accountable to our contributors, if we are going to hold your balances. A request for return of balance will be fulfilled within 6 weeks (though we cannot return bonus balances).

We will not charge for material you obtain via downloading from the Capital Loglan Bulletin Board, or via other sources, though we of course want any and all contributions you choose to give. We will try to be responsive to bulletin board requests for information, and most of the stuff we have available can be put on line to reduce our copying and mailing costs, though page-formatting information will generally be lost.

The following are items which are available by mail, and our estimated costs at about 3 cents or 8 cents a page plus postage, depending on our expected demand. If you have a balance, we will deduct from it the indicated cost. If not, we will have to weigh your request against our budget. (Non-US mail charges will of course be somewhat higher.) All items may be copied (and you are encouraged to do so) for the purpose of promoting Loglan, as long as any copyright and license notices are fully respected, and distributed with each copy you make. We will charge you (or your balance) only to defray our own copying and distribution costs.

Lojban Primitive List         English order (22pg)
                    Lojban order (22pg)                     $1.25
                    sorted by difficulty and word type (23pg)

LogFlash for IBM PC, MS-DOS
     diskette with Shareware source, object, primitive lists,
     and user's manual, Loglan GPA Brochure                      $20.00
     Synopsis of Lojban Phonology and Morphology free with paid
          order or Shareware registration
          (est. 30 pg - available soon)
     The LogFlash cassette tape is not yet available.

     printed user's manual only (16pg)                           $1.90
Loglan GPA Brochure (part of JL4 Appendix)
single copy no charge

Newsletter back issues   UL1 (Institute Primitive list omitted)
                         (42 pg)                            $4.25
                    UL2  (38 pg)                            $3.75
                    HL3  (34 pg) w/o Appendix                    $3.50
                    JL4  (est. 45 pg) while this run lasts       $2.35
                                             then      $4.60

Responses to HL3 Questions (we are not publishing these in JL due
          to length and the heavy emphasis on GMR Loglan
          answers, some of which may not apply to Lojban.
          We may print selected parts when space is available
          in future issues.)  (31pg)                             $3.25
Primer Synopsis of GMR Loglan Phonology and Morphology
          (Appendix to HL3) (24pg)                          $2.50
Revision of Primer Synopsis for Lojban - available shortly
          (est. 30 pg)                                      $3.25
          with LogFlash paid order
               or Shareware registration included at no charge
Complex-Making Algorithm (10 pg)                                 $1.00

We have bulk copies of the Loglan brochure available for distribution to potential new Loglanists. It is also available in computer format on the Capital Loglan Bulletin Board, for transfer to other bulletin boards.

Public Domain Loglan Parser - awaiting update from Jeff Prothero; price is not yet determined.

                        NEWSLETTER YOU DESIRE.


   Please fill out and return promptly.  We need to hear from you.



HOME PHONE:_________________________ WORK PHONE:__________________________

2. COMPUTER ADDRESS IF ANY________________________________________________

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(If not, please let us know why in the comments below.)

4. I am sending ____________ to establish/add to my JL balance.
______ I can't afford to establish an account now, but wish to receive
______ I want to see more before I commit any money to your support.

     I am sending ___________ as contribution, independent of my

5. I would like to obtain a copy of LogFlash

6. I have the following computer(s) readily available for use with
LogFlash 1 or other computer-aided products:


I have ____ have not _____ got a modem for transfer of computer

7. I am interested in obtaining copies of the following materials:



8. I am interested in participating in ______ organizing ______ a
users group in my area.

9. I am interested in participating in ______ organizing ______ a
Loglan class in my area.




  1. as actually written in Loglan (Lojban primitives with old Loglan Lws)
  2. using current proposed Lojban primitives and LWs, and
  3. in English literal translation

       le speni krasi pe la bab lecevalier ze la noras tanskis
       le speni krasi po la bab lycevalier joi la noras tanskis
              Wedding of Bob LeChevalier and Nora Tansky

          le toteri djedi ji'u la nenismis ji'u la nevevosen
         le recimoi djedi ne'o la panosmis ne'o la pasobizen
                           23 October 1987

                             mi prami tu
                             mi prami do
                             I love you.

                     .i mi djica lepo mi kansa tu
                   .i mi djica le nuke mi kansa do
                I desire the state of being with you.

                     .i mi cuxna lepo mi speni tu
                   .i mi cuxna le nuke mi speni do
             I choose the state of being married to you.

.ice mu simxu zukte pu'i lepo mu jundi e kurji gu lemu simxu ce lanzu
.ije mi'o simxu zukte fi le nuke mi'o jundi e kurji ku lemi'o simxu je
                             lanzu nitcu
 We mutually act towards the goal of attending to and taking care of
                    our mutual and family's needs.

                   .i to'i e to'a nacefi'a jetnu ai
                     .i ro di'u cajebe'a jetnu ai
These statements are now, and continuously in the future, true, by my


Fillmore's Case Grammar

excerpted from Transgrammar by Jean Malmstrom

In 1966 and 1967, in his search for linguistic universals, Charles Fillmore proposed that "the grammatical notion of case deserves a place in the base component of every language." Traditionally, the term case refers to the inflectional form indicating the grammatical function of the noun or pronoun. In English, nouns have only two cases, a common case (the boy is here, I see the boy) and a possessive case (the boy's dog is here, the boys' dog is here); the common case has no inflectional ending. Pronouns have a nominative case (he is here), and accusative case (I see him), and a possessive case (it's his dog, the dog is his).

To Fillmore, case means the underlying semantic relationship between a nominal and its verbal, or predicator. The predicator may be a verb, adjective, or noun: the lion growls, the lion is dangerous, the lion is a mammal. In Fillmore's case grammar, the underlying semantic structure of a sentence consists of a predicator with one or more noun phrases, each associated with the predicator in a particular case relationship. For example, the predicator smashed in Bill smashed the bottle with a rock has three nominals associated with it: Bill is the agent of the action, the bottle is the object of the action, and a rock is the instrument. Thus these three nominals are in the agent, object, and instrument cases, respectively. Each case occurs only once in a simple sentence, although coordinate nouns may be joined to form a compound which fills a single case role. In addition, embedded constructions may fill a case role.

According to Fillmore, we need the cases listed below. In the following list, each case is immediately preceded by the symbol that will be used to identify it in this chapter.

Agent (A): The case of the animate instigator of the action of state identified by the predicator.

Experiencer (E): the case of the animate being affected by the action or state identified by the predicator.

Instrument (I): the case of the inanimate force, object, or cause involved in the action or state identified by the predicator

Object (O): the case limited essentially to things which are contained, which move or undergo change, or which are affected by the action or state identified by the predicator (not to be confused with the syntactic notion "direct object" or "accusative" --Fillmore says he uses this case as "a wastebasket")

Source (So): the case of the origin or starting point of the action or state identified by the predicator.

Goal (G): the case of the end or objective of the action or state of the action identified by the predicator

Location (L): the case of the spatial orientation of the action or state identified by the predicator.

Time (T): the case that specifies the time of the state or action identified by the predicator.

Every English sentence requires a surface-structure subject, and the subject position can be filled by a variety of cases.