BPFK style guidelines for Lojban dictionary definitions (proposal draft)

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BPFK style guidelines for Lojban dictionary definitions (proposal draft)


  • Each meaning definition should be clear, easy and comfortable to read for everyone, and not cluttered with slashes, obscure abbreviations or anything else hindering readability or comprehension. Lists of appropriate translations or glosses are preferably put into a dedicated dictionary entry field, separate from the main definition.
  • Each meaning definition should be simple, made from simple terms, even if that leads to more verbosity.
  • Each meaning definition should be as generic as possible, so as to encompass the whole semantic range of the lexeme being defined.
  • The appropriate gloss words are recorded in the gloss fields.
  • The etymologies are presented along with the definition in order to help retaining the term and its origin.
  • The various sumti types must be specified between parentheses: proposition (du'u), event (nu), property (ka), quantity (ni)…
  • The predicate argument slots are marked with the x1…xN notation. The place structure's etymology (mostly relevant with lujvo) should be moved to the note fields, or ideally to a dedicated field.

Language-specific recommendations


Example of English definition using the proposed guidelines

Lexeme: balni
Type: gimsu
Meaning: x1 is a platform overhanging on facade x2
Glosses (x1): balcony, overhang, ledge, shelf
Exemple 1:
  (English): This is a balcony
  (Lojban): ti balni
Exemple 2:
  (English): The balcony of this building
  (Lojban): lo balni be lo vi dinju
  Chinese: iantai
  English: balkani
  Hindi: baramda
  Spanish: balkon
  Russian: balkon
  Arabic: curfa