Difference between revisions of "lojban calligraphy"

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== Semantic issues ==
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I've been thinking about calligraphy and Lojban a bit lately. As I see it, the standard roman-alphabet miniscule hands map quite nicely onto Lojban - at least, if you extend them to include k, j, and v, which most don't have as independent letters.
  
'''Why were the forms of the gismu (root words) created from several languages, rather than just one, for instance English?'''
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Would-be Lojban calligraphers probably need a fair amount of specialized vocabulary for talking about our craft, though. While calligraphic equipment is a different semantic category that I don't address here, I suggest the following for talking about hands (partly based on the fact that I'm going to write up how I do Lojban calligraphy soon and figure if I'm going to use opaque jargon it might as well be Lojban-language opaque jargon). I've added suggested place structures. I am happy to have all these terms reviewed by others whose Lojban is a bit less out-of-practice than mine.
  
Because of the ideal of cultural neutrality, one wanted to make the learnability of the vocabulary the same, regardless of one's native language.
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Letter forms in a particular calligraphic hand are pensni (pen marks), while the hand itself is a pensniste (set of marks).
  
Also, making the vocabulary of Lojban too similar to a single language (English has been proposed many times, because it is widely used) would make learners who were familiar with that language import semantic and cultural baggage from that language -- what in linguistics terms is called a substrate language.
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*pensni: x1  is a handwritten symbol used to represent letter/lerfu x2<br>
 +
*pensniste: x1 is a calligraphic hand incorporating symbol(s) x2 used to write text x3 in alphabet/character-set x4
  
'''Why isn't the default base of Lojban numerals base-sixteen?'''
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Pensni can represent jbolerfu, the Lojban letters, including y'y and denpa.bu (.) but not slaka.bu (,). They can also represent the letters not used in Lojban, such as h, q, and w; these are naljbolerfu. Furthermore, there may be other marks such as diacritics and the slaka.bu; these are nalyle'usni, or non-letteral marks.
  
Because base-ten seems to be the easiest for humans to use.
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*jbolerfu: x1 (la'e zo BY/word-bu) is a letter in Lojban representing sound x2
 +
*naljbolerfu: x1 (la'e zo BY/word-bu) is a letter non-Lojban alphabet x2 representing x3
  
'''Why is there a gismu (root word) for X?'''
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*nalyle'usni: x1 is a symbol used with/in character set x2 to represent x3 (which is not a letteral)
  
Depending on the specific X, the answer could be one or more of the following:
+
Some hands contain ligatures - special glyphs representing a pair of letters in sequence. These are jonle'u in Lojban. In European hands, an "et" jonle'u is probably the most common, since it is also used to represent the word "and" (Latin "et"), but in Lojban I believe the most useful jonle'u would be ones for "tc" and "dj".
  
* It covers one of the base categories in Eaton's thesaurus
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*jonle'u: x1 is a symbol in character set x2 representing letter sequence x3
* It is a common or important concept
 
  
* The concept cannot be expressed by combining other gismu into a tanru (phrase compounds) or lujvo (affix compounds)
+
Letters can be represented by glyphs that are miniscule (lowercase) or majuscule (capital); hands may include one or both types of letters, but most calligraphic hands are not mixed-case. There is not an obvious lujvo for these concepts; I suggest the fu'ivla "minsulu" for miniscule and "kaptalo" for majuscule.
* It seems to be useful in compounds
 
  
'''Why isn't there a gismu (root word) for X?'''
+
*minsulu: x1 is a miniscule letter/hand
 +
*kaptalo: x1 is a majuscule letter/hand
  
Depending on the specific X, the answer could be one or more of the following:
+
In English, hands are sometimes given names based on the culture they originated from, in addition to a descriptive term; I suggest using cultural gismu or fu'ivla as seltau in tanru used as hand names, possibly along with descriptive terms. Thus one of the major historical hands, Carolingian miniscule, might be termed the "ka'olno minsulu pensniste" or simply "ka'olno pensniste" (using the CVVCCV form which has been suggested for fu'ivla used as cultural designators to coin "ka'olno" for things relating to the culture of the Carolingian empire) while the insular scripts might be collectively known as "brito pensniste".
  
* The concept can be expressed by combining other gismu into a tanru or lujvo
+
Most pensni are derived from the Roman alphabet, as this is the most commonly used script for writing Lojban. However, other alphabets may be used in calligraphy, and in some cases Lojban calligraphers might wish to modify a hand by borrowing just one or two letter forms from an alternate orthography or inventing a new pensni from scratch, typically as a Lojbanic way to fit  a letter into the style of a hand being adapted to Lojban that didn't have a particular letter, such as k.
* The concept is specific, or infrequently needed
 
  
== Phonological issues ==
+
I'll be writing up a little the hand I use for what little Lojban calligraphy I've done lately, with pictures, and posting that for your enjoyment - but it will take me a little while. It's one that started life as me adapting Visigothic miniscule (would that be "vi'izgo minsulu pensniste" or some such?) before deciding I didn't like the more exotic glyphs the original contained in something that was trying to be at least partially legible and has undergone significant modification. When I get it up it will appear at [[bontire pensniste|bontire pensniste]].
  
'''If rafsi (combining forms) unambiguously refer to one gismu (root word), and it is shorter than a gismu, why have not CVCCV/CCVCV gismu at all? Why not use rafsi as brivla (predicate words)?'''
+
mu'o mi'e .kreig.daniyl.
 
 
Because the current system of self-segregation would break down. Specifically, tanru (phrase compounds) and lujvo (affix compounds) would be indistinguishable. Tanru and lujvo have widely differing semantic properties. Tanru are vague and made up on the fly; lujvo are specific and re-used over and over again. In linguistics terms, lujvo are lexicalised, while tanru are not. Such a language would either have no lexicalised compounds (and hence the vocabulary would be expandable through loan words, if at all), or it would be like some natural languages, in which, upon seeing some unknown sequence of words, can't be certain whether they are meant as a sequence or as a unit with a specific meaning.
 
 
 
Also, some rafsi have the same form as cmavo (grammatical words), so they would be ambiguous.
 
 
 
An artificial language that does use single-syllable root words is [http://www.geocities.com/ceqli/Uploadexp.htm eqli].
 
 
 
'''Why weren't numeral words selected so that if sorted in alphabetical order, a number would also sort in numerical order?'''
 
 
 
The idea likely didn't occur to the designers at that time.
 
 
 
Also, the common way of assigning series of cmavo (grammatical words) is to have the initial consonant the same, but vowels in ascending order (a, e, i, o, u; or i, a, u). Doing this with numerals is not possible, because there are more than five of them. Also, an important principle in creating Lojban numerals was that they were to be maximally distinct.
 
 
 
'''Why does Lojban use the ' (apostrophe) symbol for the /h/ phoneme, instead of h?'''
 
 
 
== Syntactical issues ==
 

Latest revision as of 08:21, 30 June 2014

I've been thinking about calligraphy and Lojban a bit lately. As I see it, the standard roman-alphabet miniscule hands map quite nicely onto Lojban - at least, if you extend them to include k, j, and v, which most don't have as independent letters.

Would-be Lojban calligraphers probably need a fair amount of specialized vocabulary for talking about our craft, though. While calligraphic equipment is a different semantic category that I don't address here, I suggest the following for talking about hands (partly based on the fact that I'm going to write up how I do Lojban calligraphy soon and figure if I'm going to use opaque jargon it might as well be Lojban-language opaque jargon). I've added suggested place structures. I am happy to have all these terms reviewed by others whose Lojban is a bit less out-of-practice than mine.

Letter forms in a particular calligraphic hand are pensni (pen marks), while the hand itself is a pensniste (set of marks).

  • pensni: x1 is a handwritten symbol used to represent letter/lerfu x2
  • pensniste: x1 is a calligraphic hand incorporating symbol(s) x2 used to write text x3 in alphabet/character-set x4

Pensni can represent jbolerfu, the Lojban letters, including y'y and denpa.bu (.) but not slaka.bu (,). They can also represent the letters not used in Lojban, such as h, q, and w; these are naljbolerfu. Furthermore, there may be other marks such as diacritics and the slaka.bu; these are nalyle'usni, or non-letteral marks.

  • jbolerfu: x1 (la'e zo BY/word-bu) is a letter in Lojban representing sound x2
  • naljbolerfu: x1 (la'e zo BY/word-bu) is a letter non-Lojban alphabet x2 representing x3
  • nalyle'usni: x1 is a symbol used with/in character set x2 to represent x3 (which is not a letteral)

Some hands contain ligatures - special glyphs representing a pair of letters in sequence. These are jonle'u in Lojban. In European hands, an "et" jonle'u is probably the most common, since it is also used to represent the word "and" (Latin "et"), but in Lojban I believe the most useful jonle'u would be ones for "tc" and "dj".

  • jonle'u: x1 is a symbol in character set x2 representing letter sequence x3

Letters can be represented by glyphs that are miniscule (lowercase) or majuscule (capital); hands may include one or both types of letters, but most calligraphic hands are not mixed-case. There is not an obvious lujvo for these concepts; I suggest the fu'ivla "minsulu" for miniscule and "kaptalo" for majuscule.

  • minsulu: x1 is a miniscule letter/hand
  • kaptalo: x1 is a majuscule letter/hand

In English, hands are sometimes given names based on the culture they originated from, in addition to a descriptive term; I suggest using cultural gismu or fu'ivla as seltau in tanru used as hand names, possibly along with descriptive terms. Thus one of the major historical hands, Carolingian miniscule, might be termed the "ka'olno minsulu pensniste" or simply "ka'olno pensniste" (using the CVVCCV form which has been suggested for fu'ivla used as cultural designators to coin "ka'olno" for things relating to the culture of the Carolingian empire) while the insular scripts might be collectively known as "brito pensniste".

Most pensni are derived from the Roman alphabet, as this is the most commonly used script for writing Lojban. However, other alphabets may be used in calligraphy, and in some cases Lojban calligraphers might wish to modify a hand by borrowing just one or two letter forms from an alternate orthography or inventing a new pensni from scratch, typically as a Lojbanic way to fit a letter into the style of a hand being adapted to Lojban that didn't have a particular letter, such as k.

I'll be writing up a little the hand I use for what little Lojban calligraphy I've done lately, with pictures, and posting that for your enjoyment - but it will take me a little while. It's one that started life as me adapting Visigothic miniscule (would that be "vi'izgo minsulu pensniste" or some such?) before deciding I didn't like the more exotic glyphs the original contained in something that was trying to be at least partially legible and has undergone significant modification. When I get it up it will appear at bontire pensniste.

mu'o mi'e .kreig.daniyl.