me lu ju'i lobypli li'u 9 moi
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Copyright, 1989, 1991, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273 firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted subject to your verification that this is the latest version of this document, that your distribution be for the promotion of Lojban, that there is no charge for the product, and that this copyright notice is included intact in the copy. Number 9 - June-July 1989 Published by: The Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031 USA (703)385-0273 Ju'i Lobypli is the quarterly journal of The Logical Language Group, Inc., known in these pages as la lojbangirz. la lojbangirz. is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of completing and spreading the logical human language "Lojban". The newsletter section of Ju'i Lobypli is separately published under the name le lojbo karni. Issue #9 of le lojbo karni (LK9) was mailed in early May, as part of our effort to move our publication schedule up by one month. You should already have received that issue by the time you receive this. Issue #10 of both publications should be distributed in August or early September. Some 280 of you will receive this issue of Ju'i Lobypli; we are approaching 500 subscribers to le lojbo karni. Our thanks to those of you who responded to our plea for contributions and donations. We aren't out of the woods yet, but neither are we afraid of not being able to pay for this issue - a real fear last time. We received several donations of $100 or more, making up the deficit in the bank account, and for the first time, we have over 100 people with positive balances. We still have a negative net worth, though. So, we would still like to have those of you with negative balances either to bring them positive or to let us know that you are interested even though you cannot afford to pay. Potential donors please note: we still have not received IRS approval for Section 501(c)(3) status, which will officially allow your donations (not contributions to your voluntary balance) to be tax-deductible. We hope to have such approval by the end of the year. We are operating in accordance with that section, and your contributions now should be deductible if approval is obtained later, although there is always the possibility of disapproval. You may, if you wish, make your donation contingent on our getting such approval. We will inform all donors at the end of the year as to the status of deductibility of their gifts. We also note for all potential donors that our bylaws require us to spend no more than 30% of our receipts on administrative and overhead expenses, and that you are welcome to make you gifts conditional upon our meeting this requirement. Your Mailing Label Your mailing label reports your current mailing status, and your current voluntary balance including this issue. Please notify us if you wish to be in a different mailing code category. If there is an x or y code after your mailing status, you will be reduced to the code after the letter if we do not hear from you before next issue. Balances reflect contributions received thru 11 July. Mailing codes (and approximate annual balance needs) are defined as follows: Level B - Product Announcements Only Level R - Review Copy for Publications Level 0 - le lojbo karni only - $5 balance requested Level 1 - le lojbo karni and Ju'i Lobypli - $15 balance requested Level 2 - Level 1 materials and baselined/final products - $20 balance requested Level 3 - Level 2 materials and lesson materials as developed - $50 balance or more 2 Contents of This Issue This issue contains an attachment with the rafsi sorted alphabetically. There are three lists, in CVC, CVV, and CCV forms. We have a discussion of the Lojban design of mathematical expressions (MEX). Sheldon Linker provides some late but significant comment on the algorithm used by us (and in previous versions of the language by Dr. James Cooke Brown) to make gismu. We have Lojban text from class members and two self-teaching students, the text of the skit (written by Nora) presented at LogFest by the DC area class. We have a short report on some recent major events occurring since LK9, including LogFest 89; a more complete report will be in LK10. Table of Contents News Update -----2 Commentary on the Loglan/Lojban gismu Lexicon -----4 On Constructing a Lexicon for an Artificial Language - by Sheldon Linker -----4 Bob's Summary of the gismu Algorithm -----6 Bob's Response to Sheldon's Critique -----7 Special Section - Mathematics and Lojban ----11 'An International Language for Mathematics' by Robert Strichartz - reprinted with permission from "The Mathematical Intelligencer" ----11 Our Submitted Response to Dr. Strichartz's Article ----13 On the Lojban Design for Mathematical Expression (MEX) ----15 le lojbo se ciska ----19 Self Descriptions by Lojban Students ----19 With Apologies to Spock by Bob LeChevalier ----20 A Story from Another Culture by Preston Maxwell (with corrections by Bob and Nora) ----21 la sinderelwud. by Nora LeChevalier ----21 lei lojbo by Nora LeChevalier ----28 Translations of le lojbo se ciska ----28 SCRABBLEtm for Lojban ----33 Ju'i Lobypli Editorial Conventions ----36 Attachment - Lojban rafsi Sorted Alphabetically News Update This issue was delayed a bit due to preparations for LogFest, coupled with an effort to get copies of the updated Synopsis to all people at level 1 or higher. We also had our normal class preparations, and a pleasurably higher level of new responses, contributions, and orders, all of which took away from my time to prepare this issue. Some significant things have happened since LK9 was written, and we don't want to make people wait until August to hear about them. 1. Some 40 of you are now receiving the lessons as they are prepared, as opposed to waiting for the textbook completion, currently scheduled for late this year. 2. I have short update notes on the draft cmavo list that will be sent to all of you who I have down as having received the draft list. This is being sent on a fairly low priority, though. 3. Athelstan was forced to cancel his trip to the West Coast due to a severe case of poison ivy, compounded by (Murphy's Law!) problems with his car. We apologize to all of you who were expecting him. We also want to thank those of you who offered sleeping space or who were attempting to organize meetings with him. Hopefully, at the very least the effort will stir some of you to get together with others who are in your area. 4. The day I took LK9 to the printer, I was told that we would now be charged only 3 cents/page for orders of 25 or more copies instead of the previous 100 copy minimum. This allows us to significantly reduce our prices for draft text- book lessons, draft cmavo lists, and the draft machine grammar from the prices included in the last issue. We are going to a 2-page order form that contains more description of the materials and explains our current prices. The prices indicated have been in effect since approximately 1 June. 3 5. Athelstan was able to attend LogFest 89 (albeit in grammar public for at least a year, and his version of a considerable discomfort), along with 20 others, half of parser will intentionally not contain the grammar in a them from out-of-state. Most people stayed for the human usable form. This doesn't hurt us - we have a whole weekend. We had hoped for a larger attendance, satisfactory grammar that is probably more sophisticated but those who came were among the most serious students than JCB's; it does make his whole effort rather of the language - thus LogFest activities were more ad- worthless, since a language with a secret grammar is vanced than in previous years. The local class put on uninteresting and unusable. the skit whose text is included in le lojbo se ciska The most serious criticism of JCB's scientific work is below. that he has failed to submit it to serious critical Brad Lowry and new Lojbanist Elliott Deal videotaped review by qualified reviewers who have knowledge of the significant portions of LogFest, and interviewed most language, most of whom are associated with us. He attendees. The results will be used to make one or more states that the language has changed significantly since Lojban videos. The first, a short loop tape the publication of Notebook 3 two years ago, a 'commercial', should be completed within a few weeks, publication that was received by only a few dozen and will be used at Worldcon and other conventions and people; presumably only a couple of these reviewed the meetings. new book. JCB has worked in a near-vacuum of outside Next year's LogFest will again be on the third weekend review and support for the last 5 years, and we expect of June. Unfortunately, there is no good alternative that his results will show this. We doubt that anyone that allows John Parks-Clifford (pc) to attend and which other than JCB, members of his family, and possibly Bob also avoids the hottest part of the summer here in DC. McIvor, who has been doing the computer work for the In- June is hot enough. stitute, have any real knowledge of the current state of Ralph Dumain attended LogFest, and led a discussion of his version of the language. his and others' ideas on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and We hopefully will have received a copy by next issue, how Lojban/Loglan might be used to test it. There was and will offer a more thorough review at that time. We excellent cross-fertilization of ideas, and we hope to are also soliciting reviews and comments from any of you have three or four viewpoints summarized in the next who receive the book. All comments, both positive and issue of JL. As noted in last issue, Ralph wrote a negative, will be collected together and made available response to previous comments on his paper in JL6, and to anyone who wants them (including JCB if he asks). We added a bibliography of some books he found interesting are recommending that those of you who still have in regards to Sapir-Whorf and theories of 'linguistic balances with the Institute consider using that balance relativism'. We have copies of Ralph's essays (about 10 productively to order the book. Until there is evidence pages) available on request, along with a similar length of lasting value, we cannot recommend sending additional collection of material from JL6 and JL7 on the subject. money for the book. 6. The Loglan Institute, Inc. has announced publication of a new edition of Dr. James Cooke Brown's (JCB) Loglan 7. la lojbangirz. cannot be considered an unbiased 1. This book describes an update to what we believe to reviewer of JCB's work, however we may try. We were be a flawed version of the language. The Institute is formed in opposition to his policies and his language charging $24.00 for the paperback book of 600 pages. It design decisions. In addition, we are now involved in a was supposed to be shipped as of 1 June, but, as of legal dispute with The Loglan Institute, Inc. On May publication, neither we, nor any of our contacts, have 23, after a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, we received copies that were ordered. The announcement filed a Petition for Cancellation of the Institute's includes a copy of the table of contents, which reveals registered trademark on 'Loglan' for 'dictionaries and that the basic structure and content of the book is un- grammars' on the grounds of fraud, and invalidity of the changed from the 1975 edition. There is a significant name as a trademark. Bob, Nora, and Jeff Prothero had portion of the book devoted to various sorted gismu retained a legal firm specializing in trademark after lists, rafsi lists, and cmavo lists (these are of course the Institute threatened us with legal action last year. incompatible with, and superseded by, the Lojban lists). With our incorporation, it was recommended that the The notes on each chapter have been expanded; in the organization file the petition rather than individuals, previous edition, these usually contained technical as the trademark has a more serious effect on the commentary and defenses against presumed criticisms of organization as an entity, than on us as individuals. Dr. Brown's design. The book contains a new chapter We of course believe that the trademark damages our (about 30 pages) on testing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. ability to reach the community of people who know the As can be determined from the table of contents, the language and language project under the name 'Loglan'. book's structure remains flawed; it is an overview and Because of our commitment to you not to use your money not a teaching tool. In addition, it is known to be to fight this legal battle, we are maintaining a seriously incomplete. JCB indicated in a separate separate legal account. We will use only money donated letter to some people that he was intentionally omitting specifically for this legal fund for expenses related to a complete specification of the grammar from the book in the petition. Bob, Nora, and Jeff have agreed to donate order to keep that grammar secret from la lojbangirz. such money as is needed to pay the legal bills. We will for a while longer. He does not intend to make this 4 accept donations from others, but ask that your priority on donations be for general support of the organization. Before I begin the technical discussion, I must take the Our expenses on this case will be included within the time to include a note of a personal nature. I have been constraint of administrative and legal costs not asked (regarding the great Loglan/Lojban debate) "whose exceeding 30% of total expenses. This is not expected side" I am on. I have always been interested in the type to be a problem. of technology which Loglan and Lojban represent. Dr. We continue to seek an amicable settlement of the Brown, in allowing me the incursions into Loglan which he issue with the Institute. However, after delaying for 3 did, forwarded my education immensely, and more than he months, JCB rejected our proposed settlement without realizes. For this, I will always be grateful. Why, then comment or counter-proposal, then went sailing in the is this article in Lojban, and not in 'The Loglanist'? I Caribbean. His negative response coincided with his an- believe that here I will find a more receptive audience for nouncement of the new edition of Loglan 1, leading us to this particular article. In short, I am on the side of believe that the delay was an attempt to stall until the advancement of this new art. book was published. In any case, you may wish to consider that payments to the Institute for Loglan 1 and Background other materials might be used in a legal battle against us. Both Loglan and Lojban have a lexicon based on a few Since the Institute has specifically indicated that it simple tenets: will not sell its grammar in the near future, and the obsolete 1976 dictionary has been out-of-print for over (1) The lexicon must be automatically separable: 10 years, its claim that it is using the supposed Some formal process must be able to separate words. trademark for these goods seems ludicrous, but that is (2) Certain word forms belong to certain grammatical for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to decide. classes. We will provide an update and more complete (3) There exists a formula (well known to the readers information in the next newsletter. Your comments and of this publication) which defines the recognition questions are welcome. factor (the "score") of the proposed word. Unfortunately, this formula has never been tested. It Commentary on the Loglan/Lojban gismu Lexicon seems strange to me that we have spent 34 years working on a set of languages without ever attempting to test one of The following paper discusses the methodology used to our basic assumptions. build Loglan/Lojban gismu, first devised by Dr. James Cooke Brown (JCB) and described in the 1960 Scientific American Purposes of the word-building rules article. We will summarize the algorithm after the paper for those unfamiliar with it. There are several major purposes of the word-building Notwithstanding our baseline policy, it is still rules: important to examine any and all assumptions that were a basis for the language design. Lojban will have to (1) Understandability: The word-building rules are withstand questions and criticisms on several fronts in claimed to lead to the highest possible recognition order to be accepted for any of its purposes. Sheldon's factor, meaning that for the world's population, the paper, written by a friend of the language, questions these greatest number of people will be able to recognize assumptions and allows us (and you) to evaluate the quality and understand the formulated word. of our response in a non-hostile environment. We thus (2) The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: The word-building welcome Sheldon's paper and commend his points to your con- rules take into account words naturally built by a sideration. We will respond to some of them afterwards. variety of languages and cultures, and intermix them, supposedly building a culture-free lexicon. (Note - the sample gismu used by Sheldon are from an earlier version of the language, although his points apply Problems with the word-building rules to Lojban and other more recent versions.) First, let me take on problems with the Sapir-Whorf idea On Constructing a Lexicon for an Artificial Language behind the word-building rules. I claim that there is no such thing as a cultural connection to a language's lexicon by Sheldon Linker construction. A word is a collection of symbols, eliciting 13612 Onkayha Circle, Irvine, California 92728 an ordered set of sounds, which in turn will or will not be 714-552-1904 voice 714-552-6985 fax recognized. Once the word is recognized, cultural biases of the word or predication may be introduced by the lis- Abstract: This document presents a discussion of the tener, but not until then. Thus, any purpose to word Loglan/Lojban lexical axioms, and takes a second look. construction other than a means to recognize the given word down not apply. Statement of Alignment 5 Second, if the Sapir-Whorf connection did apply, the There are questions which I am not prepared to answer. words should be built evenly across all languages, without My point in bringing them up is to point out that nobody regard to the populations speaking those languages. knows the answers to there questions. Nobody has ever Perhaps, if this were actually a factor, the language tested the recognition factors or anything like it to see should be built evenly from Hopi, English, Chinese, and what the weighting factors should be. Swahili. I'll not belabor this point. If, on the other hand, we are not interested in culture- New rules: free juxtapositions of letters taken from the English alphabet, then we must only consider the recognizability of There are some factors not previously considered in words. This leads me to the number of languages which are determining the recognition factor of a proposed word: used to build the lexicon. It seems to me that there are only three ways to go when deciding on the number of (1) I believe, but have not tested this, that only languages to be included in the word-building formula: contiguous groups of letters should count in building the recognition factor. For instance, in the Loglan (1) Use every language spoken in the world: This word MRENU, we are told that we have a 100% match (for would include little-spoken languages, such as English) on MEN. However, I do not believe that Cornish, and languages spoken only by people who know anyone's mind joins the M to the EN in MRENU. I other languages, such as Ladino. The logic here is believe that the R forces us to stop, and that only that if we are truly to have an accurate mixture of the EN component of the word can be used in the languages, let's not stop at an arbitrary limit. If calculation. Thus, using the rule that only we should include all of the languages, we should in- contiguous letters count, the English factor for MRENU clude all of them. is limited to 67%. (2) Use the top seven languages in the world: Fine, (2) I believe, but have not tested this, that we some say that a limit must be set somewhere. But why should not be counting or comparing the words letter- not six? And why not eight? by-letter using Loglan or Lojban letters. Rather, we (3) Use only one language: While this may seem a should use the object language's phoneme set to count radical proposal, this is actually a pair of radical letters. Thus, Loglan's MADJI should not be compared proposals: One method is to use only one language and to English's MAGI as MADGAI (yielding 83%). Rather, to make everyone else learn that language. Since Loglan's MADJI should be rendered to object language virtually every Loglanist and Lojbanist in the world to be sued, a comparison alphabet must first be speaks English, this would give a good place to start. devised. There exists an alphabet, called the The other option is to recognize that since words are International Phonemic Alphabet, commonly known as just tokens, they may be mindlessly translated by a IPA, ideally suited to this purpose, for most machine. Thus, it is practical to have an English- languages. based Loglan/Lojban vocabulary, and a Spanish one, and (3) If there exists a bigger word in the object a Chinese one, and even a Latvian and a Sing Language language, then a smaller word cannot be used, as the version. larger word provides a bigger "handle" for cognition. For example, in the Loglan word GOTSO, we get a 100% Of all these methods, I personally favor the idea of match on GO. We also get a 100% match on SEW, GOAT, having a number of single-language-based lexicons. It and GOATS. Thus, we can keep the 100% match score for would make the language much easier for all of us to learn. GOATS, but any attempt to use this word for GO or SOWs It would also make the language learnable by someone who is SHOULD RESULT IN AN English component score of 0%. not an aficionado; the common folk might even see a (4) If there exist more words in the object language properly constructed lexicon as a dialect, with a "funny the same size as the subject word, then the subject grammar". If I write a letter using such a lexicon, and word score should be divided by the number of such the intended recipient of the letter speaks only Japanese- words, as there is equal likelihood that the wrong based Loglan/Lojban, I could push a button on my word word will be recognized as there is the likelihood processor, and in a fraction of a second, a simple that the correct word will be recognized. For dictionary look-up gives us a translation, fully correct, instance, in the Loglan word MRENU, we consider the as the grammars are identical. letters EN (other letters could be considered, but There are more completely untested axioms: Do we use, this is a limited example). EN appears as 67% of DEN, as a weighting factor, the percentage of the world's HEN, KEN (the verb), MEN, PEN, TEN, WHEN, YEN, ZEN, population which speaks each language as their main and END. Thus, there are ten English matching words, language? Do we use the percentage which speak the not counting proper names, so the 67% score is divided language, multiplied by the grade-level of use and under- by this ten, yielding a 6.7% score. standing, divided by some constant? Do we use the percent- (5) If, in the object language, there exists a word age of the world's population who speak the language as in the language with a higher score than the subject their first of second language? Do we use the percentage word, then that subject word should receive a zero of the population which speak the language to any extent at score, as it is not the most likely word to be all? recognized. Thus, in the Loglan word MRENU, EN has a 6 raw (undivided) score of 67% from MEN, but REN gets an reference. The results recorded in the 1976 dictionary undivided score of 75% from RENT. Once we start reveal weak language scholarship often involving use of the dividing, we get 25% (75% by RENT, WREN, and REND), as wrong word, the use of several different Romanization opposed to 6.7%. Thus the score for MEN in MRENU is techniques for Chinese that are contradictory, and the use zero, as it will be overpowered by other words. of questionable synonyms which heightened the scores for (6) There should possibly be a factor for commonness English and Spanish. (It is natural to be able to think of of use. For instance, a word based on UNDERSTANDING more cue words for a concept when you know the language might be more likely recognized than a word based on better; this happened to us with Lojban, as well.) The KEN, and a word based on SAID might be more likely words selected were often not the highest possible scores, recognized than a word based on QUOTH. as he found when he 'remade' several of them around 1980 in order to assign unique rafsi. Conclusion The Lojban gismu were made using the same algorithm, but using more recent linguistic population data. We used I may be correct in my statements and suggestions listed recent dictionaries, but make no claims for our scholarship above, and I may be wrong in my suggestions for additional in Hindi, Arabic, and Chinese, although we did spot checks rules. But when anyone says that I am wrong, I will with speakers of these languages where possible. We politely ask them to prove it. But if anyone tells me that used only 6 languages for four reasons: I am right, I will shout "Prove it!" - there was ambiguity in the order for the next few languages; - we could not get a good dictionary for Bengali, which Bob's Summary of the gismu Algorithm was a plausible 7th or 8th language; - each language added increased research and computer Contrary to Sheldon's note, I suspect most readers have processing time; joined the project without having been told of the details - we tried experiments in which we found that using a of the word-making algorithm. For those unfamiliar with language from another language family (like Malay- the algorithm, here is a brief description: Indonesian, another candidate language) tended to muddy the results, giving many candidate words with nearly identical JCB used 1950 language population estimates to select scores even though there was little similarity among them. the 8 most commonly spoken languages. (He claims to have We also experimented with variations in the scoring investigated possible use of Arabic, then in 9th place, and algorithm. Including Chinese tones merely reduced the found it to have no positive effect; he has never published Chinese weights by a predictable fraction, since every supporting data, nor does he indicate what standards he Chinese word has tones that are lost in Lojban. This also used to decide on excluding it.) For each proposed gismu resulted in many tie scores, since that reduced weight to be constructed (which he called C-Prims), he looked up nearly equalized Chinese and English scores. We have one or more word for the concept in each language. retained all of our input data and results for later Possible constructed words were then evaluated using a analysis and reference. scoring algorithm for recognizability weighted among the It was noted that the computer usually found at least source languages. (Language population weights were based one possible word form higher than the typical human on first language speakers plus 1/2 of second language guesses for the best choice, thus causing greater suspicion speakers. The number of speakers of various languages is of the results of JCB's manual techniques. too uncertain to use any more refined algorithm.) The In our final word choices, we often took choices that words were expressed in 'Loglan phonemes' similar to the were not the highest scores in order to increase coverage process described for Lojbanization of names in lesson 1 of of rafsi assignments. our textbook. A score of 2 was given for two adjacent In spite of the frequent ties between unrelated words, letters in a possible constructed word matching two the concept of randomly assigned words, chosen solely for adjacent letter phonemes in the Loglanized source word, or rafsi assignment purposes, was discussed by the community for the two same letters separated by a letter (possibly (at a LogFest) and rejected by consensus. As part of the different) in both source and possible word. A score of 3, gismu baseline decision last year, however, any future 4, or 5, was given for the same letters appearing in both words will have a lower priority placed on recognition words in the same order, regardless of whether they score than on rafsi assignment needs. It was also decided appeared together or in matching patterns. that words would not be remade based on questions of the Scores were then divided by the length of the source suitability of the algorithm that we used. word, and weighted by the fractional population for the source language. Thus blanu (the word for 'blue' in all The description of the algorithm answers some of versions of the language, including Lojban) gets 3/3 x 28% Sheldon's questions, although perhaps not to his for 'Loglanized' English "blu" and 3/3 x 25% for satisfaction. I'll look now at his reasoning and 'Loglanized' Chinese "lan". Chinese tones were ignored in proposals. scoring. JCB claims to have investigated the words in depth, and Bob's Response to Sheldon's Critique to have used speakers of the source languages for 7 First of all, I agree with the concept behind Sheldon's algorithm, which does not recognize a difference between basic argument: it is true that neither JCB nor the Lojban vowels and consonants for scoring purposes, and considers gismu list workers did sufficient scientific research as to voiced/unvoiced consonant pairs to be as different from the validity of the methodology used to build gismu. each other as from other consonants. An example: JCB has never given a real rationale for The word-making algorithm ignores all of historical the claim that his algorithm gives any meaningful statistic linguistics, which documents certain sound shifts as being about recognizability. I suspect that he made an educated especially common or likely in the development of a guess based on his own experiences. Sheldon's counterexam- language's lexicon. These sound shifts tell us that some ples (for example with 'GOTSO') show that that guess may consonants are more alike than others, and that vowel not have been perfect. differences in words are relatively unimportant. Learning I have problems with most of the detailed ideas Sheldon these Indo-European sound shifts is especially useful to an presents. He leaves out a lot of important information English speaker studying other European languages, since about his counterexamples, information that I believe cognates can be recognized that otherwise appear or sound renders them invalid. I must start by questioning his very dis-similar to the native language word. Sound shifts assumptions. have other important roles. In English, changing a word from a verb to a noun or an adjective involves adding a Assumptions About Word-Making suffix and often performing a sound shift. Compare 'act' (/ekt/ in Lojbanized form) and 'action' (/ek-can/); the 't' The first two assumptions given in Sheldon's background becomes silent, and may not be as important to recognition section are fine, if somewhat oversimplified. In addition as the /ek/ root. Russian, with its extensive set of to what he has stated, the lexicon must be audiovisually declensions, changes stress and final consonants in many of isomorphic - the spoken language must uniquely reflect the them. The stress changes usually cause a Lojbanically written language and vice-versa. significant vowel shift. We had no way to take this into The third assumption, which Sheldon questions, is not account in the algorithm, and used the root form, trying to nearly as basic to the language as the others. Both JCB drop the shifting trailer wherever possible. It seems and la lojbangirz. have made some gismu without using the likely that there would have been better ways to reflect 'recognition factor' algorithm where we felt it appropriate the sound shifts in estimating recognizability. - the formula was a means to an end, not an end in itself. Other factors not accounted for by the algorithm include The desired goal is a lexicon which is reasonably the appearance of non-Lojban phonemes in the source independent of any single natural language, while still languages, such as tones in Chinese. A related factor easy to learn. If the lexicon were tied to a single stems from the fact that many Russian root words are longer language, the semantics of that source language would than Lojban's 5-letter gismu, while Chinese roots are heavily color Loglan/Lojban semantics. If Sapir-Whorf is shorter. Chinese roots that end in a consonant almost true to any extent, linguistics experiments using the always ends in a sound that Lojbanizes as 'n'. These language would be expected to be affected by whether an factors all skew lexicons, and perhaps cultures. They experimental subject came from the same culture or from a definitely lead to those languages not being equally repre- different culture as the single source language. This is sented in Lojban according to their population weights or one of the principal arguments against an 'Anglan', as their recognition scores. proposed and discussed in JL6 and JL7. See those issues Sheldon argues that cultural neutrality would dictate for more on the several arguments against a single language that words be built evenly across all languages regardless source for the lexicon. of populations of speakers. Possibly true, but this leads Sheldon claims that there is no connection between to an unworkable algorithm, since for any given word we culture and the construction of a language lexicon. There have only 3 consonants and 2 vowels to play with. Equal is counter-evidence to this claim. Some languages like weights on languages would lead to tie scores on several Finnish and Turkish are agglutinative, they build words out possible combinations, giving no basis to choose words. of root pieces, just as Lojban does. English is less so, (We tried it - in fact equal weights on Chinese and English but uses a few suffixes and prefixes. Other languages are alone caused this problem.) A 'better' solution to highly inflected - the form of the word varies depending on cultural neutrality would be random words, chosen to its grammatical position. It can safely be argued that, if optimize the rafsi selections, but this leads to no there is a tie between the structure of a language and apparent benefits in learning the words. culture (per Sapir-Whorf), that these varying approaches to I think the algorithm we used, or something similar to a lexicon could affect and be affected by culture. If we that algorithm, maximizes cognate value, yet leads to most do not assume that Sapir-Whorf might be true, we cannot use words being different from comparable words in each source Lojban to test it. language, minimizing semantic transference. This is a Arabic is an extreme case. The roots of Arabic are delicate trade-off, that give more learnability than random reflected entirely in consonants - vowels are inserted and words, while promoting cultural neutrality and a separate varied to cause small changes in grammatical usage or identity as a language. semantic meaning. In addition, the consonants can vary The weighting based on language population is only one some as well, especially in whether they are voiced or possible way to get needed non-equal weights for non-tie unvoiced. This caused a lot of problem with the Lojban scores. It gives at least the appearance of an attempt to 8 not make the language too relatively easy for people from word - letters I might otherwise forget. To give "jimpe" a one particular culture (especially the English-speaking score of 0 is underweighting; 3/10 of 18% (5.4) is a quite one), offering a little bit of a political advantage in low score. It is true that "jimpe" more strongly suggests winning interest from other cultures. The emphasis is "jump" and "imp", but the tie to "comprehend" is real and placed on getting broad input from multiple source worth a little bit, if not much. languages, giving speakers of each of them a few hooks to This brings out my major point; the word recognition learn by. scores are supposed to reflect an ease in devising cognate Beyond the question of trading off cultural neutrality aids to both your recognition and recall. Both directions vs. learnability, there is very little reason to choose one are important; Sheldon concentrates on recognition algorithm over another. Lojban used the same algorithm as problems, even though recall of the Lojban given the JCB did because our goal at the time was to remake the English is the harder skill to learn. While he may not see words with a minimum time and effort without introducing 'go' in 'gotso', surely given the word 'go', he will more new questionable procedures, especially ones that would likely think of 'gotso' than 'mrenu' as being the word to make it impossible to obtain reconciliation with JCB at remember. some later time. In practice, people develop their own memory hooks for It is vital to see that the actual words used are each word that they try to learn. If the word has a relatively unimportant to Lojban's acceptability; this is cognate value, they have some clue to recall it by. If fundamental to our argument that Lojban is essentially the there is none, they have to devise some non-English cognate same language as JCB's earlier versions. The major basis. So if they know one or more of the others of our requirements are that they be a reasonably complete and ra- source languages, they may get some cognate value from the tional set of words, that they be compatible with the words for the concept from those languages. But even if a morphology, and that they have a viable set of rafsi. If word has a score of 0 (many Lojban words have a 0 English they are easy to learn, that is a benefit. JCB's emphasis score), this doesn't mean that the word is difficult to on the word-making algorithm in the 1960 Scientific learn. The Lojban word for "child" is "verba", obviously American article exaggerates its true importance; there was with a 0 score. After having had a seven-year old around really very little else that JCB could have talked about during most of June, I have NO TROUBLE AT ALL remembering then, since the language was little more than a vocabulary that one, either by the cognate "verb" for the activity list and a grammar concept when the article was written. level, or "verbal" for the noise level. So 'recognition scores' are NOT expected to be an Problems With Sheldon's Counterexamples accurate measure of learnability for the word. We would expect there to be some correlation between 'recognition Sheldon uses some 1976 gismu in his discussion of scores' and the rate of learning. Sheldon is right in possible alternative rules. In a telephone conversation, saying that this particular algorithm has never been he indicated that he had done an informal test of some of verified to correlate with learnability; he is almost these rules. He doesn't clearly report this in his certainly correct in saying that there are probably article, but I suspect that the test was invalid, anyway. algorithms that would correlate better. The reason I feel this way is the misconception embedded Sheldon proposes 6 rules that he would like to see in his new rule #3. He claims that 'gotso' is more incorporated in the word-making algorithm. He doesn't recognized as 'goats' than as 'go', and that to use it for actually write a resulting algorithm, so it is hard to see any shorter word than 'goats' should rate a 0 score. This how these rules would be incorporated. His rule #4 would would be true only for someone who didn't know the basis be unworkable in Chinese - almost every word has multiple for word-making. meanings determined by tone, and every partial word can be First of all, Loglan/Lojban would never have a gismu for found in an even larger number of words. However, I can't 'goats', since we do not have separate roots for plurals. say that his approach is wrong, because I haven't tested Second, we know that short English words are most likely to it. be found among the gismu concepts (by Zipf's law, which Since the words are made, we could say that the point is says that the length of a word is inversely proportional to moot and who cares whether recognition scores mean its frequency of occurrence). Therefore, someone seriously anything. We wouldn't redo the words if a negative learning the language and attempting to guess the word from correlation was found; this would be unfair to the people pure cognate recognition would try the shortest common word who have started to learn the language. Stability is more that is recognizable from the gismu, not the longest. important than an idealized algorithm. I challenge Sheldon to come up with any valid gismu-form However, since Lojban IS first and foremost a scientific 5-letter word based on 'understanding' that is experiment, I agree with Sheldon that the algorithm should recognizable, much less more recognizable than one based on be tested for validity, if only to find out the truth about 'ken' (as he suggests in rule 6. It turns out that the our assumptions on learnability as an exercise in Lojban for that concept, "jimpe", derives from 'comprehend' scientific integrity. In any case, Lojban will be (Lojbanized as /kamprixend/ getting a score of 3/10). I criticized and questioned for years to come by newcomers, will be the first to admit that I would never see this word and it would be useful to have an answer. We also might in "jimpe" without being told it. But given that informa- learn some meaningful truths about how people learn foreign tion, I may remember the 'mp' cluster in the middle of the languages, truths that would not be limited to Lojban 9 learning. In this way we might make a contribution to education independent of any value Lojban has in itself as A Short Note on Another Experiment a language tool. It turns out that a basic version of such a test is not By the way, there is already one other experiment that at all difficult to conduct, and can be performed at any has been proposed and agreed upon, though unrelated to time. We simply instrument LogFlash to gather statistics Sheldon's paper. pc has identified a standard test which on individual words, recording how long is spent learning measures 'logical thinking'. He has proposed it be given both to recognize and to recall them. For any individual to a set of Lojban students before they start studying the user, this data should correlate statistically with English language, and then again after they have completed a class (or whatever the person's native language is) recognition (or become fluent). This could be a first data point in scores. So we could get meaningful data from a single identifying a means of measuring possible 'Whorfian user, and reduce dependency on other variables by taking effects' of Lojban. data from several users. pc expects to provide me with copies of the test when he Instrumenting LogFlash is trivial; we could do it in a gets back to St. Louis around Labor Day, and we will day or two. We would need volunteers who could commit to definitely be using it on any following local classes, consistently using the program. If the person skips a while encouraging any people starting to learn the language couple of days now and then, the scores for the words being elsewhere to help pc's research effort. We will announce studied will be skewed; we know from user experience that details and criteria later, but it seems both interesting irregular habits are far more significant than other and relevant to note that the application of Lojban to factors in learning rate. But we can even record lesson scientific questions has begun. dates and times to allow filtering of invalid data, though I'm not sure what threshold for filtering would be ap- propriate. Special Section - Mathematics and Lojban We have our words, and their recognition scores using our current algorithm. Sheldon, or any one else, could The possible usage of Lojban for machine translation generate recognition scores for our words using his or any discussed in the last issue has particular application in other algorithm. Some scores using these algorithms on our the area of scientific and technical writing. Dr. Robert words might be low, and some might be high; it doesn't Strichartz of Cornell University wrote the following matter. We simply look for a correlation between scores article describing what he perceived as the requirements and actual learning rates. If an algorithm has a greater for a 'logical' language oriented towards mathematical correlation with learning than ours, it suggests that that communication. Several readers pointed the article out to algorithm would have been better used instead of ours to us, and we received permission from the editor of "The make the words. Mathematical Intelligencer" to reprint it. We also include The experiment could be extended to make words using a our submitted response to "The Mathematical Intelligencer". new algorithm, but I think it would be invalid to do so. We have been told that a shortened form of this response Lojban learners have motivation to learn Lojban words, so will be printed later this year. that they can use the language. There is no comparable Since the subject is mathematical expression, an area of motivation to learn another set of words that isn't being Lojban's design that has been discussed very little, I am used; it would also be unfair to ask someone to spend time taking the opportunity to give an overview of our perceived to learn a bunch of gismu that aren't going to be used. requirements and the resulting design that is currently in But even the simpler test will meet Sheldon's standard, the language. and prove or disprove the usefulness of our algorithm. JCB has made several attempts to deal with the problem If people want to seriously volunteer for this he labelled as 'MEX' (for mathematical expressions). He experiment, and are willing to make the commitment to has indicated that he feels the problem to be separate from science to regularly use LogFlash, Nora and I will make an that of completing the language, and something that he does instrumented program. We'll even give people the program not plan to address further (and does not address in Loglan for free conditional on their following through and return- 1, according to his Table of Contents). I and others ing a data disk. We do need to know what your education within la lojbangirz. feel that the language is incomplete level is, how many years of what languages you have without some such design, even if it is less than perfect. studied, and at what grade level; this type of thing is I believe that the design described here addresses the needed to provide the scientists with information on other requirements of international mathematical expression, variables; scientists also may want other basic statistical while staying within the framework of the rest of the data like age, sex, field of employment, etc. if we get language. data from enough people to make this useful. I've had a thought-out concept for MEX ever since the We'll provide raw data (and possibly reduced data as LogFest in June 1987, but have never before tried to set it well) to anyone who wants to research and test their own down in words. (The resulting design, of course, has been algorithm, including Sheldon and JCB (if he decides he embedded in cmavo and an unambiguous grammar for several wants to conduct his own tests). months.) This issue seems like a good place to open this Hopefully, Sheldon, you will be first on the list of concept to the review and scrutiny of others. LogFlash volunteers! Then you can prove it to yourself! 10 The presentation given is only an overview. Some of the been successful. I would guess that some modification of design exists only as rules in the grammar and pre-assigned G�del's Incompleteness Theorem would show that automatic cmavo; these will be fleshed out when I write the textbook translation, if not impossible, is at least an extremely sections on the subject. difficult task. However, such problems would not necessarily arise for translation of texts that were An International Language for Mathematics designed in advance for easy translation. Mathematical by Robert Strichartz texts use a limited vocabulary in a very stylized way, and reprinted with permission from "The Mathematical thus suitable prepared mathematical text would seem the Intelligencer" first plausible candidates for an automatic translation system based on an international language that would serve An International Language for Mathematics as an intermediary between different natural languages. Robert S. Strichartz Say we call this language Intermath; a mathematician writing in English would have her text automatically Reprinted with permission from The Mathematical translated into Intermath. No one would read the text in Intelligencer, Volume 11, No. 1. Copyright 1989 Springer- Intermath, but a Chinese mathematician could have the Verlag New York Intermath text automatically translated into Chinese. To ensure the correctness of the translation, the author would Mathematics has long been an international discipline. simply have the Intermath translation of the text auto- Euler, a German-speaking Swiss, spent much of his career in matically translated back into English (presumably the Russia, but by writing primarily in Latin he could be as- computer would not be allowed to cheat by peeking at the sured that all his contemporaries could read his works. It original). If the sense of the text is preserved, then the has been a long time since Latin was the universal language translation into Intermath is correct; if not, the author of scholarly writing. Some would say - and many more would will have to correct the errors. hope - that English has taken its place. If so, this has What would be involved in setting up such a system? We been a short-term phenomenon, a result of successful already have a simple model of what a mathematical language American cultural imperialism; we certainly cannot rely on might be in the formal languages of mathematical logic. In it continuing indefinitely. And there are still many principle these languages are capable of expressing any exceptions to the rule that all important mathematical mathematical argument, although in practice such writing is in English (or rapidly translated into English). expressions would be overly complicated. This is not The French persist in writing in their language, and the surprising if we remember that these formal languages were Russians produce a body of Russian language mathematics of created for the purpose of studying the algebra of large volume and high quality. The Germans, Italians, mathematical proof, so a premium was put on limiting the Hispanics, and Japanese have by and large capitulated; we number of symbols and the different ways they can be com- do not know what the Chinese will do as they become a bined. Intermath, as a formal language, would be created mathematical superpower. Therefore, to accept English as to embody all the different ways of expression used by the international language of mathematics strikes me as mathematicians in their normal modes of writing. The short-sighted, presumptuous, and dangerous. inventors of Intermath will have to examine actual Given that mathematicians will be writing in a number of mathematical texts to see how language is used, and then different languages, what are the prospects for rapid and capture these uses in Intermath. A medium-sized vocabulary intelligible translations? Recently, the mathematics of technical terms will be needed; they will have to be library at Cornell suggested the possibility of dropping updated from time to time to include newly coined terms. its subscriptions to some translated Russian journals in An automatic translation program back and forth between order to save money. The reasoning is that these journals all the natural languages and Intermath will have to be are not frequently used, and we already receive the written, along with a program for modifying Intermath text Russian-language originals, so our collection would remain by a user who does not know Intermath. The underlying as- complete. Alas, only the Russian-born among us can read sumption is that every sentence of a mathematical text has them. The reason we do not drop the subscriptions to the an unambiguous meaning, and so can be translated into an originals is that their cost is negligible in comparison to Intermath sentence. Undoubtedly there are many ways of the cost of the translations. The translation process is a realizing the meaning of a mathematical sentence in a time-consuming and difficult task, and the results are natural language, so an Intermath translated text may lack sometimes unsatisfactory when the translators do not the spontaneity and stylistic elegance of a well-written understand the texts as mathematics. To translate an text. Also, a portion of the text, especially in the entire journal cover to cover certainly seems inefficient, introduction and in motivating remarks, may be beyond the when only a few of the translations will actually be read reach of the Intermath language. But on balance, aren't we at a particular library. On the other hand, the cost of better off having a translation that is accurate and translating articles on demand may also be prohibitively intelligible, even if it is stylistically tedious and expensive. missing a few paragraphs? The computer would seem the natural solution to our How much would mathematical writers have to change their translating problem. Of course, attempts so far to have practices in order to produce a text that would be suitable automatic computer translation of general texts have not for automatic translation into Intermath? This is probably 11 the key issue that will determine whether an Intermath - It should have a vocabulary including technical terms system can be used. If we cannot write, "there are an which can be readily expanded to include newly coined infinite number of primes," but are forced to substitute, words; "the cardinality of the set of prime numbers in infinite," - It should embody the 'unambiguous meaning' underlying I am afraid we will all curse the system and do what we can mathematical text, without necessarily preserving to sabotage its adoption. On the other hand, if all we are stylistic features; required to do is answer a few queries about ambiguous - It should be amenable to machine translation sentences, I don't think very many of us will object. techniques. Probably we cannot know how such a system would work until one is constructed and tested. But even in the worst case, I am pleased to report that a language has already been if such a system proved impractical, I still think we would developed which meets the criteria described by Dr. learn a lot about the way mathematics is written. Strichartz. Who would construct the system, and who would finance Lojban (pronounced /LOZH,bahn/) is the latest version of it? I think the project is challenging enough that the language first described by Dr. James Cooke Brown in talented mathematicians, computer scientists, and linguists "Loglan", Scientific American, June 1960. Dr. Brown would work on it, provided it was funded. Therefore I started the Loglan project in 1955 as an attempt to develop appeal to the professional mathematical societies to a language as a test tool for experiments relating to the consider organizing and funding such a project. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistics. Dr. Brown's The benefits of such a project would extend beyond the formulation of that hypothesis was that the structure of a mathematical community. No doubt other sciences and language constrains the thought of a culture that uses that technical disciplines might imitate the idea successfully. language. Thus, as a corollary, a language which embodied Also, by strengthening the tradition of international co- a structure that was drastically different from any natural operation in mathematics (and other cultural disciplines), language, and which minimized metaphysical assumptions that the creation of an international mathematical language may might be considered 'cultural biases', might detectably help to build some bridges between the peoples of this alter the hypothetical constraints. planet. Our governments may never be able, on their own, Dr. Brown modelled his grammar on predicate logic, and to break out of the quagmire of hostility and warfare that specifically included grammatical techniques of clearly and has characterized international relations since time unambiguously expressing logical connectives and other immemorial. But we, the mathematicians of the world, can concepts that are not easily expressed in English and other maintain a system of international relations based on languages. The language was also designed to be cooperation, friendship and mutual respect that can serve audiovisually isomorphic: spelling is completely phonetic, as a model for others to follow. each sound corresponds to exactly one letter, and a stream of speech can be uniquely resolved into individual words. Dr. Brown also attempted to devise a mathematically- Our Submitted Response to Dr. Strichartz's Article provable unambiguous grammar. The project received minimal funding in the early 1960's 9 May 1989 and then stagnated. Dr. Brown published a microform description of the language in the mid-60s, then revised it Dr. Sheldon Axler into a printed book that was published in 1975. The early Editor, The Mathematical Intelligencer versions did not achieve the desired unambiguity, and did Dept. of Mathematics not live up to goals in vocabulary development. Only a Michigan State University, MI 48824 couple of people ever learned any of these versions, and the language evolved so rapidly that no one ever mastered Dr. Axler: the language well enough to test the original goals. The handling of mathematical expressions turned out to be This letter is submitted in response to Robert extremely deficient, a major drawback to the intended Strichartz's essay (Vol. 11, No. 1) on "An International language audience. Language for Mathematics". In that essay, Dr. Strichartz The rise of the computer, and especially the personal proposes the development of an artificial language, which computer, changed this. Computational techniques of he calls 'Intermath', as an interlingua that could be used proving computer languages unambiguous were first applied in computer-aided translation of mathematical text. to Loglan in the mid-70s. By 1982, a core subset of the Dr. Strichartz identifies some properties that such a language had been verified unambiguous using the UNIXtm language might possess: tool 'YACC' (Yet Another Compiler Compiler). Meanwhile, the word-formation rules were redesigned to expand the - It should be modelled on the formal language of capability to add new vocabulary with easily identifiable mathematical logic; etymologies. - It should extend beyond that formal language "to embody Lojban is the latest version of this language, developed all the different ways of expression used by by The Logical Language Group from Dr. Brown's seminal mathematicians in their normal modes of writing"; research. It is the first version of the language to have a completely specified unambiguous grammar, verified by the 12 YACC algorithm. Lojban is still based on predicate logic. biguous natural language to unambiguous Lojban; the other The language definition phase is being completed in 1989; direction should be much easier. systems engineering techniques such as configuration A mathematician should eventually be able to write text management have arrested the uncontrolled evolution of the either in his/her native language or in Lojban. Journals language, while still permitting carefully controlled would be distributed internationally in Lojban. Cornell, growth into new areas as we learn more about specialized or any other university, would need only to translate from language needs. Lojban into English, and then only if the mathematician Lojban's grammar includes a grammar for mathematical couldn't read the Lojban; this is much easier (and cheaper) expressions that goes well beyond simple mathematical than translating from a large variety of languages. operations. This grammar includes a metalanguage The ease of learning Lojban should not be understated. capability for defining new operators, redefining the The first class is being taught In the Washington DC area precedence grouping of operators (unparenthesized Lojban during the first half of 1989; a textbook is being written defaults as left-grouping), and intermingling of 'normal simultaneously and is expected to be published by the time language expression' with mathematical expressions. The this appears in print. It is believed that the course Lojban design allows for standard notations as well as being developed could allow reading fluency in a semester, Polish, reverse Polish, and an indefinite variety of other and conversational fluency or the ability to write systems - a feature vital for supporting the many varieties sophisticated texts (such as mathematics) within a year. of mathematical expression used in specialized disciplines. The actual time to achieve fluency is mostly dependent on Lojban also incorporates a scheme for borrowing words from the rate of learning the root and structure word the international scientific vocabulary, as well as an ex- vocabulary. Students are already reading and writing tremely rich combinatorial technique of building words from fairly natural and comprehensible non-technical text, Lojban roots. limited primarily by their mastery of vocabulary, after In addition to its capability for mathematical less than 30 classroom hours. Computer-aided vocabulary expression, Lojban is designed to be a human language. instruction tools have been in use for a couple of years Studies of language universals have led to the inclusion of and have proven extremely effective. When fully integrated stylistic features ranging from the observer-based with classroom instruction and standard techniques such as indicators found in native American languages, a tense- language labs, the learning process may even be location system that allows for optional treatment of accelerated. space-time as a single concept, the isolation of concrete Lojban's cultural neutrality and decidedly non-English concepts from abstractions, and a variety of subjective syntax eliminates any dependence on 'American cultural emotional markers that distinguish the attitude of the imperialism'. There is interest in Lojban among the speaker from the semantic content of the expression. community favoring an 'international language', although Lojban retains audiovisual isomorphism. The grammar is this is not the primary aim of Lojban. Lojban certainly comparable in complexity with the more sophisticated has some claim to viability as an international auxiliary computer languages of today. A core of 1300 root words and language; its ease of learning and cultural neutrality help about 600 structure words (many of them mathematically-ori- give Lojban standing in the idealistic internationalist ented) can be simply combined into an effectively infinite community. On the other hand, Lojban's applicability to vocabulary. The small vocabulary and simple grammar make machine translation, AI applications, and scientific and Lojban easy to learn. mathematical expression, as well as its flexibility for new What does this mean in terms of Dr. Strichartz's uses, combine to give Lojban a practical (and possibly proposal? commercial) short-term future. Lojban is certainly capable of serving as 'Intermath'. Most surprisingly, almost all of the language A Lojban parser is under development, the first step in a development has been performed without normal academic machine translation system. Artificial intelligence funding. Dr. Brown funded much of the early work out of experts have started looking at techniques that are espe- his own pocket, especially after he left the University of cially suited for AI-based translation from natural Florida in the early 1960's. Almost all of the work in the languages into Lojban. Lojban's syntax resembles that of last 10 years has been performed by unpaid volunteers, and LISP and PROLOG, which are often used in storing knowledge- funded by small contributions and subscriptions to base information for AI processing. It is conceivable that publications. Unfortunately, independence from academic the Lojban machine translation system might actually be funding has also avoided the necessary academic review pro- written in a Lojban computer language. Lojban is probably cess. While several linguists, logicians, and computer capable of expressing even some of the stylistic features scientists have worked together to develop Lojban, no of a source natural language. mathematician or scientist has actually put it to the test More important, a scientist or mathematician can write of usage. For too long, we have been without the critical originally in Lojban, using its unique stylistic inputs of the mathematical community which would ensure capabilities; this writing would be especially suited to that our design meets their requirements. mathematical texts due to the predicate structuring of With the language definition complete, the review and sentences. Writing directly in Lojban eliminates the most testing process by scientists, the development of difficult step in machine translation: going from an am- acceptable application software for translation, and even the original linguistic research that inspired the language 13 all will require funding. To earn that funding, and to have been discussed previously; we addressed machine earn the respect this long-term effort deserves, it is time translation issues in JL8. for the Loglan/Lojban project to assume a proper role in Lojban is, of course, designed as a predicate language the academic process and prove its value to the community and is thus modelled on mathematical logic. We have, that we expect will find it most useful. incidentally, tried to allow for non-traditional logics, The Logical Language Group, Inc. is a non-profit such as 'fuzzy logic'; in general, however, these new organization dedicating to developing Lojban, teaching it, logics must be covered under the requirement to support new and encouraging its practical use. We have teaching technical terms and forms, and need not be in the materials available in addition to computer-aided tools. A underpinning of the language. There are a myriad of quarterly journal, "Ju'i Lobypli", discusses the project possible new approaches to mathematics and logic; we cannot goals and technical issues in the language, and provides hypothesize that any particular one of them is more some amount of Lojban text in a variety of styles. Recent important or more lasting than the others, or this might issues have dealt with both mathematical expression and ma- skew Lojban's long-term usefulness, as well as its claim to chine translation, and reprint copies are available. A being unbiased. short newsletter, "lojbo karni", is also published to This leads me to emphasize the second guideline listed inform interested but less active participants. above, "to embody all the different ways of expression used We call for mathematicians to support our efforts, and by mathematicians in their normal modes of writing". if possible to learn Lojban and to test its applicability Lojban is not, and must not be, an attempt to impose a new to communication within their specialties. We would like system of expression on mathematics, nor to constrain to see classes taught in the university environment, and mathematicians to use one system on the grounds that it is perhaps some graduate research projects that depend on 'better' than any other. Lojban could be undertaken. (Research activities that Much of the debate about the design of MEX during the involve communicating with native speakers of other history of Lojban and predecessor versions of the language languages might find Lojban an especially valuable tool.) has revolved around this last issue. Proponents of Polish Your support will help determine the ultimate value of notation, reverse Polish notation, and other varieties of Lojban, whether for scientific communication, linguistics expression have argued for their preferred notation as research, or any of the other goals that have been being superior to others, inferring therefore that Lojban proposed. We are especially interested in ideas for MEX should require mathematics to be expressed in that research and application approaches that will attract form. funding and participation from the scientific community. There are several flaws with this thinking. We look forward to your interest, comments, and questions First, a notation that is good for one form of on our efforts. mathematics may be difficult to use with other forms. For example, logicians often find advantage in using Polish Bob LeChevalier, President notation for certain types of logical analysis. On the The Logical Language Group, Inc. other hand, computer mathematics is often organized around reverse Polish notation. In a similar vein, the existence of two forms of calculator mathematics (standard and reverse Polish), each On the Lojban Design for Mathematical Expression (MEX) with its own proponents, is a simple example demonstrating that the superiority of one form of expression over another Let us start by reiterating Dr. Strichartz's guidelines is arguable even within one area of mathematics. for an international mathematical language: Lojban is an attempt to structure language to allow for unambiguous logical expression. Regardless of which of the - It should be modelled on the formal language of forms of expression is used, the international language of mathematical logic; mathematical expression is already both unambiguous and - It should extend beyond that formal language "to embody logical. It is unambiguous in that any mathematician, all the different ways of expression used by anywhere in the world, can read any written mathematical mathematicians in their normal modes of writing"; expression and will 'parse' that expression the same way. - It should have a vocabulary including technical terms Mathematical language is logical in that it can be used to which can be readily expanded to include newly coined make inferences by simple, regular, manipulations. words; Note that I qualified the previous point by referring to - It should embody the 'unambiguous meaning' underlying written mathematical expression. Even in non-Romanized mathematical text, without necessarily preserving languages, mathematics is written using the standard stylistic features; Romanized nomenclature, and is read and understood in - It should be amenable to machine translation exactly the same way as in other languages. However, where techniques. the system breaks down is in the spoken form of these expressions. Because natural languages are neither These are merely a starting point, but clearly Lojban's unambiguous nor designed to express mathematical thought, handling of MEX must address all of these. Some of these the spoken forms of mathematics are often both clumsy and ambiguous. 14 We are attempting to make the Lojban design both 4. Lojban MEX must be extendible to handle the widely unambiguous and able to express mathematics. Furthermore, varying formulaic structures of the hundreds of computer we desire Lojban expression to be audio-visually isomorphic languages in wide use, as well as semi-mathematical - we want any written form to be read in one unique way, expressions such as chemical formulae and equations. and any spoken form to have a unique written corresponding form. As partial solutions to these requirements, the following It turns out that we can do this with minor allowances. derived requirements are proposed: The proposed MEX grammar allows for a unique spoken form for a given written form. It also defines a written form 5. Lojban must be able to include text from other that complies with international mathematical conventions. languages inside quotes, including text that does not fit Unfortunately, that form is not a unique form because Lojban phonology, morphology, or orthography. international mathematics does not prescribe unique forms. 6. Lojban must have an extendible set of special The best example is the elision of the multiplication characters and symbols for reading off non-Lojbanic and operators in '3x + 2y'. Because we must preserve mathematical text as strings of symbols. We must be able unambiguity in speech, and there are other possible to make up words for symbols which are easy to remember. interpretations for the strings '3x' and '2y' than as 7. There must be a way to incorporate Lojban predicates mathematical multiplication, the spoken form of this into MEX functions and operators. This allows the power expression must not elide the multiplication operators in of metaphor and borrowing to be applied to MEX. its spoken form. In addition, Lojban cannot make assumptions about the (I extended this requirement to include the ability to precedence of mathematical operations. First of all, incorporate predicates as numbers or quantifiers - as we Lojban must allow for the addition of new operators as new do in English when we talk about a 'brace of oxen', 'a mathematical forms are developed. Lojban must also permit herd of sheep', or 'an exultation of doves'. These are the specification of nonce operators, such as those used in folk quantifiers that do not have general mathematical abstract algebra in discussing the properties of rings, applicability - I don't know what you get when you add fields, and other systems that are defined by their two 'exultations' together, or even worse, multiply permitted operations. Obviously, any new operation may them. But people have and do use them either as numbers have a precedence which is higher, lower, the same as, or or collectives in expressions, and Lojban should not in between the precedences of other existing operators. presume to say that they cannot be used.) Furthermore, it is permissible in some mathematics to define systems where precedences differ from those commonly Finally, Bill describes a 'wish list' of features he attributed to mathematical operations. sees as being needed in the language. Starting with his For examples, I reference Dr. M. Ecker in The REC list, I've expanded and generalized some areas. The Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 8, Dec 1988. Dr. Ecker reports following are major elements: that of many spreadsheets tested, one processes '- 5 ^ 2' Quantifiers to be '-25', the rest put negation as higher precedence - scalar radices (bases) such as binary, octal, than exponentiation. Many computer-based calculators even decimal, and hexadecimal, including the capability ignore precedence between addition and multiplication, to specify a default; evaluating '1 + 2 x 3' as '9'. Regardless as to whether - vector radices, such as time, where the base changes these are 'right' or 'wrong', there exist mathematical as you move from hours to minutes to seconds; processes that differ in regard to precedences. To discuss - data-dependent radices, where the base is determined those differences, you must be able to express them. So by the data itself, such as dates. Americans can Lojban must be able to specify non-standard precedences and tell just by looking how to interpret the dates 6/89 to specify the relative precedence of new operations. and 6/18/89. (Other countries sometimes use a Before I proceed with a description of how we do this, I different order.); want to summarize some other requirements for Lojban MEX. - Roman numerals and other non-radix number systems; The subject of MEX requirements was discussed in some - scientific notation; detail by Lojbanist Bill Mengarini in The Loglanist, Vol 5, - repeating decimals; No. 1. I will summarize the list of requirements presented - irrational numbers; there. - numbers typically represented by symbols, such as 'e', 'pi', and 'i'; 1. Lojban must be 'continuously and infinitely - complex numbers of arbitrary degree; extendible, capable of having new constructions added to - rational and mixed numbers; it as easily as new metaphors can be added to the - a means of specifying the precision of numbers; [Lojban] vocabulary'. - intervals, both discrete and continuous, open and 2. Lojban must be able to handle data aggregates such as closed; matrices, arrays, records, heterogeneous lists, stacks, queues, trees, etc. Strings 3. Lojban must be able to express values in a variety of - an open ended set of characters, capable of dealing bases, including octal, hexadecimal, and binary. with ASCII, and other character sets; 15 - a means of indicating spacing in strings; Experimental forms - quantifiers must be able to include strings, and we - For example, Jerome Frazee has proposed a set of must be able to do operations on strings; systematical mathematical operators that clearly Data Types indicates the relationship between addition, - a means to indicate restricted data types such as multiplication, and exponentiation, and higher those use in computer languages (Boolean, Integer, degrees in the same vein. While it is not clear Floating Point), including user-defined data types; that these operators are useful in most mathematical - a means to discuss the attributes of such data (data applications, they must be able to be experimented declarations); with either within or without the rest of the MEX Data Aggregates system. - sets, including multisets that allow duplicates, fuzzy sets with uncertain membership, and ordered Pinning down the bounds of international mathematical sets; language is difficult, and probably impossible; no one - multi-dimensional sets, such as arrays and matrices; knows all fields of mathematics. Perhaps the editors of - graphs and directional graphs (digraphs), including the best mathematical journals are the best equipped in trees; this area, or perhaps mathematical linguists. No one will Units of Measurement ever be certain that we have covered all possibilities. - being able to talk about dimensioned numbers and The above list is probably a good starting point, however. dimensionless numbers; - simple dimensions (meters) and compound dimensions All of these bits and pieces come together as a large (furlongs/fortnight); order, especially for an unambiguous language. However, - a means of talking about the dimensionality of the international language of mathematics manages it, and numbers; Lojban should be able to. Functions/Operations Let us now describe how the current Lojban MEX design - a set of 'primitive' functions or operations (I am meets these multitudinous requirements. It turns out that not using the mathematical definition of function there is a fairly simple solution - the same one used by here; some operations may have more than one answer, international mathematics. That is to assume a certain such as the 'zeroes' of a polynomial); default set of types and parameters, and to have a means of - a means of defining an extendible set of new specifying deviations from that default, both for the short functions/operations; term, and for the long term. - functions/operations which can operate on non- By long term deviations, I mean that if we are talking numeric operands, including equations; about chemical equations, we must label that we are doing - functions and operations which return more than one so, and then use the defaults of chemical expressions until type of result (such as multiple parameter the default is reset. By short term deviations, I mean subroutines); such things as marking a single number as being in a non- Relations standard base and assuming all others to be in that base. - greater than, less than, equation, similarity, set When you read a mathematical expression, a chemical membership, vector componency are but a few of formula, a computer program, or a graph, you know the these; conventions that apply. Most important, you handle these - we must be able to distinguish between assertions conventions more as a semantics problem than one of and assignments ('x = 5' and 'set x = 5'; grammar. Predications Lojban can handle a variety of systems of notation - we must be able to express predications (bridi) because of its predicate structure. There is no about quantifiers, strings, functions, and requirement in Lojban that particular sumti of a predicate relations; be always on the left or the right as long as they are in the right order, or if not, some type of marker indicates Formulae and Algorithms that they are not. Lojban does vary slightly from this, in - means of expressing sequences of operations, that it requires a marker if all of the sumti are to the including precedences; right of the kunbri, in order to distinguish this form from - means of asserting a default precedence; an observative. Lojban MEX need not include observatives, - means of expressing data dependent variations in the and hence is simpler than non-Mex grammar. sequence of operations; In fact, it turns out that a large number of features of Interfaces to Non-MEX Lojban non-MEX Lojban grammar have little or no value in MEX, and - each component of MEX must be discussable as a sumti the resulting grammar for MEX is simpler than the grammar in a non-MEX bridi; for non-MEX. If you learn the regular Lojban grammar, you - each component of MEX must be convertible to one or already know the basics of MEX. more appropriate predicates (kunbri or bridi); The major 'problem' with Lojban MEX as a representation - non-MEX constructions must be convertible to of the international mathematical language is the default appropriate MEX equivalents (such as 'exultations' precedence. Because of the requirement for flexibility and of doves as quantifiers). extensibility, Lojban cannot assume a fixed set of prece- 16 dences. This is a good thing, since each precedence level myself a master of the linguistics of mathematics. Even assigned in grammar rules doubles the number of rules the textbook will only skim the surface, since many of the required. more interesting examples of mathematical expression will Instead, Lojban uses its normal default system of left be unintelligible except to those who are familiar with the grouping. It allows parenthesis of a couple of types to particular branch of mathematics involved. attach operands unambiguously to their correct operations, Some day, perhaps, someone will write a general and to specify the order of operations. In spoken Lojban, mathematical linguistics text for Lojban, probably as part you would express these parenthesis in order to be of implementing the machine translation project proposed by unambiguous. In reading off an international mathematics Dr. Strichartz. I may help, but it is out of my area of formula in any notation, you must therefore be able to add expertise. them in easily while reading, and it turns out that this Until then, we will have a system that we know to be almost trivial. You also must insert elided operations, unambiguous at the parser level, is known to be flexible such as the missing multiplications in '2x + 3y'. and extendible in numerous ways, and which can easily The Lojban grammar will left-group all constructs handle the basic mathematical expressions used in everyday without parenthesis. You can specify non-left grouping speech, while doing so in a manner that is compatible with precedence in three ways. Most clearly, you can add in the international mathematical language. parentheses to force the verbal grouping to represent your precedence structure. When you do so, of course, your verbal expression will no longer be identical to the le lojbo se ciska formulaic expression. As a second choice, you can adopt the conventions of Self Descriptions by Lojban Students international mathematics for whatever notation system you le ve skicu be mi are using, and then use those conventions to override the default grouping as part of the semantic interpretation of Lesson 5 is the first lesson that asks a student to the expression. In other words, the Lojban text will have write more than single sentences; we ask people to write a parentheses that indicate how operators and operations are short self-description paragraph. Some students know more attached. It will also have parentheses relating to grammar and vocabulary than is covered in the first five operation precedence that can be ignored when analyzing lessons, but in general, the following reflect the grammar what the expression really means. in the first five paragraphs. Darren Stalder, Sylvia The third and most complicated choice is to specify the Rutiser, and Paul Francis O'Sullivan are in the DC area precedence of each operation with the operation. Lojban class. Jamie Bechtel is self-teaching in Omaha, but wrote provides the capability to attach any MEX quantifier to an his self-description at LogFest. Each lesson thereafter operation as a precedence marker. You can then use the asks the students to do a little writing that exercises the procedure discussed for the second choice to analyze the points covered thus far. I'm asking all students receiving expression semantically. lessons to send me their self-descriptions and later There are arguments that this approach violates Lojban's writings. We will check and comment on them, and if the unambiguity. I believe those arguments to be invalid students permit, will include some of them in later issues unless you are willing to label international mathematical as additional examples or inspiration for the others. language to be similarly ambiguous. Jamie has already send us his Lesson 6 writing, which I If you make that concession, then I concede the believe is the first Lojban science fiction. Maybe next argument. But Lojban, and Lojbanists, are NOT going to issue. change international mathematics now or in the near future; As usual, translations will appear after the end of certainly not to impose a more rigid standard of this section, so that people who are learning the language unambiguity than has served for centuries. Lojban is can try to read the text without help first. I'm going to merely trying to represent that mathematical expression at be sparing on commentary on these writings; each reflects the level of sophistication that serves adequately at the author's personal style, which I want to encourage, and present. We go beyond that by providing explicit means to each has been checked by several people, and/or by Jeff specify conventions and protocols, and a unarguably Taylor's parser, for correctness. unambiguous, if unorthodox, expression form which can use either left-grouping or parenthesization. la deron. stalder. So Lojban MEX is sufficiently unambiguous to encompass existing international mathematical expression, while coi .i mi du la deron. stalder. .i mi ba speni la rebekas providing extra capability to go beyond that form if caivlis. goi ko'a .i .iu ko'a traji leka melbi be mi kei necessary or desirable. le zmadu roda .i ko'a galfi leko'a cmene lemi cmene lenu speni poi ka lijda cfari ca le la xamast. detri .i I'm not going to go into examples at this point. For la'edi'u ka clani lisri kei gi'e canai se skicu .i mi one thing, the semantic conventions and precedences haven't barda nanmu gi'e ckaji lo barda ke xance je jamfu .i lemi been defined. I've merely made sure that there is room to kerfa cu bunre .i lemi kanla noi dasni le lenjo cu crino do so. For another, even I don't know the system well .i mi xebni le tagji ke jibri cutci .i mi nelci lenu lemi enough to demonstrate it fluently, nor do I really consider jamfu cu lunbe .i le girzu skami preti danfu cu jibri mi 17 .i mi nelci la'edi'u .e lei jibri jdini .i lemi karce ca xe klama ri'anai leka slabu .i .uu lemi karce cu mutce pilno le karce muvdu jisra .i mi ca cliva do .i .u'i mi cu pamoi troci le mu'i clani ke lojbo nu cusku .i co'o. 18 la silvian. mi du la silvian. .i mi se jibri loinu minji platu finti .i le na jibri nu gasnu po mi du la lojban ni'o mi cu litru fi le cmalu ke blanu karce noi se jadni loi dertu ri'a lenu mi na lumci ni'o lo so'imei zdani dinju poi nenri la .aleksendrias. ca zdani mi .i lemi zdani goi ko'a cu se canko le so'imei ki'unai lenu ko'a cu berti .i la'edi'u mukti lenu mi ponse la .afriikan. vailet. poi spati ni'o mi cu nelci loi cizra gerna __________________________________________________________________ la polpronCIIS. .osuliaVAN. coi. .i mi du la polpronCIIS. .osuliaVAN. .i mi cmaci prenu .i mi zasni gunka .i le citri citri logji cu pluka mi .i lo su'ore drata ke logji ciste cu pluka mi .i mi pacna lenu fanva le gerna la lojban. la esperanton. .i mi pacna lenu fanva le pagbu be le jegvo cukta le su'ore slabu bangu le lojban. .i mi nanmu gi'e na denmi ke grusi xunre se kerfa __________________________________________________________________ la djeimis. mi du la djeimis. .i lemi kerfa cu kalsa je ke bunre narju .i lemi kanla cu blanu .i mi carmi nelci le nu cinki tadni .i mi rirni le jdaselsku cinki pe zoi le. religioso senonsis .le .i mi xebni leka mintu gasnu .i mi tadni lenu mi sanji senva .i mi pujeca na snada ri .i mi ckule tadni le prije larcu. With Apologies to Spock Row, Row, Row Your Boat in Lojban by Bob LeChevalier I haven't seen it yet, by I've been told that the latest Star Trek movie has the stars sitting around a campfire singing 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat', while Spock attempts to analyze the song logically. I was challenged at LogFest to attempt a translation, which I did in 10 minutes while the others were arguing about what the song really meant. .a'i .a'i ga'acpu ledo bloti bainaiku le cmari'e terflecu ci'o leka gleki leka gleki leka gleki .i ki'ubo loi nunji'e cu nunsne .a'i .a'i ga'acpu ledo bloti /ah,hee(pause)ah,hee gah,HAH,shpu leh,do BLO,tee/ / - / - / - - / - bainaiku le cmari'e terflecu /bai,nai,ku,leh shmah,REE,heh ter,FLEH,shu/ / - - / - - / - ci'o leka gleki leka gleki leka gleki /shee,ho leh,kah GLEH,kee leh,kah GLEH,kee leh,kah GLEH,kee / - / - / - / .i ki'ubo loi nunji'e cu nunsne /(pause)ee kee,hu,bo loi,noon,ZHEE,heh,shu NOON,sneh/ / - / - / - A Story from Another Culture by Preston Maxwell (with corrections by Bob and Nora) Preston has been working on a series of simple stories taken from non-Indo-European cultures, attempting to translate or re-express them in Lojban, partly as teaching examples, partly as inter-cultural education. His translations are still at an early stage, since he is only up to Lesson 6. But he has done a lot of work, and I want to see it recognized as 19 an example for others. Nora and I took one of his stories and polished up the translation to make it minimally grammatical, and here it is. We hope to have more of Preston's stories in later issues. so'o pendo puca pinxe lo vanju .i ko'a goi pa le pendo cu djica lenu jarco leko'a pixra cupra ka certu .i semu'ibo ko'a cupra co pixra lo since .i leko'a pendo cu bacru zo .ii .i le pixra cu selcertu .ia .i ko'a pensi cusku lu mi ba xagzadri'a levi pixra gi'e semu'i cupra co pixra lo tuple be le since .i leko'a pendo cu bacru lu .iinai lo'e since cu na ponse lo tuple .i seni'ibo le pixra pujecanai xamgu li'u la sinderelwud. by Nora LeChevalier ****************************************************** SCENE 1 - At the Home of Cinderelwood ****************************************************** (Father): ju'i doi sindereluyd. ko cazi brulu'i le loldi Hey, Cinderelwood, right-now sweep the floor. (Cinderelwood): .ai doi mamtyspen. Yes O MotherSpouse. (1st son): doi paf. la relber. pu porpi lemi selkei O Father, 2nd-Son broke my toy. (2nd son): mi pu na porpi ri .i la pavber. pu kalsyri'a lemi melbi kerfa I didn't break it. 1st-Son messed-up my beautiful hair. (1st son): .o'o naku mi go'i (anger) I did not! (** 1st son hits 2nd son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (** 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. (Father): ju'i doi sindereluyd. .o'o do naku xu mulri'a lenu brulu'i le loldi Hey, Cinderelwood, (anger) aren't you done with the sweeping of the floor? .i ko jbikla Approach! .i ko komnicri'a le kerfa be la relber. Comb the hair of 2nd-Son. .i baku ko cikre le selkei po la pavber. Afterwards, fix the toy of 1st-Son. .i baku ko mulri'a cai lenu brulu'i le loldi Afterwards, finish the sweeping of the floor. (Cinderelwood): .ai doi mamtyspen. Yes O MotherSpouse. (** Aside **) .i .uu lomi ni se bilga cu zenba (sorrow) My duties increase. ****************************************************** INTERLUDE ****************************************************** (** Act out each line in background as it is spoken by narrator. **) (Narrator): ko'a goi la sindereluyd. komnicri'a le kerfa be la relber. 20 He, Cinderelwood combs the hair of 2nd-Son. .i baku ko'a cikre le selkei po la pavber. Then he fixes the toy of 1st-Son. .i baku ko'a [kefcfa|ke'ucfa] lenu brulu'i le loldi Then he again-starts to sweep the floor. ****************************************************** SCENE 2 ****************************************************** (** Fanfare sounds; knock on door heard; Father opens door; Herald enters **). (Herald): coi doi se zdani Hello O occupant(s). .i ca'i le banli nolrai pe la noltaj. mi cpedu lenu ro nanmu po'u vi le gugde ba klama le la noltaj. nunsaldansu By-the-authority-of the great king King, I request that all men in the country come to the King's ball. .i la nolraitix. poi tixnu be fi la noltaj. cu cuxna lera ba'ispe leva zvati KingDaughter, who is daughter of the great king, chooses her fiance from the attendants. .i ti pikta pi'o ro do Here are tickets for all of you. (** Herald hands tickets to Father and leaves **) (1st son): .ui mi ba zvati le banli nunsaldansu (happy) I will attend the great ball. (2nd son): .ui mi ba zvati le nunsalci (happy) I will attend the celebration. (** Preens his "beautiful" hair **) .i mi ba mebrai leva zvati I will be the most beautiful of the-there attendees. (1st son): .o'o naku do go'i .i mi go'i (anger) You will not! I will! (2nd son): .o'o naku do go'i .i mi go'i (anger) You will not! I will! (** 1st son hits 2nd son. 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. (Father): .e'o ko smaji doi zanbre be fi mi (please) Be quiet O favorable-context sons of mine. .i le remei pe do ba mebrai The two-some of you will be the most beautiful. .i .iacai le nolraiti'u ba cuxna pa do (intense-certainty) The princess will choose one of you. (Cinderelwood): .ue mi mo'u pa'a do pu se cpedu (surprise) I, in addition to you, was requested. .i mi ba klama le nunsalci I will go to the celebration. (Father): .o'o na go'i .i do ba stali ti gi'e gunka (anger) No you won't. You will stay here and work. .i mi mipypu'i ledo pikta I hide your ticket. .i ko mulri'a lenu brulu'i Finish sweeping. (** Hides one ticket in a lamp **) ****************************************************** INTERLUDE ****************************************************** 21 (Narrator): ni'o ca le nunsalci djedi le lanzu cu redri'a pida'ari On the celebration day, the family readies all-but-one-of themselves. ****************************************************** SCENE 3 ****************************************************** (1st son): la relber. pu malcpa lemi degjai 2nd-Son stole my ring. (2nd son): mi na go'i .i la pavber. pu malcpa lemi kerfa dasri I did not. 1st-Son stole my hair ribbon. (1st son): naku mi go'i I did not. (** 1st son hits 2nd son. 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. (Father): ju'i doi sindereluyd. ko cpacu le drata degjai .e le drata ke kerfa dasri Hey Cinderelwood, get the other ring and the other ribbon. (Cinderelwood): .ai doi mamtyspen. Yes, O MotherSpouse. (** Cinderelwood gets the ring & ribbon. Others finish dressing **) (1st son): mi bredi le nunsalci I'm ready for the celebration. (2nd son): ba'e mi bredi lenu se cuxna la nolraitix. I'm ready to be chosen by KingDaughter. (1st son): naku do ba se cuxna la nolraitix. .i mi ba go'i You won't be chosen by KingDaughter. I will. (2nd son): naku do go'i .i mi go'i You won't be. I will. (** As the three leave the house, 1st son hits 2nd son. 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. ****************************************************** INTERLUDE ****************************************************** (Narrator): ni'o la sindereluyd. cu na selkansa Cinderelwood is alone. (** Fairy Godfather enters, hidden **) .i .ue .ianairu'e go'i (surprise) (maybe not) That's so! ****************************************************** SCENE 4 ****************************************************** (Cinderelwood): mi na selkansa .i naku .uu mi klama le nunsalci I am alone. It is not the case (sorrow) that I go to the celebration. .i mi bilga lenu gunka I am obligated to work. (Godfather): coi. .elwyd. .i mi ridrirni do Hello, Elwood. I am fairy-godfather to you. (Cinderelwood): .ue 22 (surprise) (Godfather): .ai do ba klama le nunsalci .i mi sidju do (intention) You will go to the celebration. I help you. .i ko zgana Observe. (** Magic motions cause ticket hiding place (lamp) to light up. He gets ticket, and hands it to Cinderelwood **) .i do ca ponse le pikta You now have the ticket. (** More magic motions **) .ije le selgunka ca mulno And, the work is done. (Cinderelwood): .ui .i mi ca kakne lenu klama le nunsalci (happy) I can go to the celebration. .i .y naku .uu mi ponse lo drani taxfu (hesitation) I don't have any appropriate clothes. (Godfather): ko denpa Wait! (** More magic motions. Opens drawer showing fine clothes & holds them up to Cinderelwood. **) .i ko zgana do le minra Observe yourself in the mirror. (Cinderelwood): .ue le taxfu cu mutce melbi (surprise) The clothes are very beautiful. (Godfather): do mo'u pa'a cu mutce melbi .i .o'u ko se kajde You, also are very beautiful. (Warning) Be forewarned! .i do bilga lenu cliva le nunsalci pu la parecac. You must leave the celebration before 12 o'clock. .i ca la parecac. ro ledo melbi taxfu ba binxo ledo mabla ke slabu taxfu At 12, all your beautiful clothes will change into your old and broken clothes. (Cinderelwood): mi ba morji doi ridrirni .i mi mutce ckire do I will remember, O fairy-godfather. I am very grateful to you. (Godfather): .e'o ko klama gi'e lifri le pluka (please) go and experience the pleasant. (Cinderelwood): .aicai (intense-intention). ****************************************************** INTERLUDE ****************************************************** (Narrator): ni'o mi'o bazi zgana le nunsalci vi le nolraizda po la noltaj. We will now observe the celebration at the king-house of King. ****************************************************** SCENE 5 - At the Castle ****************************************************** (Princess): mi xanka denpa lemi ba speni I nervously await my future spouse. (** Father & 2 sons enter **) (Herald): la paf. mamtyspen. noi selkansa la pavber. .e la relber. Father MotherSpouse, who is accompanied by 1st-Son and 2nd-Son. (Princess): (** Points to sons **) .ue ta xajmi dasni (surprise) They are comically dressed. (1st son): (** Flexes muscles to impress princess **) coi nolraiti'u .i mi tsarai Hello Princess. I am the strongest. (2nd son): (** Preens **) coi nolraiti'u .i mi mebrai 23 Hello Princess. I am the most beautiful. (1st son): .o'o naku do go'i .i mi go'i (anger) No you're not. I am. (2nd son): .o'o naku do go'i .i mi go'i (anger) No you're not. I am. (** 1st son hits 2nd son. 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. (Princess): coi vitke Hello, visitors. (** To Herself **) .i'u ti mabla seicni (disgust) They are self-interested. (1st son): (** grabs princess **) mi dansu co kansa do I dance with you. (Princess): (** To Herself **) .o'e ti dansu co cpana lemi jamfu (OUCH) He dances on my feet. (2nd son): (** grabs princess **) mi dansu co kansa do I dance with you. (Princess): (** To Herself **) .o'i ti dansu co dukse le kazyjbi (annoyance) He dances too close. (** Elwood enters **) (Herald): la miprycmen. SecretName. (Princess): .ue .ui ti drani dasni (surprise) (happy) This-one is appropriately dressed. (Elwood): coi doi nolraiti'u. .i mi manci lesi'o rinsa do Hello, O princess. I am awed by the thought of greeting you. (Princess): coi. miprycmen. i do melbi cusku Hello, SecretName. You beautifully express. (Elwood): .i do melbi .i .e'o xu do curmi lenu do dansu co kansa mi And you are beautiful. (please) Will you allow that you dance with me? (Princess): .ai .ui Certainly. Happily. (** Elwood and the princess dance beautifully **) (Princess): (** To Herself **) .ui ti certu dansu (happy) This-one skillfully dances. (** Clock begins to strike 12 **) (Elwood): .ue ma tcika (surprise) What is-the-time? (Princess): la parecac. Twelve. (Elwood): .o'i .i .uu .ei mi cazi cliva .i co'o doi se manci (annoyance). (sorrow) (obligation) I right-now leave. Good-bye O awesome-one. (** Elwood runs out, catching his belt on the door. Elwood leaves; his belt doesn't. Optionally, his pants fall and he picks them up before he gets out **) (Princess): ju'i. miprycmen. .i do puzi cirko ledo befydai Hey SecretName. You just lost your belt. ko denpa Wait! (** To the Herald **) ko sisku lepu dasni be ti .i mi minde la'edi'u 24 Seek the former wearer of this. I command it. (Herald): .io doi nolraitix. Yes O KingDaughter. (1st son): (2nd son): ju'i. nolraitix. ko catlu mi Hey KingDaughter, look at me! (Princess): .oi (complaint) ****************************************************** INTERLUDE ****************************************************** (Narrator): ni'o caki le bavlamdei vi le zdani be la sindereluyd. The next day, at the home of Cinderelwood. ****************************************************** SCENE 6 - At the Home of Cinderelwood ****************************************************** (** Cinderelwood is sweeping again. Fanfare; a knock; Herald enters **) (Herald): coi doi se zdani Hello, O occupant(s). .i ca'i le banli nolraiti'u pe la nolraitix. mi cpedu lenu ro nanmu po'u vi le gugde ba troci co mapti levi befydai By-the-authority-of the great princess KingDaughter, I request that all men in the country try fitting this belt. .i la nolraitix. sisku lepu dasni be ti KingDaughter seeks the former wearer of this. .i la nolraitix. cu jdice lenu spebi'o rixici KingDaughter decides on marrying the third-forementioned. (1st son): .ai mi troci pamoi .i mi kakne lenu dasni ta I try first. I can wear that. (2nd son): na go'i .i mi go'i No you can't. I can. (** 1st son hits 2nd son. 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. (Herald): mi ba troci co mapti ro do .i ko jbikla I will try fitting all of you. Approach. (** Have fun with Herald trying to fit belt on too-big 1st son **) (1st son): xu mi mapti le befydai Do I fit the belt? (Herald): na go'i .iacai No (intense-certainty). (** Have fun with Herald trying to fit belt on too-big 2nd son **) (2nd son): .i'acai mi mapti le befydai (intense-belief) I fit the belt. (Herald): na go'i .iacai Not so (intense-certainty). .i ju'i brulu'i ko jbikla ki'u lenu troci co mapti le befydai Hey sweeper, approach to try fitting the belt. (Father): la sindereluyd. na mapti Cinderelwood does not fit. .i ri na pu zvati le nunsalci He did not attend the celebration. .i ko ranji lenu brulu'i doi sindereluyd. 25 Continue to sweep O Cinderelwood. (Herald): la nolraitix. pu minde lenu ba'e ro nanmu cu troci KingDaughter commanded that ALL men try. .i ko jbikla doi brulu'i Approach, O sweeper. (** The Herald tries the belt on Cinderelwood, and it fits **) (Herald): .ue .ui do mapti (surprise) (happy) You fit. (Cinderelwood): .ia .i mi pu dasni le befydai ca le prulamdei Certainly. I wore the belt yesterday. (Herald): ko klama la nolraitix. mu'i lenu spebi'o ri Go to KingDaughter to wed her. (Cinderelwood): .ai .uicai I will (intense-happiness). ****************************************************** INTERLUDE ****************************************************** (** In the background are Elwood and the Princess, obviously happily reunited **) (Narrator): .i la .eluyd. spebi'o la nolraitix. Elwood marries KingDaughter. .i le remei bazize'o gleki ke kansa lifri The two-some very-soon-and-indefinitely-beyond happily together experience. .i le drata mo And the others are doing what? (** Father, 1st son and 2nd son are apart from Elwood and the Princess, looking unhappy **) (** 1st son hits 2nd son. 2nd son kicks 1st son **) (2nd son): .o'e la pavber. pu darxi mi doi paf. (OUCH) 1st-Son hit me, O Father. (1st son): .o'e la relber. pu tikpa mi doi paf. (OUCH) 2nd-Son kicked me, O Father. (Father): .oi (Complaint!) ****************************************************** THE END ****************************************************** lei lojbo by Nora LeChevalier Translations from le lojbo se ciska le ve skicu be mi The Description of Me la deron. stalder. coi .i mi du la deron. stalder. .i mi ba speni la rebekas caivlis. goi ko'a .i .iu ko'a traji le ka melbi be mi kei le zmadu roda Greetings! I am the same as the one called 'Darren Stalder'. I will be married to Rebecca Shively (ko'a). (Affection!) She is superlative in the property of beautifulness-to-me in direction the greater than all-somethings. 26 .i ko'a galfi leko'a cmene lemi cmene lenu speni poi ka lijda cfari ca le la xamast. detri .i la'edi'u ka clani lisri kei gi'e canai se skicu She modifies her name into my name at the event-of-being-spouse which is (religious initiatedness during the 6th month's date). The-referent-of-the previous (the modifying) is a long-story-ness and a not-now described thing. .i mi barda nanmu gi'e ckaji lo barda ke xance je jamfu .i lemi kerfa cu bunre .i lemi kanla noi dasni le lenjo cu crino I am a large-man and am characterized by big hands-and-feet. My hair is brown. My eyes, which incidentally wear the lenses, are green. .i mi xebni le tagji ke jibri cutci .i mi nelci lenu lemi jamfu cu lunbe .i le girzu skami preti danfu cu jibri mi .i mi nelci la'edi'u .e lei jibri jdini I hate the tight job-shoes. I am fond of the state of my feet being bare. The group-computer question answerer (computer networking consultant) be-jobs me. I am fond of the referent of the previous (the be-jobbing) and (as well as) of the mass of job-money. .i lemi karce ca xe klama ri'anai leka slabu .i .uu lemi karce cu mutce pilno le karce muvdu jisra .i mi ca cliva do .i .u'i mi cu pamoi troci le mu'i clani ke lojbo nu cusku .i co'o. My car is presently a mode of transportation despite the oldness. (Regret!) My car is a much-user of the car-move juice. I now leave you. (Pleasure!) I first try the purposefully (long type-of Lojbanic expressing.) Good-bye! __________________________________________________________________ la silvian. mi du la silvian. .i mi se jibri loinu minji platu finti .i le na jibri nu gasnu po mi du la lojban I am the same as the one called 'Sylvia'. I am be-jobbed by Machine-design Invention. The not-job doing-without- purpose which pertains to me is the same as the thing called Lojban. (My hobby is Lojban.) ni'o mi cu litru fi le cmalu ke blanu karce noi se jadni loi dertu ri'a lenu mi na lumci (New topic.) I travel using the small blue-car, which incidentally is adorned with dirt because of the state of my not- washing. ni'o lo so'imei zdani dinju poi nenri la .aleksendrias. ca zdani mi .i lemi zdani goi ko'a cu se canko le so'imei ki'unai lenu ko'a cu berti .i la'edi'u mukti lenu mi ponse la .afriikan. vailet. poi spati (New topic.) A manysome-nest building which is inside the thing called Alexandria is a nest for me. My nest (ko'a) is be-window-ed by the many-some despite (justification) the state of them being-to-the-north. The referent of the previous (the be-window-ing) motivates the state of my owning that called 'African violet', which is a plant. ni'o mi cu nelci loi cizra gerna (New topic.) I am fond of Bizarre Grammar. __________________________________________________________________ la polpronCIIS. .osuliaVAN. coi. .i mi du la polpronCIIS. .osuliaVAN. .i mi cmaci prenu .i mi zasni gunka .i le citri citri logji cu pluka mi .i lo su'ore drata ke logji ciste cu pluka mi .i mi pacna lenu fanva le gerna la lojban. la esperanton. .i mi pacna lenu fanva le pagbu be le jegvo cukta le su'ore slabu bangu la lojban. .i mi nanmu gi'e na denmi ke grusi xunre se kerfa Greetings! I am the same as the one called 'Paul-Francis O'Sullivan' (Irish pronunciation). I am a mathematical person. I temporary work. The history-history type of logic pleases me. Some (numbering at least two) other type-of logic systems please me. I hope for the state of translating the grammar from Lojban to Esperanto. I hope for the 27 state of translating the page(s) of the Jehovah-book (the Bible) from the (at-least two) old languages into Lojban. I am a man and not-dense grayish-red be-haired. __________________________________________________________________ la djeimis. mi du la djeimis. .i lemi kerfa cu kalsa je ke bunre narju .i lemi kanla cu blanu .i mi carmi nelci lenu cinki tadni .i mi rirni le jdaselsku cinki pe zoi le. religioso senonsis .le .i mi xebni leka mintu gasnu .i mi tadni lenu mi sanji senva .i mi pujeca na snada ri .i mi ckule tadni le prije larcu. I am the same as the one called 'Jamie'. My hair is chaotic-and-brownish-orange. My eyes are blue. I am intensely fond of the event(s) of being an insect-student. I rear the (religious-expressor) praying insect who is "religioso senonsis". I hate the property of same-doing-ness without purpose (conforming). I study the state of my consciously dreaming (being aware and able to control my dream). I was-and-now not-succeeding at this (the state of conscious dreaming). I school-study the wise-art (philosophy). With Apologies to Spock by Bob LeChevalier .a'i .a'i ga'acpu ledo bloti (Effort!) (Effort!) Rod-pusher of your boat bainaiku le cmari'e terflecu not-forcedly to the small-river place-flowed-to ci'o leka gleki leka gleki leka gleki with emotion of happiness about happiness about happiness. .i ki'ubo loi nunji'e cu nunsne Because (justificational) Life is a dreaming. You will note that the translation is not literal. I tried to capture my sense of the song. I'm proud of my means of acquiring the song's necessary repetition both grammatically and productively. The first two attitudinals emphasize the strokes of rowing, as in the English version. The nested 'happiness's put some meaning to the repeated 'merrily's of the English beyond more repetition emphasizing oar strokes. It also ties in with my interpretation of the song. There has been considerable debate about the last word. I have chosen the interpretation that the song compares life to a (perpetual) state of dreaming, easy and gentle, relaxing and merry, like rowing a boat downstream. If the last word is "selsne", my original choice, the song is harder to pronounce. It however suggests the interpretation that life is a dream (and presumably not real). The more I thought about it, the less I saw the first three lines as agreeing with this interpretation. But poetry is in the mind of the beholder. (Hmmm! If I want to be consistent, perhaps the first two words should be ".a'inai .a'inai" since I want to stress the ease of rowing downstream. This suits the rhythm better, too. What do you think?) Now I can go see what Spock thinks it means. I welcome other viewpoints as to what the song means, especially if you translate it. (I won't print them unless they are in Lojban, though.) A Story from Another Culture by Preston Maxwell (with corrections by Bob and Nora) so'o pendo puca pinxe lo vanju Some friends were-then drinking some wine. .i ko'a goi pa le pendo cu djica lenu jarco leko'a pixra cupra ka certu He (one of the friends) desires the state of showing his picture-producing expertness. .i semu'ibo ko'a cupra co pixra lo since Therefore, he picture-of-a-snake produces. 28 .i leko'a pendo cu bacru zo .ii His friends uttered ".ii (Approval!)" .i le pixra cu selcertu .ia The is be-experted-at (expertly done) (Certainly!). .i ko'a pensi cusku lu mi ba xagzadri'a levi pixra gi'e semu'i cupra co pixra lo tuple be le since He thinkingly-expresses "I will better-cause (improve) this picture and therefore (motivationally) picture-of-some-legs-of-the-snake produces. .i leko'a pendo cu bacru lu .iinai lo'e since cu na ponse lo tuple .i seni'ibo le pixra pujecanai xamgu li'u His friends utter ".iinai (Non-approval!) The typical snake not-possesses some legs. Therefore (logical entailment) the picture was-but-is-not-now good." lei lojbo by Nora LeChevalier This issue's strip introduces a new character, Bob and Nora's daughter la katrin. I can't say what her English name is; there are several related forms of this name in English ranging from Catherine to Katrina. I believe the latter is the intent, though, since it is a name Nora and I have considered if we ever have a daughter. It has the unusual advantage of being an acceptable English name for a girl and being both positive and meaningful in Lojban as well: ka trina translates as "attractiveness". la katrin. is a valid way to turn this kunbri into a name. The humor of the comic is based on the ambiguity of English when translated into Lojban. It shows just how hard the translation problem is if you are completely open-minded and have no context clues. ALL of the interpretations have Sam the computer assuming that English "after" refers to time sequence, when a correct interpretation requires the semantics of physical sequencing. (Either no one has told Sam about the multiple meanings of "after", or he hasn't gotten there yet by the end of the comic.) Note that all of the interpretations given differ from each other in Lojban grammar. katrin.: doi sam. mi na jimpe levi jufra be fi le glibau "O Sam, I not-understand the-here sentence in-language the English-language." "Sam, I don't understand this English sentence." sam.: mi ba sidju pe'u. katrin. "I will help you, I request you, O Katrina." "Can I help you, Katrina?" katrin.: zoi .by. Spot ran after the ball .by. "Spot ran after the ball" (This is presumably read aloud slowly with no particular emphasis, as would happen when a child reads words without understanding.) The "zoi" marks a delimited quote of non-Lojban text, with the delimiter being a single non-compound Lojban word, in this case "by", the letter "b". sam.: ko viska la ran. mo'u ba le bolci "(Imperative You) See Ran after (you see) the ball." "Spot Ran after the ball!" This panel shows Katrina seeing a ball, and then seeing la ran. ("Ron"?, or "Ran" from "Randall") at a later time. "mo'u" attaches "ba le bolci" as a modal modifier to "la ran.", so that you know that the parallelism is between "la ran." and "le bolci". Compare "ko mo'u ba le bolci cu la ran." meaning "See, after the ball does, Ran." sam.: .y sa. "...Ummm... Take that last sentence back." la spat. mo'u ba le bolci pu bajra "That named 'Spat', after the ball, past-run." "Spat ran after the ball." This panel shows the ball running, and then a plant ("spati") named "Spat" from the Lojban word for plant. The grammar uses the alternative parallelism in the last panel, but also plays on possible meanings of the word Lojbanized as "spat". sam.: .y sa. "...Ummm... Take that last sentence back." la spat. bajra ba le nunsaldansu "Spat is-a-runner after the ball (event-of-celebration-dancing)." "Spat ran after the ball." This panel shows a ball, a celebration dance, and then the plant named Spat running at a later time. sam.: .y sa. 29 "...Ummm... Take that last sentence back." le barna mo'u ba le bolci cu rumpe'a "The mark, after the ball does, runs (meltingly-spreads)." "Spot ran after the ball." Playing off both "run" and "spot" this time, with a pictorial reference to modern surrealistic art. sam.: .y sa. "...Ummm... Take that last sentence back." la spat. ran. po'u ba le nunsaldansu "The one named Spat Ran, after the ball." "Spat Ran after the ball!" A person named "Spat Ran", presumably because he is wearing a plant on his suit (Yes, it's hard to see this.) has sore feet (o'e = "Ouch" is the indicator for pain or suffering), after his celebration-dancing. In afterthought, there is another plausible meaning of "nunsaldansu" besides a celebration party with dancing. Specifically, it could refer to the informal, more individual-oriented dance of happiness one might perform in celebration of something. In spite of the usage in this strip as well as in Cinderelwood of "nunsaldansu" for 'ball', note that all such lujvo at this point are still proposals and are not 'set in concrete'. This new interpretation may be better, since "ball" might require some sense of 'party', or a mass of people: "nungumsaldansu". Other tanru are possible. These are the type of questions to be resolved through usage before we write the dictionary. We do not want to enshrine lujvo with 'official' meanings until usage backs them up as the 'best' or 'most useful' or 'clearest' interpretation. None of us can claim that they have the Lojbanic skill or the cultural neutrality to make these decisions alone. At this point, when we are trying to convey stability of the basic language elements like the grammar and gismu, we don't need people thinking that Bob's and Nora's off-the-wall lujvo inventions are to be enshrined. Lojban is YOUR language, not ours. sam.: .y sa. ... "...Ummm... Take that last sentence back. Presumably Sam will follow with several more possible interpretations, but Katrina runs out of the room and doesn't hear them. The panels given have played upon every word except "the", which has at least half-dozen interpretations in Lojban (most of which are difficult to differentiate in a comic strip, but Nora might try that for next time). And eventually, Sam might consider the other meanings of 'after'. katrin.: mi bajra ba lenu se cfipu "I run, after the state of being-confused-by." "I'm leaving, since you've confused me." Katrina runs away, her mind blown by Sam's interpretations, incidentally mirroring another grammatical form that could be used to interpret the original "Spot ran ..." sentence. SCRABBLEtm for Lojban After several issues of promising it, I'm finally managing to get this into this one. JCB first wrote up some rules for playing SCRABBLEtm back in The Loglanist, Volume 2, in the late 70's. No one ever reported playing the game other than JCB. his rules became obsolete around 1980 with GMR, when he remade many words as well as the rules for making lujvo. Certainly, letter frequencies did not stay constant through this change. When we again rebuilt the gismu list for the Lojban version of the language, we also changed these frequencies. Since we've now baselined the list of gismu, that portion of the frequencies should not change. The cmavo list isn't baselined, but we know that 90% of all possible V, CV, VV, and CVV combinations have a meaning; the holes are nearly random, except for the xVV cmavo, reserved for experimental use. So we can estimate the final letter frequencies with some expectation of validity. lujvo are harder to deal with, since there isn't even a list of them yet. However, in developing and tuning the rafsi assignments, I had gathered statistical data from several thousand tanru proposed over several years by JCB, the old Word Makers' Council, Eaton project volunteers, contributors to TL, and our own gismu list workers. This data reflects no actual set of words, only word proposals. However, its statistical size suggests that it can't be too far off in representing the eventual letter-frequency distribution for Lojban. I did these letter frequency estimates right after the gismu list was baselined, and in November, converted them to SCRABBLEtm frequencies. Nora and I also talked about some rule modifications we think are needed to practically play the game with Lojban. I'll report my conclusions on these in a moment. First the letter frequencies, which I give both including and excluding the lujvo data: Letter non-lujvo frequencies with-lujvo frequencies occurs Lojban/points English/points occurs Lojban/points 30 a 991 12/1 9/1 2949 10/1 e 496 6/1 12/1 1560 5/1 i 1045 12/1 9/1 2678 10/1 o 395 5/2 8/1 1046 4/2 u 642 8/1 4/1 1755 6/1 y 19 0 2/4 5553 8/1 ' 316 4/1 - 1012 4/2 b 212 2/5 2/3 865 2/4 c 360 4/2 2/3 1040 3/3 d 219 3/3 4/2 862 2/4 f 149 2/5 2/4 616 2/4 g 146 2/5 3/2 589 2/4 j 249 3/3 1/8 1008 3/3 k 285 3/3 1/5 1107 3/3 l 348 4/2 4/1 1395 4/2 m 254 3/3 2/3 1048 3/3 n 563 7/1 6/1 2047 7/1 p 203 2/5 2/3 872 2/4 r 460 5/1 6/1 2979 7/1 s 339 4/2 4/1 1363 4/2 t 361 4/2 6/1 1359 4/2 v 119 1/8 2/4 490 1/6 x 108 1/9 1/8 532 1/6 z 87 1/10 1/10 359 1/9 blank 2/- 2/- 2/- h 2/4 q 1/10 w 2/4 Total 100/184 100/187 100/190 I've given separate statistics for non-lujvo words so that you can play without lujvo. The significant occurrence of "y" only in lujvo requires different statistics. Read the rules notes following to decide whether you want to include lujvo or not. Thus, to turn a standard set of pieces into a Lojban set you need to make the following changes (presumably by marking them in pencil or pen on the English pieces): Without lujvo: 3 e's changed to i's 3 e's changed to a's 3 o's changed to u's with remaining o's changed to 2 points 1 r changed to n 2 w's changed to ' with score changed to 1 point 2 t's changed to ' with remaining t's changed to 2 points 1 g changed to m with remaining g's changed to 2 points 2 y's changed to c's with 2 points, other c's also changed to 2 points 2 h's changed to j's with 3 points, other j also changed to 3 points 1 q changed to u with 1 point 1 d and 1 v changed to k's with 3 points, other k also changed to 3 points remaining d's changed to 3 points, remaining v changed to 8 points Change scores on all p's and f's to 5, on all l's and s's to 2, all b's to 3, and the x to 9. With lujvo: 1 e changed to a, 2 e's changed to u, 1 e changed to i, 1 e changed to n, 1 e changed to r 1 e changed to c with value changed to 3 points 2 existing y's changed to 1 point 4 o's and 2 t's changed to y, with remaining o's and t's changed to 2 points 31 1 q changed to ' with value changed to 2 points 2 d's and 1 g changed to ', remaining d's and g's changed to 4 points 1 v changed to m with value changed to 3 points, remaining v changed to 6 points 2 h's changed to k with value changed to 3 points; other k also changed to 3 points 2 w's changed to j with value changed to 3 points; other j also changed to 3 points Change score on all b's and p's to 4 points, on all l's and s's to 2 points; change x to 6 points and z to 9 points. Now for rules changes: Since there is no standard dictionary that can be used as a reference, as in the English version, we have to have a way to verify that words that are made are valid. Since this is presumably also a teaching tool, we want to eliminate wild guesses, which is a problem for cmavo. Let's handle each word type separately. gismu may be verified on the standard list, although optionally the person may be required to give the keyword, place structure and/or to make a sentence that reasonably uses the word as a sumti or as part or all of a kunbri; these are thus relatively easy. Challenges can be easily resolved; mis-spellings are the most common mistakes to watch for. cmavo should be based either on the latest draft cmavo among new Lojbanists. I suggest that, if possible, it list or on the textbook - in the latter case, only those should be left to the other players to vote on cmavo that have been covered up to an agreed upon point in acceptability, with an urging that open-mindedness be the textbook, as well as all cmavo in the flash card list, emphasized - let Lojban stretch your mind. should be allowed. In any case, the person using a cmavo MUST express a sentence using that cmavo in a rational way, le'avla borrowings were not included in the and if challenged, must explain what the sentence means and statistics. If permitted, it is recommended that the how the meaning is affected by that particular cmavo. person be required to show that the word is of proper rafsi are NOT words, and should not be accepted as valid. morphology (it cannot break down as a lujvo; if preceded by Because nearly every possible V, VV, CV, and CVV is a a cmavo, it cannot suck up the cmavo and then break down valid cmavo, someone who knows the cmavo can fairly easily into a lujvo or gismu; and it must have a a consonant go out, possibly without ever drawing. As counter- cluster in the first 5 characters, use no 'y's, and have no motivation, all letters in cmavo count with a value of 1, unpronounceable clusters caused by adjacent impermissible ignoring both the face value AND multiplier squares. You medials in the same syllable), and that it is reasonably can get rid of any piece, but it isn't worth much. On the Lojbanized from an identifiable root in another language. other hand, if you make one or more gismu (and/or lujvo) at I also recommend that only le'avla with rafsi categorizing the same time as the cmavo, then the points count normally on the front end be permitted, this is not an official when scoring those words. restriction on le'avla, but makes evaluating validity a lot I recommend that cmavo compounds either be disallowed, easier. le'avla are the most arguable of word forms, and or that they be limited to those compounds recognized as should not be allowed unless all players are reasonably valid by the machine grammar lexer (for those having a familiar with the rules for making and evaluating them. copy, these are compounds that are flagged with a lexer While I can make le'avla in my head, I would still choose lexeme). Note that this is NOT the same as the set used in to leave them out of the game at this point. Ju'i Lobypli; in our text, we write some words as compounds House rules should be decided in advance as to whether that are broken into two words and kept apart by the sentences demonstrating usage must be fully grammatical, or machine grammar (such as "lenu" and "lemi"). See the note whether a sentence with a grammatical error unrelated to following this article for more on this subject. In any the word being demonstrated is acceptable. The latter rule case cmavo compounds should be judged under the same rules seems appropriate to me for evaluating gismu and lujvo and as cmavo, except for adding the machine grammar as a le'avla, but I think cmavo sentences must be completely reference for which words can be compounded. Scoring for grammatical. compounds should be pre-decided - either 1 point per token as for cmavo, or normal scoring; it seems that the Some hints that are applicable if you use lujvo: restrictions on valid compounds may reduce the valid set so Often, you can turn a gismu into a lujvo by adding a that special scoring is not needed to make the game work trailing vowel. Make sure you can identify and define it, properly. though. lujvo can be evaluated either by requiring that the Similarly, cmavo can easily be turned into brivla. person make a valid sentence using the word, or that the Most CVV cmavo are also rafsi that can be included in a person give both the tanru that the word is based on AND a lujvo. reasonable place structure and/or explanation that shows Prefixing a CVVr/n, CCV, or CVC/CVCy rafsi on any that the word has a potentially usable meaning. Be sure to brivla makes a longer lujvo, if you can determine an check for valid morphology, and that the rafsi used acceptable meaning. correctly represent the tanru. 'Reasonable' meanings, and 'valid' sentences are going to be arguable, especially 32 Except for scoring cmavo, and adapting the rules for My writing style is not formally decided on, and may determining word validity to fit Lojban's lack of a not be the best or most appropriate; but it at least is dictionary, the game should proceed along familiar lines. fairly regular. I'm open to suggestions and changes. We We haven't actually play-tested these rules, but we welcome could, for example, restrict compounds to those treated as you all to try them and to report on your results. We may such by the machine lexer. However, some machine lexer print a sample game in a later issue if a good one turns compounds would be hard to read due to length, and we might up. not want to require these to be written as one word. Students of the old language, who are used to compounds Last minute note: John Hodges has reported to me that like "lemi" and the old "lepo" that is now written as he had devised a variation on Scrabbletm that is useful for "lenu" may like the compounds as I currently write them. teaching. He is planning on using it in the Blacksburg Remember that by the rules for Lojban morphology, ANY class, which is studying Lesson 3. Fleshing out his brief cmavo that are adjacent in an expression may be compounded description to me gives the following: and written as a single word. NO cmavo may be compounded with a brivla or name. However, while there is no rule You can use the flash cards (up through an arbitrary forbidding it, if you compound across an elidable lesson) and additional cards cut to the same size, or you terminator, you probably will make it difficult for a human can use a few hundred regular index cards with gismu (though not a computer) to figure out. (again, up through an arbitrary lesson) written on them. If compounding joins two words separated by a Extra cards are left free (blanks) and put in a stack; a mandatory pause, the period representing the pause is person can take one or more of these and write any needed mandatory. Otherwise, these periods are optional aids to cmavo (you may or may not want to limit the number of pro- the reader. In Ju'i Lobypli, we will try to always include sumti, but don't give too few). The cards in your hand are the periods, or to add them in if the author did not do so. lesson vocabulary words, and they are the only ones that Since we are a major source of 'good' Lojban, I can't score (probably 1 point a piece). cmavo from the print things with known grammatical errors or obvious vocabulary list might or might not be worth anything. mistakes in, for example, tanru. I will correct these if Players must build off of other people's sentences on the the change is obvious. If I make more extensive changes board. If it is grammatical, you score the number of (as I did with Preston's story above), then I will indicate vocabulary words that you used. Elision is optional; if that it is corrected. If there are still mistakes then, you elide correctly, though, you leave fewer cmavo lying you can blame it on me. If you want, I will optionally loose for someone to build off. return such changes to you for verification and approval The sentence must be grammatical, and if challenged, (or rewriting) before printing, in which case it will not the person should be able to at least paraphrase it be marked as 'corrected by'. correctly into English. If you annotate your work to indicate that a given This is a brief outline. I may report next issue on non-standard writing or grammar is intended, I will print how it worked out for John's group. Feel free to play with it as you ask. Similarly, I will use your compounding it and send me any ideas for improvements or details that practices instead of mine if specifically asked. For exam- I've omitted. The advantage of this game is that it ple, Nora chooses to often write "lenu" as two words, as encourages interactive learning, and it also gets people to shown in the last panel of lei lojbo. build sentences in Lojban directly from the gismu, rather Something known to be invalid by the current rules of than making up sentences in English and translating them. Lojban (as opposed to my writing style policy) will be People who don't write a lot often have trouble thinking of marked with an '*'. If of uncertain validity, it will be topics for sentences; the limited set of gismu on the board marked with a '?'. There may be instances where, for or in your hand helps you focus on specific topics. People poetry or example, you want to have something intentionally who translate from English often try to express more com- invalid. As long as it is marked as such, fine. plex ideas than they've studied the grammar for. Ju'i Lobypli Editorial Conventions I'm starting to receive a variety of Lojban text for Well, that's it for this issue. As I write this, it is printing in Ju'i Lobypli. There is enormous variety among starting to feel that we really have a language, now that these writings as to which cmavo are written as compounds. several people are learning and using Lojban. Keep it up With handwriting, I can't always tell if compounds are and help make next issue even better. intentional. I am following the practice of regularizing which words I compound to match my own writing style. This co'o. both proposes a standard, and makes it possible to use my word processor spelling checker in a useful way. Proof- reading Lojban text is hard enough without trying to deal with a variety of writing forms.