An Esperantist Comments

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This file contains extracts from Ju'i Lobypli on the relationship between
Esperanto and Lojban.  Note that embedded footnotes formerly found at the
bottom of text pages, are not well-separated from that text.

		       From ju'i lobypli #7 - 11-12/1988

			    An Esperantist Comments

     Donald Harlow is Editor of	a (The?) nationwide Esperanto newsletter.  He
supplied me with much of my information	that I used last issue to rebut	the
Anglan argument.  Mr. Harlow is	very skeptical of Lojban's potential for
success.  His comments:
     I want to thank you for sending me	a copy of the August issue of Ju'i
Lobypli.  Most of it, I	fear, is of little interest to me, but the section pp.
30-52 had quite	a bit of meat in it - at least from the	point of view of those
of us who consider language to be a social rather than a linguistic phenomenon.1
     Let me first comment on a couple of points	Doug Loss raises, particularly
in his second and third	paragraphs on p. 37.
     Volapuk did not dialectize	in the sense he	suggests; there	were a few spin-
off languages, but by and large	its adherents either abandoned the whole idea or
converted to Esperanto (the first two Esperanto	clubs, in Nurnberg, Germany, and
Veliko Tarnovo,	Bulgaria, started life as "world language" - i.e., Volapuk -
clubs; both, as	Esperanto clubs, are celebrating their 100th anniversaries this
year).	Esperanto, too,	did not	"dialectize."  There were a number of spin-off
languages, but with the	exception of Ido, none of them ever acquired a body of
speakers (also with the	exception of Ido, none of those	mentioned by Doug was a
spin-off of Esperanto, as you may recognize from having	read chapter 3 of my
manuscript).  Ido, of course, was a deliberate attempt to "reform" Esperanto by
moving it closer to the	Western	European linguistic "norms" of this century; at
its apogee in the nineteen twenties it had about 10% the number	of adherents of
     Having attended meetings of several American Esperanto groups for quite a
number of years, I cannot help sympathizing with Doug for having had to	attend
one (or	more).	They can indeed	be lifeless, boring, and generally avoidable,
even for somebody who speaks the language.  They do have their moments,	however,
as at one meeting of the San Francisco group when one of our local Sovietophiles
and an Esperanto-speaking Soviet emigre	took each other	on like	Kilkenny cats.
From my	experiences abroad (London, Shanghai, Suzhou), Esperanto clubs elsewhere
are much more lively, and I sympathize with Doug for never having attended one
of those.
     Ralph Dumain's article raises may interesting points, some	of which are
highly debatable, other	of which (at least to me) seem almost self-evident for
those with eyes	to see.	 Sapir-Whorf, as Ralph says, is	out of favor in	America
today, but his does not	automatically make it wrong; I myself have a soft spot
for it.	 Doug refers to	"the fashion in	linguistic theories," and Ralph	supports
this view by listing the various fashions that have come and gone in the last
few years.  My own opinion is that much	of Chomskyism is simply	a linguistic
refection of the Liberal revolution of the fifties, just as Darwinian "survival
of the fittest"	is to some extent a reflection of Darwin's social milieu, the
cutthroat capitalism of	early industrial-age Britain.  It is hardly surprising
that Chomsky is	also known for his left-wing political writings	(e.g. American
Power and the New Mandarins).  Sapir-Whorf is, to some extent, supported by more
recent work, such as that of Shinoda in	Japan.
     One term Ralph uses - scientism - reflects	a situation which I find as
abhorrent as he	does, but which	you seem to accept as not only unavoidable but
desirable.  "Scientism," to my way of thinking,	is just	another	religion, this
time one that enthrones	a certain pattern of thought ("scientific method") at

1But language is more than just	a social or a linguistic phenomenon; it	is first
and foremost a means of	communication.	Most Lojbanists	have no	particular
interest in linguistics	or languages, and our geographical dispersion tends to
negate any active interest in socializing in the language.  The	75-member DC-
area community,	and the	45-member Boston-area community	may, with the first
classes	in the language, also mark a change in this situation.
     However, I	doubt that most	Lojbanists are primarily motivated by social
reasons	to be interested in the	language.  It attracts people's	attention due to
its intellectual opportunities - the desire to think new thoughts and to see the
world in a way that it has never been seen before.

the expense of all others.  It is fundamentally	a result of the	dogmatization of
the Age	of Reason, and is far too prevalent today.2
     Your comments in response to Jeff Kegler certainly	hit the	mark!  The
status of English in the world today is	an interesting subject,	and one	we could
go on about for	hours.	When I was in college, and a relatively	new Esperantist,
people used to point out to me three third-world countries, none of which had
ever been a colony (at least officially...), in	which English was used almost as
a second official language.  These were	Ethiopia, Iran and Thailand.  Where is
English	in Ethiopia and	Iran today?
     A sidelight on this question in his PBS series "Africa," Ali Mazruhi
attributed the unusual (for Africa) political stability	of Tanzania to the fact
that the first president, Julius Nyerere, opted	to make	Swahili	rather than
English	the national language, thus enfranchising millions of people who would
otherwise have been excluded from the political	process.  Other	African
countries, using English or French or Portuguese, remain under the control of a
European-trained elite,	with the great mass of the people completely unable to
participate - a	situation conducive to revolution, coups d'etat	and the	like.
     1)	 Esperanto got its start in a milieu conducive to success:  19th century
Central	Europe,	a region in linguistic ferment,	where the language problem was
not just an intellectual exercise but an everyday phenomenon: at best
irritating, at worst catastrophic, for the individual.	The United States is not
such a milieu, nor was it in 1887; had Zamenhof	invented his language here, it
is unlikely that it would ever have attained any degree	of success.  (There have
been a number of language projects invented in the United States; none of them,
including well-funded and well-publicized Interlingua, ever went anywhere.)
Lojban,	whatever its other qualities, is an American invention.3
     2)	 Esperanto of 1887 consisted of	a few simple rules and about 800 word-
roots, this gave the language a	simple,	attractive flexibility.	 Zamenhof
requested people to promise to learn to	speak it when certain conditions were
fulfilled, within a year, several hundred people had, on their own, actually
learned	the language, to the point at which they were writing literature in it.
Loglan/Lojban appears to be undergoing definition down to the last dot on the i
2I noted last issue that 'scientism' is	unavoidable as a bias in Lojban, and
Todd Moody reiterates that above.  In fact, it is the basis for	its existence.
To dislike 'scientism' would inherently	tend to	cause one to dislike, or at
least to distrust, its results.	 You and I will	have to	be on opposite sides of
the fence on this one.	Personally, I think this country has too much of an
anti-science bias, and it is killing us	in international competition.  I was
trained	in a school that emphasized merging scientism and humanism, or at least
worked to bring	about better communication between the two, a la C. P. Snow.
     But these are just	my opinions, and I am not the community.  Lojban, unlike
Esperanto (as you have described it to me), has	no ideology - no single	cultural
or social goal that drives it.	If it did, that	ideology would be just the sort
of cultural bias we are	trying to avoid	and we would be	doomed before we start.
3Funding and publicity do not make a language successful.  There must be
something that the language offers that	cannot be obtained elsewhere and easier.
Esperanto offers a large existing community.  Lojban offers a new world	of
thought.  However, given a good	language, funding and publicity	can spread it
farther	and faster.  If	there is one thing America knows how to	do, alas, it is
to advertise.  By the way, for all its supposed	publicity, I never heard of
Interlingua until I had	been long involved in this language effort.  Most such
languages are publicized only among the	community of those interested in
linguistics and	cultural exchange.  Our	efforts	with Lojban are	primarily to
identify new subcultures that are not traditionally interested in languages, and
convince them of the value of the language.  If	we can do this successfully, the
traditional language-oriented groups will naturally follow.  Unlike Interlingua,
Lojban is coming to fruition at	an ideal time (though we almost	missed it). The
U.S. is	starting to become aware of the	language problem (there	would be no
interest in making English 'official' otherwise), we are being affected	by it in
international competition.  And	of course, the computer	revolution has reached
the point where	meaningful language processing is possible in real time.  I feel
that Lojban is a better	way to go in developing	methodologies for computer
processing of language.	10 or 20 years from now, some other solution will have
been found if Lojban doesn't fit the bill.

and cross on the t.  Since its initial Going Public (1960), it does not	appear
to me that anybody has actually	learned	to speak it.  Could this be partially
due to grammatical over-rigidity?4
     3)	 Finally, there	seems to me to be a fundamental	difference between the
Esperantist world-view and that	of the Loglanists.  Loglanists,	or so it seems
to me from your	newsletter (and	that of	JCB), are more interested in the
language as an end in itself; Esperantists, starting with Zamenhof and coming
right down to the present, are more interested in the language as a means to an
end, i.e. communication.  We want to be	able to	talk with each other; you, I
fear, are more interested in the means than the	end.  Where you	look at
"cultural neutrality" in terms of technical features of	the language, we look at
it in terms of how we behave toward each other.	 Naturally, there are exceptions
in both	camps; but the two tendencies definitely seem to be observable.	 The
result,	I think, is that Loglan/Lojban may well	appeal to those	who have an
interest in the	technical aspect of linguistic engineering; Esperanto will
remain the constructed language	of choice for those who	are more interested in
the practical side of things.5

[Excerpt of letter from	Donald Harlow to pc]:

4The 1960 going	public was not comparable to 1887 in Esperanto,	but more like
1879.  In the International Language Review, he	promised a more	complete
language description in	'a couple of years'.  The 1975 Going Public failed
because	there was no follow-through.  JCB failed to let	go of the language, and
yet could not push it along enough by himself.	However, people	did learn to
speak it; more used it to write	in.  These people immediately used their
knowledge to try to improve it.	 The changes that came about almost immediately
caused everyone	who came along later to	be lost.  A speaking community never
developed because there	were never more	than a few people in any area that had
material on the	language.  No one other	than JCB could take the	lead because he
has never published enough description of the language that anyone could master
it enough to teach others.  (Scott Layson did however, manage to teach a couple
of people, as did JCB himself.)
     The rigidity of definition	you worry about	is Lojban's strength, not its
weakness.  Lojban takes	advantage of 100 years more knowledge of linguistics,
and what makes a language work than did	Esperanto.  Lojban's goals also	require
that definition; otherwise it will become just a strange regularized dialect of
English	(i.e. Anglan), just as some might say that Esperanto can be said to be a
regularized dialect of European.
     In	any case, since	Lojban is being	developed by more than one person, it is
inherently going to take longer. The period from 1975 to 1988 has no
corresponding period in	Esperanto history; it is the period in which one man's
language description was turned	into a several hundred person development
effort.	 Since those people were all spare time	hobbyists, of course Lojban has
taken a	long time to come to fruition.
     We	are now	in the period of true going public.  You should	compare	1988 to
1887.  We will start carefully,	and possibly a bit slower than Esperanto did.
We also	will be	teaching over a	much larger geographical area at first than
Esperanto.  But	see where we are in a year or two.  Better yet.	 I note	from the
material you sent me that Esperanto really started to catch on around 1907, when
it was 20 years	old.  See where	Lojban is in 2008, instead of writing us off
before the fact.
5Since Esperanto already has a world community,	it can afford to be concerned
with using the language	for the	purpose	it is intended.	 Lojban	has to build its
community first, or there will be no one to talk to.  We can't start until we
have our '1887 book', which I'm	just about to start on.	 But don't think we
aren't interested in using the language, just because we aren't	yet.  I	think a
lot of the frustration in our community	has been from people who are tired of
waiting	to use the language.  That is why la lojbangirz	exists.	 With our
organized planning effort, Lojban will be able to make it, in spite of the
handicaps you've mentioned - and it will be stronger afterwards.  You are right,
however.  If you want to talk to someone right now in another country, you
cannot use Lojban; you might be	able to	use Esperanto.	This is	why we will get
our teaching materials translated into Esperanto as soon as we are able.

     The developments of the period 1887-1889 are far more enigmatic, and it is
here that I see	the greatest potential for contrast between the	intrinsic
qualities of Esperanto and those of Loglan.  The situation for Esperanto vis-a-
vis Volapuk in 1887 was	very similar to	that of	Loglan vis-a-vis Esperanto in
1988; the first	was an interloper, without a speaking population, while	the
second had a well-defined speaking community scattered across the world	(Volapuk
societies existed in places as disparate as Indonesia and the American Wild
West), and if the question of an international language	was not	definitely
settled, almost	all aficionados	agreed that the	question of the	constructed
candidate was.
     Nevertheless, the publication of Esperanto	in 1887	was quickly followed by
the spontaneous	development of what you	call a "community".  The book contained
a minimal grammar, about eight hundred words in	its vocabulary,	and only six
examples of how	to use the language (three of them were	poems);	yet two	months
later Zamenhof opened his front	door to	find, to his surprise, the first other
Esperanto speaker waiting on his front porch to	converse with him - in
Esperanto!  He was quickly followed by others, and by the time of the appearance
of the second book, and	its supplement,	in early 1888, there was already a
respectable speaking population, not only in what is now Poland	but in other
parts of the northwestern Russian Empire as well, and in the Hohenzollern
Empire.	 International language	support	groups,	formerly Volapukist, in	several
diverse	locations went over to Esperanto (in Nurnberg, Germany,	and Veliko
Tarnovo, Bulgaria); and	the first strictly Esperantist group was founded in St.
Petersburg.  The first Esperanto literature appeared in	the same year
(Grabowski's translation of a work by Pushkin),	and in 1889 the	first magazine
appeared - at first in French, German and Esperanto, but by the	second issue
strictly in Esperanto -	to provide the nascent community with an institution of
its own.6
     By	contrast, Loglan - which apparently first went public in the early
1960's and has a very well-developed corpus of didactic	and lexicographic
material - has apparently generated no spontaneity whatsoever.7	 There is little
6If I am to believe my correspondents (and I do), I don't expect anyone	to
easily teach themselves	the language until the textbook	is written and,	for
many, until they have tapes to listen to.  Esperanto was close enough to the
local tongues that it could be self-taught from	6 examples.  In	effect,	the
people learning	Esperanto were using all of their native tongue	as an example.
Lojban can't do	this; moreover,	in trying to achieve cultural neutrality we
don't want it to.  We want people to learn the language	as something new.  This
may prove difficult, but that doesn't mean we can't succeed.
7What corpus are you referring to?  There has been scattered short translations
and a very small amount	of original writing in the language.  L1 has no	text
longer than individual sentences stilted to demonstrate	a single point.	 As a
result,	the people who have studied the	language until now generally haven't
been able to write more	than individual	sentences using	a few individual
grammatical features, though many can do this quite well - see Jack Waugh's
letter for an example.	Most of	the material published in The Loglanist	was torn
to shreds by JCB as examples of	the language.  And JCB himself,	while he may
have written considerable material in the language, has	never evidenced	this in
publication.  This is why JCB's	revision to L1 is going	to be insufficient to
teach the language (unless he is doing a lot more than he has indicated	in
publication).  By the way, nothing from	before 1982 has	been particularly useful
corpus for people still	following JCB's	version	of the language.  People have
chosen not to deal with	the ever-changing target that period provided.	The
language has been more stable since, but with no current description, there has
been nothing to	learn.
     You are wrong about the spontaneity, by the way.  There were lots of
attempts by people to communicate in the language.  They all went to JCB.  They
all stopped there.  A few were published in The	Loglanist, as I	said, but they
were sparse indeed.  Jim Carter, however, wrote	dozens of pages, including a
full Loglan Primer, with an original story composed in it.  JCB	attacked Carter
(because the language did not match JCB's standard) and	those who aided	his
publication during the 1984 politics, and the material was never widely
circulated.  (We will be updating the story to match Lojban's vocabulary -
probably for use in the	textbook, with Jim Carter's encouragement.)  But of
course the best	evidence of spontaneity	developing is the Lojban effort	itself

if any speaking	population, and	what verbal exchanges have occurred in Loglan
appear to be forced - an attempt to give the language a	tradition, rather than
an attempt to use the language for non-linguistic purposes.  Few if any
individual Esperantists	have shown interest in Loglan, and no Esperanto	groups
have done so.8	There appears to be no spontaneously generated literature, and
all the	periodical literature I've seen	in Loglan appears to be	exclusively in
     I'm not qualified to try to explain this difference in results in purely
linguistic terms.  I have never	studied	Loglan.	 Perhaps you have some

			 from ju'i lobypli #11 - 3/1990

			      Esperanto	and Lojban

[Whether you have (or should have) interest in Lojban as a candidate for an
"international language" is not	a question addressed in	the following two
articles.  To achieve most of its goals, including the scientific ones,	Lojban
needs to develop an international, multi-cultural speaker base.	 Lojban	can be
helped in this effort by the "international language" community, or it can be
hurt by	it.  Perhaps one of the	best ways to spread Lojban into	other cultures
will be	to translate the introductory and teaching materials into Esperanto (any
volunteers?)  In any case, it is to all	Lojbanists' advantage to clarify the
relationship between Lojban and	Esperanto, and to ensure that supporters of each
language do not	see the	other language as a 'rival'.]

   Probably the	most commonly asked questions from new or potential Lojbanists
relate to various comparisons between Esperanto	and Lojban.  Many of these
questions come from Esperantists, who of course	are the	ones most familiar with
their language.	 Some of these are friendly and	curious; others	are defensive
and hostile, seeing Lojban as a	threat or competition to Esperanto.  Others come
from people who	have dabbled in	Esperanto, and they then want to use their
knowledge of Esperanto as a standard for evaluating Lojban's qualities with
respect	to their personal priorities or	goals.	And then there are the genuinely
confused, who often have seen one of the short eye-catching advertising	flyers
used by	Esperantists to	whet people's interest.	 These questions generally lead
to discussions along one of several lines:

- Why another international language?  Isn't Esperanto good enough?  After all,
it's already spoken by [insert questionable statistic of your choice between
25,000 and 10,000,000] people.

- Is Esperanto a European language?  Does the answer mean that non-Europeans
will or	won't be able to easily	learn it?  Is Lojban any better?

- Can Esperanto	be used	in testing the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?	Can Esperanto be
used for machine translation? (and similar questions about applications	for
which we think Lojban is especially well-designed).

- Esperanto had	speakers within	a few months of	its publication, but
Loglan/Lojban has been around for 15/25/35 years before	even the first speakers
gained competence.  (This leading to the humorous aside	that Loglan is the first
artificial language to undergo a schism	before anyone spoke it.	 Probably not
and la lojbangirz.  As Nora and	I and the others who are finally free to use the
language do so,	you will no doubt see an outpouring of material	in the language.
Just don't expect it by	next issue.  I can't type that fast.
8I suspect there are a number of Esperantists, or attempted Esperantists at
least, among the community.  Esperanto Centrist	Bruce Arne Sherwood has	written
articles comparing the language	to Esperanto and others, though	he hasn't
learned	the language to	my knowledge.  Why would Esperanto groups be interested
in Lojban any more than	any other group?  Neither JCB nor I have made any
attempt	to woo Esperantists, either as a group or as individuals.  Our anti-
competitive thrust, and	our focus on drawing members of	non-language communities
suggests that this won't be a high priority for	us.

true - Lojban is the first language to SURVIVE a schism	occurring before anyone
spoke it.  la lojbangirz. is now far stronger and less-divided than the
Loglan/Lojban community	has ever been.)

- I want a language that I can use NOW for speaking and	writing	to other people.
Lojban doesn't have anyone speaking the	language, especially in	other countries.

- There	are also comments commending the short,	free correspondence course that
Esperanto supplies.  These generally are compared to our considerably more
complicated teaching materials.

And finally, sparking the following article:

- You say Lojban has 600 rules.	 But Esperanto has only	16.  How can you say
Lojban is simpler than Esperanto?

Athelstan will answer this question, and then Bob will follow with an essay
tackling the other issues that stem from trying	to compare Lojban and Esperanto.

		    How	many rules are enough? by Athelstan

     Many people are confused or dismayed that Lojban has 600 rules while
Esperanto has a	mere 16.  The key is in	the different kinds of rules these are:
Lojban's are computer parsing rules, similar to	the types of rules used	by
compiler writers to describe computer languages.  Zamenhof's 16	Rules of
Esperanto are essentially commentary on	16 topics of language.
     I have concocted 11 rules of Lojban that approximately correspond to
Esperanto's 16.	 Like Zamenhof's list, the Lojban rules	are often groups of
rules concerning a single topic.  Also,	following Zamenhof's example, the rule
set is incomplete:  the	rules do not describe word or sentence order, relative
and subordinate	clauses, relative pronouns, and	numerous other topics of grammar
and vocabulary.

The 16 Rules of	Esperanto
Corresponding Rules for	Lojban
1)  There is no	Indefinite Article, there is only a definite article (la), alike
for all	sexes, cases, and numbers.
1)  The	articles la, le, lo, li, and lu	are the	name, non-veridical, veridical,
numeral, and utterance articles, respectively.	lai, lei, and loi are the mass
articles and la'i, le'i, and lo'i are the set articles corresponding to	the
first three above.  lo'e is the	typical/average	article, and le'e is the
stereotypical article.	None vary by number, case or sex.

Comment:  This is the one rule where Lojban is not as succinct as Esperanto in
covering the same ground.

2)  Substantives end in	o.  To form the	plural j is added.  There are only two
cases: nominative and accusative; the latter is	obtained from the nominative by
adding n.  Other cases are expressed by	preposition (genitive de, dative al,
ablative per, etc.)
2)  sumti (arguments) assume the case of the sumti place they occupy.  The place
tags fa, fe, fi, fo, and fu may	be used	to explicitly state the	place.	Also,
the case tags bai, bau,	di'u, etc. may be used to specify the case.

Comment:  Lojban words do not change endings, so the corresponding rule	only
deals with determination of cases.  Note that this is a	conglomeration of four
rules, each in its own sentence.

3)  The	Adjective ends in a.  Case and number as for substantives.  The
Comparative is made by means of	the word pli, the Superlative by plej; with the
Comparative the	conjunction ol is used.
3)  Any	selbri may modify any other selbri by position.	 Comparatives and
Superlatives are formed	by simple modification.

Comment:  The Lojban rule describes a secondary	function, as there are no
separate words that act	only as	adjectives in Lojban.  The Esperanto rule
consists of six	rules this time; the second sentence is	short but refers to two
separate rules inside Rule 2.

4)  The	cardinal Numerals (not declined) are: unu, du, tri, kvar, kvin,	ses,
sep, ok, nau, dek, cent, mil.  Tens and	hundreds are formed by simple junction
of the numerals.  To mark the ordinal numerals a is added; for the multiple,
obl; for the fractional, on; for the collective, op; for the distributive, the
preposition po.	 Substantival and adverbial numerals can also be used.
4)  The	digits are pa, re, ci, vo, mu, xa, ze, bi, so, and no (zero).  pi is the
decimal	point.	Numbers	are formed by junction of the digits.  li ... boi
surround simple	numbers	as sumti.  To mark the ordinal,	the post-position moi is
used; similarly	mei for	the collective.	 pi ...	mei surrounds the fractional.

Comment:  These	two Rules correspond closely for the first seven parts,	but the
last sentence of Zamenhof's rule invokes rules from Rule 2 and Rule 3, adding
ten rules in all for a total of	seventeen rules	directly and indirectly
contained in this paragraph.

5)  Personal Pronouns: mi, vi, li, si, gi (thing or animal), si, ni, vi, ili,
oni; possessives are formed by adding a.  Declension as	for substantives.
5)  Anaphora: ko'a, ko'e, etc; mi, do, ko, ti, ta, tu, ri, ra, ru, zu'i, zo'e;
possessives are	formed by position or with prepositions	pe, po,	po'e.

Comment:  These	are of similar length except that Rule 2's substantive
declension rules are included.	I count	six rules, therefore, to Lojban's three.

6)  The	Verb undergoes no change with regard to	person or number.  Forms of the
verb: time being (Present) takes the termination -as; time been	(Past) -is; time
about-to-be (Future) -os; Conditional mood -us;	Imperative mood	-u; Infinitive -
i.  Participles	(with adjectival or adverbial sense):  active present -ant;
active past -int; active future	-ont; passive present -at; passive past	-it;
passive	future -ot.  The passive is rendered by	a corresponding	form of	the verb
esti and a passive participle of the required verb; the	preposition with the
passive	is de.
6)  The	selbri undergoes no change.  The tense markers pu (past), ca (present),
ba (future), vi, va, vu	(space), etc. may be used with any selbri or within
sumti.	nu, ka,	ni, etc. are the abstraction operators.	 For the imperative, use
the anaphorum ko.

Comment:  Without reference to any other Rules,	Zamenhof has packed Rule 6 with
sixteen	rules.	Lojban's nine include the abstraction operators, which have no
counterpart in Esperanto.  Also, I have	counted	the tense markers as three
separate rules,	but they should	probably count as one, like any	of the other

7)  Adverbs end	in e; comparison as for	adjectives.
  (not applicable)

Comment:  This is covered under	Rule 3 on modification.

8)  All	Prepositions govern the	nominative.
  (not applicable)

Comment:  Lojban has no	cases in the sense used	here, so it needs no rule
corresponding to this one.

9)  Every word is Pronounced as	it is Spelt.
7)  Every word is Pronounced as	it is Spelt.

10)  The Accent	is always on the second-last syllable.
8)  The	Accent is always on the	second-last syllable (names may	be marked for
irregular stress).

11)  Compound Words are	formed by simple junction of the words (the chief word
stands at the end).  Grammatical terminations are also regarded	as independent
9)  lujvo are formed by	simple junction	of the gismu or	rafsi, substituting or
inserting y where appropriate.

Comment:  As Zamenhof left off variant compounding rules, I felt equally free in
leaving	out the	more extensive lujvo-making considerations.

12)  When another negative word	is present the word ne is left out.
10)  na	acts to	negate a bridi,	and is never an	intensifier.

Comment:  I have recently examined a treatise on the scope of negation in the
natural	languages.  It is medium-sized,	and an inch and	a half thick;  both of
these two Rule statements obviously miss a lot of ground. [Bob's note: the
current	Lojban negation	proposal covers	all of the ground of negation with 4
cmavo, and involves 47 of the 600-odd machine grammar rules.  But it requires a
lot of explanation to cover all	of natural language negation, as will be seen in

13)  In	order to show direction	towards, words take the	termination of the
  (not applicable)

Comment:  see comment on 8, above.

14)  Each Preposition has a definite and constant meaning;  but	if the direct
sense does not indicate	which it should	be, we use the preposition je, which has
no meaning of its own.	Instead	of je we may use the accusative	without	a
  (not applicable)

15)  The so-called Foreign Words, that is, those which the majority of languages
have taken from	one source, undergo no change in Esperanto, beyond conforming to
its orthography; but with various words	from one root, it is better to use
unchanged only the fundamental word and	to form	the rest from this latter in
accordance with	the rules of the Esperanto language.
11)  Nonce le'avla are marked with le'a	and a marker rafsi as appropriate, and
should conform to Lojban orthography.

Comment:  Zamenhof's Rule here does not	seem to	admit of any major group of
languages that are not closely interrelated.  That is, he assumes that if a word
varies,	it varies from one fundamental root word.  I have included a description
of borrowed terms as the closest approximation to this rule.

16)  The Final Vowel of	the substantive	and of the article may sometimes be
dropped	and be replaced	by an apostrophe.
  (not applicable)

     Please note the overall structure of the 16 Rules.	 The first 8 cover eight
major parts of speech in Graeco-Roman grammar; articles, nouns,	adjectives,
numerals, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and prepositions.  The last 8 cover seven
aspects	of the same grammatical	philosophy:  pronunciation, accent, compounding,
negation, case usage, borrowings, and elision.	(Rule 14 should	really be di-
vided and shared between Rule 8	and Rule 13.)
     This means	that any language with a Graeco-Roman grammar form can be
described by similar rules.  They may be long rules, including lots of sub-
rules, but Zamenhof started this practice with the Esperanto rules.  They may
ignore a lot of	the grammar, but again this is in keeping with the example set.
     In	fact, with slight adjustments to the Rule topics, any language may be
described with approximately 16	rules, if the rules are	sufficiently complex
(and allow for all the exceptions that are inherent in natural languages).  In
some cases, a language's rule set may not even be as complex as	Esperanto's;
this is	the case with Lojban.

     In	order to have a	meaningful comparison between numbers of rules,	the
complexity of those rules must be nearly uniform; the machine parsing rules (of
which Lojban has about 600) come closer	to meeting that	ideal.	Unfortunately,
there are no figures on	the number of such rules required by Esperanto;	we must
rely on	indirect evidence of their number.  Esperanto's	dependency on case de-
clensions probably alone requires a complete set of rules comparable to	Lojban's
     It	is not my intention here to prove that Lojban is 'better than Esperanto'
or that	Esperanto is in	some way 'defective'.  It is rather to show that the
comparison of two languages is a complex task, and not to be decided by
comparing raw numbers.	Each of	these languages	is complex in itself, and yet
much simpler than the natural languages.

[Bob's note: Even comparing languages by counting machine parsing rules	is
risky, unless you count	rules the same way.  We've used	the number 600 as the
machine	rule count for Lojban in the above article.  However, that number is a
count of each individual rule line in the current machine grammar proposal,
which was not written to minimize the rule count, but to modularize the	grammar
into separate, small chunks that can be	readily	understood.  An	earlier	JL
article	compared Lojban's rule count to	the 'BNF rules'	used to	define common
computer languages like	C, Pascal, or ADA; such	a comparison can only be
approximated.  The Lojban rules	are much simpler than those used in BNF	rule
descriptions, which are	generally use compression conventions that are not
directly testable with YACC for	unambiguity.  Eventually, probably after we
baseline the YACC grammar, someone will	rewrite	the Lojban rules in the	shorter,
more readable BNF format.  The result will be much shorter than	the current rule
set - perhaps 250-350 rules, within the	same order of magnitude	as computer

	     On	Comparing Esperanto and	Lojban,	by Bob LeChevalier

     First let me state	a guiding principle for	evaluating the two languages.
Lojban is not 'in competition' with Esperanto.	These are two separate languages
with separate goals and	applications.  These may overlap, but are not identical.
     Evaluating	two languages is like 'comparing apples	and oranges'.  If forced
to choose between an apple and orange, you will	do so for purely personal
reasons, based on your needs and desires of the	moment.	 Similarly, if your goal
is to learn an artificial language and you don't have time to learn both Lojban
and Esperanto, you will	end up choosing	based on your own personal reasons.
(Learning a language, even an artificial one, is a fairly abstruse goal	in
itself - you usually have some longer range purpose for	such a major effort, a
purpose	that will probably dictate the language	you learn).
     Competition would be pointless.  Partisan support for one language	doesn't
make that language 'better' for	others;	it can,	however, spark counterproductive
rivalry.  Far better instead to	work to	attract	new people into	discovering
reasons	for learning our respective artificial languages.  By encouraging these
new people, as well as supporters of our respective languages, to be as	informed
as possible about both languages, intelligent choices can be made towards indi-
vidual goals.

   If Lojban becomes widely used, it might become a meaningful candidate as a
universal 'second language', just as Esperanto now is.	If Esperanto continues
with healthy growth, then at that time there might be a	basis to speak of a
'choice' for 'world language' between Lojban, Esperanto, and possibly other
candidates.  The decisions will	then be	made by	nations	and cultures on	the ba-
sis of THEIR personal desires and goals	- the same non-competitive situation,
but at a higher	level.
   For Lojban to reach that level of viability,	its various applications will
have to	be proven - there must be computer implementations, accomplishment of
useful scientific research, and	thousands or millions of speakers, before Lojban
can be talked of as a 'world language' as Esperanto now	is.  If	Lojban becomes
such a force for consideration as a world language, then I think that demon-
strating enough	growth to 'catch up to Esperanto' as well as enough usefulness
OUTSIDE	of the international language movement to survive until	then, will be

convincing evidence that Lojban	is suited for world acceptance.	 Furthermore, if
Esperanto hasn't succeeded as an international language	by the time Lojban is
proven viable for global consideration,	then Lojban's 'higher momentum'	and
extra applications should the cause it to be considered	'more' viable.
Meanwhile, if Esperanto	does succeed, then Lojban will continue	to be used and
useful for its other purposes.	Each language will succeed or fail at its own
goals on its own merits.
   Neither language has	been accepted yet, and neither language	will be	accepted
at the expense of the other.  There is no point	in talking of competition, espe-
cially when many Lojbanists are	at the same time Esperantists, and who have no
desire to 'make	a choice'.  Let's keep the community of	artificial language
aficionados together, bucking the tendency in that community towards disharmony
and schism.
   So let us try to compare apples and oranges.
   There are four major	areas of criteria wherein Esperanto and	Lojban can be
compared - aesthetics, usefulness, scientific or linguistic merit, and success.
I'll discuss each in turn.


   The first basis of comparison is aesthetic.	There are a few	aesthetic
qualities - sound, rhythm, ease	of pronunciation, simplicity, elegance,
completeness - but the standards of 'good' in these qualities are cultural at
best, and individual at	worst.	I am most irritated by people, not having made
an effort to learn the language, who say that Lojban seems 'cold', 'mechanical',
'inhuman', 'complicated', 'hard	to learn', or deficient	any other measure of
aesthetic quality; they	have absolutely	no knowledge basis on which to make such
an evaluation!
   The aesthetics of language is totally determined by knowledge.  All languages
have beauty, when looked at from an internal perspective.  You have to see, and
to understand, the sounds, the forms, the structure, and the poetry, before you
can determine whether a	language has properties	that attract you.  Michael
Helsem's writings in le	lojbo ciska this issue may demonstrate this to you.
Whether	you like his poetry or not, he clearly has found something in the
language that inspires him to explore further.	He couldn't have found this
without	trying to express his own ideas	in the language.
   Most	people make a first evaluation of Lojban based on two sentences	in the
brochure, and a	couple more if they get	the Overview.  These sentences can be
evaluated by a newcomer	only in	translation, and whatever virtue Lojban	has is
obviously going	to be lost by translation into English.	 The sentences are
longer than the	colloquial English translation,	so Lojban seems	complicated
(heightened by people's	perception that	logic is complicated).	The frequent
reference to 'logic' in	our introductory materials makes people	think of
Vulcans, whereupon they	presume	that a logical language	must inherently	be cold
and inhuman.
   Similarly, people criticize our 'Chicken McNugget' gismu - it seems like the
wrong way, to them, to build a 'warm, human' language.	A newcomer sees	a heavy
emphasis on the	rules of the language, on computer applications, and on	lin-
guistic	principles, in our introductory	descriptions, which makes Lojban seem
'cold' and 'mechanical'.
   A third group of critics see	Lojban words as	unaesthetic because of
particular sounds that they find difficult to say, or simply because the words
are enough different from English that they think it will be hard to learn them.
   I believe that all of these evaluations are based on	misconceptions caused by
the way	we describe the	language and by	the readers' cultural prejudices.
However, we can't possibly tell	a casual newcomer enough about the language for
him/her	to aesthetically evaluate it.  There are too many possible
misconceptions to deal with; in	this newsletter	alone I've written 3 or	4 essays
that try to dispel misconceptions among	readers	with far more information than
the person who casually	picks up our brochure.
   Esperanto appeals aesthetically to European-family newcomers	because	they
grasp the simplified European principles relatively easily.  They can read
Esperanto text and recognize dozens of cognates, giving	them a feeling that they
already	practically know the language.	Esperanto will always have this

advantage over Lojban, since Lojban requires an	interested person to learn a bit
more before she/he can see the simplicity and the patterns.
   We need to make introductory	Lojban materials good enough that a newcomer
feels compelled	to learn enough	about the language to properly evaluate
dropout	rate among such	people is only a couple	of percent per year.
   Several people have tried to	write a	one-or-two page	handout	on Lojban, but
it's awfully hard to describe something	as complex as a	human language in just a
couple of paragraphs.  On the other hand, at Worldcon, we saw numerous 1-page
Esperanto handouts that	showed great advertising sophistication, reducing all of
Esperanto to some graphics and a catchy	slogan that plays to the emotions.  I
would feel dishonest trying to do the same.  Our handouts give information,
quite dense information	at that.  Our only catchy slogan so far	is ".e'osai ko
sarji la lojban.", which of course also	loses something	in the translation.
   Perhaps Lojban promoters can	learn from Esperanto in	other ways.  Esperanto
has a correspondence course for	newcomers, which Lojban	doesn't.  It isn't even
on our priority	list yet, although Athelstan's mini-lesson may eventually serve
much the same basic purpose - to give people the warm, fuzzy, feeling that they
can indeed learn the language, and that	it is aesthetically pleasing - then they
will be	willing	to start the hard work necessary to actually learn it.	Only the
people who move	beyond such introductory lessons actually learn	and use	the lan-
   On a	more practical note, it	will be	impossible to evaluate the aesthetics of
Lojban until it	is spoken by reasonably	fluent speakers.  Only the first tidbits
of Lojban poetry have now been written,	by one poet, so	the enormous power of
the language to	convey ideas has hardly	been tapped.  The aesthetics of	Lojban
are being evaluated on such trivial grounds as whether one likes the apostrophe
as a representation for	the vowel buffer (pronounced like an h - but NOT an h),
or whether the consonant clusters at the beginning of "cfari" and "mrilu" seem
pronounceable.	Esperantists have a similar problem, with four alphabetic
letters	not found on any typewriter or computer	keyboard.  But Esperanto has
speakers, poetry, novels - a community of people using the language - to give it
the aura of 'humanity'.	 It did	not have these 100 years ago, when people first
made the choice	to learn the language.	Lojban will have these things, too, and
in a very short	while.


   Turning to the second major area where Esperanto and	Lojban may be compared,
we examine the qualities of usefulness - what are the uses to which each
language may be	put, and how well does each language serve those purposes.  Es-
peranto	was designed solely as an international	language.  Other purposes that
could be devised for it	are accidental.	 Lojban	was first designed as a	linguis-
tic tool, but with specific requirements (cultural neutrality, ease of learning,
simplicity) that probably are important	in an international language, and one
(extremism in one or more areas	of language structure) that is a disadvantage.
For various reasons, the disadvantage of extremism has been ameliorated; most of
the extremes in	Lojban are optional, and can be	avoided	by an international
user.  The advent of computers and the large number of computer	professionals
has led	to a secondary goal of useful computer applications while the language
was still being	formed,	making this a third area of usefulness that is in effect
designed into the language.
   Unless we've	really fouled up, Lojban HAS to	be potentially useful in more
ways than Esperanto is.	 IT WAS	DESIGNED TO BE.
   This	doesn't	suffice	for a comparison, though.  Lojban may have a great deal
of unrealized potential, but Esperanto has realized most of its	potential.  It
HAS been used for international	communication.	It is NOW being	designed into an
elaborate machine translation system that is expected to bear fruit by 1992.
And while most linguists ignore	Esperanto because it is	not a 'natural
language', has few native speakers, and	is in effect a simplified European
tongue,	there are some linguists who have researched Esperanto as a language,
and who	have used it in	linguistic studies such	as language education.
   Lojban is not yet being used	for any	of these things.  However, every
application 'discovered' for Esperanto has been	designed for in	Lojban,	and a
few more besides.  Esperanto has an advantage in application now, but if Lojban
survives at all, it will eventually have more and better applications.	And
because	all of these applications are conceived	of and being worked on from the
start, Lojban won't take 100 years to achieve that large variety of useful

			  Scientific/Linguistic	Merit

   In the third	area, scientific or linguistic merit, there is also no
competition possible.  Lojban has 'won the race' by starting at	the finish line
that Esperanto can never reach.	 Yet in	another	sense, Esperanto is also at a
finish line, which Loglan/Lojban has had to strive for 35 years	to finally
   When	Esperanto was invented,	there wasn't a science of linguistics.	A few
seeds had been planted,	mostly along the lines of historical evolution of
languages.  The	concept	of inventing a language	significantly different	than
European languages was inconceivable - at least	in Europe.  Indeed, until my
generation, all	languages, even	Oriental ones, were taught using Latin as the
pure, perfect, ideal if	dead language that was the model of what a language
'should	be'.  Of hundreds of international languages invented before Lojban,
almost none have a non-European	grammar.  They were simplified forms of	Latin
with some a priori or derived set of words to fit onto that Latinate ar-
chitecture.  Indeed, most of the hundreds of languages I've seen in the	Library
of Congress stacks are described only as dictionaries, with some small set of
rules at the front telling what	simplifications	have been made to standard
European (read Latin) grammar.
   Esperanto's 16 rules	are just such a	set.  Indeed, Zamenhof apparently
intended all things not	covered	by the rules to	be done	'like they are in your
own language', as if all languages were	alike in such reference.  The 16 rules
are confusing to anyone	who doesn't know a European language, just as Lojban's
machine	grammar	is confusing to	anyone not versed in YACC grammars.  What is an
'accusative' in	any of the Amerind languages, an 'adjective' in	Chinese, or
perhaps	a 'passive'?  You can't	teach Esperanto	without	teaching these concepts,
which are inherent to the design of the	language.  A non-European can't	learn
Esperanto without first	learning the concepts and mind-set of European language.
   The Loglan Project was started some 40 years	after what is considered the
birth of modern	linguistics.  Then, in the 1950's, the language	was a skeleton -

a simple structure with	a few hundred words - based on predicate logic,	which
has been thoroughly studied for	2000 years.  By	the time the language
meaningfully took shape, in the	1960's,	modern linguistic theory had undergone
the revolution that had	pretty much thrown out the Latin ideal.	 Older versions
of Loglan show obvious Latinate	biases.	 Newer versions	leading	up to Lojban
have successively weeded out more and more of them.  The Lojban	version	now
being taught has had input from	dozens of linguists, and has been examined in
comparison with	a variety of linguistic	theories that weren't around when
Esperanto was developed.  Loglan/Lojban	has changed to account for the rapidly
developing field of linguistics.  Only recently	has there been enough confidence
that a baselined Lojban	is 'good enough' to meet the stringent linguistic tests
that we	believe	are required for a totally new language	to seem	'natural'.
   Loglan/Lojban has striven for 35 years from scratch to achieve the finish
line of	'natural' language.  100 years ago, Esperanto started at the European
finish line, taking a few steps	back to	'simplify' the European	grammar	before
again 'completing the race'.  Lojban moves beyond the restrictions of European
grammar.  It overtly incorporates linguistic universals, building in what is
needed to support the expressivity of the whole	variety	of natural languages,
including non-European ones.  Esperanto, on the	other hand, will always	be
constrained to some degree by its Latinate structure.
   I am	particularly bothered by comparisons that note that Lojban has taken 35
years to achieve meaningful conversation, while	Esperanto had hundreds of
thousands of speakers within 35	years of its founding, including some native
speakers.  The fact that Lojban	took 35	years to reach a point of development
where it was speakable is a mark of the	amount of work that went into the
language, a sign that this spoken language is different, but not inferior to,
any that have existed before.
   Since Lojban's purposes include linguistic experimentation, evaluating
Lojban's merit requires	noting the mechanisms built into the language that
allow, even require, the use of	the language for linguistic experimentation.
There are roots	of redundant expression	forms for several types	of expression.
They will compete with each other for usage as Lojban grows.  The choices made
by real	speakers should	reveal NEW facts about language.
   Lojban also has the cultural	neutrality needed to test the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis.  (Yes, 'logic' could be a European bias.  Indeed, Jim Brown	intended
that Loglan have an extreme bias that would have measurable effects - that is
the requirement	for a Sapir-Whorf experimental test.  But beyond logic,	Lojban
is exceptionally free from obvious bias.)  It has structures built into	it that
allow comparison with languages	of many	different families, not	just European
ones; such comparison will unmask observed Sapir-Whorf effects that are	European
artifacts in disguise, and will	be possible because Lojban's grammar is	non-
   And you don't 'have to be logical' in Lojban.  The redundant	structures allow
both hyperlogical and illogical	ways of	expressing things; you can be as
erudite, or nonsensical	as you choose.


   Finally, the	last criteria -	success.  Lojban has NO	fluent speakers.
Esperanto has some large number	- the value dependent on your source and whether
you or the source is trying to promote or denigrate the	language - but certainly
a lot more than	Lojban.	 Where's the comparison?  Where's the competition?
   You cannot compare Esperanto's numbers with Lojban's	numbers	and gain any
useful information regarding their relative potential for success.  Lojban's
couple of speakers are too small to deal with statistically.  Thus you can use
our numbers to prove practically anything.
   For example,	the number of Lojban students is growing in excess of 8% per
month, or 100% per year.  Extrapolating	on this	trend, Lojban would pass
Esperanto in 15	years, and would be universally	spoken 15 years	after that.
Reduce the growth rate and the results will be identical - just	take longer, as
long as	Lojban grows faster than Esperanto.  This extrapolation	is ridiculous of
course,	and almost any method of predicting numbers is equally worthless,
because	changes	will occur in the world	every year that	will invalidate	any
prediction.  Just ask the peoples of Eastern Europe.

   Esperanto is	growing	in numbers too,	though not nearly as fast as Lojban.  If
it did,	there would be no question about ITS eventually	being a	world language.
But Esperanto right now	isn't growing fast enough.  When the population	of the
world grows by hundreds	of millions per	year, Esperanto	is losing ground every
day - just as Lojban is.  Both languages are failures.
   Two paragraphs, opposite conclusions.  Counting speakers is meaningless.
Based on numbers, anything will	happen tomorrow.  Or nothing.
   Numbers of speakers are meaningless anyway, if the people don't USE the
language.  The biggest shock for me at Worldcon	was sitting next to the	Es-
peranto	table for several days and NEVER HEARING A SINGLE CONVERSATION IN
ESPERANTO.  I won't say	that none occurred (some of the	people at the Esperanto
tables are reading this), but I	didn't hear any.
   We didn't talk much Lojban at our table either.  But	our audience of
potential conversationalists was much smaller -	those of us who	had driven up to
Boston.	 The same group	of us did speak	Lojban for hours in the	car going to and
from Boston.  But Esperantists visiting	from all over the country and all over
the world were speaking	English	in preference to Esperanto at their table.
   Only	if a language is used can it be	judged successful.  And	neither	language
is being used to its potential (Nora and I COULD set time aside	each day to talk
in Lojban, but we don't.)  This	will have to change if either language is to
achieve	'success', in the sense	of being widely	used.
   Lojban has a	long-term advantage there, based on the	greater	potential uses
discussed above.  If the language is USED by the people	who learn it.  If the
100-or-more level 3 people out there start sending me sentences, then para-
graphs,	then texts in Lojban, and eventually start interacting with each other
because	they don't need	us to tell them	that they are using the	language
correctly, then	Lojban will be used for	its intended purposes.	If not,	Lojban
will be	just another dead artificial language.	The same is true for Esperanto.
   Any Esperantist/Lojbanist who gives me the argument that they can use
Esperanto now, but cannot use Lojban, is arguing a self-defeating position.  If
you want to use	a language, you	will find a way	to use it.  We have the	network
in place for Lojbanists	to interact with each other, including some people from
other countries	(though	the numbers are	still small).  But you have to learn the
language first in order	to use it.
   The same argument follows for people	who are	'waiting for some practical
application' before learning the language.  The	people who are waiting should be
making the known applications a	reality, and should also be creating new ones.
Some of	the brightest people in	the world are reading this essay; you certainly
have the ability to make Lojban	(or Esperanto) applicable to your life - but
only if	you choose to.
   Lojban applications will naturally spring up	from the seeds we've planted.
The time that no one seems to have available now for learning the language,
could bear fruit and be	ripe with reward in just a few years.
   Meanwhile Lojbanists	have the ultimate consolation.	Unlike Esperanto, Lojban
can achieve one	of its goals even while	failing	as a language.	While most of
the linguistic community has yet to realize it,	the efforts of the past	35 years
have probably taught more about	the nature of language than any	other ex-
perimental effort.  Every day and every	new Lojban speaker adds	to that
knowledge.  If Lojban suddenly is abandoned 5 or 10 years from now as a	dead
language, or is	'beaten	out by Esperanto' as a world language, it will still
have succeeded in its original aim - to	teach us more about language.
   This	is one aspect in which I can comfortably say that 'Lojban is better than

			  Side Note on the Discussion

   Philosophically, I am unconvinced that personal and political decisions
should be made in a competitive	environment.  The prevalent idea seems to be
that "for me to	be right, you must be wrong" or	"for me	to be good, you	must be
bad" is	unrealistically	simplistic.  Within human endeavors, there is no
absolute right or absolute good.  Whether a language or	a person, a candidate
should be chosen on the	basis of how well the varying needs of everyone
concerned will be served, preferably not at the	expense	of others' needs.
   An interesting side note occurred to	Nora in	reading	this.  The Lojban gismu
"xamgu", representing the concept of 'good', has the place structure "x1 is good

for x2 by standard x3".	 Comparatives were also	removed	from other place
structures when	the language was redesigned.  While Lojban can express
comparisons quite easily, they are now avoided in gismu	place structures.  Thus
one need not consider everything as being 'more' or 'better' than something else
in order for a basic predicate relationship to be claimed.  One	needn't	decide
what something is "bluer than" in order	to decide that it is "blue".  One
needn't	decide that something is "better than" something else in order for it to
be "good".  This seems metaphysically simpler, and now appears to be a more
significant qualitative	difference from	earlier	versions of the	language than
we've perceived	before.
   The metaphysical difference is perhaps significant to a Sapir-Whorf test,
since if S/W is	true, the earlier design could lead to a culture where people
see the	world as a competitive place where everything always strives to	be more
'broda'	(~whatever) than something else, a culture that	doesn't	seem very
pleasant to me in an aesthetic sense.
			 from ju'i lobypli #13 - 8/1990

			   JL11	Esperanto Discussion
			   A Response from Don Harlow

[Don Harlow is editor of the Esperanto League of North America newsletter.  His
    position makes him a natural spokesperson for the Esperanto	community in
   responding to our essays in JL11.  However, see also	Ralph Dumain and John
     Hodges in the 'Letters' section below for more comments on	Lojban and

  Thanks for the latest	copy of	Ju'i Lobypli.  I was particularly interested in
Athelstan's comparison of Esperanto's "16 rules" with a	similar	set of rules for
  Athelstan is quite right in suggesting that "the rule	set is incomplete."  In
fact, the "16 rules" are largely a heuristic device created to introduce
Esperanto to persons with a late 19th-century European education, by describing
Esperanto in very simple terms relating	the language to	something more familiar
to the student -- i.e.,	the Indo-European languages.  This can be seen by the
reference in rule 2 to the "two	cases of Esperanto" (Esperanto has as many cases
as any other language),	the reference in rule 6	to the passive voice of	verbs
formed by compounding (there are no compound verbs in Esperanto), by the
reference to the "imperative mood" in the same rule (the -U ending subsumes, but
is hardly restricted to, the traditional IE imperative), and particularly by
rule 8;	logically, prepositions	(which are basically case-forming morphemes)
should govern an unmodified noun form, and it is only because of the contrast
with the Indo-European languages, where	they usually do	not, that this rule is
  The so-called	"Fundamento de Esperanto" is, in fact, about 200 pages long, and
includes the "16 rules"	(repeated in five different languages),	a complete
dictionary of some four	thousand roots -- an additional	four thousand or so have
been added to the canon	since that time, plus between eight and	sixteen	thousand
unofficial roots that need not be considered part of the language -- and a
series of some 42 exercises designed by	Zamenhof to demonstrate	aspects	of
syntax and the Esperanto word-formation	system.	 The "16 rules"	themselves are,
as I say, a heuristic device, and a convenient skeleton	on which to hang the
language's "flesh."  Most of the material in these rules would,	today, be better
presented in tabular form.
  A few	points about Athelstan's presentation:
  1)  Athelstan	does "not describe word	or sentence order...."	This seems a bit
ingenuous to me, since as far as I can tell word and sentence order play a more
significant role in Lojban than	they do	in Esperanto, and so to	describe a "set"
of Esperanto rules and equate them to a	single Lojban "rule" that is at	a much
higher level is	not quite cricket.  An example is rule 3.  The Esperanto
presentation of	the morphology of the adjective	is quite complete in four lines;
the Lojban presentation	says only that "any selbri may modify any other	selbri
by position," but does not define how this is done (do selbri modify other
selbri preceding them? by following them? by sitting in	the next line up?)  This
is like	saying that Lojban code	is more	concise	simply because the reader is

presented only with a subroutine call, while in	the Esperanto code the reader is
shown the entire content of the	subroutine.  The content is there in Lojban;
Athelstan has merely found it convenient to overlook it.1
  2)  Granting Athelstan's contention that several of Esperanto's "single rules"
contain	other rules, he	does himself the favor of counting some	of those sub-
rules more than	once, if they are referred to in another "super-rule."	For in-
stance,	he counts the rule that	the direct object is shown by affixing the -N
ending at least	three times (rule 2, rule 3, rule 5).  The computer equivalent
would be rewriting the subroutine each time it was called -- at	which the
compiler would,	no doubt, burp.
  3)  Given that Esperanto's "16 rules"	are a heuristic	device,	they are
certainly more complete	and successful than those presented by Athelstan for
Lojban.	 Speaking "quantitatively," they are accessible	to a much wider	range of
people than the	Lojban rules.  The Esperanto rules refer largely to nouns,
verbs, adjectives, past	tenses,	etc., which are	terms that are generally
recognizable to	graduates of the seventh grade,	or equivalent (my ten year old
daughter is familiar with them,	from school).  Athelstan's Lojban rules, on the
other hand, use	unglossed terminology that might confound a college graduate --
anaphora, non-veridical, place tags, etc.  (I consider myself moderately well
educated, but I	had to look up "anaphora" in a dictionary -- and was not much
wiser for the experience.)
  4)  Speaking "qualitatively,"	Athelstan in many places describes his Lojban
rules using Lojban terms that will have	no meaning to the casual reader	-- a
rather recursive sort of action, if you	ask me.	 "Lujvo	are formed by simple
junction of the	gismu or rafsi???  The definition of each one of those terms
should be counted as a separate	rule (axiom, if	you will).
  5)  Some comments on individual rules:
     a)	 The description of participles	in Esperanto rule 6 is not properly part
  of this rule but belongs in the hidden (also for Esperanto!) working of word-
  building (rule 11 see	below);	the description	of the passive voice properly
  belongs to the Ekzercaro.  I do not, however,	fault Athelstan	for taking these
  items	as he found them.
     b)	 "Every	word is	pronounced as it is spelt."  Pardon me for referring to
  Loglan rather	than Lojban -- and if this is not also true for	Lojban,	you need
  not pay attention to this comment -- but this	is not completely true for the
  language.  Loglan treats the sound written in	English	as "CH"	as a stop "t"
  followed by a	fricative "sh",	written	"tc," rather than as, more correctly, a
  single harsh fricative halfway between the stop and the fricative.  Brown was
  here apparently influenced by	the (not invariably phonetic) International
  Phonetic Alphabet, which in this case	appears	to have	been heavily influenced
  by French.  Esperanto	more correctly treats this single sound	with a single
  letter.  I am	not sure whether Loglan	and Lojban treat the single sound
  written in English as	"ts" as	two sounds (again as a stop followed by	a
  sibilant, rather than	as a single harsh sibilant) or as a single sound/letter
  ("c")	as in Esperanto.  (A similar use of two	letters	to designate an
  intermediate sound is	the occasional use of "kh" in English to describe the
  Esperanto "h^", a sound intermediate between "k" and "h".)
     c)	 Esperanto's Rule 11, of course, refers	to the Ekzercaro -- see
  particularly Exercise	42.  Athelstan refers to some sort of "variant
  compounding rules"; I	would be interested in seeing these.  The actual rules
  describing the word-formation	system are neat	but complex; they were first
  formulated as	late as	1910 by	de Saussure, writing under the pen-name
  "Antido", and	expanded by Kalocsay in	the 1920's in a	well-known essay.  The
1Your example on p. 25,	"X1 is good for	X2 by standard X3," which I presume is
written	in Lojban -- from your past references to Prolog -- as something like
"Good X1 X2 X3"	-- would indicate that the position rules in Lojban are	much
more complex than those	in English, and	vary from property to property.	 With
regard to my later comments on case, the descriptive rule for speakers of Indo-
European languages would be:  "The property good relates a noun	in the
nominative case	in the immediately subsequent position,	a noun in the dative
case in	the third position, and	a noun in the "standardize" case in the	fourth
position."  Hopefully Lojban's rules are more consistent than some of those of
English, in which, for instance, the accusative	succeeds a positional dative but
precedes a prepositional one...

  latest set appear in the Plen	Analiza	Gramatiko de Esperanto (1985 edition),
  where	they fill some 148 pages and differ little form	Kalocsay's earlier
  rules.  That these rules are of little use and less interest to the practicing
  Esperantist can be seen from the fact	that their earliest codification oc-
  curred some 23 years after the language began	to be spoken; most people can
  figure the system out	after looking at a page	or so of examples, and never
  bother to refer to the rules,	to which they don't have access	anyway.2
     Unfortunately, a couple of	Athelstan's comments suggest that he isn't
  really qualified to comment on Esperanto in general, any more	than I am on
  Lojban (which	is why I keep correcting you on	Esperanto rather than commenting
  on various points of Lojban grammar, syntax, etc.).  For instance, on	p. 20 he
  refers to "Esperanto's dependency on case declensions."  There are no
  declensions in the traditional/IE sense in Esperanto.	 The -N	ending,	to which
  he is	probably referring, defines the	target of an action (direct object) or,
  if no	action is committed, the destination of	a movement3; it	can be applied
  to adverbs as	easily as to nouns and their accompanying adjectives.  Again,
  the terms "nominative	case" and "accusative case" in this sense are sops to
  Indo-European	sensibilities; Esperanto has neither one in the	narrow sense of
  a declension.	 In the	broader	sense, of course, it does have nominative and
  accusative cases, as do English, Chinese, or -- one presumes -- Lojban; it
  also has genitive, dative, instrumental, ellative, terminative, sociative,
  etc. cases, as do English, Chinese, and -- I again presume --	Lojban.

  Regarding your own essay "On Comparing Lojban	and Esperanto" let me make
several	short (I hope, as, I am	sure you do) comments:
  1)  Under "aesthetics" you mention a couple of sentences that	"are longer than
the colloquial English translation"; and in an earlier issue you begged	off
translating a song from	English	into Lojban because the	translation would be
longer than the	original.  This	seems to me to be an acceptance	of the old saw
that "any translation into any other language will average about 25% longer than
the English original" -- and (a	word to	the wise) it seems to be a very
dangerous attitude to take.4  Every translation	I make into Esperanto from
English	comes out significantly	shorter	then the original.  More than that, so
far as I know a	competent translator can get the same results in just about any
language going.	 I would hope, for the sake of Lojban, that this "expansion
effect"	is a function of the translator	rather than a function of the language.
If not,	it is a	strike against Lojban.
  2)  You have again quoted the	"like it is done in your own language" comment,
which was not made by Zamenhof,	but in the basic Interlingua textbook of 1950!!!
Esperanto is extremely well-defined, partly through the	16 rules as described
above, but mainly through the Ekzercaro, which also appeared in	the Unua libro
in 1887.  No reference to outside languages was	or is necessary.  I thought we'd
been over that ground before!  As to the Europeanness of Esperanto ... proof of
the pudding.  Esperanto's greatest successes in	the past few years have	been
outside	of the Indo-European language area.  (From May to October of this year,
a nationwide Esperanto course is running on Chinese television -- a more
significant matter, I think, in	a country with only one	national TV network
instead	of four	or five, and no	more than two or three channels	in even	the
largest	cities.)

2Some of these rules have not yet been codified.  For instance,	Kalocsay and
Waringhien, the	authors	of PAG,	recognize that Esperantists regularly use
adjective roots	as prefixes for	noun roots -- novedzino, dikfingro are common
examples -- but	do not admit that this usage is	grammatically justified.  Most
Esperantists go	on doing this anyway, and they definitely obey a particular rule
of word-formation in doing so -- one that, so far as I know, has never been
written	down, and would	be difficult to	codify in a few	simple sentences.
3Which,	if we suppose the -N ending to mark the	accusative case	in the
traditional Indo-European sense, makes vers such as "to	go" transitive in
Esperanto -- something most IE languages would not allow.
4When I	was young I read -- in a number	of places -- that no other language is
nearly as good as English for swearing.	 In fact, English is a rather pale
language in this regard; compare it with any Eastern European language,	for

  3)  The comment that "Lojban took 35 years to	reach a	point of development
where it was speakable"	might perhaps have been	avoided.  Esperanto took some
12-14 years to reach the point (1887) at which Zamenhof	considered it optimal;
but the	Ur-Esperanto of	1878 was already speakable, at least according to the
anecdotal information.	That it	took Lojban (I presume you mean	Loglan)	35 years
to reach the point at which it was speakable is	not, I think, a	point in its
favor as a means of communication.
  The rapid growth of Esperanto	in its first years after public	release	was a
spontaneous affair.  You quote a figure	of 8% a	month growth in	the number of
Lojban students.  Based	on Zamenhof's published	address	lists -- and making a
conservative assumption	that only ten percent of those who claimed to be able to
speak Esperanto	could actually do so --	in the first half year after Esperanto's
publication, the number	of Esperanto speakers grew at a	rate of	more than 100%
per month.  (This high figure, of course, like your own, comes from starting
with such a small base;	and it dropped considerably by the early 1890's)
  4)  You attribute some significance to the fact that you "NEVER [HEARD] A
SINGLE CONVERSATION IN ESPERANTO" at the Esperanto table at Worldcon.  I
personally have	met only one of	the people who worked at that table (and he was
there for only an hour or so), and I know that he speaks fluent	Esperanto; I
can't answer for the others.  But when you've sat at a few more	tables at
conventions, and have carried on a few conversations in	Lojban under such
circumstances, you will	learn an interesting fact:  more people	-- or at least
Americans -- are repelled when they hear a conversation	they don't understand
than are attracted.5  When possible, I always use English under	such
circumstances.	(This is not always possible; at the last three	conferences of
the Foreign Language Association of Northern California	that I've attended as an
exhibitor, my co-exhibitor and I have spoken nothing but Esperanto -- because
he's a Rumanian, and not terribly comfortable in English.)
  Hope that you	have found all this of some interest.

  Bob responds - That the 16 rules are intended	only a heuristic device	seems to
be lost	on many	Esperantists, who often	try compare the	16 rules to our	set of
YACC rules, which number about 550; Athelstan's	effort was an answer to	those
critics.  See Ralph Dumain's discussion	and my response	in the letters section
below for more on this.
  Don effectively supports our assertion that the 16 rules have	as a subtext the
entire grammar of European languages.  "The Esperanto rules refer largely to
nouns, verbs, adjectives, past tenses, etc., which are terms that are generally
recognizable to	graduates of the seventh grade,	or equivalent".	 But these terms
are only recognizable to students of European languages.
  The emphasis should be on 'student', by the way.  While Don's	10-year	old may
find the terms familiar, we have found college graduate	English	speakers who
have long since	forgotten the terminology of grammar classes.  To many of our
audience, 'noun' is as bad as 'anaphora' (maybe	worse, since no	one feels guilty
that they don't	know what anaphora are.	 Anaphora are, by the way, the superset
of 'pronouns' -	the things that	stand for and refer to earlier referents in the
discussion; 'cataphora', the opposite term, cover variable words that refer to
things in future discussion, but 'anaphora' also is used as the	general	term
covering both sets of variable reference words.	 Based on Don's	comment,
however, we will start using a Lojban lujvo "ba'ivla" -	/bah,HEE,vlah/ for the
general	concept	of 'anaphora'; the source metaphor 'replacer-word' should help
people remember	what the word means).
  Athelstan intentionally used specialized Lojban terms	that were as opaque to a
European language speaker as they would	be to a	speaker	of a non-European
language.  This	may help point out what	a Chinese or Swahili speaker suffers
reading	the Esperanto rules.  We don't seriously intend	using the 11 Lojban
rules as a heuristic device; as	Don says, they just aren't very	understandable.
Furthermore, they cover	no more	of the Lojban grammar than the Esperanto rules
cover of its grammar.  However,	they do	help point out some ways in which Lojban
is similar to European languages, including Esperanto.

5I was carrying	on a private conversation in Esperanto on a BART train a week
ago, and was excoriated	for this by the	middle-aged lady sitting next to me.

  I remain unconvinced that Esperanto's	grammar	is unlike Indo-European
languages.  As an example, contrary to what Don	implies, the number and	specific
cases in a language are	not universals,	and are	significant aids to classifying
them.  That a language has 'nouns' and 'verbs' and 'adjectives'	that work in
ways familiar to us, that most sentences have a	'nominative' agent case	as the
subject, usually appearing before the verb, and	an 'accusative'	object case that
usually	appears	right after the	verb.  These are anything but universal, though
they are found in most,	if not all Indo-European languages.  Many languages have
no nominative or accusative cases, being organized around cases	called
'ergative' and 'passive'.  Some	languages do not even have a clearly
identifiable subject, and Japanese has both 'subjects' and 'topics' that each
serve some of the purposes of the Indo-European	'subject'.
  Now what Don says later about	the "-N" ending	could be used to argue that
Esperanto's cases are different	from the Indo-European ones, but by standard
linguistic terminology,	that ending is a 'declension' that marks its word as
being in a case	(grammatical role) which differs from the grammatical role it
would be in if the declension were not present.
  Lojban has NO	grammatical cases.  Linguists and artificial intelligence people
can assign 'case labels' to the	various	sumti places in	the structure, but these
are not	grammatical cases.  They are semantic cases that indicate the semantic
relationship between the place and the rest of the sentence.  In Lojban	there
are as many potential semantic cases as	there are words	in the language	- an
infinite number.  The places defined in	the place structure are	merely those
most essential to conveying a relationship.  We	list the places	in the
definitions of the words partly	to remind people that Lojban bridi express
relationships, and to remind them of the essentials of the concept to be
  In one sense,	Lojban doesn't even have a 'subject'.  Technically, all	of the
sumti places are 'objects' that	are related by the selbri.  However, in	at least
two ways, the 1st (x1) place of	any given bridi	predicate, whichever of	the
sumti it happens to be in a given arrangement, has a unique role among the
places which might as well be labelled as 'subject', for consistency with the
terminology of linguistics.  We'll let linguists determine if the x1 sumti re-
ally is	a 'subject' in the traditional sense, or whether another term better
  Now it turns out that	many of	our relations resemble European	languages in
that the first place is	often an agent and the second place is an object.  This
may represent a	European bias, albeit unintentional.  The intent is to include
places in approximate order of frequency of use	in discourse; our model	for
usage frequency	is unfortunately the English language we hear most often.  The
desire to bring	in a broader perspective before	finalizing the structures is one
reason why we are avoiding baselining the place	structures until the last
possible minute, and why place structures will be among	the first things to be
re-evaluated after the 5-year freeze.
  In any event,	the resemblance	does not give Lojban the Indo-European cases of
Esperanto.  There are no case endings, no grammatical requirements such	as that
adjectives must	'agree'	with a particular case.	 We have 'case tags' in	Lojban,
but these are optional and even	frowned	upon for 'cases' in the	place structure,
and anyway resembles a combination of 'prepositions' and 'adverbs' more	than
case inflections on words.  (They also resemble	what Don calls 'case-forming
morphemes'; however, in	Lojban they are	separate words that do not 'govern the
form' of any other word.)
  Lojban has no	'passive voice'	either - a 'passive voice' is an artifact of
Indo-European grammar which is used less in English and	Germanic languages than
in other European languages.  In Lojban, there are various methods of rearrang-
ing the	sumti places of	a predicate.  One might	label any arrangement that
doesn't	have an	active agent in	the x1 position	'passive', but again, this isn't
the same as the	European 'passive voice'. (See B. Comrie's books The World's
Major Languages	and Language Typology and Linguistic Universals	for excellent
discussions of the typological features	of language.)
  Lojban is distinctly different from any natural language in several ways.  The
first step in learning Lojban, therefore, involves stepping out	of the
constraining ideas of natural language to learn	these new concepts.  Once that
is accomplished, then for European speakers, Lojban is probably	comparable in
learning difficulty to Esperanto; Lojban has a somewhat	simpler	grammar, but

Esperanto's roots are more highly recognizable to Europeans (and English
speakers).  For	Chinese	speakers, Lojban may actually be easier, since many
features of Lojban's grammar at	least superficially resemble Chinese features.

  "Athelstan ... describes his Lojban rules using Lojban terms ... The
definition of each one of those	terms should be	counted	as a separate rule
(axiom,	if you will)." -  Should the definition	of each	of the Indo-European
grammatical terms used in the Esperanto	rules have also	been counted as
'axioms'?  If so, I think Esperanto comes out far the worse for	the added
criteria.  The number of specialized Lojban words we need to discuss the grammar
is fewer than the number of words needed to discuss a European language.

  "Athelstan does 'not describe	word or	sentence order....'  This seems	a bit
ingenuous to me..." -  There are two types of word order that can be talked
about.	The order of words of particular grammatical type in a sentence	is
specified by the entire	set of rules of	the grammar.  There is no meaningful
'rule' or 'rules' that govern this kind	of word	order.	The order of the places
for a given brivla, on the other hand, is not a	grammatical issue in Lojban at
all, unlike European languages and Esperanto  (I understand that Chinese is also
relatively free	in word	order).
  Thus,	Athelstan did not discuss word order because it	is not part of the
Lojban grammar.	 The order of the places is part of the	semantic meaning of each
word, just as the meanings of 'subject'	and 'object' for each Esperanto	verb are
part of	the meaning of that verb.  From	our perspective, such semantic rules are
at a lower level of the	language than grammatical rules.  Lojban has no	higher
level rule that	can be said to govern the order	of places.  There may be some
patterns, but we haven't really	tried to find them.

  "The Esperanto presentation of the morphology	of the adjective is quite
complete in four lines;	the Lojban presentation	... does not define how	this is
done (do selbri	modify other selbri preceding them? by following them? by
sitting	in the next line up?)" -  The Lojban 'morphology of the	adjective' is
complete in zero lines,	since we don't have adjectives.	 selbri	modify other
selbri in many ways, some of which are adjective-like.	The modification can be
left-modifies-right or right-modifies-left, logical connection,	or non-logical
connection.  In	all but	the simplest left-to-right modification, there are cmavo
that can be translated literally into English or other languages, revealing the
order, and we believe that all possible	orders and groupings can be represented
in some	way.  Athelstan	simply didn't find anything to say about Lojban	that
corresponded to	what was being said in the Esperanto rule.  What he said was
complete and accurate -	position in a Lojban sentence totally determines what
modifies what.
  As for Don's facetious suggestions on	how selbri might modify	each other by
position, I reply in kind:  do Esperanto adjectives get	written	on the line be-
  Interestingly, in other places, Don excuses his 16 rules for non-specificity:
"the description of the	passive	voice properly belongs to the Ekzercaro" and
talking	about word-formation rules "they fill some 148 pages".	Again, our
purpose	was to compare what was	present	in the Esperanto rules with a
corresponding level of detail about the	Lojban rules.  We recognize that neither
set of rules is	complete; we want to be	able to	point this out to Esperantists
that cite the 16 rules as a statement of Esperanto's simplicity.  So Don has
made our point for us.

  "Most	Esperantists ... definitely obey a particular rule of word-formation ...
-- one that, so	far as I know, has never been written down, and	would be dif-
ficult to codify in a few simple sentences." -	Hopefully Lojban is sufficiently
regular	that no	one ever will have to say this about the language.  Our	word
compounding rules are quite rigid, and yet fairly unrestricted.	 We don't
constrain any word from	modifying another, and provide some fairly esoteric
grammatical conversions	to allow you to	combine	concepts that are grammatically

  "Athelstan refers to some sort of 'variant compounding rules'" -  I believe
Athelstan was referring	to the extensive set of	additional rules, not conveyed

in the set of 16, that take 148	pages to describe, as well as rules such as the
ones Don describes as not written down.

  "... he does himself the favor of counting some of those sub-rules more than
once, if they are referred to in another "super-rule." -  Athelstan was	merely
trying to show that the	'super-rule' grouping concealed	the true rule count.
The exact number of rules, I'd hoped we	had demonstrated, was quite irrelevant.
Lojban's 550-odd stated	rules, by the way, are expanded	by YACC	into about 800
unique computer-labelled 'states' which	correspond to expanding	and repeating
each of	the 'subroutines' Don refers to	as often as is necessary.
  A Lojban-based computer process does not choke on such expansion, since the
expansion is a natural product of YACC.	 When we say Lojban is grammatically
unambiguous, it	is because in each of these 800	states,	by looking at the next
word only, a Lojban processor knows what state to go to	next.  The grammar
process	consists simply	of jumping from	state to state until the end is	reached.

  "Loglan treats the sound written in English as 'CH' as a stop	't' followed by
a fricative 'sh', written 'tc,'	rather than as,	more correctly,	a single harsh
fricative halfway between the stop and the fricative.  Brown was here apparently
influenced by the (not invariably phonetic) International Phonetic Alphabet,
which in this case appears to have been	heavily	influenced by French.  Esperanto
more correctly treats this single sound	with a single letter..." -  Correct by
whose standard?	(Correctness always has	a standard, as any Lojbanist knows from
the place structure of "drani").  The IPA is the standard alphabet of linguistic
phonology, and hence is	the way	that one must describe sounds when talking to a
linguist.  To claim that the linguistic	standard phonetic alphabet is wrong
because	it doesn't agree with Esperanto	seems a	bit backwards.
  The combination of a stop and	a fricative is called an 'affricate' and can be
treated	as either one sound or as two.	In Lojban, we treat all	affricates,
including 'tc' and 'ts', as two	sounds;	so do most linguists.
  This is due to the simple reason that	if you say the stop and	the fricative
together, they phonetically blend to form the affricate	in a way
indistinguishable to most listeners.  Thus, if we were to write	the affricates
as a single letter, we would have to forbid the	two-letter combinations	that are
equivalent.  Since no other single letter sound	in Lojban can alternatively be
expressed as two sounds, to match the Esperanto	distinction in only a couple of
cases would be inconsistent.  (Does Esperanto forbid the two-letter equivalent
combinations of	the affricates to prevent confusion?)
  Esperanto's approach causes untold heartache to typists, forcing the addition
of non-standard	diacritical marks to several letters to	fit the	language within
the Roman alphabet.  (There is at least	one typo in the	Esperanto rules	because
of this	- I forgot to manually go back and add an Esperanto diacritical	mark
that is	not supported by my word processor or printer.)
  Esperanto is not consistent on the matter of the affricates, by the way.
While representing the affricate sounds	that are expressed by Lojban 'tc' and
'ts' with a single letter, as well as the voiced equivalent of the first ('dj' =
English	'j'), Esperanto	does not have the voiced equivalent of 'ts' as a single
letter as consistency would require.  The sound	of 'dz'	in it is expressed using
two letters in Esperanto words (an example is found in one of Don's footnotes),
even though it is a 'single sound' by the identical logic as the other three.
  In Comrie's book on the languages of the world, similar comments to mine are
made in	explaining why 'ts' and	others are not considered as one in Germanic
languages.  It is pointed out that linguistically, any stop can	be combined with
any fricative, and each	such 'affricate' combination could be treated as one
sound or as two.  Examples include 'ps', which will be recognized from Greek,
and 'pf' from German. But neither Esperanto nor	English	nor Lojban treat 'ps' or
'pf' as	a single sound.
  Don is wrong in equating the 'kh'/Lojban 'x' sound with the two affricates.
'x' is a pure fricative	- called an 'unvoiced velar fricative' or an 'unvoiced
palato-velar' fricative	depending on exactly where the tongue is placed	(these
are the	sounds of German 'doch'	and 'ich', respectively).  The 'x' sound
linguistically has nothing to do with an 'h' sound, which is actually formed in
the epiglottal region.	That we	represent 'x' as 'kh' in English is a
convention; it has nothing to do with sounds (notwithstanding this, trying to
combine	a 'k' with an 'h' will give a reasonable 'x' sound).

  Unlike English and German, IPA does use a single letter for this sound.  (The
true velar affricates -	combinations of	stops and fricatives - aren't
pronounceable either as	single or double sounds	for English speakers - in
Lojban,	they would be expressed	as 'kx'	and 'gq', if 'q' is defined as the
voiced equivalent of 'x' - found in Arabic as the sound	at the beginning of
Libyan leader Qaddafi's	name.)

  "... the old saw ... 'any translation	into any other language	will average
about 25% longer than the English original' ..." -  Almost any literal
translation will take longer than the original.	 Translating Lojban to English
literally is usually even more expansive than 25%, often 2-to-1	or greater; just
look at	any of our translations	here in	JL.  On	the other hand,	the reverse di-
rection	gives the same result.
  The translator's art involves	producing idiomatic non-literal	translations
that capture the approximate sense of the original.  This will sometimes be
shorter, sometimes longer, since the source language may be using an idiom that
has no counterpart in the target language (which is always the case with Lojban
at this	point).	 Also, almost any culturally-based word	has to be expanded into
a phrase in another language if	meaning	is to be preserved.  If	Don is 'always
shorter' as he claims, he is undoubtedly omitting subtleties of	the source
language version that he considers either obvious or irrelevant	given the
context.  If he	is correct, he is a true artist; otherwise, his	readers	are
missing	useful and perhaps important information.
  In Lojban, there are other factors, based on its unusual grammar.  Where
logical	structure is always explicit, the convoluted logic of some English
sentences has to be expanded to	great length; on the other hand	the English "it
is not the case	that" is expressed briefly as Lojban "na".  When Athelstan
translated Saki	(see JL10) he found the	resulting text was about the same length
or shorter.  (There are	actually more words, since Lojban words	seem to	average
about 30% shorter than English words; there are	also more syllables - Lojban
words seldom have syllables more than 3	letters	and certainly not as long as
  I doubt that Don's objection to the old saw proves true for all languages, by
the way.  I suspect that regardless of the translator, most Romanized Chinese
(where most words are one or two syllables) translates to Russian (with	in-
flectional suffixes that are one or two	syllables long on most words) resulting
in a longer text.

  "That	it took	Lojban 35 years	to reach the point at which it was speakable is
not, I think, a	point in its favor as a	means of communication." -  Wrong.  It
shows that we were diligent in our research.  And with good reason; we know much
more about language now	than in	Zamenhof's time, and we	have a tougher and more
skeptical audience (the	academic world)	to please.  We also had	a bigger job to
do, since Lojban was designed from scratch.
  Whether or not Don is	right about the	Indo-European-ness of Zamenhof's
grammar, there is no doubt that	Zamenhof started with European grammar and
simplified.  We	(originally Brown and later others as well) started with nothing
except a goal of matching predicate logic structures, and the vague notion of
speakability.  Because we had no working language to emulate, there were un-
doubtedly going	to be false starts and re-engineering of major features.  I
suspect	that much of Zamenhof's	development period was used to select the root
word stock; only a small fraction of Loglan/Lojban development time has	gone
into word-making.
  In a sense, Esperanto	took the entire	evolutionary period of Indo-European
grammar	to be developed.  (Of course, by the same logic, Lojban	took 2500 years,
since predicate	logic was invented, to be developed).
  (You can also	compare	the actual Esperanto development period	with the time
that we've taken to redevelop the Lojban version of Loglan from	scratch	to avoid
copyright - less than 3	1/2 years so far, and I	suspect	that our design	is far
more intricately specified than	Zamenhof's was when he published.  By Don's
histories that I've read, I gather that	Esperanto was not complete in a	sense of
being standardized until sometime after	1900.  Depending on your definitions, we
will be	comparably standardized	either when the	textbook and dictionary	are done
or after the 5 year baseline period proves the language	is stable.)

  I've been told that a	major milestone	occurred as late as 1905 when the annual
Esperanto meeting was first conducted in Esperanto; at this meeting it could
first truly be said that Esperanto was a 'living language'.  Lojban should
achieve	that status in a much shorter time, although possibly with a smaller
speaker	base.
  I note that Jim Brown	considered his language	speakable in 1977, or possibly
even earlier (there are	reports	that a group called the	'Loglan	Sogrun'
conversed to a minimal extent in the 60's).  Brown actually tried to teach the
language to college students in	the 50's - though with no particular success -
and sold books teaching	the language starting in 1966.
  Brown's books	of the 60's were probably as complete as Zamenhof's 1888 book,
but Brown did not have the follow-through that Zamenhof	did, nor the 'market'
ripe for the language that Zamenhof had	with the simultaneous collapse of
Volap�k.  Also,	to put it simply, Brown's books, while they explained things in
considerable detail, had no text longer	than individual	sentences.  They were
thus at	best mediocre in teaching the language for actual use.	But this was not
a flaw in the language or its design, but rather in its	inventor's teaching and
writing	style.
  Loglan/Lojban	has had	an added handicap over Esperanto - a changing plural set
of goals which is more than mere 'speakability', and rising standards on what it
takes to achieve those goals.  The standard of unambiguity changed with	the
development of computer	tools like YACC, and a language	thought	to be unambigu-
ous suddenly wasn't.  I	believe	I've done more work researching	language
universals than	Brown did.
  The whole point of the JL11 discussion, of course, was that comparison of
development periods just isn't practical, and the various numbers in the above
discussion should prove	this.  But Athelstan and I were	trying to respond to
comments and questions that have been frequently raised	by Esperantists.  If the
'35-year' development effort can be claimed as a strike	against	us, we have the
right to argue it as a virtue instead.

  "... more people -- or at least Americans -- are repelled when they hear a
conversation they don't	understand than	are attracted.	When possible, I always
use English under such circumstances." -  I was	merely observing that at a
convention table 'selling' a language, it seemed strange not to	hear the
language.  I would expect that Americans are not much repelled to hear a
'strange' language if they expect to hear one, and one would expect to hear one
at an Esperanto	table, which is	not a BART train.  I certainly did, which is why
I made the comment.
  (On the other	hand, Americans	are often offended to hear a language other than
English	when visiting a	foreign	country, but this is the Americans' problem, not
the natives.  In the US	these days, perhaps 10-20% of the people have a	native
language other than English, so	Americans will have to get used	to hearing
things other than English.)
  I also have a	different philosophy as	to what	it takes to sell a new language
to Americans.  If you use English whenever that	is a possibility because it is a
common language, you merely support the	argument that 'we don't	need Esperanto
(or Lojban) because English is already spoken by most everyone who wants to talk
to people from another culture'.  Regardless of	whether	it is true or not, the
average	American is going to think that	you are	speaking English because it is
easier or more convenient than Esperanto.  And if it IS	easier for you to speak
English	than Esperanto to another Esperantist, you are missing out on a	prime
opportunity to learn to	speak it better, while demonstrating that the language
is useful to passers-by	(something most	of them	are probably unconvinced of).
  When I can speak Lojban fluently I will try to speak Lojban at convention
tables promoting the language, if the other people manning the table also speak
comparably well.  If I have problems with people who seem repelled, I'll add a
sign inviting them to ask us what we're	saying.
  This will entice people and cause them to see	that we	think the language is
worth speaking when we could be	speaking English instead; they will also be
curious	as to what we are saying, and we'll happily explain.  This may not be
how it works out in reality, but this is our goal, and our limited experience so
far is that using the language in public prompts curiosity and not repulsion.
(We've done nicely at conventions with people who notice our buttons with the
slogan "e'osai ko sarji	la lojban.")

  If we're wrong, Don can say "I told you so".	But if this turns out to be the
case, then I am	most pessimistic that any language will	be acceptable as an
International language to Americans.  At any given time	on the path to accep-
tance, there will be Americans who don't know the language.  If	a foreigner is
not going to learn English (in which case English is the international
language), then	the American must learn	Esperanto or whatever before the need
arises where it	must be	used, or she/he	won't be fluent	when that need arises.
And this means speaking	the language extensively with English-speaking cohorts
before then, by	definition.
  In any event,	to go from a few thousand to 250 million Americans speaking a
particular foreign language will take some aggressive (and skillful) marketing
which may be offensive to some people.	Possibly as offensive as the USEnglish
people are in promoting	English	(whether one agrees with their opinions	or not,
their words and	tactics	are pushy and offensive).  The trick is	to market
aggressively while minimizing offense.
  I should note	that I while I disagree	with Don on this point,	I find many of
the Esperanto marketing	techniques quite skillful, and hope that we Lojbanists
can learn from them.  This is only practical under a cooperative, as opposed to
competitive relationship between the two communities.

			      Masters of Tongue	Fu
			      by Donald	J. Harlow

		  originally published in The ELNA Newsletter
			   reprinted with permission

  When people say "International Language" today, they are probably talking
about Esperanto.  In China, in fact, the language is better known as shi jie yu,
which simply means "international language," than as "Esperanto."  In those
parts of the world where "interlinguistics" is an accepted part	of the science
of linguistics,	articles on the	subject	-- if they are not purely historical in
nature -- will almost certainly	refer almost exclusively to Esperanto.
Discussions of the literature of artificial languages will concentrate totally
on that	of Esperanto, since only very underdeveloped literatures exist for other
artificial languages, and for most of them, don't exist	at all.	 Any study of
the sociology of an artificial language, too, will concern itself only with
Esperanto, since only two other	artificial languages ever had populations of ad-
herents	even remotely comparable to that of Esperanto, and then	only for very
short periods of time.
  But Esperanto	is neither the first not the only "international language."
Attempts to create such	a language go back at least to the thirteenth century,
when the Abbess	Hildegarde of Rupertzberg, a lady more recently	exhumed	-- and
justly so! -- by the women's movement, the gnostics, and various musical
organizations (how refreshing it is that Hildegarde, one of the	earliest of the
"Renaissance Men," was a woman!), created her "Lingua Ignota."	The philosophers
Comensky, Leibniz, and Descartes all wrote about the international language;
Bishop Berkeley	worked at developing one.  In the last century,	the Frenchman
Sudre created Solresol,	a language meant to be whistled	or trumpeted, and it
enjoyed	a very long period of popularity in some circles in France; at one point
the French military even considered adopting it, possible because trumpets can
be heard over greater distances	than shouted commands.	Who knows?  Had	the
French followed	through	with this idea,	their defeat in	the Franco-Prussian War
in 1871	might not have occurred, and all later history would have been
  No one knows how many	"international languages" have actually	been proposed.
The figure certainly exceeds a thousand.  These	range from genuine a priori
languages, all of whose	material is invented out of whole cloth, to slightly
modified ethnic	languages, such	as Basic English.  But of the thousand or so
such languages,	only a few have	ever attained any degree of popularity,	and most
of that	has been spurious -- a creation	of the news media, ever	in search of
some new and interesting story.	 Chronologically, these	most famous of
international languages	have been: Volap�k, Esperanto, Ido, Occidental,	Basic
English, and Interlingua.  For those who know little or	nothing	about the

origins	and fates of these languages, I	would like to give an introduction to
  Volap�k was invented in 1880 by a German priest, Monsignor Johann Martin
Schleyer.  Schleyer, a polyglot, recognized among his less talented parishioners
the need for a language	to communicate across national boundaries, and set our
to create on.  The result was Volap�k.	The language enjoyed tremendous
popularity over	the next decade, but, because of certain aspects of its	grammar
and vocabulary,	it generated a strong movement for reforms among many of its
speakers; and Schleyer,	who saw	himself	as the language's Pope,	so to speak,
refused	to even	consider such reforms.	The language's most vocal adherents
split into two factions, one supporting	Schleyer and on	supporting his chief
opponent, a French professor named Auguste Kerckhoffs.	The resulting struggle
destroyed the language,	many of	whose proponents in any	case were shifting their
allegiance to the rising (green) star of Esperanto by the end of the eighties.
By the beginning of the	new century, Volap�k was all but dead, though at least
one (very small, very irregular) bulletin in the language seems	to have	appeared
as late	as 1960.  When Bernard Golden went in search of	speakers of Volap�k on
the language's 100th birthday, he found	a total	of ten -- all of whom also spoke
  It is	worth noting, however, that at its peak	Volap�k	boasted	perhaps	100,000
adherents -- though how	many of	them could actually speak the language is open
to question.  In this regard, it is interesting	that it	shared several
characteristics	with Esperanto.	 The two of these that are perhaps most
important, in my view, are:  (1) an agglutinative system of word-formation, in
contrast to the	standard Indo-European system (more correctly:	lack of	a
system); and (2) the desire of the inventor to solve the problem of communi-
cation between people of different languages, not just to invent an artificial
  I don't want to go into Esperanto's history in any detail here.  If you want
to read	a good book about the early period, get	a copy of Edmond Privat's
Historio de la Lingvo Esperanto, or his	Vivo de	Zamenhof.  I would only	wish to
say that, more than a hundred years into its existence,	Esperanto's eventual
fate has not yet been decided.	Given that over	its history the	language has had
few friends, except for	a (relatively few) far-sighted and courageous souls who
have actually gone out and learned it, while it	has succeeded in gaining for
itself a notable array of enemies -- Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin spring
immediately to mind -- the staying power that the language has demonstrated is
quite encouraging.
  Let me only add here that Zamenhof, like Schleyer, was interested not	in
creating and artificial	language but in	finding	some viable solution to	the
problem	of communication between different peoples.  And in Zamenhof's case --
he was a Jew living in late 19th century Russia	-- the problem was far from a
theoretical one.
  Zamenhof stated (in his First	book) that Esperanto was not our typical
European language.  Arguments over Esperanto's Europeanness go on even today.
Certainly, despite recent modest accretions from Japanese and other non-European
languages, Esperanto's lexical material	remains	primarily European, chiefly
Romance, in origin.  Other aspects of the language's structure are less
convincingly European.	Certain	tendencies in popular use of the language -- for
instance, the occasional doubling of short adjective roots to show emphasis,
rather than through use	of the -EG suffix -- show a pattern of thought in the
language reminiscent of	Chinese.
  I don't intend to argue here over whether Esperanto is fundamentally European
or non-European; but certainly many early speakers of the language in Western
Europe found it	less European (more particularly, less West-European) than they
would have liked.  This	was particularly true in France, where many early
leaders	of the national	Esperanto movement would have preferred	a more
Francophone, or	even Anglophone, tone to the language.	A few of these
gentlemen, in fact through a rather underhanded	process, set themselves	up as
"reformers" of Esperanto, and in 1907 produced a version of Esperanto that
appeared much more in tune with	the linguistic norms of	the world -- i.e.,
French and English.  For a while, they expected	that their new language	would
replace	classical Esperanto, but when this did not happen -- a vast majority of
ordinary speakers of the language refused to make the necessary	changes	in their

habits -- the "reformed	Esperanto" split off and became	an artificial language
in its own right, Ido.
  While	Ido shows a decided shift away from Esperanto's	agglutinative word-
formation system, back towards a more Western European orientation, it does not
represent a complete break with	the linguistic ideas expressed first in	Volap�k
and then more clearly in Esperanto.  The real difference between the two
languages lay in the motivations of the	men who	developed them.	 It is fairly
apparent that the problem of communication was of little interest to Prof. Louis
Couturat, Louis	de Beaugront, and Major	Charles	Lemaire, the primary motors
behind the development of Ido; they were more concerned	with what they saw as
Esperanto's linguistic blemishes.  This	is hardly surprising; the pleasant
little conspiracy into which they entered for the purpose of replacing that
Russian	Jewish eye-doctor as the guiding force in the international language
movement shows in them an ethical blind	spot that would	not fit	well with a
genuine	concern	for the	communications needs of	ordinary people.  Insofar as Ido
did prosper -- and it prospered, in fact, much more than did any other
"international language" except	Volap�k	and Esperanto -- it did	so, I believe,
despite	the people behind it, not because of them.
  Ido, in fact,	appears	to have	attained a maximum population of about 10,000
adherents by the early 1920's -- not all that far behind Esperanto in that
period.	 But as	the ranks of Esperanto swelled through the twenties, to	reach
more than a hundred thousand by	1930, those of Ido appear to have declined.  It
nevertheless remains extant even today,	though in what seems to	be a basically
moribund state.	 Ido, like Esperanto, has actually produced a small original
literature -- though, strangely	enough,	so far as I know the only genuine
literary work ever published in	Ido, a collection of original poetry, was
published by the Kultura Centro	Esperantista in	Switzerland.
  A recent newspaper article about another constructed language	project	referred
to Esperantists	as "verbal hobbyists."	As a matter of fact, Ido did much to
cull the verbal	hobbyists out of the Esperanto movement	very early on.	One
result of this is that,	for many years,	the Esperanto movement has been
remarkably free	of individuals who see the language only as an interesting
project, whose main purpose in existing	is to improve itself by	adopting their
recommended reforms.  Another result is	that the Ido movement ended up
consisting mainly of just such people.	It is hardly surprising, then, that when
yet another "improved" international language came along, it would skim	off a
far greater percentage of members from the Ido movement	than from the Esperanto
movement.  This	language was Occidental, proposed in 1922 by the Estonian Edgar
De Wahl.
  The language's very name gives away De Wahl's	motivation.  An	early
Esperantist, he	also abandoned the language early on, apparently in protest
against	its non-traditional structure.	Whether	he was ever a practicing Idist,
I don't	know, but suspect that from the	time he	left Esperanto he followed a
very different and more	radical	route.	Occidental, built upon the basis of an
earlier	project, Julius	Lott's Mundolingue, can	best be	described, I think, as a
late and very highly rationalized Romance dialect, with	noticeable German
accretions.  It	was, in	fact, nothing less than	an attempt to codify West Euro-
pean thought processes in a constructed	language.  Supporters of Occidental
justified this by asserting that civilization, being essentially European in
nature,	should be represented by an essentially	European language.  In this way,
the language would help	make the blessings of European thought available to the
rest of	the world -- or	help keep the rest of the world	under the European
thumb, as the more cynical might tend to think.
  The nineteen thirties	were, in some ways, the	apogee of language construction;
Occidental was merely the most successful and best known of a series of	attempts
to create a new	international language.	 The famous Danish linguist Otto Jes-
persen,	for instance, a	long-time mainstay of the Ido movement,	abandoned the
language in favor of his own project, Novial, which was	largely	a clone	of
Occidental.  But the best-known	project	of this	period probably	remains	Basic
  Basic	English, invented in 1930 by the Englishman C. K. Ogden, was an	attempt
to simplify English and	make it	more suitable for international	use.  Ogden
claimed	to have	reduced	the entire vocabulary of the language to 850 words.  The
problem	was that his claims were spurious; the language	included far more than
850 words (Ogden did not count "international" words such as alcohol in	his 850

word vocabulary, though	they were considered part of the language; and he added
several	1000-word technical vocabularies).  Also, many people felt that	Basic
English	was merely a "Trojan horse" for	a more standard	brand of the language.
The event proved this latter group correct; in the 1960's, the British Council,
a government-sponsored organization devoted to spreading English among the
heathens, bought the rights to Basic English, and since	that time it has been
used only as in	introduction to	standard (read:	British) English.  Though
several	famous English-speakers	supported the language from time to time, among
them Winston Churchill and H. G. Wells (who, in	The Shape of Things to Come, had
the whole world	speaking Basic English), no popular movement for this language
was ever generated.
  Because of the growing number	of language projects, there was	some confusion
as to which one	would be, or even should be, the ultimate international
language.  This	confusion had begun when Volap�k, which	had offered such high
hopes to the world, fell apart and was replaced	by Esperanto; and it had become
endemic	when the Ido schism occurred in	1907.  By the late twenties, with
Esperanto and Ido and Occidental and who knew how many other projects vying for
attention, it was understandable that the ordinary individual would throw up his
hands in disgust.  An American Esperantist, Mrs. Alice Vanderbilt Morris -- of
the New	York Vanderbilts, I believe -- funded the establishment	of a new
organization to	do research into the problem and find some sort	of acceptable
solution, for instance a compromise between the	different language projects.
The organization was called the	International Auxiliary	Language Association, or
IALA for short.
  IALA,	located	in England, though it did valuable research work, had little
luck in	convincing anyone to compromise.  The Romance-based "naturalistic"
languages such as Occidental and Novial	would not be ready to yield in the
direction of "schematic" Esperanto; and	Esperantists at	that time were not yet
ready to forgive the Idists for	the dirty work at the 1907 crossroads.	In any
case, the Esperantists,	who even then made up between 80 and 95% of the	entire
International Language movement, felt that they	had no need to compromise.
Furthermore, by	the mid	thirties they had other	and more pressing problems to
attract	their attention	-- proscriptions in Germany and	the USSR, for instance.
  Eventually, IALA, after moving to the	United States at the outbreak of war,
came under the directorship of Dr. Alexander Gode, and set out to create its own
language, which	was published in 1950 and given	the name Interlingua.
  Interlingua is even more quintessentially Romance that Occidental, and in its
turn attracted away many of the	remaining adherents of Occidental, which tried
to stave off the inevitable by renaming	itself "Interlingue."  But again its
creator	really had no interest in resolving communications problems; he	himself
stated that his	real purpose was to provide the	world with a "standard average
European" vocabulary, culled from the Romance languages.  Interlingua made
modest inroads in the American press's coverage	of attempts to solve the
language problem through the fifties and early sixties,	and there exists a small
Interlingua movement, mainly in	Europe,	even today; but	the language never had
the widespread support that Esperanto developed	even in	its earliest years.  Its
one notable success was	in giving the coup de grace to Occidental, whose last
magazine bit the dust in 1985.
  To recap the situations of these various languages today:
  1) Volap�k is	a dead issue and has been for the better part of a century.  It
is not and has not ever	been represented by any	kind of	corpus of literature.
  2) Esperanto continues to grow, and today boasts at least two	million
speakers, perhaps more,	of whom	some one hundred thousand actively use the
language and participate in the	movement to promote the	language.  Some	150 to
200 periodicals	appear regularly in the	language, not counting local club
bulletins.  It has a large and growing body of literature, both	original and
  3) Ido retains a small movement and several periodicals to link that movement,
though none of them seem to appear more	often than quarterly.  It has a	very
small body of original and translated literature.
  4) Occidental	is dead.
  5) Basic English as a	separate language is dead.
  6) Interlingua has a small relict supporting movement, mainly	in Europe.  It
has few	if any periodicals, and	no body	of original literature to speak	of.

  Although Interlingua is not the only postwar entry into the international
language competition, it is the	only one to receive any	publicity and to
generate a supporting movement of any size.  And it is a product of the	year
1950.  It appears that,	to a great extent, the production of such languages
peaked in the 1930's, and went largely out of style after the Second World War.
  I would tend to blame	the apparent "success" of English for this.  The War
gave French, already in	decline, a deathblow, and by about 1950	it was apparent
that English was destined to become the	international language,	by default.  So
what need for Esperanto, Interlingua, Ido, and other entries into the
competition?  The outcome was already decided.	The other postwar projects --
the Romanids, Neos, Intals, Loglans, etc. -- were doomed to obscurity.
Esperanto survived this	period,	and even prospered to some degree, not because
people saw it as the coming world language (though there were those who	never
lost this hope)	but because (a)	it had already developed an independent
infrastructure that could keep it going	even through the most difficult	periods
-- as Soviet Esperantists proved during	the period from	1937 to	1956 --	and (b)
it had already developed other reasons for existence besides as	a solution to
the world language problem.
  But the success of English has always	been more apparent than	real.  The
growth of English in the intervening period carried the	language from 11% of the
world's	population to about 8.5% -- not	the most inspiring rate	of growth.
Where English has failed, of course, we	have tended to blame local conditions
for this, or to	assume that this failure is non-representative of the world as a
whole -- as when, for instance,	after a	hundred	years of concentrated English
teaching has not produced a nation of English-speakers in Japan, we insist that
"improved teaching methods" would no doubt resolve this	problem, or when
columnist Neal Peirce, supporting California's English-only initiative,	insists
that we	tend to	retreat	from English in	this country "while the	rest of	the
world stampedes	to English."
  Forty	five years after the end of World War II it is,	I think, apparent to
anyone that if English has not failed as THE international language, it	has
certainly come nowhere near fulfilling all those promises that were made for it
at that	time.  Nor is it likely	to do so in the	foreseeable future, even
granting continued U.S.	military and economic primacy in the world -- a	very
unlikely possibility.
  Which	means that the whole question of the international language is open
again.	It means that the Esperanto movement, barring the sort of deliberate
repression we've seen from time	to time	in Russia and China and	Rumania	and
Germany	and elsewhere, will prosper anew.  Indeed, it has been doing so	since
the mid-seventies.
  And it means that, in	the field of artificial	languages, Esperanto may begin
to see some aspiring competitors spring	up.  In	fact, those competitors	are
already	here.  In 1972,	an Englishman, Leslie Jones, published his Eurolengo, a
basically Romance language based on English and	Spanish.  A young French teacher
made the pages of the Guardian in Britain (favorably) with his Uropi.  Two
summers	ago, several Esperanto clubs in	this country received letters from a
young man developing a project he called Linguos.  Loglan, a product of	the late
fifties	which made the pages of	Scientific American in June, 1960, has recently
been revived in	two different forms.  And just the other day the ELNA Central
Office received	a booklet, mostly in German, about a new Romance-based project
called Unitario.
  None of these	projects has, at least in this country,	received the sort of
publicity that panicked	Esperantists in	the early fifties when Interlingua
appeared.  A recent article on Lojban (a schismatic variant of Loglan) that was
picked up by the wire services and published in	many newspapers	around the
country, appears to have been less than	enthusiastic about the language; with
the exception of Uropi,	none of	the others listed above	have even been mentioned
in the American	press.
  But I	think that we will hear	more of	them --	and others like	them --	in the
future.	 And much of what we hear, as was the case with	Ido and	Occidental and
Interlingua, will not be why they are ideal solutions to the problem of
communication between different	peoples, but why they are superior to Esperanto.
  Are they superior to Esperanto?  Probably so,	at least on their own terms.
Ido was	superior to Esperanto in its adherence to West European	linguistic

norms.	Occidental was superior	to Esperanto in	its similarity to other	Western
languages.  Interlingua	was certainly superior to Esperanto as a quintessential
Romance	language.  And if what you wanted was a	watered-down form of English,
Basic English certainly	filled the bill	better than Esperanto.
  In Esperanto's own terms -- facility of learning, cultural and political
neutrality -- none of these languages was in any way superior to Esperanto, nor
even equal to it.  The same can	be said, I think, about	recent and future pro-
  The mentioned	projects fall basically	into two categories, from what I have
seen of	them, Eurolengo, Uropi,	Linguos	and Unitario appear to be fundamentally
what we	may call Euroclones, like Occidental and Interlingua.  The designers of
these languages, apparently unfamiliar with the	work of	De Wahl, Jespersen and
Gode, are making the same mistakes again -- assuming that the world will best be
served,	and will let itself be served, by an artificial	language with nothing to
recommend it but its Europeanness.  They don't realize that if this is what the
world wants, it	is more	likely to learn	Spanish.
  Loglan and its offshoot Lojban fall into quite a different category.	Of the
mentioned languages, they have been getting the	most publicity.	 But it	should
be noted that no language as a priori in its origins as	Loglan has ever
succeeded in generating	a body of speakers.  To	add to Loglan's	difficulties, it
was originally created as a means of testing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis	(now
largely	discredited), and for this reason its author claims to have made it as
far from ordinary linguistic patterns as he could.  This may be	a fine way of
establishing an	experiment, but	for purposes of	communication it's a non-
starter.  Loglan will most likely go the way of	Barnett's Suma;	a few years from
now, if	you want to learn about	it, you	will probably be able to get a book out
the state library, but nowhere else will any information be available.
  Esperanto remains the	only truly viable artificial international language:
easy to	learn, relatively neutral, with	a wide base of cultural	and practical
services for the user to call on around	the world.  Of all the artificial lan-
guages extant today, only Esperanto is,	not the	result of an attempt to	create a
language, but the result of an attempt to solve	a problem.
  And only Esperanto lives.


  Bob responds (actually not very much):  Funny, I thought Don Oldenburg's
article	was quite favorable towards the	language (and so did he), though I'll
admit that the headlines used in some newspapers could be taken	as satirical.
Certainly the amount of	print space given the language was quite significant.
But a good news	story reports facts rather than	conveys	enthusiasm, so I can
understand Don not finding much	enthusiasm therein.

  "In Esperanto's own terms -- facility	of learning, cultural and political
neutrality -- none of these languages was in any way superior to Esperanto, nor
even equal to it." -  This invites all kinds of	disagreement.  Facility	of
learning is of course an open question.	 Esperanto probably has	better teaching
materials at the moment	because	of 100 years to	develop	them; probably many of
the other languages proposed would be equally easy to learn.  As to cultural
neutrality, Don	admits early on	that Esperanto derives its lexical materials
from European languages.  Even if Sapir-Whorf is true, it is likely that a
language's word-stock has far more overt ties to culture than does grammar.  Don
has (in	letters	to us) written about the ideology held by Esperantists - a
language with an ideology is the antithesis of politically neutrality.	The goal
of being a world language is itself inherently political; some cultures	will
view such a concept as a threat.  Lojban's goals as a whole are	basically non-
political; international language aspects are a	side-benefit rather than a
primary	goal.
  (In one letter to Dr.	Brown, Don actually criticizes us for not having an
underlying ethic other than ensuring clear communication - a purely linguistic
goal.  Apparently Don doesn't realize that a non-linguistic ethic is inherently
a cultural bias.  If Esperanto has such	an underlying ethic, it	is false to
claim that it is culturally neutral without demonstrating that the ethic is
universally accepted in	all cultures - an unlikely prospect.)

  "Of all the artificial languages extant today, only Esperanto	is, not	the
result of an attempt to	create a language, but the result of an	attempt	to solve
a problem." - Don says this right after	saying that Lojban was designed	to test
the 'untestable' Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which was 'discredited' primarily
because	it was untestable (which is obviously bad science).  Testing an
untestable hypothesis as important as Sapir-Whorf sounds like an attempt to
solve a	problem	to me.	So is developing a speakable language with an
unambiguous syntax, as well as developing an a priori language that removes con-
straints on thought rather than	imposing them (as all other attempts I know of
tried).	 There are other problems in the world relevant	to language besides the
one Esperanto is associated with.

  "And only Esperanto lives." -	 A nice	slogan,	but questionable at best.  Don
seems to base this on the existence of an original literature.	(By most other
standards of 'living' Don mentions in his article, at least Interlingua	would be
considered 'alive', if sick-a-bed.)  Michael Helsem seems to be	on the road to
matching the entire original literary production of Ido	and Volap�k before
Lojban has a single fluent speaker, and	I know of at least two or three	others
that have more than contemplated literary efforts in Lojban, but either	want to
acquire	more skill before trying or (in	at least one case) are waiting for
people who can read the	language without translating it	first.
			       from Ralph Dumain
  The closest I	have come to dealing with linguistics in a long	time was
attending a linguistics	conference here	in December.  I	queried	a couple of
friends	about the current state	of linguistic theory, who were rather cynical.
They did not feel, however, that any given school of thought was being
discriminated against in terms of research funding; the	politics is more person-
al than	doctrinal.  The	book exhibit was overwhelming; there is	more going on
than anyone can	assimilate -- books on syntax, discourse analysis, you name it -
- it's hard to get a grip on.  I saw the new book that Mouton has published on
interlinguistics (i.e. international planned languages like Esperanto),	but it
was too	expensive to buy even at a discount.  There were 6 books in a series on
the DLT	project, the machine translation system	that uses Esperanto as the
interlanguage.	With two other books I know about, that	makes 8	books in all.
One of those books includes articles about other machine translation projects,
including one that uses	the purportedly	logical	Indian language	Aymara as its
  A few	comments on articles in	your recent newsletters.  The lengthy article
that compares Lojban to	Esperanto struck me as much to-do about	nothing, as no
Esperantist today believes that	his language only has 16 rules.	 That was used
at one time as a propaganda device by careless people, but I think people are
more thoughtful	nowadays, at least on that point.  Anyway, it is necessary to
understand the historical origin of the	"16 rules."  They are not descriptive
but prescriptive.  They	came from the effort to	put and	end to the constant
attempts at reforming the grammar that people who are never satisfied with the
form of	Esperanto or any other planned language	kept attempting	to make.
Adopted	as part	of the "Fundamento," the 16 rules declared those easily
describable, non-negotiable, mandatory features	of the language.  Together with
a basic	lexicon	and a set of examples illustrating the language	in use
(including syntactic features not explicitly described elsewhere), the "16
rules" formed the Fundamento.  Of course, Esperanto like all other languages
contains thousands of syntactic	rules, some of which are captured in pre-
scriptive grammars, and	many more of which the speakers	are unconscious.
Esperanto is learned as	other languages	are learned, without complete formal
grammars at hand, and non-Europeans do not have	to learn an Indo-European
language before	they learn Esperanto, any more than they would have to learn
French before they could learn English.	 Also, Esperanto can borrow words from
any language, not just European	ones.
  On the alleged non-competition between Esperanto and Lojban.	They are non-
competitive if Lojbanists refrain from pushing Lojban as an international
language, since	the Sapir-Whorf	hypothesis is of no concern to Esperanto.
However, the minute someone makes a claim for a	new international language,
several	issues arise.  Anyone coming forth with	a new language who looks like a
crackpot automatically discredits the international language movement in the

eyes of	the public, hence Esperantists have a stake in the matter.  In the past,
this means that	somebody hides in their	attic for 15 years creating a language,
self-publishes a little	book describing	his new	language, and announces	in a
press conference that he has just created the now world	language.  It is one
thing to have a	hobby, it is another to	make bombastic proclamations that one's
creation (whether of a language, a new monetary	system,	or any utopian scheme)
will change the	world when the lack of social realism is so obvious to all.
Those kind of people are obvious cranks, and hence they	compromise Esperanto
whenever they claim that they have concocted a new world language, as if the
adoption of an international language were some	kind of	magic.	Hence Esperan-
tists have justifiably reacted negatively.
  Now, I do not	claim that Lojban/Lojban is guilty of this extreme behavior.
The Washington Post article did	not cast Lojban	in such	a light.  You have not
yet claimed Lojban to be the future international language.  But you have
already	resorted to dubious propaganda in order	to make	yourself look good and
Esperanto bad.
  You suggest that, as Lojban is a superior engineering	effort than Esperanto,
it can quickly catch up	even though Esperanto has a century-long head start.
The creators of	Ido also thought they were superior language engineers,	and
where are they today?  There are social, political and economic	reasons	why no
planned	language, Esperanto or otherwise, has been universally adopted,	and
those obstacles	cannot be surmounted by	the most able of engineers.  Here the
narrow,	blinkered mentality of the computer specialist is so painfully evident.
  There	is also	the supposed cultural neutrality of Lojban that	makes it
superior to Esperanto.	But Lojban has not only	neutrality, but	cultural
nullity.  Esperanto had	social roots (and still	does today) in the circumstances
of late	19th century Eastern Europe, and in spite of the provinciality of the
Warsaw Ghetto, Zamenhof	and Esperanto still managed to attract the admiration
and loyalty of people throughout the world.  The European "bias" of Esperanto's
grammar	is a non-issue,	as that	is the part of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that
has been thoroughly discredited.  The European lexicon of the Esperanto	language
is advantageous	to technologically oriented non-Europeans, though it may ideo-
logically repulse others.  But the speech community of Esperanto is most
diverse, whereas the community of Lojban is extremely uniform and narrow --
computer nerds,	sci-fi buffs, people interested	in logic and semantics -- not
much of	a basis	for an international culture, and certainly not	an ideologically
neutral	or even	divers culture.	 Esperantists, in spite	of the European	bias of
their language's lexicon, have risked and even sacrificed their	lives in
fighting racism	and fascism; no	Lojbanist I know would ever make such a
  What is most irritating is misusing facts in order to	support	misleading
generalizations.  I accept as truthful the statement that while	sitting	next to
the Esperanto booth at a sci-fi	convention, you	did not	overhear the
Esperantists speaking Esperanto	to one another.	 You dishonestly suggest by that
example	that Esperantists are not even accustomed to speaking the very language
they are advertising to	others.	 What hypocrisy, in light of the fact that
Esperanto conversation has been	going on for a century in the most diverse of
circumstances, while no	Loglan/	Lojban conversation in the context of any normal
social interaction has ever taken place!  I too	have staffed an	Esperanto booth
upon occasion, and I too have only used	English	to speak to my fellow American
Esperantist booth-mates, because it is basically an English-speaking envi-
ronment, and I do not generally	speak Esperanto	in an English-speaking setting
although I am perfectly	capable	of speaking the	language.
  So it	seems that in spite of your lip	service	to non-competition, you	are
already	pitting	Lojban against Esperanto in a competitive fashion, and you have
also resorted to duplicity in doing so.	 Under those circumstances, you	cannot
realistically expect amicable relations	between	Lojban and the Esperanto
movement.  You know that I do not tolerate dishonest propaganda	on the part of
Esperantists, as evidenced by my disagreements with Don	Harlow.	 I surely am not
going to let the young upstarts	of Lojban get away with	any nonsense, especially
when they are highly educated people who claim to be able to use their language
in order to improve their thinking and their world view.
  I enclose a photocopy	of a commentary	on Loglan/Lojban from Rick Harrison's
The Alembic.  I	pass this along	for the	completeness of	your archives, not to
torment	you.  Mark Tierisch's reasoning	leaves something to be desired in many

parts of this article.	Although this article makes Esperanto look good	in
comparison to Loglan, its reasoning doesn't hold up, especially	since Esperanto
like all other languages has a lot more	than 30	grammatical rules, let alone 16.
The only place where I unequivocally agree with	Tierisch is where he refers to
Loglan as not culturally neutral but as	a reflection of	the "culture of	nerds."
The disparaging	term "nerd" is hardly necessary, but the description accurately
pinpoints the subcultural basis	(and hence metaphysical	bias) of Lojban: science
fiction	and computer buffs and the like.

  Bob responds on a couple of items -	I think	Ralph has an incorrect view of
the Lojban community.  You are far more	diverse	than he	claims.	 A large
percentage are computer-literate, and many read	science	fiction, but not all; in
any case, even those two categories define widely varied audiences.  I can see
that education is inherently a potential bias, but I challenge Ralph or	anyone
else to	state actual metaphysical biases that are common to all	members	of
either group, or to the	Lojban community.
  To tie back to something I said regarding Don	Harlow's writings, Lojban's
metaphysical diversity can be shown by a wide diversity	in political beliefs
among the community.  Within the Lojban	community are sizeable numbers of
libertarians, socialists, and anarchists, extremes of both the right and left,
along with more	mainstream political philosophies.  It is an incomplete	argument
to infer metaphysics from politics, but	I think	it is a	reasonable idea.
  Whether most Lojbanists (the majority	of whom	probably oppose	both racism and
fascism) would die for their beliefs, I	cannot say.  At	least some of our
supporters are in the Armed Forces and are committed to	die for	their country if
necessary.  Ralph impugns the honor of these and other Lojbanists with his
  I recognize that Esperanto has had its martyrs.  One would hope that martyrdom
is not a vital prerequisite to achieving an international language.  One
'problem' with martyrdom, is that, while it draws together the community
associated with	those who have died, that same strong feeling alienates	those
outside	of the community, and causes them to misunderstand.  Some may be drawn
to a movement that people are willing to die for; others are repelled by the
'fanaticism' that they perceive	in such	an attitude.
  In any event,	fighting racism	and fascism is not what	Lojban is about,
although I personally would hope that with increased understanding of other
cultures that is possible through learning Lojban, people would	find it	more
difficult to persecute those who differ	from them.
  I will admit that any	discussion of Esperanto	and Lojban will	lead to	some
comparisons.  Our purpose in the articles was to blunt the validity of such
comparisons.  My statements about Esperanto do not claim that anything is
'wrong'	with it; I merely feel that Lojban is better designed for the purposes
it is meant for	than Esperanto is.  But	those purposes are different from Esper-
  Only where we	talk about the potential for Lojban as an international	language
is there even a	basis for comparison.  In this area, though, I stated that
Lojban would have no significant role unless both a) Esperanto clearly fails as
an international language and b) Lojban's other	uses make it attractive	as an
international language.	 The international language goal is an incidental one
for Lojban (though important to	some among Lojbanists, including some who are
also Esperantists).  There is plenty of	room for both languages	to successfully
achieve	their goals.
  My point is that both	languages can gain by cooperation rather than
competition.  An Esperantist is	already	more open to the possibilities that make
Lojban interesting than	a typical member of the	non-Esperanto public.
Similarly, a higher percentage of Lojbanists are aware of and interested in
Esperanto than of the general public.  If this commonalty can be harnessed,
positive synergistic effects are likely.
  In this light, my comments about Esperanto being spoken at convention	tables
should be taken	much more positively.  I did not and do	not claim that
Esperantists cannot speak their	language.  Rather, I believe that the outside
image of Esperanto as 'useful' and 'important' suffers when they do not	and they
can; Lojban will similarly suffer if Lojbanists	do not use their language.  My
calling	this situation to peoples' attention, and saying that I	plan to	do
differently, says nothing at all about the relative merits of the two languages.

It was a friendly, and I thought constructive, criticism.  (As an aside, Ralph
is incorrect in	stating	that Lojban has	not been used in 'normal' social
conversation.  Extensive use, not yet -	but surely within a year even this will
have changed.)
  As a final note, Ralph's last	reference is to	an letter in The Alembic that
was a diatribe against Lojban.	In it, writer Tierisch (who hasn't ever	been on
our mailing list and is	unlikely to know much about the	language) compares
Lojban's rules to Esperanto's 16 that we discussed last	issue.	Ralph mentions
this, but just a few paragraphs	earlier	said "no Esperantist today believes that
his language only has 16 rules.	 That was used at one time as a	propaganda
device by careless people, but I think people are more thoughtful nowadays, at
least on that point."  Don Harlow said something similar.  Apparently they are
wrong.	Perhaps	the leaders of the Esperanto movement know the significance of
the 16 rules, but the community	of Esperantists	as a whole may not.
  Tierisch's letter made many incorrect	claims about the language and suggested
that he	felt threatened	in some	way by Lojban's	ideas (perhaps in the way Ralph
suggests Esperantists feel about 'crackpot' language inventors).  We wrote a re-
ply, but The Alembic folded without printing another issue.
  My own feeling is that people	should not feel	threatened by ideas that differ
from their own.	 I can understand that Esperantists dislike the	'guilt by
association' that comes	from association with 'crackpots'.  But	this is	just
part of	the territory.	People like playing with language and new invented
'languages' will crop up all the time.	Reacting by disparaging	the inventor
merely offends the inventor; it	doesn't	stop other inventors, nor helps
Esperanto's image.  I think there are better approaches.
  My main point	here is	that the positive effects possible if both of our ef-
forts worked at	promoting created languages in general,	as well	as our specific
versions, instead of knocking at each other.  The potential benefits of	coopera-
tion far exceed	the benefits we	can gain at each other's expense.

from John Hodges:

  I took to heart your essay in	JL11 that "there is no competition between E.
and L.,	because	their goals are	different."  But I'm not sure your argument
  The goal of E. is to be an international language, to	be "everybody's	second
language".  Notice that	this is	a global ambition, and implies that any	other
"second" or "international" language is	a competitor.  They have an established
claim to this role, with 100 years of experience, 10,000 books,	and 2,000,000
speakers (1990 World Almanac figure).  Also some martyrs, persecuted by	the
Nazis and other	militant nationalists.
  Lojban has three major goals:	 1) to be a research tool for scientific study
into the relationships between language, thought, and culture -	we hope	that
studies	will prove that	people think more flexibly and/or more logically in Loj-
ban than in any	other language;	 2) to find computer applications, e.g.	in
artificial intelligence, human/machine interface, and machine translation; 3) to
be an international language.  (We welcome anyone to use it for	anything, but
these are the goals we had in mind during all those years of development.)
  Goals	1) and 2) are less-than-global ambitions, which	genuinely do not
challenge Esperanto.  But your essay in	JL11 keeps goal	3), which does.	 You
soften it by saying that the challenge will not	be a serious one for many years,
and people should have their own choice	on it, anyway.	But it is still	there,
and there may be a practical conflict between goals 3) and 1).
  Goal 1) is to	be a research tool for learning	about language,	and the
relationships between language and thinking.  To achieve our scientific	goals,
we want/need to	gather a body of at least several hundred fluent L. speakers
from a wide variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, who	can participate
in controlled studies.	No doubt to get	these, we will have to recruit and teach
  To gather such a varied body of speakers, we could translate our teaching
materials into Chinese AND Hindi AND French AND	Spanish	AND so forth, or we

could translate	them into Esperanto, a relatively simple task.	If we CAN
recruit	Esperantists, we should	try to do so.  But CAN we?
  It is	clear what the Esperanto community can do for Lojban.  But what	does
Lojban offer the Esperanto community?  Why should they host our	experiment,
given the conflict implied by our goal 3)?
  One line of thought I	have explored in recent	days (many of my lines of
thought	are half-baked - I am asking for feedback).  Perhaps we	should
explicitly make	goal 3)	conditional on prior success in	goals 1) and/or	2), and
commit to cooperation with the Esperanto community should the event arise.
  We begin by describing Lojban	as "an experimental human language".  (I think
this is	true, anyway.  I expect	that our first five years of use will show us
changes	we want	to make, when our 5-year baseline expires.)  We	point out that
carrying a Lojban textbook written in Esperanto	book in	E. book	services will
hardly threaten	the spread of E.; it is	just one more cultural opportunity that
opens up if you	learn E.
  If the L. experiments	to test	Sapir-Whorf show that, as we hope, people think
more flexibly and/or more logically in Lojban than in any other	language, OR IF
future computers still find transcribing/parsing/translating Esperanto to be be-
yond them, while Lojban	is translated with ease, THEN AND ONLY THEN will the
question arise of whether to trade in Esperanto	for a newer model.  By hosting
our experiment,	the E. movement	will have stuffed the ranks of L-speakers with
Esperantists, assuring them the	loudest	possible voice in the future development
of Lojban Mark II.
  Carrying the thought further... How much good	would such a voice do them?
English	speakers have suggested	deriving the gismu from	English	alone; this is
still a	rotten idea if the favored language is Esperanto.  Lojbanized gismu do
not resemble their source words	closely	enough.	 Even if pure source words are
used for gismu,	they float in a	sea of cmavo that makes	the result in-
comprehensible to speakers of the source language.  Lojban is just too radically
different.  But	current	Lojban has rules of spelling and word-formation	designed
so that	today's	computers, with	PRIMITIVE abilities at pattern-recognition,
could transcribe and parse spoken Lojban correctly.  The abilities of future
computers may allow us to relax	those rules.  (neural nets, optoelctronics,
  For the rationale above to work, Lojban Mark II would	have to	be rebuilt from
the ground up.	SO- hypothetical question, for 10 to 20	years hence - if we
wished to make a language with predicate grammar, and accommodating the	limits
of computers of	the time. and as compatible as possible	with Esperanto,	how
close could we come?  Could, e.g., the prefixes	and suffixes of	Esperanto
substantially replace to cmavo?	 Could all brivla have only one	or two places,
mimicking conventional parts of	speech,	with the remaining places added	using
lexeme BAI?  Could we seriously	imagine	making a Lojban	Mark II	that was a
superset of Esperanto, so that existing	E. speakers and	books would remain
compatible?  Or	perhaps	one that was designed to make conversion from Esperanto
as easy	as possible?
  I am out of my depth here.  But if we	are to seriously recruit among
Esperantists, we may have to commit in advance to something like this, provided
the experiments	show Lojban Mark II to be a worthwhile effort.	Then again,
perhaps	these thoughts are way off base, and the future	of Lojban does not lie
in recruiting Esperantists.  Are we, ultimately, competitors after all?

  Bob responds - John stated the 'flaw'	in my competition argument better than
anyone else, but I still stand by what I said above, that both languages can co-
exist without competition between them.	 There are some	hidden assumptions
behind a deduced 'unavoidable' competition based on John's logic.
  The most important flawed assumption is natural for most Americans:  that for
one language to	be 'everyone's second language', there can be no other
international language.	 For monolingual Americans, learning a second language
seems onerous enough - why would anyone	want to	learn two 'international
  Simple.  One learns different	languages for different	purposes.  Languages are
tools for communication; you use the best tool available for the communications
job at hand.  By this argument,	of course, Don Harlow is right in using	English
to talk	to another English speaker, and	Esperanto when he wants	to talk	to

someone	who doesn't know English as well as they know Esperanto.  (Which I agree
with in	general, making	exceptions for the times when the language is on display
for outsiders, or when a particular educational	purpose	would be served.)
  Especially if	Lojban proves Sapir-Whorf true to any extent at	all, someone
learning Lojban	will think differently (and perhaps 'better' by	some standard)
than if	they know only Esperanto or their native language.
  We have no problem recruiting	Esperantists.  They have the same range	of
interests as any other group of	similar	size.  In fact,	Esperantists are a
fertile	recruiting ground because they are already interested in language.
  Some Esperantists will find the design goals of Lojban, or specific design
features, worthy enough	for them to further study the language.	 Then, when they
know more, they	can decide to study both languages or to just study one.  John's
argument is flawed here; he assumes that, because the goal for Esperanto is to
become "everyone's second language", every Esperantist holds that goal as a
nirvana	that they cannot turn away from.
  But Esperanto	is not likely to achieve its purpose within our	lifetimes.  So
many Esperantists will be interested in	the language that offers them more
personal gratification within their lifetime.  Some will find this in Lojban;
possibly others	in some	other language.	 Many, perhaps even most, will
concentrate on Esperanto, or will work with Esperanto and Lojban.  For these,
Esperanto provides the immediate satisfaction of a large speaker population with
which to communicate, while Lojban presents a peculiar intellectual challenge
that may at some later time prove more rewarding.  There is no competition
implicit in our	existence for such people.
  An Esperantist who denies the	value of learning other	languages is as	close-
minded as the nationalists that	oppose Esperanto.  Some	will be	this way, and
that is	their right.  But far more valuable to both Esperanto and Lojban would
be cooperation between the two groups.	Undoubtedly, Lojban will attract a lot
of people that would not be interested in Esperanto (as	Ralph says, computer
people and other scientists, and science fiction readers, are a	natural	audience
for Lojban).  Some of these may	not find Lojban	to their liking	(too different,
too small a speaker base, etc.), and may proceed onward	to discover Esperanto.
The reverse will be true among Esperanto recruits.  By having information on
both languages available, people can make an informed choice as	to which
language serves	their interests.
  A side benefit results.  A cooperative, open,	attitude is presented to the
public.	 This attitude ameliorates the impression that international linguists
are fanatical idealists, an impression that turns off a	lot of people.	Our re-
laxed attitude towards international language success has not only reduced
Lojban's 'threat' to Esperanto,	it has calmed the portion of the Lojban
community that opposes the idealistic 'world language' effort.
  Incidentally,	one member of our original class here in the DC-area, Paul
Francis	O'Sullivan, is a lifetime member of the	local Esperanto	chapter.  He
finds no conflict in working with both languages and is	translating the	brochure
into Esperanto for us.	(Reviewers are welcome to volunteer.)  Jamie Bechtel,
our first Lojban 'creative writer', is also an Esperantist, as is poet Michael
Helsem.	 Numerous others, too.
  We are gaining cooperation from Esperantists.	 Bruce Arne Sherwood, a	'big
name' in Esperanto, taught courses and wrote articles comparing	Loglan and
Esperanto in the early 1980's, and carried on a	lengthy	correspondence with pc
to ensure that the facts were right.   No animosity or competition was
evidenced.  Mike Urban,	an Esperantist known for developing MacIntosh Hypercard
teaching software for Esperanto	(and one of the	Worldcon table representatives),
has advised us on some technical points	of Esperanto, as well as on teaching
software.  Etc.
  We cannot test Sapir-Whorf based on teaching the language through Esperanto.
If all of the target population	spoke Esperanto	as well	as Lojban, there would
be no way to separate effects of the two languages from	each other.  We	must use
monolingual speakers who learn Lojban as their first non-native	language, or
better,	bilinguals raised speaking Lojban and their native language from birth.
In this	way, Sapir-Whorf effects would be least	hidden by uncontrolled variables
(a problem mentioned by	Ralph that we are indeed concerned with).
  As for Lojban	Mark II, I doubt if it will happen.  If	there are changes after
5 years, they will be minor, evolutionary ones.	 That is why we	are forcing the
5-year period, to ensure that inertia keeps the	language stable.

  People in the	Loglan community are tired of learning a changing target.
Regardless of how flawed Dr. Brown's versions of Loglan	are, the Lojban
development would never	have been conceived of,	much less completed, if	not for
Brown's	intellectual property claims that forced us to work from outside rather
than within the	Institute.
  If Lojban does evolve	in new ways, the speakers will be the ones who decide,
as John	suggests.  If the speakers are Esperantists, some of the underlying
concepts of Esperanto will find	their way into the language.
  However, as John points out, Lojban and any natural language are too
different.  Lojban is also too different from Esperanto	to offer significant
pattern	matching.  A predicate language	is too unlike an Indo-European grammar,
or anything that can even be described like an Indo-European grammar.  If you
rule out changing all the words	once again (a relearning burden	that would be
unacceptably high - as anyone who has used LogFlash with both Institute	Loglan
and Lojban words can testify), there simply isn't that much that is worth
changing.  (It is also possible	that to	make such changes would	destroy	whatever
there is about Lojban that makes it worth 'trading in' for.
  No.  Lojban will stand on its	own, and will gain support from	Esperantists on
its own	merits,	or not at all.	As long	as I have influence, I will resist
attempts to make there be an 'exclusive	or' choice between Lojban and Esperanto
among potential	speakers.  If we do this, there	will be	no competition.	 (Hmmm!
Could increased	competitiveness	be a fallout of	linguistic confusion between
'inclusive or' and 'exclusive or'?  A Sapir-Whorf effect that we might find
negated	among Lojbanists!)

  Let's	turn to	one more letter	on Esperanto, from Paul	Doudna.	 Bob's responses
to some	of them	are embedded:

  I showed the articles	comparing Esperanto and	Lojban to a friend of mine who
is an Esperantist.  His	reactions were very negative.  I must agree with him
that many of the points	of comparison were not valid.  The articles themselves
contained some disclaimers, implying that the comparison should	not be taken too
seriously.  In particular, the attempt to compare "rules" I don't think	really
works.	The meaning of the word	"rules"	is used	quite differently in [dis-
cussing] the two languages.
  Here are two suggestions for a more meaningful comparison:
  (1) Translate	some sample sentences in English (chosen equally by Lojbanists
and Esperantists) into both languages.	Include	relevant comments on any
peculiar features of the translations.
  (2) Compare the underlying assumptions behind	the two	languages.  Zamenhof and
Brown had in mind quite	different concepts of what constituted an ideal
language.  These concepts of course determined the way the resulting language
should be constructed.	This type of comparison	might be very difficult	since in
many cases these underlying assumptions	are not	made explicit.

  When I heard a talk on Esperanto about a year	ago, it	sounded	almost like the
speaker	was talking about Loglan/Lojban.  There	is no ambiguity	in Esperanto, it
was claimed.  (But the two languages mean something different by "ambiguity".)
It was further claimed that Esperanto is culturally neutral.  (Again, the
meaning	of "cultural neutrality" is not	quite the same in both languages.)
Esperanto is completely	"logical".  (Meaning that the grammar is free of
irregularities typical of most languages, not that it is based on a system of
logic as Lojban	attempts to do.)  And of course	the spelling is	completely
phonetic.  (Both languages are alike in	this respect, although Esperanto doesn't
have spoken punctuation.)

[Bob:  A good response and some	good suggestions.  Any volunteers among	the
Esperantists to	devise some sentences  to translate and/or some	lists of
assumptions and	ideals.	 We may	need Paul to serve as a	moderator to point out
where our definitions don't jibe.]

  Have the 600 rules of	Lojban been published?	I suspect that no matter how
many rules are stated explicitly, that there will be a potentially unlimited
number of implicit semantic rules that are used	in any language	to actually
understand what	any given sentence means.


  [Bob:	 On the	first: Yes, this issue!	 Though	the number is now closer to 550,
depending on how you count.  Every word	has a 'rule' defining its semantic
meaning.  If you count those as	rules, than a language with fewer words	has
fewer rules.  However, you can turn this around.  The universe of discourse for
'all of	language' is approximately the same for	all languages.	A language that
divides	up semantic space into fewer words tends to end	up with	words being used
for multiple meanings.	Lojban has one advantage in that Lojbanists generally
try to avoid unnecessary figurative extensions of meaning and to explicitly mark
those extension	where accurate interpretation is important.]

			 from ju'i lobypli #14 - 3/1990

			 Subject:  Esperanto and Lojban

[email protected] (Neal D. McBurnett)
[email protected] (John Cowan)
[email protected] (David A.	Johns)
[email protected] (Eric Pepke)
[email protected] (Loren Petrich)
[email protected]	(David M Tate)
[email protected] (Bob LeChevalier)

1. neal:  Esperanto is much easier to learn than English or any	other ethnic
language because it has	few irregularities and it has a	phonetic writing system.
In studies done	with English school children it	was demonstrated that one year
of instruction in Esperanto gave the students the same level of	language
competence as five years of studying French.  Once you learn to	conjugate one
verb, you know how to conjugate	them all!

2. daj:	(responding to 1.)  I agree 100% that an artificial language is	easier
to learn as a second language, and as a	medium of international	communication,
something like Esperanto may make more sense than English.  In fact, after
teaching English as a foreign language for a couple of years, I	came to	the
conclusion that	it would make much more	sense to teach Pidgin English than real
  But when pidgins become the primary language of a community, they cease to be
regular	and simple.  Why?  Is creolization a degenerative process, or do the
irregularities have a function in language?  I think we	need an	answer to this
question before	we assume that we can construct	a "logical" language and use it
as a real medium of communication.

3. lojbab: (responding to 2.)  On the other hand, why not invent a completely
regular	language, with a 'cultural ethic' that values that regularity, and
observe	what if	any irregularities come	into existence.

4. dtate: (responding to 3.)  Because you can't	create a 'cultural ethic' by
5. lojbab: (continuation of 3.)	 Lojban	is not limited in linguistic research
application to testing Sapir-Whorf; I've given a lot of	my own effort to
ensuring that the design is robust enough to allow other studies.  Pidgins and
creoles	of the world have all evolved from interaction between two or more al-
ready irregular	and highly complex languages.  Variables to watch in analyzing
the evolution of the language are too many and too poorly understood.  Lojban is
both much simpler and highly regular.  Presumably as a result, the variables
affecting pidginization	and creolization, and indeed all other manner of
linguistic change will stand out much better.
  Furthermore, as a fledgling 'international language' that differs structurally
from all of the	'first languages' of the world,	the studies of evolutionary
processes can be conducted over	and again as Lojban interacts with each	of the
languages and cultures in which	it is introduced.

  Other	areas of possible Lojban application include language universals (Lojban
is relatively neutral on some of these,	supporting many	competing forms; the
ones that survive or spread as the language becomes a 'living' language' are
thus worth studying to find out	why.) and universal grammar (if	Lojban proves to
be acquired by children	and adults as easily as	natural	languages, UG will have
to be able to explain it).
  Note that a small number of Lojban speakers (especially in a specific	speaking
locale)	would be expected to show evolutionary effects more quickly, enhancing
the chances of observing such effects during a short research period.  We've set
an early prescriptive policy towards the language precisely to allow enough of a
fluent speaker base to form to preserve	some type of linguistic	identity to
serve as a starting point.

6. pepke: (responding to 2.)  "Degenerative" is	kind of	a loaded term.	It may
just be	the point of view.  If you start off with an artificially "perfect"
language, just about any change	will seem degenerative.

7. lojbab: (responding to 6.)  Not in the case of Lojban.  ONLY	a change that
introduces structural ambiguity	is automatically 'frowned upon', and I
personally doubt there is a major evolutionary force in	language that promotes
such ambiguity 'for it's own sake' - there would have to be some other
explanation for	an ambiguity to	be introduced.
  Most other types of changes (word formation rules, phonological changes,
preference in word order among them) would not be inherently degenerative. No
one in the Lojban community thinks that	we've created a	'perfect' language, only
an 'adequate' one for communication and	linguistic research.

8. loren: (later in the	discussion)  I wonder how Lojban handles (1) words for
opposites and (2) verb aspects (if present).

9. cowan: (responding to 8.)  The term "opposite" is a bit vague.  Among its
1300+ root words, some have "opposites"	and some don't.	 There are words for
both "increase"	and "decrease";	"beautiful" is a root but "ugly" is not.  Since
the root words are primarily chosen for	ease-of-use in making compounds, this
was justified primarily	by the desire to make shorter compounds.
  There	is a faction which has argued that there are too many root words (and
that opposites in particular should be stripped	out); another faction holds that
there are too few (that	choosing "beautiful" rather than "ugly"	is an unwanted
bias).	In fact, having	a list of root words at	all is ipso facto a bias, but it
is a known bias	which can be allowed for.  The alternative is having to
construct 4-5 million distinct words with no compounding rules at all to cover
the vocabulary range of	the world's languages.
  The general Lojban solution lies in the four particles "na'e", "to'e", "no'e",
and "je'a", which are four kinds of scalar negation.  This is distinct from
contradictory negation ("It is not the case that...") which is represented in
Lojban by "na" and "naku".
  "na'e" is nonspecific	scalar negation, analogous to English "non-".
"lo na'e gerku"	means "a non-dog", which in principle could be anything	that is
not a dog, but probably	means some other kind of animal.
  "to'e" is polar opposite scalar negation, analogous to some uses of English
"un-"/"in-".  "Beautiful" is "melbi", and "ugly" is "to'e melbi".  "barda"
("large") means	the same as "to'e cmalu" ("unsmall"), and vice versa.
  "no'e" is scalar neutral negation.  This arises when a scale whose opposing
ends are "X" and "to'e X" has a	natural	midpoint.  "no'e melbi"	for example
might be translated "plain" or "ordinary-looking".
  "je'a" is affirmation, and has the same meaning as no	particle at all.  It is
chiefly	useful to deny one of the other	particles in conversation [ed. note,
also for emphatic affirmation].
  (Lojban also has another type	of negation called metalinguistic negation,
where the adequacy of the utterance is denied due to category mistake or what
have you.  The particle	"na'i" indicates that what precedes it (or the whole
last utterance,	if nothing precedes in this utterance) is erroneous in some such
way.  If a Lojbanist asks another:

		  xu do	sisti le zu'o do rapdarxi le do	fetspe

 (True or false?) You cease the	activity of repeat-hitting your	female-spouse?

or idiomatically:
		      Have you stopped beating your wife?

a good and sufficient answer is	"na'i".)
  The above sentence could be expressed	with the aspect	grammar	rather than with
the word "sisti" (cease), but I	don't know the language	well enough to do so
  The tense/aspect system of Lojban is one of the most complex parts of	the
grammar, and I am far from sure	that I understand it altogether.  Fortunately,
it is 100% optional.  Everything it can	express	can also be expressed
semantically through the predicate grammar, or just omitted altogether.
  Rather than trying to	explain	the whole thing	systematically,	I will simply
give an	unsystematic catalogue of the kinds of things that can be expressed.
Note:  any of these items may be combined either by logical connectives	(and,
or, xor, etc.) or by non-logical ones (joined with, mixed with,	union,
intersection, etc.)
  It is	also worth mentioning that Lojban tense	is "sticky" and	that once set it
propagates to all following untensed sentences [ed. note:  This	is the default
pragmatic interpretation for many contexts; however there may be contextual cir-
cumstances where tense does not	carry over, such as:]  In stories, this	is
modified a bit by the assumption that narrative	flows in time, so each sentence
may represent a	time later than	that of	the preceding one.  One	may, however, by

proper use of the time offset machinery, tell stories backwards	or inside-out as
  First, Lojban	tense handles both time	relations and space relations, where
time may be treated either as sui generis or in	an Einsteinian way as the fourth
spatial	dimension.  Time and space are formally	parallel:  for each, there is a
way of specifying an origin, one or more offsets from the origin (directions in
time or	space),	and an interval	around the point thus determined.  In the case
of space only, the interval may	be specified as	1-, 2-,	3- or 4-dimensional.  In
addition, there	is machinery for representing motions in space,	but not	in time.
Should time travel become practicable, the 4-dimensional facilities of the space
motion grammar may become useful.
  Intervals may	also be	modified by either or both of two kinds	of modifiers.
One type is a quantified tense,	which may be either objective (corresponding to
English	"never", "once", "twice", ..., "always"	for time, or "nowhere",	"in one
place",	..., "everywhere" for space) or	subjective (things like	"habitually" and
"continuously").  The other type is an "event contour",	handling things	like
"during", "after the (natural) end of",	"after the termination of", etc.
  There	is also	a mechanism for	specifying the actuality/potentiality status of
a predication: things like "can	and has", "can but has not", etc.
  Separate from	all this, Lojban prepositions (really case tags) can be	used as
adverbials also, and are grammatically almost interchangeable with the tenses.
Likewise, the tenses can be used prepositionally.  "pu"	represents the past
tense (time direction in the past), but	means "earlier than" as	a preposition.
"bai" on the other hand	is the preposition "under the compulsion of" but means
"forcedly" when	used as	an aspectual.  This list of prepositions/adverbials/
aspectuals/case	tags is	extensible to any predicate whatsoever by using	the
particle "fi'o"	which makes a predicate	into an	aspectual.

Mike Urban:

  While	I am a dyed-in-the-wool	Esperantist, I agree that attempting to	modify
or extend Lojban in imitation of various features of Esperanto would be	a
mistake	(I also	lose patience with reformers who want to Lojbanify aspects of
  Esperanto's `affix system is ambiguous' to the extent	that the language itself
is indeed lexically ambiguous.	Not only `affixes' but roots themselves	are
combinable, and	so it is possible to come up with endless puns like the	`banano'
ones you mentioned (`literaturo' might be a tower of letters, i.e., a `litera
turo').	 Without the careful, but somewhat restrictive,	phonological rules that
Loglan or Lojban provides, this	kind of	collision is inevitable.
  The borrowing	of words in Esperanto (`neologisms') instead of	using a	compound
form is	a controversial	topic.	Claude Piron, in his recent book, La Bona
Lingvo,	argues (quite convincingly, I think) that the tendency of some Es-
perantists to use neologisms, usually from French, English, or Greek, is partly
based on pedanticism, partly based on Eurocentrism (``you mean,	everyone doesn't
know what `monotona' means?''),	partly a Francophone desire to have a separate
word for everything, and largely a failure to really Think IN Esperanto, rather
than translating.  In any case,	the distinction	in Esperanto between affixes and
root words has always been a thin one (Zamenhof	mentioned that you can do
anything with an affix that you	can do with a root), and has been getting even
thinner	in recent years.  Combining by concatenation is	every bit as intrinsic
to the language	as the use of suffixes.
  You asked about Ido and Esperanto.  While I have not looked at Ido in	a number
of years, I recall that	the main gripe of the Idists was not that Esperanto was
too European - indeed, one of their reforms was	to discard Esperanto's rather a
priori `correlative' system of relative	pronouns (which	works rather as	if we
used `whus' instead of `how' for parallelism with `what/that, where/ there') in
favor of a more	latinate - but unsystematic - assortment of words.  If anything,
Idists tended towards a	more Eurocentric (or Francocentric) view than
Esperantists did.  Ido's affix system, however,	attempted to be	more like
Loglan/Lojban.	They took the view that	predicates did not have	intrinsic parts
of speech; thus	any conversion of meaning through the use of affixes should be
`reversible'.  Thus, if	`marteli' is `to hammer', then `martelo' must mean an
act of hammering, not (as in Esperanto)	`a hammer'; or,	if `martelo' means `a
hammer', then `marteli'	must mean `to be a hammer'.  One result	of this	is a

somewhat larger	assortment of affixes than Esperanto possesses,	(for example, a
suffix that would transform a noun root	`martelo' to a root meaning `to	hammer')
with rather subtle shades of distinction in some cases.	 The result is a
language that is only slightly more logical than Esperanto, but	proportionally
harder to learn, and no	less Eurocentric.
  Linguistic tinkerers like the	Idists underestimated the organic quality of
Esperanto, or of any living language.  Indeed, one of the valuable aspect of
Lojban or Loglan, if either ever develops a substantial	population of fluent
speakers, will be to observe the extent	to which the common usages of the
language diverge from the prescriptive definitions.  Such effects will,	I think,
be easier to isolate and analyze in a language that was	created	`from whole
cloth' than in an a posteriori language	like Esperanto.

[Bob:  Following is a last, more scholarly examination of the question of
Esperanto and its '16 Rules', written by an expert in the History of Esperanto
and International Languages.]

				 Bernard Golden

16 rules - for propaganda purposes only

  For more than	a century propagandists	have tediously and repulsively
  disseminated the falsehood that the grammar of Esperanto consists of only
  sixteen rules.  Plena	Analiza	Gramatiko (Complete Analytical Grammar)1 com-
  ments	more realistically on the so-called "complete Grammar of Esperanto"
  which	is the title of	the sixteen rules in the Fundamenta Krestomatio
  (Fundamental Chrestomathy): "To want to limit	the fundamentals of Esperanto to
  that scanty grammar and rely exclusively on it in order to discuss the main
  questions of our language would indeed be an unscientific and	infantile
  attitude" (P.	18).  Such a Lilliputian grammar is evidently insufficient for
  clarification	of how the language is used, and it must be completed by rules
  formulated in	other parts of the Fundamento (Foundation of Esperanto)	or
  illustrated by Zamenhof's own	usage.

An unsuccessful	attempt	to estimate the	number of rules

  To the best of my knowledge the first	Esperantist who	explored the question of
  the number of	grammatical rules in Esperanto is Douglas B Gregor2.  He
  emphasizes that Zamenhof never said that Esperanto has only sixteen rules.  It
  is a question	not of sixteen rules but only sixteen descriptive items.  "They
  are simple 16	heterogeneous traits of	Esperanto which	Zamenhof for some reason
  wanted to emphasize" (p. 8).	Consequently, Gregor gave up trying to ascertain
  the actual number of rules in	Esperanto.

  Is it	not possible to	compare	Esperanto, even	in an approximate manner, with
  ethnic languages in order to have an idea of the number of its rules?	 In the
  study	referred to above, Gregor reports that he made an attempt to compare
  Esperanto with an ethnic language when he compiled a list of 6000 examples
  illustrating rules about language usage in Italian, but he did not succeed in
  drawing conclusions about Esperanto.

Grammars and grammatical compendia

  An idea of the magnitude of Esperanto	grammar	can be acquired	from the number
  of paragraphs	or sections in grammatical reference books.  For example, Plena
  Analiza Gramatiko has	436 numbered paragraphs	describing the language	in
  detail, but that is a	minimum	figure for the number of rules because within
  each paragraph are sections and subsections with discussions of doubtful
  points and even exceptions not conforming to the published Plena Gramatiko
  (Complete Grammar).  Kalman Kalocsay3	describes the language in 288 paragraphs
  in which, just as in Plena Analiza Gramatiko,	there are several sections and
  subsections.	Does the figure	288 signify simplification of the grammatical
  analysis of Esperanto	or did Kalocsay	omit some rules?

  In a manual titled Gramatiko de Esperanto, Miroslav Malovec4 requires	a little
  over 150 paragraphs and sections to teach the	grammar, while Gaston
  Waringhien's brochure	gives a	concise	overview of the	essence	of Esperanto
  grammar in only 66 paragraphs5.

The Analytic School

  According to the doctrine of the Analytic School (Analiza Skolo) founded by
  Luis Mimo, the ingenious Fundamental set of sixteen rules is incomplete but
  can be completed by application of logic which determines the	structure of the
  language up to the last detail6.  Mimo stresses the point that the sixteen
  Fundamental rules impress learners favorable but they	in no way determine how
  the language is to be	used7.

     "Now, the rules not given by Zamenhof, which are immanent in the language,
     have been given by	the Analytic School by means of	a systematic analysis
     and control with the help of the sole means of language analysis, logic,
     which in every case gives the correct answer; just	one, because, already
     having been provided with its elements, nothing in	the artificial language
     can be capricious"	(p. 241).

  Mimo's Kompleta lernolibro de	regula Esperanto (Complete textbook of regular
  Esperanto) was published in 1973.  It	has a 31-lesson	systematic grammar, but
  the presentation is not complete since the second part has not yet been
  published.  Still another one	of Mimo's books	exists only in manuscript form:
  Esperanto por	la jaroj du mil	(Esperanto for the year	2000).	Consequently,
  the number of	rules which can	arise from the logical analysis	of the 16-rule
  Fundamental grammar by adherents of the Analytic School is not ascertainable.


  Even if an investigation were	to be undertaken for the purpose of listing each
  separate illustration	of Esperanto language usage (as	Gregor did for the
  Italian language), I have the	impression that	no two grammarians would induce
  more or less the same	number of rules.  The only judicious answer to the
  question about the number of grammatical rules in Esperanto is that which
  Gregor gave at the end of his	study:	"the grammatical rules of Esperanto are
  much more than sixteen; however, Esperanto has fewer rules (i.e. items to be
  memorized) than other	languages."


1 KALOCSAY, K. and WRINGHIEN, G.  Plena	analiza	gramatiko de Esperanto.	 4th
edition	 Rotterdam: Universala Esperanto-Asocio; 1980. 598 p.

2 GREGOR, Douglas B.  Kiom da reguloy vere havas Esperanto?  Science Revuo.
1982; 33 (1 [139]): 5-9.

3 KALOCSAY, K�l�man.  Rendszeres Eszperant� nyelvt�n.  Budapest:  Tankonyvkiad�;
1966.  243 p.

4 MALOVEC, Miroslav.  Gramatiko	de Esperanto.  Trebic (Czechoslovakia):	1988
102 p.

5 WARINGHIEN, G. A.B.C.	d'Esp�ranto � l'usage de ceux qui aiment les lettres.
Paris: SAT-Amikaro;  1967  74 p.

6 SULCO, Rikardo (= Richard Schulz).  Sur la vojoj de la Analiza Skolo.
Paderborno:  Esperatno-centro;	1987  278 p.

7 SULCO, Rikardo (= Richard Schulz).  Pledo por	unueca lingvo.	 Paderborno:
Esperatno-centro;  1985	 287 p.

			       from David Morrow


[Bob: David was	apparently a bit upset at comments from	Ralph Dumain on	the
Lojban community, and at Donald	Harlow's comments.]

I am not a "computer nerd" and I am not	much interested	in science fiction.  I
am a middle aged blue collar worker, I only own	a word processor, and the only
fiction	I read is usually Middle English or a few types	of modern writing that
are not	speculative.  I	suspect	some Esperantists see a	real threat...

[With this, let	us end the discussion of Lojban	and Esperanto, at least	until
there are more speakers	of Lojban (especially those who	know Esperanto as well),
who can	offer facts and	experiences, instead of	opinions.  Thus:  'n' (the end
of 'Esperanto and Lojban discussion')]