BPFK Section: lerfu

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The selma'o BY2 is comprised principally of letterals representing consonants and contains the following cmavo:


The selma'o BY* is comprised of vowel letterals, punctuation, and other "oddball" letterals, the common theme being that they're all constructed with the lerfu-forming cmavo bu:

||.abu|denpa bu|.ebu|.ibu|joibu|.obu|slaka bu|.ubu|.uibu|.ybu|zo'obu||

The purpose of these cmavo, as with all lerfu, is to enable the spelling of words and discussion referring to written characters, in which case you must either encase it in la'e lu ... li'u, or prefix it with me'o. Without this quoting, the lerfu simply acts as a prosumti, or a mekso variable.

Lojbanic Standard Roman Orthography Lerfu

These are used to represent symbols used in the writing of lojban. The following are lerfu for which the definition and keyword are obvious:

||.abu|by|cy|dy|.ebu|fy|gy|.ibu|jy|ky|ly|my|ny|.obu|py|ry|sy|ty|.ubu|vy|xy|.ybu|zy .y'y||

There are two more which have slightly more complex keywords:

||denpa bu|BY*|pause symbol | letteral: Lojban "." character||

||slaka bu|BY*|comma symbol | letteral: Lojban "," character||

It should be noted that the current keyword for slaka bu is "close-comma", but I don't see a need for anything more than "comma" unless someone can demonstrate a "far-comma" or an "open-comma" that's likely to cause confusion. This was terminology inherited from TLI Loglan, and is no longer needed.

denpa bu should have "period symbol" added as a keyword to help those who might not recognize it as a "pause".

Other Lerfu

These are miscellaneous lerfu. I question their usefulness as official cmavo, even as examples, but do not suggest their removal.

||joibu|BY*|&|letteral: ampersand character; especially used in standing for a mixed connective||

||.uibu|BY*|happy face|letteral: happiness symbol, ":)" and its related forms expressing happiness||

||zo'obu|BY*|smiley face|letteral: humor symbol, ";)" and its related forms expressing humor||

Once again, it should be noted that the current definitions of .uibu and zo'obu are a bit redundant, in that they have "(letteral)" at the end. The definition for .uibu is a bit short compared to zo'obu, so I've lengthened it.

I've never seen :-) as a humor symbol, and in fact, it more resembles .uibu than zo'obu. I don't think I'm the only one. Generally, I see ;) (a wink) as a "I'm just joking" smiley and I suggest that the smiley in the definition be changed to this.

These are the most sorely in need of extra keywords. joibu should have "ampersand symbol" and "and character" added. .uibu could use ":)" as a keyword. Similarly, zo'obu should have ";)".


Use as prosumti:

.i la bancus. cu mupli zbasu .i by cu certu mupli zbasu

Use to dictate spelling of a word:

.i la'e lu by .abu ny cy .ubu sy li'u cu mintu la bancus.

Use as variables in mekso:

.i fy du li cire su'i vei cy pi'i so fi'u mu ve'o

Overall Changes

This proposal entails the following changes:

  • Change keyword for slaka bu to "comma symbol".
  • Remove "(letteral)" from definitions for .uibu and zo'obu.
  • Add "period symbol" to definition for denpa bu.
  • Change ":-)" in the definition for zo'o bu to ";)".
  • Add "ampersand symbol" as a keyword for joibu.
  • Add "and character" as a keyword for joibu.
  • Add ":)" as a keyword for .uibu.
  • Add ";)" as a keyword for zo'obu.
  • Change definition for .uibu to "letteral: happiness symbol, ":)" and its related forms expressing happiness"


It is my opinion that these changes are minor, and will not impact or invalidate usage, current or past.