Lojban Style

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This encompasses licit variation in the language community between variants of expressions whose grammaticality (and meaning) are not in dispute. For anything more controversial, see Tinkering with Lojban.

  • Some think using large (multi-part) tanru is more lobykai than trying to create a precise lujvo for every part of your (English) meaning. A minority opinion would go even farther, & assert that the lobykai utterance is that which most closely approximates the "four-word sentence" (lo ji'ivomei jufra)...
  • nitcion:
    • Some, of course, would assert the opposite - that fully expanded predicates each with a single gismu bridi are the most Lojbanic, and tanru the least. I use tanru all the time, but considers them a necessarily evil, and a consequence of the fact that humans don't have infinite stack recall. :-)
    • lo vomei jufra: do you mean lo broda cu brode? In that case, it's five words, because of .i. If you mean .i broda brode, that's three. (co'e le pamoi)
      • Adam:
        • Isn't the "four-word sentence" something like kukte cidja zarci klama? I find those sentences beautiful.

It has been observed that the gismu are semantically broad, like Latin words , & that understood portions of an utterance can be elided (e.g. pronouns) like both Latin & Japanese; but attempts at a Lojbanic style based on this (i.e. asyndeton) have not met with unilateral approval among the community. Still, no alternatives to date have been offered...

There is the philosophy that Colin Fine once expressed which was to Lojbanically use the broad if more vague term where possible. He noted that English speakers are prone to being overspecific about some things that are obvious, and that Lojban seems to make a bit of art of being creatively vague or elliptical in leaving out things English finds essential (like tense and number). The canonical example is bevri, 'carrier' for "waitperson", instead of fadging some lujvo more exactly synonymous with the English word.

Read also an essay "On Lojbanic Style" from 1997.

Discussion

  • True for tense, but number? Lojban is far more pernickety about number than English.
    • It's pernickety about set vs. mass vs. individuals; not about numbers - singular vs. plural individuals are rarely if ever distinguished.
      • That's the theory, but I'm not convinced it is at all followed in practice, unlike the case of tense, which is clearly ellipsized most of the time. I never see ro le broda being used for a single broda, for example, and it is rare to find le broda referring to more than one.
  • .kreig.daniyl.:
    • Certain things are plural, certain things are singular, but the 'singular' can refer to a group. No one will ever say mi'a when they mean just themself, because it would be wrong. However, mi means I or me, except that you may well be speaking for a group and thus use it to mean we. All this is clarified by mi'e and doi, to set values of mi and do.

See also only.