Scientific American article
Notable things about the description of Loglan as given in the article
The reason that the CV templates of the Loglan words turned out the way we all know and love, is not given. It only says:
The reader is challenged to find a combination of possible word-forms that does not resolve.
The "little words" (lo cmavo in Lojban) are unified as a class only semantically, not morphologically (phonotactically). The word classes preceding predicates (simple verb words/predicates (lo gismu in Lojban) and complex verb words/predicates (lo lujvo in Lojban) were as follows:
- Connectives: <V> (the article actually says <.V>, but this is probably a typo; nothing is mentioned of obligatory pauses in front of vowel-initial words, the period isn't used in this way anywhere else in the article, this use of the period might be strictly a Lojban innovation)
- Indicators: <VV>
- Simple operators: <CV>
- Sentential operators: <CVV>
- Compound operators: <CV'CV> (the article consistently uses an apostrophe after a syllable to indicate stress, this is probably what is intended here)
The Loglan text that occurs in the tables in the article is written in all capitals, but the examples that occur inside the running text, is written in the SAE orthography that is common both to natural languages that use latinate scripts, and Loglan of today. Still, there is some talk about audiovisual isomorphism, and Loglan's "spoken punctuation" operators.
Most indicators (lo cnima'o in Lojban, also known as interjections or attitudinals) were irrealis. In fact, there is a theoretical possibility that all of them were irrealis. If we entertain the possibility that even <ui> (. in Lojban) turns a predicate into a non-claim, that does not entail that it turns it into a claim of the opposite.
The only example of borrowing of vowel-final names, Mississippi, which becomes <lu misisipis>, displays the addition of an s in the end, which is now the de facto standard of creating such names in Lojban (though not governed by any rules).
Things I don't understand about the Loglan description
- The word <nu> is glossed as "un- [also passive voice of two-place predicates]". Does this mean that Loglan has or had a word that can mean (using Lojban vocabularly) both and ?
- Not quite. As I recall, the example in JCB's head was a word (darn, I wish I could remember which) whose passive was in effect a opposite. And then he generalized, as often. The mess was cleared up (by pointing to a few other words, I suppose) long before the first version of Loglan 1 was cut. The article is very crude: even the vocab was not yet thoroughly worked out (eternal <blanu> notwithstanding) and the selection of lo cmavo was heavily influenced by typesetting, for some reason.
- Sometimes and have a similar effect in Lojban: = = .
- People who wish to read the article can also borrow it from a reasonably large library.
- The article in searchable format.