Some basic features of Lojban
- Lojban is an experiment in language — the grammar is regular, simpler than most natural languages, but complex in its own unique way. Non-naturalistic structures abound, but all are regular and make sense in their own way. Lojban is thus an experiment in thought, as well, it wishes to see how these unique language structures affect thought and cognition.
- Lojban allows the expression of emotion, using words called attitudinals, which are essentially spoken emoticons, expressing your feelings. You can indicate the precise degree and intensity of your emotion as well as indicate which word your emotion stems from. You can even indicate that your statement was meant as a joke, a quick argument defuser.
- Lojban allows you to communicate concisely without unnecessary or undesired details. For example, you don't have to always think of what tense (past, present or future) to use in a verb when it's already clear from context. When you wish to provide the details you can add them. But unlike other languages Lojban doesn't require you to do so.
- Lojban has 1341 root words, covering a broad section of human experience. These words may be combined into compounds, allowing precision in meaning. Futhermore, Lojban makes provisions for borrowings, integrating them into the Lojban morphophonologic system. These words allow the creation of a vast vocabulary to describe the totality of human experience. Lojban vocabulary expands by the day, with users creating more words as gaps are found. Lojban vocabulary still has much progress to make, and our community strives towards perfecting it every day.
- Lojban is syntactically unambiguous. Natural languages often have ambiguous sentences — does "He's left" mean that he's still here or that he's gone? Lojban systematically eliminates this, but don't take it to mean that Lojban has no ambiguity at all! Lojban mostly allows you to be as ambiguous as you want, with, of course, trade offs in verbosity.
- Lojban is machine parsable, allowing potential new explorations in the fields of artificial intelligence communication and machine translation.
- Lojban is culturally neutral, as far as such things are achievable. The base vocabulary was generated using an algorithm and words from the (at the time of its creation) 6 most spoken languages on Earth, averaging them out. The Lojban community strives to maintain this neutrality.
- Lojban has a flexible pronunciation. Lojban phonemes (basic units of sound) allow many realizations, for example, the r may be pronounced as an English, French, or Spanish r. There are no silent letters, and each letter corresponds to one phoneme. While not the simplest language to pronounce, these sounds are also carefully arranged to allow self-segregation — a Lojban sentence, spoken with proper stress and pauses is uniquely segmentable into its component words, an invaluable tool in computer parsing of speech.