boo to cultural gismu

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A significant number of Lojbanists, including la xod, xorxes, ivan and And Rosta are of the opinion that cultural gismu violate cultural neutrality. The gismu are privileged words because they have rafsi and because they are the core noncmavo vocabulary. To assign gismu and rafsi to some cultures and not to others is to violate cultural neutrality. At least some of the people who are opposed to cultural gismu (e.g. la xod and And Rosta) are in favour of retaining lojbo.

  • And Rosta:
    • I (=And Rosta) would not mind if (a) the gismu class were opened up for the addition of new lexical items (-- see experimental gismu) and (b) cultural gismu (again with the exception of lojbo) had their rafsi removed.
  • xorxes:
    • My present position on this is to accept any new gismu-form cultural word, but I'm against creating lists of them just for the sake of making the list. I approve of xorvo, norgo, and turko because there are prominent Lojbanists related to those nationalities, and of course�loglo and spero too, and I wouldn't mind that new ones be introduced as the need arises. (Was finlo proposed at some point for 'Finnish', or did I dream it up? 'Suomi' doesn't have enough consonants.)
      • And Rosta:
        • Can you think of a decent one for English/England? I think I once suggested something like logro < loegr, but it's very unobvious. I used to feel very resentful about there not being one for English, whereas there is one for pretty much everybody else except the Welsh, who'd be camro, of course.
          • tsali:
            • Huh? What does glico mean to you, if not England/English?
              • And Rosta:
                • It means to me "pertaining to culture of English-language-speaking countries". A similar slight is made wrt spano, with no gismu for Ibero-spanish.
                  • tsali:
                    • Have you noticed that all cultural gismu have "in aspect x2" as part of their place structure. Why not use "glico le ka gugde" (England, English-country) and glico le ka bangu (English, English-language) when you need to differentiate? Or, for that matter, gligu'e and glibau?
                      • And Rosta:
                        • I'm not clear how you would propose to distinguish between England and English-speaking -- anglo -- countries. Nor do I understand the reasoning behind your suggestion, since minimizing the numbers of gismu is hardly a guiding principle of experimental cultural gismu. For example, why have a gismu for Norwegian? Why not some sort of lujvo (West Scandinavian, say)?
                          • tsali:
                            • Minimizing the number of gismu seems to be a guiding principle in the making of official gismu.
                              • Jay:
                                • ...or brito...
  • mark.:
    • I've similarly wondered about how xebro can be Jewish (the religion), Hebrew (the language) and Israeli (the state). Without getting into potential flames, suffice to say that the three concepts have disparate enough meanings and spheres of influence that I find it surprising that they should be conflated (and besides, *xivro would be better, at least closer to the pronunciation)
    • Well, that's what happens when you use kulnu gismu! One has to be very stingy with creating new ones, and overlapping meanings get massed.
    • Adam:
      • xebro le ka bangu, xebro le ka se bangu, xebro le ka lijda, xebro le ka se lijda, xebro le ka natmi, xebro le ka se natmi, xebro le ka gugde, xebro le ka se gugde/gugde xabju. However, what would you call a secular Jewish Israeli who considers emself Jewish in nationality but not in religion, but is considered Jewish in religion by religious people?
        • rab.spir:
          • lo prenu poi ke'a se gugde xebro gi'e pensi ledu'u ke'a natmi jenai lijda xebro kei gi'eku'i te jinvi ledu'u ke'a lijda xebro kei le se lijda ku'o . . . goi ko'a.
            • That's probably a good answer, but somehow it still feels to me like saying we only need one gismu for "rows," "rose," and "rose": rozgu le ka stura, rozgu le ka volfi, and rozgu le ka xrula. ("pax" to Nick, who points out that rozgu should die in the arse anyway).
  • I propose that only those six original source-languages (krasybau) of Lojban be retained as gismu. They are privileged in the design of Lojban, but i don't see that any others need to be. --maikl. (i.e. Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.)
    • Bad idea. All they did was borrow a few letters in making gismu. What this would really be doing is keeping the six languages that happened to be widely spoken at the time of gismu creation. mi'e tinkit
    • i've thought it over some more and think this could be an issue of usage deciding. merko and glico are used so often, that these could be retained as gismu. libjo (libyan) could be expelled from the gismu list and its rafsi recovered. a cultural fu'ivla could be assigned if anyone bothered.
    • They were also priveleged in the making of cmavo - ma, for instance, is also the particle that appears at the end of questions in mandarin, while .ui is a translitteration of English whee! - mi'e. .kreig.daniyl.
      • The first, at least, is a coincidence, like the semantic equivalence and phonological similarity of Lojban xu and Esperanto cxu. Lojban .oi is directly taken from Yiddish oy, but neither Esperanto nor Yiddish is a "favored" language in Lojban.
        • Yet Yiddish oy is used in English from time to time.
        • So where does ma come from if not the Chinese word?
          • It has been correctly pointed out that ma means "what" in Hebrew. This, too, may be a coincidence.
          • Tommy Whitlock consciously imported ma from Mandarin, as he did do from Deutsch.
  • It must be noted that Sapir has argued, I believe effectively, that language, nationality and culture are distinct features that might should not be so quickly grouped together. It seems to be that labels such as `English' are either very ephemerally real or are illogical and arbitrary terms altogether (what is there connecting the culture of Great Britain with the language of South Africa?).
    • History, of course. It is a fact that Great Britain once conquered South Africa and left its linguistic stamp there.
      • "History there is, and no history" --The High Inquest
    • cein:
      • These terms are more symbolic of our tendency towards tribalism than a realistic reflection of the human world.
        • Is that a provable assertion?
          • .aionys.:
            • I just want to put in my two cents and say that I am also against cultural gismu, with the exception of lojbo and possibly the six source-languages, for the simple reason that not having a cultural gismu for our own culture seems, well, stupid, and the six source languages do happen to have a good reason for deserving gismu - and on the plus side, it frees up some gismu space so we can fix other problems, such as having gismu for djacu xabju jukni so that the highly overgeneralized {jukni} can be made to again only refer to arachnids, which is general enough already.