describe human motion

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How do you describe human motion?

It would be very instructive to use lojban to describe and analyse human motion for a variety of reasons.

One reason would be to describe american sign language fully and accurately. This would allow deaf and hearing users of this visual language to define and describe the hand motions which comprise the language. A written transcription of motion would be an aid to teaching and to distance communications, using nothing other than the lettorals of lojban.

There are more profoundly deaf than is usually thought; perhaps as much as 1 in every 2000 (world-wide, probably more than 2 million). They will often never master english if they have gone deaf before they have acquired spoken language before the age of 1-1/2. Perhaps Lojban would be a method of communication that they could master, as well as tool for transcription.

Sign Language grammar has many parallels with Lojban.

Anyway, here is a test case:

Reach out with both hand simultaneously, pick up the box from the red table, rotate it one face towards the left, turn around 180 degrees counterclockwise, and place it in the geometric middle of the blue table


ko kuspygau le re birka be do gi'e cpacu le tanxe le xunre jubme

.ije ko carnygau ty. le zunle sela'u sono gradu .ije ko carnygau

ko le zunle sela'u pabino gradu .ije ko cpanygau ty. le satci midju

be le blanu jubme

Note that the "it" in the english could be confused as a command

to rotate the table, and not the box.

--mi'e djorden.


djorden., this is a comparably very easy example and - apart from the ambiguous 'it' - to manage in English or any other language as well. In Lojban it is not conciser than in English (although this being not the point). Please try to give the hand sign(s) in American(?) sign language for, say, the simple phrase "Good night!" in Lojban and compare it to a description in English - albeit much less awkward than mine:

Raise your right forearm, with hand in about the height of your face, form a circle with thumb and index, palm showing about to your left; then - starting from this position - open this hand, with all fingers (thumb included) now stretching and palm turning toward face - your face of course! ;-) -, move palm in a turning motion with your fingertips following a quarter segment of a circle from about position 12 o'clock to 9 o'clock, with all fingers, thumb included, - of your right hand still ;-) - slightly and increasingly spreading with this movement.

Good luck ;-) - mi'e .aulun.