Copyright, 1989, 1991, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane,
Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273
All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted subject to your
verification that this is the latest version of this document, that your
distribution be for the promotion of Lojban, that there is no charge for
the product, and that this copyright notice is included intact in the
Number 8 - February 1989
Published by: The Logical Language Group, Inc.
2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031 USA (703)385-0273
This publication is the news and product announcements section of Ju'i Lobypli, the quarterly publication of The
Logical Language Group, Inc., known in these pages as la lojbangirz. la lojbangirz. is a non-profit organization formed
for the purpose of completing and spreading the logical human language "Lojban".
le lojbo karni has been split off as a separate publication, but retains the number of the corresponding issue of
Ju'i Lobypli. Your returned questionnaires indicated that a substantial number of you did not have time to read the
longer Ju'i Lobypli publication. In the interests of keeping you informed with less time expenditure, le lojbo karni
will continue to bring you news. Ju'i Lobypli will be continue to be published quarterly within a couple of weeks of
this publication, and the expected contents will be summarized in this publication. This issue of le lojbo karni will
be distributed to about 400 people, including all JL subscribers. Some 275 of you will receive Ju'i Lobypli. You are
scheduled to receive Ju'i Lobypli if the level code on the top line of your mailing label is "1", "2", or "3", but not
if it is "0". See below for a discussion of mailing label codes. If you listed as mailing code "0", YOU MUST WRITE TO
US TO RECEIVE Ju'i Lobypli.
This issue of le lojbo karni contains 12 pages of news. We are also including as one-time inserts, a copy of the
revised Lojban brochure and the new "Overview of Lojban". These will be the first two things given to any new
Lojbanist, and will hopefully provide basics as to what Lojban is all about. As a result, newcomers will be more
prepared to understand the writings in Ju'i Lobypli, le lojbo karni, and our other publications. In the future, le
lojbo karni will be without extra attachments. It will probably average less than 10 pages in length.
Your contributions to voluntary balances and donations are needed to defray our costs. The questionnaire response
to JL7 was great, and we received enough contributions to pay for JL7. However, over 100 of you still have never
responded, and some 300 of you have negative balances. Others are paying for your materials; we are having to use
donations to pay for your copies, and this is preventing our using that money to develop new publications and reach out
to new people. (We know some of you can't afford to pay, and that's fine if you continue to keep in touch.) We
strongly ask that those who can do so at least cover your negative balances, paying only for that which you have already
Potential donors please note: we have not received IRS approval for Section 501(c)(3) status, which will
officially allow your donations (not contributions to your voluntary balance) to be tax-deductible. We hope to have
such approval by the end of the year. We are operating in accordance with that section, and your contributions now
should be deductible if approval is obtained later, although there is always the possibility of disapproval. We will
inform all donors at the end of the year as to the status of deductibility of their gifts. We also note for all
potential donors that our bylaws require us to spend no more than 30% of our receipts on administrative and overhead
expenses, and that you are welcome to make you gifts conditional upon our meeting this requirement.
Your Mailing Label
We've simplified your mailing label, and now report to you only your current mailing status, and your current voluntary
balance including this issue. Please notify us if you wish to be in a different mailing code category. Balances
reflect contributions received thru 20 February. Mailing codes (and approximate annual balance needs) are defined as
Level B - Product Announcements Only Level 0 - le lojbo karni only - $5 balance requested
Level 1 - le lojbo karni and Ju'i Lobypli - $15 balance requested
Level 2 - Level 1 materials and baselined/final products - $20 balance requested
Level 3 - Level 2 materials and teaching materials as developed - $50 balance or more
News of This Issue
Results of JL7 Questionnaire - page 2
Products - page 3 Education - page 6
LogFlash PC revised DC Lojban Class Starts
MAC LojFlash Users Take Note Status of Other Classes
gismu Flash Cards Available Advertising and Publication Efforts
Other New Products
Other News - page 8
Research and Development - page 5 News for non-USA Lojbanists
Lojban Parser Status No News from The Institute
Lojban Grammar Status 1988 Financial Report
Textbook Reviewers Wanted 1989 Budget
Note on Our Prices
lei lojbo - A continuing Lojban comic strip - page 11
Contents of Ju'i Lobypli #8 - page 11
Product List and Order Form Lojban Brochure: la lojban mo
Overview of Lojban
Results of JL7 Questionnaire
We've had a very good response rate to the questionnaire we sent out with JL7. About 100 of you responded, and we
are still getting a few responses trickling in now, over two months later. Thank you for letting us know you care. And
thank you for expressing the many and varied opinions we've received.
The most important response we got led to the separation between this news section and JL8. About 20% of the
respondents indicated that JL8 was too long. We followed up on a few responses, and determined that some of you are not
really ready to learn the language, some are awaiting a final product before they get actively involved, and some just
simply don't have time to read a long journal like JL. Coupled with the large number of people who still have never
responded, it made sense to separate this news section and send it to everyone. Then we will send JL8 only to those who
we believe want the greater information that publication includes. After sorting your responses, we still have plenty
of JL subscribers to use bulk rate, so the result costs us (and therefore you) much less. The only pain is the extra
mailing labor, and we are reducing that problem by not using envelopes on LK8 (le lojbo karni #8) bulk rate mailing.
Besides this decision, we found you well divided on most other questions. For each category of article, there were
people who wanted more, and people who wanted less of that type. In general, most of you want more teaching materials
and translations. A few of you prefer that we have more original Lojban as opposed to English translations. We'll try,
but there are only a couple of us who can write Lojban, and you can see how bad my poetry is. A lot of our Lojban
writings are going into the textbook, too. English translations are apparently to be avoided since they end up being
very complex - The Lord's Prayer was cited as an example by some.
A significant portion of you wanted fewer letters and responses, and follow-up discussions with some of you
indicated that you want a bit more screening and editing to make sure more of the stuff is relevant. We'll try, but
what is relevant to some is irrelevant to others. As I've said, there are numerous reasons for supporting Lojban
development, and different people place their priorities differently. I suspect, however, that the quality of letters
will improve as more people learn the language.
The one question we didn't get a clear response on was whether to report the news of other projects. A few of you
wanted no such news - you are interested in Lojban. Some query why we give 'free advertising to the competition'.
Others, however, want more such news; their support for us is predicated on the fact that we are the ones who regularly
provide such news, even when it isn't favorable to us.
We will try to keep both viewpoints in mind, and concentrate on news that is relevant to our efforts. Since
'competition' isn't our purpose, it will not guide our selection. It may be irrelevant - there isn't a lot of news to
Speaking about negative news, about 35 of the respondents were people asking to be dropped. Many did so because
they didn't have time for Lojban; some felt their interest level didn't justify our expenses. A few asked to be dropped
until we had a textbook completed. Only one person dropped as an expression of disapproval of our activities with
respect to The Loglan Institute, Inc.; Dr. Brown of that organization had called for people to cancel their
subscriptions to JL as a measure of protest. We received several letters of support after his request. We think the
vote is decisive.
The 35 dropouts were balanced by a greater number of new people, so that our numbers grew this time even with the
large number of deletions. We also received contributions from a larger number of people than ever before, although the
total amount was less than that received after JL5.
LogFlash PC revised
Nora has revised LogFlash so that it no longer takes words from the New Word pile randomly. Instead, the words are
arranged in the order that they are presented in the textbook. The program takes exactly your specified number of New
Words from the pile, in that order. If you have too many words 'in play', and your daily lesson time has gotten too
large, you specify to 'regroup' with a small number of new words per lesson - 1 or 2, perhaps - until your lesson times
drop to an acceptable level.
In addition, the words are separated into two sets. The first set has 900 words which can be studied and mastered.
Then a separate utility program can be used to add the rest of the words in. This allows you to master a subset of the
vocabulary, those words which we have put a priority on for the textbook, and then pick up the rest at your leisure.
(Note - copies of LogFlash shipped in February and March will not have the utility, which is not yet tested; we will
instead put all 1357 words in a single pile, so that this enhancement is not applicable.)
Based on our class experiences, we will probably make some changes to the word order in the final textbook, and
possibly shrink the number of words in the first pile somewhat. This change is not likely until summer or fall. The
order in the current LogFlash will therefore match the draft textbook lessons used in the first round of classes.
The final change is that we have merged LogFlash 1 (gismu) and LogFlash 2 (rafsi) into a single, menu-driven
program. This makes it easier to switch between the two programs when you are doing lessons in both. We had originally
planned to sell LogFlash 2 for $20; instead we are selling the combined LogFlash 1 and 2 for $30, or $10 for upgrade
from your current LogFlash 1 if you are registered.
We have revised and drastically shortened the user's manual. We've been told that the old one was too long, and
that no one read it, which kind of defeats the purpose. The new version doesn't have the helpful hints that the old one
did, but perhaps it is short enough that people will read it.
MAC LojFlash Users Take Note
Two weeks ago (early February), one of our MAC LojFlash customers reported that there were a couple of garbled
words in the data file and that it was impossible to get by these words. The following night, another user reported the
same thing. Apparently the rest of you either haven't been using the program (we hope this isn't so), or had manually
corrected the files using a text editor.
The data transfer from the PC to the MAC was bad, so all MAC LojFlash disks probably share this defect. As a
result, there are words missing. If you have corrected the file manually, you may not have matched the real data
Since it is our fault, we will be shipping new disks out to you within a couple of weeks. If you send the bad
diskettes back to us, we can reuse them, but you are not required to do so.
We had a brief scare when one user reported that he had detected the SCORES and NVIR viruses on his diskettes.
Checking with other users, including the one who made the copies for us, we found that none of them had either virus on
their diskette, so the 'infection' did not come from us. Be wary of these viruses, of course. There are public domain
programs that can detect them and clean them up; they apparently are somewhat technical to run, especially for the MAC
II. We could distribute copies, but I suspect most of you can more conveniently get them from a local source, who can
also help you run them. If anyone can't get these programs, let us know.
gismu Flash Cards Available
We were able to get gismu flashcards made at a quite reasonable price with two minor concessions to keep the price
down. First, the cards do not come out sorted, so you must sort them manually if you want them in textbook order. We
have lesson codes on each card to help with this.
The second 'feature' is that the cards are printed only on one side. On that side we give the lesson code, the
English keyword, and the English place structure definition. You must write the Lojban word and the rafsi on the other
side. This seems like a big flaw, but we realized that writing the Lojban is an excellent way to review the words prior
to your New Word lesson. So you take 20 cards (or however many), write the Lojban and rafsi on them, then test
yourself. Since it cut several dollars off the price, and minimized problems with lining up card cuts, we believe it
was worth it. We include a list of words in textbook lesson order to help in quickly sorting and labelling cards.
We also have included some blank cards, cards for labelling your various lesson piles, and instructions for using
the LogFlash teaching algorithm that was developed by Dr. Brown. One of our class students who has used flash cards to
study several languages says that the LogFlash method works several times as well as any other technique he has tried
for using cards. We thus strongly recommend that technique, though you can experiment with others.
We are selling flash cards at a price of $12.00 for the first set, and $10 for each additional set (since we don't
need to give you 2 copies of the card list and instructions). A lot of you expressed interest in flash cards on your
questionnaires, but our finances will not allow sending them to you without a specific order.
Other New Products
We have had some criticism that some of you who are new to the language are confused by the terminology, and feel
somewhat left out. This certainly isn't our intent - some of our most important contributions have been made by
newcomers who worked at learning what was needed. But we don't want to give the impression to anyone that Lojban is
'too hard' to get into.
As such, we've revised the Lojban brochure to cover the questions newcomers most frequently ask. The revision was
done by Athelstan, who joined us only a year ago himself, and has been our most active recruiter, bringing in over 3
dozen new Lojbanists over the last few months.
A lot of the problems newcomers face relate to the 'jargon' we use. I try to do better than previous writers on
the language at explaining things as I go, a new problem has arisen. There are lot of you who know the basic terms so
well now that to explain them every time is redundant. We also can't explain them well enough in the glossaries that
we've been putting in JL each issue to serve newcomers needs.
Thus, we have written the 'Overview of Lojban' as a second step towards learning about the language after reading
the brochure. This presents a lot of our terminology briefly, hopefully keeping things uncomplicated, and giving a few
examples of the major points. The overview isn't complete or detailed enough to learn the language, but it should give
you a framework sufficient to follow discussions in JL and in this publication, as well as aid you in grasping the 'big
picture' when you start to learn the language for yourself. Those of you with JL7 may gain some benefit in reviewing
the 'quick tutorial sentences' after reading the overview. Some of the examples may then make more sense.
We have included both the new brochure and the 'Overview of Lojban' with this mailing, since we want everyone to
have the same basic information available to them, even those of you who are less active and are only getting le lojbo
karni. Your comments are welcome, as usual.
The draft grammar description has not been updated or revised. As a result of textbook writing, I should be able
to do a much better job by rewriting it. Several of you have ordered it, and may have received it by now. Hopefully,
it does some good; I won't recommend it to those of you who haven't gotten it.
The cmavo list is more complete and is holding up fairly well, though portions are obsolete. There are only two or
three words that are missing or which have changed, but the explanations are not nearly as good as I want them to be.
Again, the textbook writing is leading to what will eventually be better explanations.
The textbook is taking too much of our time for us to make teaching tapes at the same time. I've put together some
decent recording equipment to allow us to make the tapes when we have time, but not yet, and I suspect I won't have time
until after LogFest in June.
Research and Development
R&D progress will slow in a couple of months, since I'm going to have to go back to work so we can eat. Nora has
supported me (and thus the bulk of the Lojban effort) for long enough, and our financial situation, my career status,
and the short term outlook for Lojban all tell me that I can't continue as a full-time Lojban worker for free, and we
aren't likely to become rich enough to pay anyone for quite a while.
Lojban Parser Status
There are at least 3 varieties of Lojban parsers in development. We will cover each in turn:
1. Most of our support is going towards Jeff Taylor's parser, since he has both the knowledge of parsing techniques
and the Lojban grammar to make his time be used productively. He has been spending 10-15 hours per week since November
on it, and just this week sent me the first usable version, based on the grammar as of the end of October. He is now
updating it to reflect the grammar changes made since then.
The parser seems to work quite nice. It is a preliminary version, and isn't ready for most of you to use, but it
is a great start. There are a couple of problems in the grammar that are giving us a headache, although they are
problems for the parser - not 'bugs' in the language.
The most significant problem is the recovery of 'elidable' terminators. Lojban is unambiguous because every sub-
structure that needs it is marked with cmavo that act something like parentheses. In most cases, the right parenthesis,
or terminator, can be left out, or 'elided'. The rules for this are not easy to put into English though - the standard
formulation is that you can leave them out whenever the result won't be ambiguous, which isn't too useful. It turns out
that YACC's method of handling these markers is not correct for Lojban, and we are going to have to do some kind of
'backtracking error recovery' in the parser, for those familiar with the computer jargon. This is fairly sophisticated,
and will take a while, but doesn't affect simple sentences.
Jeff's parser is an improvement over the previous parser built with LYCES. It can take effectively unlimited
strings of text. There will need to be a few 'bells and whistles' added before Jeff's parser is as useful to a learner
as the older one, but it is reasonably up to date with the language, and has a few nice features of its own.
2. Jeff Prothero revised PLOP (Public Domain LO**AN Parser) late last year to reflect the October grammar, but he
did not have time to write a lexer, which is needed to handle even simple sentences. A few of you have asked us for a
copy, and hopefully he has responded. Jeff P., who invented that portion of the language dealing with 'elidable
terminators' has solved that problem in PLOP, which IS a backtracking parser. But PLOP is fairly slow if you use
elision, whereas Jeff T.'s parser is almost instantaneous in responding to even a 40-sentence block of text that we
tested for the textbook.
3. David Bowen is the only person who was sent PLOP who has contacted me. He immediately recompiled PLOP to run on
a Cray supercomputer ("the fastest Lojban parser around"). He found that he could bypass the need for a lexer by
eliminating 'lexer lexemes' that we have defined in the grammar to force compounding of cmavo. This change is not
formally correct, since it inserts some ambiguities; some errors will occur, but in general, PLOP will parse things
correctly simply because it is 'backtracking'.
Lojban Grammar Status
The grammar has proven remarkably stable. There were only minor corrections of a typographical nature between
November and February. All of the parsers are built using a late October grammar, which isn't quite complete, though
Jeff T. has started updating his parser to the current grammar.
I recently put in one trial change to help reduce the elidables problem while Jeff T. works on a permanent
solution. It doesn't actually change the language grammar, but rephrases it using a few extra rules, so that the parser
When Nora and I got Jeff's parser, we quickly found one other problem that will take a change to the grammar to
fix. One sentence example in Lesson 4 caused a problem, which was minor and not likely to be common in conversation.
The fix was easy. However, in making the fix, it was realized that a significant simplification could be made with
minimal cost. The change involves simplifying abstraction and negation options.
pc had argued for this change for a long time, but I hadn't been able to make it work until now. Teaching the language
in the DC-area class significantly helped identify how the simplification made sense.
While the change is noticeable, and affects some things that have appeared in JL, it turns out to be trivial to
learn. We know this because we had just the week before taught abstraction and negation to the class in Lesson 3. Two
days after making the change, we told the class of the change and worked through the Lesson 3 dialogs, identifying how
the change affected Lojban sentences. They were able to correct the grammar on their own after the first couple of
There will no doubt be more changes, hopefully all minor. The grammar isn't baselined, and will not be until we
have the textbook done and there are several speakers who have proven the grammar in actual usage. The current
stability, and the minor impact of the one significant change that we have made gives us great confidence in the Lojban
Textbook Reviewers Wanted
As I go through the class, I have been writing the textbook for each lesson before teaching that lesson. In
general, I am having to make very few changes after teaching. I seem to be writing at the level of the class. I am
making available draft lessons as I get them revised to those of you who will pay for them. We cannot afford to send
them to everyone, though all JL8 subscribers will get Lesson #1. In general, lessons are running 30-40 pages, and at
low volume copying, we will have to charge about $5 per lesson. Obviously the textbook will be much cheaper, but some
of you may not want to wait that long. We will not send lessons to you unless you specifically order them, or unless
your balance is above $50 and you have previously said you want teaching materials as they are developed. We are trying
to be cautious with your balances, since the costs are turning out so high. (My verbosity is legendary.) At the
writing of this article, lessons 1 through 3 are done, and I'm writing lesson 4 tomorrow.
Depending on our finances, we may be able to return some of your investment in draft lessons in the form of a
credit on the textbook FOR THOSE WHO SIGNIFICANTLY CONTRIBUTE REVIEW COMMENTS. I can't make promises as to how much;
ideally, a major contributor should get his/her textbook for free if they paid for the draft lessons. For those who
review the draft lessons and who have questions, we will try to respond fairly quickly with answers.
The outline of the lessons, and a copy of the revised draft lesson 1, will be a major portion of JL8.
DC Lojban Class Starts
By the time this is mailed, we will have completed five weeks of the DC-area Lojban class. We will probably be in
the middle of Lesson 4 of 18; we got a little bogged down in Lesson 3 after moving through the first two lessons on
schedule. The class will continue approximately until LogFest in the middle of June, and I think this group of people
will really know the language by then.
We found to our chagrin that people do not always answer questionnaires. Of the 80 DC-area people I sent class
notices to, only 1 responded. I then got on the telephone to everyone for whom I had a phone number. After a couple of
weeks of telephoning, 16 people signed up for a class, and we gave up on trying to hold two at once. We lost a couple
of people before we actually started; there are now 11 people actively attending, and two who cannot attend regularly
who are working through the lessons on their own.
We've got good enthusiastic people, and they are learning, despite being guinea pigs for untested teaching
materials (and teachers). There are problems with people not having the time between classes to study up on the
vocabulary, which is heavily emphasized in the first 10 weeks. Instead, we spend a fair amount of time in class looking
up words, which slows thing down. The comments I've gotten indicate that the language and the materials describing it
are clear and understandable. Those of you getting JL8 can judge for yourself, and let us know what you think of Lesson
Status of Other Classes
The Boston class has not yet jelled for the same reason that we had trouble here in DC. There are about 40
Lojbanists in Boston, but only 1 bothered to return a class questionnaire, and that person was reporting that he was
moving away from Boston. Brooke Albert and Chuck Barton, who were quite enthusiastic about organizing and teaching the
class, were justifiably depressed by the response. The organizational meeting they held drew only 1 person (who hadn't
returned a questionnaire).
I'm inclined to think that Bostonians and DC-area people don't like questionnaires, since we got very few of our
JL7 questionnaires back from either group as well. Otherwise, I'm somewhat mystified, since a large number of you said
you were interested in a class when you first signed up.
Brooke and Chuck haven't given up; they are hoping that the fact that we have started and are successfully teaching
Lojban here in DC will motivate those of you in Boston to call them up or write. (See the phone number in the class
insert to JL7.) They want to try again in a couple of months.
We are hoping to play an active role at the World Science Fiction convention, which will be around Labor Day in
Boston. This is big chance to show off Lojban to a sympathetic audience from around the world. We had planned on
having those of you who learned the language in Brooke and Chuck's class play a part in our activities at 'Worldcon',
but can do so only if the class gets started in the next couple of months.
The Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City/northern New Jersey areas are now looking like the best places to
organize classes right now. We have possible organizers in each area, and one of the New York Lojbanists is trying
actively to keep up with the class here in DC with the intent of being able to teach a class up there as soon as she
finishes. Two or three others up there have expressed interest to me, and we have discovered that at least three
Lojbanists work in the same building without knowing each other (the Holmdel NJ Bell Labs plant). This may end up being
a good group around which to build a class. We will wait a little while before trying to organize a class unless we
start hearing from a few more of you that you are ready to participate. I don't want to recruit more organizers only to
have them disappointed.
Advertising and Publication Efforts
I just mentioned our plans to participate in WorldCon at the end of summer. This is only one of several activities
planned to spread the word about Lojban.
We participated again at Evecon, the science fiction convention here in the DC area over New Years weekend.
Several of the people in the Lojban class were recruited at Evecon. Nora, Athelstan, and I gave a presentation, and we
handed out brochures throughout he convention. Athelstan also put brochures out at a couple of other conventions,
bringing in several new people.
Fact Sheet Five, put out by Mike Gunderloy, has continued to review our issues. That magazine now has a
circulation of 5000 or so, and we get several responses after each issue (which is pretty good, since FSF consists of
about 80 pages of reviews in fine print, probably several hundred magazines in toto, and his audience has a rather
diverse set of interests).
Aiming at an audience likely to match ours, we have placed an advertisement in Discover magazine; it should appear
in the May issue. If response rates are proportional to those we've gotten from FSF, Discover's circulation of 3.4
million should net us several thousand responses. Then watch our community take off. We are also attempting to contact
several science-media and news organizations to encourage people to write and talk about us. Our goals are ambitious.
I'd like to have 2000 to 4000 Lojbanists by the end of the year (500-1000% growth), with comparable increases next year.
We are also trying to emphasize efforts to reach non-English native speakers, as the next article will discuss. As such
we have been talking to a Voice of America representative regarding a possible interview that would be translated and
broadcast in many languages throughout the world.
News for non-USA Lojbanists
We've heard from a few of our non-USA Lojbanists, and they have pointed out a problem I was afraid of. Not only
are our costs higher in mailing to overseas locations (we can't exactly use bulk rate), making our balance charges to
you higher, but the strong US dollar and relatively lower income levels in other countries makes our publications far to
expensive for many of our recipients. We thus are dependent on Americans who donate towards covering our overseas
To help reduce costs, we are considering switching from airmail to surface postage. We get a good rate on printed
matter, but we might save a little bit on foreign postage this way. We are thus far continuing to send Ju'i Lobypli to
all foreign subscribers, but need to hear from you. After all, we have no other way to know for sure that you are
receiving our publications.
Our policy will be to send to any non-USA subscriber who keeps in touch with us. We ask that you send what you
can, even if it doesn't cover our costs. Every little bit helps.
More than that, we value our non-USA Lojbanists especially, since you are our ties to the rest of the world.
Because of this, we want to make two special offers that might help out the financial situation:
1. Any Lojbanist who translates the Lojban brochure and/or the Overview of Lojban into another language will receive
considerable gratitude and a balance credit more than sufficient to keep you on our publication lists indefinitely. The
cost of translation services is so high that we must otherwise be much larger and richer than we currently are, to
otherwise be able to afford non-English publication. (If you are going to volunteer, please let us know so that we
don't have several people doing the same publication into the same language).
2. Any Lojbanist who recruits a non-English-native speaker as a Lojbanist will receive a credit towards your balance of
$2 US. Your recruit should contact us in writing, and indicate that they were recruited by you. (Ideally they will use
the registration form that comes with the brochure). (If they don't speak English at all, we may need to have you
translate their letter first.) We will try this until September, and re-evaluate at that point. We may be able to give
a higher credit if a substantial number of respondents are able to pay some or all of their costs. Similarly, if you
can find other Lojbanists who live close enough that you can share publications, you can split the costs, and all of us
We can perhaps save money then by shipping a quantity of publications to one person in your country who can then
distribute them to others using local mail. We are currently doing this in England, aided by an American serviceman who
returns to the US in May, and have saved considerable postage.
Given publications and recruiting, we may be able to build enough of a community in your country that Lojban can be
taught there. We really look forward to having a group of Lojban speakers overseas, and will go out of our way to aid
any non-US group that attempts to achieve that goal.
As a final aid to overseas Lojbanists, we will attempt to contact those of you that have another countryman in our
community. Having someone closer who is interested in Lojban makes it much easier to think seriously about learning the
No News from The Institute
I said above that we will continue to publish news about The Loglan Institute, Inc. (TLI) and the efforts of Dr.
James Cooke Brown (who is honored for his creation and development of the language over the past 35 years). Alas, we
don't have much news. Dr. Brown isn't talking to me, and hasn't published any newsletter himself since November. One
person I've talked to got a note from him; he is apparently still working on a 'GPA' (Going Public Again), and didn't go
sailing this winter. Bob McIvor is doing a lot of hard work aiding Dr. Brown, but I haven't heard of anyone else that
is still working with TLI. Nora remains a member of TLI and probably the largest financial contributor except for Dr.
Brown, himself. My membership has probably run out by now, but I've gotten no notice.
There have been some indirect exchanges between Dr. Brown and me regarding our dispute. I have nothing I can
report except that a possible agreement that may settle the dispute has been sent to TLI and is awaiting response from
1988 Financial Report
In keeping with our open books policy, we are publishing our 1988 financial report and our budget for 1989. The
1988 report is split into pre-incorporation and post-incorporation figures. We continue to lose money, and are barely
solvent, in that we have maintained enough money to refund all your unspent portions of voluntary balances. Our
inventory of publications has grown along with our subscriber list, though. If a substantial portion of new recruits
cover their subscription costs, that inventory will mean that we stay afloat. We also hope that obtaining tax-exempt
status will increase the flow of donations.
We easily met our requirement for keeping administrative and legal fees low. These fees have only included the
amounts needed to file papers and set up the corporation.
The following is a report on the financial status of The Logical Language Group, Inc. upon the date of
incorporation, 3 November 1988.
Cash in bank account $2232.82 Subscriber Refundable
Inventory $695.90 Balances $1501.70
Net Assets $2928.72 Net Liabilities $1501.70
Net Worth Transferred from Predecessor $1427.02
1988 Final Financial Report
1988 Summary - Unincorporated Predecessor
1988 Contributions Prior to Incorporation
Pre-JL4 (50% matching) $190.01
Post-JL4 (25% matching) $4713.31
Net Income $6170.37
Other Publications $1332.00
Research and Review Costs $207.82
Office and Publication Supplies $454.26
Administrative Fees and Legal Expenses $447.42
Total Expenses $6930.06
Net Loss ($759.69)
The Logical Language Group, Inc.
Incorporation Through 31 December 1988
Net Income $606.35
Other Publications, Research, and Review 265.26
Administrative Fees and Legal Expenses 5.00
Net Expenses $1675.91
Net Loss (1069.56)
1988 Summary (Incorporated + Unincorporated)
including Administrative Expenses:
$452.42 or 7% of income
Net Loss ($1829.25)
We were technically bankrupt at the end of 1988. Your responses to JL7, came during 1989. As of this publication, we
have received about $2000 income against expenses of $1100 in 1989 and are again solvent; but some of that income is
class tuitions to be spent on lesson materials not yet prepared.
Assumes Advertising Thrice @ $200 .1% response
Additional 10% increase in subscriptions and newsletter costs per quarter
80% of costs covered by people contributing to their balances.
Overhead and Administrative Expenses 10% of total
Unbudgeted Expenses 10% of total
JL8/LK8 1st quarter 1989 1050 800
JL9/LK9 2nd quarter 1989 1104 845
JL10/LK10 3rd quarter 1989 1937 1901
JL11/LK11 4th quarter 1989 2872 3230
Textbooks 12000 16080
Tapes 8000 10720
LF1/Flashcards 4000 5360
Classes 4000 3200
LogFest 89 800
Subtotal 36483 42136
10% Overhead and Administration 3648
10% Unbudgeted Expenses 3648
Donations (20% of income) 8427
Total 43779 50563
Net Cashflow Gain 6784
Net Gain in Inventory Value 7800
If we can do this well, we won't go bankrupt, and can afford continued growth. But $7000 won't even pay for one
half-time person, so we must do better than this if we are to expand when I return to work.
Note on Our Prices
We have been forced to raise our prices due to the recent bad financial period, and the added expenses that have come
with incorporation. For US bulk rate mailings, we are charging about 7.5 cents a page. For regular US mailings of
materials that we get enough orders for, that we can print 100 or more at a time, we charge about 9 cents a page. For
special orders, we have to charge as much as 16 cents a page. This includes the cost of envelopes and US postage.
Canadian and Mexican charges approximate the US regular mailing rates. For other non-US mailings, we charge the same
prices, but we also subtract the postage from your balance after mailing (so it isn't included in the mailing label
balance). We send overseas by surface mail unless we know you are willing to pay extra for air mail. Air mail for
printed matter tends to be about 30% higher than surface, probably about a US dollar on a typical mailing.
lei lojbo - A continuing Lojban comic strip
A complete discussion of the Lojban will be found in JL8, along with another comic strip. A brief synopsis is:
Bob attaches a portable 'robot' peripheral to 'Sam' the computer. He uses a compound Lojban tense to say: "You
couldn't-and-now-can travel, O Sam". After Sam causes Nora to drop her paint brush by surprising her ("Greetings! "),
chases the cat ("Wait, O Cat! "), causes Bob to trip ("Complaint! "), the robot is no longer. Sam, in self-pity
(".uu"), uses an even more complex tense to say: "At some (the) previous time, I couldn't-and-now-could-and-then-
couldn't-in-the-future travel". The tense is the exact inverse of the one found in the English "The Once and Future
King". The brief expression of such a complex idea is the source of the humor. This is obviously not something we
would say in English, simply because it is too complex to manipulate the concept in words. Presumably, Lojban speakers
will manipulate such complex tenses with comparable ease. Is this a 'Whorfian effect?'
Contents of Ju'i Lobypli #8
As noted above, the bulk of JL8 will be draft lesson 1 of the textbook, and an outline of the rest of the book.
We also have an article by Patrick Juola, a researcher at AT&T Bell Labs, on Lojban's potential for artificial
intelligence and machine translation. In our previous discussions of the purposes of Lojban, I have not talked much
about the computer applications, since I am not expert in AI or machine translation. Patrick has expertise in the
subject and offers a bright vision of Lojban's unique potential contribution for the future of those fields.
We also have another contribution from Ralph Dumain - an annotated bibliography of materials related to the Sapir-
Whorf hypothesis. He also has some responses to others comments on his last article that we will try to fit in,
probably over the next two issues.
We have two song translations from English, "The Quest" from "Man of La Mancha', and "99 Bottles of Beer" (who
promised great literature? - we used only grammar taught through Lesson 3 of the textbook), and another strip of lei
There are three or four letters that I'd like to include. There are three responses to materials in JL6 and JL7,
and Dave Cortesi, self-taught using the grammar description and the gismu and cmavo lists, translates a biblical proverb
accurately (and gives us a very positive comment on the language design).
Finally, if I have room, I have letter frequency data and some ideas for updating rules for a Lojban variation of
'Scrabblertm'. The subject was originally addressed by Dr. Brown in The Loglanist, volume 2, back in the 1970's.
Some of this may fall due to editing, lack of time, or space. I hope to have it out about 2 weeks after this
newsletter is mailed.