[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Nick makes trouble in lojbanland

> Besides, if you're SapirWhorfist (not that this is a prerequisite for becoming
> a lojbanist - or is it?)

Definitely not.  pc, a major figure in the Loglan Project from way back
(and VP of the Logical Languages Group) rejects SWH.  lojbab is more or
less neutral on it.

> [...] forcing
> the student to learn the semantics by confronting him/her with unrecognisable
> lexemes, while effective, seems to me overkill. Oh well.

Better safe than sorry.  ALs based entirely on existing lexicons (most notably
Basic English) suffer dreadfully from unwanted semantic transfer.

> There may be
> a subtle bias in lojban's selection of logical mechanism; but I suspect
> that any selection introduces a bias (not just in logical mechanism, either)

That's the idea!  JCB originally designed the language to be as neutral as
possible on all points >except< the use of predicate logic as the basis for
the grammar.  That was to be the one major anomaly that separated Loglan
from every other language.

> But don't stop at semantics. What's the story with syntax?

Syntax is more or less nailed down.  There are a few points still being
adjusted, but all of them are trivial.  If you saw the BNF sent to the
list a while ago, that contained the complete specification of the
surface structure.

> And is lojban really so underspecified that you can't attempt to use it as
> a language right now?

No, definitely not!  It's just that not many people have actually had the
time/inclination to put in the skull sweat needed to LEARN the language.
Different people have more or less grasp of the various parts: for example,
my vocabulary is very weak, whereas my understanding of the grammar is
excellent -- I learned that in order to transcribe the YACC grammar into
human-readable BNF, I had to understand everything in it.

cowan@snark.thyrsus.com		...!uunet!cbmvax!snark!cowan
		e'osai ko sarji la lojban