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Re: Nick makes trouble in lojbanland
- To: lojban-list
- Subject: Re: Nick makes trouble in lojbanland
- From: cowan (John Cowan)
- Date: Tue, 5 Mar 91 10:53:40 EST
- In-reply-to: <email@example.com.OZ.AU>; from "mullian.ee.mu.OZ.AU!nsn" at Mar 05, 91 8:49 am
> 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
> 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.
e'osai ko sarji la lojban