What are attitudinal indicators? This chapter explains the various words that Lojban provides for expressing attitude and related notions. In natural languages, attitudes are usually expressed by the tone of voice when speaking, and very imperfectly by punctuation when writing. For example, the bare words 1. These fine points of tone cannot be expressed in writing. In Lojban, everything that can be spoken can also be written.

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What are pro-sumti and pro-bridi? What are they for? Speakers of Lojban, like speakers of other languages, require mechanisms of abbreviation. If every time we referred to something, we had to express a complete description of it, life would be too short to say what we have to say. An English with no pronouns might look something like this: 1.

If every time speakers of Lojban referred to a thing to which speakers of Lojban refer, speakers of Lojban had to express a complete description of what speakers of Lojban referred to, life would be too short to say what speakers of Lojban have to say. Speakers of this kind of English would get mightily sick of talking.

Furthermore, there are uses of pronouns in English which are independent of abbreviation. There is all the difference in the world between: 1.

Example 1. In each section, a series of pro-sumti is explained, and if there is a corresponding series of pro-bridi, it is explained and contrasted. Not all pro-sumti or pro-bridi have antecedents, but all of them have referents. All of these pro-sumti represent masses.

Does this include the listener or not? However, its use alters an assertion about the listener into a command to the listener to make the assertion true: 2. Go to the store! Be seen by me! In Example 2. Be such that the person who loves you is seen by me! Show me the person who loves you! As mentioned in Section 1 , some pro-sumti series have corresponding pro-bridi series. Demonstrative pro-sumti: the ti-series The following cmavo are discussed in this section: ti KOhA ti-series this here, a nearby object ta KOhA ti-series that there, a medium-distant object tu KOhA ti-series that yonder, a far-distant object It is often useful to refer to things by pointing to them or by some related non-linguistic mechanism.

The Lojban pro-sumti of the ti-series serve the same functions, but more narrowly. There are three pro-sumti of the ti-series rather than just two because it is often useful to distinguish between objects that are at more than two different distances. Japanese, among other languages, regularly does this. In written text, on the other hand, the meaning of the ti-series is inherently vague; is the writer to be taken as pointing to something, and if so, to what?

A correct Lojban translation of Example 3. Tenses are explained in full in Chapter Another correct translation would be: 3. That is untrue. In Lojban, therefore, Example 4. The-previous-utterance is-a-false sentence.. In writing, they are frequently handy: 4.

Simon says: Example 4. Note that although presumably the quotation is of something Simon has said in the past, the quotation utterance itself would appear after Example 4. What I am saying at this moment is true. Often, a single bridi is intended, but longer utterances may be thus referred to. And I like the-referent-of the-last-utterance. I love Jane, and I like that.

And I like the-last-utterance. Lojban does have equivalents of this latter group: in fact, it has more of them than English does. However, they are organized and used very differently. It-1 is-blue. It-1, also-known-as Alice, is-blue. It is equally correct to say: 5. Alice, also-known-as it-1, is-blue. The details are in Chapter 8. The green thingy is large. The red thingy is small.

Note that pro-bridi are so called because, even though they have the grammar of selbri, their antecedents are whole bridi. You claim-1 I go to the store. You, too. Similarly, any tense or negation that is present in the antecedent is also carried, and can be overridden by explicit tense or negation cmavo on the pro-bridi.

These rules hold for all pro-bridi that have antecedents. Historically, this use was the original one. I see the dog. Alice sleeps in her room. There are plenty of other ways to do that! It is simpler just to repeat these directly: 6. I love myself. It is adorned by its branches. All three refer to the same thing: a tree. A fork. Rick uses [repeat next-to-last]. Alice uses [repeat fifth-from-last].

As can clearly be seen, this procedure is barely practicable in writing, and would break down totally in speech. A more reasonable version of Example 6.

Rick uses [some previous thing]. Alice uses [some more remote thing]. In Example 6. It-last-mentioned also-known-as it-1 is-blue. Example 6. Any bridi that are embedded within other bridi, such as relative clauses or abstractions, are not counted. Is John your name? You [repeat last bridi]. I go to the store.

Note that Example 6. This is useful in conversation: 6. B: I like the concept-of I [repeat last bridi]. A: You [repeat last bridi but one]. A: I am going to the store. B: I like the idea of my going. If B said: 6.

Note that in Example 6. That-described-as-the-x1-place-of [repeat last bridi] walks-on the ice. The black cat goes to the store. It walks on the ice. Here are a few examples: 6. Give the house to my daughter. I am pleased that you thought about whether I would be pleased about Normally, any pro-sumti used within the antecedent of the pro-bridi keep their meanings intact. If someone says to you: 6. The anaphoric pro-sumti of this section can be used in quotations, but never refer to any of the supporting text outside the quotation, since speakers presumably do not know that they may be quoted by someone else.

This allows a quotation to be broken up by narrative material without interfering with the pro-sumti within it. Alice says [quote] I [repeat] [unquote]. Note that the elliptical value is not always the typical value. This cannot be correctly expressed as: 7.

Consider the following examples: 7. I make the building out of wood.


The Lojban Reference Grammar

What is Lojban? James Cooke Brown, who founded the Loglan Project and started the development of the language in The following are the main features of Lojban: Lojban is designed to be used by people in communication with each other, and possibly in the future with computers. Lojban is designed to be neutral between cultures.


Chapter 21 Formal Grammars The following two listings constitute the formal grammar of Lojban. The first version is written in the YACC language, which is used to describe parsers, and has been used to create a parser for Lojban texts. This parser is available from the Logical Language Group. In case of discrepancies, the YACC version is official. The YACC machine grammar presented here is an amalgam of those steps, concatenated so as to allow YACC to verify the syntactic ambiguity of the grammar. YACC is used to generate a parser for a portion of the grammar, which is LALR1 the type of grammar that YACC is designed to identify and process successfully , but most of the rest of the grammar must be parsed using some language-coded processing.


The Lojban Reference Grammar 6. Consonant Clusters A consonant sound is a relatively brief speech-sound that precedes or follows a vowel sound in a syllable; its presence either preceding or following does not add to the count of syllables, nor is a consonant required in either position for any syllable. Lojban has seventeen consonants: for the purposes of this section, the apostrophe is not counted as a consonant. An important distinction dividing Lojban consonants is that of voicing.


The truth functions have the special characteristic that the truth value that is, the truth or falsehood of the results depends only on the truth value of the component sentences. For example, 1. This chapter is mostly concerned with explaining the forms and uses of the Lojban logical connectives. This point will be made clear in particular cases as needed. The other English meanings are supported by different Lojban connective constructs. The Lojban connectives form a system as the title of this chapter suggests , regular and predictable, whereas natural-language connectives are rather less systematic and therefore less predictable. There exist 16 possible different truth functions.

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