February 21, 2010
As the previous post had the largest and hardest part of lojban grammar, this one it’s going to have only a few sentences (bridi) as examples of what can we say.
But first, some random vocabulary I’m going to use:
- klama: x1 comes/goes to destination x2 from origin x3 via route x4 using means/vehicle x5.
- blanu: x1 is blue.
- bloti: x1 is a boat/ship/vessel [vehicle] for carrying x2, propelled by x3.
- karce: x1 is a car/automobile/truck/van (a wheeled motor vehicle) for carrying x2, propelled by x3.
klama has 5 sumti to fill, but it’s not necessary to fill them all; like in this sentence:
mi klama lo zdani
Meaning “I go (or come) to a house“. The bridi doesn’t specify which house, when this happens (if I’m going right now, or I did it in the past, or if I’ll go); it’s open for interpretation, as well as the unfilled sumti (it isn’t specified from where I’m going, which route I am taking or how I’m).
If I want to specify I’m going by car, I have to use x5, but x3 and x4 has to be left blank. I have several ways for doing this:
- mi klama lo zdani zo’e zo’e lo karce
- mi klama lo zdani fu lo karce
- lo karce ku xe te klama lo zdani mi
The first one use the word zo’e, which is used to specify the sumti is left blank. The second tags lo karce with fu, that specifies the following sumti is the fifth (fa does the same but for x1, fe for x2, and so). The third is just some sick and unnatural way (no one would say that that way — it’s just for educational reasons); te and xe modifies the selbri and switches the places of the sumti. (For more information about this, you can read the section Conversion (“se-word brivla”) in this chapter of “What is Lojban?“.)
What about giving more information of one of the sumti? There are lots of ways; I don’t know all them yet.
Imagine I’m going in a blue boat instead of a car (it would be really cool…). Then, I’d say:
mi klama lo zdani zo’e lo blanu bloti
blanu modifies bloti, making a tanru, which is formed when two or more gismu are next each other.
I don’t know what you think, but I think I’ve learned enough to “evolve“. I understand the basis of Lojban grammar, I know many words, and I can introduce myself (.i mi’e leos.). I chose a dolphin to be my new level!
February 16, 2010
I’ve just came back from San Martin de los Andes, after a few days of relax!
Learning the grammar of a language is always dreadful (sometimes even in our first language). However, Lojban seems to be easier than natural languages.
(Only for those who studied logic, like myself, in Computer Science.) Lojban is based in predicate calculus. If you don’t know it, or you don’t remember it, it’s something like this:
Suppose that we want to say: “It’s my house” . In predicate calculus, we have to create a predicate named house (or the name we want) with an arity of two (for programmers: this ones are like arguments in a function or a procedure). In this two slots, we are going to place the two elements that are related with a relationship called house; “it” and “me” (the one who owns and lives in the house):house(it,me)
The order of the elements it’s important, so we have to decide the role of the elements in each slot. In the example, the first slot refers which is the house in the relationship, and the second, who lives there.
In Lojban, the assertion can be said like:
ti zdani mi
- ti: It (or the thing I’m talking about, perhaps even pointing).
- zdani: Without getting deeper, a house.
- mi: me (pretty much the same).
zdani is the predicate (or selbri) in this sentence (or bridi), and the other two are the arguments (or sumti).
The selbri can have from 1 to 5 arguments, but they don’t need to be always filled. For each word (or gismu), each sumti has their meaning. For example, for zdani, according to the Lojban Dictionary:
zdani [zda] gismu
x1 is a nest/house/lair/den/[home] of/for x2 .
X1 and X2 are the two sumti that can be filled, as I did.
This is what I see can be complicated from this language: remember the vocabulary, and also the meaning of the arguments. Luckily, they seem to have a pattern, and it’s not necessary to know them all always:
- The first place is often the person or thing who does something or is something (in Lojban there is no grammatical difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’).
- If someone or something has something done to them, he/she/it is usually in the second place.
- to places (destinations) nearly always come before from places (origins).
- Less-used places come towards the end. These tend to be things like ‘by standard’, ‘by means’ or ‘made of’.
(Extracted from Lojban for Beginners.)
This might be the hardest post until now, but it’s has the basis of the language. It’s not the intention to learn reading this blog, but I explain a few things to show my development, to show it’s not that hard and to help myself in the process of learning. To learn, you can read the books or ask for help in the IRC channel; they’ve been really kind with me .