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Can Lojban offer some equivalent of Esperanto's "16 Rules"? How would you summarize the Lojban grammar?

>> No.909  

We could offer some list like that, if it would be useful. However, even Esperanto's 16 Rules are woefully incomplete, in that although they're all true, they don't even come close to describing how to use Esperanto correctly.

My favourite summary of the problems with Esperanto can be read here:
With an appendix detailing problems with the 16 Rules here:

Given that, there are still some fundamental principles of Lojban which I suppose we could list. For example, Lojban is based on functions (verb phrases, roughly) which take arguments (nouns phrases, again very roughly). You can see this when you examine the definitions of gismu, where the arguments it takes are labeled x1, x2, etc.

I would still point you to the CLL as the best summary of the Lojban grammar, though.

>> No.910  

Perhaps we could summarize the Lojban grammar in these 5 rules:

1- Phonology: Lojban has 25 phonemes, comprising 6 vowels (represented as a, e, i, o, u, y) and 9 consonants (represented as b, c, d, f, g, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, x, z, ., '). The phonotactics is rigorously defined. Syllables are for the most part of form CV, CVV, CCV, and CVC, but can sometimes get as complex as CCCVVC.

2-Morphology: Any stream of phonemes can be unambiguously broken into words, which by their form fall into three classes: CMAVO (structure words), BRIVLA (predicate words), and CMEVLA (name words). The CMAVO class is relatively closed, the other two classes are open. BRIVLA can in turn be divided by their form into simple and compound words, and the simple words further divided into gismu (native words) and fu'ivla (borrowed words). Compound words (lujvo) can always be unambiguously analyzed into their simple word components.

3-Syntax: A basic lojban sentence consists of a predicate (selbri) and zero or more arguments (sumti). The order of the arguments is fixed if they are unmarked, or free when tagged. The selbri can appear in any position with respect to the arguments. In addition to the predicate and arguments, there are free modifiers that can appear more or less anywhere in the sentence, and there are some connective words to combine sentences into longer texts. The syntactic parsing of any valid Lojban text is always unambiguous.

4-Semantics: Each word has a single meaning, which may be more or less narrow, but there are no homonyms. Structure words may be purely functional but they often also add some meaning to the sentence.

5-Pragmatics: Lojban is a human language and can therefore be used, like any other human language, to make assertions, ask questions, make suggestions, express wishes, make promises, give encouragement, deceive, make jokes, speak nonsense, and so on and so forth. One class of cmavo (UI) concentrates a lot of indicators that may be used to make explicit some of these uses as intended by the speaker, though not necessarily all.

>> No.914  


That's pretty good. I have a few minor quibbles (s/9/19/), but nothing big.

3. Syntax: you might mention that almost all arguments (sumti) are formed from selbri. Similar to forming nouns from verbs, e.g., "owner owns owned", "killer kills killee".

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