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Michael Libres Uy

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The viability of implementing a logically constructed Language. Namely Lojban.

We are aware of how profound of an effect language has on its speakers, but we still have yet to implement a constructed language that is constructed on the basis of logic rather than history. Lojban is a language constructed on the basis of predict logic by James Cooke Brown and the Lojban institute and can be found here: http://www.lojban.org/tiki/Lojban
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Lojban has a number of features which make it unique:

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 culturally neutral.
Lojban has an unambiguous grammar, which is based on the principles of logic.
Lojban has phonetic spelling, and unambiguous resolution of sounds into words.
Lojban is simple compared to natural languages; it is easy to learn.
Lojban's 1300 root words can be easily combined to form a vocabulary of millions of words.
Lojban is regular; the rules of the language are without exception.
Lojban attempts to remove restrictions on creative and clear thought and communication.
Lojban has a variety of uses, ranging from the creative to the scientific, from the theoretical to the practical. and Here we will discuss the ideas of how to implement the language, the problems of doing so, and all the for and against notions regarding language in general.

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  • May 17 2013: To clarify a bit.
    1. The language created by James Cooke Browne is Loglan, which is still supported by The Loglan Institute. Lojban is a revised version created by the Logical Language Group, Robert LeChevalier, Founder and President. The two have diverged significantly within the same broad framework, but both have active followers.
    2. The any non-trivial claim that language has a profound effect on speakers is contentious (the Sapir Whorf Hypothesis, itself never clearly formulated). The suggestion that a language based on the principles of Logic (whatever they may be) will say something significant about this question was the original purpose behind Loglan, but the experiments were never carried through.
    3. Both Loglan and Lojban exist, the one for 58 years in various forms, the other 24 or so, and both are. in some sense, based on the principles of logic, so the issue of viability seemed settled in the affirmative, unless there are further details that are not mentioned.
    4. The characterizations of Lojban are basically correct but perhaps misleading (and are, for the most part, not unique).
    a. Lojban has developed its own culture (related largely to Western computer scientists) and is hardly neutral.
    b. Lojban grammar is unambiguous by fiat and the grammar that guarantees lack of ambiguity is not proven to tie in with principles of Logic.
    c. No one reports Lojban to be easy to lean (this may be partly due to old-fashioned learning tools, now being replaced):its vocabulary is totally unfamiliar (despite claims to the contrary), its basic sentence structure is different from that of familiar languages, lack both prepositions and cases, which latter accounts for its regularity -- there is nothing to change.
    d. Lojban culture goes for precision and the requirement to get things just right has proven to be a hindrance rather than a help for creativity -- constatnly going back to check delays going forward.
    But it still functions.

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