Re: [unrev-II] Thinking about communicating

From: Garold \(Gary\) L. Johnson (
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 16:29:17 PDT

I have 2 of the Loglan books that were available. I don't know whether they
still are.

One aspect of the language that intrigued me is that the dictionary consists
of predicates, each of which takes a specified set of arguments --
essentially subroutines or method calls.

I have thought for years that such an endeavor in English would make a
useful set of checklists for any text that had to be precise, such as
software specifications or requirements documents.

BTW, Loglan is based on a context free grammar and it is said that a
computer programme with it is still the most 'fluent' speaker of Loglan.

Whether Loglan istelf is worthy of adoption for precision communication, I
think that many of the ideas used in it could be very useful.


Garold (Gary) L. Johnson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Park" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2001 3:12 PM
Subject: [unrev-II] Thinking about communicating

> Many moons back, James Cooke Brown decided to test the central Whorfian
> thesis, namely that the structure of individual languages does in some way
> shape the thought of monolingual speakers of those languages. We might ask
> the same question ourselves as we ponder our OHS notions.
> That work began the evolution of the language Loglan
> From the forward to the book _Loglan 1_ which is entirely online in
> "At the beginning of Christmas Holidays, 1955, I sat down before a bright
> fire to commence what I hoped would be a short paper on the possibility of
> testing the social psychological implications of the Sapir-Whorf
> hypothesis. I meant to proceed by showing that the construction of a tiny
> model language, with a grammar borrowed from the rules of modern logic,
> taught to subjects of different nationalities in a laboratory setting
> conditions of control, would permit a decisive test. I have been writing
> appendices for that paper ever since. I believed, once or twice, that I
> glimpsed the end of it; but I cannot yet be certain."
> I present that quote in order to respond a priori to questions about
> Esperanto and other invented languages (aren't all languages
> invented?). Esperanto, for instance, is relatively easy to learn and use;
> indeed there are lots of Web sites that speak Esperanto (google got
> hits, only 3360 for loglan!) But, Loglan appears to be different; it is a
> fabrication with a scientific bent, and one that might be important to
> those of us who wish to build software tools to enable enhanced human
> communication and learning.
> The argument can be made that English is rapidly becoming the lingua
> of the Web, and so it may be. My thinking is that it may still be worth
> taking a look at fabricated, restricted languages as a means to continue
> our efforts to understand the nature of communication.
> I landed on Loglan not by chance, but by way of the insight of Charles
> Moore, the creator of the Forth computer programming language, a language
> have used a lot. He pointed out an article in a back issue of Scientific
> American, and that's where I started. More recently, I have observed
> discussions on the Standard Upper Ontology list about the use of
> natural languages as an interlingua, so long as those languages can be
> as a means of expressing KIF expressions (Knowledge Interchange Format,
> There is a discussion on
> "controlled natural language" by John Sowa at
> Mentioned there is ACE (Attempto Controlled English).
> My point? Perhaps Loglan is worth looking at. Why start with English? Why
> not start over with something already much closer to KIF?
> Cheers
> Jack
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