Re: [unrev-II] Thinking about communicating

From: Jack Park (
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 16:28:45 PDT

Near as I can tell, most everything that ever was available on Loglan is
still available at
I have heard that Prof. Brown's daughter speaks Loglan as though it is her
first language.

I am thinking that Loglan, or perhaps some future derivative of it, could
form the seeds of a rather potent language for online discussions. One of
the background papers on it (all available at the web site) speaks to the
notion that Loglan is intended to be as easy to learn as a computer (as
opposed to a natural) language. That in itself keeps me interested.


At 04:29 PM 8/19/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>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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> >
> >
> >
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