Lojban language

From: Edward Cherlin (edward.cherlin.sy.67@aya.yale.edu)
Date: Wed May 23 2001 - 15:08:37 EDT

I would like to propose the artificial language Lojban for inclusion
in the Rosetta Project. Lojban is the successor to Loglan, the
original "logical language" designed by James Cooke Brown as a test
of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Lojban is designed to be syntactically
unambiguous, to allow formal logic to be spoken, and to be culturally
neutral in vocabulary and structure.

The Lojban Web site is at http://www.lojban.org. Most of the material
that has ever been published in Lojban is on the site.

We have most of the documents you request for a Rosetta Project
listing. Here is a rundown.

>The seven components are:
>Detailed descriptions (13)
>Origin and current distribution of language, number of speakers,
>family, typology, history, etc.

On the Web site, at http://www.lojban.org/files/history/, and in The
Complete Lojban Language by John Woldemar Cowan ISBN 0-9660283-0-9.

>Genesis translations (830)
>We are using translations of Genesis Chapters 1-3 as Biblical texts
>are the most widely and carefully translated writings on the planet.

Genesis 1.1-2.3 was posted some time ago at

We have a volunteer, Pierre Abbat, working on 2.4-3.24.

>Glossed vernacular texts (1)
>A cultural specific counterpoint to the Genesis text with
>grammatical analysis. We will substitute other vernacular texts if a
>glossed origin story is unavailable or culturally inappropriate.

The posted text includes much of this analysis.

>Orthographies (70)
>The writing systems of the language with pronunciation guide.

From http://www.lojban.org/files/reference-grammar/chap3.html

        Letter IPA Description

        ' [h] a unvoiced glottal spirant
        , --- the syllable separator
        . [/] a glottal stop or a pause
        a [a], [A] an open vowel
        b [b] a voiced bilabial stop
        c [S], [] an unvoiced coronal sibilant
        d [d] a voiced dental/alveolar stop
        e [E], [e] a front mid vowel
        f [f], [] an unvoiced labial fricative
        g [g] a voiced velar stop
        i [i] a front close vowel
        j [Z],[12] a voiced coronal sibilant
        k [k] an unvoiced velar stop
        l [l], [l`] a voiced lateral approximant
                                        (may be syllabic)
        m [m], [m`] a voiced bilabial nasal
                                        (may be syllabic)
        n [n], [n`], a voiced dental or velar nasal
                  [N], [N`] (may be syllabic)
        o [o], [?] a back mid vowel
        p [p] an unvoiced bilabial stop
        r [r], [], [R], [{], a rhotic sound
                  [r`], [`], [R`], [{`]
        s [s] an unvoiced alveolar sibilant
        t [t] an unvoiced dental/alveolar stop
        u [u] a back close vowel
        v [v], [B] a voiced labial fricative
        x [x] an unvoiced velar fricative
        y [] a central mid vowel
        z [z] a voiced alveolar sibilant

See also The Complete Lojban Language by John Woldemar Cowan

>Swadesh word lists (5)
>A core word list typically collected in linguistic field work.

I posted a draft to the Lojban mailing list yesterday for discussion.
I'll forward the results of the discussion.

>Inventories of phonemes (13)
>The basic sound units of the language.

See Orthography. Lojban is written phonemically.

>Audio files (0)
>Sample of spoken language with transcription and ideally a translation.

There aren't any on the Web site, but they would be easy to create.

We also have several drafts of a forthcoming dictionary at


Edward Cherlin Generalist "A knot!" exclaimed Alice. "Oh, do let me help to undo it." Alice in Wonderland

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