It’s time to wrap up March 2017 in this month’s Monthly Lojban Community Roundup, where I attempt to find the month’s most interesting material from IRC, the mailing list, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter, and present it here in a condensed form.
Unlike last month, where picking out interesting topics to cover was at least somewhat akin to finding needles in a haystack, there really wasn’t much hay in March at all. It was a calm month, though there were at least a few things worth appreciating.
Robin Powell reported that the ebook and print versions of the CLL “are finally linked” (there used to be a problem with getting Amazon to link the ebook to the new print edition instead of the old one). Also, the “Look Inside” feature is finally working, which means people can read part of the book directly on Amazon before buying it.
In a way, this marks the end of a long and painful process of getting a new CLL both in print and in ebook format out and to set up a toolchain that would allow us to generate new editions more easily (the first edition of the CLL was created in Word, and the huge index in the back was put together by hand). The bulk of the work on CLL1.1 was done by Robin Powell himself (who considered this project the last thing he owed the Lojban community).
Thank you, Robin.
PJCG Publishes Second Issue
The PJCG (ponjo lojbo citno girzu) have published another beautiful book containing poetry and prose as well as discussions in Lojban and Japanese by various Japanese Lojbanists. This issue has the name kalri.
The first issue (called pluta) can be found here.
Returns and Re-returns
A handful of people announced their return to the logjamming party this month. One of them (fi’i la .temlat.) even drew a comic for the occasion:
Can you understand what the cat is saying?
The following is another example:
Really, this seems to be a common theme around the lojbosphere. People leave, but most people come back at some point. Unfortunately, said comebacks are often followed by another subsequent disappearance. I’ve seen some people slilu in and out of jbopre-hood with dazzling frequencies, and some of them would have to start from scratch everytime. On the other hand, those who stick around for a while tend to make a lot more progress in their studies, duh. Therefore, stay, be patient, and keep at it. Just accept the fact that Lojban will not let you go.
Ilmen translated a news article on a possible new discovery about dinosaurs. Make sure to read it and try to understand the somewhat technical subject matter of the article. Then, check the original English and see how much you got.
Lojban Video Games
Well, there is https://mw.lojban.org/papri/Lojbanic_Software#Games, which is better than nothing. In addition to the games listed there, there is also an incomplete translation of Pokémon Red. It’s a bummer that the project never got very far, especially considering that the result would be a playable ROM. See this mini playtest I recorded:
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the whole game translated? Then someone could record a full Lojban Let’s Play…
A bunch of people asked about where to find the different experimental grammars.
If you go to http://lojban.github.io/ilmentufa/camxes.html and open the Parser dropdown menu you can choose from among a few different experimental grammars, most notably a CBM (cmevla-brivla-merge) grammar, and CKT (ce-ki-tau) grammar and zantufa. There are of course plenty of other grammars, but these are a good start, with so many people now favoring a cmevla-brivla-merge and CKT being at least partially popular. And zantufa is worth checking out no matter what, make sure to read the wiki page!
Since we’re already on the topic of grammar(s), I have made another step in my journey to deciding on NOIhA’s grammar (see my article on NOIhA for context — it’s very useful stuff). In that article I sketched out three possible grammars. Option 2 used to be my favored candidate, but now that I’ve had the chance to use and analyze NOIhA-ful Lojban (as opposed to the old NOIhA-less variety) for a while I can more adequately judge the advantages and disadvantages from a practical standpoint, and I have also made a few realizations why Option 3 might actually be the way to go after all.
First of all, if we think back, the main downside of Option 2 was the need for be to link additional arguments to the adverb. The question was whether this be was too much of a burden. In plain numbers, it now seems as though most uses of poi’a and noi’a are followed by a sumti. An option that saves that be would be Option 3 (then you get to say poi’a cabna lo crisa “concurrently with summer” without any be).
Option 3 has the grammar of FIhO. Really, with Option 3, NOIhA is simply a better fi’o, with clear semantics and precision.
The reason I originally didn’t love Option 3 was that I was put off by the ku in expressions like soi’a cafne ku mi tatpi “Often, I am tired”, but this is how other prepositions work in Lojban, even adverbials that cannot tag anything require ku when they aren’t selbri tcita (NA and (arguably) CAhA). With that in mind, it shouldn’t be weird if NOIhA were the same.
Option 3 comes with more advantages that are simply a consequence of the FIhO grammar: Being able to combine NOIhA with gi or jai, for instance.
Consider this example:
lo jai poi’a temdu’e fe’u denpa
“That which is no longer possible due to having waited too long”
This should really show the expressive potential of poi’a and its flexibility when it has FIhO’s grammar.
Option 3 is also the only of the three that allows for the rather necessary possibility of attaching adverbs directly to the selbri (and thus, the bridi-tail).
Bottomline, I feel like Option 3 just sits better with the rest of Lojban’s adverbial-prepositional machinery.
Also, remember this tweet?
I now favor the idea of using pu’a for poi’a and nu’a for noi’a. I doubt we’ll be able to get anything shorter that still uses p- and n- and doesn’t needlessly destroy some other part of the language. pu’a and nu’a are pretty enough and they won’t be badly missed in their old faculty (nu’a is a relatively uninteresting mekso cmavo that I’m sure a replacement can be found for; xorxes has long ago proposed that me could even do nu’a‘s job). I say try out pu’a and nu’a for a bit and let me know what it’s like!
March 2017 — The IRC Top 10
We conclude with the IRC Top 10. Who were the most active Lojbanists of March? Find out for yourself below:
Hats off to Ilmen, who was clearly the most active this month.
Btw, mensi, our IRC bot and jack of all trades would have come in at fourth place, with a score of 800 lines.
And there you have it. Here’s to more action in April!