James Cooke Brown Annotations by M. Randall Holmes

Lexeme ICI: Hyphenating Eesheks

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Lexeme ICI: Hyphenating Eesheks

These Ici and Icaci-type words are recognized by the compound-lexer. They are eesheks in all their wonderful variety but adorned with a trailing -ci that makes them hyphenating. The hyphenating eesheks are a special variety of sentence connectives which have the same effect on a string of connected sentences as ACI-words have on a string of ekked arguments or predicates, namely, they "hyphenate" or close-bind a pair utterances in a string of connected utterances, making a single connectand out of them.

Lexeme IE: The Identity Interrogative

Ie, the single allolex of this lexeme, is the interrogative particle by which identity questions are raised. Given any sort of designation—a name, for example, or a description, or a variable—ie may be prefixed to it; and this converts the argument, or actually the sentence in which the argument is embedded, into a question which asks about the identity of the designatum of that argument. Thus, Ie la Djan means 'Which John?', Ie le mrenu jia pa kamla lepo foatci = 'Which man that came to dinner (i.e., to the "formal eating")?', or Ie tu pa godzi go trena = 'Which (of) you went by train (took the train)?' Thus ie has roughly the sense of English 'which…' or 'which of…' as applied to some set of possible identities.

Lexeme IGE: Right-Grouping Eesheks

This variety of sentence connectives is formed by attaching to any eeshek a trailing -ge; thus Ige and Icage are right-grouping eesheks, and are recognized as such by the compound-lexer. IGE is a special variety of I-connective which has the same effect as AGE has among connected predicates or arguments. In a string of connected utterances, it groups all that follow it into a single connectand.

Lexeme JE: The First Linking Operator

Je, which is grammatically unique, is the first linking operator. It is used to attach 2nd arguments to predicate words: thus, Le farfu je le botci = 'The father of the boy' and Ta kukra je lo litla, grobou = "That's a faster-than-light ship'. See JUE for links to suteri arguments.

Lexeme JI: Argument Modification Links

At present there are five of these operators: ji ja jii jie and pe. All of them attach either modifiers or other arguments to arguments. In this way they accomplish "local modification" as opposed to the sentence-wide or "adverbial" role that unattached modifiers perform.

Ji is the identifying link (Le mrenu ji vi le hasfa = 'The man in the house'); ja is the predicating link, i.e., it gives incidental information about the designatum (Le mrenu ja le ditea = "The man, who is incidentally the teacher'); jii is the identifying membership link (Le mrenu jii le merka = 'The man who is one of the Americans'); jie is the predicating membership link (Le mrenu jie le brudi = 'The man, who is incidentally one of the brothers'); and finally pe which is the postfixing genitive operator (Le bukcu pe le ditca = 'The book of the teacher'). Pe provides an alternative to the prefixed genitive (Le le ditca, bukcu = 'The teacher's book') just as in English, which is also a language in which both forms of the possessive exist.

JI is an open lexeme; other allolexes may be added from time to time.

Lexeme JIO: Subordinate Clause Links

There are currently two of these words, jia and jio; both are used to attach subordinate clauses to arguments. The two JIO words differ grammatically from JI words in that the operands of JIO words are sentences— although such "sentences" may be single predicate words, i.e., "imperatives"— while the operands of JI are either arguments or modifiers. Thus, Da jio prano means 'The X who runs'. As in the case of JI words, the distinction between the identifying and predicating senses of subordinate clauses is scrupulously maintained. Thus Jio-clauses identify; they correspond to the restrictive clauses which are usually not set off by commas in English text: La Djan, jio prano ga blonda = 'The John who runs is blond'. In contrast, jia-clauses predicate; they correspond to the non-restrictive clauses which are usually set off by commas in thoughtfully composed English text: La Djan, jia prano ga blonda = 'John, who incidentally runs, is blonde.' Notice how, with restrictive clauses, the translation into English actually assigns a word to Loglan la: 'The John who runs is blonde'. With non-restrictive clauses made with jia, Loglan la has, as usual, no translation: 'John, who incidentally runs, is blonde.' The English word 'incidentally' is one of the few unequivocal ways of showing that an English clause is non-restrictive. In Loglan the linking word itself carries that meaning.

Lexeme JO: Metaphorizers

Jo and kin are the metalinguistical operators by which a loglanist, if speaking or writing carefully, can call attention to whatever portion of da's speech is non-literal. Jo itself signifies that the preceding word was used metaphorically. Tojo means that the two preceding words were used metaphorically; tejo, that the three preceding words were so used, and so on. Raja anywhere in an utterance means that the utterance as a whole is not to be taken literally.

Lexeme JUE: The Second Linking Operator

Jue, the sole member of its lexeme, is used in conjunction with je to link 3rd and subsequent arguments to predicate words; see JE. For example, if one wanted to designate a ship by alluding to the fact that it was not only faster than light (kukra je lo litla) but faster than light by 20 kilometers a second, one could say Le kukra je lo litla jue lio tonikeimeikuasei, grobou ('The faster-than-light by twenty-kilometers-per-second ship'). Somewhat less fancifully, Le farfu je to botci jue la Meris designates the father of two boys by (or through) Mary.

It is grammatical but bad usage to link sutori arguments to the predicate of a sentence with je and jue: *Da farfu je to botci jue la Meris. Equally understandable and better usage is the simpler preposition-free form Da pa farfu to botci la Meris = 'X fathered two boys through Mary'.

Lexeme KA: Prefix Members of Forethought Connectives (Keks)

Keks are separated pairs of connective words, like English 'Either…or…', which are used to make forethought connections between a wide variety of elements. Connections of this kind are said to be "forethought" in that the speaker must decide what kind of connection da is going to use before mentioning the elements which are to be connected.

KA and the next lexeme, KI, are two of the most widely distributed lexemes in Loglan grammar. They are used with M2 in R13 and R19 to kek links and linkargs; with M3 in R37 and R150 to kek predicates; and without any advance marking at all to kek modifiers in R63, arguments in R106, termsets in R125 and sentences in R160.

Each kek is composed of a prefix member chosen from the KA Lexeme and an infix member chosen from the KI lexeme, q.v. Thus Ka da ki de farfu is a sentence with a kekked 1st argument and means 'Either X or Y, and possibly both, are fathers'. Like the English expressions 'Either…or…', 'If…then…', 'Both…and…' and 'Neither…nor…', the earliest or "prefix" member of each pair—in this case Ka—announces that a connection is about to be made. Ka also specifies the kind of connection it is going to be, namely a logical alternation. The prefix element is then followed by the left-connectand, which is in turn followed by the infix member of the connective pair—in this case ki—and the connection is then completed by the right connectand. Thus it takes a minimum of 4 elements to make a kekked connection…5 if the KA element must be marked by either M2 or M3 for the machine.

There are two main series of keks. The first are the forethought logical connections like English 'Either…or…'; the second are the forethought causal connectives like English 'Because…, (therefore)…'. The logical series is semantically more fundamental and will be described first.

The Logical Keks: Morphologically, the prefix portion of a logical kek is formed by inserting a /k/ before the characteristic vowel of an ek; see the A Lexeme. The infix portion is then either ki or kinoi depending on whether the corresponding ek does not or does end with -noi. To show this relationship between eks and logical keks, here is the complete list of logical keks shown alongside eks of the same meaning:



either…or…and possibly both






if and only if…then…






whether…, …



if …then…



both not…and…









both…and not…



either…or…but not both



whether…, not…



either not…or not…and possibly neither



neither …nor…

Notice that the transformation of ek into kek is irregular in the case of the four independence connections: u nuu nou nuunoi. Also, I have marked with '#' as possibly misleading the English translations of a different four Loglan connections which have no forethought renderings in English.

The Causal Keks: Morphologically, the prefix element of a causal kek may be formed by removing the leading /i/ from a causal eeshek (see Lexeme I) and adding a final /ki/: thus kouki is obtained from Ikou, an I-word. A more direct way of describing these compound members of KA is to say that they are PA + KI when the PA word is a causal. (Temporal and spatial keks have not yet been defined; but they are certainly possible.) Here is the list of the causal keks paired with eesheks of the same meaning. Notice, however, that the eeshek used to derive the kek is the one that precedes that kind of causal element (i.e., cause or effect) in an afterthought construction. In the following lists, E = Effect where C = its Cause; A = Action where M = its Motive; D = Decision where R = the justifying Reason; and C = Conclusion where P = the supporting Premise.

E Ikou C

Nukouki E ki C

*Therefore E because of C.

C Inukou E

Kouki C ki E

Because of C, E.

E Inokou C

Nunokouki E ki C

*Nevertheless E although C.

C Inunokou E

Nokouki C ki E

Although C, E.

A Imoi M

Numoiki A ki M

*Therefore A in order to M.

M Inumoi A

Moiki M ki A

In order to M, A.

A Inomoi M

Nunomoiki A ki M

*Nevertheless A although M.

M Inunomoi A

Nomoiki M ki A

Although M, A.

D Irau R

Nurauki D ki R

*Therefore D because of R.

R Inurau D

Rauki R ki D

Because of R, D.

D Inorau R

Nunorauki D ki R

*Nevertheless D although R.

R Inunorau D

Norauki R ki D

Although R, D.

C Isoa P

Nusoaki C ki P

*Therefore C given P.

P Inusoa C

Soaki P ki C

Given P, C.

C Inosoa P

Nunosoaki C ki P

*Nevertheless C although P.

P Inunosoa P

Nosoaki P ki C

Although P, C.

The *-ed entries are those for which no grammatical English translation seems possible.

Again we notice that in these logically sophisticated regions of the vocabulary, the fineness of grain of the Loglan lexicon far exceeds that found in any natural language. It is likely that Loglan speakers trained—as, for some time, all will be—in the coarser distinctions of the natural languages will find most of this domain of forethought causal connectives too fastidious to be usable. But it is also possible that the availability of these extremely precise logico-causal distinctions will lead some loglanists down linguistic pathways which will eventually take them to some powerful reflections not easily formulated in the natural languages, and that others will then follow in their linguistic footsteps in pursuit of these same or equally powerful new insights.

Lexeme KI: Infixes for Forethought Connectives (Keks)

There are just two of these, ki and kinoi; and they are used as infixes with the prefix elements of the forethought connectives described in Lexeme KA.

Lexeme KIE: The Left-Parenthesis

KIE is monolexic, its sole member kie being the left or leading parenthesis. Kie is often represented in text by the punctuation mark [(], but is always pronounced [kyeh] when read aloud. Used with kiu below.

Lexeme KIU: The Right-Parenthesis

KIU is also monolexic, its one member kiu being often represented in text by the mark [)] but pronounced [kyoo] when read aloud. Used with kie above.

LA has two allolexes, la and laa, the latter being a special operator for Linnaean names. La has the sole function of generating designations based on ordinary, non-Linnaean names. La may be used to precede either a sequence of one or more name-words (La Djan Pol Djonz) or a string of one or more predicate units (La Redro Nu Herfa = 'The Red-Haired One'). The initial letters of name-words are always capitalized; but the words in la-marked predicate strings are also given capital initials in text.

Names are seldom unique; but they are always used as unique designations in the contexts in which they appear. Thus, there will normally be only one person answering to the call 'John Paul Jones!' in the situation in which La Djan Pol Djonz is used, and only one red-haired person in the context in which La Redro Nu Herfa is successfully used.

To use names vocatively, the vocative operator HOI (q.v.) is used in place of la in either type of expression.

Laa is used only with Linnaean polynomials; see Sec. 2.13.

Lexeme LAE: Indirect Designation Operators

LAE has two members, lae and sae. Lae is used to designate something by operating on a sign or address of that something. Generally, lae precedes a designation of some linguistic entity, i.e., a quotation, although it need not; any object that can serve as a sign of some other object will do. But if it precedes a quotation, lae enables us to designate the referent-of-the-referent of that quotation. For example, (i) Liegai, War and Peace, gai designates the English expression 'War and Peace'. That English expression, however, is often a sign of—a kind of label or address of—a certain volume in many English-speaking persons' libraries, namely an English translation of that Russian novel known in English as 'War and Peace'. If lae were used to precede (i), the resulting Loglan expression (ii) Laeliegai, War and Peace, gai, would no longer designate this English expression, but the volume in my library, say, which has this English title printed on its back. So when I ask you (iii) Eo kambei mi laeliegai, War and Peace, gai, what I am asking you to bring me is not that English expression, but the volume whose address it is. Similarly, if I don't know the name of the person who lives at 123 Main street, but I would like you to take this copy of "War and Peace" to him or her (and we were speaking Loglan) I could say (iv) Eo kambei laeliegai, 123 Main Street, gai laeliegai, War and Peace, gai, which is equivalent to saying in exceedingly careful English 'Please bring to the person whose address is '123 Main Street' the object with the title 'War and Peace'.'

Sae allows us to perform the inverse of this indirect addressing manoeuvre. By prepositioning sae before any argument, we may use the resulting expression to designate the sign or signs of which the designatum of that argument is the referent. For example, Sae levi bukcu might be used to designate the title or titles of "this book” that I am holding in my hand, say in whatever languages it has been translated, or to designate its "addresses" conceived in some other way, say some particular library's shelving code for it. Thus sae undoes what lae does; and so both sae lae and lae sae do nothing.

Lexeme LE: Descriptors

Descriptors are words that make designations out of predicate expressions. LE is an open lexeme presently composed of a group of 1-initial words, all of which have a 'the'-like quality. In the following lists, preda stands for any predicate expression used descriptively…a "descriptive predicate", in the terminology of the grammar. Here is the entire current list of simple LE-words as they might operate on any preda:-

Le preda

The one thing I mean, or each of the set of things I mean, which I believe appears or appear to you to be a preda, or to be predas. E.g., Le mrenu pa fumna = 'The man was a woman/the men were women'. (Explicit plurals are managed with quanti­fiers; see NI.)

Lo preda

The mass individual composed of all the instances of preda there are. E.g., Lo cutri ga djipo lo clivi = 'Water is important to life.'

lea preda

Each of the set of all things which are predas. E.g., Lea humni ga razdou = 'All humans are rational (give reasons).'

loe preda

The characteristic or normal individual which best exemplifies the predas in the present context. E.g., Loe panzi ga fotli loe humni = 'The typical chimpanzee is stronger than the typical human.'

lue preda

The particular set of predas, or apparent predas, which I have in mind. E.g., Lue monca gorla ga numcmalo = 'Mountain gorillas are few in number.'

lua preda

The set composed of all the predas there are. Lua ficli ga mutce laldo = 'Fishes are very old.'

Compound LE-words may be formed by postfixing to one of these simple LE-words either (a) a DA-word (any variable) or (b) a TAI-word (any letter variable), and/or (c) one or more PA-words. Usually the PA-words are spatials or temporals. The possessive adjectives lemi ('my'), lemu ('our'), leda ('X's') and leTai ('T's') are formed in this manner. So also are the demonstrative descriptors levi and leva ('this…' and 'that…') and the tensed descriptors lefa, lena and lepa ('the future…', 'the present…' and 'the former…') as in Lefa bragai = 'The future king'. Some of these LE + PA words are very long, e.g., Lepacenoinacefa bragai je la Frans = 'The-once-and-future king of France'; but all of them can be plainly deciphered. Thus, le + pa + ce + noi + na + ce + fa means nothing more mysterious than 'the-before-and -not-now-and-after (king of France)'. All these words behave grammatically just like le.

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