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Re: logban '
If one were to prefer to increase recognizability by stamping
out harmless variation, there already exists harmless variation
in Lojban orthography which could be stamped out. For example,
on the whole the presence of spaces between words is optional,
but for me it takes time to spot that something is not a
lujvo but a concatenation of several cmavo. Me being liberal,
I accept this, but on the antivariationist principle there
ought to be rules making it obligatory to concatenate or
not concatenate words. Such rules would not be necessary for
the grammar to work, but they would aid recognition.
This is a very good point, and I am not sure what to do with it.
I often write collocations of cmavo as single words (and always
do in a motivated way, ie I separate words that do not belong
in the same structure).
And indicates that it is inconsistent for me to do so, having
objected to h for '.
I am tempted to try writing my lojban without joining cmavo at
all for a while, and see what happens.
There is another form of allography to which this is related, and
that is the optional use of punctuation symbols (?, < etc) - they
are redundant but (probably) permitted, and I have sometimes
used them myself, though not consistently.
By design, these are unnecessary - the words convey all the
structure and the metasemantics of these symbols. But why were
they invented? Because people found it hard to read without?
Or because people felt uncomfortable writing text without them?
Or because somebody thought it would be a good idea.
In a way, I see them - and univerbation of cmavo - as a prop
of the same nature as using a questioning tone of voice when
we speak a question in lojban. We have sometimes wilfully
misunderstood each other when the intention was clear
from the tone of voice, but the lojban said something different
(I believe this has happened in DC too).
I shall experiment for a while with using no non-verbal
punctuation (including '.', which is also optional) and
no univerbation. I shall be interested to see what difference
this makes to readers.
(Last year I once posted a text in which I divided words only
at pauses and after brivla. I didn't explain that this was the
rule I was following, so people legitimately could not read
the text unambiguously; but I got the impression that they
didn't find it at all easy to read)