(From Lognet 93/2. Used with the permission of The Loglan Institute, Inc.)
Loi Logla Stude. The topic this time is numbers and how to use them. I've started with English expressions involving numbers; some of them were my own idea, others were suggested by Wes Parsons, Kirk Sattley, or James Jennings--Mi mutce garti tu, hoi Kusmeu--with a lot of help from Professor Brown and Bob McIvor; for each expression I developed an equivalent Loglan usage.
Notice that I didn't say, 'I translated the English expressions into Loglan.' We developed Loglan usages. This column contains more usages that are new, difficult, important, and (in somecases) controversial than any I've done before; and I had more help with it than I've needed before.
So as you read this column, try to picture me as I wrote it: chained in front of a computer monitor, slaving day after day over a hot keyboard, sweating bloodover each word.
And enjoying almost every minute of it.
You can review numbers and numerical concepts by re-reading Loglan 1, pp. 209-216, 218-229. My column in Lognet91/4 covers other number usages, such as, "I have only two hands", "This city has many fine restaurants", and "Mars will have three seas"; I recommend that you re-read that column, because I won't cover such usages in this one.
Mi inca lio seto I measure in inches seventy-two.
Mi metro lio nepivote I measure in meters 1.83.
Mi cenmetro lio nevote I measure in centimeters 183.
Mi nirne lio sisutepionekuato I am (aged) in years just (no more, no less) 3 plus 1/2. (Although I must admit, I almost break out laughing when I try to imagine Bugs Bunny saying this.)
The alternative is longer and no more informative: Mi melylaldo liosisutepionekuato nirne I am measurably old the number just 3 plus 1/2 years.
Niba ji nirne lio sinefe ga nu nengozlei Zero somethings that are in years at most 15 are admitted (No-one under sixteen is admitted. No fifteen-year-old "adults", please.)
Raba ji nu nengozlei, ga nirne lio suneso Everyone admitted is at least sixteen years old. (But officer, we didn't admit those twelve-year-olds: they must have sneaked in from the Disney movie next door!)
Here's a weightier example: Pa melpao lio vose nirne, ga lepolomu paslinkui pa dzamao vi levi gralai ne cninu poldi, ji nu vidmao pei lepofrezi guo, e nu nartysea pei lepo nurcuetra lepo ra humni ga nu dzamaociktu It was 87 years before (now), that our ancestors created in this continent one new state, that is envisioned by them to be free, and is consecrated by them to the claim that all humans are createdly equal.
Donsu mi to paintu ji birju Give me exactly two objects, each of which measures a pint, such that it is beer.Mi danza to birju ji paintu I want two beers that are a pint (each).
Donsu mi ne paintu je lio to ce birju Give me one object such that it measures in pints 2 and is beer. Midanza ne birju ji paintu lio to I want a (portion of) beer that measures two pints.
None of these says anything about the vessel in which your beer will arrive. If you have a preference, you'd better specify it: Eo mi danza nebatpi je lo birju I'd like (literally Please, I want) one bottle of beer. If you also care about how much beer is in the vessel, you can specify that, too: Eo mi danza ne paintuykupta je lobirju I'd like a pint-glass of beer.
Ti melio somomo braonu, po nurjetcue This is a "six-million brown" claim.
The me and pause-comma (or gu) are vital here. We need the me because we have to "predify", or make a predicate of, the expression lio somomobraonu before we can use it to modify ponurjetcue; without the me, the sentence means This is a claim against the number six-million browns; i.e., lio somomo braonu becomes the second argument of po nurjetcue! (Yes, sutori arguments can appear before the predicate. See L1, page398, note 22, then try it out with LIP. Such an amazing flexibility, and it's mentioned only once, in a chapter note!) The pause-comma closes out the number expression; without the comma, the sentence becomes something like, This is a"the-number-six-million-brown-claims" sort of thing. E.g., atone time, somebody submitted six million separate claims for browns, and the speaker is pointing to one of the effects that thishas had on the judicial system...or some meaning equally strange. In this sort of usage, omitting the me or the comma usually produces astounding, even mind-bending utterances.
Or (in terms that Fum Cavles, the detective in an earlier column, might use): Tai pa fu donsu ne [ninkeo] tonira, ibuo kou lepo gudbi, tai pakalpli ne, sinenira T was given twenty [years], but thanks to being good, T used up only ten.
The common one of using letter variables based on the individuals' names. If the three parties mentioned are Kennedy, Correña, and Qutayba, we can refer to them as Kai, Keo, and Kei, respectively. [These references could be made unequivocally only if these particular proarguments had been specifically assigned to these names earlier in the text, e.g., la Ke'nedis, ji Kai,'Kennedy, who shall be K,' etc. Thecurrent and fairly old convention for the automatic assignment of letter-variables to arguments runs like this: (1) Use lower case letter-variables to replace descriptions by using the initial letter of the last preda in the descriptive string (mei for le corta mrenu); (2) use upper case to replace names by using the initial letter of the last term in a serial name (Dai for la Tam Djonz); (3) use Latin letters first for given phonemes (e.g., mei and Dai for /m/ and /d/); 4) if a second occasion for replacement involving a given initial phoneme comes along, use the phonemically equivalent Greek letter for it (meo for le matma after mei is gone; gaoDeo for la Dansa after Dai is gone; gao- turns deo into an upper-case Greek letter-variable; Greek capitals are rare enough in use to support this 6-phoneme length when spelled out as words). In short, use mei and meo for le mrenu and then le matma, Mai and gaoMeo for la Maik and then la Meris.--JCB]
We could also use the letterals in alphabetical order. Since Ama and Bai are presumably taken by the first and second parties, the three mentioned are Cai, Dai, and Ema, respectively.
If for some reason you just have to keep the numbers, I suggest that you use subscripted variables: dacite, dacifo, and dacife, for the third, fourth, and fifth parties, respectively. Currently, the grammar limits the subscript to a single digit, so you can't have, e.g., *dicifevopiso Party 58.6. This limitation shouldn't be a problem: five free variables times ten different subscripts yields fifty subscripted variables...which should easily be more than the human brain can keep track of. (See L1 p. 176 for the subscripted variables.)
You can also subscript the non-designating variables, i.e., ba be bo bu. So if you need to, say, keep track of suspects in a fiendishly complex mystery novel, Loglan has a notation ready for you.
Mu ridle levi purda le veri stegru je le teneri bukpai je laBarecíq We read these words in the ninth verse (literally, paragraph) of the thirty-first chapter of Genesis. This pattern of building from the smallest piece up to the largest whole is very natural in Loglan, because so many of the predicates are defined as ...is an X which part of larger object... This collides with the common practice in English of starting with the largest piece and working down: Genesis, chapter 31, verse 9. Happily, we can mimic this list structure in Loglan without pain; we just have to string the elements together with the appropriate connective: La Barecíq ze le 31ribukpai ze le 9ri stegru Genesis and-jointly the thirty-first chapter and-jointly the ninth verse. Notice that this still uses ordinal numbers, which make good sense because there really are 30 chapters before chapter 31, and the tenth verse follows the ninth. I strongly recommend the use of ordinal numbers in such cases; but a bit later I'll show you another, bulkier approach.
Isui da 10ri delkeo la Ramadán Mearkeo je le 1413ri ninkeo je la HijrasHiskeo Furthermore, it's the tenth day of the Ramadan Month of the 1413th year of the Hegira Era.
Da bi le fordei ze le 1993ri ninkeo ze le termea ze le 4ri delkeo This is Thursday, and-jointly 1993, and-jointly March, and-jointly the fourth day (It's Thursday, 1993 March 4th) This usage is no more compact than the first one, but it lets you rearrange the elements to suit yourself.
Da fordei, e 1993ri ninkeo, e termea, e 4ri delkeo It's Thursday, and 1993, and March, and the fourth day. This form is more compact than the second, because the pieces are predicates instead of designations, which lets us dispense with four instances of le.
Da bi la Foden, ji la 4n Temen 1993n It's Thursday, which is 4 March 1993. (The date is pronounced /laFON TEmenneveVEten/.) This is a venerable usage, in which numbers are turned into names by suffixing them with /n/, giving la Fon the fourth (day) and la Neveveten1993 (as a year), in this case; a similar process turns for+dei into la Foden, and ter+mea into la Temen. (See L1, pp. 228-229 and 454-457 for discussion and other examples.) My preference is to leave numbers as numbers, and to reserve the consonant-final words for names from natural language or for very common internal names ('nicknames', I like to call them). But you will encounter numbers-as-names already in use (not least, in L1), so you need to be familiar with the usage.
Le rodlu pe lio soso The highway of the number 66. (That's right, rodlu, not rutma. We're talking about a particular road or highway; following a rutma may take you down several different roads.)
La Melio 66, Rodlu The 'number 66' highway.
La Rodl Soson, if that's to your liking. (This one I don't mind: If a road is "famous" (either in general or locally), calling it by a nickname like this seems appropriate. However, take pity on your audience. La Rodl Soson might be fine if you're talking to North Americans (in fact, in some contexts la Soson might be all you need say); but you'd better use le rodlu pe lio soso if you're giving directions to actual Loglanders, unless you know they're Americana buffs.)
Lepo fleti pe lio 407 The event-of-flying of the number 407. I submit that if you say la Fonisen Flet [Or la Flet Fonisen.--JCB]), probably you work for the airline in question, you're talking to a fellow-employee, and you're being cute. If not that, then the flight in question is somehow notorious...and you're still being cute about it.
You can treat the ordinal uses of numbers as if they were nominal uses. E.g., La Elízabeq, pe lio 2 Elizabeth Number 2 or la Elízabeq Ton; or La Barecíq ze le bukpai pe lio 31, ze le stegru pe lio 9 Genesis, and-jointly the chapter of the number 31, and-jointly the verse of the number 9. [And how about la Barecíq Tenin Ven?--JCB]
Ba melio 10.30, e na vetci vi [le tridyjaglo pe] la Cefli [Trida], ze la Feri[Trida] There's a '10.30' now happening at [the corner of] Main [Street] and-jointly Fifth [Street]. The incident's number could be turned into a name, giving us Ba melaNenicitenin. There are any number of variants on the street names, including la Mein Strit and la Fifqávynus, in case we have a loglaphone police force in an anglophone city....
That's it for this issue. Press of time (i.e., I'm already five days late with this column...) keeps me from covering some numerical topics, such as how to say, Three times (as much). E.g., I ate three times as much candy as she did. Maybe next time.
Hue Bil Gober
Copyright 1993 by The Loglan Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.
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