(A page from the Loglan web site.)

Loglan and the Option of Clarity

Reed Riner has written a very good article about Loglan called Loglan and the Option of Clarity: A Genuinely User-friendly Language For Humans and Their Machines, which was originally published in ETC. et cetera Volume 47(3), Fall 1990. An abstract follows.

Alas, we cannot post it here for copyright reasons, but you can easily request it from him by e-mail. It's about 35K.


The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis raises questions about the extent to which a language pre-structures and biases the processes of thought. Limits inherent in natural languages establish that the Hypothesis cannot be tested within any natural language. Efforts to construct a test instrument, a speakable language free of structural ambiguities began in 1955. Loglan's disambiguated phonology, morphology, vocabulary, lexicon and grammar are described. The option and invitation to clarity, Loglan's disambiguated structure, is examined. Findings from spontaneous conversational events, tests of the Whorfian Hypothesis, are reviewed. The Machine Grammar Project that proved Loglan's disambiguity also identified potential applications for the language at the computer interface, especially in Artificial intelligence research; these and other potentials are discussed.

Reed D. Riner is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University (Box 15200, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011). Former editor of Cultural Futures Research, he teaches courses in applied anthropology and futures research, and consults on problems of strategic planning, organization and community development. He is Past President of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology and a director of the annual CONTACT Conferences. His recent publications include "Doing Futures Research - Anthropologically" (Futures 19(3), June), "Two Roads Diverged in the Yellow Wood of Incrementalism" (City and Society 2(1), Summer), and "Anthropology About the Future", Anthropology Newsletter, 31(1) January 1990.

Send comments and corrections to:
djeimz AT megaseattle DOT com