From Lognet 00/1. Used with the permission of The Loglan Institute, Inc.

Easy Loglan: A Provisional Description

by Alex Leith

In this description of Easy Loglan, the order is that in which Power Loglan is described in Loglan 1. Section headings from that book are included for ease of reference. The examples are based very closely on those in Loglan 1, and do not reflect, for instance, the use in Easy Loglan of redundant ga’s. Section headings which describe a feature omitted from Easy Loglan, or only partially incorporated, are printed with strike-through.

This is a provisional description: it is a pretty minimal set of little words and grammar rules. We may find we want to include more. However, please bear in mind that in Easy Loglan we rely on the common sense and contextual knowledge of our hearer. In the interests of ease of use the language in no way attempts to be unambiguous.

With such a simple grammar, the beginner should be able to concentrate on acquiring vocabulary, and the loglanist who already has a certain predicate vocabulary may find it easier to exercise that vocabulary within the framework of Easy Loglan than in Power Loglan. The accompanying article, Easy Loglan: An Introduction for Beginners is a sketch of a teaching course. It requires very considerable filling-out, but it is included here to give a better feel for what Easy Loglan could be like.


3.3 The Simple Predicate

Da mrenu He is a man.

Da blanu It is blue.

Da madzo de He/she/it/they make(s) it.

These are acceptable sentences in Easy Loglan, as in Power Loglan. However, in order in the early stages of learning to minimize the number of decisions the speaker must make, Easy Loglan allows, indeed encourages the use of ga between any first argument and the predicate. It is probably easier to drop the redundant ga’s later than to remember to insert one only when needed.

3.6 The Simple Tenses pa na fa

Da pa madzo de X made Y.

Da fa godzi de X will go to Y.

Da na blanu X is now blue.

Da sucmi X swims (i.e. is a swimmer).

Da na sucmi X is now swimming.

3.7 Location with vi va vu

Da vi madzo de X here makes Y.

Da fa va cabro X will there burn.

Da vu fa vedma X afar will sell.

3.9 Negation with no

Da no pa gudbi mrenu X was not a good man.

Da no fa bakso madzo X is not going to be a boxmaker.

Da pa no gudbi mrenu X was a man, but not a good one.

Da fa no bakso madzo X will be a maker of something other than boxes.

3.10 Abstraction with po pu zo

Only lepo will be introduced, as a way of using relative clauses.

3.11 Metaphor: The Modifier-Modified Relationship

Da corta mrenu X is a short man.

Da gudbi matma X is a good mother.

Da kukra prano X runs quickly (is a fast runner).

Da bilti sucmi X swims beautifully.

Da mutce corta mrenu X is a very short man.

3.14 Connected predicates with e a o u and noa

Da gudbi mrenu, e sadji farfu X is a good man and a wise father.

Da groda bakso, a cmalo hasfa X is a large box or a small house, or possibly both.

In Easy Loglan we will let a be used for or in both its exclusive and inclusive forms, as in English. We may want to introduce an explicitly exclusive form later.

If is more of a problem. This is one of those areas where logic does not sit easily in the average human brain. We could present only noa, while pointing out that the if clause comes first in the sentence, but that noa, the word corresponding to if, must follow the condition rather than preceding it. This is strange to English speakers, indeed all speakers of Indo-European languages, but would be familiar for instance to speakers of Tibetan or Japanese. This is something that would require clear explanation, and very thorough drilling.

In view of this the easiest if for the beginner to accept is probably kanoi... ki. The conditional is—to European minds—in the right place. Those not trained in logic will not associate the condition with and and or. Moreover it is more natural to use if to connect sentences than Loglan’s terse connections between arguments and predicates.

The same connectives can be used to connect predicates, arguments and sentences, leaving the ca and ica series for Power Loglan. However this would entail using incorrect Loglan: it may be found that the additional learning load of ca and ica is offset by the lack of relearning later.

3.15 Mixed Predicates with ze

Note: Easy Loglan will ignore the Set/Multiple distinction.

3.19 Forethought Connectives with ka ke ko ku kanoi

Since the Keks can be used to join predicates, arguments and sentences it is simpler to use them in all cases. We might even abandon a and e, since to present them might well lead to their being used in the wrong context, so forming habits that would later have to be overcome.

Da ke prano ki sucmi X both runs and swims.

Da ke prano ki ka sucmi ki valti X both runs, and either swims or jumps.

Maybe it’s a good idea to use the inherent grouping of the Keks. As JCB points out “with ordinary afterthought connectives, this particular grouping of terms cannot be least not when spoken in that order.”


4.2 The Demonstrative Variables ti ta

Ta bakso That is a box.

Let us keep Toi tradu That's true as an isolated idiom. JCB was particularly fond of this phrase, since it acts as a mnemonic for correct use of the toi toa tio tao set.

4.4 The Free Variables da de di do du

Recommend only using da and de. Soft pedal the strict order of application rules of Loglan 1, and introduce here ji, as a way of clearly identifying the referents of da and de.

Da ji ditca I mean the X who’s a teacher.

4.5 The Personal Variables mi tu and Their Derivatives

Only mi, tu and mu will be used.

4.6 The 100 Letter Variables

These are needed for spelling. At the same time we may mention the possible use of them for anaphora.

4.7 Naming with la

When names are used as designations, they are preceded by la. A bare name is a call, so:

La Djan, godzi John goes.

Djan, godzi! John, go!

Users of Easy Loglan should be encouraged to use hoi with every call, so that the two uses may be most clearly distinguished.

4.8 Description with le

The little word le operates on predicate expressions to make designations out of them. Such designations are descriptions, and le is thus the descriptive operator.

Designations locate those things in the world about which we have something to say. We provide this information by naming them, using la, or using le, by imputing other properties to them.

Le fumna pa cluva le mrenu The woman loved the man.

Le fumna pa mrenu The woman was a man.

Le: ‘the one thing, or set of things which I intend to designate with this phrase and which is apparently a ...’.

4.10 Quotation with and liu lie

We should probably keep liu, to introduce the idea of explicit quoting. In other cases Easy Loglanists can gesture inverted commas as we do in English.

4.12 Specified Description with je jue

The Easy Loglanist will have to use circumlocution here.

Le farfu je la RabrtLe farfu pe la Rabrt

Le farfu je la Rabrt, jue la MerisLe farfu pe la Rabrt, e la Meris or ... pe ke la Rabrt, ki la Meris

Mi pa takna le ditca je ro bektiMi pa takna le ditca. I da ditca ro bekti.

4.13 Event Descriptions with lepo

In Easy Loglan only used for indirect discourse.

La Djan, krido lepo fa crina John believes that it will rain.

Da pa spopa lepo de fa kamla X hoped that Y would come.

Mi djano, lepo la Ter, bamfoa I know that the Earth is round.

4.14 The Predicate Marker ga

As noted above, Easy Loglan uses redundant ga’s. But here we supply an explanation of the difference between:

Le sadji mrenu The wise man.


Le sadji ga mrenu The wise one is a man.

4.15 Tensed and Located Description with lena lepa lefa levi leva levu

4.16 Possessive Description with lemi letu leda

Lemi bukcu ga blanu My book is blue.

Da pa donsu de leda mroza X gave Y his hammer.

Lemi da gudbi letu de My one is better than your one.

4.17 Possession with pe

Le botsu pe la Kristobal Kolo’n The boat of Christopher Columbus.

In Easy Loglan we shall be using pe where Power Loglan uses je. Explain that pe signifies not merely possession but any connection.

4.21 Numbers

These will be used as in Loglan 1.

4.22 Quantified Arguments

Le te fumna Each of the three women.

Te le fumna Three of the women.

Leave out the more complicated examples: they are possible in EL, but confusing. Likewise set/multiple distinction, and carrying logs.

4.23 Non-Numerical Quantifiers

As in Loglan 1, but omitting any lo expressions.

4.24 Indefinite Description

Ne mrenu pa kamla (Exactly) one man came.

Su sagro smabru pa hijra A/some (at least one) cigar smoker was here.

Ra humnu ga razdou All humans reason (i.e., give reasons).

Sa humnu ga razdou Almost all humans reason.

4.25 Numerical Predicates with -ra and -ri

Mu tera We are a threesome.

Ta fera galno veslo That’s a five-gallon can (i.e., a fivesome gallon container.)

La Djan, pa neri John was first.

Mi pa neniri la clina I was tenth in the line.

4.30 The Non-Designating Variables ba be bo bu

Users of Easy Loglan should be encouraged to use ba and be only.

Ba pa ditka mi Something bit me.

Ba na kokfa be Someone’s cooking something.

Ba pa crina Something rained = It rained.

Ba mrenu, e pa kamla Something is a man, and came = A man came.

4.31 Optional Case Tags

beu sau dio only.

4.33 Forethought Argument Connectives

ka ke kanoi only

4.34 Negative Arguments

Mi pa godzi no la Pari’s I went (somewhere, but) not to Paris.

Only the simplest cases should be taught.


5.3 Three Kinds of Modification

  1. free modifiers ae etc.
  2. sentence modifiers vi, na la Ven
  3. argument modifiers, ji, ja, etc. Used only in identifying what da designates: e.g. Da ji ditca.

5.4 Sentence Modifiers

Da pa clucea vi ro resra X fell in love in many restaurants.

Da kou sucmi X swims for a cause (X’s swimming is caused by something).

lia ne kangi like a puppy.

5.5 The Four Varieties of Relative Operators

tense operators na etc.

location operators vi etc.

causal operators kou etc.

modal operators lia etc.

5.6 Modal Operators lia and Kin

Da pa dzoru lia la Djan X walked like John.

5.7 Causal operators kou moi rau soa

Only kou and moi, mostly taught as kou/moi lepo. None of the nu- forms.

5.8 The Seven Varieties of Free Modifiers

vocatives, salutations, attitudinals, relative interrogatives vihu, discursives buo, but omitting the parenthetic comments kie...kiu, utterance ordinals nefi

5.9 Salutations and Other Expressions of Direct Address

loi loa sia siu hoi

Encourage always Hoi in a call.

5.10 Expressions of Attitude

attitudinals expressing conviction, intention, obligation, request, emotion

5.11 Questions with ie he ho hu ha

Omitting ha.

5.12 Relative Interrogatives with -hu

Nahu tu pa mercea la Pol When did you get married to Paul?

Kouhu tu pa mercea la Pol Why (from what cause) did you marry Paul?

Moihu tu pa mercea la Pol Why (from what motive) did you marry Paul?

5.13 Discursive Modifiers


5.17 Identifying (ji) vs Predicating (ja) Modifiers

Da ji ditca will be the only use. Otherwise we use a separate sentence.

5.19 Marking Main Predicates with ga

also redundantly

Copyright © 2000 by The Loglan Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

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