(From Lognet 91/4)

Sau La Lodtua (From the Logic-Worker = Logician)

by M. Randall Holmes

Since this is the first appearance of the column, it should begin with an introduction of the columnist and his conception of the “mission” of the column. Since it is being filed in a hurry at the last minute, it will contain nothing else!

I am a professional mathematician. My Ph.D. thesis was in mathematical logic and set theory. I have very little proficiency in speaking or writing Loglan yet; my interest derives from reading L1 (1975), and I was unable to establish contact with the Institute at the time I read it (the early 1980’s). What I have worked on is an understanding of the formal structure of the Loglan grammar and the underlying “philosophy” of the language. This has been expanded but not fundamentally changed in the new version of the language.

I conceive the mission of this column to lie at the interface between formal logic and its implementation in the language. An appropriate question for this column would be to present an utterance in English which is logically complex and ask how it is to be expressed in Loglan (there might be several answers because of the ambiguity of English). The issues involved should be issues of syntax (sentence structure, use of “little words”) rather than semantics (meanings/usage, use of predicate words). In my answer, I might avail myself of some logical notation (which I would try to explain) on the way to writing a Loglan sentence. If a student of Loglan encounters a question in logic rather than Loglan in the course of his Loglan study, this would also be appropriate. I would also be interested in questions addressing the logical reasons for features of Loglan or complaints about logical features of Loglan (or the absence of logical features which might be desirable).

I may also consider teaching some logic through the column (this would make it easier for me to justify using logical notation in replies to questions). That’s all for now—next time I’ll put some substance in it!