(From Lognet 90/1)

Sau La Keugru (From the Caretaking-Group = Academy)

The Academy has considered a number of grammatical proposals from Stephen Rice. Most were accepted as is, or with slight modification. Those accepted are as follows:

1. Addition of gau as a "strong" potentiality marker. The use of ga in such sentences as Lo papre ga cabro to mean Paper is flammable had led to the mistaken notion that ga was being used both as a time-free marker and as a potentiality marker in the strong, or widest possible, sense (e.g., any house can be painted blue; water is flammable in a chlorine atmosphere; non-swimmers can be taught to swim). But Lo papre ga cabro does not mean potentiality in this strong sense. It only means that this paper or some piece of similar paper has at some time, under normal conditions, demonstrated the capacity to burn. Likewise Da (ga) sucmi means that X has actually demonstrated an ability to swim, or has reported it (and is believable), not that X is actually swimming now or at any other specific time. Similarly, Da blanu hasfa means that it's blue if the light is right. Thus the implication of ga, or of no operator at all, is time-freeness. This is the sense of the Indo-European common noun: X is a swimmer carries no implication that X is swimming now, just that da can swim, and does swim when the circumstances are right. Using our new strong potentiality marker, Da gau sucmi could, in contrast, be used to indicate that some X of whom Da sucmi was not true was nevertheless a healthy human who had never learned to swim, so that there was no reason to suspect that X could not realize the swimming potentiality of the human genome given enough water and instruction. As a further example of special, non-standard conditions being invoked by the strong potentiality marker but not the weak one, Lo cutri ga cabro is not true even though Lo cutri gau cabro is. For water will burn in a fluorine atmosphere. Similarly any house can be painted blue and human non-swimmers can usually be taught to swim. Thus gau enables us to make an important if fairly rare distinction between a real if yet unrealized potentiality and mere time-freeness. Like ga, gau will be a member of the PA Lexeme.

[Editor talking now. This flaming ga-business is getting to me. Maybe I'm extra dense, but I can't see what the fuss is all about. Lo papre ga cabro to me clearly means that we're saying that paper burns, but we aren't specifying when. Even saying 'Paper burns' is misleading, because it's the present tense in English. The proper translation is 'One or more of the following conditions obtains —paper burned, paper burns, or paper will burn.' If paper never burns, then the statement is not true. All the ga "means" is 'Hey, the preceding predicate expression is over with, and we've got a new one coming up.' So ga doesn't have any meaning at all. Well, I for one think that the problem is that in English saying 'Paper burns' is pretty much equivalent to saying that paper can burn, so we want them to be equivalent in Loglan, too. I see the problem not so much as a direct linguistic one as a Heisenbergian one. That is, Lo papre ga cabro says that either paper burned, is burning, or will burn. We can be fairly confident of our statement if we know that paper burned in the past, or if we see it smouldering before our very eyes. But if neither of those situations obtains, we're talking future, and we can't be sure whether it will burn or not BECAUSE THE FUTURE IS IN PRACTICAL TERMS UNKNOWABLE, so we're reduced to thinking in terms of "maybe," which is "can burn" or "burnable." So saying "paper burns (time-free)" is maybe substitutable in practical practice by "paper can burn," but substitutability is not equivalence. Now, I hope somebody will either agree with me or explain to me why I'm wrong about this. —Ed.]

[Rex is quite right to say that ga has no more meaning than the absence of a tense marker. Like that absence, ga announces that the basic time-free sense of the Loglan predicate is to obtain; and this is simply the sense of the Indo-European common noun. What gau does is allow us to talk (economically) about those kinds of potentialities that fall outside mere time-freeness...that red houses can be painted blue; that human non-swimmers have it in them to learn to swim (but not to fly); that water actually can be made to burn. It does for us what the '-able' suffix does for us in English but rather more precisely. —JCB]

2. Addition of five e-final attitudinals rie kae nue fie die, whichwill serve as "register markers", as in Japanese, to express the speaker's attitude toward the referent of the preceding name or designation. These five CVV words derive from the primitive predicates rispe, ckano, nutra, fremi and dipri, and would correspond roughly to such English name prefixes as Sire, Sir/Madam, Mr./Mrs./Ms., Comrade/Brother (as in societies, unions, work-groups, etc.), and Dear/Darling (as in families and friendships), except that in Loglan as in Japanese they will be used as suffixes: Hoi Farfu Die = O Father Dear. A Rice request for negative register markers (which would, of necessity, apply to all other attitudinals), is under consideration. These new attitudinals will be members of the UI Lexeme.

3. Addition of a mechanism for handling onomatopoeia (shriek) and "pseudo-onomatopoeia" (Surprise!). Earlier the Word Makers' Council had suggested to the Academy that some additional onomatopoetic predicate words—zbuma was the first one—might be made, murmu = murmur, for example. The Academy has accepted the principle of regularly deriving certain kinds of predicates from the sounds of the activities they predicate, and has opened a new category of "O-Prims" for them. However, this facility did not cover the Rice proposal; so we have proposed to Mr. Rice that adding two new words soi and sue, analogous to lae and lue (once sae), in that they involve indirect addressing, would serve all the functions of his several proposals and do so in a way that was more harmonious with the existing structure of Loglan. Mr. Rice has accepted this suggestion and now joins us in the following solution: The sequence soi preda in a sentence will now mean that preda is not to be interpreted as a word, but as if the speaker or writer had just exhibited the state or action that is the referent of that word: soi stari (Surprise!), soi crano (Smile!). Grammatically, these expressions will be free modifiers, playing a role in the language that is very similar to that played by vocatives and attitudinals. Using the new word sue would accomplish the reverse of this. When used correctly, sue will always be followed by a gesture or sound in speech, or by a drawing or phonetic imitation in text, and this pair of elements—sue and its sequel—will be treated grammatically as a predicate word. For example, Le katma pa sue miao. = The cat meouwed. In speech the sound can be made as catlike as the speaker is capable of producing, and in both speech or text the "right boundary" of the gesture, sound, imitation or drawing should be marked by a pause-comma or by some stronger right-boundary mark. —RAM

The Academy also took the opportunity to rectify an old defect. Others may have noticed that the Middle Loglan word sae (circa 1977) was the only descriptor in the language that was not l-initial. That was a mistake. But clearly the new soi/sue pair were analagous to the old lae/sae pair, in that the second member of each was the inverse of the first. So we decided to rectify sae by making it l-initial, and, at the same time, make it rhyme with sue. This gave lue; so we now have lae/lue, soi/sue, and an "inversing" ending, -ue, that we may have occasion to use again. For example, we're studying the uses of an "inverse vocative" operator, hue, which, if it works out, we'll tell you about next time. —JCB