(From Lognet 94/2. Used with the permission of The Loglan Institute, Inc..)
During the course of the interview, the interviewer asked Lederman the following impudent question ... in English, of course; I've recast it in Loglan so that we can pretend it took place in Loglandia.--JCB
Ei lo fidsesmao ga gutra?
Below is Lederman's answer as I translated it into Loglan:
Toi stuci. I ne fidsesmao na speni ne rezkeo vi la Jenev Cvaits, ja va le cefsia je la CaiERaiNai, ja le eurpu kukmao sesytursia. I fei helba lefei merji lopo vatyjanto. I mei disri lepo lomei herfa ga nu bilmao.
Fangoi na la Fon, moi lepo getsi mi, hue mei.
Na lepo fei dzoru vi le trida guo, fei vizka ne cmabii londa, ja lufble le mockua je lelei tcaro.
Oi mi helba tu? hue fei.
Lemi motci pa sudna stise, hue lei.
Fei favnensea ne cvaiso narmi najda, e pletua le motci.
Pruduo le tcaro, hue fei.
Ni gudcae. I fei pletua tona.
Pruduo tei tona, hue fei.
Su sue vrumvrum. I lopo suksi na le fando.
Hue lei, Sia sia! I ue, letu hanco pa nurklinycea lo grisi! I mi harlii va. I oi tu vlaci letu hanco.
Fei vlaci lofei hanco. I lei tifru lo tcati fei. I ne vetci ga ckozu su notbi vetci, ice fa sane horta fei zvovai lo betpu, e cutse li, Bleka le jokla! lu. I fei respli go kukra, e zvoprano le hasfa. Ifa, fei stise, e fanzvogoi, e kencue li, Ei ba tokri vi? lu.
Ia. I vi le drara va, hue lei.
Fei marmao le rirgu je lefei kosta lo tokri, e kukygoi le herkeu tursia jio lefei merji ga pazda fei vi tei. I mei nu kinci lo badlo, e lo nigro smano ji zvokaa lomei sorgu.
Hu pa sitfa cao tu? hue mei.
Hue fei, Ue, mi pia dzoru vi le trida, e vizka ne trili londa jio lelei tcaro no pa nu sacmao. I mi helba lei, e griflocea, e plizo lelei vlakru lepo vlaci lomi hanco guo, ice ne vetci ga ckozo su notbi vetci, ice lei, ze mi nenvai lo betpu, ice ...
Hue mei, Pazda! I trana! I Hoi Falcue, tu pa godzi le CaiERaiNai, e pa dislu lo fidsensi.
Is it the case that physicists (physical-science-makers) are strange/alien?
This was Lederman's answer:
This is a story. [And] A physicist is spending a holiday (free-time) in Geneva, Switzerland/Schweiz/Suisse, which is near the headquarters (chief-place) of [the local] CERN, which is the European accelerator (faster-maker) laboratory (science-work-place). [And] f is helping f's spouse to do the [mass-event of] shopping (value-hunting). [And] m (the spouse) is deciding to [do the event of] (having) m's hair(s) made-beautiful (beautiful-made).
This is all pretty straightforward. All the new words--vatyjanto ("value-hunt") for 'shop', bilmao for 'made beautiful' (in E we might modestly say 'done')--are obvious. CaiERaiNai could have been CaiEmaRaiNai for greater explicitness, of course; but we opted for the shorter word. After all, we are competing with E /srn/, soi crano.
"Return (reverse-go) at [the] Four in order to [do the event of] getting me," says she.
No problems here ... unless it's the choice of the primitive getsi for something as intrinsically complicated as coming back for someone: "picking (someone) up", as we say in E. A rather elaborate complex could have been invented for this notion; but we decided to say it with the primitive.
During [the event of] f walking in the street [close clause], f sees a cute (tinily beautiful) blonde (person), who is (incidentally) looking under (lift-looking) the hood (engine-cover) of l's (the blonde's) car. Note the convenience of fei and lei for the physicist and the blonde; in more compact text these words could of course be replaced by the letterals f and l. The very loglandical metaphor lufta bleka ("lift-look") behind lufble for 'look under (something)' catches one's attention; to make it, unused luf had to be assigned to lufta. Apart from that, nothing special is happening here.
"May I help you?" says f.
"My motor suddenly stopped," says l.
In E we'd probably say 'stalled'.
f takes out (reverse-in-puts) a Swiss army knife, and tinkers (play-works) with the engine.
Favnensea implies that someone put the knife in something previously, probably f in f's pocket; for it is the reverse of an action previously performed. Notice that cvaiso is taken from the same root /cvaits/ that names the country: 'Schweiz' (at least for its German-speaking residents). We decided against ?cvaitso for the predicate as it looked too much like an L complex. After all, cvaiso is a primitive notion even though borrowed.
Test (test-do) the car, says f.
In E we'd say 'Try it'; but 'try' in this context really means 'test'. One must beware of these long-established E ambiguities, like the 'try'/-'test' one. Thus "trial by jury" has nothing do with attempting anything and everything to do with testing something, namely the truth of an accusation ... a test which uses the jury itself as the epistemic guide.
Zero luck (good-chance). [And] f tinkers a-second-time.
There are two novel things, here. One, Ni gudcae is an observative. Just as Lo simba reports that the speaker has observed signs of lions, Ni gudcae reports that s has observed zero signs of good fortune around here. Admittedly, negative observations are difficult to make, soi crano, but gamblers and tinkerers seem to have ways of overcoming this difficulty ... even in Loglan! Two, the use of tona where in E we would use 'again' is very loglandical. It tells the auditor to do the same thing for a second time, that is, "twice." Tona means two instances, past, present, or future, of the predicated act or event.
Test t (the car) a-second-time, says f.
(There were) One or more vroom-vrooms. [And] (There was) Success at the end.
Su sue vrumvrum is another observative, this one suggesting that there are one or more things going "vroom vroom" around here. The predicate expression sue vrumvrum has been made with the onomatopoetic operator sue, which asserts that something is making the sound suggested by the made-up word that follows it. 'Shriek' is such an onomatopoetic word in E; see LN90/1:8 for the introduction of this facility into L by Steve Rice. Lopo suksi na le fando is also an observative. People use observatives very commonly in story-telling.
Says l, Thanks, thanks! [And] Oh, your hands have become dirty (un-clean-become) with grease! [And] I dwell (shelter-live) nearby. [And] You may wash your hands.
Nothing puzzling here ... except that I am suggesting that the way logli are likely to express the extravagent gratitude conveyed in E by 'Thank you very much!' and in S by 'Mil gracias!' is by simply repeating the word sia ... as many times as the level of extravagence demands, soi crano.
f washes f's hands. [And] l offers tea to f. [And] One event causes one-or-more other events, and after about-one hour f jumps out of (out-jumps from) bed and says, quote, Look at the clock! end-quote. [And] f dresses (clothing-uses) quickly and runs out (out-runs) of the house. [And] Then f stops and comes back in (reverse-out-goes) and asks (question-says), quote, Is something (being) chalk here? end-quote.
Puzzle: What E idiom is expressed by the L expression I ne vetci ga ckozu su notbi vetci? Notice also the elegant L way of asking 'Is there any __ here?', in this case Ei ba tokri vi? literally 'Is something x being chalk here?' I remember vividly the day in 1974--and I expect Logli Mike Pique does, too; for he was there--when someone asked me how to say 'Where are the knives?' The Loglan Sogrun, the first of many Loglan study groups of that name, was laying the table for its first "Loglan-only" dinner at my house in Gainesville. Well, nearly Loglan-only, soi crano. I remember scratching my head when I heard this sotto voce E question and saying, finally, Ba najda vi ie? (which was the then-current form of Ba najda vihu?, a specific argument-interrogative having been added to L in the meantime). The question meant literally 'Something x is being a knife at what-place?' I still feel a quiet thrill at the precision of this now "ancient" question.
Yes. [And] In the drawer there, says l.
An equally precise answer.
f marks (mark-makes) the rear of f's coat with chalk, and goes quickly (fast-goes) to the hairdresser's (hair-caretaker's) shop (work-place), the one such that f's spouse waited for f in t (that shop). [And] m was accompanied by bundles and (by) black smoke that was coming out (out-coming) from m's ears.
Notice the use of the jio-clause to identify the particular shop to which f rushed; the E back-translation gives you a sense for how precise this maneuver is: 'the shop such that f's spouse waits for f in it'.
'What was the location of you?' says m.
In E the emphasis would probably fall on a different word: 'Where were you?' But in L, we decided, it was the tardy husband whose designation would probably be stressed.
Says f, 'Oh, I was walking in the street, and saw an attractive blonde such that l's car was not startable (start-make-able). [And] I helped l, and became grease-covered (grease-full-became), and used l's washroom (wash-room) to [do the event of] wash(ing) my hands [end of clause], and one event caused one-or-more other events, and l and I jointly jumped-into (in-jumped) bed, and ...'
Notice what we've done with 'wouldn't start' here: no pa nu sacmao = 'not in-the-past start-make-able'. And again, one event causes one or more others.
Says m, Wait! [And] Rotate! [And] O Liar (False-Sayer), you went to CERN and discussed physics!
Notice the descriptive name, Falcue, 'False-Sayer', and its vocative use with the addressing operator Hoi.
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