Chapter 4: The Shape Of Words To Come: Lojban Morphology
The following gismu were not made by the gismu creation algorithm. They are, in effect, coined words similar to fu'ivla. They are exceptions to the otherwise mandatory gismu creation algorithm where there was sufficient justification for such exceptions. Except for the small metric prefixes and the assignable predicates beginning with “brod-”, they all end in the letter “o”, which is otherwise a rare letter in Lojban gismu.
The following gismu represent concepts that are sufficiently unique to Lojban that they were either coined from combining forms of other gismu, or else made up out of whole cloth. These gismu are thus conceptually similar to lujvo even though they are only five letters long; however, unlike lujvo, they have rafsi assigned to them for use in building more complex lujvo. Assigning gismu to these concepts helps to keep the resulting lujvo reasonably short.
broda 1st assignable predicate brode 2nd assignable predicate brodi 3rd assignable predicate brodo 4th assignable predicate brodu 5th assignable predicate cmavo structure word (from “cmalu valsi”) lojbo Lojbanic (from “logji bangu”) lujvo compound word (from “pluja valsi”) mekso Mathematical EXpression
It is important to understand that even though “cmavo”, “lojbo”, and “lujvo” were made up from parts of other gismu, they are now full-fledged gismu used in exactly the same way as all other gismu, both in grammar and in word formation.
The following three groups of gismu represent concepts drawn from the international language of science and mathematics. They are used for concepts that are represented in most languages by a root which is recognized internationally.
Small metric prefixes (less than 1):
decti .1/deci centi .01/centi milti .001/milli mikri 1E-6/micro nanvi 1E-9/nano picti 1E-12/pico femti 1E-15/femto xatsi 1E-18/atto zepti 1E-21/zepto gocti 1E-24/yocto
Large metric prefixes (greater than 1):
dekto 10/deka xecto 100/hecto kilto 1000/kilo megdo 1E6/mega gigdo 1E9/giga terto 1E12/tera petso 1E15/peta xexso 1E18/exa zetro 1E21/zetta gotro 1E24/yotta
Other scientific or mathematical terms:
delno candela kelvo kelvin molro mole radno radian sinso sine stero steradian tanjo tangent xampo ampere
The gismu “sinso” and “tanjo” were only made non-algorithmically because they were identical (having been borrowed from a common source) in all the dictionaries that had translations. The other terms in this group are units in the international metric system; some metric units, however, were made by the ordinary process (usually because they are different in Chinese).
Finally, there are the cultural gismu, which are also borrowed, but by modifying a word from one particular language, instead of using the multi-lingual gismu creation algorithm. Cultural gismu are used for words that have local importance to a particular culture; other cultures or languages may have no word for the concept at all, or may borrow the word from its home culture, just as Lojban does. In such a case, the gismu algorithm, which uses weighted averages, doesn't accurately represent the frequency of usage of the individual concept. Cultural gismu are not even required to be based on the six major languages.
The six Lojban source languages:
jungo Chinese (from “Zhong1 guo2”) glico English xindo Hindi spano Spanish rusko Russian xrabo Arabic
Seven other widely spoken languages that were on the list of candidates for gismu-making, but weren't used:
bengo Bengali porto Portuguese baxso Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Indonesia ponjo Japanese (from “Nippon”) dotco German (from “Deutsch”) fraso French (from “Français”) xurdo Urdu
(Urdu and Hindi began as the same language with different writing systems, but have now become somewhat different principally in borrowed vocabulary. Urdu-speakers were counted along with Hindi-speakers when weights were assigned for gismu-making purposes.)
Countries with a large number of speakers of any of the above languages (where the meaning of “large” is dependent on the specific language):
- English: merko American brito British skoto Scottish sralo Australian kadno Canadian
- Spanish: gento Argentinian mexno Mexican
- Russian: softo Soviet/USSR vukro Ukrainian
- Arabic: filso Palestinian jerxo Algerian jordo Jordanian libjo Libyan lubno Lebanese misro Egyptian (from “Mizraim”) morko Moroccan rakso Iraqi sadjo Saudi sirxo Syrian
- Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Indonesia: bindo Indonesian meljo Malaysian
- Portuguese: brazo Brazilian
- Urdu: kisto Pakistani
bemro North American (from “berti merko”) dzipo Antarctican (from “cadzu cipni”) ketco South American (from “Quechua”) friko African polno Polynesian/Oceanic ropno European xazdo Asiatic
A few smaller but historically important cultures:
latmo Latin/Roman srito Sanskrit xebro Hebrew/Israeli xelso Greek (from “Hellas”)
Major world religions:
budjo Buddhist dadjo Taoist muslo Islamic/Moslem xriso Christian
A few terms that cover multiple groups of the above:
jegvo Jehovist (Judeo-Christian-Moslem) semto Semitic slovo Slavic xispo Hispanic (New World Spanish)