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Lesson 7

Page history last edited by Rex May 10 years, 3 months ago

Lesson Seven — Place Structure in Ceqli, and Other Loglan Principles


Based as it is on Loglan, Ceqli subscribes to the principle of place structure.  To summarize Loglan briskly, there are two basic kinds of words — arguments and predicates.  I'll use the same terminology in Ceqli.  Arguments are things that are talked about, like "you," "me," "the dog," or "Fred."  Predicates are words that show relationships between arguments.  In "I see the dog," "I" and "the dog" are simply labels for things.  "See" shows a relationship between the things.  Sometimes the relationship is only a relationship with one argument and reality itself, as in "I sleep."


These predicates, then, have a place structure, where the arguments are plugged in. Loglan has predicates with very complicated place structures, but in Ceqli I try to keep it simple.  Predicates which act like verbs are simple:


xaw - to see. Specifically, X sees Y.

kom - to eat.  X eats Y.


It's the same with preposition-type predicates:


dan - in, inside, to be inside.  X is inside Y.

sur - on, on top of.  X is on Y.


Adjectival predicates, so far, are one-placers.  Loglan decided to have the second place in them be something that is compared to the subject, as in X redro Y, or X is redder than Y, but that seems like it's stretching things to me, so Ceqli just has a predicate, cem, that means "is in comparison to," hence


X cem Y hoq.   X in comparison to Y is red, X is redder than Y.


Nounish predicates, at first glance, would seem to be just one-placers, but they're not.  Take the word pamo, "father."


X pamo Y.  X is a father of Y.


Now, here's where the magic comes in.  In a concept borrowed from Loglan, the particle be when attached to the front of a predicate, switches the places of the first and second argument, so


Y bepamo X.  Still means the same thing as X pamo Y, but switching the arguments makes for a new predicate, in effect, with a new subject.  The sentence also means "Y is be-fathered by X."  or "Y has a father, X."  This is not the same thing as


Y fil X.  Y is an offspring (son or daughter) of X.


Now, Loglan has a sort of hyphen that can weld the second argument to the predicate when the predicate is taken as an argument when it's specified to be so, usually by an article, like to or te.  (the or a)  You can see the reason for that here:


Da pamo to pwero.  He is the father of the boy.

To pamo...   The father

To pamo to pwero sta ci.  The father of the boy is here.   That feels pretty ambiguous. Two 'nouns' one right after the other, followed by a verb. Does the first modify the second, or what?


Again, following the Loglan lead, I "weld" the nouns together with the particle fe (English hyPHEn(


To pamo fe to pwero sta ci.   The father-of-the-boy is here.


To pamo hu to pwero sta ci.  The father somehow connected to the boy is here.


We can also say:


To to pwero sa pamo da sta ci.  or To pamo hu to pwero da sta ci.


But that doesn't preserve the exact relationship specified by pamo. It just means "The father's boy is here." It could be the father's actual son, or his houseboy, or many other things.


Let's say there's some kind of a training class for men in how to be fathers.  There are two teachers.  One teacher points to a student, says:


Kyu da zisa pamo?  Is that a father of yours?  Meaning is he a father assigned to you, one of your students.  He wouldn't say:


Kyu da pamo zi?  Is that your father?  That would mean he's asking if the guy is your biological father.


Return to Lesson 6.

Go on to Lesson 8.


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