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Lesson 3

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Saved by Rex May
on July 7, 2011 at 1:42:58 pm

LESSON THREE — Names and a short story


Names are a particular category of word in Ceqli. A name usually behaves

like a pronoun, in that it stands for something in particular, not a category

of things. The name janzo means "John," and you can tell it's a name

because all names are marked with the suffix -zo. It's not a usual

compound, because it has nothing to do, necessarily, with the meaning

of the first element in the compound, in this case jan, which happens

to be the verb "to know" in Ceqli.


janzo jan japanzo. John knows Japanese.


You see that japanzo is also a name. Often, any 'proper name' is

capitalized in English, and that's a hint that the Ceqli equivalent will

also be a name.


Ethnic/linguistic/national names are a special problem. You can usually

tell from context whether you're talking about Japan, a Japanese person,

or the Japanese language.


go japanzo. I am Japanese.

go bol japanzo. I speak Japanese.

go ja japanzo. I go to Japan.


However, in case of possible confusion, the name can combine with:


haym country, jin person, and bol language.


japanzohaym bel. Japan is beautiful.

japanzobol bel. Japanese (language) is beautiful.

japanzojin bel. Japanese people are beautiful.

japanzokyoyo bel. Japanese culture is beautiful.




Ceqli connectives are based on the Loglan connectives. They are:


kay - and

va - and/or

fi - if and only if

seya - whether or not


da corn kay xyen. He is black and is a dog.

da corn va xyen. He is black or is a dog, and possibly both.

da corn fi xyen. He is black if and only if is a dog.

da corn seya xyen. He is black whether he is a dog or not.


These are all based on the principles of symbolic logic.


To say "if" a compound connective is used:


buva - if


da corn buva kanin. If he is black, he is a dog.


The logic of this is hard to penetrate, but it actually makes sense. The bu applies to the first clause, so what we're saying is that


He is not-black or he's a dog, and possibly both.


Let's say he's not-black. Then, according to that sentence, it's possible that he's a dog, and also that he's not a dog. So far, so good.


Let's say he's black. Then, still according to that sentence, it's certainly possible that he's a dog, but is it possible for him not to be a dog?


Well, the first clause is untrue. He is black, not not-black. So what about the second clause? It can't be untrue, because of the truth values of and/or.


X and/or Y. Look at it. Both can be true, or one true and the other false. They can't both be false. So if the first clause, "He is not-black" is untrue (which it is — he's black), then the second clause has to be true, so he is a dog.


Suppose you want to say the "opposite"....


He is black if he's a dog.


Very simple. You switch buva around to vabu, making the bu refer to the second clause, and you have the same sort of phenomenon with the truth tables.


da corn vabu kanin. He is a dog if he's black.


Here's a table that might be helpful:


X kay Z sta ci. X and Y are here

X va Z sta ci Either X or Y (and maybe both) are here.

X fi Z sta ci. X, if and only if Y, is here. X is here if and only if Y is here.

X seya Z sta ci. X, whether or not Y, is here.

X buva Z sta ci. X is here only if Z (is here).

X vabu Z sta ci. X is here if Z (is here).


Now, these connectives can be used in much the same way as their English equivalents. However, Ceqli can be made more precise when necessary.


pikay means 'and', of course, but it's a special way of connecting only single words:


to xyen kom pikay dorm. The dog eats and sleeps.


It connects kom and dorm. Seldom necessary, and certainly not in this case, but it makes it clear that it's not connecting to gayr kom and dorm.


Likewise, the word hi means that a sentence has ended and another may start. Hence, hikay is a way to unambiguously connect whole sentences.


to xyen kom hikay to felin dorm.


Again, to xyen kom kay to felin dorm. is usually not going to be taken ambiguously, though it could be by a computer. Hence, such pi and hi compounded connectives can come in handy for eliminating all possible ambiguity when talking to computers or lawyers.


And here are more examples of usage:



ta xyen kom ta karn hikay ta para kom ta tsaw.

Dogs eat meat and cattle eat grass.


to fawl gi ziq hiva go drim.


The bird is singing or I'm dreaming (or both).




go fu ven hifi zi tayarfa to twaykomka.

I will come if (and only if) you make dinner.


janzo bol hiseya go tiq da.

John talks whether I hear him or not.


go fey pren zi hibuva zi bol.

I can understand you only if you speak.


go fu kom ba hivabu zi ten komxo.

I will eat if you have food.


Finally, in a set of modifiers, the "pi" forms are used.


to ga pikay hoqsa xyen.

The big and red dog.


to ga piva hoqsa xyen.

The either big or red or both dog.


to ga pifi hoqsa xyen.

The big, if and only if red, dog.


to ga piseya hoqsa xyen.

The big, whether red or not, dog.


to ga pibuva hoqsa xyen.

The big, only if red, dog.


to ga pivabu hoqsa xyen.

The big, if red, dog.


Those are the hard-core logical connectives.

Now, for normal colloquial speech, we have two other “ifs”:


ha – this is from Hebrew, and it means what we usually mean by “if," that is, "contingent on":


ha zi komfo, go don komxo ko zi. – If you are hungry, I will give food to you.

ha to xyen sta cu, to felin bu danja. – If the dog is there, the cat will not enter.


bwi (pronounced 'bwee')– from Russian, this is the counterfactual “if,” and is used in cases where many languages use the subjunctive:


bwi zi komfo, go don komxo ko zi. – If you were hungry (and you’re not), I’d give food to you.

bwi to xyen sta cu, to felin bu danja. – If the dog were there, the cat would not enter.


You can think of ha as meaning “In the possible word that…” and regard it as a modifier of the other clause. Similarly, you can think of bwi as meaning “In the alternate world (not this one) that…”, and regard that, too, as a modifier of the other clause.


Now, a short story utilizing

some names and some other words:




Go on to Lesson 4


Return to Lesson 2


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