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Lesson 3

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Saved by Rex May
on July 15, 2011 at 8:37:37 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 bebol japanzo. I speak Japanese.

go gey 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.


Names behave in the same grammatical way that pronouns do, except that when haym or bol, etc. is compounded to the end of a zo name, the whole thing becomes a name, and that behaves like a pronoun.




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


je - and

ja - and/or

ji - if and only if

jo - whether or not


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

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

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

da corn jo 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 buja xyen. 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 jabu kanin. He is a dog if he's black.


Here's a table that might be helpful:


X je Z sta ci. X and Y are here

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

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

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

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

X jabu 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.


tayje means 'and', of course, but it's a special way of connecting only single words.  It's a short-scope connective:


to xyen kom tayje 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 xyen kom and dorm.


Likewise, the word gra means that a connective is wide-scope.  Hence, graje is a way to unambiguously connect whole sentences.


to xyen kom graje to felin dorm.


Again, to xyen kom je to felin dorm. is usually not going to be taken ambiguously, though it could be by a computer. Hence, such tay and gra 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 graje ta para kom ta tsaw.

Dogs eat meat and cattle eat grass.


to fawl gi ziq graja go drim.


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




go fu ven graji zi tayarkaw to twaykomxto.

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


janzo bol grajo go tiq da.

John talks whether I hear him or not.


go fey pren zi grabuja zi tal.

I can understand you only if you speak.


go fu kom ba grajabu zi ten komxto.

I will eat if you have food.


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


to gran tayje hoqsa xyen.

The big and red dog.


to gran tayja hoqsa xyen.

The either big or red or both dog.


to ga tayji hoqsa xyen.

The big, if and only if red, dog.


to ga tayjo hoqsa xyen.

The big, whether red or not, dog.


to ga taybuja hoqsa xyen.

The big, only if red, dog.


to ga tayjabu 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 Hungarian, and it means what we usually mean by “if," that is, "contingent on":


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

ha to xyen sta cu, to felin bu dangan. – 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 kombyaw, 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 dangan. – 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.



Go on to Lesson 4


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