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(From Lognet 90/1. Used with the permission of The Loglan Institute, Inc.)
Complex-Making in Loglan
by Robert A. McIvor
From time to time, Loglanists question the choice of primitives used in the righthand positions of metaphors, especially when that final term is being used to transform a nominal or adjectival meaning into a verbal one. For example, why is -mao used in the right-hand spot in mormao? A killer is not really a maker of dead things...at least not in the same sense that a baormao is a maker of boxes. Although the word chosen as the "modificand" (the word being modified)in these types of metaphors may not always give the resulting complex its own place structure, these final terms have nevertheless been chosen in a consistent fashion.
Since the rationale governing these choices had not been clear to me prior to my recent Gainesville visit, I think it is worthwhile to offer this explanation of the use of the most common modificands, as I now understand it from discussions with the Founder.
- Madzo: Alone, this means ...makes...out of materials.... In complexes, final -mao is used when the state described by the lefthand term is being claimed to have been achieved, or some development of some original state is achieved, by intentional action. Thus the carnivore brings about the state of death intentionally just as a human potter makes pots intentionally. Some other examples: Le matma pa klinymao le hasfa. The state of the house has been changed, presumably from an unclean to a clean one, by the cleaner. Da senmao. A scientist is someone who develops science; that is, da is making new science and adding it to the original body of scientific knowledge.
- Ckozu: Alone, this word means ...causes ...under conditions.... In complexes, a final -cko means that the thing or animal (including people) designated by the first argument is being claimed to have produced some effect, for example, a state change, but not necessarily intentionally. Mi pa brocko le kupta. I caused the cup to break, but probably inadvertently.
- Cenja: ...changes into/becomes...from.... In complexes, a final -cea means that something has changed from one state into another one involuntarily, or by unspecified causes. Le tetri pa kledycea. It got colder, but the cause is unknown or unspecified. Here are three examples which highlight these differences: Mi pa roirmao da. I deliberately made X mad. Da pa roicko mi. X angered me, but maybe didn't intend to. Mi pa roircea. I became angry, but the reasons and causes are all unspecified.
- Durzo: ...does...to.... When either -duo or -dru occurs in final position, the complex is claiming that someone is performing an action on something else by using something from some toolkit. For example,Da pa sanduo de lepo da takma gu, lepo proju le fu togri katmysoa. = X signalled to Y that X was attacking, by producing the agreed-upon cat-sound. Presumably X has used this sign, by choosing it from a repertoire of agreed-upon signs, in order to convey this message, that is, to bring about this change in Y. The sign X uses to bring about this effect is thus a tool. Here's a more obvious case:Da pa rozduo ti. X hammered this. That is, he hammer-did it.
- Plizo: ...uses...for.... When -pli is final in a complex, then something is being claimed to be used for some purpose. The target of the action need not be specified, or there may even be no state change. Thus skipli (ski-use) may be used to predicate a wide variety of local ski-using activities (downhill, slalom, etc.) whereas skigoi is definitely transportational (e.g., cross-country skiing).
- Bivdu: ...behaves...under... Behaviour is a category of animal motion that need have no conscious goal or end, such as a sneeze or tic, or of which one is largely unaware, such as one's manners. So -biu may be used as the modificand when this kind of behaviour is meant
- Kakto: ...acts...with goal.... Action is always with a conscious goal. So -kao is used when goal-directed behavior is meant.
- Duvri: ...discovers...about.... Thus -dui is used to indicate an action that determines or discloses a previously unknown property of something. For example, kondui predicates a relationship between a counter and something being counted; its goal is to discover the count of some set, that is, its cardinal number.
- Godzi & kamla: If the second place of the new complex is to be a destination, use -goi. Thus, vizgoi (see-go) means ...visits.../goes to see.... If the second place is to be a point of departure, use -kaa. Thus, sackaa (start-come) means ...departs from...for destination.... English usages can be misleading here.
Another rule which we found useful in complex-making is to use no nu fu etc. as a separate word in front of the complex we were building when the operator was to apply to the complex as a whole, i.e., in long scope situations. But when the scope of the operation is short, we use nor nur fur etc. and make it part of the word we are building. Thus a CVr form is to be used only when the operation signified is to apply to just the term immediately following it in the metaphor. It is intended, in the final phase of the dictionary work which is now in progress, to rectify all the entries which do not follow these principles.
Copyright 1990 by The Loglan Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.
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