Vi le Sritoe pe la Cefli

that is, on the desk of the CEO of the Loglan Institute

Welcome to the doubtless somewhat untidy web presence of Randall Holmes, qua "chief executive officer" of the Loglan Institute (the title seems excessively grand, but that is what it is, officially). I prefer la Cefli, in Loglan :-) I am tidying up this page on Jan 30, 2022.

The Loglan Institute (TLI) is the official organization which coordinates the development of the artifical human language Loglan. The main Loglan web site is here: that is the place to look for lots of general information and resources on the language.

Here is a good place to start finding out what Loglan is, Loglan I (fourth edition) by James Cooke Brown.

Here is a a revision of Loglan 1 in progress; I have completed a first editing pass. It includes a recent HTML version of the PEG with comments as an appendix, perhaps intended to have cross-links to the text.

This is the proposed reference grammar for the language. Originally, I intended to submit this as a series of proposals to an advisory Keugru (a version of the old Loglan Academy of the same name) but that group has not been active. So it is a body of proposals to the community, backed up by the fact that the parser implements the syntactical parts of these proposals (mod bugs). Discussion is very welcome; I would love it if people would test this document by reading it. Updated 1/30/2022

Parser resourses (all updated 2/15/2022):

Dictionary resources:

You can run the parser in a web page here.

Here is a really pretty new web parser (hapci's parser)

Loglan 3

Here is a nice accessible version of Notebook 3, the complete description of the language as it was in 1987. Much has changed, but this document is still interesting.

Some reports to the Institute

There is a mailing list for people interested in Loglan. The original one, is dead (and alas, we do not have archives for it: people who have local archives of this list are encouraged to share them; I have records since about 2008). The new one is Email me, Randall Holmes, to get info about it.

There is a Discord server devoted to Loglan: this is an invitation to it.

A small group meets every week at 9 am Pacific time in the online world Second Life to talk (well, mostly write) in and about Loglan. You can ask me about it if interested.

On the rest of this page you will find my current Loglan projects and some general information about the Loglan language, its history, and its relationships with other artificial languages.

My current Loglan projects


I have developed and am constantly upgrading a parser for Loglan, which has involved investigating and sometimes proposing modifications to all sorts of features of the language. The problem with the original state of things was that LIP (the old parser) was based on a now publicly available formal grammar which was provably unambiguous (as per our aims) on the level of grammar, but which was much more opaque (and demonstrably has errors) in the area of parsing individual words. It is legacy software, and I have no way to maintain it conveniently, and further it is now outdated. So I have written and am maintaining my own parser.

The parser uses PEG (Parsing Expression Grammars), a scheme for developing parsers (developed by Bryan Ford) described here. This differs from a use of a BNF grammar disambiguated using yacc which underlies LIP, and does raise questions about ambiguity (or more correctly, unintended parse) problems.

The Python programs which call the parser to parse Loglan text and the PEG grammar of the official parser and a test parser are provided at the top of the page.

Sample texts

I set up the teaching corpus in Notebook 3 as input to the parser. This has had to be edited repeatedly as the language has changed quite a bit since Notebook 3.

Here is a file corpus-original.llg of parsed Loglan sentences (if you have the file corpus-original.txt, this file is generated by typing >corpus-original in the parser interface), this now contains the entire teaching corpus in NB3 modified to work with the current grammar. This is up to date; it's the first test suite for each parser update.

More sample material (these are also Python files to be run in the presence of the Python parser files):

Lots of parsed examples from Loglan 1 ;

Some examples of complex predicates and phonetic parses

these need updates (they have not been run with a recent version of the parser)

Here and here find translations of my friend Laura's poems.

Here is a translation of a small opening segment of the Old English poem Beowulf, with parses here and a version that doesn't parse but does have notes here.

I have finished parsing the text of the Visit to Loglandia, the novel by Alex Leith which is the largest single Loglan text again It may be useful to note that my input files include comments on the revisions I had to make in the text to make it parse.

The particular points that often need repair in this text are worth noting

Here is a selection of other texts, edited in the past into parsable form and recently parsed with the latest official parser. (Well, Laura's poems haven't been parsed that recently, but should be correct).

Dictionary Work (with Torrua and Peter Hill)

Here are the current trial drafts of the English-to-Loglan and Loglan-to-English dictionaries in Torrua's latest version. Look and feel significantly changed in 1/15/2022 update. Here is the latest version of the database (for use with Peter Hill's dictionary program). Torrua has done a lot of dictionary work recently. I have changed to the original web format for the dictionary for the moment (4/29/2023), because Torrua's new one has a bug in entry order.

Here is the Windows executable of the dictionary program. Advice on how to use it will be given if requested. Please, if you save dictionaries of your own, use the file labelling procedures so they can be told from the official version(s). If you want it in some other OS, you might need to ask Peter Hill if it is convertible, or write your own.

As of 1/23/2016, these dictionaries contain my latest corrections. Here is something utterly mad, a complete parse down to letters of the all the keys in the L-to-E dictionary.

work on Notebook 3

Here is a version of Notebook 3, one of our founding documents, which has been scanned and OCR'ed by Gleki Arxokuna and post-OCR proofread and edited by Peter Hill. This is the unmodified original.

La Keugru: the Loglan Academy

The Loglan Academy is (or was) a small group which makes official decisions about updates to the formal definition of the language.

Here is a pointer to Appendix H of Loglan I, which details the past work of the Academy. I don't really believe that there is currently an Academy, so I am promulgating provisional versions of the language which I hope will eventually be accepted by consensus of the interested community!

Institutional and historical information

The Loglan project was founded by James Cooke Brown (JCB) in about 1955: it was originally intended as a tool to test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. To test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in the laboratory, he needed a language which was manageably small, but nonetheless a human language, and which was extreme in some respect, so that it might be expected to have Whorfian effects. He chose to make the language extremely logical; he also chose to make it syntactically unambiguous. The aim was that the structure of a Loglan sentence can always be determined precisely, and indeed that Loglan can be parsed by a computer.

At Brown's death in 2000, Robert A McIvor was CEO of the Institute; in 2008 when McIvor retired from this role he appointed me. I am not a member of the original group that built the language, though I had some personal contact with JCB and served as the logical consultant (la Lodtua) for a while in the 1990's; I am always interested to learn more about the earlier history of the project from those who were there. The Academy which made official decisions about the development of the language had made its last ruling in 1996 and was essentially defunct until I reconstituted it in 2013.

There is a sister language, Lojban, whose main web site is here, Ido to our Esperanto. The schism between the two languages happened about 1987 and culminated, alas, in a lawsuit, hinging on the fact that JCB claimed copyright on the word "Loglan" and on the Loglan vocabulary. He lost the point about the word, and the other language as a result has (or had originally) quite similar grammar and semantics and an unintelligible vocabulary (though even the vocabulary is formally similar in important ways). The two languages have drifted apart since, but are still quite closely related. Lojban has a much larger community and more activity. I think the original language still has something to offer, and the existence of two languages may provide some opportunities as well. Whatever the situation in the past, TLI is on good terms with the LLG which steers the development of Lojban, and though we do claim that essential materials of Loglan are the intellectual property of TLI and/or of their individual authors, we make them freely available to anyone with a private interest in learning the language or experimenting with modifications of the language (including Lojbanists!). Before undertaking any other use of the materials (and certainly before making any claim that your favorite modification is a feature of TLI Loglan!), please talk to us.

Here is another related language. And here is yet another!