15. Cultural and other non-algorithmic gismu

The following gismu were not made by the gismu creation algorithm. They are, in effect, coined words similar to fu'ivla. They are exceptions to the otherwise mandatory gismu creation algorithm where there was sufficient justification for such exceptions. Except for the small metric prefixes and the assignable predicates beginning with “brod-”, they all end in the letter “o”, which is otherwise a rare letter in Lojban gismu.

The following gismu represent concepts that are sufficiently unique to Lojban that they were either coined from combining forms of other gismu, or else made up out of whole cloth. These gismu are thus conceptually similar to lujvo even though they are only five letters long; however, unlike lujvo, they have rafsi assigned to them for use in building more complex lujvo. Assigning gismu to these concepts helps to keep the resulting lujvo reasonably short.

    broda       1st assignable predicate
    brode       2nd assignable predicate
    brodi       3rd assignable predicate
    brodo       4th assignable predicate
    brodu       5th assignable predicate
    cmavo       structure word (from “cmalu valsi”)
    lojbo       Lojbanic (from “logji bangu”)
    lujvo       compound word (from “pluja valsi”)
    mekso       Mathematical EXpression
It is important to understand that even though “cmavo”, “lojbo”, and “lujvo” were made up from parts of other gismu, they are now full-fledged gismu used in exactly the same way as all other gismu, both in grammar and in word formation.

The following three groups of gismu represent concepts drawn from the international language of science and mathematics. They are used for concepts that are represented in most languages by a root which is recognized internationally.

Small metric prefixes (values less than 1):

    decti       .1/deci
    centi       .01/centi
    milti       .001/milli
    mikri       1E-6/micro
    nanvi       1E-9/nano
    picti       1E-12/pico
    femti       1E-15/femto
    xatsi       1E-18/atto
    zepti       1E-21/zepto
    gocti       1E-24/yocto
Large metric prefixes (values greater than 1):
    dekto       10/deka
    xecto       100/hecto
    kilto       1000/kilo
    megdo       1E6/mega
    gigdo       1E9/giga
    terto       1E12/tera
    petso       1E15/peta
    xexso       1E18/exa
    zetro       1E21/zetta
    gotro       1E24/yotta
Other scientific or mathematical terms:
    delno       candela
    kelvo       kelvin
    molro       mole
    radno       radian
    sinso       sine
    stero       steradian
    tanjo       tangent
    xampo       ampere
The gismu “sinso” and “tanjo” were only made non-algorithmically because they were identical (having been borrowed from a common source) in all the dictionaries that had translations. The other terms in this group are units in the international metric system; some metric units, however, were made by the ordinary process (usually because they are different in Chinese).

Finally, there are the cultural gismu, which are also borrowed, but by modifying a word from one particular language, instead of using the multi-lingual gismu creation algorithm. Cultural gismu are used for words that have local importance to a particular culture; other cultures or languages may have no word for the concept at all, or may borrow the word from its home culture, just as Lojban does. In such a case, the gismu algorithm, which uses weighted averages, doesn’t accurately represent the frequency of usage of the individual concept. Cultural gismu are not even required to be based on the six major languages.

The six Lojban source languages:

    jungo       Chinese (from “Zhong1guo2”)
    glico       English
    xindo       Hindi
    spano       Spanish
    rusko       Russian
    xrabo       Arabic
Seven other widely spoken languages that were on the list of candidates for gismu-making, but weren’t used:
    bengo       Bengali
    porto       Portuguese
    baxso       Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Indonesia
    ponjo       Japanese (from “Nippon”)
    dotco       German (from “Deutsch”)
    fraso       French (from “Français”)
    xurdo       Urdu
(Urdu and Hindi began as the same language with different writing systems, but have now become somewhat different, principally in borrowed vocabulary. Urdu-speakers were counted along with Hindi-speakers when weights were assigned for gismu-making purposes.)

Countries with a large number of speakers of any of the above languages (where the meaning of “large” is dependent on the specific language):


    merko       American
    brito       British
    skoto       Scottish
    sralo       Australian
    kadno       Canadian


    gento       Argentinian
    mexno       Mexican


    softo       Soviet/USSR
    vukro       Ukrainian


    filso       Palestinian
    jerxo       Algerian
    jordo       Jordanian
    libjo       Libyan
    lubno       Lebanese
    misro       Egyptian (from “Mizraim”)
    morko       Moroccan
    rakso       Iraqi
    sadjo       Saudi
    sirxo       Syrian

         Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Indonesia:

    bindo       Indonesian
    meljo       Malaysian


    brazo       Brazilian


    kisto       Pakistani
The continents (and oceanic regions) of the Earth:
    bemro       North American (from “berti merko”)
    dzipo       Antarctican (from “cadzu cipni”)
    ketco       South American (from “Quechua”)
    friko       African
    polno       Polynesian/Oceanic
    ropno       European
    xazdo       Asiatic
A few smaller but historically important cultures:
    latmo       Latin/Roman
    srito       Sanskrit
    xebro       Hebrew/Israeli/Jewish
    xelso       Greek (from “Hellas”)
Major world religions:
    budjo       Buddhist
    dadjo       Taoist
    muslo       Islamic/Moslem
    xriso       Christian

A few terms that cover multiple groups of the above:

    jegvo       Jehovist (Judeo-Christian-Moslem)
    semto       Semitic
    slovo       Slavic
    xispo       Hispanic (New World Spanish)