Not much free time to work on Beanish today, and unfortunately the main site on Lojban is offline (I only hope that it wasn’t my fault, as hundreds of people clicked the link I posted… Wish I were able to say “I’m sorry” in Lojban, guys!).

I have been considering some suggestions on the glyphs used in the transliteration, given by edo (which is responsible for many, many initial insights on Beanish, as I found out today when I finally blitzed the OTT), and will upgrade the corpus accordingly.

I have also considered from a Lojban point-of-view part of what as already been discussed. User marchlight pointed in the forum that the ᘊ- affix could be related to the bra- prefix in Lojban, used when referring to an object that is bigger/larger than its standard. Beanish might end up not being to Lojban, after all, but semantically his/her suggestion is very plausible considering the examples we have.

But what is more important in terms of the Lojban/Beanish relationship is the usage of numbers by Rosetta, which at first made me think of French. I’ll quote marchlight here:

Also, Lojban only has numbers 0 through 9. 40 would be said as four zero, which is why Rosetta didn’t know the word. She could probably work out “five times eight” though, based on the reference that shows this example (emphasis mine):

the-number three plus four times five
equals the-number two-three
3 + 4 x 5 = 23

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but one particular Lojban feature could have been adopted or adapted in Beanish. The ᔪ- affix, which only seems to be used in questions, could work as a mark of something unknown (unknown-to-me/us), making Beanish questions very different from English. For example, instead of actually asking “Where are you from?” or “Who attacked you?”, with interrogative pronouns (wh- words), the affix could mark what is unknown in a sentence: “You are from (unknown-to-me-)land?” and “You were attacked by (unknown-to-me-)being”. It could explain the mysterious ᙐᖚᐧ in Rosetta sentence, but I was unable to find a suitable English translation, and favor an SOV word order, at least in questions.

Finally, some people are too kind: http://gigaom.com/2013/08/06/how-one-iconic-comics-superfans-are-working-together-to-decode-a-mysterious-language/ , thank you in name of all superfans. (btw, this made me notice that my linguistic vocabulary is a bit abstruse, I will try to make it simpler from now on; but if you don’t understand something, feel free to ask).

And, finally, if you are a Lojban speaker and reading this, please find the time to help us! 🙂

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