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Tanbau (loglang)
created in: 2014
by: Jacob Thomas Errington (a.k.a. la tsani)
kind:Loglanian, minimalist
influenced by:Lojban, Gua\spi, Toaq
specification:"tanbau" on lojban.org
(in English)

Tanbau (natively tanbau) is an unfinished logical language with several innovative features. It is described on its homepage as follows:

Tanbau is a logical language constructed by tsani (Jacob Thomas Erringon) with ideas from Lojban, Gua\spi, and Toan Dzu. By using the more powerful parsing expression grammar formalization, Tanbau uses an extremely rich system of suffixes for grammatical purposes. It tries to solve some of the problems that were discovered with regards to Lojban, but above all else, it tries to build a new kind of formalization for logical languages.

The name of the language comes from tsani (the creator's Lojban name, 'sky') plus the Lojban affix for 'language'.

Phonology and orthography

The consonant inventory is reduced relative to Lojban, and the consonantal phonotactics are more strict. By contrast, the vowel inventory has been expanded.

Consonant phonemes
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ h
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Rhotic r

/r/ can be any rhotic.

The vowels are similar to those of French.

Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i y u
Mid e ø ə o
Open-mid ɛ
Open a

The alphabet is as follows.

The Tanbau alphabet
Grapheme a aa b c d e ee f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w y z
Phoneme a ə b ʃ d e ɛ f g h i ʒ k l m n o p r s t u v ø y z

(Differences from the IPA are highlighted.)

The vowels /ø ɛ ə/ have unusual letter assignments, although the author notes that "There are several typographical variants" for /ɛ/ and /ə/[1], which are not listed in the main document.


Like Lojban or Latejami, Tanbau is agglutinative. The basic word classes are predicate words and operators. Like in Lojban, each word class has a distinctive shape, or pattern of consonants and vowels. Self-segregation is achieved through word-shape together with fixed penultimate stress. And, like in Latejami, all predicate words are strings of self-segregating affixes; there are no root words in the sense of monomorphemic words analogous to Lojban gismu.

Predicate words consist of one or more stems and one or more suffix. The full pattern is ((stem)+(suffix)+)+: a word has one or more stem-suffix groups; each stem-suffix group has one or more stems followed by one or more suffixes. Note that a word always begins with a stem and ends with a suffix.

Stems and suffixes are primarily distinguished by shape: stems have the shape CVC; they cannot begin with any of /h l r/. Suffixes are CV, optionally with a coda /l/, which is not allowed as an onset.

Operators have the shape CV(l). They may begin with any consonant except /l/. They may be stressed without causing misparsing to occur, unlike in Lojban[2]

Disregarding the vowel-like[3] /l/, Tanbau words' shapes adhere to the formula (H+L*)*L, where H is a heavy (closed) syllable and L is a light (open) syllable. This formula self-segregates if every penultimate syllable is stressed.

Agglutination is extensive. The words below are provided by the author as examples:

tas-pa-tak-no-bu 'to want to talk to the one named "Sky"'
jib-naa-sev-no-tun-mo /ʒibnəsevnoˈtunmo/ 'to be binoculars/telescope'

The simplest predicate word consists of a stem plus the null suffix, which is -no (or -mo after a suffix ending in /n/).


A full sentence is a predication. A predication is is described as being of the following pattern:

[separator] [terms...] <predicate> [terms...] [illocutionary operator]

The predicate is obligatory; the other elements are optional. Illocutionary operators, which mark whether a sentence is a statement, a command, a question, or a performative, are a notable Toaq-inspired feature.




  1. "The tanbau vowels consist of the five Lojban vowels {a, e, i, o, u}, as well as the vowels denoted {y, w, ee, aa}. There are several typographical variants for the two last vowels, and they are called 'epsilon' and 'schwa' respectively."
  2. "Operators are typically unstressed, although stressing them is optional and has no effect on the determination of word boundaries, unlike in Lojban where a misplaced stress on a cmavo can have undesirable results."
  3. "It [/l/] does not produce a consonant cluster in the sense that we will be using to discuss self-segregating morphology. It would be more useful to consider it a vowel in this case."


Errington, Jacob Thomas (no date). "tanbau". Accessed from https://mw.lojban.org/papri/tanbau (16 June 2021).