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“This Saturday, yes.”

- Answer: 1, 3 and 5 are bridi. 2 contains no objects and the rest contain no relation or claim of a property.
+ ~~#000:Answer: 1, 3 and 5 are bridi. 2 contains no objects and the rest contain no relation or claim of a property.~~

Put in Lojban terms, a bridi consists of one selbri, and one or more sumti. The selbri is the relation or claim about the object, and the sumti are the objects which are in a relation. Note that “object” is not a perfect translation of “sumti”, since “sumti” can refer to not just physical objects, but can also purely abstract things like “The idea of warfare”. A better translation would be something like “subject, direct or indirect object” for sumti, and “verb” for selbri, though, as we will see, this is not optimal either.

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Answer: “Oy, you keep eating when you have finished, incredibly, eating something edible!”
ZAhO tenses (event contours). All tenses above the line of the event signify stages covering an amount of time. All tenses below the event line signify stages which are point-like.
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+ {img fileId="2" thumb="y" rel="box[g]"}

All of these tenses have been describing stages of a process which takes some time (as shown on the graph above; those tenses above the event like). But many of the event contours describes point like stages in the process, like its beginning. As is true of {ca} and {bu’u}, they actually extend slightly into the past and future of that point, and need not to be precise.

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   Cmevla|  Name-word |   Beginning and ending with pause (full stop). Last sound/letter is a consonant.|   Always acts as a name or as the content of a quote.
   Cmavo|   Grammar-word. From “cmavla”, meaning “small word”| One consonant or zero, always at the beginning. Ends in a vowel.  |   Grammatical functions. Varies
-    Word-fragments:|   |   |   
+    Word-fragments:|   |   ||   



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These six sumka’i are more easily grasped in the below Venn diagram:
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+ {img fileId="3" thumb="y" rel="box[g]"}
Venn diagram of KOhA3. {le drata} is not a KOhA3, but means “the other(s)”





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!Lojban Wave Lessons Continued:
!!!by la klaku with help from la .kribacr., la xalbo and others, autumn 2011.

!!Chapter zero: Foreword
These lessons are an attempt to expand on the Google Wave Lessons, an excellent Lojban tutorial by kribacr, xalbo, and others, which sadly only covered the first four chapters in this tutorial. It implements the newest rules of Lojban not covered by older materials such as What is Lojban? and Lojban for Beginners.

If you are new to Lojban, I recommend listening to any recordings you can find of spoken Lojban both before and while you are taking this tutorial, in order to make yourself familiar with the sounds and words of the language, which will not be explained here. Furthermore, try to say the things you read in Lojban accent if it’s reasonably practical. This can help your pronunciation a lot.

When taking this tutorial, it’s best to pause between lessons in order to internalize what you have learnt. I have attempted to build these lessons from the bottom up and exclude any words or concepts that have not been explained in previous lessons. Once explained, they are used freely throughout the remainder of the tutorial. I urge readers not to pass any misunderstood content; if you have questions or are uncertain about something, feel free to ask the Lojban community, which can be found in #lojban on the Freenode IRC network. They will be happy to help.

In this tutorial, Lojban text is written in courier new font and sometimes encased in {curly brackets}. Answers to exercises are colored light grey. Tilt your screen or copy the text into some other medium, an address bar or text editor in order to see it.

Lastly, I have as far as possible attempted to use the Lojban words for grammatical constructs: sumka’i instead of pro-sumti, sumtcita instead of modal and jufra instead of utterance. This is because I feel the English words are often either arbitrary, in which case they are just more words to learn, or misleading, in which case they are worse than useless. In either case, as long as the words are specific to those who are learning Lojban anyway, there is no reason for them to exist as separate English words.


!!Lojban Lessons – lesson one (bridi, jufra, sumti and selbri)
A bridi is the most central unit of Lojban utterances. The concept is very close to what we call a proposition in English. A bridi is a claim that some objects stand in a relation to each other, or that an object has some property. This stands in contrast to jufra, which are merely Lojban utterances, which can be bridi or anything else being said. The difference between a bridi and a jufra is that a jufra does not necessarily state anything, while a bridi does. Thus, a bridi might be true or false, while not all jufra can be said to be such.
To have some examples (in English, to begin with), “Mozart was the greatest musician of all time” is a bridi, because it makes a claim with a truth value, and it involves an object, Mozart, and a property, being the greatest musician of all time. On the contrary, “Ow! My toe!” is not a bridi, since it does not involve a relation, and thus does not state anything. Both, though, are jufra.
Try to identify the bridi among these English jufra:

#“I hate it when you do that.”

“Runs.”

“Woah, that looks delicious!”

“Geez, not again.”

“No, I own three cars”

“Nineteen minutes past eight.”

“This Saturday, yes.”

~~#000:Answer: 1, 3 and 5 are bridi. 2 contains no objects and the rest contain no relation or claim of a property.~~

Put in Lojban terms, a bridi consists of one selbri, and one or more sumti. The selbri is the relation or claim about the object, and the sumti are the objects which are in a relation. Note that “object” is not a perfect translation of “sumti”, since “sumti” can refer to not just physical objects, but can also purely abstract things like “The idea of warfare”. A better translation would be something like “subject, direct or indirect object” for sumti, and “verb” for selbri, though, as we will see, this is not optimal either.
We can now write the first important lesson down:
bridi = selbri + one or more sumti
Put another way, a bridi states that some sumti do/are something explained by a selbri.

Identify the sumti and selbri equivalents in these jufra:
“I will pick up my daughters with my car”

Answer: selbri: “pick up (with)”. sumti: “I”, “my daughters”, “my car”

“He bought sixteen new shirts from Lea&Levy’s for just two hundred euro!”

Answer: selbri: “bought (from) (for)” sumti: “He”, “sixteen new shirts”, “Lea&Lewis” and “two hundred euros”

Since these concepts are so fundamental to Lojban, let’s have a third example: “So far, the EPA have done nothing about the amount of sulphur dioxide in the air.”

Answer: selbri: “have done (about)” sumti: “The EPA”, “nothing” and “the amount of sulphor dioxide in the air”

Now try begin making Lojban bridi. For this you will need to use some word, which can act as selbri:
dunda x1 gives x2 to x3 (without payment)
pelxu x1 is yellow
zdani x1 is a home of x2

Notice that these words meaning “give”, “yellow” and “home” would be considered a verb, an adjective and a noun in English. In Lojban, there are no such categories and no such distinction. dunda can be translated “gives” (verb), “is a giver” (noun), “is giving” (adjective) as well as to an adverb form. They all act as selbri, and are used in the same way.

As well as a few words, which can act as sumti:
mi “I” or “We” – the one or those who are speaking.
ti “this” – a close thing or event nearby which can be pointed to by the speaker.
do “you” – the one or those who are being spoken to.

See the strange translations of the selbri above - especially the x1, x2 and x3? Those are called sumti places. They are places where sumti can go to fill a bridi. Filling a sumti in a place states that the sumti fits in that place. The second place of dunda, for example, x2, is the thing being given. The third is the object which receives the thing. Notice also that the translation of dunda has the word “to” in it. This is because, while this word is needed in English to signify the receiver, the receiver is in the third sumti place of dunda. So when you fill the third sumti place of dunda, the sumti you fill in is always the receiver, and you don’t need an equivalent to the word “to”!

To say a bridi, you simply say the x1 sumti first, then the selbri, then any other sumti.
Usual bridi: [x1 sumti] [selbri] [x2 sumti] [x3 sumti] [x4 sumti] [x5 sumti] [and so on]
The order can be played around with, but for now, we stick with the usual form. To say “I give this to you” you just say mi dunda ti do, with the three sumti at the right places.

So, how would you say “This is a home of me”?

Answer: ti zdani mi

Try a few more in order to get the idea of a place structure sink in.

“You give this to me”?

Answer:  do dunda ti mi

And translate ti pelxu

Answer: “This is yellow.”

Quite easy once you get the hang of it, right?

Multiple bridi after each other are separated by .i This is the Lojban equivalent of full stop, but it usually goes before bridi instead of after them. It’s often left out before the first bridi, though, as in all these examples:

ti zdani mi  .i ti pelxu ”This is a home to me. This is yellow.”

Before you move on to the next lesson, I recommend that you take a break for at least seven minutes to let the information sink in.


!!Lojban Lessons – lesson two (FA and zo’e)
Most selbri have from one to five sumti places, but some have more. Here is a selbri with four sumti places:
vecnu x1 sells x2 to x3 for price x4

If I want to say “I sell this”, it would be undesirable to fill the sumti places x3 and x4, which specify who I sell the thing to, and for what price. Luckily, I don’t need to. sumti places can be filled with zo’e. zo’e indicates to us that the value of the sumti place is unspecified because it’s unimportant or can be determined from context.
zo’e “something” Fills a sumti place with something, but does not state what.

So to say “I sell to you”, I could say mi vecnu zo’e do zo’e – I sell something to you for some price.
How would you say: “That’s a home (for somebody)”?

Answer: ti zdani zo’e

How about “(someone) gives this to (someone)”?

Answer: zo’e dunda ti zo’e

Still, filling out three zo’e just to say that a thing is being sold takes time. Therefore you don’t need to write all the zo’e in a bridi. The rule simply is that if you leave out any sumti, they will be considered as if they contained zo’e. If the bridi begins with a selbri, the x1 is presumed to be omitted and the x1 becomes zo’e.
Try it out. What’s Lojban for “I sell”?

Answer: mi vecnu

And what does zdani mi mean?

Answer: “Something is a home of me” or just “I have a home.”

As mentioned earlier, the form doesn’t have to be [x1 sumti] [selbri] [x2 sumti] [x3 sumti] (ect.) In fact, you can place the selbri anywhere you want, just not at the beginning of the bridi. If you do that, the x1 is considered left out and filled with zo’e instead. So the following three jufra are all the exactly same bridi:
mi dunda ti do
mi ti dunda do
mi ti do dunda

Sometimes this is used for poetic effect. “You sell yourself” could be do do vecnu, which sounds better than do vecnu do. Or it can be used for clarity if the selbri is very long and therefore better be left at the end of the bridi.

There are also several ways to play around with the order of the sumti inside the bridi. The most easy one is by using the words fa, fe, fi, fo and fu. Notice that the vowels are the five vowels in the Lojban alphabet in order. Using one of these words marks that the next sumti will fill the x1, x2, x3, x4 and x5 respectively. The next sumti after that will be presumed to fill a slot one greater than the previous. To use an example:
dunda fa do fe ti do – “Giving by you of this thing to you”. fa marks the x1, the giver, which is you. fe marks the thing being given, the x2. Sumti counting then continues from fe, meaning that the last sumti fills x3, the object receiving.

Attempt to translate the following three sentences:

mi vecnu fo ti fe do

Answer: ”I sell, for the price of this, you”. or “I sell you for the price of this” (probably pointing to a bunch of money)

zdani fe ti

Answer: “This has a home”. Here, the fe is redundant.

vecnu zo’e mi ti fa do

Answer: “You sell something to me for this price”


!!Lojban Lessons – lesson three (tanru and lo)
In this chapter, you will become familiar with the concept of tanru. A tanru is formed when a brivla is put in front of another brivla, modifying it’s meaning. A tanru is itself a selbri, and can combine with other brivla or tanru to form more complex tanru. Thus zdani vecnu is a tanru, as well as  pelxu zdani vecnu, which is made from the tanru pelxu zdani and the single brivla word vecnu. To understand the concept of tanru, consider the English noun combination “lemon tree”. If you didn’t know what a lemon tree was, but had heard about both lemons and trees, you would not be able to deduce what a lemon tree was. Perhaps a lemon-colored tree, or a tree shaped like a lemon, or a tree whose bark tastes like lemon. The only things you could know for sure would be that it would be a tree, and it would be lemon-like in some way.
A tanru is closely analogous to this. It cannot be said exactly what a zdani vecnu is, but it can be said that it is definitely a vecnu, and that it’s zdani-like in some way. And it could be zdani-like in any way. In theory, no matter how silly or absurd the connection to zdani was, it could still truly be a zdani vecnu. However, it must actually be a vecnu in the ordinary sense in order for the tanru to apply. You could gloss zdani vecnu as “house seller”, or even better but worse sounding “a home-type-of seller”. The place structure of a tanru is always that of the rightmost selbri. It’s also said that the left selbri modifies the right selbri.
“Really?”, you ask, sceptically, “It doesn’t matter how silly the connection to the left word in a tanru is, it’s still true? So I could call all sellers for zdani vecnu and then make up some silly excuse why I think it’s zdani-like?”
Well yes, but then you’d be a dick. Or at least you’d be intentionally misleading. In general, you should use a tanru when it’s obvious how the left word relates to the right.

Attempt to translate the following: ti pelxu zdani do

Answer: “That is a yellow home for you” Again, we don’t know in which way it’s yellow. Probably it’s painted yellow, but we don’t know for sure.

mi vecnu dunda

Answer: “I sell-like give”. What can that mean? No idea. It certainly doesn’t mean that you sold something, since, by definition of dunda, there can be no payment involved. It has to be a giveaway, but be sell-like in some aspect.

… And now for something completely different. What if I wanted to say I sold to a German?
dotco x1 is German/reflects German culture in aspect x2

I can’t say mi vecnu zo’e dotco because that would leave two selbri in a bridi, which is not permitted. I could say mi dotco vecnu but that would be unnecessary vague - I could sell in a German way.. Likewise, if I want to say “I am friends with an American”, what should I say?
pendo – 1x is a friend of x2
merko – x1 is American/reflect US culture in aspect x2

Again, the obvious would be to say mi pendo merko, but that would for a tanru, meaning “I am friend-like American”, which is wrong. What we really want to is to take the selbri merko and transform it into a sumti so it can be used in the selbri pendo. This is done by the two words lo and ku.
lo – generic begin convert selbri to sumti word. Extracts x1 of selbri to use as sumti.
ku – end convert selbri to sumti process.

You simply place a selbri between these two words, and it takes anything that can fill the x1 of that selbri and turns it into a sumti.
So for instance, the things that can fill zdani‘s x1are only things which are homes of somebody. So lo zdani ku means “a or some homes for somebody.” Similarly, if I say that something is pelxu, it means it’s yellow. So lo pelxu ku refers to something yellow.

Now you got the necessary grammar to be able to say “I am friends with an American.” How?

Answer: mi pendo lo merko ku

There is a good reason why the ku is necessary. Try to translate “A German sells this to me”

Answer: lo dotco ku vecnu ti mi If you leave out the ku, you do not get a bridi, but simply three sumti. Since lo…ku cannot convert bridi, the ti is forced outside the sumti, the lo-construct is forced to close and it simply becomes the three sumti of lo dotco vecnu [ku], ti and mi.

You always have to be careful with jufra like lo zdani ku pelxu. If the ku is left out the conversion process does not end, and it simply becomes one sumti, made from the tanru zdani pelxu and then converted with lo.


!!Lojban Lessons – lesson four (attitudinals)
Another concept which can be unfamiliar to English speaker is that of attitudinals, which  are words which express emotions directly. The idea of attitudinals originated in the feminist constructed language Láadan, supposedly to enable true female emotions. The idea was that female emotional expression was hindered by male dominated language.
In Lojban, there is no such agenda, and attitudinals most probably have been designed into the language because they turned out to be incredibly awesome and useful. They all have a so-called free grammar, which means that they can appear almost anywhere within bridi without disrupting the bridi’s grammar or any grammatical constructs.
In Lojban grammar, an attitudinal applies to the previous word. If that previous word is a word which begins a construct (like .i or lo), it applies to the entire construct. Likewise, if the attitudinal follows a word which ends a construct like ku, it applies to the ended construct.

Let’s have two attitudinals to make some examples:
.ui: attitudinal: simple pure emotion: happiness - unhappiness
za’a: attitudinal: evidential: I directly observe

Note that in the definition of .ui, there are listed two emotions, happiness and unhappiness. This means that .ui is defined as happiness, while its “negation”, means unhappiness. “Negation” might be the wrong word here. Technically, the other definition of .ui is another construct, .ui nai. Most of the time, the second definition of attitudinals - the ones suffixed with nai - really is the negation of the bare attitudinal. Other times, not so much.

And some more selbri, just for the heck of it:
citka – x1 eats x2
plise – x1 is an apple of strain/type x2

The sentence do citka lo plise ku .ui, means “You eat an apple, yay!” (expressing especially that it is the apple that the speaker is happy about, not the eating, or the fact that it was you.) In the sentence do za’a citka lo plise ku, the speaker directly observes that it is indeed “you”, who eats an apple as opposed to someone else.

If an attitudinal is placed at the beginning of the bridi, it is understood to apply to an explicit or implicit .i, thus applying to the entire bridi:
.ui za’a do dunda lo plise ku mi – “Yay, I observe that you give an/some apple to me!”

mi vecnu .ui nai lo zdani “I sell (which sucks!) a house”.

Try it out with a few examples. First, though, here are some more attitudinals:
.u’u attitudinal: simple pure emotion: guilt - remorselessness - innocence.
.oi attitudinal: complex pure emotion: pain - complacency - comfort.
.iu attitudinal: miscellaneous pure emotion: love - hate.

Look at that, two words with three emotions in the definition! The middle one is accessed by suffixinng with cu’i. It’s considered the midpoint of the emotion.

Try saying “I give something to a German, who I love”

Answer: mi dunda fi lo dotco ku .iu or zo’e instead of fi

Now “Aah, I eat a yellow apple”

Answer: .oi nai mi citka lo pelxu plise ku

Let’s have another attitudinal of a different kind to illustrate something peculiar:
.ei Attitudinal: complex propositional emotion: obligation - freedom.

So, quite easy: “I have to give the apple away” is mi dunda .ei lo plise ku, right? It is, actually! When you think about it, that’s weird. Why is it that all the other attitudinals we have seen so far expresses the speakers feeling about the bridi, but this one actually changes what the bridi means? Surely, by saying “I have to give the apple away”, we say nothing about whether the apple actually is being given away. If I had used .ui, however, I would actually have stated that I gave the apple away, and that I was happy about it. What’s that all about?

This issue, exactly how attitudinals change the conditions on which a bridi is true, is a subject of a minor debate. The official, “textbook” rules, which probably won’t be changed, is that there is a distinction between “pure emotions” and “propositional emotions”. Only propostional emotions can change the truth conditions, while pure emotions cannot. In order to express a propositional emotional attitudinal without changing the truth value of the bridi, you can just separate it fro the bridi with .i. There is also a word for explicitly conserving or changing the truth conditions of a bridi:
da’i attitudinal: discursive: supposing - in fact
Saying da’i in a bridi changes the truth conditions. Saying da’i nai preserves it, even with a propositional emotional attitudinal.

So, what’s two ways of saying “I give the apple away, to which I feel obligation”?

Answer: mi dunda lo plise .i .ei  and mi dunda da’i nai .ei lo plise

The feeling of an attitudinal can be subscribed to someone else using dai. Usually in ordinary speech, the attitudinal is subscribed to the listener, but it doesn’t have to be so. Also, because the word is glossed “empathy” (feeling others emotions), some Lojbanists mistakenly think that the listener must share the emotion being subscribed to others.
Example: u’i .oi dai citka ti - “Ha ha, this was eaten! That must have hurt!”

What often used phrase could .oi u’i dai mean?

Answer: “Ouch, very funny.”

And another one to test your knowledge: Try to translate “He was sorry he sold a house” (remembering, that tense is implied and need not be specified. Also, “he” could be obvious from context)

Answer: u’u dai vecnu lo zdani ku

Lastly, the intensity of an attitudinal can be specified using certain words. These can be used after an attitudinal, or an attitudinal with nai or cu’i suffixed. It’s less clear what happens when you attach it to other words, like a selbri, must it’s mostly understood as intensifying or weakening the selbri in some unspecified way:
|| Modifying word  | Intensity  
 cai|   Extreme
 sai|   Strong
 (none)|   Unspecified (medium)
 ru'e  |   Weak||

What emotion is expressed using .u’i nai sai ?

Answer: Strong weariness

And how would you express that you are mildly remorseless?

Answer: .u’u cu’i ru’e

!!Lojban lessons – lesson five (SE)
Before we venture into the territory of more complex constructs, you should learn another mechanism for reordering the sumti of a selbri. This, as we will show, is very useful for making description-like sumti (the kind of sumti with lo).
Consider the sentence “I eat a gift”, which might be appropriate if that gift is an apple. To translate this, it would seem natural to look up a selbri meaning “gift” before continuing. However, if one looks carefully at the definition of dunda, x1 gives x2 to x3, one realizes that the x2 of dunda is something given – a gift.
So, to express that sentence, we can’t say mi citka lo dunda ku, because lo dunda ku would be the x1 of dunda, which is a donor of a gift. Cannibalism aside, we don’t want to say that. What we want is a way to extract the x2 of a selbri.
This is one example where it is useful to use the word se. What se does is to modify a selbri such that the x1 and x2 of that selbri trade places. The construct of se + selbri is on its own considered one selbri. Let’s try with an ordinary sentence:
fanva = “x1 translates x2 to language x3 from language x4 with result of translation x5”
ti se fanva mi = mi fanva ti
This is translated by me (= I translate this). Often, but not always, bridi with se-constructs are translated to sentences with the passive voice, since the x1 is often the object taking action.
se has its own family of words. All of them swap a different place with the x1.
||se	|swap x1 and x2
te	|swap x1 and x3
ve	|swap x1 and x4
xe	|swap x1 and x5||


Note that s, t, v, and x are consecutive consonants in the lojban alphabet.

So: Using this knowledge, what would ti xe fanva ti mean?

Answer: “This is a translation of this” (or fanva ti fu ti)

se and its family can of course be combined with fa and its family. The result can be very confusing indeed, if you wish to make it so:
klama = “x1 travels/goes to x2 from x3 via x4 using x5 as transportation device”
fu lo zdani ku te klama fe do ti fa mi. = mi te klama do ti lo zdani ku and since te exchanges x1 and x3: = ti klama do mi lo zdani ku
“This travels to you from me via a home.” Of course, no one would make such a sentence except to confuse people, or cruelly to test their understanding of Lojban grammar.
And thus, we have come to the point where we can say “I eat a gift.”. Simply exchange the sumti places of dunda to get the gift to be x1, then extract this new x1 with lo...ku. So, how would you say it?
One (possible) answer: mi citka lo se dunda ku
This shows one of the many uses for se and its family.


!!Lojban lessons – lesson six (NU)
So far we have only expressed single sentences one at a time. To express more complex things, however, you often need subordinate sentences. Luckily, these are much easier in Lojban than what one would expect.
We can begin with an example to demonstrate this: “I am happy that you are my friend.” Here, the main bridi is “I am happy that X.”, and the sub-bridi is “You are my friend.” Looking at the definition for “happy”, which is gleki:
gleki = “x1 is happy about x2 (event/state)”
One sees that the x2 needs to be an event or a state. This is natural, because one cannot be happy about an object in itself, only about some state the object is in. But alas! Only bridi can express a state or an event, and only sumti can fill the x2 of gleki!.
As you might have guessed, there is a solution. The words su’u...kei is a generic “convert bridi to selbri” function, and works just like lo…ku. Example:
mrobi’o “x1 dies under condition x2”
mi su’u do mrobi’o kei – “I am your death”.
It’s hard to find good uses of a bridi as a selbri, and the above example seems a little unconvincing. However, since su’u BRIDI kei is a selbri, one can convert it to a sumti using lo...ku.
Now we have the equipment to express “I am happy that you are my friend”. Try it out!
pendo “x1 is a friend of x2”

Answer: mi gleki lo su’u do pendo mi kei ku

However, su’u…kei does not see much use. People prefer to use the more specific words nu…kei and du’u…kei. They work the same way, but mean something different. nu…kei treats the bridi in between as an event or state, and du’u…kei treats it as an abstract bridi, for expressing things like ideas, thoughts or truths. All these words (except kei) are called abstractors. There are many of them, and only few are used much. su’u…kei is a general abstractor, and will work in all cases.

Use nu to say “I’m happy about talking to you.”
tavla x1 talks to x2 about subject x3 in language x4.

Answer: mi gleki lo nu tavla do (notice both the English and the Lojban is vague as to who is doing the talking).
Other important abstractors include: ka...kei (property abstraction), si’o...kei (concept/idea abstraction), ni...kei (quantity abstraction) among others.

It is important to notice that some abstractors have several sumti places. As an example, du’u can be mentioned. du’u is defined:
du’u = “abstractor. x1 is the predicate/bridi of [bridi] expressed in sentence x2”.
The other sumti places besides x1 is rarely used, but lo se du’u BRIDI kei ku is sometimes used as a sumti for indirect quotation: “I said that I was given a dog” can be written mi cusku lo se du’u mi te dunda lo gerku ku kei ku, if you will pardon the weird example.
cusku x1 expresses x2 to x3 through medium x4

!!Lojban lessons – lesson seven (NOI)
While we’re at it, there’s another type of subordinate bridi. These are called relative clauses. They are sentences which add some description to a sumti. Indeed, the “which” in the previous sentence marked the beginning of a relative clause in English describing relative clauses. In Lojban, they come in two flavors, and it might be worth distinguishing the two kinds before learning how to express them.
The two kinds are called restrictive and non-restrictive (or incidential) relative clauses. An example would be good here:
“My brother, who is two meters tall, is a politician.” This can be understood in two ways. I could have several brothers, in which case saying he is two meters tall will let you know which brother I am talking about. Or I might have only one brother, in which case I am simply giving you additional information.

In English as well as Lojban we distinguish between these two kinds – the first interpretation is restrictive (since it helps restrict the possible brothers I might be talking about), the second non-restrictive. When speaking English, context and tone of voice (or in written English, punctuation) helps us distinguish between these two, but not so in Lojban. Lojban use the constructs poi…ku’o and noi…ku’o for restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses, respectively.
Let’s have a Lojbanic example, which can also explain our strange gift-eating behaviour in the example in chapter 5:

mi citka lo se dunda ku poi plise ku’o = “I eat a gift such that (something is) an apple”. Here the poi…ku’o is placed just after lo se dunda ku, so it applies to the gift. To be strict, the relative clause does not specify what is an apple, but since the relative clause applies to the gift, we can safely assume that is means the gift is an apple. After all, in the context of chapter 5, this seems reasonable. If we want to be absolutely sure that it indeed was the gift that was an apple, we use the word ke’a, which is a pro-sumti (a Lojban pronoun) representing the sumti which the relative clause is attached to.
.ui mi citka lo se dunda ku poi ke’a plise ku’o = “Yay, I eat a gift, which is an apple”.
To underline the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses, here’s another example:
lojbo = “x1 reflects Lojbanic culture/community is aspect x2; x1 is Lojbanic.”
mi noi lojbo ku’o fanva fo lo lojbo ku = “I, who am a Lojbanic, translate from some Lojbanic language.” Here, there is not multiple things which mi could refer to, and the fact that I am lojbanic is merely additional information not needed to identify me. Therefore noi…ku’o is appropriate.
See if you can translate this: “I flirt with a man who is beautiful/handsome”.
nanmu “x1 is a man”
melbi “x1 is beautiful to x2 in aspect (ka) x3 by standard x4”
cinjikca “x1 flirts/courts x2, exhibiting sexuality x3 by standard x4”
Answer: mi cinjikca lo nanmu ku poi (ke’a) melbi ku’o

On a more technical side note, it might be useful to know that lo SELBRI ku is officially defined as zo’e noi ke’a SELBRI ku’o.


!!Lojban Lessons – Lesson eight (terminator elision)
.au da’i mi djica lo nu le merko poi tunba mi vau ku'o ku jimpe lo du'u mi na nelci lo nu vo’a darxi mi vau kei ku vau kei ku vau kei ku vau
 -  “I wish the American, who is my sibling, would understand that I don’t like that he hits me.”
Regardless of whether the above sentence is being understood, (it shouldn’t, as it contains words we have not covered in these lessons yet) one thing stands out: As more complex Lojban structures are learned, more and more of the sentences get filled with ku, kei, ku’o and other of those words which by themselves carry no meaning.

The function of all these words are to signal the end of a certain grammatical construct, like for instance “convert selbri to sumti” in the case of lo…ku. The English word for this kind of word is “terminator”, the Lojban word is fa’orma’o. They are colored grey in the example above.
Note: The vau in the above example are the terminator for “end bridi”. There is a good reason you have not yet seen it, stay tuned.

In most spoken and written Lojban, most terminators are skipped (elided). This greatly saves syllables in speech and space in writing, however, one must always be careful when eliding terminators. In the simple example lo merko ku klama, removing the terminator ku would yield lo merko klama, which is a single sumti made from the tanru merko klama. Thus, it means “an American traveler” instead of “an American travels”. Terminator elision can lead to very wrong results if done incorrectly, which is why you haven’t learned about it until now.

The rule for when terminators can be elided is very simple, at least in theory: “You can elide a terminator, if and only if doing so does not change the grammatical constructs in the sentence.”
Most terminators can be safely elided at the end of the bridi. Exceptions are the obvious ones like “end quote”-terminators and “end bridi grouping”-terminators. This is why vau is almost never used – simply beginning a new bridi with .i will always terminate the preceding bridi anyway. It has one frequent use, however. Since attitudinals always apply to the preceding word, applying it to a terminator applies it to the entire construct which is terminated. Using vau, one can then use attitudinals afterthought and apply them to the entire bridi:
za’a do dunda lo zdani lo prenu... vau i’e - “I see that you give a home to a person... I approve!”
prenu x1 is a person; x1 has a personality.

Knowing the basic rules for terminator elision, we can thus return to the original sentence and begin removing terminators:

.au da’i mi djica lo nu le merko poi tunba mi vau ku'o ku jimpe lo du'u mi na nelci lo nu vo’a darxi mi vau kei ku vau kei ku vau kei ku vau

Removing the first three terminators will leave both tunba and jimpe as selbri inside the relative clause. Since this is not grammatical (only one bridi can be in a relative clause, and only one selbri in one bridi), eliding them will still leave jimpe outside the relative clause. Nor can it make a tanru with merko, since that word already had a relative clause attached to it, which only sumti can have. That means we can deduce that removing those three are safe. Furthermore, all the terminators at the very end can be elided too, since beginning a new bridi will terminate all of these constructs anyway.
We then end up with:
.au da’i mi djica lo nu le merko poi tunba mi jimpe lo du'u mi na nelci lo nu vo’a darxi mi – with no terminators at all!

When eliding terminators, it is a good idea to be acquainted with cu. cu is one of those words which can make your (Lojbanic) life a lot easier. What it does is to separate any previous sumti from the selbri. One could say that it defines the next word to be a selbri, and terminates exactly as much as it needs to in order to do that.

prami = “x1 loves x2”

lo su’u do cusku lo se du’u do prami mi vau kei ku vau kei ku se djica mi =
lo su’u do cusku lo se du’u do prami mi cu se djica mi
“That you say that you love me is desired by be” or “I wish you said you loved me”
note: cu is not a terminator, because it is not tied to one specific construct. But it can be used to elide other terminators.

One of the greatest strengths of cu is that it quickly becomes easy to intuitively understand. By itself it means nothing, but it reveals the structure of Lojban expressions by identifying the core selbri. In the original example with the violent American brother, using cu before jimpe does not change the meaning of the sentence in any way, but might make it easier to read.

In the following couple of chapters, cu will be used when necessary, and all terminators elided if possible. The elided terminators will be encased in square brackets, as shown below. Try to translate it!
du “x1 equals/is the same as x2, x3, x4, x5, x6 (and so on)”
vajni “x1 is important to x2 for reason x3”
jimpe “x1 understands that x2 (du’u-abstraction) is true about x3”
a’o - Attitudinal: Hope - despair

a’o do noi ke’a lojbo .i’e [ku’o] [ku] cu jimpe lo du’u lo fa’orma’o [ku] cu vajni [vau] [kei] [ku] [vau]
What do I state?

Answer: “I hope that you, a proud Lojbanist, understands that terminators are important”

Fun side note: Most people well-versed in terminator elision do it so instinctively that they often must be reminded how important understanding terminators are to the understanding of Lojban. Therefore, each Tuesday have been designated “Terminator Day” or fa’orma’o djedi on the Lojban IRC chatroom. During Terminator Day, many people try (and often fail) to remember writing out all terminators with some very verbose conversations as a result.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson nine (sumtcita)
So far we have been doing pretty good with the selbri we have had at hand. However, there is a finite amount of selbri out there, and in many cases the sumti places are not useful for what we had in mind. What if, say, i want to say that I am translating using a computer? There is no place in the structure of fanva to specify what tool I translate with, since most of the time, that is not necessary. Not to worry, this chapter is on how to add additional sumti places to the selbri.

The most basic way to add sumti places are with fi’o...fe’u (yes, another example of a terminator, fe’u. It’s almost never necessary, so this might be the last time you ever see it.)
In between these two words goes a selbri, and like lo...ku, fi’o...fe’u extracts the x1 of the selbri put into it. However, with fi’o...fe’u, the selbri place is converted, not to a sumti, but to a sumtcita, meaning “sumti-label”, with the place structure of the x1 of the selbri it converted. This sumtcita then absorbs the next sumti. One could say that using a sumtcita, you import a sumti place from another selbri, and add it to the bridi being said.
Note: Sometimes, especially in older texts, the term “tag” or “modal” is used for sumtcita. Ignore those puny English expressions. We teach proper Lojban here.

While it is hard to grasp the process from reading about it, an example can perhaps show its actual simplicity:
skami “x1 is a computer for purpose x2”
pilno “x1 uses x2 as a tool for doing x3”

mi fanva ti fi’o se pilno [fe’u] lo skami [ku][vau].- “I translate this with a computer” The x2 of pilno, which is the x1 of se pilno is a place structure for a tool being used by someone. This place structure is captured by fi’o...fe’u, and then filled by lo skami. The idea of sumtcita is sometimes expressed in English using the following translation:
“I translate this with-tool: a computer”

A sumtcita can only absorb one sumti, which is always the following one. Alternatively, the sumtcita construct can be terminated with ku, in which case a zo’e is implied to fill the sumtcita. Or, one could imagine an elided sumti being terminated with the ku.
zukte “x1 is a volitional entity carrying out action x2 for purpose x3”
fi’o zukte [fe’u] ku lo skami [ku] cu pilno lo lojbo [ku][vau] - “With volition, a computer used something Lojbanic” (perhaps implying that a Lojbanic computer went sentient? Tough it does not specify who had volition. It could just be the programmer who programmed the computer - how boring.)

What does mi jimpe fi lo lojban [ku] fi’o se tavla [fe’u] mi  state?

Answer: “I understand something about Lojban, spoken to me”

Putting the sumtcita right in front of the selbri also makes it self-terminate, since sumtcita only can absorb sumti, and not selbri. This fact will be of importance in next chapter, as you will see.

Sadly, fi’o is not used very often despite its flexibility. What IS used very often, though, are BAI. BAI are a class of Lojban words, which in themselves act as sumtcita. An example of this is zu’e, the BAI for zukte. Gramatically, zu’e is the same as fi’o zukte fe’u. Thus, the above example could be reduced to:
zu’e ku lo skami [ku] cu pilno lo lojbo [ku] [vau]. There exist something like 60 BAI, and a lot of these are very useful indeed. Furtermore, BAI can also be converted with se and friends, meaning that se zu’e is equal to fi’o se zukte fe’u, which results in a great deal more BAI.

!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson ten (PU, FAhA, ZI, VA, ZEhA, VEhA)
How unfamiliar to the English-speaker a language Lojban is when one can read through nine chapters of Lojban grammar without meeting a tense once. This is because, unlike many natural languages (most Indo-European ones, for instance), all tenses in Lojban are optional. Saying mi citka lo cirla [ku] can mean “I eat cheese” or “I ate the cheese” or “I always eat cheese” or “In a moment, i will have just finished eating cheese”. Context resolves what is correct, and in most conversation, tenses are not needed at all. However, when it’s needed it’s needed, and it must be taught.
Like many other languages, the Lojban tense system is perhaps the most difficult part of the language. Unlike many other languages though, it’s perfectly regular and makes sense. So fear not, for it will not involve sweating to learn how to modify the selbri or anything silly like that.
Furthermore, Lojban tenses are unusual because they treat time and space fundamentally the same - saying that i worked a long time ago is not grammatically different than saying i work far away to the north.

No, in the Lojban tense system, all tenses are sumtcita, which we have conveniently just made ourselves familiar with. There are many different kinds of tense-sumtcita, so let’s start at the ones most familiar to English-speakers.
{pu} - sumtcita: before [sumti]
{ca} - sumtcita: at the same time as [sumti]
{ba} - sumtcita: after [sumti]

These are like the English concepts “before”, “now” and “after”. In actuality though, one could argue that two point-like events can never occur exactly simultaneously, rendering {ca} useless. But {ca} extends slightly into the past and the future, meaning just “about now”. This is because human beings don’t perceive time in a perfectly logical way, and the Lojban tense system reflects that.

Side note: It was actually suggested making the Lojban tense system relativistic. That idea, however, was dropped, because it is counter-intuitive, and would mean that to learn Lojban, one would have to learn the theory of relativity first.  

So, how would you say “I express this after I came here?” (pointing to a paper)

Answer: mi cusku ti ba lo nu mi klama ti [vau] [kei [ku] [vau]

Usually when speaking, we do not need to specify which event this action is in the past relative to. In: “I gave a computer away”, we can assume that the action happened relative to “now”, and thus we can elide the sumti of the sumtcita, because it’s obvious:
{pu ku mi dunda lo skami [ku] [vau]} or
{mi dunda lo skami [ku] pu [ku] [vau]} or, more commonly
{mi pu [ku] dunda lo skami [ku] [vau]}. The sumti which fills the sumtcita is an implied {zo’e}, which is almost always understood as relative to the speakers time and place (this is especially important when speaking about left and right). If speaking about some events that happened some other time than the present, it is sometimes assumed that all tenses are relative to that event which is being spoken about. In order to clarify that all tenses are relative to the speakers current position, the word {nau} can be used at any time. Another word, {ki} marks a tense which is then considered the new standard. That will be taught way later.

{gugde} = “x1 is the country of people x2 with land/territory x3”

Also note that {mi pu [ku] klama lo merko gugde [ku] [vau]}, “I went to America”, does not imply that I’m not still traveling to USA, only that it was also true some time in the past, for instance five minutes ago.

As mentioned, spacial and temporal time tenses are very much alike. Contrast the previous three time tenses with these four spacial tenses:
{zu’a} sumtcita: left of [sumti]
{ca’u} sumtcita: in front of [sumti]
{ri’u} sumtcita: right of [sumti]
{bu’u} sumtcita: at the same place as [sumti] (spacial equivalent of {ca})

{o’o}: attitudinal: patience - tolerance - anger

What would {.o’onai ri’u [ku] nu lo prenu [ku] cu darxi lo gerku pu [ku] [ku] [vau] [kei] [vau]} mean? (notice the first elided ku!)

Answer: “[anger!] To the right (of something, probably me) and in the past (of some event), something is an event of a person beating a dog.” or “A man hit a dog to my right!”

If there are several tense sumtcita in one bridi, the rule is that you read them from left to right, thinking it as a so called “imaginary journey”, Where you begin at an implied point in time and space (default: the speaker’s now and here), and then follow the sumtcita one at a time from left to right.
Example
{mi pu [ku] ba [ku] jimpe fi lo lojbo fa’orma’o [ku] [vau]} = “At some time in the past, I will be about to know about terminators.”
{mi ba [ku] pu [ku] jimpe fi lo lojbo fa’orma’o [ku] [vau]} “At some point in the future, I will have understood about terminators.”
Since we do not specify the amount of time we move back or forth, the understanding could in both cases happen in the future or the past of when the sentence is being said.

Also, if spacial and temporal tenses are mixed, the rule is to always put temporal before spacial. If this rule is violated, it can sometimes result in syntactical ambiguity, which Lojban does not tolerate.

Suppose we want to specify that the a man hit a dog just a minute ago. The words {zi}, {za} and {zu} specifies a short, unspecified (presumably medium) and long distance in time. Notice the vowel order {i}, {a} and {u}. This order appears again and again in Lojban, and might be worth to memorize. “Short” and “long” in are always context dependent, relative and subjective. Two hundred years is a short time for a species to evolve, but a long time to wait for the bus.

Similarly, spacial distance is marked by {vi}, {va} and {vu} for short, unspecified (medium) and long distance in space.
{gunka} “x1 works at x2 with objective x3”

Translate: {ba [ku] za ku mi vu [ku] gunka [vau]}

Answer: “Some time in the future, I will work a place long away”
Note: People rarely uses zi, za or zu without a pu or ba in front of it. This is because we always need to specify past or future in English. When you think about it Lojbanically, most of the time the time-direction is obvious, and the pu or ba superfluous!

The order in which direction-sumtcita and distance-sumtcita are said makes a difference. Remember that the meaning of several tense words are pictured by an imaginary journey reading from left to right. Thus {pu zu} is “a long time ago” while {zu pu} is “in the past of some point in time which is a long time toward the future or the past of now”. In the first example, pu shows that we begin in the past, zu then that it is a long time backwards. In the second example, zu shows that we begin at some point far away in time from now, pu then, that we move backwards from that point. Thus {pu zu} is always in the past. {zu pu} could be in the future!

As briefly implied earlier, all these constructs basically treat bridi as if they were point-like in time and space. In actuality, most events plays out over a span of time and space. In the following few paragraphs, we will learn how to specify intervals of time and space.

{ze’i} sumtcita: spanning over the short time of [sumti]
{ze’a} sumtcita: spanning over the unspecified (medium) time of [sumti]
{ze’u} sumtcita: spanning over the long time of [sumti]

{ve’i} sumtcita: spanning over the short space of [sumti]
{ve’a} sumtcita: spanning over the unspecified (medium) space of [sumti]
{ve’u} sumtcita: spanning over the long space of [sumti]

Six words at a time, I know, but remembering the vowel sequence and the similarity of the initial letter z for temporal tenses and v for spacial tenses might help the memorizing.
{.oi} - attitudinal: pain - pleasure

Translate: {.oi dai do ve’u [ku] klama lo dotco gugde [ku] ze’u [ku] [vau]}

Answer: “Ouch, you spend a long time traveling a long space to Germany”

Though most people are not familiar with spacial tenses, these new words can open up for some pretty sweet uses. One could, for instance, translate “That’s a big dog” as {ti ve’u [ku] gerku [vau]} Saying: “This thing dogs for a long space” makes you sound retarded in English, but well spoken in Lojban!

{ze’u} and its brothers also combine with other tenses to form compound tenses. The rule for {ze’u} and the others are that any tenses preceding it marks an endpoint of the process and any tenses coming after it marks the other endpoint relative to the first. This should be demonstrated with a couple of examples:
{.o’ocu’i do citka pu [ku] ze’u [ku] ba [ku] zu [ku] [vau]} - “[tolerance] you eat beginning in the past and for a long time ending at some point far into the future of when you started” or “Hmpf, you ate for a long time”. One can also contrast {do ca [ku] ze’i [ku] pu [ku] klama [vau]} with {do pu [ku] ze’i [ku] ca [ku] klama [vau]}. The first event of traveling has one endpoint in the present and extends a little towards the past, while the second event has one endpoint in the past and extends only to the present (that is, slighty into the past or future) of that endpoint.
{jmive} “x1 is alive by standard x2”

What does {.ui mi pu [ku] zi [ku] ze’u [ku] jmive [vau]} express?

Answer: “[happiness!] I live from a little into the past and a long way towards the future or past (obviously the future, in this case) of that event” or “I am young, and have most my life ahead of me :)”

Just to underline the similarity with spacial tenses, let’s have another example, this time with spacial tenses:
{.u’e} attitudinal: wonder - commonplace

{.u’e za’a [ku] bu’u [ku] ve’u [ku] ca’u [ku] zdani [vau]} - What does it mean?

Answer: “[wonder] [I observe!] Extending a long space from here to my front is a home.” or “Wow, this home extending ahead is huge!”

Before we continue with this syntax-heavy tense system, i recommend spending at least ten minutes doing something which doesn’t occupy your brain in order to let the information sink in. Sing a song or eat a cookie very slowly - whatever, as long as you let your mind rest.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson eleven (ZAhO)
Though we won’t go through all Lojban tense constructs for now, there is one other kind of tense that I think should be taught now. These are called “event contours”, and represent a very different way of viewing tenses that we have seen so far. So let’s get to it:

Using the tenses we have learned so far, we can imagine an indefinite time line, and we then place events on that line relative to the “now”. With event contours, however, we view each event as a process, which has certain stages: A time before it unfolds, a time when it begins, a time when it is in process, a time when it ends, and a time after it has ended. Event contours then tells us which part of the event’s process was happening during the time specified by the other tenses. We need a couple of tenses first:

{pu’o} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi has not yet happened during [sumti]
{ca’o} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is in process during [sumti]
{ba’o} - sumtcita: event contour: The process of bridi has ended during [sumti]

This needs to be demonstrated by some examples. What’s {.ui mi pu’o [ku] se zdani [vau]} mean?

Answer: “Yay, I’ll begin to have a home”.

But hey, you ask, why not just say {.ui mi ba [ku] se zdani [vau]} and even save a syllable? Because, remember, saying that you will have a home in the future says nothing about whether you have a home now. Using {pu’o}, though, you say that you are now in the past of the process of you having a home, which means that you don’t have one now.
Note, by the way, that {mi ba [ku] se zdani [vau]} is similar to {mi pu’o [ku] se zdani [vau]}, and likewise with {ba’o} and {pu}. Why do they seem reversed? Because event contours view the present as seen from the viewpoint of the process, where as the other tenses view events seen from the present.

Often, event contours are more precise that other kind of tenses. Even more clarity is achieved by combining several tenses: {a’o mi ba[ku] zi [ku] ba’o [ku] gunka [vau]} - “I hope I’ve soon finished working.”

In Lojban, we also operate with an event’s “natural beginning” and its “natural end”. The term “natural” is highly subjective in this sense, and the natural end refers to the point in the process where it should end. You can say about a late train, for instance, that its process of reaching you is now extending beyond its natural end. An undercooked, but served meal, similarly, is being eaten before that process’ natural beginning. The event contours used in these examples are as follows:

{za’o} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is in process beyond its natural end during [sumti]
{xa’o} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is immaturely in process during [sumti]

{cidja}: “x1 is food, which is edible for x2”

Translate: {.oi do citka za’o lo nu do ba’o [ku] u’e citka zo’e noi cidja do [vau] [ku’o] [vau] [kei] [ku]}

Answer: “Oy, you keep eating when you have finished, incredibly, eating something edible!”
ZAhO tenses (event contours). All tenses above the line of the event signify stages covering an amount of time. All tenses below the event line signify stages which are point-like.

{img fileId="2" thumb="y" rel="box[g]"}

All of these tenses have been describing stages of a process which takes some time (as shown on the graph above; those tenses above the event like). But many of the event contours describes point like stages in the process, like its beginning. As is true of {ca} and {bu’u}, they actually extend slightly into the past and future of that point, and need not to be precise.

The two most important point-like event contours are:
{co’a} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is at its beginning during [sumti]
{co’u} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is at its ending during [sumti]

Furthermore, there is a point where the process is naturally complete, but not necessarily has ended yet:
{mo’u} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is at its natural ending during [sumti]
Most of the time, though, processes actually end at their natural ending; this is what makes it natural. Trains are not usually late, and people usually retrain themselves to eat only edible food.

Since a process can be interrupted and resumed, these points have earned their own event contour also:
{de’a} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is pausing during [sumti]
{di’a} - sumtcita: event contour: Bridi is resuming during [sumti]

In fact, since {jundi} means “x1 pays attention to x2”, {de’a jundi} and {di’a jundi} are common Lojban ways of saying “BRB” and “back”. One could of course also say the event contours by themselves and hope the point gets across.

Finally, one can treat an entire event, from the beginning to the end as one single point using {co’i}:
{penmi} “x1 meets x2 at location x3”
{mi pu [ku] zi [ku] co’i [ku] penmi lo dotco prenu [ku] [vau]} - “A little while ago, I was at the point in time where i met a German person”


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twelve (orders and questions)
Phew, those two long chapters with syntax heavy Lojban gives the brain something to ponder about. Especially because it’s so different from English. So let’s turn to something a little lighter: orders and questions.

What the... sit up and focus!

Since the way to express orders in English is to leave out the subject of the clause, why did you assume that it was you I was speaking to, and not ordering myself, or expressing the obligation someone else has? Because the English language understands that orders, by their very nature, are always directed towards the listener - the “you”, and so the subject is not necessary.
In Lojban, eliding the subject yields {zo’e}, so that possibility is sadly not open to us. Instead, we use the word {ko}, which is the imperative form of {do}. Grammatically, it’s equivalent to {do}, but it adds a layer of semantics, since it turns every statement with {ko} in it into an order. “Do such that this sentence is true for you=ko!” For the same reason we don’t need the subject in English sentences, we don’t need order-words derived from any other sumti than {do}.

How could you order one to go far away for a long time (using {klama} as the only selbri?)

Answer: ko ve’u ze’u klama
.i za’a dai a’o mi ca co’u ciska lo fa’orma’o .i ko jimpe vau .ui - look up ciska and work it out.

Questions in Lojban are very easy to learn, and they come in two kinds: Fill in the blank, and true/false questions. Let’s begin with the true-false question kind - that’s pretty overcomeable, since it only involves one word, {xu}.
xu works like an attitudinal in the sense that it can go anywhere, and it applies to the preceding word (or construct). It then transforms the sentence into a question, asking whether it is true or not. In order to affirm, you simply repeat the bridi:
{xu ve’u zdani do} {.i ve’u zdani mi}, or you just repeat the the selbri: {zdani}.
There is an even easier way to affirm using pro-bridis, but those are a tale for another time. To answer “no” or “false”, you simply answer with the bridi negated. That too, will be left for later, but we will return to question answering by then.

The other kind is fill in the blank. Here, you ask for the question word to be replaced for a construct, which makes the bridi correct. There are several of these words, depending on what you are asking about:
ma - sumti question
mo - selbri question
xo - number question
cu’e - tense question

As well as many others. To ask about a sumti, you then just place the question word where you want your answer: {do dunda ma mi} - asks for the x2 to be filled with a correct sumti. “You give what to me?” The combination of sumtcita + ma is very useful indeed:
{mu’i} - sumtcita: motivated by the abstraction of [sumti]

{.oi do darxi mi mu’i ma} - “Oy, why do you hit me?!”
Let’s try another one. This time, you translate:
{.ui dai do ca ze’u pu mo}

Answer: “You’re happy, what have you been doing all this long time until now?” Technically, it could also ask “what have you been?”, but answering with {.ua nai li’a remna} (Uh, human, obviously) is just being incredibly annoying on purpose.

Since tone of voice or sentence structure does not reveal whether a sentence is a question or not, one better not miss the question word. Therefore, since people tend to focus more on words in the beginning or at the end of sentences, it’s usually worth the while to re-order the sentence so that the question words are at those places. If that is not feasable, {pau} is an attitudinal marking that the sentence is a question. Contrary, {pau nai} explicitly marks any question as being rhetorical.

While we are on the topic of questions, it’s also appropriate to mention the word {kau}, which is a marker for “indirect question”. What’s an indirect question, then? Well, take a look at the sentence: {mi djuno lo du’u ma kau zdani do} - “I know what is your home.”
{djuno} “x1 knows fact(s) x2 are true about x3 by epistemology x4”
One can think it as the answer to the question {ma zdani do}. More rarely, one can mark a non-question word with {kau}, in which case one still can imagine it as the answer to a question: {mi jimpe lo du’u dunda ti kau do} - “I know what you have been given, it is this.”


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson thirteen (morphology and word classes)
Back to more syntax-heavy (and interesting) stuff.
If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you find the Lojbanic recording called Story Time with Uncle Robin, or listen to someone speak Lojban on Mumble, and then practice your pronunciation. Having an internal conversation in your head in Lojban is only good if it isn’t with all the wrong sounds, and learning pronunciation from written text is hard. Therefore, this lesson will not be on the Lojban sounds, however important they might be, but a short introduction to the Lojban morphology.

What is morphology? The word is derived from Greek meaning “the study of shapes”, and in this context, we talk about how we make words from letters and sounds, as contrasted with syntax - how we make sentences with words. Lojban operates with different morphological word classes, which are all defined by their morphology. To make it all nice and systematic though, words with certain functions tend to be grouped by morphological classes, but exceptions may occur.
||   Class|Meaning|Defined By|Typical Function
   Words:|   |   |   
   Brivla|   bridi-word|   Among first 5 letters (excluding “ ‘ “) is a consonant cluster. Ends in vowel.   |   Acts as a selbri by default. Always has a place structure.
   --Gismu|   Root-word| 5 letters of the form CVCCV or CCVCV   |   One to five sumti places. Covers basic concepts.
   --Lujvo|  Compound word. Derived from from “lujvla”, meaning “complex word” |   Min. 6 letters. Made by stringing rafsi together with binding letters if necessary.|   Covers more complex concepts than gismu.
   --Fu'ivla|  Copy-word | As brivla, but do not meet defining criteria of gismu or lujvo, ex: {angeli}  |   Covers unique concepts like names of places or organisms.
   Cmevla|  Name-word |   Beginning and ending with pause (full stop). Last sound/letter is a consonant.|   Always acts as a name or as the content of a quote.
   Cmavo|   Grammar-word. From “cmavla”, meaning “small word”| One consonant or zero, always at the beginning. Ends in a vowel.  |   Grammatical functions. Varies
   Word-fragments:|   |   ||   


__cmevla__ are very easy to identify because they begin and end with a pause, signaled by a full stop in writing, and the last letter is a consonant. cmevla can’t have any other function besides acting as a name. On the other hand, names which are not selbri cannot appear in Lojban without them being cmevla, or encased by certain quote words. One can mark stress in the names by capitalizing the letters which are stressed. Examples of cmevla are: {.iohAN.} (Johan, h is capital apostrophe), {.mat.} (Matt) and {.lutci.MIN.} (Lui-Chi Min). Names which does not end in consonants have to have one added: {.ivyn.} (Eve)

__brivla__ are called “bridi-words” because they by default are selbri, and therefore almost all Lojban words with a place structure are brivla. This has also given them the English nickname “content-words”. It’s nearly impossible to say anything useful without brivla, and almost all words for concepts outside lojban grammar are captured by brivla. As shown in the table, brivla has three subcategories:
__Gismu__ are the root words of the language. Only about 1450 exists, and very few new ones are added. They cover the most basic concepts like “circle”, “friend”, “tree” and “dream”. Examples include {zdani}, {pelxu} and {dunda}
__Lujvo__ are made by combining rafsi (see under rafsi), respresenting gismu. By combining rafsi, one narrows down the meaning of the word. lujvo are made by an elaborate algorithm, so making valid lujvo on the fly is near impossible, with few exceptions like {selpa’i}, from {se prami}, which can only have one definition. Instead, lujvo are made once, it’s place structure defined, and then that definition is made official by the dictionary. Examples include {brivla} (bridi-word), {cinjikca} (sexual-socializing = flirting) and {cakcinki} (shell-insect = beetle).
__fu’ivla__ are made by making up words which fit the definition for brivla, but not for lujvo or gismu. They tend to cover concepts which it’s hard to cover by lujvo, for instance names of species, nations or very cultural specific concepts. Examples include {gugdrgogurio} (Korea) {cidjrpitsa} (pizza) or {angeli} (angel).

__Cmavo__ are small words with one or zero consonants. They tend to not signify anything in the exterior world, but to have only grammatical function. Exceptions occur, and it’s debatable how much attitudinals exists for their grammatical function. If you have been paying attention, you would already be familiar with {du}, one of the few cmavo with a place structure. It is valid to type several cmavo in a row as one word, but in these lessons, that won’t be done. By grouping certain cmavo in functional units, though, it is sometimes easier to read. Thus, {.uipuzuvukumi citka} is valid for {.ui pu zu vu ku mi citka}. Like other Lojban words, one should (but need not always) place a full stop before any words beginning with a vowel.
cmavo of the form CV’VV or V’VV are experimental, and are words which are not in the formal grammar, but which have been added by Lojban users to respond to a certain need.

__Rafsi__ are not Lojban words, and can never appear alone. However, several (more than one) rafsi combine to form lujvo. These must still live up to the lujvo definition, for instance {lojban} is invalid because it ends in a consonant (which makes it a cmevla), and {ci’ekei} is invalid because it does not contain a consonant cluster, and is thus read as two cmavo written as one word. Often, a 3-4 letter string is both a cmavo and a rafsi, like {zu’e}, which is both the BAI and the rafsi for {zukte}. Note that there is nowhere that both a cmavo and a rafsi would be grammatical, so these are not considered homophones. All gismu can double as rafsi, if they are prefixed with another rafsi. The first four letter of a gismu + y can also act as a rafsi, if they are suffixed. The vowel y can only appear in lujvo or cmevla. Valid rafsi letter combinations are: CVV, CV’V, CCV, CVCCy- CCVCy-, -CVCCV and -CCVCV.

Using what you know now, you should be able to answer the test i thus present:
Categorize each of the following words as cmevla (C), gismu (g), lujvo (l), fu’ivla (f) or cmavo (c):
A) jai        G) mumbl
B) .irci        H) .i’i
C) bostu        I) cu
D) xelman        J) plajva
E) po’e        K) danseke
F) djisku        L) .ertsa

Answer: a-c, b-f, c-g, d-C, e-c, f-l, g-C, h-c, i-c, j-l, k-f, l-f. I left out the full stops before and after names so it wouldn’t be too easy.
Note: some of these words, like bostu do not exist in the dictionary, but this is irrelevant. The morphology still makes it a gismu, so it’s just an undefined gismu. Similarly with .ertsa


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson fourteen (the Lojban sumti 1: LE and LA)
If you have read and understood the content of all the chapters until now, you have amassed a large enough knowledge of Lojban so that it doesn’t matter in which order you learn the rest. As a result, the order of the next chapters will be a mixture of sorted by increasing difficulty and sorted by importance in ordinary Lojban conversation.

One of the biggest constrains on your speak now is your limited knowledge on how to make sumti. So far, you only know {ti} and {lo SELBRI}, which doesn’t take you far considering how important sumti are in Lojban. This chapter as well as the following two will be about the Lojban sumti. For now, we focus on the descriptive-like sumti, the ones made with articles like {lo}
Articles are in lojban called {gadri}, and all the ones discussed in this chapter are terminated by {ku} (except the combination {la CMEVLA}). We will begin by describing three simple kinds, and then immediately find that they are not so simple after all:
{lo} - gadri: Verdical “convert selbri to sumti”. Treat result as individual(s).
{le} - gadri: Descriptive “convert selbri to sumti”. Treat result as individual(s).
{la} - gadri: Naming article: Conventional, “convert selbri or cmevla to sumti”. Treat result as individual(s).

You are already familiar with {lo} and what it does. But what does it mean, “Verdical” and “Treat result as individuals”? The latter about individuals, I’ll come back to later when speaking about masses. For now, “verdical” in this context means that in order for a thing to qualify begin labelled as {lo klama}, it has to actually klama. Thus, verdical gadri makes a claim which may be true or false - that the object(s) in question are actually the x1 of the selbri after {lo}.

This may be contrasted with {le}, which is descriptive, and thus not verdical. Saying {le gerku} says that you have one or more specific objects in mind, and you use the selbri {gerku} to describe it, so that the listener may identify those specific objects.This means that {le} haves two important differences from {lo}: Firstly, it does not refer to objects in general, but to specific objects. Secondly, while {lo gerku} definitely is one or more dogs, {le gerku}, because it’s not verdical, can be anything, as long as the speaker thinks the description will help identifying the correct objects. Perhaps the speaker is referring to a hyena, but are not familiar with them and think “dog” is a good enough approximation to be understood. This non-verdicality is perhaps over-emphasised in most many texts; The best way to describe a dog is usually to describe it as being a dog, and unless there is a good reason not to, {le gerku} is usually presumed to refer to something which is also {lo gerku}.
In translation, {lo gerku} is usually “a dog” or “some dogs”, while {le gerku} is “the dog” or “the dogs”. Even better for {le gerku} would be “the “dog(s)” ”

Last of the three basic gadri, there is {la}, the naming gadri, which I have unconventionally called “conventional”. What I mean by this is that it’s neither descriptive nor verdical, since it refers to a proper name. If I in English refer to a person called Innocent by her name, I neither describe her as being innocent, nor do I state that she is. I only state that by convention, that object is referred to by that selbri or cmevla. Note that {la} and the gadri derived from it can convert cmevla to sumti unlike any other gadri. Also: Be cautious: Other texts does not mention that names can be formed from ordinary selbri using the gadri {la}. But those heretics must burn; selbri names are as good as they get, and many a proud Lojbanist have them.

These three basic gadri can be expanded with three more, which corresponds to the previous:

{loi} - gadri: Verdical “convert selbri to sumti”. Treat result as mass(es).
{lei} - gadri: Descriptive “convert selbri to sumti”. Treat result as a mass(es).
{lai} - gadri: Naming article: Conventional, “convert selbri or cmevla to sumti”. Treat result as mass(es).

These are the same in all aspects except for one: They treat the sumti as masses instead of individuals. If there is only one object in question, these two concepts are equivalent. The difference between these two concepts lie in which selbri can be ascribed to a group of individuals versus a mass. A group of individuals can be said to fit a certain selbri, if all members of the group each fit the selbri. It is correct to describe a pack of {lo gerku}, as being black, if for each of the dogs it’s true that they are black. A mass, on the other hand, fits all the selbri which any of its members fit, as well as the selbri which none of the members fit, but which the group considered as a whole does. Thus, a mass of dogs can be both black and white. However, all the members of the mass of dogs must be dogs in order for {loi} to be applicable. Another example can illustrate how a mass can have properties which none of its members has:
{sruri}: “x1 flanks/encircles/encloses x2 in line/plane/directions x3”
{lei prenu cu sruri lo zdani} - “The people surrounded the home.” is plausible, even though, yo moma jokes not considered, it’s completely implausible that it could be true for any one of the members alone. An English analogy could be: “Humans defeated smallpox in the 20th century”. Surely no humans did so, but the mass of humans did, and that makes the sentence true in English, as well as in Lojban if “humans” are a mass. Just like the Lojban mass, the English mass “humans” can only refer to individuals each of which are human.
{lei gerku} refers to a mass formed by a group of specific individuals, each of which the speaker refers to as {le gerku}.
Mass names as describes by {lai} are only appropriate if the group as a whole is named such, and not just if any of the members are. It can, however be used if the bridi is true for only a fraction of that group.

Also, there are three set-forming gadri:

{lo’i} - gadri: Verdical “convert selbri to sumti”. Treat result as a set.
{le’i} - gadri: Descriptive “convert selbri to sumti”. Treat result as a set.
{la’i} - gadri: Naming article: Conventional, “convert selbri or cmevla to sumti”. Treat result as a set.

Unlike groups of individuals or masses, sets does not take any of the properties from the objects from which the set is formed. A set is a purely mathematical or logical construct, and has properties like cardinality, membership or set inclusion. Again, note the difference between a set of things, and the things of which the set is formed:
{tirxu} “x1 is a tiger/leopard/jaguar of species/breed x2 with coat markings x3”
{lo’i tirxu cu cmalu} says nothing about whether big cats are small (which is, by the way, obviously false), but instead say that the set of big cats is small; that is - there are few of them.

Lastly, there are the generalizing gadri:
{lo’e} - gadri: Verdical “convert selbri to sumti”. Sumti refers to the archetype of {lo SELBRI}.
{le’e} - gadri: Descriptive “convert selbri to sumti”. Sumti refers to the described/perceived archetype of {le SELBRI}.
Of which there is no {la}-equivalent.

So, what is actually meant by the archetype? For {lo’e tirxu}, it is an ideal, imagined big cat, which has all the properties which best exemplifies big cats. It would be wrong to say that this includes having a striped fur, since a big systematic subgroup of the members of the set of big cats do not have striped fur, the leopards and the jaguars. Likewise, the typical human does not live in Asia even though a lot of humans do. However, if sufficiently many humans have a trait, for instance being able to speak, we can say:
{kakne}: “x1 is capable of doing/being x2 under circumstance x3”
{lo’e remna cu kakne lo nu tavla} - “The typical human being can speak”.

{le’e} then, is the ideal object as perceived or described by the speaker. This need not be factually correct, and is often translated as the “stereotype”, even though the English phrase have some unpleasant negative connotations, which the Lojban does not. In fact, everyone has a stereotypical archetypichal image of any category. In other words, {lo’e remna} is the archetype which best exemplifies all {lo remna}, while the archetype {le’e remna} best exemplifies all {le remna}.

The eleven gadri can be seen in the diagram below.
	Generic	Masses	Sets	Generalizing
Verdical	lo	loi	lo’i	lo’e
Descriptive	le	lei	le’i	le’e
Name	la	lai	la’i	does not exist

Note: Earlier, there was a word {xo’e} for the generic gadri. However, the rules and definitions for gadri were changed in late 2004, and the current set of rules nicked “xorlo” has replaced the old way. Now, {lo} is generic, and {xo’e} has not yet found another definition.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson fifteen (the Lojban sumti 2: KOhA3, KOhA5 and KOhA6)
See what happens if I try to translate the sentence: “Stereotypical people who can speak Lojban speak to each other about the languages they can speak”:
{bangu} “x1 is a language used by x2 to express x3 (abstraction)”
{le’e prenu poi ke’a kakne lo nu tavla fo la .lojban. cu tavla le’e prenu poi ke’a kakne lo nu tavla fo la .lojban. lo bangu poi lo prenu poi ke’a tavla fo la .lojban. cu se bangu ke’a}

What we see is that the Lojban version is much longer than the English. This is primarily because the first, ridiculously long, sumti is being repeated two more times in the Lojban text, while the English can refer to it by “each other” and “they” - much more efficiently. Wouldn’t it be clever if Lojban somehow had mechanisms for doing the same?

It turns out it does, what a surprise! Lojban has a range of words called {sumka’i} meaning “sumti-representatives”. In English, we refer to them as pro-sumti, because they are essentially the same as the English pronouns, but with sumti instead of nouns. In fact, you already know {ti}, {do} and {mi}, but there are many more, so let’s get learning. First, we want to put it into system. We can begin with the ones most familiar to English, and what you’ve already learned:

{ti} - sumka’i: “immediate ‘it’: represents a sumti physically near the speaker”
{ta} - sumka’i: “nearby ‘it’: represents a sumti some physical distance from the speaker OR close to the listener”
{tu} - sumka’i: “distant ‘it’: represents a sumti physically far from the speaker and the listener.”

You can again recognize the “i, a, u”-sequence which pops up over and over. Some things might take some clearing up, though. Firstly, these sumti can represent anything which can be said to occupy a physical space. Objects, certainly. Ideas, certainly not. Events are accepted, but only to the extent they are restricted to a specific place - the Jasmin Revolution cannot be pointed at, but some bar-fight or a kiss might. Secondly, note that the distance is relative to different things for the different words: {tu} only applies if it’s distant from both the speaker and the listener. In cases where the speaker and listener is far apart and the listener cannot see the speaker talking, {ta} refers to something close to the listener. Thirdly, it’s all relative and context dependent. These three words are all problematic in written text, for instance, because the position of the speaker and listener is unknown to each other, and changes as time goes by. Furthermore, the author of a book cannot point to an object and express the pointing in the book.

Then there is a series called KOhA3, to which {mi} and {do} (and ko, but I won’t write that here) belongs:
{mi} - sumka’i: The speaker(s).
{mi’o} - sumka’i: The mass of the speaker(s) and the listener(s) .
{mi’a} - sumka’i: The mass of the speaker(s) and others.
{ma’a} - sumka’i: The mass of the speaker(s), the listener(s) and others.
{do} - sumka’i: The listener(s).
{do’o} - sumka’i: The mass of the listener(s) and others.

These six sumka’i are more easily grasped in the below Venn diagram:

{img fileId="3" thumb="y" rel="box[g]"}
Venn diagram of KOhA3. {le drata} is not a KOhA3, but means “the other(s)”

It is possible for several people to be “the speakers”, if one statement is made on the behalf of all of them. Therefore, while “we” can be translated as either {mi}, {mi’o}, {mi’a} or {ma’a}, what one quite often means is really just {mi}. All of these six, if they refer to more than one individual, represent masses. Within bridi-logic, the bridi {mi gleki} said by speaker A is exactly equivalent to {do gleki} said by speaker B to speaker A, and are considered the same bridi. We will come back to this later, in the brika’i (pro-bridi) lesson.

All of these sumka’i are very content-specific, and can not be used, for instance, to help us with the sentence which this lesson began with. The following series can in principle be used to refer to any sumti:
ri - sumka’i: “Last sumti mentioned”
ra - sumka’i: “A recent, but not the last sumti mentioned”
ru - sumka’i: “A sumti mentioned long ago”

These sumti will refer to any terminated sumti except most other sumka’i. The reason that most other sumka’i cannot be referred to by these sumti, is that they are so easy to just repeat by themselves. The exception to the rule are {ti}, {ta} and {tu}, because you could have changed what you point at, and thus cannot just repeat the word. They will only refer to terminated sumti, and thus cannot, for instance, be used to refer to an abstraction if the word in is that abstraction: {le pendo noi ke’a pendo mi cu djica lo nu ri se zdani} - here {ri} cannot refer to the abstration, since it is not terminated, nor to {mi} or {ke’a}, since they are sumka’i, so it refers to {le pendo}.
{ra} and {ru} are context-dependent in what they refer to, but they follow the rules mentioned above, and {ru} always refer to a more distant sumti than {ra}, which is always more distant than {ri}.

{ri} and it’s brothers are pretty well suited for dealing with the original sentence. Try saying it using two instances of sumka’i!

Answer: {le’e prenu poi ke’a kakne lo nu tavla fo la .lojban. cu tavla ru lo bangu poi ru cu se bangu ke’a} {ri} is not correct, because it refers to {la .lojban.}. {ra}, could be used, but could be mistakenly be thought to refer to {lo nu tavla fo la .lojban.}, but {ru} is assumed to refer to the most distant sumti - the most outer one.

Lastly, there a sumtcita which represent utterances: So called utterance variables. They need not be restricted to one sentence (jufra), but can be several sentences, if the context allows it:
da’u Utterance variable: Remote past sentence
de’u Utterance variable: Recent sentence
di’u Utterance variable: Previous sentence
dei Utterance variable: This sentence
di’e Utterance variable: Next sentence
de’e Utterance variable: Near future sentence
da’e Utterance variable: Remote future sentence
do’i Utterance variable: Elliptical utterance variable: “Some sentence”
These represents sentences as sumti, and refer only to the spoken words or the letters, not to the meaning behind them.

There are more Lojban sumka’i, but for now you probably need a break from them. The next chapter will be on derived sumti, sumti made from other sumti.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson sixteen (the Lojban sumti 3: derived sumti)
You can probably see that the sumti {le bangu poi mi se bangu ke’a} is a less than elegant expression for “my language”. This is because it’s really a work around. A language which I speak can be said to fill into the x1 of the bridi {bangu mi}. We can’t convert that to a sumti using a gadri: {le bangu [ku] mi} is two sumti, because {bangu mi} is a bridi, not a selbri. Neither can we convert it using {le su’u}, because the su’u gives the bridi a new x1, the abstraction, and the {le} then extracts that. That makes an abstraction sumti meaning something like “that something is my language”.
Enter {be}. {be} is a word which binds constructs (sumti, sumtcita and others) to a selbri. Using it in ordinary selbri has no effect: in {mi nelci be do}, the be does nothing. However, when a sumti is bound to a selbri this way, you can use a gadri on the selbri without the sumti splitting off: {le bangu be mi} is a correct solution to the problem above. Likewise, you can attach a sumtcita: {le nu darxi kei be gau do}: “The event of hitting, which is caused by you”. Note that the presence or absence of kei makes it parse differently: With the terminator present, be attaches to nu, without the terminator, it attaches to darxi. So it decides what is being emphasised: Is the hitting, or the event of hitting caused by you? Luckily, in this case, that’s just about the same thing.

What if I want to attach several sumti to a selbri inside a gadri? “The giver of the apple to you” is {le dunda be lo plise be do}, right? Nope. The second {be} attaches to the apple, meaning {le plise be do} - “The apple of the strain of you”, which makes so sense. In order to string several sumti to a selbri, the all the ones following the first must be bound with {bei}. The “binding” can be terminated with {be’o} - one instance of {be’o} for each selbri which has sumti bound by {be}.
To list them:
be binds sumti or sumtcita to selbri
bei binds a second, third, fourth (ect) sumti or sumtcita to a selbri
be’o ends binding to selbri

There is also ways to loosely associate a sumti with another. {pe} and {ne} for restrictive and non-restrictive association. Actually, {le bangu pe mi} is a better translation of “my language”, since this phrase, like the English, is vague as to how the two are associated with each other.
pe and ne are used as loose association only, like saying “my chair” about a chair which you sit on. It’s not really yours, but has something do to with you. A more intimate connection can be established with po, which makes the association unique and binding to a person, as in “my car” for a car that you actually own.
A very useful construct to know is {GADRI SUMTI SELBRI}. this is equivalent to {GADRI SELBRI pe SUMTI}. For instance le mi gerku is equivalent to le gerku pe mi. One could have description sumti inside description sumti, saying le le se cinjikca be mi ku gerku, = le gerku pe le se cinjikca be mi =“the dog of the man I’m flirting with”, but that’s not very easy to read (or to understand when spoken), and is often being avoided.

One need also to learn {tu’a}, since it will make a lot of sentences much easier. It takes a sumti and converts it to another sumti - an elliptical abstraction which has something to do with the first sumti. For example, I could say {mi djica lo nu mi citka lo plise}, or I could let it be up to context what abstraction about the apple I desire and just say {mi djica tu’a lo plise}. One always has to guess what abstraction the speaker means by {tu’a SUMTI}, so it should only be used when context makes it easy to guess. Another example:
{gasnu} “x1 does/brings about x2 (volition not implied)”
{za’a do gasnu tu’a lo skami} - “I see that you make the computer do something”. Officially, {tu’a SUMTI} is equivalent to {le su’u SUMTI co’e}. Vague, but useful. There are situations where you cannot use tu’a, even though it would seem suitable. These situations are when I don’t want the resulting sumti to be an abstraction, but a concrete sumti. In this case, one can use zo’e pe.

Finally, if one sumti A refers to a sumti B, for instance because sumti A is a title of a book, or a name, or a sentence (which always refer to something), (la’e SUMTI A) refers to sumti B. For instance, mi nelci la’e di’u for “i like what you just said” or la’e le cmalu noltru for the book “The Little Prince”, some little prince himself. The cmavo lu’e does the exact reverse - lu’e SUMTI refers to an object which refers to the sumti.
la’e - “the thing referred to by” - extracts a sumti A from a sumti B which refers to A.
lu’e - “the thing referring to” - extracts a sumti B from a sumti A, when B refers to A.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson seventeen (cute assorted words)
And with that, third chapter, you know a lot about Lojban sumti. After such a long time of rigorous systematic learning, what could be more fitting that this chapter where I speak about some words which I could not, or wanted not to fit into any other chapters? So here are a few small and really useful words:

The following four cmavo are all elliptical words. You should already be familiar with the first.
{zo’e} - elliptical sumti
{co’e} - elliptical selbri
{do’e} - elliptical sumtcita
{ju’a} - elliptical evidential
{do’i} - elliptical utterance variable
{ge’e} - elliptical attitudinal

All of these act grammatically as a cmavo of the kind they represent, but they contain no information, and can be quite handy when you’re lazy and don’t need to be specific anyway. There are, however, a few things which need to be cleared up:

    {zo’e} have to refer to something which is claimed to have a value. “zero cars” or “nothing”, for instance, has no value, and therefore cannot be referred to by {zo’e}. This is because, if it could mean “nothing” by zo’e, then any selbri could be identical to its negation, if one of the elided sumti were filled with a {zo’e} with no value.
    {ge’e} does not mean that you feel no emotion, just that you feel nothing special or worth to mention at the moment. It’s similar to “I’m fine.”. {ge’e pei} ask about an elliptical emotion and is a good translation for: “How are you feeling?”.
    {co’e} is handy when needing a selbri in a construct for grammatical reasons, like in the definition of {tu’a} in the previous chapter.
    {ju’a} does not change the truth value or subjective understanding of the bridi or anything like that. In fact, it’s mostly does nothing. However, {ju’a pei}, “What is your basis for saying that?” is handy.
    {do’i} is really useful. A lot of times when you refer to utterances or conversations by words like “this” or “that”, you want {do’i}.
    If you fill in more sumti than a selbri has places for, the last sumti have implied {do’e} sumtcita in front of them.



Furthermore, there is a word, {zi’o}, that you can fill a sumti place with to delete it from any selbri. {lo melbi be zi’o}, for instance, is just “Something beautiful”, and does not include the usual x2 of melbi, which is the observer who judges something to be beautiful. Thus, it can mean something like “Objectively beautiful.” It does not state that nothing fills the sumti place which is being deleted, just that the sumti place is not being considered in the selbri. Using {zi’o} with a sumtcita gives weird results. Formally, they should cancel each other out. Practically, it would probably be understood as an explicit way of saying that the sumtcita does not apply, as in: {mi darxi do mu’i zi’o} - “I hit you, with or without motivation.”

Then there is the word {jai}. It’s one of those cool, small words which are hard to grasp, but easy to work with once you know it. It has two distinct, but similar functions. Both have something to do with converting the selbri, like {se} does.
The first grammatical construction it can make is {jai SUMTCITA SELBRI}. It changes the sumti places such that the sumti place of the sumtcita becomes the selbri’s x1, and the selbri’s old x1 is removed, and only accessible by using {fai}, which works like {fa}. You can see it with this example:
{gau} - sumtcita (from gasnu) “bridi has been brought about by/with active agent [sumti]”
{do jai gau jundi ti fai mi}. - “You bring about attention to this by me”. The new selbri, {jai gau jundi}, has the place structure of “x1 brings about attention paid to x2”. These are then filled by {do} and {ti}. The {fai} then marks the place for the old x1, the one who was paying attention, and fill it with {mi}. This can be very convenient and has tons of uses. A good example is descriptive-like sumti. One can, for instance, refer to “the method of volitional action” by {lo jai ta’i zukte}.
{ta’i}: sumtcita (from tadji) “Bridi is done with the method of [sumti]”
Can you deduce what the ordinary Lojban phrase {do jai gau mo} means?

Answer: “What are you doing?”

The other function of {jai} is easier to explain. It simply converts the selbri such that the sumti in the x1 gets a {tu’a} in front of it (ko’a jai broda = tu’a ko’a broda). In other words, it converts the selbri in a way such that it builds an elliptical abstraction from the sumti in the x1, and then fills x1 with the abstraction instead of the actual sumti. Again, the original sumti-place is accessible by {fai}.
A very active Lojban IRC-user often says {le gerku be do jai se stidi mi}, to use a random example of a sumti in x1. What’s he say?
{stidi} x1 inspires/suggests x2 in/to x3”

Answer: “I suggest (something about) your dog.”

So far you’ve learned how to convert bridi to selbri, selbri to sumti, and selbri into bridi, since all selbri by themselves are also bridi. You only need one last function: convert sumti to selbri. This is done with the word {me}. It accepts a sumti and converts it into a selbri with the place structure “x1 is specific to SUMTI in property x2”.
There are also words for converting sumti to individuals, masses or sets in the class LAhE, but they won’t be covered.

When screwing a sentence up, knowing how to correct yourself is a good idea. There are three words in Lojban which you can use to delete your previous word(s)
si - deletion: Deletes last word only.
sa - deletion: Deletes back until next cmavo spoken.
su - deletion: Deletes entire discourse.
The function of these words are very obvious. They delete words as if they have never been spoken. They do not work inside certain quotes (all quotes except lu..li’u), though, as that would leave it impossible to quote these words. Several si in a row deletes several words.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson eighteen (quotes)
One of the key design features of Lojban is that it’s supposed to be audio-visual isomorphic, meaning that everything expressed in text should also be expressed in speech and vice versa. Therefore, there cannot be any punctuation which is not pronounced. This means that Lojban has a wide range of words to quote other words. All Lojban quotes take some input of text and converts it to a sumti. Let’s begin with the most simple:

lu Quote word: Begin quote of grammatical Lojban content
li’u Quote word: End quote of grammatical Lojban content

The text inside this construct must by itself be grammatical. It can quote all Lojban words with some few exceptions, most notably, obviously, li’u.

Try to translate the following sentence. Take your time.
mi stidi lo drata be tu’a lu ko jai gau mo li’u
drata x1 is different from x2 by standard

Answer: “I suggest something different than something about “ko jai gau mo”.”

These quote words cannot quote ungrammatical text. This is sometimes useful, when you want to only pick out part of a sentence, as in: “ is “gi’e” a Lojban sumtcita?”

For this, you need these two cmavo
lo’u Quote word: Begin quote of ungrammatical but Lojban content
le’u Quote word: End quote of ungrammatical but Lojban content

The text inside must be Lojban words, but need not be grammatical. Try to translate the above example into Lojban

Answer: xu lo’u gi’e le’u lojbo sumtcita

This quote can be used to quote all Lojban words except le’u. However, this is not enough. If we want to translate “”do mo” is a correct translation of “What’s up?””, we might be slightly wrong about what we here state, since do mo also can mean “What are you?”, but let’s roll with it for a second. What we need here is the word zoi.

zoi Next cmavo is begin all-purpose quote and close all-purpose quote.

When using zoi, you pick a cmavo at will, which then opens a quote. To close is, use the cmavo again. This way, you can quote anything except that cmavo, which shouldn’t be a problem because you can pick it yourself. Usually, the cmavo picked is either zoi itself, or a letter which stands for the language which the quote is written in. Example: “I liked The Phantom of the Opera” is mi pu nelci la’e zoi zoi. The Phantom of the Opera .zoi Notice two things: Firstly, I need a la’e, since I didn’t like the quote, but rather what it referred to. Secondly, between the chosen delimiter cmavo and the quote, there are pauses, represented by a full stop. This is necessary to correctly identify the delimiter cmavo.

Try to translate the above sentence concerning “What’s up?”

drani x1 is correct/proper in aspect x2 in situation x3 by standard x4

Answer: lu do mo li’u drani xe fanva zoi gy. What’s up? .gy

Closely analogously, there is la’o. It works exactly like zoi, but turns the resulting quote into a name. It is needed because normally, only selbri and cmevla can be names, not quotes.
la’o Next cmavo is begin all-purpose quote and close all-purpose quote – use as name.

Last of the official quote words, there is zo. zo always quotes the next Lojban word, no matter what it is. It’s pretty handy.
zo Quote next Lojban word, no matter what.
Example: zo zo zo’o plixau “ “zo” is useful, hehe”
zo’o attitudinal: discursive: Humorously, “kidding you”
plixau x1 is useful for x2 to do purpose x3

Lojban users have found it useful to supplement with four additional quote words. They are all experimental, and the formal grammar does not support it. Nonetheless, they are used often, and it’s good to be able to recognize them. The most used is:

zo’oi Quote next word only. Next word is identified by pauses in speech or whitespace in writing:

Example: ri pu cusku zo’oi Doh! .u’i “Ha ha, he said “Doh!” “
.u’i: attitudinal: simple pure emotion: amusement - weariness

It’s very easy to use. Again, note that all grammar bots with consider the sentence not grammatical, because these words do not exist in the formal grammar.

Analogous to zoi and la’o, there is also the word la’oi, which works just like zo’oi, but treats the quote as a name:
la’oi Quote next word only, use as name. Next word is identified by pauses in speech or whitespace in writing:

How would you say: “My English name is “Safi””?
glico x1 is English/pertains to English culture in aspect x2
cmene x1 is the name of x2 as used by x3

Answer: mi glico se cmene la’oi Safi Notice the necessary se. We don’t what to say that we’re a name!

Thirdly, ra’oi quotes the next rafsi. Since rafsi are not words, they would usually have to be quoted by zoi. Furthermore, several rafsi are also cmavo. To avoid confusion of which is meant, ra’oi always refer to a rafsi, and is wrong in front of any text string which are not rafsi.

What does ra’oi zu’e rafsi zo zukte .iku’i zo’oi zu’e sumtcita mean?
ku’i attitudinal: discursive: However / though (contrasts to something previously said)
rafsi x1 an affix for word/concept x2 with properties/of form x3 in language x4

Answer: “The rafsi “zu’e” is a rafsi for “zukte”. But “zu’e” is a sumtcita”

And finally the useful word ma’oi. ma’oi quotes any cmavo, but treats the quote as a name for the word class (selma’o) to which that word belongs. So, for instance, ba’o belongs to the wordclass called ZAhO, so ma’oi ba’o is unofficial Lojban for “ZahO”

Try it out. Say that pu and ba are in the same selma’o!
cmavo x1 is a grammatical word of class x2 in language x3

(One possible) Answer: zo pu cmavo ma’oi ba

!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson nineteen (numbers and quantifiers)
a fraction of loi is of all selbri


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty (bo, ke, co and more cuteness)
Say you’re an important American buyer of computers. How do you express this? For constructs like these, tanru are ideal: mi vajni merko skami te vecnu. No wait, that’s not right. Tanru are grouped from left to right, so this tanru is understood: ((vajni merko) skami) te vecnu, a buyer of computers for important Americans. You can’t change the order of the selbri to get a useful tanru. Neither can this be solved with logical connectives, which you will first learn about later anyway. The only way to make a fitting tanru is to force the selbri to group differently.

To bind two selbri close together in a tanru, the word bo can be placed between them: mi vajni bo merko skami bo te vecnu is read mi (vajni bo merko) (skami bo te vecnu), which is useful in this context. If bo is placed between several selbri in a row, they are grouped from right to left instead of the usual left to right: mi vajni merko bo skami bo te vecnu is read vajni (merko bo (skami bo te vecnu)) an “important (American computer-buyer)”, which is even more appropriate in the situation.
bo Binds two selbri together strongly.

How would you say “That’s a tasty yellow apple”?
kukte x1 is tasty for x2

Answer: ti kukte pelxu bo plise

What about ”That’s a big, tasty yellow apple”

Answer: ti barda kukte bo pelxu bo plise

Another approach to this is to use the words ke…ke’e. These can be considered as equivalent to the parenthesises used in the paragraph above. ke begins strong selbri grouping, ke’e ends it.
ke – begin strong selbri grouping.
ke’e – end strong selbri grouping.
The strength of the binding is the same as that of bo. Therefore, mi vajni merko bo skami bo te vecnu can be written mi vajni ke merko ke skami te vecnu [ke’e] [ke’e].
How could you say “I’m a German seller of yellow homes?”

Answer: mi dotco ke pelxu zdani vecnu

While we’re at messing with the ordinary tanru structure, there is another word worth paying attention to. If I want to say that I’m a professional translator, I could say mi fanva se jibri.
jibri x1 is a job of x2 under agreement x3
docbau x1 is German used by x2 to say x3
If I wanted to say that I’m a professional translater from English to German, I’d have to mess around with be and bei: mi fanva be le docbau bei le glibau be’o se jibri, and the fact that it was a tanru could quickly be lost in speech due to the complicated structure of the sentence. Here, we can use the word co. it inverts the tanru, making the rightmost selbri modify the leftmost instead of the other way around:
mi se jibri co fanva le docbau le glibau is the same bridi as the previous Lojban one, but much more easy to understand. Notice that any sumti before the tanru fills se jibri, while any following it only fills the modifying selbri: fanva.
co Invert tanru. Any previous sumti fill the modified, any following fill the modifier.

The strength by which two selbri are bound together with co is the weakest of them all – even weaker than normal tanru grouping without any grouping words. This makes sure that, in a co-construct, the leftmost selbri is always the selbri being modified, and the rightmost always modifies, even if any of those parts are tanru. This makes a co-construct easy to parse:
ti pelxu plise co kukte is read ti (pelxu plise) co kukte, which is the same as ti kukte pelxu bo plise. This also means that a ke…ke’e cannot encompass a co.

How can you express ”I am an important American buyer of computers” using a co?

Answer: mi skami te vecnu co vajni merko

If it’s of any use, this is the list of different kind of selbri groupers ranked by strength:

1.    bo and ke..ke’e

2.    logical connectives (explained in chapter twenty-four)

3.    no grouping words

4.  co

The rest of this chapter will not be on selbri grouping, but much like chapter seventeen mention assorted words, which can be of use.

bo has another use, which seems separate from selbri grouping: It can also bind a sumtcita to an entire bridi, so that the content of the sumtcita is not a sumti, but the following bridi. This is best explained with an example.
xebni x1 hates x2
mi darxi do .i mu’i bo mi do xebni – “I hit you, with motivation that I hate you.” Here the bo binds mu’i to the following bridi.

The unofficial word me’oi is equivalent to me la’e zo’oi, which means that it converts the content of the next word into a selbri. It is used to invent brivla on the fly: mi ca zgana la me’oi X-files for “I now watch X-files”. Like all quote next word-cmavo, it is not supported by the official grammar, but to the lazy Lojbanist, it’s invaluable.

The word gi is strage kind of bridi separator, analogous to .i, but to my knowledge, it is used in only two different kinds of constructs: Most often with logical connectives, explained in lesson twenty-four, but also with sumtcita. With sumtcita it creates a useful, but hardly seen, construct:
{mu’i gi BRIDI-1 gi BRIDI-2}, which is equivalent to {BRIDI-2 .i mu’i bo BRIDI 1}. Therefore, the example above, which explained why I hit you, can be written mu’i gi mi xebni do gi mi darxi do, or to preserve the same order as the original sentence, we can convert mu’i with se: se mu’i gi mi darxi do gi mi xebni do.
It is in examples like this that gi really can show its versatility. It does not just separate two bridi like .i does, but can also separate two constructs within a bridi, making all constructs outside the scope of gi apply to both bridi, as this example demonstrates:
cinba x1 kisses x2 at locus x3

mi gi prami do gi cinba do leaves mi outside the construct, making it apply to both bridi. This can also be done with do, which is also present in broth bridi: mi gi prami gi cinba vau do. Note that vau is needed to make do appear outside the second bridi.

Thus, we can write the original sentence shorter: mi mu’i gi xebni gi darxi vau do, or, to omit even the vau, we can write it even shorter and more elegantly: mi do mu’i gi xebni gi darxi


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-one (COI)
In this chapter, you will familiarize yourself with vocatives, or ma’oi coi. They get their own lesson, not because understanding these provides a basis for understanding Lojban grammar in general, or because they are hard to understand, but rather because they are very often used in casual speech, and there are a lot of them.
A vocative is used partly to define who do refers to. If the vocative is followed by a cmevla, the cmevla gets an implied la in front of it. If a selbri follows, a le is used as a gadri instead.
In these examples, I will use the vocative coi, with means “Hi” or “Hello”.
If a person is called la + SELBRI, using a vocative with only the selbri to address that person will mean you refer to her as actually being the x1 of that selbri, which is often wrong. If, for instance, a person is called la tsani, “Sky”, saying coi tsani refers to her as a le tsani, meaning “Hi, you sky”, while coi la tsani correctly refers to her as someone called Sky, meaning “Hi Sky”. This is a frequent mistake, especially among new Lojbanists.
All vocatives have a terminator which is sometimes required. This is do’u. It’s mostly used if both the first word after the vocative phrase and the last word of the phrase is a selbri, so that it prevents forming a tanru:

do’u End vocative phrase. Usually elidable.
klaku x1 cries x2 (tears) for reason x3
coi la gleki do’u klaku fi ma ”Hello Happy. Why cry?”

The generic vocative, doi, does nothing except defining who do is:
doi .ernst. xu do dotco merko “Ernst: Are you a German-American?”

All the other vocatives have some content beside defining do. coi, which you know, also means “Hello”, for example. Many of the vocatives have two or three definitions like the attitudinals. Like attitudinals, this is because they can be modified with cu’i and nai, though only one vocative has the cu’i-form defined.
Some important vocatives are listed in the table below. There are others, but those are not used much.
vocative	Without suffix	-cu’i	-nai
coi	Hello	-	-
co’o	Goodbye	-	-
je’e	Understood / OK	-	Not understood
fi’i	Welcome	-	Not welcome here
pe’u	Please	-	-
ki’e	Thanks	-	Disappreciation
re’i	Ready to recieve	-	Not ready
ju’i	Hey!	At ease	Ignore me
ta’a	Interruption	-	-
vi’o	Will do	-	Will not do
ke’o	Please repeat	-	No repeat needed


What would coi co’o mean?

Answer: “Greetings in passing” or “Hello and Goodbye”

je’e is used as “OK”, but also the appropriate response when receiving praise or thanks, as it indicates that the praise or thanks was successfully understood.

Translate ki’e sidju be mi bei lo vajni .i je’e .jenifyn.
sidju x1 helps x2 do x3

Answer: “Thanks, you helper of me to do something important.” “No problem, Jennifer”

And fi’i te vecnu .i pe’u ko citka

Answer: ”Welcome, buyer. Please eat!”

re’i is used to signal that you are ready to be spoken to. It can be used as the Lojban equivalent of “What can I do for you?” or perhaps replace “Hello”, when speaking on a phone. re’i nai can mean “AFK” or “Be there is a second.”

Translate: “Hello, what can I do for you, Interpreter/Translater?”

Answer: coi re’i la fanva

ta’a is used when attempting to politely interrupt someone else. What would be good responses to this?

Translate: ta’a ro do mi co’a cliva
cliva x1 leaves x2 via route x3

Answer: “Excuse me for interrupting, everyone. I begin to leave now” Notice that no terminator or .i is needed.

ke’o is used a lot when inexperienced Lojbanists speak together vocally. It’s quite a handy word
sutra x1 is quick at doing x2

Translate: .y ke’o sutra tavla

Answer: “Uh, Please repeat, you quick speaker.”

And “Okay okay, I got it already! I’ll do it!”

An answer: ke’o nai .ui nai vi’o


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-two (negation)
Sometimes, just saying what’s the truth is not enough. Often, we want to specify what’s not the truth, and we do this by using negation.
Negation in English mostly involves “not”, and is completely arbitrary and ambiguous. We, as Lojbanists, can’t have that, of course, so Lojban contains an elegant and unambigious system for negating.

The first you need to know about is bridi negation, so called because it negates the bridi it’s in, saying it’s not true. The way to negate a bridi is to place na either just before the selbri (after any cu), or first in the sentence with a ku after it.
speni x1 is married to x2 under convention x3
Thus: le mi speni cu na ninmu states that “My spouse is not a woman”. It states nothing about what my wife is, or if I even have a wife. It only states that I do not have a wife who is also a woman. This has an important implication: If the negation of a bridi is false, the bridi must be true: na ku le mi speni cu na ninmu must mean that I have both a spouse, and that she is a she.
It is possible to use bridi negations in all bridi, even the implicit bridi of descriptive sumti. lo na prenu can refer to anything non-human, whether it be a sphinx, a baseball or the property of appropriateness.

glibau x1 is English used by x2 to express x3
bau sumtcita, from bangu: using the language of [sumti]
se ja’e sumtcita, from se jalge: because of [sumti]

Often when using na, it’s a problem that negates the entire bridi. If I say mi na sutra tavla bau le glibau se ja’e le nu mi dotco, I end up negating too much, and it is not clear that I wanted to only negate that I speak fast. The sentence could suggest that I in fact speak fast because of some other reason, or that I speak fast in French because I’m German. To express the sentence correctly, I need to only negate that I speak fast, and not the other things.
To only negate part of a bridi, na ku can be moved around the bridi and placed anywhere a sumti can go. It then negates any sumti, selbri and sumtcita placed after it.

Moving na ku from the left end of the bridi and rightwards effects any quantifiers in a certain way, as can be seen by this example:

na ku ro remna cu verba “It’s not true that: All humans are children”
su’o remna na ku cu verba “For at least one human it’s not true that: It’s a child”. See that the na ku is placed before cu, since a sumti can go only there. Had I only used na, it would have to go after cu.

The quantifier is inverted, ro is turned into su’o. This is, of course, only if the meaning of the bridi has to be preserved. This means that when the na ku is placed at the end of the bridi, only the selbri is negated but all the sumti and sumtcita are preserved, as can be seen by these three identical bridi:
ckule x1 is a school at location x2 teaching x3 to students x4 and operated by x5

na ku ro verba cu ve ckule fo su’o ckule – “It’s not true that all children are students in a school.”
su’o verba cu ve ckule na ku fo su’o ckule – “Some children are students in not a single school.”
su’o verba cu ve ckule fo ro ckule na ku – “Some children are for all schools not students in them.”

While the mechanism of na ku resembles natural language negation, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what is negated and how that affects the bridi. For that reason, the construct na ku is rarely seen anywhere other than the beginning of a bridi. In most cases where more specific negation is needed people resort to a different method. This method, called scalar negation, is an elegant and intuitive tool. Using it, you effect only the selbri, since the words used in scalar negation binds to the selbri much like the word se.
The name “scalar negation” is derived from the fact that the words which bind to the selbri can be placed along a scale from affirmation over negation and to stating that the opposite case is true:
Word	Meaning
je’a	“Indeed”; scalar affirmer
no’e	“Not really”, scalar midpoint
na’e	“Non-“, scalar negator
to’e	“Il”, “Dis-“, “Mis” ect; scalar opposer


These words are not negators in the same sense as na. They do not state that a bridi is false, but makes a positive statement that a bridi is true – the same bridi, but with a different selbri.
The words no’e and to’e should only be used when the selbri has an implicit scale:
le mi speni cu to’e melbi – ”My spouse is ugly” makes sense, since we immediately know what the opposite of beautiful is, while
mi klama le mi to’e zdani – ”I go to my opposite thing of home”, while grammatical, leaves the listener guessing what the speakers “opposite-home” is and should be avoided.


Try to translate these sentences:
“My spouse is not a woman” (meaning that he is a male)

Answer: le mi speni cu na’e / to’e ninmu. Using scalar negation here implies that he exists, which na did not.

“My spouse is not really a woman”

Answer: le mi speni cu no’e ninmu. The scale here is presumed to be from woman to man.

“I don’t speak fast in English because I’m German”

Answer: mi na’e sutra tavla bau le glibau se ja’e le nu mi dotco

Also, note that whenever these words are used together with a tanru, they only affect the leftmost selbri. In order to make it bind to the whole tanru or parts of the tanru, the usual tanru-grouping words can be used.

Try to say “I sell something which is not yellow homes” using the tanru pelxu zdani vecnu

Answer: mi na’e ke pelxu zdani ke’e vecnu or mi na’e pelxu bo zdani vecnu

When attempting to answer: “Is the king of the USA fat?”, all of these negations fail. While it’s technically correct to negate it with na, since it makes no assumptions of that is true, it’s mildly misleading since it could lead the listener to believe there is a king of the USA. For these scenarios, there is a metalinguistic negator, na’i.
na’i Metalinguistic negator. Something is wrong with assigning a truth value to the bridi.
Because na’i can be needed anywhere it has been given the grammar of the attitudinals, which means it can appear anywhere, and it attaches to the previous word or construct.

palci x1 is evil by standard x2
le na’i pu te zukte be le skami cu palci – ”The sought goal [mistake!] of the computer was evil”, probably protests that computers can seek a goal volitionally.

Since this is a chapter on negation, I believe the word nai deserves a short mention. It is used to negate minor grammatical constructs, and can be used in combination with attitudinals, all sumtcita including tenses, vocatives and logical connectives. The rules for negating using nai depend on the construct, and so the effect of nai has been discussed when mentioning the construct themselves. The exception is sumtcita, where the rules for negation are more complex, and will not be discussed here.


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-three (brika’i/pro-bridi and ko’a)
If I say that I’m called Mikhail, la .mikail. cmene mi, and you have to say the exact same bridi, what would that be? One of the many answers is do se cmene la .mikail.. For the bridi to be the same, you have to replace mi with do, and it doesn’t matter which if you say the bridi with the se-converted selbri or not. This is because a bridi is not the words which express it – a bridi is an idea, an abstract proposition. The word mi when I say it and the word do when you do refers to the same sumti, so the two bridi are identical.
This lesson is on brika’i, the bridi equivalent of sumka’i. They are word which represent entire bridi. Here it is important to remember that a bridi consists only of sumti and the things which contain the sumti, selbri and sumtcita. Neither attitudinals, nor the semantic layer of ko or ma are part of the bridi proper, and so these are not represented by a brika’i.

There are much fewer brika’i than there are sumka’i. We will begin by going through the most used series, called GOhA:
Word:	Definition:
go’u	Repeats remote past bridi
go’a	Repeats past bridi
go’e	Repeats next-to-last bridi
go’i	Repeats last mentioned bridi
go’o	Repeats future bridi
nei	Repeats current bridi
no’a	Repeats outer bridi

The GOhA brika’i. Notice the familiar i, a, u-pattern for close in past, medium in past and distant in past.


These are very much like the sumka’i ri, ra and ru. They can only refer to main bridi of jufra, and not those contained in relative phrases or description sumti. The main bridi can contain a relative phrase, of course, but a brika’i can never be used to refer to only the relative phrase.
A GOhA acts grammatically much like a selbri, any construct which can apply to selbri can also apply to these. The place structure of a GOhA is the same as that of the bridi it represents, and the sumti are by default the same as in the bridi it represents. Filling the sumti places of a GOhA explicitly overwrites the sumti of the bridi it represents. Contrast:
A: mi citka lo plise B: go’i – “I eat an apple.” “You do.” with
A: mi citka lo plise B: mi go’i – “I eat an apple.” “I do, too.”

These brika’i are very useful when answering a question with xu:
A: xu do nelci le mi speni B: go’i / na go’i – “Do you like my wife?” “Yes./No.”. The xu, being an attitudinal, is not copied.

nei and no’a are not used much, except for “mind-breaking purposes”, which is making up bridi which are hard to parse, like dei na se du’u le no’a la’e le nei. Since nei repeats the current outer bridi, however, le nei can be used to refer to the x1 of the current outer bridi, le se nei the x2 and so on.

When using brika’i, one must always be wary of copying sentences with the personal sumka’i like mi, do, ma’a ect, and be careful not to repeat them when they are in the wrong contect, as shown in the two examples with apple eating above. Instead of replacing them one by one, though, the word ra’o anywhere in the bridi updates the personal sumka’i so that they apply for the speaker’s perspective:
A: mi do prami B: mi do go’i is equivalent to A: mi do prami B: go’i ra’o
ra’o Update all personal sumka’i so that they now fit the speaker’s point of view.

The only other series of brika’i are very easy to remember:
broda	Bridi variable 1
brode	Bridi variable 2
brodi	Bridi variable 3
brodo	Bridi variable 4
brodu	Bridi variable 5
cei	Define bridi variable


The first five are just five instances of the same word. They can be used as shortcuts to bridi. After saying a bridi, saying cei broda defines that bridi as broda, and broda can then be used as brika’i for that bridi in the following conversation.
While we’re at it, there is an analogous series of sumka’i, which probably does not belong in this chapter, but here they are anyway:
ko’a	Sumti variable 1	fo’a	Sumti variable 6
ko’e	Sumti variable 2	fo’e	Sumti variable 7
ko’i	Sumti variable 3	fo’i	Sumti variable 8
ko’o	Sumti variable 4	fo’o	Sumti variable 9
ko’u	Sumti variable 5	fo’u	Sumti variable 10

goi
	

Define sumti variable


These are used like the brika’i-series. Just place, for instance, goi ko’u after a sumti, and that sumti can be referred to by ko’u.

Strangely, these series are rarely used for their intended purpose. They are, however, used as arbitrary selbri and sumti in example texts:
“So, is it true that the truth condition of ko’a ko’e broda na ku is always the same as na ku ko’a ko’e broda?” “Nope, it isn’t.”


!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-four (logical connectives)
“If you ask a Lojbanist: “Do you want milk or sugar in your coffee?” she’ll answer: “Correct.””

Witty as this joke might be, it illustrates a weird property of the English way of asking this question. It is phrased as a true/false question, but it really isn’t. In Lojban, we can’t have this kind of inconsistency, and so we must find another way of asking this kind of question. If you think about it, it’s pretty hard to find a good and easy way, and it seems Lojban have picked a good way instead of an easy way.

To explain it, let us take two separate bridi: Bridi 1: “I like milk in my coffee” and bridi 2: “I like sugar in my coffee”. Both of these bridi can have the state true or false. This yields four combinations of which bridi is/are true:
A) 1 and 2	B) 1 but not 2
C) 2 but not 1	D)neither 1 nor 2

I, in actuality, like milk in my coffee, and I’m indifferent as to whether there is sugar in it or not. Therefore, my preference can be written A) true B) true C) false D) false, since both A and B yields true for me, but neither C nor D does. A more compact way of writing my coffee preferences would be TTFF for true, true, false, false. Similarly, a person liking his coffee black and only black would have a coffee preference of FFFT. This is called a “truth function” for the two statements “I like milk in my coffee” and “I like sugar in my coffee”. Note that the order of the statements matters.
In Lojban, we operate with 4 truth functions, which we consider fundamental:
A: TTTF (and/or)
O: TFFT (if and only iff)
U: TTFF (whether or not)
E: TFFF (and)

In this example, they would translate to something like: A:”Just not black coffee”, O: “Either both milk or sugar, or nothing for me, please”, U: “Milk, and I don’t care about if there’s sugar or not” and E: “Milk and sugar, please.”.

In Lojban, you place the word for the truth function between the two bridi, selbri or sumti in question. That word is called a logical connective. The words for truth functions between sumti (and just for sumti!) are  .a .o .u and .e. How nice. For instance: “I am friends with an American and a German” would be lo merko .e lo dotco cu pendo mi.
How would you say: “Either I flirt with you or with none at all?”

Answer: mi cinjikca do .o no da

One more: “I like cheese whether or not I like coffee”
ckafi x1 is a quantity/contains coffee from source/of grain x2

Answer: mi nelci lo’e cirla .u lo’e ckafi

You can perhaps deduce that there are sixteen possible truth functions, so we need to learn 12 more in order to know them all. 8 more can be obtained by negating either the first sentence or the second. The first is negated by prefixing the truth function word with na, the second is negated by placing nai after the word. For example, since .e represents TFFF, .e nai must be “both 1 is true and 2 is false”, which is FTFF. Similarly, na .a is “Just not: 1 is true and 2 is false”, which is TTFT. Doing this type of conversion in the head real-time is very, very hard, so perhaps one should focus on learning how logical connectives work in general, and then learn the logical connectives themselves by heart.

Four functions cannot be made this way: TTTT, TFTF, FTFT and FFFF. The first and the last cannot be made using logical connectives at all, but they are kind of useless anyway. Using a hypothetical logical connective in the sentence “I like milk FFFF sugar in my coffee” is equivalent to saying “I don’t like coffee”, just more complicated. The last two, TFTF and FTFT, can be made by prefixing .u with good ol’ se, which just reverts the two statements. se .u , for instance is “B whether or not A”, which is TFTF. The final list of all logical connectives can be seen below.

TTTT: Cannot be made
TTTF: .a
TTFT: .a nai
TTFF: .u
TFTT: na .a
TFTF: se .u
TFFT: .o
TFFF: .e
FTTT: na .a nai
FTTF: na .o OR .o nai
FTFT: se .u nai
FTFF: .e nai
FFTT: na .u
FFTF: na .e
FFFT: na .e nai
FFFF: Cannot be made

Logically, saying a sentence with a logical connective, like for instance mi nelci lo’e cirla .e nai lo’e ckafi is equivalent to saying two sentences: mi nelci lo’e cirla .i na ku mi nelci lo’e ckafi. This is how the function of logical connectives is defined.

By putting a “j” in front of the core word of a logical connective, it connects two selbri. An example is mi ninmu na jo nanmu “I am a man or a woman, but not both”
ninmu x1 is a woman
ninmu x1 is a woman

This is “tanru-internal”, meaning that it loosely binds selbri together, even when they form a tanru: lo dotco ja merko prenu means “a German or American man”, and is parsed lo (dotco ja merko) prenu. This binding is slightly stronger that normal tanru-grouping (still weaker than specific grouping-words), and as such, lo dotco ja merko ninmu ja nanmu is parsed lo (dotco ja merko) (ninmu ja nanmu). The selbri logical connectives can also be attached to .i in order to connect two sentences together: la .kim. cmene mi .i ju mi nanmu “I’m called Kim, whether or not I’m a man”

Unfairly hard question: Using logical connectives, how would you translate “If you’re called Bob, you’re a man.”?

Answer: la .bab. cmene do .i na ja do nanmu or “Either you’re not named Bob and a man, or you’re not named Bob and not a man, or you’re named Bob and a man. But you can’t be named Bob and not be a man.” The only combination not permitted is: “You’re called Bob, but not a man.” This must mean that, if it’s true that you’re called Bob, you must be a man!

If we try to translate the sad, sad event of “I cried and gave away my dog”, we run into a problem.
Attempting to say the sentence with a je between the selbri “gave” and “cried”, would mean the same word for word, but unfortunately mean that “I cried the dog and gave away the dog”, cf. the definition of logical connectives. One can cry tears or even blood, but crying dogs is just silly.
However, we can get around by using bridi-tail logical connectives. What they do is that any previous sumtcita and sumti attaches to both selbri bound by the bridi-tail logical connective, but any following terms only applies to the last mentioned: The bridi splits up from one head to two tails, to speak metaphorically.
The form of a bridi-tail logical connective is gi’V, with the V for the vowel of the truth function.
How could you correctly translate the English sentence to Lojban?

Answer: mi pu klaku gi’e dunda le mi gerku

What does ro remna palci gi’o zukte lo palci mean?
palci x1 is evil by standard x2

Answer: “People are evil if and only if they do evil things.”

Furthermore, there is a forethought all-but tanru internal group of connecters made by prefixing “g” in front of the truth function vowel. “Forethought” in this context means that they need to go in front of the things they connect, and thus you need to think about the grammatical structure of the sentence before saying it. All-but tanru internal means that it serves both as a connective between sumti, bridi, selbri and bridi-tails, but not between two selbri of one tanru. Let me show you how it works, rewriting the Lojban sentence above:
go lo remna cu palci gi lo remna cu zukte lo palci
The first logical connective in these kinds of constructs are what carries the vowel which signal what truth function is being used. The second logical connective is always gi, and like .i, it has no truth function. It simply serves to seperate the two terms being connected. If you want to negate the first or second sentence, a nai is suffixed to either the first (for the first sentence) or second (for the second sentence) logical connective.
Provided that the constructs are terminated properly, it has remarkable flexibility, as the following few examples demonstrate:
mi go klama gi cadzu vau le mi zdani “I go, if and only if walk, to my home” or “I can only go to my home by walking.” Notice that the vau is needed to make le mi zdani apply to both cadzu and klama.
se gu do gi nai mi bajra le do ckule “Whether or not you, then not I, run to your school” or “I won’t run to your school no matter if you do or not”

The tanru-internal equivalent of gV is gu’V. These are exactly the same, except that they are exclusively tanru-internal, and that they bind a selbri to the gi tighter than normal tanru-grouping, but weaker than explicit binding-sumti:
la hanz.krt. gu’e merko gi dotco nanmu is equivalent to
la hanz.krt. merko je dotco nanmu

And so you’ve read page up and page down just to get the necessary knowledge in order to be able to learn how to ask “Would you like milk or sugar in your coffee?” in Lojban. Simply place a question logical connective instead of another logical connective, and like ma, it asks the listener to fill in a correct response. Unfortunately, these question-logical connectives don’t always match the pattern of the logical connectives they ask for:
ji Logical connective question: Asks for a sumti logical connective (A)
je’i Logical connective question: Asks for a tanru-internal selbri logical connective (JA)
gi’i Logical connective question: Asks for a bridi-tail logical connective (GIhA)
ge’i Logical connective question: Asks for a forethought all-but tanru internal logical connective (GA)
gu’i Logical connective question: Asks for a forethought only tanru internal logical connective (GUhA)

So... how would you ask if the persons wants milk or sugar in her coffee?
ladru x1 is/contains milk from source x2
sakta x1 is/contains sugar from source x2 of composition x3

Possible answer: sakta je’i ladru le do ckafi though I guess something more English and less elegant could also suffice like do djica lenu lo sakta ji lo ladru cu nenri le do ckafi

!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-five (lojban logic: da, bu’a, zo’u and terms)

!!Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-six (notes on abstractors)
The notion of abstractions and abstractors is quite fundamental to Lojban, and you have already learned the mechanism twenty lessons ago. There are, however, many abstractors with slightly different semantic meaning to explore, as well as a single important mechanism which has not been covered yet. In this lesson, all twelve abstractors will be elaborated on. The terminator for all of these is kei.

The first and most basic abstractor is su’u, which you already know.
su’u x1 is an abstract nature of BRIDI of type x2
You might not have seen the definition of su’u. This would have needlessly confused in earlier chapters. The new information is the x2 of {su’u BRIDI}, which can be explained as follows:
The English phrase “that I love you” is definitely a sumti, since it’s meant to function as a subject or object in a sentence. It’s also clearly made from an abstraction. It can therefore be translated {(lo/le) su’u mi do prami}. Without the context of the English sentence, though, it’s hard to guess what kind of abstraction was meant. “I will die happy by the time that I love you.” treats the abstraction like an event happening in time. “The truth is that I love you.” treats the abstraction like a bridi, which can be considered true or false. In the sentence “The most beautiful thing in the world is the idea that I love you”, the abstraction is considered an abstract concept. Using the second sumti place of su’u, these can be explicitly distinguished between:
le su’u mi do prami kei be lo fasnu is an event.
le su’u mi do prami kei be lo bridi is a bridi.
le su’u mi do prami kei be lo sidbo is a concept.

Using su’u this way, the semantic, though perhaps not grammatical, range of all abstractors can be covered. More usually, though, other abstractors are used. nu, which you also know, treats the abstraction as an event.
nu x1 is an event of BRIDI

There are many ways to view an event, and so there are four other abstractors whose semantic are all covered by nu, but more specific.
mu’e x1 is a point-like event of BRIDI happening
za’i x1 is a state of BRIDI being true
pu’u x1 is a process of BRIDI unfolding through stages x2
zu’o x1 is an activity of BRIDI consisting of the repeated event of x2

The understanding of these abstractors is tied to the understanding of event contours. mu’e is akin to the event contour co’i in the sense that both treat the bridi as point-like in time and space:
le mu’e mi kanro binxo cu se djica mi – ”Me becoming healthy is desired by me” has the semantic meaning that the process of becoming healthy is not being considered. If it consists of chemotherapy, it is plausible that this process is not desired at all. “Becoming healthy”, in a point-like sense is desired, however.

za’i is like the event contour ca’o in the sense that le za’i bridi begins to apply when the bridi begins and sharply ends when the bridi ceases to be true, much like ca’o.
za’o za’i mi kanro binxo means that the state of me becoming healthy took too long time; that the time between my health beginning to improve and be actually being healthy was long-winded.

The actual treatment is perhaps better caught by pu’u, which, like event contours in general, puts emphasis on the entire event as unfolding through time. .ii ba zi co’a pu’u mi kanro binxo vau .oi expresses fear that the painful process of becoming healthy is about to begin.The x2 is filled by a sequence of stages, which can be made by interspacing the stages with the non-logical connective ce’o: ze’u pu’u mi kanro binxo kei le nu mi facki ce’o le nu mi jai tolsti ce’o mi ENDURE means “something is a long process of me becoming healthy consisting of the stages A) I find out B) something about me begins C) I endure.”

Finally, the semantics of zu’o treats the abstraction as consisting of reapeated actions: jibri mi fa lo zu’o mi zbasu lo karce – “The activity of me making cars is my job” is accurate if, for instance, the speaker works at a car-producing factory. Here, her activity of producing cars consists of the repeated actions A) she lowers frame 1 onto car 1 B) she welds frame 1 to car 1, C) repeat with car 2. The x2 here is also a sequence.

Note the difference between mu’e bajra, za’i bajra, pu’u bajra, zu’o bajra and nu bajra. The point-like event of running puts emphasis on the event happening, but nothing else. The state of running begins when the runner begins and stops when the runner stops. The process of running consists of a warm-up, keeping a steady speed, and the final sprint. The activity of running consists the cycles of lifting one foot, moving it forward, dropping it down, repeat with the other foot. All of these are covered by the event of running.

The abstractor du’u has nothing to do with events and only considers the bridi inside the abstraction as a bridi:
.ui sai zi facki le du’u zi citka lo cidjrpitsa – “Yes! I just found out that pizza will be eaten soon!”. What is being discovered is the truth of an abstract bridi, not an event. In general, abstractions like truths, lies, things being discovered or believed are all pure bridi, so du’u is appropriate. 
du’u x1 is the bridi of BRIDI expressed in sentence x2
For bridi to exist (or at least to have any relevance), they must be expressed in some medium, whether this is speech, thought or writing. The term “expressed” is misleading if it is expressed only in the mind of someone but the term nonetheless applies. Specifying which medium the bridi is expressed in is what the x2 of du’u is used for:  .ui facki le du’u jai cidjrpitsa kei zo’e pe le mi mamta – “Yay, discovered that something about pizza, expressed in something that had to do with my mother!”. The translation is clumsy, but probably means that the speaker’s mother told him that pizza was coming.

The next abstractor, si’o, is derived from the gismu sidbo meaning “idea”. It’s relatively easy to understand: le si’o mi mamta is the very idea that I am a mother. Similarly, le si’o prami is “The concept that someone loves someone”, which can be translated as merely “Love itself.” All ideas need someone to reflect on them, and the second sumti place of si’o mirrors this:
si’o x1 is an idea of BRIDI as imagined by x2
le si’o nanmu kei be do cu xlali vau pe’i – “Your idea of manliness is harmful, I think,”

The abstractor jei is very different from those covered so far, because of its place structure:
jei x1 is the truth value of BRIDI under epistemology x2
The first sumti place is not an abstracted bridi, but a verdict of truth, which lies between 0 (false) and 1 (truth) inclusive. These two numbers are used to represent falsehood or truth, not mathematical quantity, and therefore cannot be used in mathematics. {le jei BRIDI} is not a number, but a truth verdict, which might be represented by a number or any other symbols.
The x2 is often left vague.
.y li pi so’u jei go’i kei tu’a mi – “Uuh, that’s not very true, according to me.”

Semantically close to jei is ni, the amount abstraction.
ni x1 is the quantity of BRIDI as measured at scale x2
 Unlike the x1 of jei, the x1 of ni is a number. It is used to quantify whatever; some texts stress that those things which are not easily quantifiable like le ni mi tunba do, the amount of me being your sibling, makes no sense. For others this is a perfectly reasonable thing to say, even though actually quantifying it is not practical.


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