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\chap{Putting It All Together: Notes on the Structure of Lojban Texts}
This chapter is incurably miscellaneous. It describes the
cmavo that specify the structure of Lojban texts, from the
largest scale (paragraphs) to the smallest (single words).
There are fewer examples than are found in other chapters of
this book, since the linguistic mechanisms described are
generally made use of in conversation or else in long
This chapter is also not very self-contained. It makes
passing reference to a great many concepts which are explained
in full only in other chapters. The alternative would be a
chapter on text structure which was as complex as all the other
chapters put together. Lojban is a unified language, and it is
not possible to understand any part of it (in full) before
understanding every part of it (to some degree).
\sect{Sentences: I}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
.i I sentence separator
Since Lojban is audio-visually isomorphic, there needs to be a
spoken and written way of signaling the end of a sentence and
the start of the following one. In written English, a period
serves this purpose; in spoken English, a tone contour (rising
or falling) usually does the job, or sometimes a long pause.
Lojban uses a single separator: the cmavo \q{.i} (of selma'o
mi klama le zarci .i do cadzu le bisli\n
I go to-the store. You walk on-the ice.
The word \q{separator} should be noted. \q{.i} is not normally
used after the last sentence nor before the first one, although
both positions are technically grammatical. \q{.i} signals a
new sentence on the same topic, not necessarily by the same
speaker. The relationship between the sentences is left vague,
except in stories, where the relationship usually is temporal,
and the following sentence states something that happened after
the previous sentence.
Note that although the first letter of an English sentence
is capitalized, the cmavo \q{.i} is never capitalized. In
writing, it is appropriate to place extra space before \q{.i}
to make it stand out better for the reader. In some styles of
Lojban writing that have been used so far, every \q{.i} is
placed at the beginning of a line, possibly leaving space at
the end of the previous line.
An \q{.i} cmavo may or may not be used when the speaker of
the following sentence is different from the speaker of the
preceding sentence, depending on whether the sentences are felt
to be connected or not.
An \q{.i} cmavo can be compounded with a logical or
non-logical connective (a jek or joik), a modal or tense
connective, or both: these constructs are explained in \chapref{9}, \chapref{10}, and \chapref{14}. In all cases,
the \q{.i} comes first in the compound. Attitudinals can also
be attached to an \q{.i} if they are meant to apply to the
whole sentence: see \chapref{13}.
There exist a pair of mechanisms for binding a sequence of
sentences closely together. If the \q{.i} (with or without
connectives) is followed by \q{bo} (of selma'o BO), then the
two sentences being separated are understood to be more closely
grouped than sentences connected by \q{.i} alone.
Similarly, a group of sentences can be preceded by \q{tu'e} (of
selma'o TUhE) and followed by \q{tu'u} (of selma'o TUhU) to fuse
them into a single unit. A common use of \q{tu'e ... tu'u} is to
group the sentences which compose a poem: the title sentence would
precede the group, separated from it by \q{.i}. Another use might be
a set of directions, where each numbered direction might be
surrounded by \q{tu'e ... tu'u} and contain one or more sentences
separated by \q{.i}. Grouping with \q{tu'e} and \q{tu'u} is
analogous to grouping with \q{ke} and \q{ke'e} to establish the
scope of logical or non-logical connectives (see \chapref{14}).
\sect{Paragraphs: NIhO}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
ni'o NIhO new topic
no'i NIhO old topic
da'o DAhO cancel cmavo assignments
The paragraph is a concept used in writing systems for two
purposes: to indicate changes of topic, and to break up the
hard-to-read appearance of large blocks of text on the page.
The former function is represented in both spoken and written
Lojban by the cmavo \q{ni'o} and \q{no'i}, both of selma'o
NIhO. Of these two, \q{ni'o} is the more common. By convention,
written Lojban is broken into paragraphs just before any
\q{ni'o} or \q{no'i}, but a very long passage on a single topic
might be paragraphed before an \q{.i}. On the other hand, it is
conventional in English to start a new paragraph in dialogue
when a new speaker starts, but this convention is not commonly
observed in Lojban dialogues. Of course, none of these
conventions affect meaning in any way.
A \q{ni'o} can take the place of an \q{.i} as a sentence
separator, and in addition signals a new topic or paragraph.
Grammatically, any number of \q{ni'o} cmavo can appear
consecutively and are equivalent to a single one; semantically,
a greater number of \q{ni'o} cmavo indicates a larger-scale
change of topic. This feature allows complexly structured text,
with topics, subtopics, and sub-subtopics, to be represented
clearly and unambiguously in both spoken and written Lojban.
However, some conventional differences do exist between
\q{ni'o} in writing and in conversation.
In written text, a single \q{ni'o} is a mere discursive
indicator of a new subject, whereas \q{ni'oni'o} marks a change
in the context. In this situation, \q{ni'oni'o} implicitly
cancels the definitions of all pro-sumti of selma'o KOhA as
well as pro-bridi of selma'o GOhA. (Explicit cancelling is
expressed by the cmavo \q{da'o} of selma'o DAhO, which has the
free grammar of an indicator -- it can appear almost anywhere.)
The use of \q{ni'oni'o} does not affect indicators (of selma'o
UI) or tense references, but \q{ni'oni'oni'o}, indicating a
drastic change of topic, would serve to reset both indicators
and tenses. (See \sectref{19.8} for a discussion
of indicator scope.)
In spoken text, which is inherently less structured, these
levels are reduced by one, with \q{ni'o} indicating a change in
context sufficient to cancel pro-sumti and pro-bridi
assignment. On the other hand, in a book, or in stories within
stories such as \q{The Arabian Nights}, further levels may be
expressed by extending the \q{ni'o} string as needed. Normally,
a written text will begin with the number of \q{ni'o} cmavo
needed to signal the largest scale division which the text
contains. \q{ni'o} strings may be subscripted to label each
context of discourse: see \sectref{19.6}.
\q{no'i} is similar in effect to \q{ni'o}, but indicates the
resumption of a previous topic. In speech, it is analogous to
(but much shorter than) such English discursive phrases as
\q{But getting back to the point ... }. By default, the topic
resumed is that in effect before the last \q{ni'o}. When
subtopics are nested within topics, then \q{no'i} would resume
the previous subtopic and \q{no'ino'i} the previous topic. Note
that \q{no'i} also resumes tense and pro-sumti assignments
dropped at the previous \q{ni'o}.
If a \q{ni'o} is subscripted, then a \q{no'i} with the same
subscript is assumed to be a continuation of it. A \q{no'i} may
also have a negative subscript, which would specify counting
backwards a number of paragraphs and resuming the topic found
\sect{Topic-comment sentences: ZOhU}
The following cmavo is discussed in this section:
zo'u ZOhU topic/comment separator
The normal Lojban sentence is just a bridi, parallel to the
normal English sentence which has a subject and a
mi klama le zarci\n
I went to the market
In Chinese, the normal sentence form is different: a topic is
stated, and a comment about it is made. (Japanese also has the
concept of a topic, but indicates it by attaching a suffix;
other languages also distinguish topics in various ways.) The
topic says what the sentence is about:
zhe<sup>4</sup> xiao<sup>1</sup>xi<sup>2</sup> wo<sup>3</sup> zhi<sup>1</sup>dao le\n
this news I know \optional{perfective}\n
As for this news, I knew it.\n
I've heard this news already.
The wide space in the first two versions of \exref{19.4.2} separate the topic (\q{this news})
from the comment (\q{I know already}).
Lojban uses the cmavo \q{zo'u} (of selma'o ZOhU) to separate
topic (a sumti) from comment (a bridi):
le nuzba zu'o mi ba'o djuno\n
The news : I \optional{perfective} know.
\exref{19.4.3} is the literal Lojban
translation of \exref{19.4.2}. Of course, the
topic-comment structure can be changed to a straightforward
bridi structure:
mi ba'o djuno le nuzba\n
I \optional{perfective} know the news.
\exref{19.4.4} means the same as \exref{19.4.3}, and it is simpler. However, often
the position of the topic in the place structure of the selbri
within the comment is vague:
le finpe zo'u citka\n
the fish : eat
Is the fish eating or being eaten? The sentence doesn't say.
The Chinese equivalent of \exref{19.4.5}
yu<sup>2</sup> chi<sup>1</sup>\n
fish eat
{\noindent}which is vague in exactly the same way.
Grammatically, it is possible to have more than one sumti
before \q{zo'u}. This is not normally useful in topic-comment
sentences, but is necessary in the other use of \q{zo'u}: to
separate a quantifying section from a bridi containing
quantified variables. This usage belongs to a discussion of
quantifier logic in Lojban (see \chapref{16}), but an example would be:
roda poi prenu ku'o su'ode zo'u\n
\T de patfu da\n
for-all X which-are-persons, there-exists-a-Y such-that\n
\T Y is the father of X.\n
Every person has a father.
The string of sumti before \q{zo'u} (called the \q{prenex}:
see \chapref{16}) may contain both a
topic and bound variables:
loi patfu\n
\T roda poi prenu ku'o su'ode zo'u\n
\T de patfu da\n
for-the-mass-of fathers\n
\T for-all X which-are-persons, there-exists-a-Y such-that\n
\T Y is the father of X.\n
As for fathers, every person has one.
To specify a topic which affects more than one sentence, wrap
the sentences in \q{tu'e ... tu'u} brackets and place the topic
and the \q{zo'u} directly in front. This is the exception to
the rule that a topic attaches directly to a sentence:
loi jdini zo'u tu'e do ponse .inaja do djica \optional{tu'u}\n
the-mass-of money : ( [if] you possess, then you want )\n
Money: if you have it, you want it.
Note: In Lojban, you do not \q{want money}; you ``want to
have money'' or something of the sort, as the $x_2$ place of
\q{djica} demands an event. As a result, the straightforward
rendering of \exref{19.4.8} without a topic is
do ponse loi jdini .inaja do djica ri\n
You possess money only-if you desire its-mere-existence
{\noindent}where \q{ri} means \q{loi jdini} and is interpreted as ``the
mere existence of money'', but rather:
do ponse loi jdini .inaja do djica tu'a ri\n
You possess money only-if you desire something-about it
{\noindent}namely, the possession of money. But topic-comment sentences
like \exref{19.4.9} are inherently vague, and
this difference between \q{ponse} (which expects a physical
object in $x_2$) and \q{djica} is ignored. See \exref{19.9.3} for another topic/comment
The subject of an English sentence is often the topic as
well, but in Lojban the sumti in the $x_1$ place is not
necessarily the topic, especially if it is the normal
(unconverted) $x_1$ for the selbri. Thus Lojban sentences don't
necessarily have a \q{subject} in the English sense.
\sect{Questions and answers}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
xu UI truth question
ma KOhA sumti question
mo GOhA bridi question
xo PA number question
ji A sumti connective question
ge'i GA forethought connective question
gi'i GIhA bridi-tail connective question
gu'i GUhA tanru forethought connective question
je'i JA tanru connective question
pei UI attitude question
fi'a FA place structure question
cu'e CUhE tense/modal question
pau UI question premarker
Lojban questions are not at all like English questions. There
are two basic types: truth questions, of the form ``Is it true
that ... '', and fill-in-the-blank questions. Truth questions
are marked by preceding the bridi, or following any part of it
specifically questioned, with the cmavo \q{xu} (of selma'o UI):
xu do klama le zarci\n
\optional{True or false?} You go to the store\n
Are you going to the store/Did you go to the store?
(Since the Lojban is tenseless, either colloquial translation
might be correct.) Truth questions are further discussed in \chapref{15}.
Fill-in-the-blank questions have a cmavo representing some
Lojban word or phrase which is not known to the questioner, and
which the answerer is to supply. There are a variety of cmavo
belonging to different selma'o which provide different kinds of
Where a sumti is not known, a question may be formed with
\q{ma} (of selma'o KOhA), which is a kind of pro-sumti:
ma klama le zarci\n
\optional{What sumti?} goes-to the store\n
Who is going to the store?
Of course, the \q{ma} need not be in the $x_1$ place:
do klama ma\n
You go-to \optional{what sumti?}\n
Where are you going?
The answer is a simple sumti:
le zarci\n
The store.
A sumti, then, is a legal utterance, although it does not by
itself constitute a bridi -- it does not claim anything, but
merely completes the open-ended claim of the previous
There can be two \q{ma} cmavo in a single question:
ma klama ma\n
Who goes where?
{\noindent}and the answer would be two sumti, which are meant to fill in
the two \q{ma} cmavo in order:
mi le zarci\n
I, to the store.
An even more complex example, depending on the non-logical
connective \q{fa'u} (of selma'o JOI), which is like the English
\q{and ... respectively}:
ma fa'u ma klama ma fa'u ma\n
Who and who goes where and where, respectively?
An answer might be
la djan. la marcas. le zarci le briju\n
John, Marsha, the store, the office.\n
John and Marsha go to the store and the office,\n
\T respectively.
(Note: A mechanical substitution of \exref{19.5.8} into \exref{19.5.7} produces an
ungrammatical result, because \q{* ... le zarci fa'u le briju}
is ungrammatical Lojban: the first \q{le zarci} has to be
closed with its proper terminator \q{ku}, for reasons explained
in \chapref{14}. This effect is not
important: Lojban behaves as if all elided terminators have
been supplied in both question and answer before inserting the
latter into the former. The exchange is grammatical if question
and answer are each separately grammatical.)
Questions to be answered with a selbri are expressed with
\q{mo} of selma'o GOhA, which is a kind of pro-bridi:
la lojban. mo\n
Lojban \optional{what selbri?}\n
What is Lojban?
Here the answerer is to supply some predicate which is true of
Lojban. Such questions are extremely open-ended, due to the
enormous range of possible predicate answers. The answer might
be just a selbri, or might be a full bridi, in which case the
sumti in the answer override those provided by the questioner.
To limit the range of a \q{mo} question, make it part of a
Questions about numbers are expressed with \q{xo} of selma'o
do viska xo prenu\n
You saw \optional{what number?} persons.\n
How many people did you see?
The answer would be a simple number, another kind of
non-bridi utterance:
Fill-in-the-blank questions may also be asked about: logical
connectives (using cmavo \q{ji} of A, \q{ge'i} of GA, \q{gi'i}
of GIhA, \q{gu'i} of GUhA, or \q{je'i} of JA, and receiving an
ek, gihek, ijek, or ijoik as an answer) --- see \chapref{14}; attitudes (using \q{pei} of
UI, and receiving an attitudinal as an answer) --- see \chapref{13}; place structures (using
\q{fi'a} of FA, and receiving a cmavo of FA as an answer) ---
see \chapref{9}; tenses and modals
(using \q{cu'e} of CUhE, and receiving any tense or BAI cmavo
as an answer) --- see \chapref{9} and \chapref{10}.
Questions can be marked by placing \q{pau} (of selma'o UI)
before the question bridi. See \chapref{13} for details.
The full list of non-bridi utterances suitable as answers to
questions is:
\item[] any number of sumti (with elidable terminator \q{vau}, see \chapref{6}) an ek or gihek (logical connectives, see \chapref{14}) a number, or any mathematical expression placed in parentheses (see \chapref{18}) a bare \q{na} negator (to negate some previously expressed bridi), or corresponding \q{ja'a} affirmer (see \chapref{15}) a relative clause (to modify some previously expressed sumti, see \chapref{8}) a prenex/topic (to modify some previously expressed bridi, see \chapref{16}) linked arguments (beginning with \q{be} or \q{bei} and attached to some previously expressed selbri, often in a description,see \chapref{5})
At the beginning of a text, the following non-bridi are also
\item[] one or more names (to indicate direct address without \q{doi}, see \chapref{6}) indicators (to express a prevailing attitude, see \chapref{13}) \q{nai} (to vaguely negate something or other, see \chapref{15})
Where not needed for the expression of answers, most of
these are made grammatical for pragmatic reasons: people will
say them in conversation, and there is no reason to rule them
out as ungrammatical merely because most of them are vague.
\sect{Subscripts: XI}
The following cmavo is discussed in this section:
xi XI subscript
The cmavo \q{xi} (of selma'o XI) indicates that a subscript (a
number, a lerfu string, or a parenthesized mekso) follows.
Subscripts can be attached to almost any construction and are
placed following the construction (or its terminator word,
which is generally required). They are useful either to extend
the finite cmavo list to infinite length, or to make more
refined distinctions than the standard cmavo list permits. The
remainder of this section mentions some places where subscripts
might naturally be used.
Lojban gismu have at most five places:
mi cu klama le zarci le zdani\n
\T le dargu le karce\n
I go to-the market from-the house\n
\T via-the road using-the car.
Consequently, selma'o SE (which operates on a selbri to
change the order of its places) and selma'o FA (which provides
place number tags for individual sumti) have only enough
members to handle up to five places. Conversion of \exref{19.6.1}, using \q{xe} to swap the $x_1$ and
$x_5$ places, would produce:
le karce cu xe klama le zarci\n
\T le zdani le dargu mi\n
The car is-a-transportation-means to-the market\n
\T from-the house via-the road for-me.
And reordering of the place structures might produce:
fo le dargu fi le zdani fa mi fe le zarci\n
\T fu le karce cu klama\n
Via the road, from the house, I, to the market,\n
\T using-the car, go.
\exref{19.6.1} to hyperref\optional{ex:19:6:3}{6.3}
all mean the same thing. But consider the lujvo \q{nunkla},
formed by applying the abstraction operator \q{nu} to
la'edi'u cu nunkla\n
\T mi le zarci le zdani\n
\T le dargu le karce\n
The-referent-of-the-previous-sentence is-an-event-of-going\n
\T by-me to-the market from-the house\n
\T via-the road using-the car.
\exref{19.6.4} shows that \q{nunkla} has six
places: the five places of \q{klama} plus a new one (placed
first) for the event itself. Performing transformations similar
to that of \exref{19.6.2} requires an
additional conversion cmavo that exchanges the $x_1$ and $x_6$
places. The solution is to use any cmavo of SE with a
le karce cu sexixa nunkla\n
\T mi le zarci le zdani le dargu\n
\T la'edi'u\n
The car is-a-transportation-means-in-the-event-of-going\n
\T by-me to-the market via-the road\n
\T which-is-referred-to-by-the-last-sentence.
Likewise, a sixth place tag can be created by using any
cmavo of FA with a subscript:
fu le dargu fo le zdani fe mi\n
\T fa la'edi'u fi le zarci\n
\T faxixa le karce cu klama\n
Via the road, from the house, by me,\n
\T the-referent-of-the-last-sentence, to the market,\n
\T using the car, is-an-event-of-going.
\exref{19.6.4} to hyperref\optional{ex:19:6:6}{6.6}
also all mean the same thing, and each is derived
straightforwardly from any of the others, despite the tortured
nature of the English glosses. In addition, any other member of
SE or FA could be substituted into \q{sexixa} and \q{faxixa}
without change of meaning: \q{vexixa} means the same thing as
Lojban provides two groups of pro-sumti, both belonging to
selma'o KOhA. The ko'a-series cmavo are used to refer to
explicitly specified sumti to which they have been bound using
\q{goi}. The da-series, on the other hand, are existentially or
universally quantified variables. (These concepts are explained
more fully in \chapref{16}.) There are
ten ko'a-series cmavo and 3 da-series cmavo available.
If more are required, any cmavo of the ko'a-series or the
da-series can be subscripted:
X sub 4
{\noindent}is the 4th bound variable of the 1st sequence of the da-series,
something-3 sub 18
{\noindent}is the 18th free variable of the 3rd sequence of the
ko'a-series. This convention allows 10 sequences of ko'a-type
pro-sumti and 3 sequences of da-type pro-sumti, each with
arbitrarily many members. Note that \q{daxivo} and \q{dexivo}
are considered to be distinct pro-sumti, unlike the situation
with \q{sexixa} and \q{vexixa} above. Exactly similar treatment
can be given to the bu'a-series of selma'o GOhA and to the
gismu pro-bridi \q{broda}, \q{brode}, \q{brodi}, \q{brodo}, and
Subscripts on lerfu words are used in the standard
mathematical way to extend the number of variables:
li xy.boixipa du li xy.boixire su'i xy.boixici\n
The-number x-sub-1 equals the-number x-sub-2 plus x-sub-3\n
$x<sub>1</sub> = x<sub>2</sub> + x<sub>3</sub>$
{\noindent}and can be used to extend the number of pro-sumti as well,
since lerfu strings outside mathematical contexts are
grammatically and semantically equivalent to pro-sumti of the
ko'a-series. (In \exref{19.6.9}, note the
required terminator \q{boi} after each \q{xy.} cmavo; this
terminator allows the subscript to be attached without
Names, which are similar to pro-sumti, can also be
subscripted to distinguish two individuals with the same
la djan. xipa cusku lu mi'enai do li'u la djan. xire\n
John<sub>1</sub> expresses \q{I-am-not you} to John<sub>2</sub>.
Subscripts on tenses allow talking about more than one time or
place that is described by the same general cmavo. For example,
\q{puxipa} could refer to one point in the past, and \q{puxire}
a second point (earlier or later).
You can place a subscript on the word \q{ja'a}, the bridi
affirmative of selma'o NA, to express so-called fuzzy truths.
The usual machinery for fuzzy logic (statements whose truth
value is not merely \q{true} or \q{false}, but is expressed by
a number in the range 0 to 1) in Lojban is the abstractor
li pimu jei mi ganra\n
The-number .5 is-the-truth-value-of my being-broad
However, by convention we can attach a subscript to \q{ja'a}
to indicate fuzzy truth (or to \q{na} if we change the
mi ja'a xipimu ganra\n
I truly-sub-.5 am-broad
Finally, as mentioned in \sectref{19.2}, \q{ni'o}
and \q{no'i} cmavo with matching subscripts mark the start and
the continuation of a given topic respectively. Different
topics can be assigned to different subscripts.
Other uses of subscripts will doubtless be devised in
\sect{Utterance ordinals: MAI}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
mai MAI utterance ordinal, -thly
mo'o MAI higher order utterance ordinal
Numerical free modifiers, corresponding to English \q{firstly},
\q{secondly}, and so on, can be created by suffixing \q{mai} or
\q{mo'o} of selma'o MAI to a number or a lerfu string. Here are
some examples:
mi klama pamai le zarci .e remai le zdani\n
I go-to (firstly) the store and (secondly) the market.
This does not imply that I go to the store before I go to
the market: that meaning requires a tense. The sumti are simply
numbered for convenience of reference. Like other free
modifiers, the utterance ordinals can be inserted almost
anywhere in a sentence without affecting its grammar or its
Any of the Lojban numbers can be used with MAI: \q{romai},
for example, means \q{all-thly} or \q{lastly}. Likewise, if you
are enumerating a long list and have forgotten which number is
wanted next, you can say \q{ny.mai}, or \q{Nthly}.
The difference between \q{mai} and \q{mo'o} is that \q{mo'o}
enumerates larger subdivisions of a text; \q{mai} was designed
for lists of numbered items, whereas \q{mo'o} was intended to
subdivide structured works. If this chapter were translated
into Lojban, it might number each section with \q{mo'o}: this
section would then be introduced with \q{zemo'o}, or \q{\sectref{19.7}.}
\sect{Attitude scope markers: FUhE/FUhO}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
fu'e FUhE open attitudinal scope
fu'o FUhO close attitudinal scope
Lojban has a complex system of \q{attitudinals}, words which
indicate the speaker's attitude to what is being said. The
attitudinals include indicators of emotion, intensity markers,
discursives (which show the structure of discourse), and
evidentials (which indicate \q{how the speaker knows}). Most of
these words belong to selma'o UI; the intensity markers belong
to selma'o CAI for historical reasons, but the two selma'o are
grammatically identical. The individual cmavo of UI and CAI are
discussed in \chapref{13}; only the
rules for applying them in discourse are presented here.
Normally, an attitudinal applies to the preceding word only.
However, if the preceding word is a structural cmavo which
begins or ends a whole construction, then that whole
construction is affected by the attitudinal:
mi viska le blanu .ia zdani \optional{ku}\n
I see the blue [belief] house.\n
I see the house, which I believe to be blue.
mi viska le blanu zdani .ia \optional{ku}\n
I see the blue house [belief].\n
I see the blue thing, which I believe to be a house.
mi viska le .ia blanu zdani \optional{ku}\n
I see the [belief] blue house\n
I see what I believe to be a blue house.
mi viska le blanu zdani ku .ia\n
I see (the blue house ) \optional{belief}\n
I see what I believe to be a blue house.
An attitudinal meant to cover a whole sentence can be
attached to the preceding \q{.i}, expressed or understood:
[.i] .ia mi viska le blanu zdani\n
[belief] I see the blue house\n
I believe I see a blue house.
{\noindent}or to an explicit \q{vau} placed at the end of a bridi.
Likewise, an attitudinal meant to cover a whole paragraph
can be attached to \q{ni'o} or \q{no'i}. An attitudinal at the
beginning of a text applies to the whole text.
However, sometimes it is necessary to be more specific about
the range of one or more attitudinals, particularly if the
range crosses the boundaries of standard Lojban syntactic
constructions. The cmavo \q{fu'e} (of selma'o FUhE) and
\q{fu'o} (of selma'o FUhO) provide explicit scope markers.
Placing \q{fu'e} in front of an attitudinal disconnects it from
what precedes it, and instead says that it applies to all
following words until further notice. The notice is given by
\q{fu'o}, which can appear anywhere and cancels all in-force
attitudinals. For example:
mi viska le fu'e .ia blanu zdani fu'o ponse\n
I see the \optional{start} [belief] blue house [end] possessor\n
I see the owner of what I believe to be a blue house.
Here, only the \q{blanu zdani} portion of the three-part
tanru \q{blanu zdani ponse} is marked as a belief of the
speaker. Naturally, the attitudinal scope markers do not affect
the rules for interpreting multi-part tanru: \q{blanu zdani}
groups first because tanru group from left to right unless
overridden with \q{ke} or \q{bo}.
Other attitudinals of more local scope can appear after
attitudinals marked by FUhE; these attitudinals are added to
the globally active attitudinals rather than superseding
\sect{Quotations: LU, LIhU, LOhU, LEhU}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
lu LU begin quotation
li'u LIhU end quotation
lo'u LOhU begin error quotation
le'u LEhU end error quotation
Grammatically, quotations are very simple in Lojban: all of
them are sumti, and they all mean something like ``the piece of
text here quoted'':
mi pu cusku lu mi'e djan \optional{li'u}\n
I [past] express [quote] I-am John [unquote]\n
I said, \q{I'm John}.
But in fact there are four different flavors of quotation in
the language, involving six cmavo of six different selma'o.
This being the case, quotation deserves some elaboration.
The simplest kind of quotation, exhibited in \exref{19.9.1}, uses the cmavo \q{lu} (of selma'o
LU) as the opening quotation mark, and the cmavo \q{li'u} (of
selma'o LIhU) as the closing quotation mark. The text between
\q{lu} and \q{li'u} must be a valid, parseable Lojban text. If
the quotation is ungrammatical, so is the surrounding
expression. The cmavo \q{li'u} is technically an elidable
terminator, but it's almost never possible to elide it except
at the end of text.
The cmavo \q{lo'u} (of selma'o LOhU) and \q{le'u} (of
selma'o LEhU) are used to surround a quotation that is not
necessarily grammatical Lojban. However, the text must consist
of morphologically correct Lojban words (as defined in \chapref{4}), so that the \q{le'u} can be
picked out reliably. The words need not be meaningful, but they
must be recognizable as cmavo, brivla, or cmene. Quotation with
\q{lo'u} is essential to quoting ungrammatical Lojban for
teaching in the language, the equivalent of the * that is used
in English to mark such errors:
lo'u mi du do du la djan. le'u\n
\T na tergerna la lojban.\n
\optional{quote} mi du do du la djan. [unquote]\n
\T is-not a-grammatical-structure-in Lojban.
\exref{19.9.2} is grammatical even though the
embedded quotation is not. Similarly, \q{lo'u} quotation can
quote fragments of a text which themselves do not constitute
grammatical utterances:
lu le mlatu cu viska le finpe li'u zo'u\n
\T lo'u viska le le'u\n
\T cu selbasti .ei\n
\T lo'u viska lo le'u\n
\optional{quote} le mlatu cu viska le finpe [unquote] :\n
\T [quote] viska le [unquote]\n
\T is-replaced-by [obligation!]\n
\T [quote] viska lo [unquote].\n
In the sentence \q{le mlatu viska le finpe},\n
\T \q{viska le} should be replaced by \q{viska lo}.
Note the topic-comment formulation (\hyperref[sec:19:4]{Section
4}) and the indicator applying to the selbri only (\sectref{19.8}). Neither \q{viska le} nor ``viska
lo'' is a valid Lojban utterance, and both require \q{lo'u}
Additionally, pro-sumti or pro-bridi in the quoting sentence
can refer to words appearing in the quoted sentence when ``lu
... li'u'' is used, but not when \q{lo'u ... le'u} is used:
la tcarlis. cusku lu le ninmu cu morsi li'u\n
\T .iku'i ri jmive\n
Charlie says \optional{quote} the woman is-dead [unquote].\n
\T However, the-last-mentioned is-alive.\n
Charlie says \q{The woman is dead}, but she is alive.
In \exref{19.9.4}, \q{ri} is a pro-sumti
which refers to the most recent previous sumti, namely ``le
ninmu''. Compare:
la tcarlis. cusku lo'u le ninmu cu morsi le'u\n
\T .iku'i ri jmive\n
Charlie says \optional{quote} le ninmu cu morsi [unquote].\n
\T However, the-last-mentioned is-alive.\n
Charlie says \q{le ninmu cu morsi}, but he is alive.
In \exref{19.9.5}, \q{ri} cannot refer to the
referent of the alleged sumti \q{le ninmu}, because ``le ninmu
cu morsi'' is a mere uninterpreted sequence of Lojban words.
Instead, \q{ri} ends up referring to the referent of the sumti
\q{la tcarlis.}, and so it is Charlie who is alive.
The metalinguistic erasers \q{si}, \q{sa}, and \q{su},
discussed in \sectref{19.13}, do not operate in
text between \q{lo'u} and \q{le'u}. Since the first \q{le'u}
terminates a \q{lo'u} quotation, it is not directly possible to
have a \q{lo'u} quotation within another \q{lo'u} quotation.
However, it is possible for a \q{le'u} to occur within a ``lo'u
... le'u'' quotation by preceding it with the cmavo \q{zo},
discussed in \sectref{19.10}. Note that \q{le'u}
is not an elidable terminator; it is required.
\sect{More on quotations: ZO, ZOI}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
zo ZO quote single word
zoi ZOI non-Lojban quotation
la'o ZOI non-Lojban name
The cmavo \q{zo} (of selma'o ZO) is a strong quotation mark for
the single following word, which can be any Lojban word
whatsoever. Among other uses, \q{zo} allows a metalinguistic
word to be referenced without having it act on the surrounding
text. The word must be a morphologically legal (but not
necessarily meaningful) single Lojban word; compound cmavo are
not permitted. For example:
zo si cu lojbo valsi\n
\q{si} is a Lojbanic word.
Since \q{zo} acts on a single word only, there is no
corresponding terminator. Brevity, then, is a great advantage
of \q{zo}, since the terminators for other kinds of quotation
are rarely or never elidable.
The cmavo \q{zoi} (of selma'o ZOI) is a quotation mark for
quoting unlexable (non-Lojban) text. Its syntax is ``zoi X.
text .X'', where X is a Lojban word (called the delimiting
word) which is separated from the quoted text by pauses, and
which is not found in the written text or spoken phoneme
stream. It is common, but not required, to use the lerfu word
(of selma'o BY) which corresponds to the Lojban name of the
language being quoted:
zoi gy. John is a man .gy. cu glico jufra\n
\q{John is a man} is an English sentence.
{\noindent}where \q{gy} stands for \q{glico}. Other popular choices of
delimiting words are \q{.kuot.}, a Lojban name which sounds
like the English word \q{quote}, and the word \q{zoi} itself.
Another possibility is a Lojban word suggesting the topic of
the quotation.
Within written text, the Lojban written word used as a
delimiting word may not appear, whereas within spoken text, the
sound of the delimiting word may not be uttered. This leads to
occasional breakdowns of audio-visual isomorphism: \exref{19.10.3} is fine in speech but
ungrammatical as written, whereas \exref{19.10.4} is correct when written but ungrammatical in
?mi djuno fi le valsi po'u zoi gy. gyrations .gy.\n
I know about the word which-is \q{gyrations}.
?mi djuno fi le valsi po'u zoi jai. gyrations .jai\n
I know about the word which-is \q{gyrations}.
The text \q{gy} appears in the written word \q{gyrations},
whereas the sound represented in Lojban by \q{jai} appears in
the spoken word \q{gyrations}. Such borderline cases should be
avoided as a matter of good style.
It should be noted particularly that \q{zoi} quotation is
the only way to quote rafsi, specifically CCV rafsi, because
they are not Lojban words, and \q{zoi} quotation is the only
way to quote things which are not Lojban words. (CVC and CVV
rafsi look like names and cmavo respectively, and so can be
quoted using other methods.) For example:
zoi ry. sku .ry. cu rafsi zo cusku\n
\q{sku} is a rafsi of \q{cusku}.
(A minor note on interaction between \q{lo'u ... le'u} and
\q{zoi}: The text between \q{lo'u} and \q{le'u} should consist
of Lojban words only. In fact, non-Lojban material in the form
of a \q{zoi} quotation may also appear. However, if the word
\q{le'u} is used either as the delimiting word for the \q{zoi}
quotation, or within the quotation itself, the outer \q{lo'u}
quotation will be prematurely terminated. Therefore, \q{le'u}
should be avoided as the delimiting word in any \q{zoi}
Lojban strictly avoids any confusion between things and the
names of things:
zo .bab. cmene la bab.\n
The-word \q{Bob} is-the-name-of the-one-named Bob.
In \exref{19.10.6}, \q{zo .bab.} is the word,
whereas \q{la bab.} is the thing named by the word. The cmavo
\q{la'e} and \q{lu'e} (of selma'o LAhE) convert back and forth
between references and their referents:
zo .bab. cmene la'e zo .bab.\n
The-word \q{Bob} is-the-name-of\n
\T the-referent-of the-word \q{Bob}.
lu'e la bab. cmene la bab.\n
A-symbol-for Bob is-the-name-of Bob.
\exref{19.10.6} through hyperref\optional{ex:19:10:8}{10.8} all mean approximately the same thing,
except for differences in emphasis. \exref{19.10.9} is different:
la bab. cmene la bab.\n
Bob is the name of Bob.
{\noindent}and says that Bob is both the name and the thing named, an
unlikely situation. People are not names.
(In \exref{19.10.6} through hyperref\optional{ex:19:10:7}{10.7}, the name \q{bab.} was separated from a
preceding \q{zo} by a pause, thus: \q{zo .bab.}. The reason for
this extra pause is that all Lojban names must be separated by
pause from any preceding word other than \q{la}, \q{lai},
\q{la'i} (all of selma'o LA) and \q{doi} (of selma'o DOI).
There are numerous other cmavo that may precede a name: of
these, \q{zo} is one of the most common.)
The cmavo \q{la'o} also belongs to selma'o ZOI, and is
mentioned here for completeness, although it does not signal
the beginning of a quotation. Instead, \q{la'o} serves to mark
non-Lojban names, especially the Linnaean binomial names (such
as \q{Homo sapiens}) which are the internationally standardized
names for species of animals and plants. Internationally known
names which can more easily be recognized by spelling rather
than pronunciation, such as \q{Goethe}, can also appear in
Lojban text with \q{la'o}:
la'o dy. Goethe .dy. cu me la'o ly. Homo sapiens .ly.\n
Goethe is a Homo sapiens.
Using \q{la'o} for all names rather than Lojbanizing, however,
makes for very cumbersome text. A rough equivalent of \q{la'o}
might be \q{la me zoi}.
\sect{Contrastive emphasis: BAhE}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
ba'e BAhE emphasize next word
za'e BAhE next word is nonce
English often uses strong stress on a word to single it out
for contrastive emphasis, thus
I saw George.
{\noindent}is quite different from
I saw \textit{George}.
The heavy stress on \q{\textit{George}} (represented in
writing by \textit{italics}) indicates that I saw George rather
than someone else. Lojban does not use stress in this way:
stress is used only to help separate words (because every
brivla is stressed on the penultimate syllable) and in names to
match other languages' stress patterns. Note that many other
languages do not use stress in this way either; typically word
order is rearranged, producing something like
It was George whom I saw.
In Lojban, the cmavo \q{ba'e} (of selma'o BAhE) precedes a
single word which is to be emphasized:
11.4.5) mi viska la ba'e .djordj.
I saw the-one-named \optional{emphasis} \q{George}.
I saw \textit{George}.
Note the pause before the name \q{djordj.}, which serves to
separate it unambiguously from the \q{ba'e}. Alternatively, the
\q{ba'e} can be moved to a position before the \q{la}, which in
effect emphasizes the whole construct \q{la djordj.}:
mi viska ba'e la djordj.\n
I saw \optional{emphasis} the-one-named \q{George}.\n
I saw \textit{George}.
Marking a word with a cmavo of BAhE does not change the word's
grammar in any way. Any word in a bridi can receive contrastive
emphasis marking:
ba'e mi viska la djordj.\n
I, no one else, saw George.
mi ba'e viska la djordj.\n
I saw (not heard or smelled) George.
Emphasis on one of the structural components of a Lojban
bridi can also be achieved by rearranging it into an order that
is not the speaker's or writer's usual order. Any sumti moved
out of place, or the selbri when moved out of place, is
emphatic to some degree.
For completeness, the cmavo \q{za'e} should be mentioned,
also of selma'o BAhE. It marks a word as possibly irregular,
non-standard, or nonce (created for the occasion):
mi klama la za'e. .albeinias\n
I go-to so-called Albania
{\noindent}marks a Lojbanization of an English name, where a more
appropriate standard form might be something like ``la
ctiipyris.'', reflecting the country's name in Albanian.
Before a lujvo or fu'ivla, \q{za'e} indicates that the word
has been made up on the spot and may be used in a sense that is
not found in the unabridged dictionary (when we have an
unabridged dictionary!).
12. Parenthesis and metalinguistic commentary: TO, TOI,
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
to TO open parenthesis
to'i TO open editorial parenthesis
toi TOI close parenthesis
sei SEI metalinguistic bridi marker
The cmavo \q{to} and \q{toi} are discursive (non-mathematical)
parentheses, for inserting parenthetical remarks. Any text
whatsoever can go within the parentheses, and it is completely
invisible to its context. It can, however, refer to the context
by the use of pro-sumti and pro-bridi: any that have been
assigned in the context are still assigned in the parenthetical
remarks, but the reverse is not true.
\T doi lisas. mi djica le nu\n
\T to doi frank. ko sisti toi\n
\T do viska le mlatu\n
O Lisa, I desire the event-of\n
\T ( O Frank, \optional{imperative} stop! )\n
\T you see the cat.\n
Lisa, I want you to (Frank! Stop!) see the cat.
\exref{19.12.1} implicitly redefines \q{do}
within the parentheses: the listener is changed by ``doi
frank.'' When the context sentence resumes, however, the old
listener, Lisa, is automatically restored.
There is another cmavo of selma'o TO: \q{to'i}. The
difference between \q{to} and \q{to'i} is the difference
between parentheses and square brackets in English prose.
Remarks within \q{to ... toi} cmavo are implicitly by the same
speaker, whereas remarks within \q{to'i ... toi} are implicitly
by someone else, perhaps an editor:
la frank. cusku lu mi prami do\n
\T to'isa'a do du la djein. toi li'u\n
Frank expresses ``I love you\n
\T \optional{you = Jane}''
The \q{sa'a} suffix is a discursive cmavo (of selma'o UI)
meaning \q{editorial insertion}, and indicating that the marked
word or construct (in this case, the entire bracketed remark)
is not part of the quotation. It is required whenever the
\q{to'i ... toi} remark is physically within quotation marks,
at least when speaking to literal-minded listeners; the
convention may be relaxed if no actual confusion results.
Note: The parser believes that parentheses are attached to
the previous word or construct, because it treats them as
syntactic equivalents of subscripts and other such so-called
\q{free modifiers}. Semantically, however, parenthetical
remarks are not necessarily attached either to what precedes
them or what follows them.
The cmavo \q{sei} (of selma'o SEI) begins an embedded
discursive bridi. Comments added with \q{sei} are called
\q{metalinguistic}, because they are comments about the
discourse itself rather than about the subject matter of the
discourse. This sense of the term \q{metalinguistic} is used
throughout this chapter, and is not to be confused with the
sense \q{language for expressing other languages}.
When marked with \q{sei}, a metalinguistic utterance can be
embedded in another utterance as a discursive. In this way,
discursives which do not have cmavo assigned in selma'o UI can
be expressed:
la frank. prami sei la frank. gleki la djein.\n
Frank loves (Frank is happy) Jane.
Using the happiness attitudinal, \q{.ui}, would imply that
the speaker was happy. Instead, the speaker attributes
happiness to Frank. It would probably be safe to elide the one
who is happy, and say:
la frank. prami sei gleki la djein.\n
Frank loves (he is happy) Jane.
The grammar of the bridi following \q{sei} has an unusual
limitation: the sumti must either all precede the selbri, or
must be glued into the selbri with \q{be} and \q{bei}:
la frank. prami sei gleki be fa la suzn. la djein.\n
Frank loves (Susan is happy) Jane.
This restriction allows the terminator cmavo \q{se'u} to
almost always be elided.
Since a discursive utterance is working at a \q{higher}
level of abstraction than a non-discursive utterance, a
non-discursive utterance cannot refer to a discursive
utterance. Specifically, the various back-counting, reciprocal,
and reflexive constructs in selma'o KOhA ignore the utterances
at \q{higher} metalinguistic levels in determining their
referent. It is possible, and sometimes necessary, to refer to
lower metalinguistic levels. For example, the English ``he
said'' in a conversation is metalinguistic. For this purpose,
quotations are considered to be at a lower metalinguistic level
than the surrounding context (a quoted text cannot refer to the
statements of the one who quotes it), whereas parenthetical
remarks are considered to be at a higher level than the
Lojban works differently from English in that the ``he
said'' can be marked instead of the quotation. In Lojban, you
can say:
la djan. cusku lu mi klama le zarci li'u\n
John expresses \q{I go to-the store}.
{\noindent}which literally claims that John uttered the quoted text. If
the central claim is that John made the utterance, as is likely
in conversation, this style is the most sensible. However, in
written text which quotes a conversation, you don't want the
\q{he said} or \q{she said} to be considered part of the
conversation. If unmarked, it could mess up the anaphora
counting. Instead, you can use:
lu mi klama le zarci\n
\T seisa'a la djan. cusku be dei li'u\n
`` I go to-the store\n
\T ( John expresses this-sentence ) ''\n
\q{I go to the store}, said John.
And of course other orders are possible:
lu seisa'a la djan. cusku be dei mi klama le zarci\n
John said, \q{I go to the store}.
lu mi klama seisa'a la djan cusku le zarci\n
\q{I go}, John said, \q{to the store}.
Note the \q{sa'a} following each \q{sei}, marking the
\q{sei} and its attached bridi as an editorial insert, not part
of the quotation. In a more relaxed style, these \q{sa'a} cmavo
would probably be dropped.
The elidable terminator for \q{sei} is \q{se'u} (of selma'o
SEhU); it is rarely needed, except to separate a selbri within
the \q{sei} comment from an immediately following selbri (or
component) outside the comment.
\sect{Erasure: SI, SA, SU}
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
si SI erase word
sa SA erase phrase
su SU erase discourse
The cmavo \q{si} (of selma'o SI) is a metalinguistic operator
that erases the preceding word, as if it had never been spoken:
ti gerku si mlatu\n
This is-a-dog, er, is-a-cat.
{\noindent}means the same thing as \q{ti mlatu}. Multiple \q{si} cmavo in
succession erase the appropriate number of words:
ta blanu zdani si si xekri zdani\n
That is-a-blue house, er, er, is-a-black house.
In order to erase the word \q{zo}, it is necessary to use three
\q{si} cmavo in a row:
zo .bab. se cmene zo si si si la bab.\n
The-word \q{Bob} is-the-name-of the word \q{si}, er, er, Bob.
The first use of \q{si} does not erase anything, but
completes the \q{zo} quotation. Two more \q{si} cmavo are then
necessary to erase the first \q{si} and the \q{zo}.
Incorrect names can likewise cause trouble with \q{si}:
mi tavla fo la .esperanto\n
\T si si .esperanton.\n
I talk in-language that-named \q{and} \q{speranto},\n
\T er, er, Esperanto.
The Lojbanized spelling \q{.esperanto} breaks up, as a
consequence of the Lojban morphology rules (see \chapref{4}) into two Lojban words, the
cmavo \q{.e} and the undefined fu'ivla \q{speranto}. Therefore,
two \q{si} cmavo are needed to erase them. Of course, ``.e
speranto'' is not grammatical after \q{la}, but recognition of
\q{si} is done before grammatical analysis.
Even more messy is the result of an incorrect \q{zoi}:
mi cusku zoi fy. gy. .fy.\n
\T si si si si zo .djan\n
I express \optional{foreign} [quote] \q{sy} [unquote],\n
\T er, er, er, er, \q{John}.
In \exref{19.13.5}, the first \q{fy} is
taken to be the delimiting word. The next word must be
different from the delimiting word, and \q{gy.}, the Lojban
name for the letter \q{g}, was chosen arbitrarily. Then the
delimiting word must be repeated. For purposes of \q{si}
erasure, the entire quoted text is taken to be a word, so four
words have been uttered, and four more \q{si} cmavo are needed
to erase them altogether. Similarly, a stray \q{lo'u} quotation
mark must be erased with \q{fy. le'u si si si}, by completing
the quotation and then erasing it all with three \q{si}
What if less than the entire \q{zo} or \q{zoi} construct is
erased? The result is something which has a loose \q{zo} or
\q{zoi} in it, without its expected sequels, and which is
incurably ungrammatical. Thus, to erase just the word quoted by
\q{zo}, it turns out to be necessary to erase the \q{zo} as
mi se cmene zo .djan.\n
\T si si zo .djordj.\n
I am-named-by the-word \q{John},\n
\T er, er, the-word \q{George}.
The parser will reject \q{zo .djan. si .djordj.}, because in
that context \q{djordj.} is a name (of selma'o CMENE) rather
than a quoted word.
Note: The current machine parser does not implement \q{si}
As the above examples plainly show, precise erasures with
\q{si} can be extremely hard to get right. Therefore, the cmavo
\q{sa} (of selma'o SA) is provided for erasing more than one
word. The cmavo following \q{sa} should be the starting marker
of some grammatical construct. The effect of the \q{sa} is to
erase back to and including the last starting marker of the
same kind. For example:
mi viska le sa .i mi cusku zo .djan.\n
I see the ... I say the-word \q{John}.
Since the word following \q{sa} is \q{.i}, the sentence
separator, its effect is to erase the preceding sentence. So \exref{19.13.7} is equivalent to:
mi cusku zo .djan.
Another example, erasing a partial description rather than a
partial sentence:
mi viska le blanu zdan. sa le xekri zdani\n
I see the blue hou ... the black house.
In \exref{19.13.9}, \q{le blanu zdan.} is
ungrammatical, but clearly reflects the speaker's original
intention to say \q{le blanu zdani}. However, the \q{zdani} was
cut off before the end and changed into a name. The entire
ungrammatical \q{le} construct is erased and replaced by ``le
xekri zdani''.
Note: The current machine parser does not implement \q{sa}
erasure. Getting \q{sa} right is even more difficult (for a
computer) than getting \q{si} right, as the behavior of \q{si}
is defined in terms of words rather than in terms of
grammatical constructs (possibly incorrect ones) and words are
conceptually simpler entities. On the other hand, \q{sa} is
generally easier for human beings, because the rules for using
it correctly are less finicky.
The cmavo \q{su} (of selma'o SU) is yet another
metalinguistic operator that erases the entire text. However,
if the text involves multiple speakers, then \q{su} will only
erase the remarks made by the one who said it, unless that
speaker has said nothing. Therefore \q{susu} is needed to
eradicate a whole discussion in conversation.
Note: The current machine parser does not implement either
\q{su} or \q{susu} erasure.
\sect{Hesitation: Y}
The following cmavo is discussed in this section:
.y. Y hesitation noise
Speakers often need to hesitate to think of what to say next or
for some extra-linguistic reason. There are two ways to
hesitate in Lojban: to pause between words (that is, to say
nothing) or to use the cmavo \q{.y.} (of selma'o Y). This
resembles in sound the English hesitation noise written \q{uh}
(or \q{er}), but differs from it in the requirement for pauses
before and after. Unlike a long pause, it cannot be mistaken
for having nothing more to say: it holds the floor for the
speaker. Since vowel length is not significant in Lojban, the
\q{y} sound can be dragged out for as long as necessary.
Furthermore, the sound can be repeated, provided the required
pauses are respected.
Since the hesitation sound in English is outside the formal
language, English-speakers may question the need for a formal
cmavo. Speakers of other languages, however, often hesitate by
saying (or, if necessary, repeating) a word (\q{este} in some
dialects of Spanish, roughly meaning \q{that is}), and Lojban's
audio-visual isomorphism requires a written representation of
all meaningful spoken behavior. Of course, \q{.y.} has no
grammatical significance: it can appear anywhere at all in a
Lojban sentence except in the middle of a word.
\sect{No more to say: FAhO}
The following cmavo is discussed in this section:
fa'o FAhO end of text
The cmavo \q{fa'o} (of selma'o FAhO) is the usually omitted
marker for the end of a text; it can be used in computer
interaction to indicate the end of input or output, or for
explicitly giving up the floor during a discussion. It is
outside the regular grammar, and the machine parser takes it as
an unconditional signal to stop parsing unless it is quoted
with \q{zo} or with \q{lo'u ... le'u}. In particular, it is not
used at the end of subordinate texts quoted with ``lu ...
li'u'' or parenthesized with \q{to ... toi}.
\sect{List of cmavo interactions}
The following list gives the cmavo and selma'o that are
recognized by the earliest stages of the parser, and specifies
exactly which of them interact with which others. All of the
cmavo are at least mentioned in this chapter. The cmavo are
written in lower case, and the selma'o in UPPER CASE.
\q{zo} quotes the following word, no matter what it is.
\q{si} erases the preceding word unless it is a \q{zo}.
\q{sa} erases the preceding word and other words, unless the
preceding word is a \q{zo}.
\q{su} is the same as \q{sa}, but erases more words.
\q{lo'u} quotes all following words up to a \q{le'u} (but
not a \q{zo le'u}).
\q{le'u} is ungrammatical except at the end of a ``lo'u
ZOI cmavo use the following word as a delimiting word, no
matter what it is, but using \q{le'u} may create
\q{zei} combines the preceding and the following word into a
lujvo, but does not affect \q{zo}, \q{si}, \q{sa}, \q{su},
\q{lo'u}, ZOI cmavo, \q{fa'o}, and \q{zei}.
BAhE cmavo mark the following word, unless it is \q{si},
\q{sa}, or \q{su}, or unless it is preceded by \q{zo}. Multiple
BAhE cmavo may be used in succession.
\q{bu} makes the preceding word into a lerfu word, except
for \q{zo}, \q{si}, \q{sa}, \q{su}, \q{lo'u}, ZOI cmavo,
\q{fa'o}, \q{zei}, BAhE cmavo, and \q{bu}. Multiple \q{bu}
cmavo may be used in succession.
UI and CAI cmavo mark the previous word, except for \q{zo},
\q{si}, \q{sa}, \q{su}, \q{lo'u}, ZOI, \q{fa'o}, \q{zei}, BAhE
cmavo, and \q{bu}. Multiple UI cmavo may be used in succession.
A following \q{nai} is made part of the UI.
\q{.y.}, \q{da'o}, \q{fu'e}, and \q{fu'o} are the same as
UI, but do not absorb a following \q{nai}.
\sect{List of Elidable Terminators}
The following list shows all the elidable terminators of
Lojban. The first column is the terminator, the second column
is the selma'o that starts the corresponding construction, and
the third column states what kinds of grammatical constructs
are terminated. Each terminator is the only cmavo of its
selma'o, which naturally has the same name as the cmavo.
be'o BE sumti attached to a tanru unit
boi PA/BY number or lerfu string
do'u COI/DOI vocative phrases
fe'u FIhO ad-hoc modal tags
ge'u GOI relative phrases
kei NU abstraction bridi
ke'e KE groups of various kinds
ku LE/LA description sumti
ku'e PEhO forethought mekso
ku'o NOI relative clauses
li'u LU quotations
lo'o LI number sumti
lu'u LAhE/NAhE+BO sumti qualifiers
me'u ME tanru units formed from sumti
nu'u NUhI forethought termsets
se'u SEI/SOI metalinguistic insertions
te'u various mekso conversion constructs
toi TO parenthetical remarks
tu'u TUhE multiple sentences or paragraphs
vau (none) simple bridi or bridi-tails
ve'o VEI mekso parentheses
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