6.13. Pro-sumti summary

The Lojban pro-sumti are the cmavo of selma'o KOhA. They fall into several classes: personal, definable, quantificational, reflexive, back-counting, indefinite, demonstrative, metalinguistic, relative, question. More details are given in Chapter 7; this section mostly duplicates information found there, but adds material on the implicit quantifier of each pro-sumti.

The following examples illustrate each of the classes. Unless otherwise noted below, the implicit quantification for pro-sumti is ro (all). In the case of pro-sumti which refer to other sumti, the ro signifies all of those referred to by the other sumti: thus it is possible to restrict, but not to extend, the quantification of the other sumti.

Personal pro-sumti (mi, do, mi'o, mi'a, ma'a, do'o, ko) refer to the speaker or the listener or both, with or without third parties:

Example 6.81.

 mi prami do I love you.

The personal pro-sumti may be interpreted in context as either representing individuals or masses, so the implicit quantifier may be pisu'o rather than ro: in particular, mi'o, mi'a, ma'a, and do'o specifically represent mass combinations of the individuals (you and I, I and others, you and I and others, you and others) that make them up.

Definable pro-sumti (ko'a, ko'e, ko'i, ko'o, ko'u, fo'a, fo'e, fo'i, fo'o, fo'u) refer to whatever the speaker has explicitly made them refer to. This reference is accomplished with goi (of selma'o GOI), which means defined-as.

Example 6.82.

 le cribe goi ko'a cu xekri .i ko'a citka le smacu The bear defined-as it-1 is-black. It-1 eats the mouse.

Quantificational pro-sumti (da, de, di) are used as variables in bridi involving predicate logic:

Example 6.83.

 ro da poi prenu All somethings-1 which are-persons
 cu prami pa de poi finpe love one something-2 which is-a-fish.
 All persons love a fish (each his/her own).

(This is not the same as All persons love a certain fish; the difference between the two is one of quantifier order.) The implicit quantification rules for quantificational pro-sumti are particular to them, and are discussed in detail in Chapter 16. Roughly speaking, the quantifier is su'o (at least one) when the pro-sumti is first used, and ro (all) thereafter.

Reflexive pro-sumti (vo'a, vo'e, vo'i, vo'o, vo'u) refer to the same referents as sumti filling other places in the same bridi, with the effect that the same thing is referred to twice:

Example 6.84.

 le cribe cu batci vo'a The bear bites what-is-in-the-x1-place.
 The bear bites itself.

Back-counting pro-sumti (ri, ra, ru) refer to the referents of previous sumti counted backwards from the pro-sumti:

Example 6.85.

 mi klama la frankfurt. ri I go-to that-named Frankfurt from-the-referent-of-the-last-sumti
 I go from Frankfurt to Frankfurt (by some unstated route).

Indefinite pro-sumti (zo'e, zu'i, zi'o) refer to something which is unspecified:

Example 6.86.

 mi klama la frankfurt. I go-to that-named Frankfurt
 zo'e zo'e zo'e from-unspecified via-unspecified by-means-unspecified.

The implicit quantifier for indefinite pro-sumti is, well, indefinite. It might be ro (all) or su'o (at least one) or conceivably even no (none), though no would require a very odd context indeed.

Demonstrative pro-sumti (ti, ta, tu) refer to things pointed at by the speaker, or when pointing is not possible, to things near or far from the speaker:

Example 6.87.

 ko muvgau You [imperative] move
 ti ta tu this-thing from-that-nearby-place to-that-further-away-place.
 Move this from there to over there!

Metalinguistic pro-sumti (di'u, de'u, da'u, di'e, de'e, da'e, dei, do'i) refer to spoken or written utterances, either preceding, following, or the same as the current utterance.

Example 6.88.

 li re su'i re du li vo The-number two plus two equals the-number four.
 .i la'e di'u jetnu The-referent-of the-previous-utterance is-true.

The implicit quantifier for metalinguistic pro-sumti is su'o (at least one), because they are considered analogous to lo descriptions: they refer to things which really are previous, current, or following utterances.

The relative pro-sumti (ke'a) is used within relative clauses (see Chapter 8 for a discussion of relative clauses) to refer to whatever sumti the relative clause is attached to.

Example 6.89.

 mi viska le mlatu ku poi zo'e I see the cat(s) such-that something-unspecified
 zbasu ke'a loi slasi makes it/them-(the-cats) from-a-mass-of plastic.
 I see the cat(s) made of plastic.

The question pro-sumti (ma) is used to ask questions which request the listener to supply a sumti which will make the question into a truth:

Example 6.90.

 do klama ma You go-to what-sumti?
 Where are you going?

The implicit quantifier for the question pro-sumti is su'o (at least one), because the listener is only being asked to supply a single answer, not all correct answers.

In addition, sequences of lerfu words (of selma'o BY and related selma'o) can also be used as definable pro-sumti.