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Lojban Wave Lessons Continued (part two):

Made by la klaku with help from various lojbanists. Based on the work of la .kribacr. Spring 2013.

 
This is the second installment of the Wave Lessons Continued. If you didn't catch the first part, or want to go back for some reason, just click on these four words. You can also go to the third part by clicking this link, if you feel like doing that.

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 lesson where I speak about some words which I could not, or wanted not to fit into any other lessons? So here are a few small and really useful words:

The following 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 lesson.
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.
jai Selbri conversion: Converts sumtcita or unspecified abstraction to x1. Use with fai
fai Marks sumti place. Works like fa. To be used with jai.
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 it is filled with mi. This word 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 pe 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.
me: Generic convert sumti to selbri. x1 is/are among the referents of SUMTI

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 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 (the one with gi'e) 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 “is ”do mo” 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 any morphologically correct lojban word at will (called the delimiter), which then opens a quote. To close it, use that word again. This way, you can quote anything except the delimiter, which shouldn't be a problem because you can pick it yourself. Usually, the word 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 and the quote, there are pauses, optionally represented by a full stop in writing. This pause is necessary to correctly identify the delimiter.

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: xu lu do mo li'u drani xe fanva zoi gy. What's up? .gy. Here the delimiter gy is chosen because it's short for glico, meaning "English"

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

Some Lojban users have found it useful to supplement with four additional quote words. They are all experimental, not supported by the formal grammar, and what is worse, much problematic in parsing with an experimental grammar(external link). 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/dot in writing:

Example: ri pu cusku zo'oi Doh! .u'i “Ha ha, he said “Doh!” “

It is apparently very easy to use, but as a matter of fact, general use of them is very problematic. Users should be aware that the word following zo'oi should not include a period, a glottal stop or a pause. For example, the following sentences are not parsed even with an experimental grammar!

Example of written text: ko iklki sedi'o zo'oi http://www.lojban.org/ --- Error, because zo'oi scopes over the part "http://www" only.

Example of spoken text: lo salpo (ku) fa'u lo finti cu smuni zo'oi saka fa'u zo'oi sa.ka lo ponjo --- Error, because the second zo'oi scopes over the part "sa" only.
(This "ku" is elidable on a peg parser.)

Analogous to zo'oi and la'o, there is also the word la'oi, which works just like zo'oi, but forms a smuti that refers to something called word:
la'oi Scope over the next word only; "something called by the name...". Next word is identified by pauses in speech or whitespace/dot in writing:

How would you say: ““Safi” is an English guy. It's his name”?
glico x1 is English/pertains to English culture in aspect x2
cmene x1 is the name of x2 as used by x3

Answer: la'oi Safi glico .i lu'e ri cmene ri

la'oi has the same problem as zo'oi: the word following la'oi should not include a period, a glottal stop or a pause. For example, the following sentences are not parsed even with an experimental grammar!

Example of written text: .u'a mi te vecnu lo zgike datni pe la'oi t.A.T.u --- Error, because la'oi scopes over the part "t" only.
("t.A.T.u" was a musical group.)

Example of spoken text: la'oi .uli.uli zgike tutci --- Error, because la'oi scopes over the first "uli" only.
("`uli`uli" is a Hawaiian musical instrument.)

Example of spoken text: ju'i la'oi jugemujugemugokounosurikirekaijarisuigiono- suigioumatsu,unraimatsufuuraimatsuku,unerutokoronisumutokoro,iaburakoujinoburakouji- paipopaipopaiponosiu,uringansiu,uringan,nogu,urindaigu,urindainoponpokopi,inoponpokona,anotcoukiu,umeinotcousuke mi'o ko'oi klama lo ckule --- Don't take a breathing in the name, or it will result in an Error.
("じゅげむじゅげむごこうのすりきれかいじゃりすいぎょのすいぎょうまつうんらいまつふうらいまつくうねるところにすむところやぶらこうじのぶらこうじぱいぽぱいぽぱいぽのしゅーりんがんしゅーりんがんのぐーりんだいぐーりんだいのぽんぽこぴーのぽんぽこなーのちょうきゅうめいのちょうすけ" is a famous Japanese name of a boy.)

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)

When learning a language, one of the things which are usually taught very early on is how to count. This really makes little sense, because it's not necessary to know numbers if you don't know how to speak about those things to which they apply. This is partly the reason why I have left it for lesson number nineteen. The other reason is that while the numbers themselves are easy to learn, how they apply to sumti can get very confusing indeed. That, however, we will save for a later lesson.
Before learning the words themselves, you should know that numbers do not have any internal grammar. This means that any row of number words (henceforth referred to as a "number string") are treated identically to any other number string to the Lojban grammar, even if the string makes no sense. Therefore, one can never answer unambiguously whether a number construct makes sense or not. There are, however, intended ways of using the number words, and confusion will probably result if you deviate from the standard.
Learning all the number words of Lojban are way beyond the scope of this lesson, so you will only be introduced to what is normally used in text. The wide range of Lojban mathematical cmavo are called mekso (Lojban for "mathematical expression"), and is widely disregarded because of its complexity and questionable advantage over so-called bridi math.
Let's begin with the ordinary Lojban numbers, from zero to nine:

zeroonetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnine
noparecivomuxazebiso

Notice how the vowels are alternating (with the exception of no), and how no consonant is used for two digits.
In order to express numbers higher than nine, the numbers are just strung together:
vo mu ci – four hundred and fifty three (453)
pa no no no no ten thousand (10 000)
There is also a “question-digit”, which is used like other fill-in-the-blank question words. It's xo. The answer to such a question may be just the relevant digit(s) by itself, or they can be numerical constructs, as shown later.
ci xo xo xo – "Three thousand and how many?" (3???)
xo question digit – use like any other digit to ask for the correct digit.
The experimental word xo'e is sometimes used to mean an unspecified, elliptical digit. Its definition is not official, though.
ci xo'e xo'e xo'e – Three thousand and something
xo'e elliptical digit.
Since all number strings are treated grammatically the same, one might also answer several digits to one xo'e

Furthermore, there is also a set of hexadecimal digits A through F. By default, Lojban operates in base 10, but when using hexadecimal digits, it can be safely assumed that you use base sixteen:

daufeigaijaureixei vai
10(A)11(B)12(C)13(D)14(E)14(E)15(F)

Yes, I know there are two words for E. The official one is rei (all three-letter cmavo beginning with x is experimental). xei was invented to avoid confusion with re.
The base can be explicitly stated using ju'u: Any number before ju'u the number being spoken of, any number after is the base of the number:
dau so fei no ju'u pa re – A9B0 in base 12 (notice here that base 12 is always in decimal. It is possible to permanently change the base you speak in, but since it has never been used in practice, it has not been standardized how one should do it)
Fractions are also useful to learn how to express. They are usually expressed via a decimal point, pi.
pi Decimal point (or point in whichever base you are talking in)
pa re pi re mu – twelve point two five (12.25).
Like in mathematics, when no number string is placed before or after pi, zero is assumed.
Related to this, the number separator pi'e is used to separate numbers, either to separate digits when speaking in a base larger than sixteen, or when a decimal point is not applicable, for instance, when talking about time in hours, minutes, seconds:
pa so pi'e re mu pi'e no ju'u re ze – Nineteen, twenty-five, zero in base 27 (JP0 base 27)
re re pi'e vo bi – twenty-two, fourty eight (22:48)

There is also a range of number words which are not mathematically exact but rather subjective or relative. The behaviors of these words are almost exactly like the behavior of digits, except they cannot be combined to make bigger numbers the way digits can:

roso'aso'eso'iso'oso'u
allalmost allmostmanysomefew

When combined with any of the digits, these words are assumed to give a second verdict about the size of the number:
mu bi so'i sai –Fifty eight, which is really many.
They should therefore not be placed in the middle of a number string. When placed after pi, they are assumed to convey the size of a fraction:
pi so'u – a small part of it
pi so'o – some of it
pi so'i – a large part of it
pi so'e – most of it
pi so'a – almost all of it

These are some hightly subjective numbers - they work just like the previous ones.

du'emo'arau
too manytoo fewenough

The following five are context-based numbers – these work like the previous ones, with the exception that they take the next number in order to assign them meaning:

da'asu'esu'oza'ume'i
all except n At most nAt least nmore than nless than n

If no number string follow them, “one” is assumed.
so'i pa re da'a mu – Many, which is twelve, which is all but five.
The two last number words you should know have slightly more complicated grammar:
ji'i - number rounding or number approximation
When ji'i is placed before a number, the entire number is approximated:
ji'i ze no za'u rau ju'o – "About seventy, which is more than enough, certainly”
Placed in the middle of the number, only the following digits are non-exact. At the end of a number, it signifies that the number has been rounded off.
ki'o Number comma - separates digits within one string; Thousands.
It is not incidential that ki'o sounds like “kilo”. At its simplest, ki'o is used to separate three digits at a time in large numbers, much like commas are used in English:
pa ki'o so so so ki'o bi xa ze – 1,999,867
If less than three digits are put before a ki'o, the digits are assumed to be the least significant ones, and zeros are assumed to fill in the rest:
vo ki'o ci bi ki'o pa ki'o ki'o – 4,038,001,000,000
ki'o is used similarly after a decimal point.

That concludes the common Lojban numbers themselves. How they apply to sumti is a science in itself, and we leave that for lesson twenty-two. Now we focus on how these numbers can be used in a bridi.
A string of number words by themselves are grammatical, since they can act as an answer to a xo-type of question. In this case, however, they cannot be considered part of any bridi. In general, if numbers fill part of a bridi, they do so in one of two forms: Pure numbers and quantifiers. We will return to quantifiers in a later lesson. For now, we will look at pure numbers.
A pure number is any row of number words prefixed with li. This makes a sumti directly from the number, and refers to the mathematical concept of, for instance, “the number six”. Its fa'orma'o is lo'o
li convert number/mekso-expression to sumti.
lo'o fa'orma'o: end convert number/mekso-expression to sumti.
These pure sumti are usually what fills the x2 of brivla such as mitre or cacra
mitre x1 is x2 metres in dimension x3 by standard x4
cacra x1 is x2 hours in duration (default 1) by standard x3

Try to translate the following:
le ta nu cinjikca cu cacra li ci ji'i u'i nai
Answer: ”*sigh* That flirting has been going on for around three hours.”
How do you count to three in Lojban?
Answer: li pa li re li ci

The last thing we'll go through in this lesson is the words of the selma'o MAI and those of MOI.
MAI only contains two words, mai and mo'o. Both of these convert any number string to an ordinal, which has the grammar of attitudinals. Ordinals are used to divide a text into numbered segments, like chapters or parts. The only difference between mai and mo'o is that mo'o quantifies larger subdivisions of text, allowing you to divide a text on two different levels, for example enumerating chapters with mo'o and sections with mai. Notice that these as well as the MOI take any number string directly, without any need for li.
mai: Lower-order ordinal marker: Convert number to ordinal
mo'o: Higher order ordinal marker: Convert number to ordinal.

There are five MOI, and they all convert any number string to selbri. We'll take them one at a time:
moi - Convert number n to selbri: x1 is the n'th member of set x2 by order x3
Example: la lutcimin ci moi lo'i ninmu pendo be mi le su'u lo clani zmadu cu lidne lo clani mleca – “Lui-Chi Min is third among my female friends by the order: The more tall ones precedes the less tall ones”.
(When specifying a sequence, it is widely understood that if a ka-abstraction (lesson twenty-nine) is used as a sumti, the members of the set are ordered from the one with most of the property to the one with less of the property, so the x3 of the following sentence could have been shortened to lo ka clani)
lidne x1 is before x2 in sequence x3
clani x1 is long in dimension x2 by standard x3
zmadu x1 exceeds x2 in property/aspect x3 by amount x4
mleca x1 is less than/is less characterized than x2 by property/aspect x3 by amount x4

mei - Convert number n to selbri: x1 is the mass formed from the set x2, which has the n members of x3
Notice here that x3 are supposed to be individuals, x2 a set and x1 a mass.
What would mi ci mei mean?
Anwer: “We are group of three.”

si'e - Convert number n to selbri: x1 is n times x2
Example: le vi plise cu me'i pi pa si'e lei mi cidja be ze'a lo djedi – “This apple here is less than one tenth of my food for one day”
Please note that the definition of si'e when looked up will tell you that it's "x1 is an nth of x2", instead of "x1 is n times x2". But people only use it as I have defined it, so the definition in the dictionaries will probably change.

cu'o - Convert number n to selbri: x1 has n probability of occurring under conditions x2
Example: lo nu mi mrobi'o cu pa cu'o lo nu mi denpa ri – ”An event of me dying has probability 1 under the conditions: I wait for it” = ”Me dying is completely certain if I wait long enough.”
denpa x1 waits for x2, being in state x3 until resuming/doing x4
va'e - Convert number n to selbri: x1 is at the n'th position on the scale x2
Example: li pa no cu ro va'e la torinon – “10 is the highest value on the Torino-scale”

 

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
dotybau x1 is German used by x2 to say x3
glibau x1 is English 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 dotybau 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 dotybau 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 very weak – 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.
The cmavo of the selma'o GIhA, the bridi-tail afterthought logical connectives, however, binds even looser than co. This is in order to totally avoid confusion about which selbri binds to which in a GIhA-construct. The answer is simple: The GIhA never emcompasses any selbri-groups.

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 other than bridi-tail afterthought logical connectives (explained in lesson twenty-five)

3. no grouping words

4. co

5. bridi-tail afterthought logical connectives (also in lesson twenty-five)

The rest of this lesson will not be on selbri grouping, but much like lesson 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.
This is where the technical difference between tense sumtcita and other sumtcita is relevant. You see, when binding a normal sumtcita to a bridi with bo, it means that the following bridi somehow fits into the sumti place of the sumtcita. For the reason of God Knows Why, binding one of the words ba or pu to a bridi has the exact opposite effect. For example, in the bridi mi darxi do .i ba bo do cinjikca, one would assume that the second bridi is somehow filled into the sumti place of ba, meaning that the bridi first uttered took place in the future of the second bridi. That's not the case, however, and the correct translation of that utterance would be "I hit you. Afterwards, you flirt". This weird rule is actually one of the main obstacles to a unification of all sumtcita into one single word class. Another difference is that tense-sumtcita can be elided, even though they apply. This rule makes more sense, since we often can assume bridi is placed in a time and space, but we can't assume that the sumtcita of BAI applies.

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 zo'oi and la'oi, it is not supported by the official grammar, and much problematic in parsing with an experimental grammar(external link).

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-five, 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

Note from Ilmen: gi...gi... construct is only valid with sumtcita, so I had to correct the examples of the paragraph below (by replacing the first "gi" with "ge"). Perhaps this paragraph should be simply removed?
mi ge 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 ge 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 lesson, 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 fa'orma'o 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 is being referred to by do:
doi .ernsyt. 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.

vocativeWithout suffix-cu'i-nai
coiHello--
co'oGoodbye --
je'eUnderstood / OK-Not understood
fi'iWelcome-Not welcome here
pe'uPlease--
ki'eThanks-Disappreciation
re'iReady to recieve-Not ready
ju'iHey!At easeIgnore me
ta'aInterruption--
vi'oWill do-Will not do
ke'oPlease repeat-No repeat needed
di'aiwell-wish-curse

Notice that di'ai is experimental

 
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 (at least, if you want to be modest), 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 fa'orma'o 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 (quantifying sumti)

Most other learning materials such as The Complete Lojban Language and Lojban for Beginners were written before the official adoptation "xorlo", a change in the rules about gadri definition and gadri quantification. The obsoleteness of some of the text in the older learning materials was a major cause for the motivation to write these lessons. Unfortunately for me, quantification of sumti can become a very complex topic when the implications of certain rules are discussed in detail. In order to fulfill the goal of this text being accurate enough to represent the official "gold standard" BPFK rules, this chapter was among the last ones finished and the ones most frequenty rewritten. I strongly encourage anyone who finds mistakes in this text to contact me in order for them to be corrected.
Having said that disclaimer, let's get started:
The first concept you should know about is "distributivity". In lesson fourteen i used the word "individuals" about a group of objects considered distributively. A group of objects consideres ditributively means that the selbri in question apply to each of the objects. This stands in contrast to non-distributivity (which masses have), in which the group has other properties than each of the individuals do. The distinction between distributivity (individual-like) and non-distributivity (mass-like) is of relevance when quantifying sumti.
Sometimes it's also mentioned how one sumti can distribute over another sumti, so I'll include this as well. What it means is that if sumti A stands in relation X to sumti B, with sumti A distributing over sumti B, then each A stands in relation X to B. Let's have an example in English:
"The dogs bite two men." If the dogs distribute over the men, then each of three dogs has bitten two men, meaning that between 2 and 6 different men was bitten (since one really unlucky man could have been bitten by all three dogs), whereas if the men distribute over then dogs, then two men were each bitten by tree dogs, fixing the number of men to 2, but allowing between 3 and 6 dogs.
When there can be any doubt as to which sumti distributes over which, the rule is that the first mentioned sumti always distributes over the last mentioned. This is irrespective of place structure, so if x1 and x2 are switched with se, x2, which is mentioned first, will distribute over x1.

Now, back to quantification. Let us first consider how one can quantify decription sumti, which are sumti of the form GADRI BRIVLA. The number string which does the quantification can be placed before the gadri, in which case it is referred to as an outer quantifier, and it can be placed between the gadri and the brivla, in which case it's an inner quantifier. Any kind of number string can act as a quantifier.
The rules for how inner and outer quantifiers affects sumti depend on the kind of gadri which is used:

- -lo and le- - An inner quantifier tells us how many objects are being spoken of - how many objects are in the discourse total. If an outer quantifier is present, the sumti is distributed over that amount of objects. As stated earlier, if no outer quantifier is present, it's vague how many objects the selbri applies to (though not none), and whether it does so distributively or non-distributively. Examples are always a good idea, so here they are:
mu lo mu bakni cu se jirna - The inner quantifier of five tells us that we speak about five pieces of cattle, and the outer quantifier of five tells us that the selbri is true for each of the five. Therefore, it means "All the five cows had horns".
bakni x1 is a cow/ox/cattle/calf etc of breed x2
jirna x1 is the horn of x2 (metaphor: any pointed extremity)

What does the following bridi mean?
lo ru'urgubupu be li re pi ze mu cu jdima lo pa re sovda
ru'urgubupu x1 is measures to be x2 British pounds (GBP)
jdima x1 is the price of x2 to buyer x3 set by vendor x4
sovda x1 is a gamete (egg/sperm) of x2
Answer: "Twelve eggs cost 2.75 British pounds" which, as the English translation, could mean both that they cost 2.75 each (distributively) or that all twelve together cost 2.75 (non-distributively)

so le ta pa pa ci'erkei cu clamau mi (notice that the ta goes before the inner quantifier)
ci'erkei x1 plays game x2 govenerd by rules x3 interrelating game parts x4 {this is used to translate "play" in the sense "play a game" rather than, for instance "playing pretend" or "playing House"}
clamau x1 is taller/longer than x2 in direction x3 my marigin x4
Answer: The inner states there are 11 players in the discourse, and the outer states that the selbri applies to nine of them distributively. Thus it means "Nine of the eleven players are taller than me"

There are a few points that needs to be raised regarding quantification of lo/le:
Firstly, lo is unique in that "{number} {selbri}" is defined as "{number} lo {selbri}". Therefore, ci gerku cu batci re nanmu is defined to be ci lo gerku cu batci re lo nanmu, which considers both the group of dogs and the group of men distributively. Therefore, each of the three dogs bit each of the two men, with six biting events in total.
batci x1 bites/pinches x2 at locus x3 using x4 as pinching tool.
Secondly: What if there is no outer quantifier? Does this mean that it is there, but it's elided? Nope. If there is any kind of outer quantifier, elided or not, it would force the sumti to be distributive, which would mean that neither lo nor le could be used to describe masses. Therefore, if no outer quantifier is present, it's not only elided - it's simply not there. Sumti without an outer quantifier can be referred to as "constants", even though I won't.
Thirdly, it makes no sense to have an outer quantifier which is larger than the inner one. It means that the selbri holds true for more sumti than are present in the discourse - but since they appear in a bridi, they are part of the discourse. It's grammatical to do it, though.
Lastly, placing a lo or a le in front of a sumti is grammatical, if there is an inner quantifier present. "lo/le {number} {sumti}" is defined as "lo/le {number} me {sumti}".
So what would this mean? mi nelci loi mi briju kansa .i ku'i ci lo re mu ji'i ri cu lazni
briju' x1 is an office for worker x2 at location x3
kansa x1 accompanies x2 in action/state/enterprise x3
lazni x1 is lazy, avoiding work concerning x2
Answer: "I like my co-workers, but three out of about twenty five of them are lazy"

- -la- - An inner quantifier is grammatical if the name is a selbri - in this case, it's considered part of the name. An outer quantifier is used to quantify distributively over such individuals (much like lo/le) It's grammatical when placed in front of {number} {sumti}, in which case, the both the number and the sumti is considered the name.

Translate this: re la ci bargu cu jibni le mi zdani
Answer: Two "The Three Arches" are located close to my house" (Perhaps The Three Arches are a kind of restaurant?)

- -loi and lei- - An inner quantifier tells us how many members there are in the mass/masses in question. An outer quantifier quantifies distributively {!} over these masses
Notice here that while masses consist of a number of objects considered non-distributively, an outer quantifier always treats each of these masses as an individual.
When placed before a number string, then a sumti, loi/lei is defined as "lo gunma be lo/le {number} {sumti}" - "The mass consisting of the {number} of {sumti}".

Attempt to translate this: re dei gunma re loi ze valsi .i ca'e pa dei jai gau jetnu
gunma x1 is a mass of the individuals x2
valsi x1 is a word, meaning x2 in language x3
ca'e Attitudinal: Evidential: I define
jetnu x1 is true according to metaphysics/epistemology x2
Answer: "These two utterances are a mass, consisting of two individual masses each of seven words. I define: This one utterance causes {it} to be true."

- -lai- - Much like la, an inner quantifier (when name is a selbri) is part of the name. An outer one quantifies distributively. Before a number+sumti, both the sumti and the number make up the name.
When a fraction is used as an outer quantifier to quantify loi, lei or lai, one speaks about only part of the mass (for instance, "half of the Johnsons" - pi mu lai .djansyn.).

- -lo'i and le'i- - An inner quantifier describes the amount of members of the set. An outer quantifies distributively over several of such sets. When placed before a number and a sumti, it's defined as "lo selcmi be lo/le'' {number} {sumti}" - "The set of {number} {sumti}".

Translate lo'i ro se cinki cu bramau la'a pa no no lo'i ro se bogykamju jutsi
cinki x1 is an insect of species x2
la'a Attitudinal: Discursive: Probably
bramau x1 is bigger than x2 in dimension x3 by marigin x4
bogykamju x1 is the spine of x2
jutsi x1 is the species of genus x2, family x3 ... (open ended classification)
Answer: "The set of all the species of insects is probably bigger than one hundred sets of all species of vertebrates"

- -la'i- - As with lai
Like with the mass gadri, an outer quantifier before a set gadri enables one to speak about a fraction of a set. In front of a number and a sumti, it's defined as "lo selcmi be la {number} {sumti}" - "The set consisting of The {Number} {Sumti}" (considered a name)

- -lo'e and le'e- - Are for some reason not included in the currently accepted gadri proposal. If one were to extend the rules of another gadri, lo/le would probably be the best choice (since both operates with individuals rather than groups), and so one would expect the outer quantifier to force distributivity over the amount of typical/stereotypical things given by the inner quantifier.

When quantifying sumka'i representing several objects, it is useful to remember that they are usually masses. By definition, "{number} {sumti}" is defined as "{number} da poi ke'a me {sumti}". You will not be familiar with da until a few lessons later, so take it on faith that it means "something" in this context. Therefore, ci mi means "Two of those who belong to "us"". When quantifying such masses, it can safely be assumed that the relation implied by me is membership of the mass, and therefore ci mi is "Three of us".

Some important uses of quantification requires you to be quantify selbri or objects whose identity is unknown. This is done by "logically quantified variables". These, as well as how to quantify them will be covered in lessons twenty-seven.

Lastly, how can you quantify uncountable substances like sugar or water? One solution is to quantify it using inexact numbers. This use is vague, not only because the value of the number is vague, but also because it's not specified on what scale you're counting: The sugar could be considered a group of many crystals, counted one at a time, and the water could be quantified by the amounts of raindrops it took to make the body of water in question. While this way of counting is legitimate, it's not very exact and can easily confuse or mislead.
A way to be explicit about non-countability is to use the null operand tu'o as an inner quantifier.
tu'o Null operand ( Ø ). Used in unary mekso.
This solution is elegant and intuitive, and also gives me an excuse to quote this horrifying, yet comical example from the original xorlo-proposal:
le nanmu cu se snuti .i ja'e bo lo tu'o gerku cu kuspe le klaji
snuti x1 is an accident on the part of x2
ja'e sumtcita: BAI: (from jalge): Bridi results in {sumti}
kuspe x1 spans/extends over x2
klaji x1 is a road/avenue/street at x2 accessing x3

What does it mean?
Answer: "The man had an accident and so there was dog all over the road"

A second method of quantifying substances is to use the tenses ve'i, ve'a and ve'u as mentioned in lesson ten:
ti ve'i djacu - This is a small amount of water
djacu x1 is an expanse of water/is made of water/contains water

Thirdly, of course, you could use a brivla to give an exact measurement:
le ta djacu cu ki'ogra be li re pi ki'o ki'o - "That water has a mass of 2.000 000 kilograms"
ki'ogra x1 measures in mass x2 kilograms by standard x3

Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-three (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. What will be presented here are the official gold-standard rules. Disapproval of these "golden rules" concerning na is growing, and there is disagreement about what rule set should replace it. For now, I will stick with the official rules, and therefore, so will you, dear reader.
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 first in the sentence with a ku after it, or just before the selbri.
speni x1 is married to x2 under convention x3
Thus: na ku le mi speni cu 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.

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 it 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, for instance that I speak fast in French because I'm German. To express the sentence more precisely, 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. When placed immediately before the selbri, the ku can be elided.
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:

There are forces within the Lojban community who, perhaps rightly, think that there is no good reason that a na placed before a selbri negates the entire bridi, whereas a na ku any other place negates only what is trailing behind it. However, in these lessons you will be taught what is still the official stance, namely that na before the selbri negates the bridi.

The use of na ku is exemplified with the following examples.
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 before, not after the cu. Had I only used na, it would have to go after cu - but that would have negated the entire bridi, meaning "It's not true that: At least one human is a child".

When the na ku is moved rightwards, any quantifier is inverted - that is: 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.”

The opposite of na is ja'a. This is barely ever used, since it is default in most bridi. One exception is repeated bridi (next lesson). Sometimes it's used to put more weight on the truth of the bridi, as in la .bab. ja'a melbi = "Bob is indeed beautiful".

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:

WordMeaning
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. This distinction is mostly academic, though. If, for example, I state that mi na'e se nelci "I am non-liked", I actually state that some selbri applies to me, which is also on a relevant scale with the selbri nelci. Most of the time, we assume a scale where the positions are mutually exclusive (like love-like-dislike-hate), so mi na'e se nelci implies mi na se nelci
Therefore, the words no'e and to'e should only be used when the selbri is placed on some obvious 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 speaker's “opposite-home” is and should be avoided.

So how can you negate only the selbri without also implying that the selbri is correct at some other position on a truth-scale? Simple: Moving the na ku to the rightmost end of the bridi, as demonstrated a few lines above. This feature is very useful. Some lojbanists prefer to prefix the rafsi nar (the rafsi of na) in front of the selbri - this has the same effect, but I advise against it, because it makes familiar brivla seem alien, and it's harder to understand when spoken casually.
If a situation arises where you need to negate only the selbri, but want it to be clear before the end of the bridi, the experimental cmavo na'ei, which grammatically works like na'e, can be used
na'ei: Negates the following selbri only

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 lesson 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.
Note: At the time of writing, it has been proposed to move nai to the selma'o CAI, which means the semantics of nai depend on which selma'o it follows.

 

Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-four (brika'i/pro-bridi and ko'a)

If I say that I'm called Mikhail, zo .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 zo .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 some of the words in 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

Some of 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.
When repeating bridi negated by na, that is: Bridi where na is placed in the prenex (lesson twenty-seven), in the beginning of the bridi or right before the selbri, the rules for copying over na are different from what one might expect. Any na is copied over, but any additional na in the brika'i replaces the first na. Let me show you with an example:
A: mi na citka lo plise
B: mi go'i = mi na citka lo plise
C: mi na go'i = mi na citka lo plise
D: mi na na go'i = mi citka lo plise = mi ja'a go'i

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 (not a brika'i and not in BRODA)

 
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 lesson, 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

as well as the cei-equivalent for this series:
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, where broda and brode mean "any selbri A" and "any selbri B" and similarly for ko'a and friends:
“So, is it true that the truth conditions of ko'a ko'e broda na ku are always the same as na ku ko'a ko'e broda?” “Nope, it isn't.”

 

Lojban Lessons - Lesson twenty-five (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 unsweetened would have a coffee preference of FFFT. This combitation of "true" and "false" is called a “truth function”, in this case 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: “I speak to you and no one else?”

Answer: mi tavla do .e no drata Note that this actually states that it's true that "I speak to you".

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 twelve more in order to know them all. Eight 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 OR .u nai
TFTT: na .a
TFTF: se .u
TFFT: .o OR na .o nai
TFFF: .e
FTTT: na .a nai
FTTF: na .o OR .o nai
FTFT: se .u nai
FTFF: .e nai
FFTT: na .u OR na .u nai
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 bridi, which are connected with the same logical connective: mi nelci lo'e cirla .i {E NAI} mi nelci lo'e ckafi. This is how the function of logical connectives is defined. We will get to how to apply logical connectives to bridi in a moment.

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

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”. The combination .i je states that both sentences are true, much like we would assume had no logical connective been present.

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

Answer: zo .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 sumti or sumtcita 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 cu 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 separate 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 xanz.krt. gu'e merko gi dotco nanmu is equivalent to
la xanz.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 morphological 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-six (non-logical connectives)

The word "logical" in "logical connective" refers to the association a logical connective has with a truth function. Not all useful connectives can be defined through a truth function, however, and so there are other connectives beside the logical ones.
The meaning of a logical connective is defined the same as two different bridi connected with that logical connective. For instance, mi nitcu do .a la .djan. is defined to be equivalent to mi nitcu do .i ja mi nitcu la .djan.. This definition is useful to bear in mind, because it implies that sometimes, sumti cannot be connected with logical connectives without chaning the meaning. Consider the sentence: "Jack and Joe wrote this play." One attempt at a translation would be: ti draci fi la .djak. e la .djous.
draci x1 is a drama/play about x2 by writer/dramatist x3 for audience x4 with actors x5

The problem with this translation is that it means ti draci la .djak. ije ti draci la .djous., which is not really true. Neither Jack nor Joe wrote it, they did so together. What we want here is of course a mass, and some way to join Jack and Joe in one mass. This has little to do with a truth function so we must use a non-logical connective, which are of selma'o JOI. We'll return to this Jack and Joe-problem in a little - first: Four of the known JOI:

The Lojban connective:cece'ojoijo'u
Joins sumti and forms a:setsequencemassgroup of individuals

The functions of these words are simple: lo'i remna jo'u lo'i gerku considers both the set of humans and the set of dogs distributively (as individuals). Remember from lesson twenty-two (quantifiers) that "distributivity" means that what is true for the group is also true for each of the individuals alone. Similarly loi ro gismu ce'o loi ro lujvo ce'o loi ro fu'ivla is a sequence consisting of the mass of all gismu, followed by the mass of all lujvo, followed by the mass of all fu'ivla.
As with all of the JOI which has an inherent order, se may be put before ce'o to inverse the order: "A ce'o B" is the same as "B se ce'o A".

How can you correctly translate "Jack and Joe wrote this play"?
Answer: ti draci fi la .djak. joi la .djous.

The cmavo of JOI are very flexible: They can act both as sumti connectives and tanru-internal connectives, so they can be used to connect sumti, selbri and bridi. This flexibility means that one must be careful to use fa'orma'o correctly when using a JOI.
What is wrong with the bridi lo dotco jo'u mi cu klama la dotco gugde?
Answer: jo'u is put after a selbri, so it expects a selbri after it to connect to, but none is found. Had a ku been present before the connective, it would have been grammatical

If several JOI are used, bo and/or ke may be used to override the usual left-grouping: mi joi do ce'o la .djak. joi bo la .djous. cu pu'o ci'erkei damba lei xunre "Me and you, and then Jack and Joe are about the play against the reds". Contrast with mi joi do ce'o la .djak. joi la .djous. cu pu'o ci'erkei damba lei xunre - "First me and you, then Jack will together with Joe play against the reds".
Connecting bridi with JOI can make some interesting implications of the relationship between the bridi: la .djak. morsi ri'a lo nu ri dzusoi .i joi le jemja'a po ri cu bebna - "Jack is dead because he was a infantry soldier and his general was an idiot", implying that these two bridi massed together was the physical cause of his death: Had he only been in an armored vehicle or with a competent commander, he might had survived.
dzusoi x1 is an infantry soldier of army x2
jemja'a x1 is a general of army x2 in function x3
bebna x1 is foolish/idiotic in property/aspect x2

Non-logical connectives may also be negated with nai, indicating that some other connective is appropriate: lo djacu ce'o nai .e'o lo ladru cu cavyfle fi le mi tcati - "Please don't pour first water then milk in my tea". This, of course, says nothing about which connective is appropriate - one might guess se ce'o (first milk, then water), only to find out that .e nai (only water, no milk at all) was the correct one.
cavyfle x1, consisting of x2, flows into x3 from x4
Just like a logical connective is a plausible negation of a non-logical connective, answers to questions of the type ji or je'i can be both logical and non-logical: A: ladru je'i sakta le do ckafi B: se ce'o ("Milk or sugar in you coffee?" "First the latter, then the former"). In this case ce would make no sense at all, since sets can't be contained in coffee, and joi (both mixed together) would mean the same as jo'u (both of them), unless the respondant preferred unmixed sugar in his coffee.

The fifth JOI I present here is a bit of an oddball:
fa'u Non-logical connective: Unmixed ordered distribution (A and B, respectively)
When only one fa'u is placed within a bridi (or several bridi connected together with connectors), fa'u may be assumed to be identical to jo'u. When several fa'u is used within one bridi, however, the constructs before fa'u each apply to each other, and the constructs after fa'u each apply to each other. Let's have an example:
mi fa'u do rusko fa'u kadno - "You and I are Russian and Canadian", implying that mi goes with rusko and do goes with kadno, and implying nothing about any other combination. Of course, in this example, it would be much easier to say mi rusko .i do kadno.

These last three JOI connects two sets to make new sets:
jo'e A union B
ku'a A intersection B
pi'u Cross product of A and B

These are probably not very useful for the average Lojbanist, but I might as well include them here.
The first one, jo'e, contains all the members of set A and those of set B. If anything is a member of both sets, they are not counted twice.
A set made with ku'a makes a new set from two sets. This new set contains only those members which are in both sets.
pi'u is a little more complicated. A set "A pi'u B" contains all the possible combinations of "a ce'o b", where a is a member of A and b is a member of B. It is thus a set of sequences of members. If, for instance, set A contained the members p and q, and set B contained members f and g, then A pi'u B would be a set consisting of the four members p ce'o f, p ce'o g, q ce'o f and q ce'o g.

End of part two

Return to the wavelessons part one
This part concludes the tutorial to ordinary Lojban. In the third part, I will focus on advanced Lojban - the parts you don't actually need to know to speak the language. I discourage you to begin reading the third part until you feel comfortable enough with the information in the first two parts to hold an written conversation in the language. If you do wish to continue, you can press these three words to go there.


Created by klaki. Last Modification: Sunday 27 of July, 2014 18:34:02 GMT by Ilmen.