Difference between revisions of "nuntalyli'u mini-dictionary"

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== Lesson 7: Getting Personal: Pro-''sumti'' ==
This is for people trying to play the Lojban version of [[jbocre: Colossal Cave|Colossal Cave]], AKA nuntalyli'u
So far we've been referring to everybody by name, which can get very
These dictionaries should have every word in nuntalyli'u in them, except for some compound cmavo and lerfu.  The PDFs are designed to be printed out and kept at hand when playing the game.
repetitive if you want to tell a story, or even string two sentences
These actually probably make a pretty good mini-dictionary for a new student, except that they have keywords only, for the most part.
together. Consider the following:
* {ATTACH(name=>words.ltx,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
* {ATTACH(name=>words.pdf,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
;''la suzyn. klama le barja .i la suzyn ze'e pinxe loi vanju .i la suzyn. zgana lo nanmu .i le nanmu cu melbi .i caku le nanmu cu zgana la suzyn.'':Susan goes to the bar. Susan drinks some wine for a while. Susan notices [[jbocre: sees, observes|sees, observes]] a man. The man is beautiful. At that moment, the man notices Susan.
* {ATTACH(name=>words.html,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
* {ATTACH(name=>backwords.ltx,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
Note the use of ''melbi'' ~--~ in
* {ATTACH(name=>backwords.pdf,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
* {ATTACH(name=>backwords.html,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
English we usually
describe men as "handsome" rather than "beautiful", but this rather
sexist distinction doesn't apply in Lojban. However, if you really
wanted a Lojban word for "handsome" (beautiful-kind-of-man) I suppose
you could say ''melnau'' (''melbi'' + ''nanmu'').
It is
pretty tedious to have to keep repeating "Susan" and "man". English
gets round this problem by using '''pronouns''', like "she" or "he".
This works OK in this case, because we have one female and one male in
the story so far, but it can get confusing when more characters enter
the scene (and it's even more confusing with languages that only have
one word for "he", "she" and "it", like Turkish or spoken Chinese).
Lojban has '''pro-''sumti''''', which are
like pronouns~--~sort of.
fact, we've already met some pro-''sumti'': ''mi'' and ''do'', and the ''ti/ta/tu'' group, but we still don't have he/she/it,
which are a bit more complicated. One way of dealing with this is a
group of ''cmavo'' which refer back to something
we've just said. In fact we have met one of these in a different
context: ''go'i''. Just as ''go'i'' on its own repeats the previous ''bridi'', '''''le''' go'i'' repeats the first ''sumti'' of the
previous ''bridi''.
So we can rewrite the first three sentences as
''la suzyn. klama le barja .i le go'i ze'e pinxe loi vanju .i le go'i zgana lo nanmu''
The system breaks down here, though, since
''nanmu'' is not in the first, but the second place
of the previous ''bridi''. English doesn't bother
with precision here~--~"he" just
means "some male person mentioned earlier." This works in the example
here, because there is only one man in the story, but what about
Bill saw Rick. He hit him
Did Bill hit Rick, or did Rick hit Bill? We don't know.
Coming back to the man Susan
saw, we can refer to him as ''ri'', which means "the
most recent ''sumti''". So we can say
''.i le go'i zgana lo nanmu .i ri melbi''
''ri'' is one of a series, ''ri/ra/ru'',
meaning "the most recent/fairly recent/distant ''sumti''", but as far as
I've noticed, ''ra'' and ''ru'' aren't very popular in Lojbanistan at the moment. ''ri'', on the
other hand, is used a lot, since it's
very common for the last thing in one sentence to be the subject of the
next sentence.
Another pro-''sumti'' is ''da'', which means
"someone/something". You may remember ''zo'e'', which means also
means "something", but with ''zo'e'' the something is unimportant -
it's just a way of filling a ''sumti'' place. ''da'', on the
other hand, is important~--~it is something or someone we are talking
'''Note for logicians''': ''da'' is the "existential
''x''", as in "There exists some ''x'' such that ''x'' is ..."
Coming back to our story, we could start by saying
''da klama le barja''~--~"Someone came to the bar." ''da'' and its companions
''de'' and ''di'' are used a lot for talking '''about''' language
- you see them frequently on the Lojban e-mail list, for example. By
the way, there are no ''do'' and ''du'' in this series, because
these already have other meanings: "you" and "is the same thing as".
=== Assigning pro-''sumti'' ===
If we're telling a story in English, the
meaning of, say, "she" keeps changing. At the moment, it means "Susan",
but if Susan's friend Jyoti walks into the bar, "she" could very well
mean "Jyoti". In Lojban, we can keep on using ''le go'i'',
''ri'' and their relatives, but there is an easier way of dealing
with a larger cast of characters.
What we do is assign pro-''sumti'' as
and when we need them, using the ''cmavo '''goi''''' (which I am
told is like the Latin word ''sive''). The ''sumti'' assigned by
''goi'' are a series called KOhA, consisting of ''ko'a'',
''ko'e'', ''ko'i'' ... you get the idea?
'''Note for grammarians''': series of ''cmavo'' (called
''selma'o'' in
Lojban) are referred to by the name of a typical member written in
capitals (with a small "h" instead of the apostrophe). For example, the
attitudinals we looked at in Lesson 1 are part of ''selma'o .UI'' .
'''Note for lawyers (and frustrated non-lawyers)''': the
equivalent in legal documents of ''goi'' is
"henceforth referred to as," and ''ko'a'' is
something like "the party of the first part". Lojban has
in fact been proposed as the ideal language for law, where precision is
of utmost importance. It would also allow non-lawyers to understand
legal documents, which would be something of a miracle.
OK, let's go back to Susan's story. We start by saying
''la suzyn. '''goi ko'a''' klama le barja''
This means that from now on, every
time we use ''ko'a'', we mean "Susan". The man she
sees can then be ''ko'e'', so we say
''.i ko'a zgana lo nanmu goi ko'e''
Now every time we use ''ko'e'' it means that
particular man, so the full story so far reads:
''la suzyn. goi ko'a klama le barja .i ko'a ze'e pinxe loi vanju .i ko'a zgana lo nanmu goi ko'e .i ko'e melbi .i caku ko'e zgana ko'a''
(note how the ''cu''s have disappeared~--~''ko'a'', like ''mi'', doesn't need them).
Assigning ''ko'e'' to ''lo nanmu'' is actually better than
starting the next sentence with ''le nanmu''. This is because ''le nanmu''
simply means "the thing I have in mind which I call 'man',"
which is not exactly the same as "the man" (it could, in theory, be
something totally different). Some Lojbanists would even say that using
''le'' like this is a bit ''malglico''.
'''Note:''' if you combine
''ko'a/e/i/o/u'' with ''ri/ra/ru'', '''don't''' count ''ko'a''-type pro-''sumti'' when
you're counting back. For example
''la suzyn. rinsa ko'e .i ri cisma''
doesn't mean that ''ko'e'' (the man, in this
context) smiles, but that '''Susan''' smiles. This is
because it is pointless to have a backwards-pointing (anaphoric) pro-''sumti'' referring to a fixed pro-''sumti'' like ''ko'e''~--~it's
simpler just to re-use ''ko'e'' and keep
''ri/ra/ru'' for more important things.
Let's continue by
introducing Susan's friend Jyoti (if people are wondering where I get
all these unusual names from, Jyoti is an old Gujarati friend of mine).
We continue ....
''caku la djiotis. goi ko'i mo'ine'i .i ko'i cusku lu coi ranjit. li'u ko'e''
At that time, Jyoti henceforth
third-thing-referred-to moving-inside. Third-thing-referred-to says
"Hello Ranjeet" to second-thing-referred-to.
Just then Jyoti comes in
and says "Hello, Ranjeet" to the guy. ''mo'ine'i'' is
another space "tense". ''mo'i'' indicates movement;
''ne'i'' means "inside" (from the ''gismu'', ''nenri''). The ''selbri'' is missed out because the way Jyoti moves is not important (''klama'' is possible, but unnecessary, but we could use ''bajra'', for
example). This is creative Lojban~--~it's not exactly ungrammatical to
leave a ''selbri'' out like this, but it means that
this is a sentence-fragment, not a ''bridi''. Don't
try this at home, kids.
=== ''lu'', ''li'u'', ''du'u'' and ''vo'a'' ===
''lu'' and ''li'u'' are like
"quote" and "unquote"~--~they put something someone says into a ''sumti''. ''li'u'' is one of the
few terminators that can almost never be missed out, since that would
make everything else that follows part of the quotation. You can also
nest quotations, e.g.
;''la ranjit. pu cusku lu la djiotis. pu cusku lu coi li'u mi li'u'':Ranjeet said "Jyoti said "Hello" to me."
which is similar to
;''la ranjit. pu cusku lu la djiotis. pu rinsa mi li'u'':Ranjeet said "Jyoti greeted me."
Both can also be expressed in a rather more subtle way:
;''la ranjit. pu cusku le du'u la djiotis. pu rinsa vo'a'':Ranjeet past-express the-predicate Jyoti past-greet the-first-place OR Ranjeet said that Jyoti greeted him.
''du'u'' is a tricky but very useful ''cmavo'' meaning, in logical terms, "the predicate".
What this means in ordinary language is something like "the statement
that X is true". Sorry, that wasn't really ordinary language. The
closest equivalent in English is "that", as in "Ranjeet said
'''that''' ...". Here's another example of ''du'u'':
;''la suzyn. na djuno le du'u la jang. cinynei vo'a'':Susan doesn't know that Zhang fancies ("sexually-likes") her.
And here we have another pro-''sumti'': ''vo'a''. This means "the first ''sumti'' of this ''bridi''", and
like the others, comes in a series~--~''vo'e'' refers
to the second ''sumti'', ''vo'i'' to the third and so on. In practice, ''vo'a'' is used quite a lot, while the others are
rarer, but that could be because people still tend to think in terms of
natural languages (notably English), and as people start
thinking more in Lojban, the others could get used more.
''vo'a'' is very useful to give the sense of "herself", "itself" and so on. For
;''la meilis. pensi vo'a'':Mei Li thinks about herself.
;''le gerku cu batci vo'a'':The dog bites itself.
You can also say
;''mi nelci vo'a'': I like myself.
but this is the same as ''mi nelci mi'', which
is simpler and more aesthetic.
Now for something clever.
;''la suzyn. zgani la djiotis. soi vo'a vo'e'':Susan notices Jyoti and vice versa. OR Susan and Jyoti notice each other.
''soi'' is a ''cmavo'' meaning
something like "you can change these ''sumti'' round
and the ''bridi'' will still be true". If there is
only one ''sumti'' after the ''soi'', the other one is taken to be the one
immediately '''before'''''soi''. So we
can say the same thing more briefly as
''la suzyn. zgani la djiotis. soi vo'a'', or even just
''ko'a zgani ko'i soi vo'a'' (''vo'a'' is fixed, and,
unlike ''ri'' can point back to
''ko'a'', though you can also repeat ''ko'a'' if you prefer).
==== Exercise 1 ====
Translate the following. Assume the same values for
''ko'a/e/i'' that we have been using so far (i.e.
''ko'a'' is
Susan, and so on).
'''Note:'''''doi'' is used to show
who you're talking to (without ''doi'' the ''cmene'' might become the first ''sumti'' of the ''bridi''). It's a
bit like English "O" (as in "O ye of little faith") or the Latin
vocative (as in "Et tu, Brute").
''.i ko'a ca cusku lu .ue coi li'u ko'i soi vo'a  .i ko'a .e ko'i xanka cmila  .i caku le go'i catlu ko'e  .i ko'e cusku lu doi djiotis. le do pendo mo li'u  .i ko'i cusku lu la suzyn. li'u  .i ko'e cusku .ui lu lo do pendo du lo mi pendo li'u  .i ko'i fengu catlu ko'e .i ko'a xunfirbi'o''
'''Vocabulary: '''''xanka''~--~nervous, worried; ''catlu''~--~look at
[[jbocre: compare with ''zgani''|compare with ''zgani'']]; ''pendo''~--~friend; ''fengu''~--~
angry; ''xunfirbi'o''~--~blush [jbocre: ''xunre'' (red) + ''flira'' (face) +
''binxo'' (become)]
=== Some more personal pro-''sumti'' ===
We've already seen two personal pro-''sumti'', ''mi'' and ''do'', meaning "I" (or
"me") and
"you". However, "you" in English can mean four different things:
# The one person I'm talking to.
# A number of people I'm talking to.
# The person or people I'm talking to and some other person or people.
# Anyone (as in "Money can't buy you love."). 
Lojban gets round the confusion between 1. and 2. by using numbers. The
most common way to express 2. is ''rodo'', "all of
you" (or U.S. "Y'all") and, as we've seen, ''coi rodo'' is "Hello all"~--~a
common way to start an e-mail to a list.
You can also use specific numbers~--~''redo'' would
mean "the two of you" or "you two" (for example, I start e-mails to my
parents with ''coi redo''). You can also use
numbers with ''doi'' e.g. ''rodoi ko klama ti''.
3. is expressed by ''do'o''~--~you and someone
else, and 4. is completely different. It's normally expressed by ''roda'' or, more specifically
''ro le prenu'', but often you can just miss it out altogether.
English "we" is almost as confusing, as it can mean the speaker and the
listener(s), the speaker and some other people, or the speaker and the
listener and some other people. Not surprisingly, Lojban has three
pro-''sumti'' for "we":
* ''mi'o''~--~you and I (but no-one else)
* ''mi'a'' ~--~I and another / others (but not you)
* ''ma'a''~--~you and I and another / others
Some examples:
;''mi prami do'':I love you.
;''mi'a penmi do ti'u la cicac.'':We'll meet you at three o'clock.
;''ma'a remna'':We are all human.
==== Exercise 2 ====
The story continues! For each of the pro-''sumti'' in '''bold''' say who or what they mean. Just two other
points: ''ka'' is like ''nu'',
but while ''nu'' describes a state or event, ''ka'' describes a property or quality. ''na'e'' is like ''na'' but only
negates the ''selbri''~--~it says that there is some
relationship between the ''sumti'' other than that
which the ''selbri'' describes. As we saw in Lesson
5, ''mi na nelci ro lo gerku'' means "It is not true
that I like all dogs," (or "I don't like ''all'' dogs), while ''mi na'e nelci ro lo gerku'' is more like "I dislike
all dogs."
''ko'a mliburna .i ko'a mo'ini'a clatu le kabri .i caku '''ri''' simlu leka cinri ko'a  .i ko'e cinba ko'i soi '''vo'a''' .i ko'i cusku lu pe'i '''redo''' puzi ninpe'i li'u .i le vanju cu simlu leka mutce cinri  .i ko'a sutra pinxe '''le go'i''' .i ko'e cusku lu .yyy. na '''go'i''' .i '''mi'a''' puze'e na'e penmi li'u .i baziku ko'a cmila .i ko'a cusku lu .u'i '''redo''' bebna .i .e'u ''
'''''ma'a''' klama lo dansydi'u ''
'''Vocabulary:'''''mliburna''~--~mildly embarrassed [[jbocre: ''milxe'' (mild) + ''burna'' (embarrassed)|''milxe'' (mild) + ''burna'' (embarrassed)]]; ''ni'a''~--~down, below (space
"tense"); ''kabri''~--~cup, glass; ''vanju''~--~wine; ''simla''~--~seem [jbocre: x{SUB()}1{SUB} seems to have
property x{SUB()}2{SUB} to observer x{SUB()}3{SUB}]; ''cinri''~--~interesting; ''pe'i''~--~"I think" (opinion
attitudinal); ''ninpe'i''~--~meet for the first
time [[jbocre: ''cnino'' (new) + ''penmi'' (meet)|''cnino'' (new) + ''penmi'' (meet)]]; ''.y.''~--~"er"
(hesitation); ''mutce''~--~much, very; ''bebna''~--~silly; ''.e'u''~--~suggestion (attitudinal); ''dansydi'u''~--~
disco [[jbocre: ''dansu'' (dance) + ''dinju'' (building)|''dansu'' (dance) + ''dinju'' (building)]].
=== Answers to Exercises ===
==== Exercise 1 ====
Susan and
Jyoti say "Oh! Hello!" to each other at the same time. They laugh
nervously. At that moment, Jyoti looks at Ranjeet. He says "Who's
your friend?" She says "Susan." He says "Delighted~--~any friend of
yours is a friend of mine." She looks at him angrily. Susan blushes.
Note that in order to get this into understandable English, we've
had to change some of the pro-''sumti'' back into names. We could also make
the translation sound more natural by changing the word order a bit
more, changing "says" to "asks" when it's a question, and maybe putting
the whole thing into the past tense. ''du'' here translates as "is",
but don't use it for just any case of "is"~--~it is like the = sign in
maths and can only be used for two expressions that describe the same
thing. Using ''du'' to translate the "is" in, say, "Susan is a
doctor" is '''extremely'''''malglico''.
''la suzyn. du lo mikce'' would mean that Susan is the same as each and every doctor
(the correct Lojban would be simply ''la suzyn. mikce'').
==== Exercise 2 ====
# ''ri'' = ''le kabri''
# ''vo'a'' = ''la ranjit.'' "Ranjeet and Jyoti kiss each other."
# ''redo'' = ''la suzyn. .e la ranjit.'' "You two."
# ''le go'i'' = ''le vanju'' "She drinks it quickly."
# ''go'i'' = ''la suzyn. puzi ninpe'i la ranjit. soi vo'a'' Note that here ''go'i'' refers not to the previous sentence in the story, but to the previous sentence in the conversation. Obviously Susan wouldn't be talking about a story that hasn't been written yet!
# ''ma'a'' = ''la suzyn. .e la ranjit. .e la djiotis.'' "Let's [[jbocre: all|all]] go to the disco."
===== Very loose translation =====
Susan felt a bit embarrassed. She
looked down at her glass. Just then, she found it very interesting.
Ranjeet and Jyoti kissed each other. "I think you two have just met,"
she said. The wine was somehow incredibly interesting, and she drank it
quickly. "Errr, no, we've never met," said Ranjeet. A little later,
Susan laughed. "Come on, you're both being silly," she said, "Let's go
to the disco."

Revision as of 17:07, 4 November 2013

This is for people trying to play the Lojban version of Colossal Cave, AKA nuntalyli'u

These dictionaries should have every word in nuntalyli'u in them, except for some compound cmavo and lerfu. The PDFs are designed to be printed out and kept at hand when playing the game.

These actually probably make a pretty good mini-dictionary for a new student, except that they have keywords only, for the most part.

  • {ATTACH(name=>words.ltx,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
  • {ATTACH(name=>words.pdf,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
  • {ATTACH(name=>words.html,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
  • {ATTACH(name=>backwords.ltx,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
  • {ATTACH(name=>backwords.pdf,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}
  • {ATTACH(name=>backwords.html,showdesc=>1)}{ATTACH}