Difference between revisions of "stub: La Lojban cu mo alpha 0.0.1"

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= What Is Lojban? =
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<center>'''.i la lojban. mo'''</center>
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&nbsp;
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<center>'''Edited by'''</center>
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<center>'''Nick Nicholas'''</center>
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<center>'''John Cowan'''</center>
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'''What Is Lojban?: .i la lojban. mo'''
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      -->[[{{{2|}}}/{{{1|}}}|<!--
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Edited by&nbsp;Nick Nicholas and John Cowan
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Published 2003
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Copyright © 2003 by the Logical Language Group. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/).
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= Table of Contents =
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[HYPERLINK#ID_pref Organization of this booklet][HYPERLINK#ID_pref Error: Reference source not found]
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[HYPERLINK#ID_sect1 I. Introduction][HYPERLINK#ID_sect1 Error: Reference source not found]
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 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_lojbanmo 1. Questions and Answers on Lojban][HYPERLINK#ID_lojbanmo Error: Reference source not found]
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 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_sect2 II. Technical Descriptions][HYPERLINK#ID_sect2 Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_overview 2. Overview of Lojban Grammar][HYPERLINK#ID_overview Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_diagsumm 3. Diagrammed Summary of Lojban Grammar][HYPERLINK#ID_diagsumm Error: Reference source not found]
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 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_lingissues 4. Linguistic Issues pertaining to Lojban][HYPERLINK#ID_lingissues Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_sect3 III. Lojban Sample Texts][HYPERLINK#ID_sect3 Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_bradi 5. ][HYPERLINK#ID_bradi bradi je bandu][HYPERLINK#ID_bradi Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_ckape 6. ][HYPERLINK#ID_ckape ckape litru][HYPERLINK#ID_ckape Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_lorxu 7. ][HYPERLINK#ID_lorxu sera'a le cipnrkorvo .e le lorxu][HYPERLINK#ID_lorxu Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_attit 8. ][HYPERLINK#ID_attit Attitudinal][HYPERLINK#ID_attit Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_phonapp A. Complete Pronunciation Guide][HYPERLINK#ID_phonapp Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_ipa International Phonetic Alphabet][HYPERLINK#ID_ipa Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_xrabo Arabic][HYPERLINK#ID_xrabo Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_jungo Chinese (Putonghua/Mandarin)][HYPERLINK#ID_jungo Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_xindo Hindi & Urdu][HYPERLINK#ID_xindo Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_rusko Russian][HYPERLINK#ID_rusko Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_spano Spanish][HYPERLINK#ID_spano Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#_18435 Index][HYPERLINK#_18435 Error: Reference source not found]
 +
 
 +
= Organization of this booklet =
 +
'''''stura le dei cmacku'''''
 +
 
 +
This booklet is an introduction to the language Lojban. It is divided into three parts.
 +
 
 +
[HYPERLINK#ID_sect1 Part I] gives a general presentation of what the language is, why it exists, and why it should be of interest to you. [HYPERLINK#ID_sect2 Part II] contains a more formal exposition of the language, consisting of an overview of the language's grammar, a diagrammed summary of its grammar basics, and a discussion of linguistic issues relevant to Lojban. It may be used in conjunction with the introductory lessons available separately. [HYPERLINK#ID_sect3 Part III], finally, contains a few texts in Lojban, with parallel translation and glosses, to allow you to get a feel for how the language works.
 +
 
 +
•The ''Introduction'' (formerly the ''la lojban. mo'' brochure) was originally written by Athelstan and Bob LeChevalier in 1988, and updated in 1991 and 2001, incorporating material by Robin Turner.
 +
 
 +
•The ''Overview'' was originally written by Bob LeChevalier in 1989, and updated in 1990 (incorporating content by John Cowan) and 2001.
 +
 
 +
•The ''Diagrammed Summary'' was originally written by Nora Tansky LeChevalier and Bob LeChevalier in 1990, and updated in 1992 and 2001.
 +
 
 +
•''Linguistic Issues'' is based on material originally contained in the ''la lojban. mo'' brochure; in ''Is Lojban Scientifically Interesting?'' originally written by Bob LeChevalier in 1992; and the paper ''Loglan and Lojban: A Linguist's Questions And An Amateur's Answers'' originally written by John Cowan in 1991, in response to Arnold M. Zwicky's review of James Cooke Brown's 1966 edition of ''Loglan 1''. (Zwicky's review was published in ''Language'' 45:2 (1969), pp. 444–457.)
 +
 
 +
•The glosses in Part III were made using the program ''jbofi'e'' by Richard Curnow.
 +
 
 +
•The cover for the print version was done by Rocket House Studio.
 +
 
 +
Thanks to Pierre Abbat, Arnt Richard Johansen, Jay Kominek, Jorge Llambías, Steven Lytle, Robin Lee Powell, Adam Raizen, And Rosta, Nora Tansky LeChevalier, Robin Turner, and Scott Weller for their suggestions. For the pronunciation guides, thanks to Alfred Tüting, Philip Netwon, and Jorge Llambías.
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''This booklet is published by the Logical Language Group, incorporated as a non-profit scientific/educational charity approved by the U.S. Government for tax-deductible donations. We ask that those obtaining our materials by computer register your interest with us by postal or computer mail. We also ask that you consider contributing to The Logical Language Group to help offset our continuing costs in general support of the Lojban community. Contributions can be as small or as great as you like, though we trust that you will find Lojban rewarding enough to contribute a substantial amount. For the current price of this booklet, please check the Lojban website, http://www.lojban.org.
 +
 
 +
.i le dei cmacku cu vasru loi cfari terdjuno datni pe la lojban. .i le cmacku cu se pagbu cida
 +
 
 +
.i le [HYPERLINK#ID_sect1 1moi pagbu] cu naltcila jai jarco ledu'u ly. mo kau kei .e ledu'u ly. zasti mu'i ma kau kei .e ledu'u tu'a ly. cinri do ki'u ma kau .i le [HYPERLINK#ID_sect2 2moi pagbu] cu vasru lo ritlymau velski be ly. be'o no'u lo naltcila velski be le gerna sidbo be'o kujoi lo xracartu torvelski be le jicmu gerna be'o kujoi lo prosa be le bauske cuntu poi srana la lojban. .i ka'e pilno le go'i ku joi le cfari ve cilre be fi la lojban. be'o noi ka'e ji'a sepli se cpacu .i le [HYPERLINK#ID_sect3 ro 3moi pagbu] cu vasru so'u seltcidu pebau la lojban. ge'u .e lo kansa xe fanva .e lo kansa xe vlafanva mu'i lenu do co'a jimpe ledu'u le bangu cu se sazri ta'i ma kau
 +
 
 +
ni'o
 +
 
 +
•la lidne pagbu po'u le lu la lojban. mo li'u seltcidu pepuku cu krasi se finti la .AT,lstan. joi la lojbab. ca le 1988moi nanca gi'e se ningau ca la 1991moi .e la 2001moi .i ji'a ca la 2001moi co'a vasru loi seltcidu pefi'e la robin.terner.
 +
 
 +
•.i la naltcila velski cu krasi se finti la lojbab. joi la djan.kau,n. ca la 1989moi nanca gi'e se ningau ca la 1990moi .e la 2001moi
 +
 
 +
•.i la xracartu torvelski cu krasi se finti la noras.tanskis.lecevalier. joi la lojbab. ca la 1990moi nanca gi'e se ningau ca la 1992moi .e la 2001moi
 +
 
 +
•.i la bauske se casnu cu se jicmu loi seltcidu poi krasi se vasru le lu la lojban. mo li'u seltcidu ku'o .e la'e lu xu tu'a la lojban. saske cinri li'u noi krasi se finti la lojbab. ca la 1992moi nanca ku'o .e la me la loglan .e la lojban. .i la me la loglan .e la lojban. cu krasi se finti la djan.kau,n. ca la 1991moi mu'i lenu spuda le pajni prosa befi la .arnold. zuikis. beife la pamoi pe la loglan. ge'u nefi'e la djeimyz.kuk.braun. zi'epede'i la 1966moi .i le la zuikis. pajni prosa cu se gubgau vecu'u le 444moi bi'o 457moi papri be le 45 pi'e 2moi te krefu be le karni po'u la'o gy. Language gy. be'o nede'i la 1969moi
 +
 
 +
•.i le valsi xe fanva pe le 3moi pagbu cu se cupra sepi'o le mutmi'i po'u la jbofi'e nefi'e la ritcrd.kernous.
 +
 
 +
.i mi ckire la pier.aBAT. .e la .arnt.rikard.iuxansen. goi la tsali ge'u .e la xorxes.jambi,as. .e la djez.KOminek. .e la rabin.lis.pau,el. .e la stivn.laitl. .e la .adam.reizen. .e la .and.rostas. .e la noras.tanskis.lecevalier. .e la robin.terner. .e la skat.uelyr. lenu vo'e cu stidi sidju .i le bacru tadji velciksi te ckire la .alfred.titin. goi la .aulun. ge'u .e la filip.niuton. .e la xorxes.jambi,as.
 +
 
 +
'''ni'o ju'ido'u: '''le dei cmacku cu se gubgau la lojbangirz. noi ba'o flalu binxo lo nalselprali ke saske ja ctuca ke dinterdu'a girzu poi le merko turni cu zanru lenu na cteki le jdini poi se dunda fi le girzu .i mi cpedu lenu le cpacu be lemi datni bei xebe'i le skami cu jungau ly. ledu'u se cinri kei semu'i lenu pelji ja skami mrilu .i ji'a mi cpedu lenu do dunda fi la lojbangirz. mu'i loinu ly pleji fo loinu vrici sarji le lojbo cecmu .i le klani be le jdini poi do dunda cu .e'a jai se jdice do .i ku'i .a'o leni do zanfri la lojban cu banzu lenu do mu'i dunda lo vajni ly. .i ko mu'i lenu do djuno le ca jdima be ledei cukta kei cu tcidu la'e le la lojban. skamrxuebe tcana no'u la'o gy. http://www.lojban.org gy.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
= I. Introduction =
 +
<center>'''lidne pagbu'''</center>
 +
 
 +
= Chapter 1. Questions and Answers on Lojban =
 +
'''''preti ce'o danfu sera'a la lojban.'''''
 +
 
 +
'''1. What is Lojban?'''
 +
 
 +
Lojban (/LOZH-bahn/) is a constructed language. Originally called ‘Loglan' by project founder Dr. James Cooke Brown, who started the language development in 1955, the goals for the language were first described in the article ''Loglan'' in ''Scientific American'', June 1960. Made well-known by that article and by occasional references in science fiction and computer publications, Loglan/Lojban has been built over four decades by dozens of workers and hundreds of supporters, led since 1987 by [HYPERLINK#ID_llg The Logical Language Group.]
 +
 
 +
There are many artificial languages, but Loglan/Lojban has been ''engineered'' to make it unique in several ways. The following are the main features of Lojban:
 +
 
 +
•Lojban is designed to be used by people in communication with each other, and possibly in the future with computers.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban is designed to be culturally neutral.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban grammar is based on the principles of logic.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban has an unambiguous grammar.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban has phonetic spelling, and sounds can be divided into words in only one way.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban is simple compared to natural languages; it is easy to learn.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban's 1350 root words can be easily combined to form a vocabulary of millions of words.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban is regular; the rules of the language don't have exceptions.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban attempts to remove restrictions on creative and clear thought and communication.
 +
 
 +
•Lojban has a variety of uses, ranging from creative to scientific, from theoretical to practical.
 +
 
 +
The following sections examine each of these points, while answering the questions most often asked about Lojban.
 +
 
 +
'''2. Why was Lojban developed?'''
 +
 
 +
Lojban was originally designed to support research on a concept known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Simply expressed, this hypothesis states that the structure of a language constrains the thinking of people using that language. Lojban allows the full expressive capability of a natural language, but differs in structure from other languages in major ways. This allows it to be used as a test vehicle for scientists studying the relationships between language, thought, and culture. If you are reading this as part of the introductory booklet, further discussion of these issues can be found in the section [HYPERLINK#ID_sect2title Technical Descriptions].
 +
 
 +
'''3. Are there other uses for Lojban?'''
 +
 
 +
Yes, several. Due to its unambiguous grammar and simple structure, it also can be easily parsed (broken down for analysis) by computers, making it possible for Lojban to be used in the future for computer–human interaction, and perhaps conversation. Lojban's structure is similar to existing artificial intelligence (AI) programming languages, and it may become be a most powerful adjunct to AI research, especially in the storing and processing of data about the world and people's conceptions of it. There are also linguists interested in Lojban's potential as an intermediate language in computer-aided translation of natural languages; and Lojban is of interest as a potential stepping-stone for students learning other languages. Because Lojban was designed to be culturally neutral, and has a powerful vocabulary easily learned by people of different language origins, some are interested in Lojban's potential as an international language. These are only the beginnings of the Lojban applications that will be developed in the future.
 +
 
 +
'''4. Is Lojban a computer language?'''
 +
 
 +
Lojban was designed as a ''human language'', and not as a computer language. It is therefore intended for use in conversation, reading, writing, and thinking. However, since Lojban can be processed by a computer much more easily than can a natural language, it is only a matter of time before Lojban-based computer applications are developed. Learning and using Lojban doesn't require you to know anything about computers or to talk like one.
 +
 
 +
'''5. How is Lojban written? How does it sound?'''
 +
 
 +
Lojban uses letters of the Roman alphabet to represent its 6 vowels and 17 consonants. The Lojban character set uses only standard typewriter/computer keyboard keys; capitalization is used rarely, and only to indicate unusual stress in the pronunciation of names. Punctuation is spoken as words. The written language corresponds exactly to the sounds of the spoken language; spelling is phonetic and unambiguous, and the flowing sounds of the language break down into words in only one possible way. These features make computer speech recognition and transcription more practical. Learning to pronounce and spell Lojban is trivial.
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 +
Lojban has a smooth, rhythmic sound, somewhat like Italian. However, its consonants create a fullness and power found in Slavic languages like Russian, and the large number of vowel pairs impart a hint of Chinese, Polynesian, and other Oriental languages, though without the tones that make many of those languages difficult for others to learn.
 +
 
 +
Because there are no idioms to shorten expressions, a Lojban text can be longer than the corresponding colloquial English text. The unambiguous linguistic structures that result are a major benefit that makes this worthwhile; and Lojban has constructions of its own that are rather more succinct than their equivalents in English (such as logic-specific formulations, and expressions of attitude.) Moreover, much of the disambiguating machinery of Lojban is optional; you use them only when you ''need'' to use them.
 +
 
 +
As an example of Lojban, Occam's Razor (“The simplest explanation is usually the best”) may be translated as:
 +
 
 +
roda poi velcki cu so'eroi ke ganai saprai gi xagrai
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 +
/row-dah poy VELSH-kee shoo so-heh-roy keh GAH-nye SAHP-rye ghee KHAH-grye/
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''All somethings which-are explanations mostly-are (if superlatively-simple then superlatively-good).''
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 +
The apostrophe is pronounced like a short, breathy ‘h', and is used to clearly separate the two adjacent vowels for a listener, without requiring a pause between them.
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 +
(If you are reading this text in the ''What is Lojban?'' booklet, a full pronunciation key is available in the [HYPERLINK#ID_overview Overview of Lojban Grammar][HYPERLINK#ID_overview .])
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 +
'''6. What kind of grammar does Lojban have?'''
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 +
‘Grammar' is a word with painful memories for many of us. But though Lojban grammar seems strange at first sight, it is actually quite simple. It is based on a system called predicate logic, which states that in any sentence you have a '''relationship''' (''selbri'' in Lojban) between one or more '''arguments''' (''sumti''). An argument can be a thing, event, quality or just about anything. To give an example, the English sentence
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 +
''Chris adores Pat''
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 +
has a relation ''adore'', between two arguments, ''Chris'' and ''Pat''. In Lojban this would be
 +
 
 +
la kris. prami la pat.
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or, if you prefer,
 +
 
 +
la kris. la pat. prami
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 +
(The full stops mean that you have to pause slightly to separate the words—anythingelseinLojbancanberuntogetherwithoutbeingmisunderstood).
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 +
You might be thinking “Well in that case a relationship is a verb and an argument is a noun, so why bother with special terminology like ''selbri'' and whatnot?” However, in Lojban Chris's feelings about Pat might be described like this:
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la pat. melbi
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 +
Pat is beautiful.
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 +
In English you have a verb (‘doing word'), ''is'', and an adjective (‘describing word'), ''beautiful''. In Turkish, you would say ''Pat güzel'', which is a noun and an adjective, with no verb required. In Chinese you would use ''meili'', a ‘stative verb'—but enough! In Lojban you don't need all these language-specific notions.
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Now, if there are no nouns, verbs, subjects or objects in Lojban, how do we know that la kris. la pat. prami means that Chris adores Pat and not the other way? Different languages handle this problem differently. In English it is done with word order, and when that isn't enough, with prepositions (words like ''at'', ''from'', ''to'', ''with'' and so on). In other languages, like Latin or Turkish, it's done by changing the form of the words, e.g. ''Pat'i Chris sever'' in Turkish means “Chris loves Pat”, not “Pat loves Chris.”
 +
 
 +
In Lojban, the order in which arguments appear is built in to the meaning of the word. For example, the word dunda means ''give'', but its full meaning is:
 +
 
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x1 gives x2 to x3
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So mi pu dunda le cukta le ninmu means “I gave the book to the woman”, not “I gave the woman to the book”).
 +
 
 +
The important point is that Lojban has a lot of what we would call ‘grammar', but nearly all of this is contained in the ''cmavo'' (structure words), and you can use as many or as few of them as you want.
 +
 
 +
'''7. What else is distinctive about Lojban grammar?'''
 +
 
 +
In Lojban, it is equally easy to speak of something as being an action as it is to speak of it as being a state of existence. The distinction between the two can be ignored, or can be explicitly expressed in a variety of ways:
 +
 
 +
•by associating concepts in ''tanru'' metaphors (combinations of ''selbri'' into single expressions giving novel meanings), involving words like gasnu (‘do'), zasti (‘exist'), zukte (‘act with purpose');
 +
 
 +
•with a variety of ‘operators' (''cmavo'') dealing with abstractions such as events, states, properties, amounts, ideas, experience, and truth;
 +
 
 +
•or with four pre-defined varieties of causality (others can be developed through ''tanru'' metaphor).
 +
 
 +
A major benefit of using a predicate grammar is that Lojban doesn't have inflections and declensions on nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Most natural languages have evolved such variations to reduce ambiguity as to how words are related in a sentence. Language change has made these inflections and declensions highly irregular and thus difficult to learn. Lojban uses the simple but flexible predicate relationship to erase both the irregularity and the declensions.
 +
 
 +
Tense and location markers (inflections), adverbs, and prepositions are combined into one part of speech. New preposition-like forms can be built at will from predicates; these allow the user to expand upon a sentence by attaching and relating arguments not normally included in the meaning of a word.
 +
 
 +
Numbers and quantifiers are conceptually expanded from natural languages. ''Many'', ''enough'', ''too much'', ''a few'', and ''at least'' are among concepts that are expressed as numbers in Lojban. Thus “it costs $3.95” and “it costs too much” are grammatically identical, and one can talk of being “enough-th in line” for tickets to a sellout movie. Core concepts of logic, mathematics, and science are built into the root vocabulary. They enhance discussion of those topics, and are surprisingly useful in ordinary speech, too.
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 +
Predicate logic can express a wide variety of human thought; Lojban also has non-logical constructs that do not affect or obscure the logical structure, allowing communications that are not amenable to logical analysis. For example, Lojban has a full set of emotional indicators, which are similar to such interjections in English as ''Oh!'', ''Aha!'', and ''Wheee!'', but each has a specific meaning. Similarly, Lojban has indicators of the speaker's relationship to what is said (whether it is hearsay, direct observation, logical deduction, etc.) similar to those found in some Native American languages.
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 +
Lojban supports metalinguistic discussion about the sentences being spoken while remaining unambiguous. Lojban also supports a variety of ‘tense' logic that allows one to be extremely specific about time and space (and space–time) relationships. A substantial portion of Lojban's grammar is designed to support unambiguous statement of mathematical expressions and relations in a manner compatible both with international usage and the rest of Lojban's grammar.
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Lojban ‘parts of speech' are convertible from one to another by using short structure words (called ''cmavo''). One can make numbers serve as nouns or verbs, or invent new numbers and prepositions. Lojban removes many of the constraints on human thought, while preserving tight control on structural syntax.
 +
 
 +
'''8. Lojban seems complex. How hard is it to learn?'''
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 +
Lojban is actually much simpler than natural languages. It is only slightly more complex in its grammar than the current generation of computer languages (such as C++ and Perl). Lojban seems complex only because the varieties of human thought are complex, and Lojban is designed to minimize constraints on those thoughts. Lojban text can appear longer and more complex due to its lack of idiom, its complete explicitness of logical structure, and most importantly, its unfamiliarity. On the other hand, conversational speech uses less than half of the possible grammatical structures, leaving the rest for writing and for other circumstances when one is likely to take time to carefully formulate exact logical phrasings.
 +
 
 +
Lojban's pronunciation, spelling, word formation, and grammar rules are fixed, and the language is free of exceptions to these rules. Such exceptions are the bane of learning to speak a natural language ''correctly''. Without the burden of ambiguity, Lojban users can be precise and specific more easily than in other languages.
 +
 
 +
Because Lojban's grammar is simple, it is easier to learn than other languages. Using flashcard-like techniques, a working vocabulary including the complete set of 1350 root words can take 8–12 weeks of study at 1 hour per day. It is by no means uncommon for people who embark on learning Lojban to be able to write grammatical Lojban within a few days, and to hold at least a limited conversation within a few weeks. Natural languages, especially English, take several years to learn to a comparable level of skill.
 +
 
 +
The available Lojban teaching materials are so structured that you can learn the language without classroom instruction or a close community of speakers. Communication practice with others is needed to achieve fluency, but you can start using the language as you achieve proficiency.
 +
 
 +
'''9. What do you mean by ‘unambiguous'?'''
 +
 
 +
Lojban has an unambiguous grammar (proven by computer analysis of a formal grammar), pronunciation, and '''morphology''' (word forms). In practice this means that the person who reads or hears a Lojban sentence is never in doubt as to what words it contains or what roles they play in the sentence. This is true even if the words are unfamiliar, so long as the spelling and grammar rules are known. Lojban has no words that sound alike but have different meanings (like ''herd'' and ''heard''), that have multiple unrelated meanings (''set''), or that differ only in punctuation but not in sound (like the abominable ''its'' and ''it's''). There is never any doubt about where words begin and end (if you hear ''cargo ship'', do you hear two words or three?) Most important, the function of each word is inescapably clear; there is nothing like the English sentence ''Time flies like an arrow'', in which any of the first three words could be the verb.
 +
 
 +
Lojban is ''not'' entirely unambiguous, of course; human beings occasionally desire to be ambiguous in their expressions. In Lojban, this ambiguity is limited to semantics, ''tanru'' metaphor, and intentional omission of information (ellipsis).
 +
 
 +
Semantic ambiguity results because words in natural languages represent families of concepts rather than individual meanings. These meanings often have only weak semantic relationships to each other (the English word ''run'' is a good example.) In addition, each individual's personal experiences provide emotional connotations to words. By providing a fresh, culturally-neutral start, Lojban attempts to minimize the transference of these associations as people learn the language. Most Lojban words do not much resemble corresponding words in other languages; the differences aid in making this fresh start possible.
 +
 
 +
Lojban's powerful ''tanru'' (combinations of ''selbri'' into novel concepts) and word-building features make it easy to make fine distinctions between concepts. This discourages the tendency for individual words to acquire families of meanings. Lojban's ''tanru'' metaphors are themselves ambiguous; they specify a relationship between concepts, but not what the relationship is. That relationship can be made explicit using unambiguous logical constructs if necessary, or can be left vague, as the speaker typically desires. Similarly, portions of the logical structure of a Lojban expression can be omitted, greatly simplifying the expression while causing some ambiguity. Unlike in the natural languages, though, this ambiguity is readily identified by a reader or listener. Thus all ambiguity in Lojban is constrained and recognizable, and can be clarified as necessary by further interaction.
 +
 
 +
This precision in no way confines the meaning of a Lojban sentence. It is possible to be fanciful or ridiculous, to tell lies, or to be misunderstood. You can be very specific, or you can be intentionally vague. Your hearer may not understand what you ''meant'', but will always understand what you ''said''.
 +
 
 +
'''10. Can you make jokes in an unambiguous language?'''
 +
 
 +
Most humor arises from situation and character and is as funny in Lojban as in any language. Humor based on word play, of course, is language-dependent. Lojban has no homonyms, and hence no simple puns; puns derived from similar sounds are still possible, and have in fact been attempted (for example in the Lojban translation of ''Alice in Wonderland''). Since Lojban will almost always be a second language, bilingual puns and word play abound, often based on the relative ambiguity of the other languages involved. Humor based on internal grammatical ambiguity is of course impossible in Lojban, but humor based on nonsensical statements, or on logical structures that would be difficult to clearly express in another language, becomes easier.
 +
 
 +
As speakers become fluent, and conventional phrases come into use, Lojban will develop its own forms of spoonerisms and subtle puns. Unique forms of Lojban word-play have already turned up; they exploit the way small variations in Lojban grammar create unexpected variations in meaning, and the capability to simply express rather mind-boggling relationships. Like all word-play, these lose zest when translated into other languages.
 +
 
 +
Related to humor is the aphorism: the pithy saying that gains pungency or poignancy from terse, elegant phrasing. Lojban seems as capable of aphorisms as any language, perhaps more than most; however, because the language is so young, few such aphorisms have been devised to date.
 +
 
 +
'''11. Isn't Esperanto the ‘international language'?'''
 +
 
 +
There have been hundreds of artificial international languages developed, of which Esperanto is the most successful and widely known. Esperanto, like most other such languages, was based on European languages in both grammar and vocabulary. Although it manages to be relatively neutral between them, it still retains an inherent cultural bias which makes it unsuited for most of the purposes that Lojban was designed for.
 +
 
 +
Lojban is culturally fully neutral. Its vocabulary was built algorithmically using today's six most widely spoken languages: Chinese, Hindi, English, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. Lojban's words thus show roots in three major families of languages spoken by most of the world's people. Lojban's grammar accommodates structures found in non-European languages, and uses sounds found in many of the world's languages. Coupled with the potential computer applications that will make Lojban a useful language to know, Lojban's potential as an international language may be more far-reaching than Esperanto's.
 +
 
 +
Lojban was not designed primarily to be an international language, however, but rather as a linguistic tool for studying and understanding language. Its linguistic and computer applications make Lojban unique among proposed international languages: Lojban can be successful without immediately being accepted and adopted everywhere, and Lojban can be useful and interesting even to those skeptical of or hostile towards the international language movement.
 +
 
 +
Since Lojban is also not in direct competition with Esperanto, it has proven attractive to Esperantists interested in acquiring a new perspective on their own international language, and who feel less threatened because Lojban has different goals. Lojban's supporters recognize that it will take decades for Lojban to acquire both the number and variety of speakers and the extensive history of usage that marks Esperanto culture. Meanwhile, each language community has much to learn from the other; this process is already well underway.
 +
 
 +
'''12. How about English as an international language?'''
 +
 
 +
English is commonly used as an ‘international language' in the fields of science and technology, and is probably the most widely spoken language in the world. American dominance of technology in the twentieth century has caused massive borrowing from English into other languages that do not have words for all these new concepts. This dominance, and a heritage of colonialism and imperialism that has built resentment towards American and European impositions on native cultures, has caused recent movements in other countries ''away'' from English. The rising influence of other non–English-speaking countries on world economics, science, and technology makes further declines in the universality of English likely.
 +
 
 +
In addition, many who know English as a second language speak it only minimally, though they may be able to read or understand many words. India is a prominent example of a country where English is the only language more or less understood throughout the country, which has about 1500 languages and dialects; but the English spoken in India is often unintelligible to Americans or Britons. In fact, English is one of the most difficult languages to learn to use well. In countries where English is spoken along with other languages, it has been adapted into dialects which match the local culture and borrow words from the other local languages. Some of these dialects are as much as 70% unintelligible to American or British speakers, or to each other. As such, there is no single English language to call an ‘international' one.
 +
 
 +
Lojban is a single language, with design features to discourage breaking up into separate languages. While it was developed primarily by Americans, and was designed to be at least as expressive as English is, Lojban's cultural neutrality gives equal priority to the structures and concepts of other languages and cultures. This cultural neutrality enhances Lojban's acceptability as an international language. Since it is as capable as English is of generating or borrowing any words needed to support the concepts of science and technology, and has special advantages for computer applications, Lojban is likely to spread worldwide through the technological community. Far more so than English, Lojban is simple and easy to learn for people of all cultures.
 +
 
 +
'''13. Can poetry be written in a ‘logical' language or an ‘unambiguous' one?'''
 +
 
 +
Original poetry has already been written in Lojban, and some has been translated into the language. Lojban's powerful ''tanru'' metaphor structure allows you to build concepts into words easily, as you need them, and has been used to create colorful images and to convey moving emotions. A Lojban speaker doesn't need a dictionary to use and understand millions of words that can potentially exist in the language. The absence of cultural constraints makes consideration of new ideas and relationships easier than in natural languages, spurring creativity. Lojban aids in communicating abstractions by identifying their nature explicitly. Lojban is thus a very powerful language, not only for poetry, but for discussing such abstract fields as philosophy, physics, metaphysics, and religion.
 +
 
 +
Lojban poets are already experimenting with new (and old) forms of poetry that seem especially well suited to the rhythm, sound, and flow of the language. Rarely do poets have such an opportunity to affect the development of a new language as they now can with Lojban. Lojban's rich and powerful. Lojban unleashes the full potential of poetic expression to communicate both concrete and abstract ideas.
 +
 
 +
'''14. How was Lojban developed?'''
 +
 
 +
The language, then called ‘Loglan', was first described in the 1950s by Dr. James Cooke Brown. The 1960 Scientific American article ''Loglan'' was his call for assistance in developing the language. A revolution in linguistics was simultaneously taking place, resulting in a rapidly increasing knowledge of the nature of human language; this changed the requirements for the developing language. The first widely distributed Loglan dictionary and language description did not appear until 1975; the incompleteness of this description and continued development work discouraged people from learning the language. Furthermore, computers caught up with Loglan just then, making it possible to refine the grammar, eliminate ambiguity and mathematically prove its absence. For over forty years, this work has been performed by volunteers, and without financial support. Now, after several versions of the language, people have been learning and using the current version, which is the first to be called ‘Lojban' (from the roots “logical-language” in Lojban).
 +
 
 +
This version is the first version with a stable vocabulary, and the first to have a stable and completely defined grammar. The stabilization of the language in this version has followed a painstaking and extensive period of research and analysis, between 1988 and 1998. Thus, in an important sense, Lojban is a very new language. To ensure Lojban remains stable while people learn it, the language definition is being closely controlled; the grammar and core vocabulary have already been baselined (frozen) for several years. When the number of speakers has grown significantly, and a Lojban literature has developed, Lojban will be treated like a natural language and allowed to grow and flourish without constraint, as do other natural languages.
 +
 
 +
'''15. How many people speak Lojban?'''
 +
 
 +
Questions of how many people speak a language greatly depend on your presuppositions and definitions—which a language like Lojban, at least, can make explicit! The on-line Lojban mailing list, which constitutes the largest community of people using the language, has over 200 subscribers, with well over 20 regular posters as of this writing. The level of confidence of the language community has already risen to such a level that there is a Lojban-language–only discussion group, as well as the general mailing list. Lojban has also been used extensively in real-time conversation, both electronically (IRC) and face-to-face. Though the Lojban-speaking community is so widely diffused that the opportunity for conversation does not arise frequently, the number of Lojbanists who can sustain a conversation in the language certainly ranges beyond what can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and is steadily increasing. Lojban has been proven in communicative use for well over a decade, and the range and expressivity of the language is being continually explored by the language community.
 +
 
 +
The first speakers of Lojban have a unique opportunity. They are the history-makers who will shape the flavor of the first totally new language to achieve broad speakability. Their ideas will be most influential in setting the patterns of usage that others will learn from. Their experiences will teach things about language that have never before been learned—or learnable.
 +
 
 +
'''16. Why should I learn Lojban?'''
 +
 
 +
There are several reasons for learning the language now. Those who are working with the language now are actively consulted for their opinions on how to teach and spread the language. Within a few weeks of work learning from the materials already written, you will be able to work with those who have already started. You will be a significant part of this small but rapidly growing community. You will receive personal attention to any problems you have with the language from those leading the effort. If you are truly ambitious and committed to the language, you are welcome to join in that leadership.
 +
 
 +
Those with a computer background who learn the language now will be the leaders in developing the earliest practical computer applications for the language. Meanwhile, computer-oriented Lojbanists can also aid in developing computer-aided instruction tools or converting existing software to run on new computers.
 +
 
 +
People not interested in computers will also find Lojban a valuable language. You may be interested in the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, and in the scientific tests to be planned and conducted, or in other language-related research. You may be interested in Lojban's potential as an international language, and in the attempts to use the language to reach across cultural boundaries.
 +
 
 +
Regardless of your background, you will find learning Lojban to be a mind-expanding experience. Learning any language other than your native tongue broadens your perspectives and allows you to transcend the necessarily limited viewpoints of your native language's culture. Lojban, being simpler to learn than natural languages, provides this benefit much more quickly than does the study of other languages. And being quite different from natural languages, Lojban provides this benefit more directly.
 +
 
 +
Having learned Lojban, you will find it easier to learn other languages and to communicate with people from other backgrounds, regardless of the language studied; the linguistic principles you learn while learning Lojban are applicable to these languages and the communication problems they entail. The logical organization embedded in Lojban will aid you in organizing and clarifying your thoughts. Your new perspective on language, ambiguity, and communication will allow you to express those thoughts more clearly, even when you use an ambiguous natural language.
 +
 
 +
You needn't learn Lojban for any practical purpose, however. Many, if not most, of those who are learning Lojban are doing so because it is fun. Learning Lojban is intellectually stimulating, providing human interaction (a way to meet other people and get to know them) and mental challenge. Lojban has all the benefits of games designed for entertainment, with the side benefit of that entertainment developing into a useful skill.
 +
 
 +
Learning Lojban as an intellectual toy means that you can get enjoyment from learning Lojban without anywhere near the effort needed to benefit from studying other languages. While becoming fluent in Lojban will probably take hundreds of hours over several months, you can feel some sense of accomplishment in the language after just a couple of hours of study. You can use Lojban immediately for fun, while gaining skill with greater experience.
 +
 
 +
'''17. How do I learn Lojban?'''
 +
 
 +
This text appears in a booklet including a description of the grammar of Lojban and some introductory learning materials. If you are reading this text in a separately printed brochure, you may write to the Logical Language Group at the address found at the end of this brochure, and we will be happy to provide the complete booklet. We request a contribution of $5 to cover its cost.
 +
 
 +
If you are reading this brochure on-line, or have access to the Internet, the complete ''What is Lojban?'' booklet is also available on the World Wide Web for free at the address:
 +
 
 +
http://www.lojban.org/publications/level0.html
 +
 
 +
Once you have read this booklet, there are several directions you may proceed, depending on your goals for use of the language.
 +
 
 +
Most people learning the language will work for some time on their own before working with others. We recommend, where possible, that you identify at least one other person to study and interact with, either in person or by mail. The Logical Language Group maintains lists of Lojban students of various degrees of skill and activity levels. There is also both a general and an in-Lojban discussion group available on the Internet. Information will be found at the end of this document.
 +
 
 +
Almost any use you wish to make of Lojban requires some degree of mastery of the basic vocabulary. You can learn enough Lojban grammar to support conversation in just a couple of hours, but you will need vocabulary in order to use that grammar.
 +
 
 +
You can learn the Lojban vocabulary using computer software. The Logical Language Group has computer-aided–teaching programs distributed under the name ''LogFlash'', with MS-DOS/Windows, Macintosh and Unix versions currently available. The software is based on flash-card teaching techniques, which are extremely efficient in helping you learn the vocabulary. Other computer software is available, including a parser and a glosser.
 +
 
 +
You can learn the Lojban grammar in several ways, including by studying the examples in our on-line text archives and mailing lists, and by going through the formal grammar description. (The formal grammars are available in two formats, ''YACC'' and simplified ''E-BNF''.)
 +
 
 +
An introduction to the grammar of Lojban will be found in [HYPERLINK#ID_sect2title Technical Descriptions] in the ''What is Lojban?'' booklet. There is also a set of introductory lessons available (these cover the basics of the language, but at a more leisurely pace): ''Lojban for Beginners'', by Robin Turner and Nick Nicholas. A complete grammatical description of Lojban, ''The Complete Lojban Language'' by John W. Cowan, was published by the Logical Language Group in 1997. This is an authoritative reference, and can be used as an aid to learning the advanced features of the language.
 +
 
 +
A formal Lojban dictionary is being compiled, and will encompass the word lists already available from the Logical Language Group as of this writing. Draft versions of the dictionary are available on the Lojban web site (see contact details below).
 +
 
 +
Of course the only way to really learn a language is to ''use'' it. The Logical Language Group will assist you in finding other Lojban students of comparable skill level and interests, either in your local area or reachable by post or electronic mail. The on-line Lojban discussion groups regularly contain Lojban text, some with detailed translations and some without translation, as well as discussions of language points by various members of the Lojban community. There is also a discussion group specifically for beginners as of this writing. Of course the best way to use the language is to recruit friends and associates into studying and using the language with you. Even if they are not interested in the same language goals as you are, the ‘hobbyist' aspect of the language will provide interesting and stimulating entertainment for all concerned.
 +
 
 +
'''18. What is The Logical Language Group?'''
 +
 
 +
The Logical Language Group, Inc. is a non-profit organization, the embodiment of the Loglan/Lojban community. We were founded to complete the language development process, to develop and publish teaching materials, to organize and teach the community, to promote applications of Lojban, and to initiate and lead research efforts in linguistics, language education, and other areas related to Lojban. Simply put, our purpose is to serve you in all manner of things Lojbanic. The Logical Language Group is not affiliated with The Loglan Institute, Inc., the organization founded by James Cooke Brown.
 +
 
 +
The Logical Language Group is also called la lojbangirz. (''/lah lozh-BAHN-geerz./''), its Lojban name. It was founded informally in 1987, and incorporated in 1988. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service approved our status as a non-profit educational/scientific charity in 1989, making donations and grants to the organization deductible under U.S. tax law.
 +
 
 +
Loglan/Lojban has been developed almost totally by volunteer labor and small donations of money. Lojban attracts people who are willing to devote a lot of time and effort to seeing their dreams become reality. Thus, our only income has been money derived from sales of our publications, and donations from interested supporters.
 +
 
 +
The Logical Language Group publishes and sells printed materials on Lojban. All language definition information is considered in the public domain, and most Logical Language Group publications are distributed under a policy which allows not-for-charge copying and redistribution. Computer versions of many of our publications are available on-line at no charge. We ask people who receive our materials by any of these means to let us know, so that we may better serve you, and donate liberally, so that we may continue to serve you.
 +
 
 +
Most materials that we sell require either prior payment, an informal commitment to pay on your part, or your statement that you cannot afford to pay for materials (in which case our supplying these materials is at our discretion). We attempt to flexibly support Lojbanists who have financial constraints, and will accept reasonable offers of reduced or delayed payments subject to our financial condition, given your commitment to actively maintain contact and involvement with the community. Obviously, the level of your prior and current activity and any commitments you make to learning the language, or to volunteer work for la lojbangirz., will be factored into our decision.
 +
 
 +
la lojbangirz. has a special commitment to support Lojbanists outside the U.S., because so many of the language goals are dependent on building an international community of speakers, and because we recognize the difficulties caused by the international currency market and the relative wealth of nations. We can accept bank cheques in most currencies and international payment via PayPal. We also encourage people to form groups so that they can receive a single copy of our materials, copying or passing them to others to keep the per-person costs low. We expect a lower standard of contact and contribution from overseas Lojbanists when deciding whether to continue sending our materials at reduced or no charge.
 +
 
 +
We ask all recipients of our materials to help us financially in any way you can. The Logical Language Group needs your gifts for support of the Loglan/Lojban project. Artificial languages are historically not self-sustaining financially, and have difficulty receiving outside support. The Logical Language Group, Inc. is prohibited by its bylaws from spending more than 15% of its expenses for administrative purposes, except by special agreement with a donor who agrees to cover such added costs in full.
 +
 
 +
'''19. How does The Logical Language Group serve the community?'''
 +
 
 +
The Logical Language Group coordinates and promotes activities involving Lojban and the Lojban community. In that role, it publishes materials enabling people to learn the language, and facilitates their forming a community of speakers. Most people involved with Lojban stay informed by checking our web page or participating in the Lojban mailing lists (see contact details below). The Logical Language Group also publishes newsletters and journals, including both general news, aimed at those not actively involved in learning and using the language, and more specific material, including discussions of features of the language, debates on research issues and applications, letters from the community and responses, and Lojban writings and translations.
 +
 
 +
Our printed publications are free of advertisements (other than our own ordering information, and occasional mention of individuals and organizations who have contributed particular service to our efforts); and we do not sell our mailing list. Our publications are distributed as cheaply as possible to encourage new people to participate. In the interest of attracting the widest audience possible, we are committed to distributing as much material as possible using the ‘open source' concept for computer software and a similar policy for printed publications. This policy retains our copyrights but allows you, with relatively few restrictions, to copy our materials for your friends.
 +
 
 +
Certain materials that we publish contain information that we place in the public domain. '''All language definition information is considered to be public.'''
 +
 
 +
If you are attempting to learn the language, we will provide as much help as we can to assist you. We will put you in touch with Lojbanists who might be interested in studying or communicating with you in the language. You can also send your writings to us for review, or for indirect exchange with others. We try to foster research and social interaction among those who are learning, or who have already learned the language. We aid such people in organizing, leading, and teaching formal classes and study groups, and will sponsor affiliated groups in local areas where non-profit sponsorship can be of benefit. We conduct an annual celebration of the language and community (July or August), called ‘Logfest', in conjunction with our annual business meeting in the Washington DC area. We also expect to support other local meetings and gatherings as the community grows.
 +
 
 +
Of course, we also try to publicize the language. Our representatives can attend meetings to give presentations on the language. We distribute informational material, including these booklets. Through our efforts, and with your help, the community of Lojbanists is rapidly growing.
 +
 
 +
'''20. What can I do now?'''
 +
 
 +
You can become involved in the Lojban project in a variety of ways, depending on your background and interests, and on your available time:
 +
 
 +
•you can participate in completing the language documentation;
 +
 
 +
•you can devise applications for Lojban in computers, education, linguistics, and other fields;
 +
 
 +
•you can help in organizing Lojbanists in your area, and in recruiting new Lojbanists;
 +
 
 +
•you can help in teaching the language to new people (even while learning yourself);
 +
 
 +
•you can assist in spreading Lojban to non–English-speaking cultures by helping translate materials into other languages, and by identifying, recruiting, and communicating with contacts in other countries (international involvement is vital to ensuring that Lojban remains culturally neutral);
 +
 
 +
•you can contribute financially to support our organization, its activities, and its publications;
 +
 
 +
•you can use Lojban in composition, translation, and conversation with other Lojbanists.
 +
 
 +
For many of these activities, you need to learn the language first. However, even those who haven't yet had time to learn the language can assist in recruiting and contributing ideas to the effort.
 +
 
 +
Helping to publicize the language, of course, does not take a lot of time, or necessarily even knowing the language. Talk to friends, relatives and colleagues. We will gladly provide copies of this brochure on request. Lojban tends to sell itself; people who learn of it are more often than not intrigued by it.
 +
 
 +
Keep in touch with us. We want to know your ideas and opinions on the language, on our various activities, and on our products. We welcome open debate on the language, and have even printed and made available writings that are critical of various aspects of our efforts, when they are of sufficient general interest. Open debate aids in understanding and improves the overall quality of the language and of our presentation of it to the world. Much of the language design is now complete, and the Logical Language Group is committed to maintaining a stable version of the language. Nonetheless, we would rather hear criticism now within our community and either correct our problems or prepare an adequate response, than do so later when such issues are raised by outsiders.
 +
 
 +
In short, Lojban is a product of ''all'' of the community, including ''you''—if you choose.
 +
 
 +
Of course, the most important thing you can do is:
 +
 
 +
'''Use Lojban!: '''Lojban will not really achieve the status of ‘language' until people ''use'' it. We need creative people to write Lojban prose, poetry, and dialog. We need translations made from fiction, technical literature, from religious and philosophical writings, and from music. ''Only'' in this way will Lojban be proven practical, and gain the credibility it needs to succeed.
 +
 
 +
'''21. Who do I contact?'''
 +
 
 +
We have several volunteers who serve to coordinate Lojban activities in specific regions of the world. There is also a limited amount of Lojban materials translated into languages other than English. This support is constantly being added to; please contact us for details.
 +
 
 +
The Logical Language Group's website, which contains all its publicly available information, is at:
 +
 
 +
http://www.lojban.org
 +
 
 +
Several active Lojban-related mailing lists are available on the Internet. The general Lojban list is lojban<nowiki>; the list for discussions in Lojban only is </nowiki>jbosnu<nowiki>; and the list specifically for beginners is </nowiki>lojban-beginners. They may be accessed as follows:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Web
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| •http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban
 +
 
 +
•http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jbosnu
 +
 
 +
•http://www.lojban.org/lsg2/ (lojban-beginners)
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Email
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| •lojban@yahoogroups.com
 +
 
 +
•jbosnu@yahoogroups.com
 +
 
 +
•lojban-beginners@chain.digitalkingdom.org
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Subscribe
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| http://www.lojban.org/lsg2/ for all lists.
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
(All lists are mirrored outside yahoo.com, on the Lojban web server: http://www.lojban.org/lsg2/)
 +
 
 +
If you have received a registration form and an order form with this booklet, you can provide us with useful information to aid us in serving you, and can order some of our materials. Write or call:
 +
 
 +
The Logical Language Group, Inc.
 +
 
 +
2904 Beau Lane
 +
 
 +
Fairfax, VA 22031
 +
 
 +
U.S.A.
 +
 
 +
(+1 703) 385-0273
 +
 
 +
E-mail can be sent to us at: lojban@lojban.org
 +
 
 +
.e'osai ko sarji la lojban.
 +
 
 +
''/eh-ho-sigh, ko-SAHR-zhee, lah LOZH-bahn./''
 +
 
 +
Please support Lojban!
 +
 
 +
 
 +
= II. Technical Descriptions =
 +
<center>'''certu velskicu'''</center>
 +
 
 +
= Chapter 2. Overview of Lojban Grammar =
 +
'''''naltcila velski be le lojbo gerna sidbo'''''
 +
 
 +
This overview of Lojban will hopefully give you a good feel for the design and scope of the language. It serves as an introduction to learning the language; most of the special terminology used elsewhere is defined here. This overview is ''not'' complete, nor detailed; much is glossed over. To actually learn the language you must study the available reference or teaching materials.
 +
 
 +
The material following is divided up into the major facets of language description. These are:
 +
 
 +
'''Orthography'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;the way the language is written
 +
 
 +
'''Phonology'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;the way the language sounds
 +
 
 +
'''Morphology'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;the structure of words
 +
 
 +
'''Semantics'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;the meanings of words, sentences, and expressions
 +
 
 +
'''Grammar'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;the ways in which words may be put together
 +
 
 +
For many special terms, we will give a definition, and then the Lojban word for the concept. The Lojban words are then used, to avoid confusion due to the various meanings of the English jargon words. The Lojban words are also what is used in other publications about the language.
 +
 
 +
== Orthography ==
 +
Lojban uses the Roman alphabet, consisting of the following letters and symbols:
 +
 
 +
' , . a b c d e f g i j k l m n o p r s t u v x y z
 +
 
 +
omitting the letters ''h'', ''q'', and ''w''. The three special characters are ''not'' punctuation:
 +
 
 +
•The apostrophe represents a specific sound, similar to the English /h/.
 +
 
 +
•The period is an optional reminder to the reader, representing a mandatory pause dictated by the rules of the language. Such pauses can be of any duration, and are part of the '''morphology''', or word formation rules, and not the grammar.
 +
 
 +
•The comma is used to indicate a syllable break within a word, generally one that is not obvious to the reader.
 +
 
 +
The alphabet order given above is that of the ASCII symbol set, most widely used in computers for sorting and searching.
 +
 
 +
Lojban does not require capitalization of any word type, including proper names, and such capitalization is discouraged. Capital letters are used instead to indicate non-standard stress in pronunciation of Lojbanized names. Thus the English name ''Josephine'', as normally pronounced, is Lojbanized as DJOsefin, pronounced /JO,seh,feen/. Without the capitalization, Lojban stress rules would force the /seh/ syllable to be stressed.
 +
 
 +
Lojban's alphabet and pronunciation rules bring about what is called '''audio-visual isomorphism'''. There is not only a unique symbol to represent each sound of Lojban, but also a single correct way to separate the sounds of continuous Lojban speech into words. Similarly, a Lojban text may be read off sound by sound, using pronunciation and stress rules, to form an unambiguous uttered expression. Spelling in Lojban is thus trivial to learn.
 +
 
 +
== Phonology ==
 +
Each Lojban sound is uniquely assigned to a single letter, or combination of letters. Each letter is defined to have a particular set of possible pronunciations, such that there is no overlap between letter sounds.
 +
 
 +
Most of the consonants are pronounced exactly as they are most commonly pronounced in English. The following gives English and Lojban examples for these.
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''In the following examples, the English word and the Lojban word are the same where possible. (This was not possible for j.)
 +
 
 +
==== Unvoiced ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== p ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /p/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== powder ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== purmo ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /POOR,mo/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== f ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /f/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== fall ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== farlu ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /FAHR,loo/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== t ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /t/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== time ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== temci ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /TEM,shee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== s ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /s/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== soldier ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== sonci ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /SONE,shee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== k ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /k/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== keen ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== kinli ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /KEEN,lee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Voiced ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== b ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /b/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== bottle ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== botpi ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /BOAT,pee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== v ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /v/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== voice ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== voksa ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /VOAK,sah/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== d ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /d/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== dance ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== dansu ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /DAHN,soo/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== z ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /z/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== zinc ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== zinki ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /ZEEN,kee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== g ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /g/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== goose ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== gunse ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /GOON,seh/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Incidentally, for these examples, the Lojban example is a close equivalent of the English example used, showing that some words in Lojban are very similar to their English counterparts. In the pronunciation guides, note the conventions of capitalizing stressed syllables and of separating syllables with commas. These conventions could optionally be used in the Lojban words themselves, but are not necessary.
 +
 
 +
In the above examples, the consonants in the first table are called '''unvoiced consonants''', because they are spoken without voicing them using the vocal folds. The consonants in the second table are their '''voiced''' equivalents.
 +
 
 +
When a consonant is made by touching the tongue so as to block air passage, it is called a '''stop''' (p, b, t, d, k, g). If the blockage is incomplete, and air rubs between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, it is called a '''fricative''' (f, v, s, z). For example, k is an unvoiced stop in the back of the mouth. Its unvoiced fricative equivalent is x, which is rarely found in English (the Scottish ''loch'', as in ''Loch Ness monster'', is an example).
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /kh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''lo'''ch'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| lal'''x'''u
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /LAHL,khoo/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| —
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''x'''riso
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /KHREE,so/
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Two other fricatives are c and j. c is the unvoiced /sh/ sound that is usually represented by two letters in English. j is its voiced equivalent, rarely occurring alone in English (but see below).
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| c
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /sh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''sh'''irt''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''c'''reka
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /SHREH,kah/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Engli'''sh'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| gli'''c'''o
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /GLEE,sho/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| j
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /zh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''mea'''s'''ure''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| lo'''j'''ban
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /LOZH,bahn/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''a'''z'''ure''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
These two fricatives occur frequently in English combined with a stop (giving '''affricates'''). Lojban phonology recognizes this, and the /ch/ sound is written tc, while the /j/ sound is written dj.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| tc
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /tsh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''mu'''ch'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mu'''tc'''e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /MU,cheh/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>=/ch/</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| dj
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /dzh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''j'''aw''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| xe'''dj'''a
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /KHED,jah/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>=/j/</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The other four Lojban consonants are also pronounced as in English. But each has two possible pronunciations. The normal Lojban pronunciation is shown in the first table. In names, borrowings, and a few other situations, however, these consonants can occur in a syllable of their own, with no vowel. In this case they are called '''syllabic consonants''', and are pronounced as in the second table.
 +
 
 +
==== Non-syllabic ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== l ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /l/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== late ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== lerci ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /LEHR,shee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== m ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /m/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== move ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== muvdu ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /MOVE,du/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== n ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /n/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== nose ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== nazbi ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /NAHZ,bee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== r ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /r/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== rock ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== rokci ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /ROKE,shee/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Syllabic ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== l ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /l/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== bottle ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== Carl ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== kar,l ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /KAHR,l/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== m ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /m/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== bottom ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== Miriam ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== miri,m ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /MEE,ree,m/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== n ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /n/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== button ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== Ellen ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== el,n ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /EHL,n/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== r ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /r/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== letter ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== Burt ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== brt ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /brt/ ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
'''Note: '''The names given above have syllabic consonants in American English. In British English, ''Burt'' is pronounced instead as byt, ''Carl'' as kal, ''Ellen'' usually as .elyn or .elen, and ''Miriam'' as miri,ym.
 +
 
 +
Consonants may be found in pairs, or even in triples, in many Lojban words; even longer clusters of consonants, often including at least one syllabic consonant, may be found in Lojbanized names or borrowings. Some of these clusters may appear strange to the English speaker (for example mlatu /MLAH,tu/), but all permitted clusters were chosen so as to be quite pronounceable by most speakers and understandable to most listeners. If you run across a cluster that you simply cannot pronounce because of its unfamiliarity, it is permissible to insert a very short ''non-Lojban'' vowel sound between them. The English /i/ as in ''b'''i'''t'' is recommended for English speakers.
 +
 
 +
The basic Lojban vowels are best described as being similar to the vowels of Spanish and Italian. These languages use pure vowels, whereas English commonly uses vowels that are complexes of two or more pure vowels called '''diphthongs''' (2-sounds) or '''triphthongs''' (3-sounds). English speakers must work at keeping the sounds pure; a crisp, clipped speech tends to help, along with keeping the lips and tongue tensed (for example by smiling tightly) while speaking.
 +
 
 +
There are five common vowels (a, e, i, o, u), and one special-purpose vowel (y). English words that are close in pronunciation are given, but few speakers pronounce these words in English with the purity and tension needed in Lojban pronunciation.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| a
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /ah/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''f'''a'''ther'', (American) ''t'''o'''p''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| p'''a'''tfu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /PAHT,foo/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /eh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''b'''e'''t'', ''l'''e'''ns''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| l'''e'''njo
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /LENN,zho/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| i
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /ee/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''gr'''ee'''n'', ''mach'''i'''ne''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| m'''i'''nji
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /MEEN,zhee/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| o
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /o/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''j'''o'''ke'', ''n'''o'''te''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| n'''o'''tci
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /NO,chee/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| u
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /u/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''b'''oo'''t'', ''sh'''oe'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| c'''u'''tci
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /SHOE,chee/
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| y
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /uh/
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sof'''a''''', '''''a'''bove''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| lob'''y'''pli
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| /LOBE,uh,plee/
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The sound represented by y, called ‘schwa', is a totally relaxed sound, contrasting with all the other tensed vowels. In this way, the Lojban vowels are maximally separated among possible vowel sounds. The English speaker must be especially careful to ensure that a final unstressed vowel a in a Lojban word is kept tensed, and not relaxed as in the English ''sofa'' (compare the equivalent Lojban sfofa /SFO,fah/, not sfofy /SFO,fuh/).
 +
 
 +
Lojban has diphthongs as well, but these are always represented by the two vowels that combine to form them:
 +
 
 +
==== Rising diphthongs ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ai ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /ai/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== high ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== bai ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== bye ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== au ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /au/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== cow ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== vau ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== vow ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ei ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /ei/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== bay ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== pei ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== pay ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== oi ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /oi/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== boy ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== coi ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== shoy ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Falling diphthongs ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ia ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /yah/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== yard ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ie ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /yeh/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== yell ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ii ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /yee/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== hear ye ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== io ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /yo/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== Yolanda ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== iu ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /yu/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== beauty ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ua ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /wah/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== wander ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ue ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /weh/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== well ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ui ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /wee/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== week ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== uo ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /wo/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== woe ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== uu ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== /wu/ ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== woo ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The diphthongs in the second table are found in Lojban only when used as words by themselves, and in Lojbanized names. Those in the first table may be found anywhere.
 +
 
 +
Any other time these '''vowel pairs''' occur together in a single word, they must be kept separate in order to unambiguously distinguish the separate vowels from the diphthongs. The principle has been extended to all Lojban vowels for consistency, and all non-diphthong vowel pairs in a word are separated in print and in sound by an apostrophe ('), representing a short, breathy /h/ sound. (Say ''Oh hello'' quickly and without a pause between the words to get an English equivalent, in this case of Lojban o'e. Any voiceless non-Lojban sound may also be used.)
 +
 
 +
When the vowels occur together, one at the end of a word and the other at the beginning of the next word, the ' is not used to separate them. (Were it used, it would join them into a single word). Instead, a pause is mandatory between the two vowels. The pause may be extremely short (called a '''glottal stop''') as in the English ''he eats'', or may be longer. The pause is mandatory and thus may be inferred without writing it, but it is usually signalled to a reader with a period (.) before the word starting with a vowel.
 +
 
 +
A pause is also required after any Lojban name, which always ends in a consonant. (A “.” is written after the name to mark this, thus distinguishing names from other words without using capitalization.) Every vowel-initial Lojban word is thus preceded by a pause, and such words are usually spelled with a “.” at the beginning. There are a small number of other places where pauses are required to separate words. “.” may be used to mark the separation in these cases as well.
 +
 
 +
Lojban words of more than one syllable are stressed on the next-to-last, or '''penultimate''', syllable. (The apostrophe counts as a syllable break: blari'o is stressed as blaRI'o.) Syllables for which the vowel is y are not counted in determining penultimate stress, nor are syllables counted in which the letters l, m, n, or r occur in their syllabic forms, with no other vowel in the same syllable. (Thus, lobypli = LO,by,pli, .uacintn. = .UA,cin,tn., kat,rin. = KAT,r,in.) In Lojbanized names, a speaker may retain a semblance of native pronunciation of the name by stressing a non-penultimate syllable. In this case, capitalization is used to mark the abnormal stress, as in DJOsefin. ‘Josephine' in the example above.
 +
 
 +
It is not mandatory to mark stress and pause in writing in Lojban, except for word separation according to the rules above. There is no mandatory intonation, like the rising tone that always accompanies an English question. Lojban equivalents of English intonations are expressed as spoken (and written) words, and may be adequately communicated even in a monotone voice. Such intonation, and pauses for phrasing, are then totally at the speaker's discretion for ease in speaking or being understood, and carry no meaning of their own.
 +
 
 +
== Morphology ==
 +
The forms of Lojban words are extremely regular. This, coupled with the phonology rules, allows a stream of speech to be uniquely broken down into its component words.
 +
 
 +
Lojban uses three kinds of words:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cmene''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| names
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''brivla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ‘predicate' words
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cmavo''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ‘structure' words
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== cmene ===
 +
Names, or ''cmene'', are very much like their counterparts in other languages. They are labels applied to things or people, to stand for them in descriptions or in direct address. They may convey meaning in themselves, describing concretely what they are refering to, but do not necessarily do so. Because names are often highly personal and individual, Lojban attempts to allow native language names to be used with a minimum of modification. However, most names must be Lojbanized to some extent, to prevent potential ambiguities. Examples of Lojbanized ''cmene'' include:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| djim.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Jim
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| djein.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Jane
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| .arnold.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Arnold
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| pit.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Pete
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| katrinas.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Katrina
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| katr,in.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Catherine
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| katis.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Cathy
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| keit.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Kate
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''cmene'' may have almost any form, but always end in a consonant, and are followed by a pause. ''cmene'' are penultimately stressed, unless unusual stress is marked with capitalization. A ''cmene'' may have multiple parts, each ending with a consonant and pause, or the parts may be combined into a single word with no pause. Thus djan. djonz. /jahn.jonz./ and djandjonz. /JAHNjonz./ are valid (American) Lojbanizations of ''John Jones'', while .iunaited. steits. and either .iuNAItet,steits. or .iunaitet,STEITS. are valid Lojbanizations for ''United States'', depending on how you wish to stress the name. In the last example, writing the ''cmene'' as a single word requires capitalization of the stressed syllables /NAI/ or /STEITS/, neither of which is penultimate in the single-word form of the ''cmene''.
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''Lojban words do not allow a '''voiced''' consonant (like d) to be next to an '''unvoiced''' consonant (like s), without an intervening pause. This is why the single-word version of ''United States'' goes into Lojban as .iunaite''t'',steits., whereas the two-word version remains as is: .iunaite''d''.steits.
 +
 
 +
The final arbiter of the correct form of the ''cmene'' is the person doing the naming—although most cultures grant people the right to determine how they want their own name to be spelled and pronounced. The English ''Mary'' can thus be Lojbanized as meris., maris., meiris., or even marys. The latter is not pronounced much like its English equivalent, but may be desirable to someone who values spelling over pronunciation consistency. The final letter need not be an s<nowiki>; it must, however, be a Lojban consonant of some variety.</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
''cmene'' are not permitted to have the words la, lai, or doi embedded in them, because they are always preceded by one of these words or by a pause. With one of these words embedded, the ''cmene'' might break up into valid Lojban words followed by a shorter, incorrect ''cmene''. There are similar alternatives to these that can be used in Lojbanization, such as ly, lei, and do'i, that do not cause these problems.
 +
 
 +
=== brivla ===
 +
‘Predicate' words, or ''brivla'', are the core of Lojban. The concept of ‘predicate', or ''bridi'', will be discussed in the grammar section below. ''brivla'' carry most of the semantic information in the language. They serve as the equivalent of English nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, but are treated identically in Lojban grammar.
 +
 
 +
''brivla'' may be recognized by several properties:
 +
 
 +
•they have more than one syllable
 +
 
 +
•they are penultimately stressed
 +
 
 +
•they have a consonant cluster (at least two adjacent consonants) within or between the first and second syllables
 +
 
 +
•they end in a vowel
 +
 
 +
The consonant cluster rule has the qualification that the letter y is totally ignored, even if it splits a consonant cluster. Thus lobypei /LOBE,uh,pay/ is a ''brivla'' even though the y separates the bp cluster.
 +
 
 +
''brivla'' are divided into three subcategories according to how they are created:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''gismu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the ‘primitive' roots of Lojban; e.g. klama
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''lujvo''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| compounds of ''gismu'', or their abbreviations, with meanings defined from their components; e.g. lobypli
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''fu'ivla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ‘borrowings' from other languages that have been Lojbanized (in a manner similar to how ''cmene'' are Lojbanized) in order to fit within the ''brivla'' requirements; e.g. cidjrspageti ‘spaghetti' (it's not nearly as hard to say as it looks!)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''brivla'' are defined so as to have only one meaning, which is expressed through a unique ''place structure''. This concept is discussed further in the sections on semantics and grammar.
 +
 
 +
==== gismu ====
 +
The ''gismu'' are the basic roots for the Lojban language. These roots were selected based on various criteria:
 +
 
 +
•occurrence or word frequency in other languages
 +
 
 +
•usefulness in building complex concepts
 +
 
 +
•and a few, like the words gismu, cmavo, and lujvo, are included as uniquely Lojbanic concepts that are basic to the language.
 +
 
 +
Each ''gismu'' is exactly five letters long, and has one of two consonant-vowel patterns: CVCCV or CCVCV (e.g. rafsi, bridi). The ''gismu'' are built so as to minimize listening errors in a noisy environment.
 +
 
 +
==== lujvo ====
 +
When specifying a concept that is not found among the ''gismu'', a Lojbanist generally attempts to express the concept as a ''tanru''. ''tanru'' is an elaboration of the concept of ‘metaphor' used in English. In Lojban, any ''brivla'' can be used to modify another ''brivla''. The first of the pair modifies the second. Modifier ''brivla'' may thus be regarded as acting like English adverbs or adjectives. For example, skami pilno is the ''tanru'' which expresses the concept of ‘computer user'.
 +
 
 +
When a concept expressed in a ''tanru'' proves useful, or is frequently expressed, it is desirable to choose one of the possible meanings of the ''tanru'' and assign it to a new, single ''brivla''. In the example, we would probably choose the meaning ‘user of computers', and form the single ''brivla'' sampli, out of the ''tanru'' skami pilno. Such a ''brivla'', built from two or more component ''gismu'', is called a ''lujvo''.
 +
 
 +
Like ''gismu'', however, ''lujvo'' have only one meaning. Unlike ''gismu'', ''lujvo'' may have more than one form. This is because each ''gismu'' has between two and five combining forms called ''rafsi'', which are joined together in order to form a ''lujvo'' (e.g. sam and skam for skami<nowiki>; </nowiki>pli and piln for pilno). Longer ''rafsi'' may be used in place of shorter ''rafsi''<nowiki>; the result is considered the same </nowiki>''lujvo'', even though the word is spelled and pronounced differently. Thus brivla, itself a ''lujvo'' built from the ''tanru'' bridi valsi, is the same ''lujvo'' as brivalsi, bridyvla, and bridyvalsi—each using a different combination of ''rafsi''.
 +
 
 +
==== fu'ivla ====
 +
The use of ''tanru'' or ''lujvo'' is not always appropriate for very concrete or specific terms (e.g. ''brie'' or ''cobra''), or for jargon words specialized to a narrow field (e.g. ''quark'', ''integral'', or ''iambic pentameter''). These words are in effect ‘names' for concepts, and the names were invented by speakers of another language. The vast majority of names for plants, animals, foods, and scientific terminology cannot be easily expressed as ''tanru''. They thus must be ‘borrowed' (actually ‘copied') into Lojban from the original language, forming words called ''fu'ivla''.
 +
 
 +
A borrowed word must be Lojbanized into one of several permitted ''fu'ivla'' forms. A ''rafsi'' is then attached to the beginning of the Lojbanized form, usually using a syllabic consonant as ‘glue' to ensure that the resulting word is not construed as two separate words. The ''rafsi'' categorizes or limits the meaning of the ''fu'ivla''<nowiki>; otherwise a word having several different jargon meanings in other languages (such as </nowiki>''integral'') would be unclear as to which meaning should be assigned to the ''fu'ivla''. ''fu'ivla'', like other ''brivla'', are not permitted to have more than one definition.
 +
 
 +
=== cmavo ===
 +
''cmavo'' are the '''structure words''' that hold the Lojban language together. They often have no concrete meaning in themselves, though they may affect the semantics of ''brivla'' to which they are attached. ''cmavo'' include the equivalent of English articles, conjunctions, prepositions, numbers, and punctuation marks.
 +
 
 +
''cmavo'' are recognized most easily by not being either ''cmene'' or ''brivla''. Thus, they:
 +
 
 +
•may be a single syllable
 +
 
 +
•never contain a consonant cluster of any type, whether or not y is counted
 +
 
 +
•end in a vowel
 +
 
 +
•need not be penultimately stressed, though they often are if they have more than one syllable
 +
 
 +
All ''cmavo'' display one of the following letter patterns, where C stands for a consonant, and V stands for a vowel:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| V
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| VV
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| V'V
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| CV
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| CVV
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| CV'V
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The letter pattern generally does not indicate anything about the grammar of the ''cmavo''.
 +
 
 +
A sequence of ''cmavo'' can be written without intervening spaces, without any change to its meaning. Such a sequence is called a '''compound''' '''''cmavo'''''. For example, a set of digits comprising a longer number can be written as a single word (e.g. pareci = pa + re + ci = ‘123').
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''As far as the stress rules of Lojban are concerned, however, these are still separate words. So you don't have to stress pareci as paREci.
 +
 
 +
A small number of ''cmavo'' used in ''tanru'' have been assigned ''rafsi'', so that they may aid in converting those ''tanru'' into ''lujvo''.
 +
 
 +
== Semantics ==
 +
Lojban is designed to be unambiguous in orthography, phonology, morphology, and grammar. Lojban semantics, however, must support the same breadth of human thought as natural languages. Every human being has different ‘meanings' attached to the words they use, based on their unique personal experiences with the concepts involved. So it is impossible to eliminate '''semantic ambiguity''' (the ambiguity embedded in the variable meanings of words when taken in context) completely.
 +
 
 +
Rather, Lojban attempts to minimize semantic ambiguity, partly by systematizing as much as possible about semantics, but mostly by removing the clutter and confusion caused by other forms of ambiguity.
 +
 
 +
=== brivla ===
 +
Unlike words in most other languages, a ''brivla'' has a single meaning, which however may encompass a narrow or broad range of closely related submeanings. ''gismu'' tend to have more general meanings, while ''lujvo'' tend to have specific definitions; the compounding of ''gismu'' into ''lujvo'' allows expression of any desired degree of specificity. ''fu'ivla'' have a single narrow meaning.
 +
 
 +
The semantic definitions of ''brivla'' are closely tied to the ‘predicate' nature of ''brivla'', a topic discussed in detail in the grammar section below. In short, a ''brivla'' defines the relationship between a group of separate but related concepts, called its ''sumti''.
 +
 
 +
''brivla'' are not nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs; yet they incorporate elements of each. These different aspects are brought out in the way the ''brivla'' is used in the grammar, but the different grammatical environments do not change the meaning of the ''brivla''.
 +
 
 +
''brivla'' are an open-ended set of words; new ''lujvo'' and ''fu'ivla'' may be created as needed. Eventually, invented ''brivla'' will be collected and analyzed, and added to a formal dictionary. The definitions of all ''gismu'', including their place structures, have already been specified. The place structure of a ''lujvo'' can generally be inferred from the place structures of its component ''gismu'', using conventions which are generally useful though not hard-and-fast. ''fu'ivla'' are generally concrete terms, with simple and fairly obvious place structures. When there is uncertainty, listeners can ask about unknown or confusing place structures.
 +
 
 +
=== tanru ===
 +
The heart of Lojban semantics is embedded in ''tanru''. The meaning of a ''tanru'' is somewhat ambiguous: for instance, skami pilno could refer to a computer that is a user, or to a user of computers. There are a variety of ways that the modifier component can be related to the modified component. ''cmavo'' are used within ''tanru'' to prevent grammatical ambiguities, such as the various possible groupings of words in a phrase like ''pretty little girls school'' (''{pretty {little {girls school}}}'', ''{{pretty little} {girls school}}'', ''{{pretty {little girls}} school}'', and so on).
 +
 
 +
A speaker may use ''tanru'' to be arbitrarily general or specific. ''tanru'' are usually meant to be quite straightforward; ''tanru'' are always considered as a series of pairs of terms, a '''binary metaphor''' relationship. In such a relationship the first term by default modifies the second term. The terms may be ''brivla'', certain ''cmavo'' such as numbers, or shorter ''tanru''.
 +
 
 +
=== Connotation and Assertion ===
 +
The connotative semantics of Lojban sentences—that is to say, the meaning contained not in the words themselves, but in the associations people make with them—is still relatively undefined. The same is true for the semantics of longer expressions or texts. There is as yet nothing clearly corresponding in Lojban to ‘mood' or ‘tone', no ‘formal' or ‘informal' styles, etc.
 +
 
 +
Because the language is oriented towards logic, the nature of the assertion in a statement, and whether it is true or false, are especially significant. Certain constructs in the language are described as making assertions, and having '''truth values''' (that is, being true or being false). Other constructs may modify those truth values, and still other constructs are interpreted independently from the truth of the statement.
 +
 
 +
== Grammar ==
 +
Lojban's grammar is defined by a set of rules that have been tested to be unambiguous using computers. Grammatical unambiguity means that in a grammatical expression, each word has exactly one grammatical interpretation, and that within the expression the words relate grammatically to each other in exactly one way. (By comparison, in the English ''Time flies like an arrow'', each of the first three words has at least two grammatical meanings, and each possible combination results in a different grammatical structure for the sentence.)
 +
 
 +
The '''machine grammar''' is the set of computer-tested rules that describes, and is the standard for, ‘correct Lojban'. If a Lojban speaker follows those rules exactly, the expression will be grammatically unambiguous. If the rules are not followed, ambiguity may exist. Ambiguity does not make communication impossible, of course. Every speaker on Earth speaks an ambiguous language. But Lojbanists strive for accuracy in Lojban grammatical usage, and thereby for grammatically unambiguous communication. (Semantic ambiguity, as we have seen, is another matter.)
 +
 
 +
It is important to note that new Lojbanists will not be able to speak ‘perfectly' when first learning Lojban. In fact, you may never speak perfectly in ‘natural' Lojban conversation, even though you achieve fluency in the language. No English speaker always speaks textbook English in natural conversation; Lojban speakers will also make grammatical errors when talking quickly. Lojbanists will, however, be able to speak or write unambiguously ''if they are careful'', which is difficult if not impossible with a natural language.
 +
 
 +
In Lojban grammar rules, words are assembled into short phrases representing a possible piece of a Lojban expression. These phrases are then assembled into longer phrases, and so forth, until all possible pieces have been incorporated through rules that describe all possible expressions in the language. Lojban's rules include grammar for ‘incomplete' sentences, for multiple sentences flowing together in a narrative, for quotation, and for mathematical expressions.
 +
 
 +
The grammar is very simple, but infinitely powerful; often, a more complex phrase can be placed inside a simple structure, which in turn can be used in another instance of the complex phrase structure.
 +
 
 +
=== cmavo ===
 +
The machine grammar includes rules which describe how each word is interpreted. A classification scheme categorizes each word based on what rules it is used in and how it interacts with other words in the grammar. All ''cmene'' are treated identically by the grammar, as are all ''brivla''. The classification divides the ''cmavo'' of Lojban into about a hundred of these categories of grammar units, called ''selma'o''. Whereas the three word types, namely ''cmene'', ''brivla'', and ''cmavo'', are generally considered to correspond to the ‘parts of speech' of English, these hundred-odd ''selma'o'' correspond to the more subtle variations in English grammar, such as the different kinds of pronouns, or the different ways of expressing the past tense of a verb. In this sense, English has hundreds of ‘parts of speech'.
 +
 
 +
Lojban ''selma'o'' are named after one word within the category, often the one most frequently used. CU, KOhA, PU, and UI are examples of ''selma'o''.
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''The ''selma'o'' names are capitalized in English discussion of Lojban. The apostrophe is converted to ''h'' in such usage; this is for compatibility with computer grammar parsers.
 +
 
 +
=== bridi ===
 +
The ''bridi'' is the basic building block of a Lojban sentence. ''bridi'' are not words, but concepts. A ''bridi'' expresses a relationship between several ‘arguments', called ''sumti''. Those with a background in algebra may recognize the word ‘argument' in connection with ‘functions', and a ''bridi'' can be considered a logical ‘function' (called a '''predicate''') with several ‘arguments'. A ''brivla'' (bridi valsi = ''bridi''-word) is a single word which expresses the relationship of a ''bridi''.
 +
 
 +
The definition of a ''brivla'' includes a specific set of ‘places' for ''sumti'' to be inserted, expressed in a certain order (called a '''place structure''') to allow a speaker to clearly indicate which place is which. By convention, we number these places as: x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, etc., numbering from the left. Other letters may be used when referring to two or more place structures together.
 +
 
 +
The unique definition of a ''brivla'' is thus an enumeration of the component places in order, joined with a description of the relationship between them. The definition of the ''gismu'' klama ‘come, go' can be expressed compactly as:
 +
 
 +
x1 comes/goes to x2 from x3 via x4 using x5
 +
 
 +
or in full detail:
 +
 
 +
•x1 describes a party that acts with result of being in motion;
 +
 
 +
•x2 describes a destination where x1 is located after the action;
 +
 
 +
•x3 describes an origin where x1 is located before the action;
 +
 
 +
•x4 describes a route, or points along a route travelled by x1 between x2 and x3<nowiki>;</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
•x5 describes the means of transport by which the result is obtained.
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''The difference between the English verbs ''come'' and ''go'' depends on the relationship between x2 (the destination), x1 (the origin), and the speaker. The position of the speaker is not part of the Lojban meaning.
 +
 
 +
When actually using a ''brivla'' within a ''bridi'', it is possible to fill the places (five in the case of klama) with five specific ''sumti''. Consider the following example:
 +
 
 +
'''Example 1. '''
 +
 
 +
le prenu cu klama le zdani le briju le zarci le karce
 +
 
 +
The person comes/goes to the house from the office via the market using the car.
 +
 
 +
The definition of the ''brivla'' used above, klama, shows this relationship. There are five places labelled x1 through x5. The ''brivla'' itself describes how the five places are related, but does not include values for those places. In this example, those places are filled in with five specific ''sumti'' values:
 +
 
 +
•x1 contains le prenu (the person)
 +
 
 +
•x2 contains le zdani (the house)
 +
 
 +
•x3 contains le briju (the office)
 +
 
 +
•x4 contains le zarci (the market)
 +
 
 +
•x5 contains le karce (the car)
 +
 
 +
The ''brivla'' and its associated ''sumti'', used in a sentence, have become a ''bridi''. For logicians, the comparable English concept is called a '''predication'''. In each ''bridi'', a ''brivla'' or ''tanru'' specifies the relationship between the ''sumti''. Such a specification of the relationship, without the ''sumti'' expressed, is called a ''selbri'' ('''predicate''' in English). Whether or not any ''sumti'' are attached, a ''selbri'' is found within every ''bridi''.
 +
 
 +
We express a ''bridi'' relationship in Lojban by filling in the ''sumti'' places, so that the position of the ''sumti'' in the place structure is clear, and by expressing the ''selbri'' that ties the ''sumti'' together.
 +
 
 +
It is not necessary to fill in all of the ''sumti'' to make the sentence meaningful. In English we can say ''I go'', without saying where we are going. To say mi klama (“I go...”) specifies only one ''sumti''<nowiki>; the other four are left unspecified.</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
In Lojban, we know those four places exist; they are part of the definition of klama. In English, there is no implication that anything is missing, and the sentence ''I go'' is considered complete. As a ''bridi'', mi klama is inherently an incomplete sentence. The omission of defined places in a ''bridi'' is called '''ellipsis'''<nowiki>; corresponding ellipsis in the natural languages is a major source of semantic ambiguity. Most Lojban expressions involve some amount of ellipsis. The listener, however, knowing that the omissions have occurred, has a means of asking directly about any specific one of them (or all of them), and resolving the ambiguity. So this kind of semantic ambiguity is not eliminated in Lojban, but it is made more recognizable and more amenable to resolution.</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
It is permissible to use a ''selbri'' alone, with no ''sumti'' filled in, as a very elliptical sentence called an '''observative'''. The sentence fagri is very similar to the English exclamation ''Fire!'', but without the emotional content: it merely states that “something is a fire using some fuel”, without explicitly specifying the identity of either.
 +
 
 +
==== bridi within bridi ====
 +
You may have noticed that in example (1), each of the ''sumti'' filling the five places of klama contain a ''brivla''. ''Each of these brivla are selbri as well''<nowiki>; i.e. they imply a relationship between certain (usually unspecified) </nowiki>''sumti'' places. A ''selbri'' may be labelled with le (among other things) and placed in a ''sumti''. When le is used, the concept which the speaker has in mind for the x1 place of the ''selbri'' within the ''sumti'' is understood to fill that ''sumti'' place. For example, the ''sumti'' place for le prenu is filled with what the speaker has in mind as being the x1 place of prenu. Since prenu has the place structure “x1 is a person”, le prenu thus corresponds to ‘the person'.
 +
 
 +
In example (1), there are no places specified for any of the ''selbri'' embedded in the ''sumti''<nowiki>; they are all elliptically omitted, except for the x</nowiki>1 place, which describes the ''sumti'' itself. Here is a more complex example:
 +
 
 +
'''Example 2. '''
 +
 
 +
mi sutra klama le blanu zdani be la djan. le briju
 +
 
 +
I quickly come to the blue house of John from the office.
 +
 
 +
More completely, this translates as:
 +
 
 +
I quickly (at doing something) come to the blue house of John from the office (of someone, at some location), via some route, using some means of travel.
 +
 
 +
In this example, one of the nested ''sumti selbri'' has had its places specified, while two places of klama have been elliptically omitted:
 +
 
 +
•x1 of sutra klama contains mi (I)
 +
 
 +
•x2 of sutra klama contains le blanu zdani be la djan. (the blue-house of the one named John)
 +
 
 +
•x1 of blanu zdani contains the value which fills x2 of sutra klama<nowiki>; the thing which is a blue house</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
•x2 of blanu zdani contains la djan. (the one named John)
 +
 
 +
•x3 of sutra klama contains le briju (the office of someone, at some location)
 +
 
 +
•The sumti for x4 and x5 of sutra klama are elliptically omitted.
 +
 
 +
Two of the places of the ''selbri'' in x3, briju, have also been elliptically omitted, and this is expressed in the more exact translation of the example.
 +
 
 +
Note that in the two ''tanru'' in example (2), sutra klama and blanu zdani, each of the four ''brivla''may be a self-contained ''selbri'' unit as well, having its own ''sumti'' attached to it (using the ''cmavo'' be). The place structure of the ''final'' component of a ''tanru'' (klama and zdani, respectively) becomes the place structure of the ''tanru'' as a whole, and hence the place structure of the higher level ''bridi'' structure. (The place structure of klama thus becomes the place structure of the sentence, while the place structure of zdani becomes the place structure of the x2 ''sumti''.)
 +
 
 +
==== Place structures ====
 +
A ''brivla'' must have a single defined place structure, describing the specific ''sumti'' places to be related. If this were not so, example (1) might be interpreted arbitrarily; for example, as “The person is the means, the office the route, the market is the time of day, the house is the cause, by which someone elliptically unspecified comes to somewhere (also elliptically unspecified).” Not only is this nonsense, but it is confusing nonsense. With fixed place structures, a Lojbanist will interpret example (1) correctly. A Lojbanist can also, incidentally, express the nonsense just quoted. It will still be nonsense, but it won't be the syntax that confuses the listener; each place will be clearly labelled, and the nonsense can be discussed until resolved.
 +
 
 +
Thus, for a given ''brivla'', or indeed for any ''selbri'', we have a specific place structure defined as part of the meaning. Complex ''selbri'', described below, simply have more elaborate place structures determined by simple rules from their components.
 +
 
 +
The place structure of a ''bridi'' is defined with ordered (and implicitly numbered) places. The ''sumti'' are typically expressed in this order. When one is skipped, or the ''sumti'' are presented in a non-standard order, there are various ''cmavo'' to indicate which ''sumti'' is which.
 +
 
 +
Lojban ''bridi'' are most often given in a sentence as the value of the 1st (x1) ''sumti'' place, followed by the ''selbri'', followed by the rest of the ''sumti'' values in order. This resembles the English Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) sentence form. It is shown schematically as:
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>[</nowiki>''sumti'']x1<nowiki> [</nowiki>''selbri''<nowiki>] [</nowiki>''sumti'']x2<nowiki> [</nowiki>''sumti'']x3<nowiki> ... [</nowiki>''sumti'']xn
 +
 
 +
or abbreviated as:
 +
 
 +
x1 ''selbri'' x2 x3 x4 x5
 +
 
 +
This is the order used for the ''bridi'' sentences in examples (1) and (2). However, it is equally correct and straightforward to place the ''selbri'' at the end of the ''bridi'':
 +
 
 +
x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 ''selbri''
 +
 
 +
There are a variety of ''cmavo'' operators which modify these orders, or which modify one or more pieces of the ''bridi''. These can make things quite complicated, yet simple rules allow the listener to take the complications apart, piece by piece, to get the complete and unique structure of the ''bridi''. We cannot describe all of these rules here, but a couple of key ones are given.
 +
 
 +
Of these ''cmavo'', cu is placed between a ''selbri'' and its preceding ''sumti'' in a sentence-''bridi''. cu cannot be used if there are no ''sumti'' before the ''selbri''<nowiki>; but otherwise it is </nowiki>''always permitted'' though ''not always required''. Example (1) shows a cu used that is required; example (2) optionally omits the cu. Skill in Lojban includes knowing when cu is required; when it is not required but useful; and when it is permitted, but a distraction.
 +
 
 +
What happens when the place structure of a given ''bridi'' does not exactly match the meaning that the speaker is trying to convey? Lojban provides a way to adapt a place structure by adding places to the basic structure. The phrases that do so look exactly like ''sumti'', except that they have a ''cmavo'' marker on the front (called a '''modal tag''', or ''sumti tcita'') which indicates how the added place relates to the others. The resulting phrase resembles an English prepositional phrase or adverbial phrase, both of which modify a simple English sentence in the same way. Thus I can say:
 +
 
 +
'''Example 3. '''ca le cabdei mi cusku bau la lojban.
 +
 
 +
•ca le cabdei = an added ''sumti''<nowiki>; modal operator </nowiki>ca indicates that the added place specifies ‘at the time of...', or ‘during...'; thus ‘during the nowday', or ‘today';
 +
 
 +
•x1 = mi (I)
 +
 
 +
•''selbri'' = cusku (x1 expresses x2 to x3 in form/media x4)
 +
 
 +
•x2, x3, and x4 are elliptically omitted;
 +
 
 +
•bau la lojban = an added ''sumti''<nowiki>; modal operator </nowiki>bau indicates that the added place specifies ‘in language...'; thus ‘in language which is called Lojban'.
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>The sentence thus roughly translates as “Today, I express [it] in Lojban.”</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
Among additional ''bridi'' places that can be specified are comparison, causality, location, time, the identity of the observer, and the conditions under which the ''bridi'' is true. In Lojban, semantic components that can apply to any ''bridi'', but are not always needed for communication (for instance, location and time), are left optional.
 +
 
 +
=== selbri ===
 +
As described above, the simplest form of ''selbri'' is a ''brivla''. The place structure of the ''brivla'' is used as the place structure of the ''bridi''. Various modifications can be made to the ''brivla'' and its place structure using ''cmavo''. These include ways to treat a single ''selbri'' as a state, an event, an activity, a property, an amount, etc. For example, jetnu, a ''selbri'' expressing that x1 is true, becomes the basis for ka jetnu, a ''selbri'' expressing the ''property'' of truth.
 +
 
 +
Place structures of a ''selbri'' can undergo ‘conversion', which is simply a reordering of the ''sumti'' places. Since the listener's attention is usually focussed on the first and/or the last ''sumti'' expressed in the ''bridi'', this has a significant effect in relative emphasis, somewhat like the ‘passive voice' of English (e.g. ''The man was bitten by the dog.'' vs. ''The dog bit the man''.)
 +
 
 +
As shown in example (2) above, ''tanru'' can also be ''selbri''. These ''tanru'' can be composed of simple ''brivla'', ''brivla'' modified by the techniques referred to above, or simpler ''tanru''. ''tanru'' themselves can also be modified by the above techniques.
 +
 
 +
All of the possible modifications to ''selbri'' are optional semantic components, including tense. (Time and location, and combinations of the two, can be incorporated as tenses in the ''selbri''.) With tense unspecified, examples (1) and (2) might be intended as past, present, or future tense; the context determines how the sentence should be interpreted.
 +
 
 +
=== sumti ===
 +
''sumti'' can be compared to the ‘subject' and ‘object' of English grammar; the value of the first (x1) ''sumti'' place resembles the English ‘subject'; the other ''sumti'' are like direct or indirect ‘objects'.
 +
 
 +
But as the discussion of ''bridi'' above will have indicated, this is only an analogy. ''sumti'' are not inherently singular or plural: number is one of those semantic components mentioned above that is not always relevant to communication, so number is optional in Lojban. Thus, example (2) could have been translated as ''We quickly go/come/went/came (etc.) to the blue houses of those called John.'' If this is plausible given the context, but is not the meaning intended, the speaker must add some of the optional semantic information like tense and number, to ensure that the listener can understand the intended meaning. There are several ways to specify number when this is important to the speaker; the numerically unambiguous equivalent of the English plural ''people'' would be: le su'ore prenu (‘the at-least-two persons').
 +
 
 +
There are a large variety of constructs usable as ''sumti'', beyond what we have already seen. Only the most important will be mentioned here. These include:
 +
 
 +
pro-''sumti''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;''cmavo'' which serve as short representations for longer ''sumti'' expressions (e.g. ko'a ‘He/She/It1', ti ‘this'); imperatives are also marked with a pro-''sumti'' (ko ‘You!');
 +
 
 +
anaphora/cataphora
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;back references and forward references to other sentences and their components (e.g. ri ‘the last complete ''sumti'' mentioned', di'u ‘the preceding utterance');
 +
 
 +
quotations
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;grammatical Lojban text, or text in other languages, suitably marked to separate the quote from the rest of the ''bridi'' (e.g. zo djan ‘The word ''John''', lu mi klama li'u ‘The Lojban text mi klama', zoi by. I go .by. ‘The non-Lojban text ''I go''');
 +
 
 +
indirect reference
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;reference to something by using its label; among other things, this allows one to talk about another sentence (“That isn't true”), or the state referred to by a sentence (“That didn't happen”), unambiguously in all cases (e.g. la'e di'u na fasnu = “The referent of the last sentence does not occur”, or “That didn't happen”);
 +
 
 +
named references
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;reference to something named by using the name (e.g. la djan ‘John', lai ford.<nowiki> ‘[the mass of things called] Ford');</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
descriptions
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;reference to something by describing it (e.g. le prenu ‘the person', le pu crino ‘the thing that was green in the past', le nu klama ‘the event of going').
 +
 
 +
Pro-''sumti'', anaphora/cataphora, and indirect references are all equivalent to various uses of pronouns of English, and we won't be going into any further detail here. Quotations and named references are straightforward, and quite similar to their English counterparts. Lojban , however, allows a distinction between Lojban and foreign quotation, and between grammatical and ungrammatical Lojban quotation.
 +
 
 +
Descriptions appear similar to an English noun phrase (le prenu = ‘The person'). For most purposes, this analogy holds. The components of a description are a ‘descriptor' or gadri, and a ''selbri''. As we've seen, by default such a ''sumti'' refers to what would be put into the x1 place (the ‘subject') of its ''selbri''. Thus le klama is ‘the go-er (to some place from some place via some place, using some means of travel)', and le blanu is ‘the blue thing'. With conversion, as described above, a speaker can access other places in the ''bridi'' structure as the new ‘subject' or x1 place: le se klama is “the place gone to (by someone from some place via some place, using some means of travel)”. Descriptions are not limited to ''selbri'' with attached ''sumti''<nowiki>; as in example (2), they can include </nowiki>''bridi'' with places filled in.
 +
 
 +
Abstract ''bridi'' such as events and properties can also be turned into ''sumti''. These are among the more common descriptions, and a common source of error among new Lojbanists. If le klama is ‘the go-er/come-r (to some place from some place via some place, using some means of travel)', le nu klama is the ‘event of (someone) going/coming (to some place from some place via some place, using some means of travel)'. The abstraction treats the ''bridi'' as a whole rather than isolating the x1 place.
 +
 
 +
Descriptions can also incorporate sentences based on abstracts; this is needed to elaborate ''sumti'' like le nu klama. For example, le nu mi klama ti is ‘the event that: I come here (from some place via some place, using some means of travel)', or simply ‘my coming here'.
 +
 
 +
In addition to number, Lojban allows for mass concepts to be treated as a unit. This is equivalent to English mass concepts as used in sentences like ''Water is wet'', and ''People are funny''. Mass description also allows a speaker to distinguish, in sentences like ''Two men carried the log across the field'', whether they did it together, or whether they did it separately (as in “One carried it across, and the other carried it back.”)
 +
 
 +
Sets can be described in ''sumti'', as well as logically and non-logically connected lists of ''sumti''. Thus, Lojban provides for: “Choose the coffee, the tea, or the milk”, or “Choose exactly one from the set of {coffee, tea, milk}”. Note that English connectives are not truly logical. The latter is the common interpretation of “Coffee, tea, or milk?” and is relatively unambiguous. The former, if translated literally into Lojban, would be a different statement, because of the ambiguous meaning of English ''or''.
 +
 
 +
Finally, ''sumti'' can be qualified using time, location, modal operators, or various other means of identification. Incidental notes can be thrown in, and pro-''sumti'' can have values assigned to them. Lojban also has constructions that are similar to the English possessive.
 +
 
 +
=== Free Modifiers ===
 +
'''Free modifiers''' are grammatical constructs that can be inserted in a ''bridi'', without changing the meaning, or the truth value, of the ''bridi''. Free modifiers include the following types of structures:
 +
 
 +
'''parentheses'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;Parenthetical notes, which can be of any length, as long as they are grammatical.
 +
 
 +
'''vocatives'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;These are used for direct address; they include several expressions used for ‘protocol', allowing for smooth, organized communications in disruptive environments (e.g. ta'a ‘excuse me', be'e ‘are you listening?'), as well as some expressions that are associated with courtesy in most languages.
 +
 
 +
'''discursives'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;These are comments made at a metalinguistic level about the sentence, and about its relationship to other sentences. In English, certain adverbs and conjunctions serve this function (e.g. ''however'', ''but'', ''in other words'').
 +
 
 +
'''discursive''' '''''bridi'''''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;These are halfway between discursives and parentheses, and allow the speaker to make metalinguistic statements about a sentence without modifying that sentence. Thus, the discursive ''bridi'' equivalent of ''This sentence is false'' does not result in a paradox, since it would be expressed as a discursive ''bridi'' inside of another sentence, the one actually being described.
 +
 
 +
'''attitudinals'''
 +
 
 +
&nbsp;These are expressions of emotion and attitude about the sentence, being expressed discursively. They are similar to the English exclamations like ''Oh!'' and ''Ahhhh!'', but they include a much broader range of possibilities, covering a range comparable to that expressed by English intonation; they can also serve as indicators of intensity. Also included in this category are indicators of the relationship between the speaker and the expression ('''evidentials'''). Found in native American languages among others, these allow the hearer to judge how seriously to take an assertion, by making explicit the basis for the speaker making the assertion: that the speaker directly observed what is being reported, heard about it from another, deduced it, etc.
 +
 
 +
=== Questions ===
 +
The manner of asking questions in Lojban is quite different from English. In Lojban, most questions are asked by placing a question word in place of the value to be filled in by the person answering. The question word mo can be used in the grammatical place of any ''bridi'', including those within ''sumti''. It asks for a ''bridi'' (usually a ''selbri'') to be supplied which correctly fills in the space. It is thus similar to English ''what?'' This booklet is titled la lojban. mo, meaning ‘The thing called Lojban is what?', or, of course, ‘What is Lojban?' The question word ma is used in place of a ''sumti'' in the same manner. Thus a listener can ask for ellipsis to be filled in, or can pose new questions that are similar to the classic English questions (''who?'', ''when?'', ''where?'', ''how?'', and ''why?'').
 +
 
 +
Yes/no questions can either be asked as a question of emotional attitude—such as belief, certitude, supposition, decision, approval, or intention—or as a question of truth and falsity. In the first case, the answer is an attitudinal. In the second case, the answer is an assertion or denial of the ''bridi'' being queried. Lojban also provides question words that can request a value filling many other grammatical functions.
 +
 
 +
=== Tenses ===
 +
The tense system of Lojban expresses not only the time at which something happens, but also the place. It can express very complex combinations of both temporal and spatial distances and directions (the time directions being ‘past' and ‘future', of course), interval sizes and ranges, and parts of events such as ‘beginning', ‘middle', and ‘end'. Fortunately, this entire system is optional: it is perfectly correct to express ''bridi'' with no specific tense at all, in which case the place and time is up to the listener to figure out.
 +
 
 +
Some examples of tenses in use are:
 +
 
 +
•mi ca ba'o cadzu “I have now walked”
 +
 
 +
•mi ri'u va cadzu “I walk around somewhere on the right, at some medium distance”
 +
 
 +
•and the formidable mi pu zu ze'i mo'i te'e cadzu “A long time ago in the past, I walked for a short time along the edge.”
 +
 
 +
=== Logic and Lojban ===
 +
Lojban supports all of the standard truth-functions of predicate logic. These can be used to connect any of several different levels of construct: ''sumti'', ''bridi'', ''selbri'', sentences, etc.; the methods used indicate unambiguously what is being joined. As an example of English ambiguity in the scope of logical connectives, the incomplete sentence ''I went to the window and ...'' can be completed in a variety of different ways (e.g. ''...closed it'', ''...the door'', ''...Mary went to the desk''); in these, the ''and'' is joining a variety of different constructs. You must hear and analyze the whole sentence to interpret the ''and'', and you still may not be certain of having a correct understanding. Lojban would make clear the structures being joined from the outset.
 +
 
 +
Another way Lojban supports logical connectives is by distinguishing them from non-logical connectives. The latter include:
 +
 
 +
•the ''and'' of mixing (as in “coffee with milk”—which is neither just coffee nor just milk, but both at once);
 +
 
 +
•expressions of causality (Lojban supports expression of four different kinds of causality: physical causation, motivation, justification, and logical implication);
 +
 
 +
•and the various conjunctive discursives (such as ''but'', and ''however''), which in English imply ‘and' without stating it.
 +
 
 +
=== Mathematics ===
 +
Lojban has incorporated a detailed grammar for mathematical expressions. This grammar parallels the predicate grammar of the non-mathematical language. Numbers may be clearly expressed, including exponential and scientific notation. Digits are provided for decimal and hexadecimal arithmetic, and letters may be used for additional digits if desired. There is a distinction made between mathematical operations and mathematical relations. The set of operations is not limited to ‘standard arithmetic'. Operations therefore assume a left-grouping precedence which can be overridden with parentheses, or optionally included precedence labels that override this grouping on evaluating the expression.
 +
 
 +
Included in Lojban are means to express non-mathematical concepts and quantities as numbers, and mathematical relationships as ordinary ''bridi''. In Lojban, it is easy to talk about a ‘brace' of oxen or a ‘herd' of cattle, as well as to discuss the “5 fingers of your hand”, or “ò -2x3+x2-3x+5 dx evaluated over the interval of -5 to +5 bottles of water”.
 +
 
 +
'''Note: '''In case you're curious: li ri'o ni'u re pi'i xy. bi'e te'a ci su'i xy. bi'e te'a re vu'u ci bi'e pi'i xy. su'i muboi ge'a xy.boi ge'a mo'e vei ni'u mu bi'o ma'u mu ve'o djacu botpi
 +
 
 +
=== selsku ===
 +
The set of possible Lojbanic expressions is called selsku. Lojban has a grammar for multiple sentences tied together as narrative text, or as a conversation; the unambiguous Lojban grammar supports an indefinite string of Lojban paragraphs of arbitrary length. Using the rules of this grammar, multiple speakers can use, define, and redefine pro-''sumti''. Paragraphs, chapters, and even books can be separately distinguished: each can be numbered or titled distinctly. One can express logical and non-logical connectives over multi-sentence scope. (This is the essence of a set of instructions—a sequence of closely-related sentences.) Complex sets of suppositions can be expressed, as well as long chains of reasoning based on logical deduction. In short, the possibilities of Lojban grammatical expression are endless.
 +
 
 +
= Chapter 3. Diagrammed Summary of Lojban Grammar =
 +
'''''xracartu torvelski be le lojbo gerna'''''
 +
 
 +
This chapter gives diagrammed examples of basic Lojban sentence structures. The most general pattern is covered first, followed by successive variations on the basic components of the Lojban sentence. There are many more capabilities not covered in these examples. A Lojban glossary will be found at the end of this section.
 +
 
 +
== The Lojban sentence structure ==
 +
A Lojban sentence expresses a relationship (''bridi''), normally claiming that the relationship holds (that it is ‘true'). A ''bridi'' relationship consists of several ideas or objects called '''arguments''' (''sumti''), which are related by a '''predicate relation''' (''selbri''). The following uses the Lojban terms ''bridi'', ''sumti'', and ''selbri'', because it is best to come to understand them independent of the English associations of the corresponding words.
 +
 
 +
=== Some words used as sumti ===
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === mi ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === I/me/my, we/us/our ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === do ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === you/your ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === ti ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === this/this-here/this one, these/these here/these ones ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === ta ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === that/that-there/that one, those/those ones ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === tu ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === that yonder, those yonder ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === zo'e ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === unspecified value (used when a sumti is unimportant or obvious) ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''sumti'' are not specific as to number (singular or plural), nor gender (masculine/feminine/neuter). Such distinctions can be optionally added.
 +
 
 +
Names may be expressed as ''sumti'', labelled with la:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the one/ones named Mary
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the one/ones named John
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
(Other Lojban spelling variations are possible for names imported from other languages.)
 +
 
 +
=== Some words used to indicate selbri relations ===
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === vecnu ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === x1 (seller) sells x2 (goods) to x3 (buyer) for x4 (price) ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === tavla ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === x1 (talker) talks to x2 (audience) about x3 (topic) in language x4 ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === blari'o ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === x1 (object/light source) is blue-green ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === melbi ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === x1 (object/idea) is beautiful to x2 (observer) by standard x3 ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
We will describe these and other possible ''sumti'' and ''selbri'' in more detail below.
 +
 
 +
=== Conventions ===
 +
The following conventions will be used to show the structure of Lojban sentences in diagrams:
 +
 
 +
•The ''selbri'' relation will ''be italicized''.
 +
 
 +
•The ''sumti'' arguments will be underlined.
 +
 
 +
•Optional separator/terminator words are placed in square brackets. They may be omitted if so bracketed. The general rule is that these may be omitted if and only if no grammatical ambiguity results. Each such word serves as an end marker for particular structures, making the overall structure of the sentence clear.
 +
 
 +
•The structure of Lojban phrases is indicated by bars beneath the text, joining related words together.
 +
 
 +
•Words modifying other words are indicated by arrows pointing from the modifier to the modified.
 +
 
 +
=== Basic structure of a Lojban sentence ===
 +
sumti sumti ... sumti<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''selbri'' sumti sumti ... sumti<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
•Normally, there must be at least one ''sumti'' before the ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
•Each ''selbri'' relation has a specifically defined '''place structure''' that defines the role of each ''sumti'' in the ''bridi'' relationship, based on its position in order. In the examples above, that order was expressed by labelling the positions x1, x2, x3, and x4.
 +
 
 +
•cu acts as a separator after at least one preceding ''sumti'' to clearly mark the ''selbri''. As the diagram indicates, it may often be omitted. There will be examples of this below.
 +
 
 +
•vau goes at the end of the sentence, indicating that no more ''sumti'' will follow. It usually may be omitted.
 +
 
 +
=== Sentence examples ===
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === mi ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === [cu] ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === vecnu ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === ti ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === ta ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === seller-x1 ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ===   ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === sells ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === goods-sold-x2 ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === buyer-x3 ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === I ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ===   ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === sell ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === this ===
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| === to that ===
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| price-x4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| for some price.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (No more ''sumti'')
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I sell this-thing/these-things to that-buyer/those-buyers.'' (The price is obvious or unimportant.)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
•Both the cu and the vau are optional in this example and could be omitted
 +
 
 +
•When an unspecified ''sumti'' (zo'e) is at the end of a sentence, it may be omitted.
 +
 
 +
•Normally, there will be one ''sumti'' (the x1) before the ''selbri''. There may be more than one:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| seller-x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| goods-sold-x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| sells
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| buyer-x3
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| this
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| sell
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to that.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (No more ''sumti'')
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Translates as stilted or poetic English: ''I, this thing, do sell to that buyer.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Usually, more than one ''sumti'' will be placed before the ''selbri'' for style or for emphasis on the ''sumti'' displaced from their normal position. (Native speakers of languages other than English may prefer such orders.)
 +
 
 +
=== Observatives ===
 +
If there is no ''sumti'' before the ''selbri'', then it is understood that the x1 ''sumti'' value is equivalent to zo'e<nowiki>; i.e. it is unimportant or obvious, and therefore omitted. Any </nowiki>''sumti'' after the ''selbri'' start counting from x2, x3, x4...:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| object/idea-x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-beautiful
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (to someone by some standard)
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| That/Those
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is/are beautiful.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is beautiful.'' (or) ''Those are beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
When the x1 is omitted:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| —
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (Unspecified)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-beautiful
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (to someone by some standard)
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Beautiful!'' (or) ''It's beautiful!''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| —
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (Unspecified)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| sells
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| this
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to that.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''(Look!) Someone's selling this to that!''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Omitting the x1 adds emphasis to the ''selbri'' relation, which has become first and foremost in the sentence. This kind of sentence is termed an '''observative''', because it is usually stated by someone when they first ''observe'' or take note of the relation, and wish to quickly communicate it to someone else. Commonly understood English observatives include ''Smoke!'' upon seeing smoke or smelling the odor, or ''Car!'' to a person crossing the street who might be in danger. Any Lojban ''selbri'' can be an observative if no ''sumti'' appear before the ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
cu does not occur in an observative; cu is a '''separator''', and there must be a ''sumti'' before the ''selbri'' that needs to be kept separate, for it to be used. With no ''sumti'' preceding the ''selbri'', cu is not permitted.
 +
 
 +
=== True/false (yes/no) questions (the word xu) ===
 +
xu question sentence (Is-it-true-that...):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''xu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Is-it-true?
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| sell
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| this
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| that.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Is it true that I sell this to that?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
xu has a very unrestricted grammar, and is permitted virtually anywhere in a sentence. At the beginning of the sentence, xu asks about the truth of the ''bridi'' relationship. Elsewhere, in a sentence, xu attaches to the immediately preceding word (or the structure implied by that preceding word, when it is the marker for a structure). Thus, also after the vau ending the sentence, xu would ask about the entire ''bridi'' (the vau cannot be omitted if xu is to appear ‘after' it).
 +
 
 +
xu appearing after a ''sumti'' questions whether the ''bridi'' relationship expressed by the sentence is true for that ''sumti'' value in particular:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''xu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ¬
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| sell
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| this
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Is-it-true?
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| that.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Is it true that I sell this (as opposed to something else) to that?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Similarly, xu following vecnu in the above example would question the truth of the ''bridi'' relationship by specifically asking whether ‘sell' is a true relation between the ''sumti''.
 +
 
 +
We will discuss how to answer a xu true/false question below in the section on ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
=== Varying sumti order ===
 +
There are ways to vary the order of ''sumti'' from the numerical order specified by the place structure. A ''sumti'' may be placed out of numerical order by labelling it in front with a tag indicating the actual numerical position of the ''sumti'' in the place structure. The structure is thus of the form FA ''sumti'' (where the FA category word shows which of the existing ''sumti'' places is being used, by number):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fa ‘1st ''sumti'': x1'
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fe ‘2nd ''sumti'': x2'
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fi ‘3rd ''sumti'': x3'
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fo ‘4th ''sumti'': x4'
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fu ‘5th ''sumti'': x5'
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
One reason for using these tags is to skip a place structure place without having to insert a zo'e for each skipped place:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''fo'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la lojban.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talker
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x4<nowiki>=language</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| in language
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Lojban.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk in Lojban (to someone about some topic).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
which is equivalent to:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talker
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| audience
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| topic
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to unspecified
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| about unspecified
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la lojban.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| language
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| in Lojban.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk in Lojban (to someone about some topic).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
After a FA tag sets the place number, any later ''sumti'' places continue the numbering consecutively:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''la lojban.'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talker
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| x3<nowiki>=topic</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| language-x4
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| about that
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| in-language Lojban.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk about that in Lojban (to someone unspecified).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Another reason to use FA tags is to change emphasis; listeners focus most closely on the ''sumti'' at the beginning of a sentence.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''fi'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''la lojban.'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fa
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| x3<nowiki>=topic</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| x1<nowiki>=talker</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| audience-x2
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| About Lojban
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to you.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''It's Lojban that I talk to you about (in an unspecified language).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
There are other ways of rearranging the ''sumti'' of a sentence that will be discussed below.
 +
 
 +
Note that in all examples where a ''sumti'' is omitted, there is an unspoken and unspecified value for each of the omitted place structure places.
 +
 
 +
An observative can be formed by using fa to move the first (x1) ''sumti'' to the position after the ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''fa'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ti'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| beautiful
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| x1<nowiki>=this</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Beautiful
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| this-is
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (to someone by some standard).
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Beautiful, it is!''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== Basic structure of an utterance ===
 +
People usually don't say just one sentence. Lojban has a specific structure for talk or writing that is longer than one sentence. The entirety of a given speech event or written text is called an '''utterance'''.
 +
 
 +
sentence .i sentence .i<nowiki> sentence [...] </nowiki>.i sentence
 +
 
 +
ni'o sentence .i sentence .i sentence .i<nowiki> sentence [...] </nowiki>.i sentence
 +
 
 +
ni'o sentence .i<nowiki> sentence [...] </nowiki>.i sentence
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>[</nowiki>fa'o]
 +
 
 +
•ni'o separates '''paragraphs''' (covering different topics of discussion). In a long text or utterance, the topical structure of the text may be indicated by multiple ni'os, with perhaps ni'oni'oni'o used to indicate a chapter, ni'oni'o to indicate a section, and a single ni'o to indicate a subtopic corresponding to a single English paragraph.
 +
 
 +
•.i separates sentences. .i is sometimes compounded with words that modify the exact meaning (the semantics) of the sentence within the utterance. xu, discussed above, is one such word—it turns the sentence from a statement to a question of truth. When more than one person is talking, a new speaker will usually omit the .i even though she/he may be continuing on the same topic. It is still OK for a new speaker to say the .i before continuing; indeed it is encouraged for maximum clarity (since it is possible the second speaker might merely be adding words onto the end of the first speaker's sentence). A good translation for .i is the ''and'' used in run-on sentences when people are talking informally: “I did this, and then I did that, and ..., and ...”.
 +
 
 +
•fa'o is an optional end-of-utterance marker, used primarily in computer input. It is not needed in human speech.
 +
 
 +
You may now see why the vau at the end of the sentence can generally be omitted. Since the following word will usually be an .i or a ni'o starting a new sentence or paragraph, there is no possibility of ambiguity if it is omitted. These separators prevent the ''sumti'' at the beginning of the next sentence from being mistaken as a trailing ''sumti'' of this sentence.
 +
 
 +
=== Punctuation ===
 +
Lojban has no mandatory punctuation marks. Because Lojban speech ''exactly'' matches the written text representing that speech, all ‘punctuation' that is used in English to show sentence structure, questions, exclamations or tone of voice, and even quotations must be expressed in Lojban as actual words.
 +
 
 +
The special use of the apostrophe, period, capitalization and commas is outlined in [HYPERLINK#ID_overviewtitle Overview of Lojban ][HYPERLINK#ID_overviewtitle Grammar].
 +
 
 +
'''Tip: '''Some optional conventions allow certain punctuation symbols to appear to clarify printed text, making it easier to read. (Such punctuation is not considered part of the standard Lojban orthography, and is not accepted by all Lojbanists.) These punctuation symbols ''always'' appear in conjunction with the printed word representing that punctuation symbol, rather than replacing it. Thus a xu question may be marked with a question mark immediately after the xu (or immediately before the xu, possibly inverted, as in Spanish). Other questions may similarly be marked with a question mark after the word indicating the question—''not'' at the end of the sentence. There are words that may be associated with exclamation points, start of quotation (represented by «) and end of quotation (»). For example:
 +
 
 +
.i xu? do klama
 +
 
 +
.i ?xu do bacru «lu mi klama li'u» bau la lojban.
 +
 
 +
.i ¿xu .ue! do bacru «lu do bacru «lu mi klama li'u» bau la lojban. li'u»
 +
 
 +
== The Basic Components (sumti and selbri) ==
 +
We now discuss the substructures of the basic components that make up a sentence. Any variety of ''selbri'' may be placed in a sentence, or in another substructure below it that contains ''selbri''. Likewise, any variety of ''sumti'' may be placed in a sentence, or in another substructure below it that contains ''sumti''. You may see that this can potentially lead to extremely complicated structures nested within one another. Lojban's unambiguous grammar allows even these most complicated structures to be untangled in only one way.
 +
 
 +
=== Simple sumti ===
 +
''sumti'' are not specific as to number (singular or plural), nor gender (masculine/feminine/neuter). Such distinctions can be optionally expressed by being more specific.
 +
 
 +
==== ‘pronoun' sumti ====
 +
These expressions (usually called pro-''sumti'' in Lojban) include the single-word ''sumti'' given above:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I/we
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| you
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| this/these
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| that/those
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| tu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| that/those-yonder
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| something unspecified (it's either obvious or unimportant)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Some other words in this category include:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ri
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| he/she/it (the-last-referenced-''sumti'')
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ko
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''imperative''' you
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ko'a
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| it/he/she/they (a specific value)
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| di'u
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| it/this (the last sentence)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
There are many others, each with a particular meaning. For example, there are 9 other words related to ko'a. Each may be used to represent a separate value of ''it''. Since Lojban has no gender or number, these 10 words represent ''he'', ''she'', and ''they'' as well, and it becomes more clear why so many are needed to keep track of distinct entities.
 +
 
 +
zo'e is a place-filler ''sumti'', allowing you to skip over a ''sumti'' place in the ordered place structure without specifying a value. The speaker indicates that there is a value, but that it is not important to specify it, or that the speaker thinks it is obvious given the context.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''zo'e'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| You
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| about this.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You talk about this (to someone, in some language.)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
ri is a quick back-reference ''sumti''. It can have a new meaning, depending on the context, every time it occurs. The rules for counting back to ‘the last ''sumti''' include some special cases that can't be covered in this summary, but in most simple sentences, the referent will be obvious. There are two other back-referencing ''sumti'' of this type.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| fi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la lojban.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ri'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| x3<nowiki>=about-Lojban</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| in-it(=Lojban)-x4.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk about Lojban in Lojban (to someone unspecified.)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
ko is used to express commands. A statement with ko can be interpreted by replacing the ko with do, and then taking the result as a command to the listener to make the sentence true, with himself/herself considered as do:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ko'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| You (imperative)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-me.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Talk to me!''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
is the command equivalent of:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| You
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-me.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You talk to me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
ko need not be in the first position in the ''bridi'', but rather can occur anywhere a ''sumti'' is allowed, leading to possible Lojban commands that are very unlike English commands:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ko'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-you (imperative)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Let me talk (to you)!''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
ko is even permitted to occur in more than one place in a sentence, allowing for meaning-rich commands like:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ko'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ko'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| You (imp.)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-you (imp.)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Talk to yourself!''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The English misses some of the meaning, since the Lojban expresses two commands at once: that the listener talk to herself, but also that the listener allow herself to be talked-to (by herself).
 +
 
 +
==== Names (“la name”) ====
 +
Lojban names always end with a consonant followed by a mandatory pause (which may be very short). No other Lojban word ends with a consonant. Thus names are easily recognized by both their form, and by being marked with a preceding la.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''la mark.'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| You
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-Mark
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| about this.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You talk to Mark about this.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Question sumti (“ma”) ====
 +
ma indicates a question about the value of a ''sumti''. It is answered by ‘filling in the blank', replacing the ma with the intended ''sumti'' value. It can be translated as ''Who?'' or ''What?'' in most cases, but also serves for ''When?'', ''Where?'', and ''Why?'' when used in ''sumti'' places that express time, location, or cause.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ma'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| __?
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talks
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-you.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''What/Who talks to you?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
is answerable by:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''mi'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk to you.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Like ko, ma can occur in any position where a ''sumti'' is allowed, not just in the first position:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ma'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You talk to what/whom? (What/who do you talk to?)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
ma can also appear in multiple ''sumti'' positions in one sentence, in effect asking several questions at once.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ma'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ma'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''What/Who talks to what/whom?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The two separate ma positions ask two separate questions, and can therefore be answered with different values in each ''sumti'' place.
 +
 
 +
==== Description sumti (“le selbri [ku]”) ====
 +
le specifies a ''sumti'' that the speaker has in mind more completely than the pro-''sumti'' we have seen. It does so by introducing a ''bridi'' relationship that the ''sumti'' in question forms the first (x1) ''sumti'' of. This ''bridi'' is represented by its corresponding ''selbri''. Description ''sumti'' phrases have a terminator at their conclusion, ku, which is omitted when no ambiguity results.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>le vecnu [ku]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to the seller
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>le blari'o [ku]</nowiki>'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| about the blue-green thing.
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
le vecnu takes the ''selbri'' vecnu, which has the ‘seller' in the x1 place, and uses it in this sentence to describe a particular ‘seller' that the speaker has in mind (one that she probably expects the listener will also know about). Similarly, the speaker has a particular blue-green thing in mind, which is described using le to mark blari'o, a ''selbri'' whose first ''sumti'' is something blue-green.
 +
 
 +
There are many variations on le ''sumti''<nowiki> [ku]</nowiki> constructs, but to discuss them, we must first discuss the more complex structures of ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
=== selbri structure ===
 +
Though Lojban sentences often translate word-for-word into fairly clear English, ''selbri'' relations are actually quite unlike English. For example, the ''selbri'' bajra expresses a relation of running.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''bajra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| runner
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[running]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| on-surface
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| using-limbs
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| with-gait
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
In some sentence positions, bajra might be interpreted as the ‘verb' ''to run''<nowiki>; in other positions, as the ‘noun' or ‘adjective' </nowiki>''running''. In le ''sumti''<nowiki> [ku]</nowiki>, described in the preceding section, it represents the ‘noun' interpretation of its x1 ''sumti'' place: ‘runner'. (Some English words, like ''cook'', have similar properties, but the analogy is weak.)
 +
 
 +
==== brivla ====
 +
The simplest form of ''selbri'' is an individual word. A word which may by itself express a ''selbri'' relation is called a ''brivla''. The three types of ''brivla'' are ''gismu'' (root words), ''lujvo'' (compounds), and ''fu'ivla'' (borrowings from other languages). All have identical grammar; they are allowed wherever any ''selbri'' appear in these examples.
 +
 
 +
==== gismu ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== mi ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== [cu] ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== klama ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ti ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== zo'e ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== zo'e ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== Go-er ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== goes ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== destination ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== origin ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== route ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| means.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I go here (to this) using that means (from somewhere via some route).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== lujvo ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ta ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== [cu] ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== blari'o ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== [vau] ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== That ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== is-blue-green. ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== fu'ivla ====
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== ta ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== [cu] ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== cidjrspageti ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== [vau] ====
 +
 
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== That ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ====   ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ==== is-spaghetti. ====
 +
 
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Some short words may serve as ''selbri'', acting as variables that stand for another ''selbri''. The most commonly used of these is go'i, which represents the main ''bridi'' of the previous Lojban sentence, with any new ''sumti'' or other features in the sentence replacing those in the previous sentence. Thus:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''go'i'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| That
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| too/same-as-last ''selbri''.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That (is spaghetti), too.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
When the word go'i by itself refers back to a ''bridi'' marked as a xu true/false question, it repeats that ''bridi'', thereby claiming it is true. Thus, in this sense only, go'i can mean ‘yes'. xu questions can also be answered ‘yes' by repeating the entire sentence in full, but go'i is much easier to say:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| xu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''blari'o''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Is-it-true-that that is-blue-green?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''go'i'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''True.'' (repeats “That is blue-green.”)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Contradictory negation (“na selbri”) ====
 +
The negation particle na can occur at the beginning of any ''selbri''. It says that the relation claimed by the ''selbri'' does not hold (this is called '''contradictory negation'''<nowiki>). It may often be translated as “It is false that [sentence]”. </nowiki>
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''na'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| FALSE
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''It is false that I go to this from that.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The na is only permitted at the beginning of a ''complete'' ''selbri''. It is considered part of the ''selbri'' in other constructs in the language, but is disallowed from other positions within a ''tanru'' (discussed below).
 +
 
 +
If the contradictory negation particle na precedes go'i, the combination na go'i denies the relation claimed by go'i. Thus, after a xu true/false question, na go'i expresses the answer “False”, or “No”.
 +
 
 +
If you were to use go'i after a sentence that contained a na contradictory negation, the negation would carry over to the repeated sentence. Unlike English, na go'i would ''not'' form a double negative; it merely replaces the na by another na leaving the sentence unchanged. Instead, you must cancel a negative by using the positive equivalent of na, ja'a, to replace the na in the previous sentence:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ja'a'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''go'i''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| TRUE
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''It is true that I do (go to this from that).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Scalar negation (“na'e-word brivla”) ====
 +
na deals primarily with the truth or falsity of a ''bridi''. Lojban also supports a separate form of negation, called '''contrary''' or '''scalar negation'''. A scalar negation attaches tightly to the next ''brivla'' of the ''selbri'', modifying the meaning of the word on some scale. Scalar negation structures may appear anywhere where a ''brivla'' or ''selbri'' is allowed. Scalar negation words include na'e (other than), to'e (absolute opposite of), and no'e (neutral on the scale); je'a is a strong positive scale assertion, translating roughly as ‘certainly' or ‘indeed':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>'''Positive'''</center>
 +
| style="border:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>'''Neutral'''</center>
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>'''Negative'''</center>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>je'a</center>
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>—</center>
 +
| style="border:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>no'e</center>
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>na'e</center>
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| <center>to'e</center>
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Examples:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''na'e''' melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am other-than beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''to'e''' melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am ugly/opposite-of-beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''no'e''' melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am plain/neutral on the beauty–ugliness scale.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''je'a''' melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am indeed beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Question selbri (“mo”) ====
 +
mo, like its ''sumti'' relative ma, is a fill-in-the-blank question. It asks the respondent to provide a ''selbri'' that would give a true relation if inserted in place of the mo:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''mo'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You are-what/do-what?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
mo may be used ''anywhere'' a ''brivla'' or other ''selbri'' might be. Keep this in mind for later examples. Unfortunately, by itself, mo is a very non-specific question. The response to the above question could be:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''melbi'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
or:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''tavla'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Clearly, mo requires some cooperation between the speaker and the respondent to ensure that the right question is being answered. If context doesn't make the question specific enough, the speaker must ask the question more specifically using a more complex construction such as ''tanru'' (below).
 +
 
 +
It is perfectly permissible for the respondent to fill in other unspecified places in responding to a mo question. Thus, the respondent in the last example could have also specified an audience, a topic, and/or a language in the response:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''tavla'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''do'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''la lojban.'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am talking to you about Lojban.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Conversion (“se-word brivla”) ====
 +
se and others in its word-category modify a ''brivla'' used in a ''selbri'' by changing the order of the ''sumti'' that are attached. This results in a new ''selbri'' that expresses the same relation, but with different order of emphasis. se exchanges the first and second ''sumti'' places of the unmodified ''brivla''. This reversal is called '''conversion'''.
 +
 
 +
The ''bridi'' sentence:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| seller-x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| sells
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| thing-sold-x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| buyer-x3
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| price-x4.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You sell that to me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
can be converted to:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''se''' vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| thing sold-x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-sold-by
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| seller-x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| buyer-x3
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| price-x4.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is sold by you to me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The effect is similar to what in English is called ‘passive voice'. In Lojban, however, a conversion is ''not'' ‘passive': the converted ''selbri'' has a place structure that is renumbered to reflect the place reversal, thus having effects when such a conversion is used in combination with other constructs (such as fi and le ''selbri''<nowiki> [ku]</nowiki>).
 +
 
 +
The other simple relatives of se are: te (switches 1st and 3rd places), ve (switches 1st and 4th places), and xe (switches 1st and 5th places). The effects of using them may be seen on the 5-place ''gismu'' ''selbri'', klama:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''go-er'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| goes
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to destination
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| from origin
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| via route
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| using means
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x3
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x5
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''destination'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-gone-to
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''by go-er'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| from origin
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| via route
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| using means
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''se''' klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x3
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x5
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''origin'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-gone-from
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to destination
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''by go-er'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| via route
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| using means
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''te''' klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x3
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x5
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''route'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-gone-via
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to destination
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| from origin
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''by go-er'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| using means
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''ve''' klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x3
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x5
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''means'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-used-to-go
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to destination
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| from origin
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| via route
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''by go-er'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''xe''' klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x3
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| x5
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== tanru (“modifier-selbri modified-selbri”) ====
 +
''tanru'' are compound ''selbri''—constructions of multiple ''brivla''/''selbri'' components. Each component might be a single word, or it might be a word modified by place structure converters (like se), or scalar negations (like na'e). ''tanru'' take ''selbri'' components (including other ''tanru'') in pairs, with the first part modifying the second part.
 +
 
 +
The kind of modification is vague: ''tanru'' may act like an English adjective–noun (''fast-runner''), adverb–verb (''quickly-run'') or it may restrict a larger set (''runner-shoes''). Context will generally indicate what is a plausible interpretation of a ''tanru''. You should allow for creative interpretation: ‘runner-shoes' might be interpreted in some imaginative instances as ‘shoes that run by themselves'. In general, however, the meaning of a ''tanru'' is determined by the ''literal'' meaning of its components, and not by any connotations or figurative meanings. So sutra tavla ‘fast-talker' would not necessarily imply any trickery or deception, and a jikca toldi ‘social butterfly' must always be an insect with large brightly-colored wings, of the family ''lepidoptera''.
 +
 
 +
The place structure of a ''tanru'' is always that of the final ''brivla'' or final component of the ''tanru''. Thus, the following has the place structure of klama:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''sutra klama'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I quickly-go to Mary.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
With the conversion se klama in the final position, the place structure is that of se klama: the x1 place is the destination, and the x2 place is the go-er:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''sutra se klama'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I quickly am-gone-to by Mary.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
A similar example shows that there is more to conversion than merely switching places, though:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la tam.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''melbi tavla'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Tom beautifully-talks to Mary'' (or) ''Tom is a beautiful-talker to Mary.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
has the place structure of tavla, but note the two distinct interpretations.
 +
 
 +
Now, using conversion, we can modify the place structure order:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''melbi se tavla'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la tam.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Mary is beautifully-talked-to by Tom'' (or) ''Mary is a beautiful-audience for Tom.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
and we see that the modification has been changed so as to focus on Mary's role in the ''bridi'' relationship, leading to a different set of possible interpretations.
 +
 
 +
Note that there is no place structure change if the modifying term is converted, and hence there is less drastic variation in possible meanings:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la tam.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''tavla melbi'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Tom is talker-wise–beautiful according to Mary.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la tam.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''se tavla melbi'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la meris.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Tom is audience-wise–beautiful according to Mary.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The manner in which Tom is seen as beautiful by Mary changes, but Tom is still the one perceived as beautiful, and Mary, the observer of beauty.
 +
 
 +
Any ''selbri'' form can be used in either position of a ''tanru''. This allows more specific mo questions to be formulated:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''mo''' tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You are _____(what?)-kind-of talker to me?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla '''mo'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You are talker-wise _____(what?) to me?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
As was stated above, you can use scalar negation (na'e and its equivalents) in ''tanru'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''na'e''' sutra tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You are an other-than-quick talker'' (or) ''You are a slow talker.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sutra '''na'e''' tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You are quickly other-than-talking'' (or) ''You are doing something other-than-talking, quickly.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Quantified selbri (“number moi”) ====
 +
Lojban numbers are expressed as strings of digits. The basic digits are:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| pa
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| re
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ci
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| vo
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| xa
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ze
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| bi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| so
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| no
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| pi
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 2
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 3
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 4
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 5
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 6
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 7
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 8
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 9
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| 0
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| .
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''number'' moi (usually combined into one word) ('''ordinal numbers'''):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le tavla [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''ci moi'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The talker is third.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''number'' mei (usually combined into one word) ('''cardinal numbers'''):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le tavla ku
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''ci mei'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The talkers are a-threesome.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''number'' si'e (usually combined into one word) ('''portional numbers'''):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le blari'o ku
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''pimu si'e'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The blue-green (things) are a .5 portion (a half).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''number'' cu'o (usually combined into one word) ('''probability numbers'''):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le blari'o ku
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''pimu cu'o'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The blue-green (occurrences) are a .5 probability (have a 50% chance).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Note the interpretation of x1 in the last example, which is a result of the place structure of probability numbers. Each of these special kinds of ''selbri'' have other places besides the x1 ''sumti'' that appear in these examples.
 +
 
 +
Number ''selbri'' may also be used as part of a ''tanru'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''papa moi''' tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I am the 11th talker to you.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The place structure again is that of the final component of the ''tanru''.
 +
 
 +
==== Attaching internal sumti to a selbri ====
 +
Each component of a ''tanru'' is not merely a single-word ''brivla'', but a representation of an entire ''bridi'' relationship. Lojban grammar allows the ''sumti'' that complete and define that ''bridi'' to be incorporated into the ''selbri''. Combined ''sumti'' are called '''internal''' '''''sumti'''''. We'll first show the structure of such a complex ''selbri'' component:
 +
 
 +
''brivla''/''selbri'' be ''sumti''<nowiki> [bei </nowiki>''sumti''<nowiki>] [bei </nowiki>''sumti''<nowiki>] ... [bei </nowiki>''sumti''<nowiki>] [be'o]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
where the ''sumti'' attached with be is normally x2, and other ''sumti'' are optionally attached in numerical order (x3, x4, x5), each preceded by the marker bei. be'o is the end-marker for internal ''sumti'', appearing after the last internal ''sumti'' for a ''brivla'' or other ''selbri''. Let's now look at one way that this construct is used.
 +
 
 +
==== tanru with internal sumti ====
 +
Using the internal ''sumti'' structure, any of the components of a ''tanru'' can have its own ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''be'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''bei'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le melbi ku
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>[be'o]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="8"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>vecnu [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is a talker–to-you–about-the-beautiful-thing(s) salesperson'' (or, more simply) ''That's a salesperson who talks to you about beautiful things.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
In compound constructs such as this one, the normally '''elidable''' (omissible) right terminators may be mandatory to keep the sentence unambiguous. Thus, in this last example, either the ku or the be'o must not be elided (ku was chosen arbitrarily). Otherwise, vecnu is absorbed into the internal ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''be'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''bei'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le melbi vecnu [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>[be'o]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is a talker-to-you-about-the-beautiful-salesperson'' (or) ''That one talks about beautiful salespeople to you.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Obviously, a different statement. In Lojban, you ''must'' be careful about properly including terminators when needed. If in doubt, include the terminator; the statement ''cannot'' be ambiguous with the terminator present.
 +
 
 +
In the last example, by omitting the elidable terminators ku and be'o, we ended up with ''sumti'' attached to the ''selbri'' word in final position. The latter sentence is thus identical in meaning to the same sentence expressed without internal ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le melbi vecnu [ku] [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is a talker-to-you-about-the-beautiful-salesperson'' (or) ''That one talks about beautiful salespeople to you.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Internal ''sumti'' can use any ''sumti'' construct, including the fa/fe/fi/fo/fu series to rearrange place orders:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''bei fo''' la lojban.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[be'o]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is a talker-to-you-in-Lojban salesperson'' (or, more simply) ''That's a salesperson who talks to you in Lojban.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== tanru inversion (“modified-selbri co modifier-selbri”) ====
 +
We rephrased the English translations of the Lojban in the last two examples in order to simplify the English structure and make the sentence more clear. The same type of rearrangement is possible in Lojban. The technique is called '''''tanru''''' '''inversion'''. The modifier ''selbri'' is placed ''after'' the modified one, with a co separating them:
 +
 
 +
modified-''selbri'' co modifier-''selbri''
 +
 
 +
The co can often be translated as ‘of type'.
 +
 
 +
''tanru'' inversion affects the interpretation of ''sumti'' that are in the surrounding ''bridi'' relationship. The inversion causes a new ''brivla'' to be in the final position, and any following ''sumti'' are associated with that final ''brivla'' of the modifier-''selbri''. The ''sumti'' ''preceding'' the ''selbri'' are still associated with the final term of the modified-''selbri'', because that is the primary relation being claimed by the sentence. So, in this case ''sumti'' belong to the ''selbri'' they are closest to.
 +
 
 +
One obvious advantage of ''tanru'' inversion is to simplify the apparent structure of a ''selbri''. As we have said, the final ''selbri'' in a ''tanru'' does not need to use internal ''sumti'' structures in order to attach its ''sumti''. The first of the examples above that use internal ''sumti'' thus becomes the simpler:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''co'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla'' do <nowiki>le melbi [ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''That is a seller of-type talker to you about the beautiful thing(s)'' (or) ''That's a salesperson who talks to you about beautiful things.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
do and <nowiki>le melbi [ku]</nowiki> are the x2 and x3 places of tavla, while ta remains the x1 of the underlying modified-relation, which is vecnu.
 +
 
 +
The resulting Lojban now matches the colloquial English phrasing more closely, and the sentence is simpler since it does not require the complex marker system needed for internal ''sumti''.
 +
 
 +
All of the forms of ''selbri'' listed in this section are governed by rules that form a hierarchy. The most complex constructs are those using rules higher in the hierarchy. In general, constructs built from higher rules cannot be used inside lower-rule constructs. This hierarchy of rules is the primary reason why Lojban's grammar is unambiguous.
 +
 
 +
Inversion of ''tanru'' uses rules which are highest in the hierarchy, thus allowing you to invert almost all other ''selbri'' constructs. However, this also means that you ''cannot'' substitute a ''tanru'' inversion into most other constructs within a ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
==== selbri grouping in tanru ====
 +
''tanru'' may be composed of more than two components, any of which may be more complex than the simple ''brivla'' and/or other ''selbri'' structures discussed above. Lojban allows complex ''tanru'' structures to be unambiguously expressed, so that any such complex structure can be broken down into a series of modifier–modified pairs. We present two of the variety of ways to express more complex groupings.
 +
 
 +
In the absence of any grouping indications, components in ''tanru'' are presumed grouped from the left:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cmalu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nanla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''ckule''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| This
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-a small-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| boys
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| school.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is a school for small boys.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
But what if we want to group this ''selbri'' so as to talk about a ‘boys school' which is small? One way is with ''tanru'' inversion:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nanla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''ckule''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''co cmalu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| This
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-a boys
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| school
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| of-type small.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is a boys school which is small.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
''tanru'' inversion can work for many simple grouping problems. However, since it changes the final ''brivla'', it affects the interpretation of any ''sumti'' following the ''selbri''. There is a more general solution that does not affect which ''selbri'' is in final position, a choice that might be important because of the structural markers required.
 +
 
 +
Any ''selbri'', or any portion of a ''tanru'' that could stand alone as a ''selbri'', may be surrounded with word-brackets ke (left) and ke'e (right) to indicate priority in grouping. Normally, you will only use ke/ke'e grouping around strings of two or more ''selbri'' components, since the structure conveys no useful grouping information around a single ''selbri''. At the end of the ''selbri'', and in other places where no ambiguity results, the ke'e terminator becomes optional (elidable):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| This
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cmalu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''ke'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nanla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''ckule''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''<nowiki>[ke'e]</nowiki>'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-a small
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| {
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| boys
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| school
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| }
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
A ''selbri'' structure surrounded by ke and ke'e has the same grammar as a single word ''brivla''. As a result, you can modify such structures with na'e and other scalar negation words, or with se and other conversion words:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| This
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cmalu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''na'e'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''ke'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nanla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''ckule''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''<nowiki>[ke'e]</nowiki>'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-a small
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| other-than:
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| {
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| boys
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| school
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| }
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Abstraction selbri ====
 +
The final ''selbri'' form we cover here isn't found very often in ''selbri'' in their most basic form. However, it turns out to be one of the most important constructs in the language, showing up frequently as a part of more complex structures. This ''selbri'' form is called '''sentence abstraction'''. The basic form is:
 +
 
 +
nu-word complete-''bridi''<nowiki>-sentence [</nowiki>kei]
 +
 
 +
where the ''bridi'' sentence inside the two markers can be a Lojban sentence of ''any'' type discussed here, no matter how complex. The word nu indicates an '''event abstraction''', the most common kind of abstraction found in Lojban.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| event-x1
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''nu'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''<nowiki>[kei]</nowiki>'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talker
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talks
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to-audience
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| talk
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to you.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| event-of “I talk to you.”
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="8"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is an event of my talking to you.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The term ''event'' should not be misconstrued. In Lojban, it can refer to a momentary occurrence, or to a situation lasting hours, days, or even an indefinite period of time. nu can stand for any of these kinds and durations of events. Other words may substitute for nu when you need to be specific and indicate particular '''event contours''', such as a '''point event''' in time (mu'e) or a steady, unchanging '''state''' (za'i) of indefinite duration.
 +
 
 +
There are other types of abstractions, as well, each indicated by words that substitute for nu. The most common of these are ka for a property/quality abstraction and du'u for a fact/assertion abstraction. These will be exemplified in the next section. Most abstraction ''selbri'' have only one place (x1) which is the event, property, fact or other abstract ‘thing' being described by the ''selbri''.
 +
 
 +
Abstractions, like other ''selbri'', may be used in ''tanru''<nowiki>; indeed, they are more common in </nowiki>''tanru'' than alone:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sutra bajra cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is-a fast-runner book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
which might be a book about fast runners, while:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sutra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''nu'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''bajra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''kei'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="8"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is-a fast-event(s)-of-running book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
which is more likely a book about races, or a how-to book about running fast. Note that the kei could not be elided in the last example, or the following would have resulted:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sutra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''nu'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''bajra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''<nowiki>[kei]</nowiki>'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="8"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is-a fast event-of runner-book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
and one imagines a very short-lived book about runners (it is the ''event'' that is fast, not the running or the book).
 +
 
 +
Most abstractions that appear often in ''selbri'' like this tend to be abbreviated into a single-word ''selbri'' (a ''brivla'') which embeds the nu into the concept. Such compounds don't require a kei, since the abstraction encompasses only the idea expressed within the single word. Lojban compound words (''lujvo'') are composed of combining forms of their component ''brivla'' (content words like bajra) and '''''cmavo''''' (short structure words like nu).
 +
 
 +
The rules for constructing ''lujvo'' are not difficult if you have a list of the combining forms (called '''''rafsi'''''); the rules are designed carefully to ensure that the pieces stay attached together and cannot be accidentally interpreted as separate words. This is because (as in the last example) the grammar of separate words may require added markers and terminators to obtain the meaning that you intend. The ''lujvo'' for an event of running is formed from nun, the ''rafsi'' combining form of nu, and bajra, which serves as its own combining form:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nunbajra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sumti''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| event
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[running]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| runner
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| on-surface
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| using-limbs
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| with-gait
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''x1 is an event of x2 running on surface x3 using limbs x4, with gait x5.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Comparing this place structure with the one at the beginning of this section, you will see that x1 has been assigned to the event, while the remaining places are those of bajra. With this new ''lujvo'', the next to the last example sentence:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sutra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''bajra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''kei''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="8"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is-a fast-events-of-running book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
can be reformulated as the less complicated structure:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ti
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''sutra''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''''nunbajra'''''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This is-a fast-events-of-running book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
== Complex sumti ==
 +
=== More le selbri [ku] descriptions ===
 +
Now that we have seen a variety of ''selbri'' forms, it may become obvious that any of these ''selbri'' structures can be used in description ''sumti'' marked with le. Indeed, some of these structures, especially internal ''sumti'' and abstractions, are much more commonly found embedded in ''sumti'', than in the ''selbri'' defining the main relation of the sentence.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ko
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le sutra klama [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You (imperative) talk to the quick-goer. (Talk to the quick-goer.)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le se tavla [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You go to the one-talked-to from that.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
This last example shows the virtue of se conversion. It has allowed us to mentally convert tavla to make its x2 place accessible by description in the ''sumti''.
 +
 
 +
Now for a tricky usage. We use go'i to refer to the ''bridi'' of the last sentence. Therefore <nowiki>le go'i [ku]</nowiki> refers to the first place of that ''bridi'' (in this case, the go-er, do). If we want to refer to the second place of the last sentence ''bridi'', the destination, we can mentally convert that sentence using se: so <nowiki>le se go'i [ku]</nowiki> means the destination (<nowiki>le se klama [ku]</nowiki> = <nowiki>le se tavla [ku]</nowiki>).
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>le se go'i [ku]</nowiki>'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The destination is beautiful'' (or) ''The one talked-to (the destination) is beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le na'e melbi [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ta
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The other-than-beautiful one talks to that one.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le mo klama [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ri
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk to the what-kind-of go-er about itself?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le re moi prenu [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The second person talks to me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
It is ''important'' to remember and correctly use the elidable separator cu with description ''selbri''. If you misplace it or omit it (or its less-often used alternative ku), you will create some very strange ''tanru''.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le sutra [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''cu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The quick-one is a seller book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le sutra vecnu [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''cu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''cukta''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The quick seller is a book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
And, if you omit the cu altogether, you get only a ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le sutra vecnu cukta [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The quick-seller book.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== sumti descriptions with internal sumti ===
 +
The phrase
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le ''selbri''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be ''sumti'' bei ''sumti'' bei ''sumti'' ... bei ''sumti''<nowiki> [be'o]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ku
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
is all one ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le tavla
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| bei <nowiki>le vecnu [ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [be'o]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The talker
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to me
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| about the seller
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| goes.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
You can even fill in the places of an internal ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le tavla
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The talker
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le melbi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be mi<nowiki> [be'o]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[be'o]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the beautiful
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| to me
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| goes.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The talker to the one who is beautiful to me goes. (The person talking to the one I think is beautiful, goes.)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Without the omitted terminators this looks a bit less wordy:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le tavla be le melbi be mi cu klama
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The one talking to the one I think is beautiful, goes.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
A ''selbri'' can consist of a ''tanru'' with internal ''sumti''<nowiki>; therefore a </nowiki>''sumti'' may be built on such a ''selbri'', possibly even having internal ''sumti'' on ''both'' components of a ''tanru'' . (In a ''tanru'' embedded within a ''sumti'', even the ''sumti'' attached to the final component must be attached with be/bei/be'o):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| melbi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be mi<nowiki> [be'o]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| tavla
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be la .an.<nowiki> [be'o]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ku] cu </nowiki>''vecnu'' ti<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The beautiful-to-me talker-to-Ann sells this. (The one I think is beautiful who is talking to Ann, sells this.)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Here, either the ku or the cu is elidable before the main ''selbri'' (both instances of be'o are unconditionally elidable). Most frequently, when there is a choice, the terminator that best communicates the sentence structure is chosen. cu, in this case, clearly separates the complex ''sumti'' from the ''selbri'', and is preferred. Often a single cu may allow you to omit several elidable terminators that would otherwise be necessary. This happens most frequently with abstraction ''selbri'' that are used in ''sumti'' descriptions.
 +
 
 +
=== Abstraction sumti clauses ===
 +
Abstraction ''sumti'' clauses take the form “le nu sentence kei”:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''djica''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| want
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama'' <nowiki>le zarci [ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''<nowiki>[kei]</nowiki>''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| the event-of: I go to the store
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I want to go to the store.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
With the elidable terminators not printed, this sentence looks much shorter:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi djica le nu mi klama le zarci
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I want to go to the store.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
An even shorter form will typically appear in Lojban text. le nu occurs so frequently in combination that it is often written as a single word. This isn't mandatory—''cmavo'' compounds are always understood as meaning the same thing as the words written separately. ''cmavo'' are generally written as one word when they together equate to a concept that is written in other languages as one word.
 +
 
 +
In addition, the mi inside the abstraction will often be omitted. When a listener hears this sentence and realizes that the go-er wasn't specified, the obvious value(s) will be assumed (as with the origin, the route and the means). Leaving out the mi is exactly comparable to the difference between the two English sentences:
 +
 
 +
''I want to go to the store'' (and) ''I want myself to go to the store.''
 +
 
 +
mi djica lenu klama le zarci
 +
 
 +
I want to go to the store.
 +
 
 +
If an abstraction is in the x1 position, cu allows four other elidable markers to be omitted. An example is the following conversion of the last example sentence:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''nu'' mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama'' le zarci '''<nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>''' '''<nowiki>[vau] [kei]</nowiki>'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu ''se djica'' mi<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The-event-of: (I go to the store) is desirable to me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Using cu makes things much easier for the listener, who thus knows in one word that the complex ''sumti'' is completely ended and the main ''selbri'' comes next.
 +
 
 +
We promised to give examples of two of the other types of abstractions in this section. These abstractions tend to be associated with specific places of particular ''brivla''.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''ricfu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le '''ka'''<nowiki> melbi [vau] [kei] [ku]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Mark is rich in the quality of x1 being beautiful to x2 by standard x3.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''djuno''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| know
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le '''du'u'''<nowiki> la djan. [cu] te vecnu [vau] [kei] [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the-fact-that John is a buyer.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I know that John buys (something).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
As with the earlier examples, these sentences will typically appear much shorter in print:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark. ricfu leka melbi
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Mark is rich in beauty.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi djuno ledu'u la djan. te vecnu
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I know that John buys (something).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== Quantified sumti (“le number [boi] selbri [ku]”) ===
 +
One way to quantify a ''sumti'' being described is to insert the number followed by a terminator boi, which may be omitted when no ambiguity results (the usual case):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le '''<nowiki>re [boi]</nowiki>'''<nowiki> tavla [ku]</nowiki> cu ''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The two talkers go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
boi may not be elided when a number ''selbri'' follows, since you wouldn't know otherwise where one number stops and the next begins (Lojban does not allow such boundaries to be expressed by contrastive stress as in English):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le reno '''boi'''<nowiki> remei [ku]</nowiki> cu ''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The twenty twosomes (pairs) go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== Quantified selection from sumti (“number [boi] le [number] [boi] selbri [ku]”) ===
 +
You can also put a number preceding the le, to select from the set of individuals indicated by the description:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>re [boi]</nowiki>'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le tavla [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| 2...
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Two of the (unspecified number of) talkers go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>re [boi]</nowiki>'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le reno boi remei [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| 2...
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Two of the twenty twosomes go. (i.e. four altogether)''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le tavla
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| be
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>pa [boi]</nowiki>'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le ci [boi] bajra [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[be'o]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| (begin)
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| 1...
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The talker
 +
| style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"| to
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| one of
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the three runners
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| (end)
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-beautiful
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== Indefinite description sumti (“lo selbri [ku]”) ===
 +
If you wish to describe a ''sumti'', but do not have a specific instance of the ''sumti'' in mind, you can instead refer generically to something that meets the terms of the description ''selbri'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''lo'''<nowiki> tavla [ku]</nowiki> cu ''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''A talker goes'' (or) ''Some talkers go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
lo may be used interchangeably with le in the preceding examples, with an '''indefinite''' description as a result.
 +
 
 +
Lojban allows you to omit the lo in:
 +
 
 +
number <nowiki>[boi] [lo]</nowiki><nowiki> [number </nowiki><nowiki>[boi] ] </nowiki>''selbri''<nowiki> [ku]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>re [boi] [lo] tavla [ku]</nowiki> cu ''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki> =
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| re tavla cu klama
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''<nowiki>Two [of the unspecified number who are] talkers go.</nowiki>''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== di'u and la'e di'u ===
 +
In English, if I say ''The school is beautiful'', you might reply ''This pleases me.'' How do you know what ''this'' refers to? Lojban uses different expressions to convey the possible meanings of English ''this''. So, given the sentence:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le ckule [ku]</nowiki> cu ''melbi''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The school is beautiful.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
the following three sentences all might translate as “This pleases me.”
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ri''' cu ''pluka'' mi<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This'' (the school, the last expressed ''sumti'') ''pleases me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''di'u''' cu ''pluka'' mi<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This'' (the last sentence) ''pleases me'' (perhaps because it is grammatical or sounds nice).
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''la'e di'u''' cu ''pluka'' mi<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This'' (what the last sentence refers to; i.e. that the school is beautiful) ''pleases me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The last sentence is an example of using one ''sumti'' to point to or refer to another by inference. la'edi'u is often written as a single word, and is used more often than di'u by itself.
 +
 
 +
=== Other sumti types ===
 +
Lojban supports several other ''sumti'' types, more than we can discuss in a short paper. These include bare numbers, and several kinds of quoted text (single words, grammatical text, potentially ungrammatical text, and non-Lojban text).
 +
 
 +
== Attachments to sumti, selbri and sentences ==
 +
=== Attachments to sumti ===
 +
All structures in this section apply to ''sumti'' at the main level of a sentence, as well as to ''sumti'' within substructures.
 +
 
 +
==== Adding a new sumti place to a bridi relationship (“modal + sumti”) ====
 +
The modal tags, or ''sumti tcita'', specify relationships such as time or location: e.g. pu ‘before', ba ‘after', ca ‘simultaneous with', vi ‘at', va ‘near', vu ‘far from'
 +
 
 +
There are many more of these, and some specialized rules for compounding them. These are discussed in the reference grammar.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''pu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le nu do [cu] tavla [vau] [kei] [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| PAST
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi tavla pu lenu do tavla
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I talk before the-act-of you talk.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk before you do.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
You must think carefully about what you mean with these constructions:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''pu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| PAST
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I talk before you.'' (I talked before you even existed.)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Modal tags proper can also be used to add new ''sumti'' places to a ''selbri'': e.g. secau (without ...), mu'i (motivational because ...), du'o (according to ...)
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''secau'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| WITHOUT
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You go without me.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Modal questions (“modal + ma”) ====
 +
These express common English questions using time, location, and modal tag words combined with ma:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ca ma''' do<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Simultaneous-with ____(what?), you talk?
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''When do you talk?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''vi ma''' do<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| At ____(what?), you talk?
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Where do you talk?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''mu'i ma''' do<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Motivationally-because ____(what?), you talk?
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Why do you talk?''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
(Lojban has other ‘because' modal tags for asking a variety of different ‘why?' questions.)
 +
 
 +
==== sumti relative phrases (“sumti pe modifier-sumti [ge'u]”) ====
 +
A ''sumti'' may be identified more exactly by attaching a '''relative phrase''', another ''sumti'', that in some way restricts the possible set of things being referred to:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le cukta [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''pe'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le vecnu [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''blari'o''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The book of the salesperson is blue-green.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
pe, the basic marker of a '''restrictive relative phrase''', is vague as to the exact nature of the relationship between the original ''sumti'' and the ''sumti'' that it is identifying. It is thus similar to the loosest English possessive, as in ''my chair/a chair of mine'', which may for instance be used for a chair that you sit in but which is owned by someone else.
 +
 
 +
Successively tighter degrees of association/possession are indicated by po ('''alienable''' possession) and po'e ('''inalienable''' possession):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le cukta [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''po'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The book of mine.'' (Even if you are holding it, it is still my book. But I also could give it to you, making it no longer my book.)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le birka [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''po'e'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The arm of mine.'' (It is intrinsically ''my'' arm; it cannot be given away, even if cut off.)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
po'u restricts a ''sumti'' by giving another ''identity'': a ''sumti'' that could equivalently replace the original:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''po'u'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le vecnu [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| John
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| who-is
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| the seller
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| goes.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''John-the-salesman goes.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
goi, used like pe, defines ko'a and other variable ''sumti'' for use throughout a text without repeating:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le melbi tavla [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''goi'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ko'a
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The beautiful talker'' (hereinafter ko'a) ''sells.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| .i ko'a ''djica'' <nowiki>lenu do klama ko'a [vau] [kei] [ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''He/she (the beautiful talker) wants the event of you going to him/her.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Lojban has words identical in grammar to pe that provide '''non-restrictive''' (incidental) information about a ''sumti''. ne is the non-restrictive (incidental) equivalent of pe.
 +
 
 +
This construct may be combined with the modal construct discussed just previously to identify a ''sumti'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ne'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''pu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| PAST
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''John, who was (incidentally) before Mark, is a beautiful-talker.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
The contrast between ne (incidental) and pe (identifying) is shown by giving the same sentence with pe:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''pe'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''pu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| PAST
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''melbi tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''(The) John who was before Mark is a beautiful-talker.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Certain modal tags, in fact, are designed primarily for use in relative phrases, rather than to attach additional ''sumti'' to the main ''bridi'' relationship as described earlier. One of these is semau (‘more than ...'):
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ne'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''semau'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| MORE THAN
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| John, (incidentally) more than Mark, talks to me.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''John talks to me more than Mark does.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ne'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''semau'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[ge'u]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| PAST
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| OF
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| John talks to me, (incidentally) more than Mark.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''John talks to me more than he does to Mark.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Without linking a semau modal ''sumti'' to another ''sumti'' with ne or pe, it is hard to understand:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ???la djan.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''semau'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| la mark.
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| MORE THAN
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| John talks to me, more than Mark. (but Mark is bound neither to John nor me, but to the talking).
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''(John's talking to me) is more than (Mark).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Comparing a talking relationship to a person is nonsense.
 +
 
 +
==== sumti relative clauses (“sumti poi sentence ku'o”) ====
 +
pe-phrases are limited to what can be expressed in a single ''sumti''. When you need to include more complete information about a ''sumti'', Lojban provides for '''relative clauses'''. A '''restrictive relative clause marker''', poi, marks a following complete ''bridi'' as information that identifies the ''sumti'' by providing a relationship that the ''sumti'' fits into.
 +
 
 +
The placeholder for the ''sumti'' being identified is ke'a, which is merely another in the set of single-word ''sumti''. ke'a is often left out if it is contextually obvious where it would go (especially when ke'a would go in the x1 position immediately after poi, or in the first available unspecified place if x1 is already filled). A relative clause is terminated with the marker ku'o, which may be omitted if no ambiguity will result. It is very rare that ku'o needs to be expressed overtly.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le ckule [ku]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The school
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''poi'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ke'a'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>[ku'o]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| REL
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| which
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| I
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| go-to
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| it
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="7"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''blari'o''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| is-blue-green
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The school I go to is blue-green.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
Note that ke'a refers to the school.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le bajra [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''poi'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''<nowiki>[ke'a]</nowiki>'''<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''tavla''<nowiki> [vau] </nowiki>'''<nowiki>[ku'o]</nowiki>'''
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| REL
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border-top:1pt solid #000001;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| cu
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le bajra poi tavla cu vecnu
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="3"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The runner who talks is a seller.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
There is also a '''non-restrictive relative clause''' marker, noi, for incidental information about a ''sumti''.
 +
 
 +
==== Tensed sumti (“le time/location/modal-tag + selbri [ku]”) ====
 +
A ''sumti'' may also have a time or location or modal tag placed in front of its description ''selbri'':
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le '''pu'''<nowiki> bajra [ku]</nowiki> cu ''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''The earlier/former/past runner talked/talks.'' (Since Lojban tense is optional, we don't know when she talked—but we do know when she ran.)
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le '''vi'''<nowiki> bajra [ku]</nowiki> cu ''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The here runner talks.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This runner talks.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Short possessive sumti (“le possessor-sumti selbri [ku]”) ====
 +
A description ''sumti'' can also have a ''sumti'' after the le but before the ''selbri'', resulting in an abbreviated form of the loose pe possessive:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| le '''ti'''<nowiki> bajra [ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The this-one's runner talked/talks.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This one's runner talks.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
This sentence is completely equivalent to:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le bajra [ku]</nowiki> pe '''ti'''<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''tavla''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The runner of this-one talked/talks.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This one's runner talks.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
A more complete structure of a '''description''' '''''sumti'''''<nowiki> is “[number] </nowiki>le<nowiki> [number] [</nowiki>''sumti''<nowiki>] [modal] </nowiki>''selbri''<nowiki> [</nowiki>ku]”.
 +
 
 +
=== Attachments to selbri ===
 +
==== Tensed or adverbial bridi relationships ====
 +
Immediately after cu and before a ''selbri'', you can have a modal. (The modal being there may make cu redundant, since modals cannot be absorbed into ''tanru'', so they cannot be conflated with the ''selbri''itself.) Such modals serve as an equivalent to English tenses and adverbs. In Lojban, tense is completely optional. If unspecified, tense is picked up from context.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''vu'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''vecnu''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| zo'e
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| YONDER
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You yonder sell something-unspecified.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>le vi tavla [ku]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''ba'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''klama''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| FUTURE
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| The here talker will go.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="5"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''This talker will go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| do
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[cu]</nowiki>
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''mu'i'''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''tavla''
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| <nowiki>[vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| &nbsp;
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:none;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"|
 +
| colspan="2"  style="border-top:none;border-bottom:1pt solid #000001;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:1pt solid #000001;padding:0in;"| MOTIVE
 +
| style="border-top:none;border-bottom:none;border-left:1pt solid #000001;border-right:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"|
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="6"  style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''You motivatedly talk to me (i.e. with a certain purpose in mind).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
=== Attachments to sentences ===
 +
A variety of constructs may occur anywhere in a sentence, operating independent of the primary grammar of the sentence. These constructs generally have minimal internal grammar. Like xu, when they are not at the beginning of a sentence, they indicate emphasis on the word or construct that they immediately follow.
 +
 
 +
==== Attitudinals ====
 +
'''Attitudinals''' include a variety of expressions conveyed in English through interjections or tone of voice. Lojban supports an enormous range of emotional expression through specific words and compounds. Indicators may be modified for intensity, or classified by the sphere that they apply to (social, mental, emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual).
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''.ie''' mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Agreement! I go.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''Yep! I'll go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| '''.ei sai''' mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama''<nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| Strong obligation! I go.
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I really should go.''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama'' '''.o'u nai ro'a''' le ckule <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I go to the school (and I am socially stressed to be going).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama'' le ckule '''.ui''' <nowiki>[ku]</nowiki><nowiki> [vau]</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| ''I go to the school (and I am happy because it is the school I'm going to).''
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
==== Discursives ====
 +
'''Discursives''' allow free expression of certain '''metalinguistic comments''' (comments about the text). Use of discursives allows clear separation of these metalinguistic features from the underlying statements and logical structure. By comparison, the English words ''but'' and ''also'', which discursively indicate contrast or added weight-of-example, are ''logically'' equivalent to ''and'' without that discursive content. The average English speaker does not think about, and may not even realize, the contrary-seeming idea that ''but'' basically means ''and''.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
{| style="border-spacing:0;"
 +
| style="border:none;padding:0in;"| mi<nowiki> [cu] </nowiki>''klama''<nowiki> [vau] .i &l