BPFK Section: Grammatical Pro-sumti as of 25 Dec 2004

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Proposed Definitions

Proposed Definition of ke'a

ke'a (KOhA7)
Relativized it. ke'a is a pro-sumti (meaning it takes the place of a fully-specified sumti). ke'a is only used inside relative clauses, where it indicates the place in the relative clause's bridi that the speaker intends have apply to the sumti the relative clause is attached to. ke'a can generally be represented by the English word "it". In the case of nested relative clauses, ke'a or ke'a xi pa refers to the inner-most sumti to which the relative clause containing it is attached. ke'a xi re refers to the next outer-most relative clause attached sumti, and so on for higher numbers.

Examples of ke'a Usage

le stizu poi ke'a srana mi cu blanu

The chair which it pertains to me is blue.

My chair is blue.

sruri le botpi cnebo fa lo pelji tcita noi lei valsi li'o cu prina ke'a

All around the bottle necks where paper labels, which the words ... were printed on them.

mi troci co facki loi bitmu poi lakne fa lenu ke'a jai rinka lonu mi farlu

I'm trying to discover a wall which it is probable that it will cause me to fall.

Proposed Definition of ma

ma (KOhA7)
Sumti question. ma is a pro-sumti (meaning it takes the place of a fully-specified sumti). ma is the sumti question marker, and represents, in many cases, any of the English words what, who, where, why, when, and how. Specifically, it turns the entire bridi into a question, and requests that the listener provide a sumti as an answer. The sumti response fills the place where ma was in the original bridi and the resulting bridi is the answer offered to the question. To indicate that there is no value that could make that bridi true, use no da. A more extreme rejection of the presuppositions or implicatures involved in a question is to reply with na'i. A bridi with more than one ma can be responded to with an unconnected string of sumti.

Examples of ma Usage

le verba vi ma pu cadzu le bisli

The child near what walked on the ice?

Where on the ice did the child walk?

facki fi ba'e ma

Discovered about WHAT?

mi ma ba lifri

What will I experience?

ta'i ma do cilre la lojban

How are you learning Lojban?

mu'i ma do tavla le si'o minji prenu

Why are you talking about machine-persons?

ma fo ma mrilu

Who sent mail to who?'

do pu salci ca ma

When did you celebrate?

Proposed Definition of zi'o

zi'o (KOhA7)
Nonexistent argument place. zi'o is gramatically a pro-sumti, meaning it fills a sumti place, but unlike other pro-sumti zi'o actually removes the place it fills from the bridi it is in entirely. A bridi with zi'o in it actually represents a completely different relationship, one with one less element being related.

Examples of zi'o Usage

loi jmive cu se zbasu zi'o loi selci

Living things are made of cells.

The "maker" place of zbasu has been removed, so a maker is neither denied nor asserted.

lo pinsi be zi'o na se sarcu lo vimcu

Pencils do not require a remover.

Asserting that, regardless of how the pencil does its marking, the concept of pencil does not require there to be an eraser.

mi zbasu loi mudri zi'o

I make some wood (regardless of starting components).

Proposed Definition of zo'e

zo'e (KOhA7)
Unspecif it. zo'e is a pro-sumti (meaning it takes the place of a fully-specified sumti). It represents an elliptical or unspecified value. It has some value which is irrelevant or obvious in the current context. All empty places in Lojban are implicitely filled with zo'e, making it (by far) the most-used word in the language, in a sense. zo'e can represent just about anything. The important exceptions are no da, which is equivalent to putting na in front of the selbri of the bridi in question and hence alters the meaning completely, zi'o, which utterly changes the nature of the bridi to one which has a different place structure, and ma, which turns a statement into a question. zo'e can represent a referant of any complexity. To fully specify the thing represented by zo'e may require very complex Lojban, including abstractions, relative clauses, relative sumtcita, and combinations thereof.

Examples of zo'e Usage

Note that, technically, every single bridi without every place filled in is a usage of zo'e.

do tavla mi ta zo'e

I talk to you about something unspecified.

.e'o ko mi jungau le du'u .ei mi klama zo'e ti makau

Please, tell me how I should get there from here?

"there" is being used to gloss zo'e in this case.

ko bandu ledo skami zo'e

Defend your computer from threats!

Proposed Definition of zu'i

zu'i (KOhA7)
Typical it. zu'i is a pro-sumti (meaning it takes the place of a fully-specified sumti). zu'i represents some value that is typical for the bridi place it fills. It can represent sumti of any complexity, including abstractions, relative clauses, relative sumtcita, and combinations thereof, but whatever it represents must be typical for the bridi in question. If the bridi relationship does not actually hold for any typical thing in the place filled by zu'i, then the presence of zu'i in that place makes the bridi false. Lojban constructions that zu'i explicitely cannot match include no da, which is equivalent to putting na in front of the selbri of the bridi in question and hence alters the meaning completely, zi'o, which utterly changes the nature of the bridi to one which has a different place structure, and ma, which turns a statement into a question. None of these can be typical place fillers in any case.

Examples of zu'i Usage

mi klama le bartu be le zdani le nenri be le zdani zu'i zu'i

I go to the outside of the house from the inside of the house by the typical route and means.

We can't know what the typical route is without knowing (at least) the layout of the house, but the last zu'i probably can't be anything other than lo nu cadzu, which is "walking".

le du'u da srana de cu roroi mintu le du'u da ckini de zu'i

X pertains to Y is always identical to X is related to Y with a typical type of relationship.

This sentence is actually a meta-linguistic statement about the nature of two Lojban gismu, srana and ckini, and as such loses essentially all meaning in translation.

bliku fi na'ebo zu'i

A block with other than the typical number of sides.

Presumably the typical value is six (a cube).

Notes

  • I can't see formal definitions doing any good here. Anyone disagree?

Impact

  • None that I am aware of.

{MODULE(module=>BPFK_PollGrammatical_Pro_sumti)}BPFK Poll: Grammatical Pro-sumti{MODULE}