Lojban Wave Lessons/16

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Lojban Wave Lessons: Foreword | ← Lesson 15 | Lesson 16 | Lesson 17 →

Lesson 16: Lojban sumti 3ː derived sumti

You can probably see that the sumti le bangu poi mi se bangu ke'a is a less than elegant expression for my language. This is because it's really a work around. A language which I speak can be said to fill into the x1 of the bridi bangu mi. We can't convert that to a sumti using a gadri: le bangu {ku} mi is two sumti, because bangu mi is a bridi, not a selbri. Neither can we convert it using le su'u, because the su'u gives the bridi a new x1, the abstraction, and the le then extracts that. That makes an abstraction sumti meaning something like that something is my language.

Enter be. be is a word which binds constructs (sumti, sumtcita and others) to a selbri. Using it in ordinary selbri has no effect: in mi nelci be do, the be does nothing. However, when a sumti is bound to a selbri this way, you can use a gadri on the selbri without the sumti splitting off: le bangu be mi is a correct solution to the problem above. Likewise, you can attach a sumtcita: le jinga be gau do: The one who wins because of you.

What if I want to attach several sumti to a selbri inside a gadri? The giver of the apple to you is le dunda be lo plise be do, right? Nope. The second be attaches to the apple, meaning le plise be do - The apple of the strain of you, which makes no sense. In order to string several sumti to a selbri, the all the ones following the first must be bound with bei. The binding can be terminated with be'o - one instance of be'o for each selbri which has sumti bound by be.

To list them:

be = binds sumti or sumtcita to selbri
bei = binds a second, third, fourth (ect) sumti or sumtcita to a selbri
be'o = ends binding to selbri

There is also ways to loosely associate a sumti with another. pe and ne for restrictive and non-restrictive association. Actually, le bangu pe mi is a better translation of my language, since this phrase, like the English, is vague as to how the two are associated with each other.

pe and ne are used as loose association only, like saying my chair about a chair which you sit on. It's not really yours, but has something do to with you. A more intimate connection can be established with po, which makes the association unique and binding to a person, as in my car for a car that you actually own. The last kind of associator is po'e, which makes a so-called "inalienable" bond between sumti, meaning that the bond is innate between the two sumti. Some examples could be "my mother", "my arm" or "my home country"; none of these "possesions" can be lost (even if you saw off your arm, it's still your arm), and are therefore inalienable. Almost all of the times a po'e is appropriate, though, the x2 of the selbri contains the one to which the x1 is connected, so be is better.

ne = non-restrictive relative phrase. "which is associated with..."
pe = restrictive relative phrase. "which is associated with..."
po = possesive relative phrase. "which is specific to..."
po'e = inalienable relative phrase. "which belongs to..."

A very useful construct to know is {gadri} {sumti} {selbri}. this is equivalent to {gadri} {selbri} pe {sumti}. For instance le mi gerku is equivalent to le gerku pe mi. One could have description sumti inside description sumti, saying le le se cinjikca be mi ku gerku, = le gerku pe le se cinjikca be mi =the dog of the man I'm flirting with, but that's not very easy to read (or to understand when spoken), and is often being avoided.

One need also to learn tu'a, since it will make a lot of sentences much easier. It takes a sumti and converts it to another sumti - an elliptical abstraction which has something to do with the first sumti. For example, I could say mi djica lo nu mi citka lo plise, or I could let it be up to context what abstraction about the apple I desire and just say mi djica tu'a lo plise. One always has to guess what abstraction the speaker means by tu'a SUMTI, so it should only be used when context makes it easy to guess. Another example:

gasnu = x1 does/brings about x2 (volition not implied)

za'a do gasnu tu'a lo skami - I see that you make the computer do something. Officially, tu'a SUMTI is equivalent to le su'u SUMTI co'e. Vague, but useful. There are situations where you cannot use tu'a, even though it would seem suitable. These situations are when I don't want the resulting sumti to be an abstraction, but a concrete sumti. In this case, one can use zo'e pe.

tu'a = convert sumti to vague abstraction involving the sumti. Equivalent to le su'u SUMTI co'e kei ku

Finally, one kind of sumti can be turned into another by the words of the class LAhE.

lu'a = Convert individual(s)/mass/sequence/set to individuals.
lu'i = Convert individual(s)/mass/sequence/set to a set.
lu'o = Convert individual(s)/mass/sequence/set to mass.
vu'i = Convert individual(s)/mass/sequence/set to sequence; the order is not stated.

The use of these words is straight-forwardly: Placing them before a sumti of a certain type makes a new sumti of a new type. Notice, though, that as a fourth kind of sumti, a sequence has been introduced. This is not used very often (it doesn't have its own gadri, for instance), but just included here for completion.

The last two members of LAhE do not convert between types of sumti, but allows you to speak of a a sumti by only mentioning something which references to it:

If one sumti A refers to a sumti B, for instance because sumti A is a title of a book, or a name, or a sentence (which always refer to something, at least a bridi), la'e SUMTI A refers to sumti B. For instance, mi nelci la'e di'u for I like what you just said (not mi nelci di'u which just means I like your previous sentence) or la'e le cmalu noltru for the book The Little Prince, and not some little prince himself. The cmavo lu'e does the exact reverse – lu'e SUMTI refers to an object which refers to the sumti.

la'e = "the thing referred to by" - extracts a sumti A from a sumti B which refers to A.
lu'e = "the thing referring to" - extracts a sumti B from a sumti A, when B refers to A.
Lojban Wave Lessons: Foreword | ← Lesson 15 | Lesson 16 | Lesson 17 →