what does it mean?

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Place your ideas as subelements of the text in question. Should the discussion become huge, it would of course, make sense to move it to a separate page and replace it with a link. Please, do so whenever you believe appropriate. See also the complement to this page, How to say it in Lojban.

  • Words pertaining to Lojban: la lojban. po'u le lojbo lojbau
  • lo to'e me mi --Jay
    • Someone who is the opposite of me? --mi'e tsali
      • What's opposite of me, though? My evil twin? --Jay
        • Hm. Being that's its polar opposite, I think it would refer to a non-person who doesn't exist (assuming that it's said by a real person... what if it was said in a book? Imagine the philosophical ramifications.), yet is the opposite sex, gender. Basically take every aspect of the speaker and reverse it. -- mi'e riz
      • Don't mean to be snide, but the opposite of oneself is a strange concept. --anon
    • Is it the same as lo to'e du be mi?
      • Good question. It depends, I suppose, on the relationship between me and du. da zo'u xu lo du be da du lo me da --Jay
    • Likewise, da poi to'e du mi (where only the du is made opposite).
  • .i na nei
    • This very sentence, sans the na, is false. In Lojban, if you negate a sentence with na, it remains na, and doesn't reverse into ja'a. (Perhaps someone should write up a [gotchas|gotcha]] about this...) See A double negative remains negative gotcha --mi'e tsali
      • It was pointed out on the na nei page that "Sans the na, the sentence is false. Sans the na, the sentence is .i nei - referring to the WHOLE sentence, na and all!" I'm not sure I agree, but it's worth thinking about.
    • Yet self-negating sentences are inherently paradoxical, yet the brochure says that "This sentence is false" is not a paradox in lojban.
    • It says "doesn't have to be a paradox" (emphasis added). The point is that you can insert a meta-linguistic sei jitfa or just je'unai into a sentence without causing the meta-linguistic comment to apply to itself. It is the equivalent of the marginal "Wrong!" that some people write in their books.
    • Probably the jbojbe will prefer to "cartouche" this thusly: fu'eje'ucu'i na nei fu'o, which is a true statement in Lojban.
    • i ge nei gi na nei is tougher though. I can't say whether it resolves into:
      • i ganai nei ginai na nei, which is i naku ge nei gi na nei, and we have a paradox (S = not (S and not S], or
      • i ganai nei ginai nei (both negations cancel out), which is i na ge nei gi nei, or i na nei, and we have the same case as before.
  • .i ko mo
    • Do something, and tell me what it is? --Jay
    • What is it that I am commanding you to do? --mi'e tsali
    • What must you do? - .kreig.daniyl.
    • Find out what you are doing --mi'e pne
  • .i pei xu cu'e xo ma mo
    • That should start with pau to signal that a question is coming and thus avoid gardenpathing the reader.
      • I think that sentence will screw with one's mind no matter how well warned.
      • The very first word after the .i is a question word. What would the pau add to that?
      • People, the pau comment was meant as sarcasm. Of course you don't really need to warn that a question is coming when the sentence consists exclusively of question words.
    • "What's going on? Furthermore, what things have to do with what's going on, what do they have to do with it, how many of them are there, is anything in fact happening at all, and how do you feel about it?"
      • So, basically, "Give me a brain dump of current events"?
      • ... plus what you think of them! (pei)
    • This should have a fi'a in it.
  • This one's famous: ma lacpu ma xoroiku di'o lo xislu be ma mo'iru'u lo bitmu be ma
    • aka "Who dragged whom, how many times, at the wheels of what, round the walls of where?" (Anybody care to post the answers?)
      • la .axiles. la xektor. li ze le .abu jamcarce la trois.
  • based on comments from na nei discussion above: .i ga nei gi nei
    • That's simply a tautology, like "This sentence is true".
      • Not so fast. "This sentence is true" can consistently be taken to be either true or false: there is no way of telling which.
  • ru'anai de'e jinci (taken from the lojban rock lyrics.)
    • "I don't suppose what's coming is going to dissect the issue"
    • "By the way, in a little while I'm going to say some scissors."
  • xelseltervelterklama
    • x1 is a vehicle for x2 to go via x3 from x4 to x5
  • jai jai jai na'e jai je'a klesi jai cupra (from random sentence generator)
    • It was not indeed classishishishishly producingish.
  • mi'o ba cinri vo'e
    • mi'o ba cinri zo'e. The vo'e, by being self-recursive, gives you no information about the x2 of the bridi that no sumti at all wouldn't.
  • le zi'o crino
    • see Silly poems
    • zi'o removes a predicate's argument. Is anything left if you remove the last one?
    • lo zi'o crino is semantically invalid because of the viridicality of lo (there is no x1 place, so it can't refer to anything), but le zi'o crino might be meaningful in some context.
      • But there is no viridicality left, because greenness disintegrates.
    • Ah, but zi'o isn't removing any argument here. Or rather, it isn't in the place of an argument to remove it. le zi'o crino expands to le crino pe zi'o. So it's still some sort of le crino... but using zi'o as the object of pe is what's really the puzzler. A green-thing for which the concept of its being restrictively associated with anything doesn't make sense?I suppose the question's really about le crino befa zi'o or just the sentence zi'o crino and what happens when you have a bridi with no sumti (i.e., all sumti zi'od (not zo'ed) out. Erk. Actually, le broda be fa X is generally a mess, since when you have a gadri, that means that the x1 of the selbri is being used in the larger bridi. But if you supply the x1 explicitly with be fa, you're sort of doubling up on that place. Kind of like X broda Y fe Z with the x2 place doubled up. --mi'e mark
      • Excellent points. So it is lo crino be fa zi'o that is semantically invalid. The haiku uses le zilcrino, yet another case.
      • The bridi zi'o crino appears to be semantically empty, since it can make no assertion about anything. But not all the meaning of a sentence depends on its truth value. To me zi'o crino vaguely suggests the Platonic Ideal of Green, which no object could actually display zo'o.
        • It seems to me that every bridi has imaginary places past the last one, whose arguments have some relation to the bridi but it is unspecified. Without the x1 of crino, these are all that's left. zi'o crino perhaps explicitly observes the existence of things which relate to green in an unspecified way. --rab.spir
          • Cool. Then what does zi'o crino bai mi mean?
            • I cause greenishness.
            • Probably. Literally it is just mi bapli, but the real pluggandisp can be glorked from context.
              • I think it's probably more like mi crino bapli: I cause in a vaguely green-related way.
      • To me this is a concise sort of koan. We can dismiss the entire utterance as meaningless, or we can assume that it has meaning and try to ponder it, giving it a chance to break our heads wide open, like thinking about sqrt(-1). --xod
        • why is thinking about sqrt(-1) similar to a koan? --jay
          • Because you can feel the pressure build in your skull if you try to count to i. Or try to picture it at all. Taking an actual distance and labelling it in units of i is cheating; there are no negative distances. There are very good reasons imaginary numbers were rejected as nonsensical for centuries. --xod
          • > (sqrt -1)
          • EVAL: SQRT has reached nirvana: (SQRT -1)
          • You need to update your Lisp system, that's all: it should report #z(0 1)
  • dzadza
    • a thing of some type, equivalent to da - mi'e. .kreig.daniyl.
    • A thingamajig. Also daidza, rodbo'e, dzadai, bo'erdai, bo'edza.
  • rolroi
    • constantly - mi'e. .kreig.daniyl.
    • pazroi: x1 happens once in interval x2 rolroi: x1 happens every time in interval x2 pizrolroi: x1 happens constantly in interval x2
      • You mean pavroi, right? pazroi means "as many times as you have children".
  • mibdoi
    • a you who is like me. makes no sense, unless of course it is preceded by doi mi, which it would then reaffirm. - mi'e. .kreig.daniyl.
    • Those of you who are a part of, or associated with me/us - lojbab
    • You who belong to me (as a king might refer to his subjects when addressing them) - nora
    • Something like "You, my fellows..."
  • ze'e le jeftu be li ci ku mi sipna noda (Alice 5)
    • This is intended to translate "I haven't had a wink of sleep these three weeks!" What does it actually mean to put something in x2 of sipna? Not much. Prefer "mi na sipna", or get funky with ca'onai or such. I like your use of ze'e. Sort of works like "Over the foreverness that is these three weeks..." --xod
      • I think mi sipna noda works. Putting noda in a sumti place has the effect of negating the bridi. Putting it in an undefined place should still have the same effect. "I don't sleep because some metaphysical requirement for sleeping which we haven't even considered was not fulfilled."
  • djadji
    • Looks like a perfectly straightforward rendering of "hungry" to me.
    • Or "having appetite". -tsali
  • se blanu le broda - Is it even grammatical?
    • It is grammatical (heck, even blanu faxi42 le broda is grammatical, but meaningless), and it has the same meaning as le broda cu blanu. The word order would hypothetically be drawing focus to The x2 place of blanu, but since that doesn't exist, it's simply another way of phrasing le broda cu blanu for whatever reason.
  • mi to'e mo'i ru'u cadzu
    • I walk radially.
  • mi no'e mo'i ne'i cadzu
    • I walk without approaching or eloigning. I keep my distance. Pretty close to mi mo'iru'u cadzu.
  • xunai and konai
    • I'm not sure konai is grammatical. it is a pro--sumti. If it is grammatical, than how about minai? What would that mean?
      • the official parser doesn't grok konai
      • But it should grok koru'e!
        • ...so? nai and ru'e aren't in the same grammatical catagory.
    • xunai asserts that you are asserting, not questioning, the sentence.
      • I think I've seen xunai used for isn't it?, n'est-ce pas?, nicht wahr?, etc. Probably not a good idea.
  • xucaidai
    • "I bet you're really wondering if..."
      • Is the bridi still asserted to be true under this interpretation, or is it under question?
  • doi ko
    • Just like doido'u except it orders the listener to make what follows true.
    • So once you have doi ko''d, how do you revert to the previous meaning of do?
    • I think this is actually "Give me your attention", like you might say at the beginning of a speech. --Jay
      • So it commands them to be the one you are addressing? But that trick already requires that they are do, so it doesn't work.
        • No - vocatives have no truth value. It is the same as doi do except it commands the listener to make the sentence it's in true (Hey, this could work for someone feed the cat) - but if doi ko is the only thing in the sentence, it is completely devoid of meaning.
  • ibi'ibo
    • This appears to assert that something between the two bridi is true. For most pairs of bridi, such as le bakni cu se jirna .ibi'ibo mi klama le zarci, this is nonsense.
  • depybu'i
    • Is this the same as me me'o denpa bu?
    • The fact that there is a rafsi for bu is entirely insane. A lujvo will always be a brivla, never a lerfu.
  • i ro klama prenu cu sisma fa le flira
    • sisma ki'a? You're putting both {ro klama prenu} and {le flira} into x1 of {sisma}, whatever that means.
      • ro klama .e le flira cu sisma zo'e
        • That's a good guess, but I think there isn't yet a firm interpretation of what such sumti overloading means. Also, I assume "sisma" is a mistaken form of "simsa".
  • broda ka'e le za'i brode
    • broda can be in the state of brode?
    • broda when the state of brode is possible.
    • Seems like the ka'e place is the conditions for innate capability (if that even makes sense), but ka'eva'o is that also. While Lojban isn't supposed to be completely orthogonal, _ka'e_'s place seems important enough that it should have a different meaning.
      • Are you sure that ka'eva'o is grammatical?
        • jbofi'e doesn't like it, the official parser likes it just fine.
          • ka'eva'o parses as ka'eku va'o, two separate tags, not one.
  • cablamdei
    • being a lujvo, it means whatever the dictionary says it means. however, a dictionary editor who accepted that word would need to be bludgeoned.
      • No! There are acceptable readings of cabna lamji djedi, the most plausible of which is "yesterday or tomorrow -- greg.
  • a'okau
    • I think kau is not supposed to have any meaning unless attached to a question word. So how about peikau?!
      • i've seen people attaching kau to other things. some of them i can grok, but others break my mind.
    • -> indirect indicators
  • broda seba'o ko'a
    • typo? ba'o is a tense marker, so seba'o doesn't parse. Did you mean a word in BAI?
  • cazu
    • i take that to refer to some time, t within +-zu of the actual now.
    • i love time tenses
      • Okay then, how about:
  • co'uzu
    • This shouldn't really be run together. It parses as co'u ku zu. Two 'tenses' in a row: the event ends a long time from now.
  • crunchy Not a Lojban word, but I've come across it a couple of times. What does this refer to, in the context of discussing Lojban? --pne
    • non-euphonious. Used to refer to consonant clusters, most often in discussing poo'ivla
      • What's with this goofy mis-spelling of fu'ivla?
        • Some of us consider them to'e lobykai.
          • Some of you should keep your nonsense confined to one page of ranting instead of spewing it all over the wiki. And furthermore the word lobykai is redundant; look at the first place of lojbo to learn why.
            • How about using the entry poo'ivla itself? In the entry on fu'ivla, I now changed the word into a link that can now be filled by whoever uses the word. --pne.
    • A proposed definition: A crunchy consonant cluster is one that has at least three consonants, with at least one pair other than the first non-initial. Crunchy clusters occur in some type-4 fu'ivla, such as tarksako. -phma
  • ge'e zo'e do'e co'e
    • "what a damn stupid question" ; maybe a woman's answer to why do you want me to tell you I love you
  • ni'ono'i and no'ini'o

Does it have a special meaning when the selbri comes first?

In a simple clause, having the selbri at the beginning make it simply vague (much like saying "Fire!" in English, except without necessarily carrying emotional connotations).

In a poi broda (ээwhich does/is something-or-otherээ) phrase, it is likely that you'll want x1 to be ke'a and to explicitly state x2. If verb-initial ordering (also called V-initial) wasn't special, and if syntax within a poi (restrictive clause) was consistent with sentence-level syntax, then you'd have to explicitly use fe (second sumti place) or zo'e (unspecified it) or ke'a to get to the x2. For example, now we say

lo nanmu poi prami mi
The man which loves me

and the x1 of prami (love) is elided, and we can assume it is ke'a, which here equals lo nanmu (The/a man/men). Without this special treatment of V-initial, we'd have to say

lo nanmu poi ke'a prami mi
The man which loves me.


lo nanmu poi ke'a mi prami
The man which loves me.

So it saves 2 syllables in what is arguably the most common way of using poi (restrictive clause). May or may not be worth it, depending on how you value word-order flexibility vs. brevity. In general it lets you easily get to x2 in sentences without an x1.

Remember: There's always more than one way to do it in Lojban.