Last modified on 13 July 2009, at 14:32

Lojban/Pro-sumti

Pro-sumti are words that describe other sumti without specifically mentioning them- kind of like "he" or "this" in English. Unlike English, Lojban has sumti with only one possible interpretation ("he" does not: There are Bill and Charlie. He hit him. (Who hit whom?)').

VocabularyEdit

ri                   the last sumti, as determined by back-counting rules
              la suzyn. bajra .i ri klama la xustyn.
                             Susan runs.  She (Susan) is going to Houston
              la suzyn. rinsa la bret. .i ri melnau
                             Susan greets Bret.  He (Bret) is handsome (literally "beauty-type-man")  
ra                   a recent sumti before the last one, as determined by back-counting rules
              Usually is used as "Susan" in: la suzyn. rinsa la bret. .i ri melnau ra
                             Susan greets Bret.  He (Bret) is handsome to her (Susan).
              However, it is not required to be used in the just previous example
                             (it could refer to a sumti even before Susan)
ru            a remote past sumti, before all other in-use backcounting sumti
              Used as "ra" is to "ri"
goi                  assigns the just following pro-sumti to the just previous sumti/tanru
              assigns a pro-sumti of selma'o KOhA4 (such as: ko'a, ko'e, fo'a, fo'e, etc.)
ge'u          terminates [goi] pro-sumti assigning action (almost always elidable)
da'o                 cancels all pro-sumti assignment
da                   someone/something (unspecified but important) 1
              there exists something 1 (usually restricted)
de                   someone/something (unspecified but important) 2
              there exists something 2 (usually restricted)
di                   someone/something (unspecified but important) 3
              there exists something 3 (usually restricted)
do'i                 elliptical/unspecified utterance variable
do                   you/that to which/whom is receiving the information
do'o                 you and others/y'all/you guys
ko                   imperative you (Run! = ko bajra)
ko'a                 he/she/it/they #01 (specified by goi), gender neutral
ko'e                 he/she/it/they #02 (specified by goi), gender neutral
ko'i                 he/she/it/they #03 (specified by goi), gender neutral
ko'o                 he/she/it/they #04 (specified by goi), gender neutral
ko'u                 he/she/it/they #05 (specified by goi), gender neutral
fo'a                 he/she/it/they #06 (specified by goi), gender neutral
fo'e                 he/she/it/they #07 (specified by goi), gender neutral
fo'i                 he/she/it/they #08 (specified by goi), gender neutral
fo'o                 he/she/it/they #09 (specified by goi), gender neutral
fo'u                 he/she/it/they #10 (specified by goi), gender neutral
le go'i              the x1 of just previous bridi
le se go'i           the x2 of just previous bridi
le te go'i           the x3 of just previous bridi
le ve go'i           the x4 of just previous bridi
le xe go'i           the x5 of just previous bridi
ma                   question sumti; what is the value of this sumti slot?
              note: It does not have to literally be a number (ma klama = who/what is going?)
mi                   self-identifying pro-sumti; I
              may also be used to describe that which the user is representing 
              or for whom, the dictating person/group, one is writing: ("We the People") 
ma'a                 we; I, others, and you (includes you and others)
mi'a                 we; I and others, but not you (does not include you)
mi'o                 we; I and you, but no one else (does not include others)
ti                   this; immediate demonstrative
ta                   that; nearby demonstrative
tu                   that over there; distant
vo'a                 repeats 1st place of main bridi of this sentence
vo'e                 repeats 2nd place of main bridi of this sentence
vo'i                 repeats 3rd place of main bridi of this sentence
vo'o                 repeats 4th place of main bridi of this sentence
vo'u                 repeats 5th place of main bridi of this sentence
zi'o                 fills a sumti place, deleting it from selbri place structure
              changes selbri semantics
              nonexistant "it"
zo'e                 an elliptical/unspecified value; has some value which makes bridi true
              used to say "something unspecified and unimportant"
              equivalent to "co'e", but for sumti (instead of selbri)
zu'i                 the typical sumti value for this place in this relationship
              affects truth value
              typical "it"

Additional Notes and/or ExamplesEdit

  • After any occurrence of a cmavo belonging to selma'o KOhA4 (ko'a, fo'a, etc.) "cu" is not necessary, unless if the utternace is complex.
  • The "counting-back rule" used for "ri", "ra", "ru" does not include selma'o KOhA4.
    • "la suzyn. goi ko'a zgani lo nanmu .i ko'a se melbi ri" = Susan sees that which is really a man (the man). He (the man/lo nanmu) is beautiful to Susan.
  • "ra" can be used in place of "ri" (meaning that they both can refer to the immediately preceding predicate argument), unless if "ri" is already in use for the intended anaphora:
    • [lo smuci .i lo forca .i la djen. pu pilno ri .i la rik. pilno ra] = There exist at least of spoon. There exist at least on fork. Jen used (the-immediately-preceding-sumti = a fork). Rick uses (somewhat-distant-sumti = a spoon).
      • If "ri" did not occur, but was replaced by "ra" - [lo smuci .i lo forca .i la djen. pu pilno ra] - "ra" could refer to "a fork".
    • This rule also applies to "ra" and "ru", respectively, as well.
  • [goi] need not always assign a pro-sumti from the KOhA4 series
    • [lo tricu goi .ytoi (cu) melbi mi .i .ytoi banro] = The tree is good-looking to me. The tree is growing.
      • In the immediately previous example, any occurrence of [.ytoi] refers to [lo tricu] specifically, not any [[tricu], nor anything else.
    • [ko'e goi la samantas. (ge'u) (cu) melbi] = Party2, henceforth known as "Samantha", is beautiful.
      • The immediately previous utterance is equivalent to [la samantas. goi ko'e (ge'u) (cu) melbi] (which is, in English "Samantha, henceforth known as "Party2 is beautiful"), therefore [goi] is symmetric.
      • This sentence does not imply that the name of [ko'e] is "Samantha", nor is [ko'e] normally called "Samantha". It merely states that "Samantha" is a term, almost chosen at random, that will be used to identify [ko'e] for that writing.
  • [ge'u] differs from [da'o]: [ge'u] just terminates the action of assignment; while [da'o] terminates the pro-sumti meaning what it previously meant.
      • [la nevil. goi ko'i ge'u (cu) dunku le du'u rirni jai fenki] = Neville, henceforth known as "[ko'i]", is anguished by the notion of his parent's being crazy
Not: Neville, henceforth known as "[ko'i (cu) dunku le du'u rirni jai fenki]"
      • [la nevil. da'o cu virnu] = Neville, no longer dubbed "[ko'i]", is brave
  • The precise definition of [le go'i], and (by extension) any of its relatives, is "that which is described as doing the previous bridi".
    • [le xekri mlatu cu klama le zarci .i le go'i cu cadzu le bisli] = The black cat goes to the store. The cat (that is black and goes to the store) walks on the ice.

Pro-sumti as RafsiEdit

  • The most prominent way of using pro-sumti as rafsi is to use them is as internal sumti, filling in an appropriate place of the gismu or lujvo to which they are attached
    • as such, they usually stand as the first rafsi in their lujvo.
    • [donta'a] ([do] = you; [tavla] = talk) = [tavla be do]
      • x1=tavla1 talks to you about subject x2=tavla3 in language x3=tavla4
        • since tavla2 (the addressee) is already known to be [do] (you).
    • [donma'o] ([do] = you; [cmavo] = structure word) = [cmavo be zo do]
      • x1=cmavo1 is a second person pronoun in language x2=cmavo4
        • Since both the cmavo2 place (the grammatical class) and the cmavo3 place (the meaning) are obvious from the context [do].
  • cmavo of series KOhA4 ([ko'a], [ko'e], [ko'i]...) terjvo (predicate arguments that make up a lujvo) which can't be expressed in a convenient rafsi form, because they are too long to express, or are formally inconvenient (fu'ivla, cmene, and so forth.)
    • [fo'a goi le kulnrsu,omi .i lo fo'arselsanga] = x6 stands for Finnish-culture. An x6-song
  • Lujvo involving [zi'o] are also possible. In brief, the convention is to use the rafsi for [zi'o] as a prefix immediately followed by the rafsi for the number of the place to be deleted.
    • Consider a beverage (something drunk without considering who, if anyone, drinks it) as a [se pinxe be zi'o] the lujvo corresponding to this is [zilrelselpinxe] (deleting the second place of [se pinxe]). Deleting the x1 place in this fashion would move all remaining places up by one.
      • [zilpavypinxe] = [zilrelselpinxe]
      • [lo zilpavypinxe] = [lo zilrelselpinxe] refers to a beverage, and not to a non-existent drinker.
  • The pro-bridi [co'e'], [du], and [bu'a] also have rafsi, which can be used just as if they were gismu.
    • The resulting lujvo have (except for [du]-based lujvo) highly context-dependent meanings.