12.14. Anomalous lujvo

Some lujvo that have been coined and actually employed in Lojban writing do not follow the guidelines expressed above, either because the places that are equivalent in the seltau and the tertau are in an unusual position, or because the seltau and tertau are related in a complex way, or both. An example of the first kind is jdaselsku, meaning prayer, which was mentioned in Section 12.1. The gismu places are:

Example 12.75. 

lijda: l1 is a religion with believers l2 and beliefs l3

cusku: c1 expresses text c2 to audience c3 in medium c4


and selsku, the tertau of jdaselsku, has the place structure

Example 12.76. 

s1 is a text expressed by s2 to audience s3 in medium s4


Now it is easy to see that the l2 and s2 places are equivalent: the believer in the religion (l2) is the one who expresses the prayer (s2). This is not one of the cases for which a place ordering rule has been given in Section 12.1 or Section 12.1; therefore, for lack of a better rule, we put the tertau places first and the remaining seltau places after them, leading to the place structure:

Example 12.77. 

s1 is a prayer expressed by s2=l2 to audience s3 in medium s4 pertaining to religion l1


The l3 place (the beliefs of the religion) is dependent on the l1 place (the religion) and so is omitted.

We could make this lujvo less messy by replacing it with se seljdasku, where seljdasku is a normal symmetrical lujvo with place structure:

Example 12.78. 

c1=l2 religiously expresses prayer c2 to audience c3 in medium s4 pertaining to religion l1


which, according to the rule expressed in Section 12.1, can be further expressed as selseljdasku. However, there is no need for the ugly selsel- prefix just to get the rules right: jdaselsku is a reasonable, if anomalous, lujvo.

However, there is a further problem with jdaselsku, not resolvable by using seljdasku. No veljvo involving just the two gismu lijda and cusku can fully express the relationship implicit in prayer. A prayer is not just anything said by the adherents of a religion; nor is it even anything said by them acting as adherents of that religion. Rather, it is what they say under the authority of that religion, or using the religion as a medium, or following the rules associated with the religion, or something of the kind. So the veljvo is somewhat elliptical.

As a result, both seljdasku and jdaselsku belong to the second class of anomalous lujvo: the veljvo doesn't really supply all that the lujvo requires.

Another example of this kind of anomalous lujvo, drawn from the tanru lists in Section 12.1, is lange'u, meaning sheepdog. Clearly a sheepdog is not a dog which is a sheep (the symmetrical interpretation is wrong), nor a dog of the sheep breed (the asymmetrical interpretation is wrong). Indeed, there is simply no overlap in the places of lanme and gerku at all. Rather, the lujvo refers to a dog which controls sheep flocks, a terlanme jitro gerku, the lujvo from which is terlantroge'u with place structure:

Example 12.79. 

g1=j1 is a dog that controls sheep flock l3=j2 made up of sheep l1 in activity j3 of dog breed g2


based on the gismu place structures

Example 12.80. 

lanme: l1 is a sheep of breed l2 belonging to flock l3

gerku: g1 is a dog of breed g2

jitro: j1 controls j2 in activity j3


Note that this lujvo is symmetrical between lantro (sheep-controller) and gerku, but lantro is itself an asymmetrical lujvo. The l2 place, the breed of sheep, is removed as dependent on l1. However, the lujvo lange'u is both shorter than terlantroge'u and sufficiently clear to warrant its use: its place structure, however, should be the same as that of the longer lujvo, for which lange'u can be understood as an abbreviation.

Another example is xanmi'e, to command by hand, to beckon. The component place structures are:

Example 12.81. 

xance: xa1 is the hand of xa2

minde: m1 gives commands to m2 to cause m3 to happen


The relation between the seltau and tertau is close enough for there to be an overlap: xa2 (the person with the hand) is the same as m1 (the one who commands). But interpreting xanmi'e as a symmetrical lujvo with an elided sel- in the seltau, as if from se xance minde, misses the point: the real relation expressed by the lujvo is not just one who commands and has a hand, but to command using the hand. The concept of using suggests the gismu pilno, with place structure

Example 12.82. 

p1 uses tool p2 for purpose p3


Some possible three-part veljvo are (depending on how strictly you want to constrain the veljvo)

Example 12.83. 

[ke]xancepilno[ke'e] minde
(handuser)type-ofcommander

Example 12.84. 

[ke]mindexance[ke'e] pilno
(commanderhand)type-ofuser

or even

Example 12.85. 

minde kexancepilno[ke'e]
commandertype-of(handuser)

which lead to the three different lujvo xanplimi'e, mi'erxanpli, and minkemxanpli respectively.

Does this make xanmi'e wrong? By no means. But it does mean that there is a latent component to the meaning of xanmi'e, the gismu pilno, which is not explicit in the veljvo. And it also means that, for a place structure derivation that actually makes sense, rather than being ad-hoc, the Lojbanist should probably go through a derivation for xancypliminde or one of the other possibilities that is analogous to the analysis of terlantroge'u above, even if he or she decides to stick with a shorter, more convenient form like xanmi'e. In addition, of course, the possibilities of elliptical lujvo increase their potential ambiguity enormously – an unavoidable fact which should be borne in mind.