19.11. Contrastive emphasis: BAhE

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:



emphasize next word



next word is nonce

English often uses strong stress on a word to single it out for contrastive emphasis, thus

Example 19.59. 

I saw George.

is quite different from

Example 19.60. 

I saw George.

The heavy stress on George (represented in writing by italics) indicates that I saw George rather than someone else. Lojban does not use stress in this way: stress is used only to help separate words (because every brivla is stressed on the penultimate syllable) and in names to match other languages' stress patterns. Note that many other languages do not use stress in this way either; typically word order is rearranged, producing something like

Example 19.61. 

It was George whom I saw.

In Lojban, the cmavo ba'e (of selma'o BAhE) precedes a single word which is to be emphasized:

Example 19.62. 

Isawan[emphasis]old one.

I saw an old one.

ba'e before a cmavo that starts a construct serves to emphasize the whole construct:

Example 19.63. 


This one's a flying teacher.

Marking a word with a cmavo of BAhE does not change the word's grammar in any way. Any word in a bridi can receive contrastive emphasis marking:

Example 19.64. 

ba'e mi viska la .djordj.

I, no one else, saw George.

Example 19.65. 

mi ba'e viska la .djordj.

I saw (not heard or smelled) George.

Emphasis on one of the structural components of a Lojban bridi can also be achieved by rearranging it into an order that is not the speaker's or writer's usual order. Any sumti moved out of place, or the selbri when moved out of place, is emphatic to some degree.

For completeness, the cmavo za'e should be mentioned, also of selma'o BAhE. It marks a word as possibly irregular, non-standard, or nonce (created for the occasion):

Example 19.66. 


marks a Lojbanization of an English name, where a more appropriate standard form might be something like la .ckipyris., reflecting the country's name in Albanian.

Before a lujvo or fu'ivla, za'e indicates that the word has been made up on the spot and may be used in a sense that is not found in the unabridged dictionary (when we have an unabridged dictionary!).