5.10. selbri based on sumti: me

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

me

ME

changes sumti to simple selbri

me'u

MEhU

terminator for me

A sumti can be made into a simple selbri by preceding it with me (of selma'o ME) and following it with the elidable terminator me'u (of selma'o MEhU). This makes a selbri with the place structure

x1 is one of the referents of [the sumti]

which is true of the thing, or things, that are the referents of the sumti, and not of anything else. For example, consider the sumti

Example 5.98. 

lecinolraitru
thethreenoblest-governors

the three kings


If these are understood to be the Three Kings of Christian tradition, who arrive every year on January 6, then we may say:

Example 5.99. 

la.BALtazar.cumele ci nolraitru
That-namedBalthazaris-one-of-the-referents-ofthe three kings.

Balthazar is one of the three kings.


and likewise

Example 5.100. 

la.kaspar.cumelecinolraitru

Caspar is one of the three kings.


and

Example 5.101. 

la.melxiior.cumelecinolraitru

Melchior is one of the three kings.


If the sumti refers to a single object, then the effect of me is much like that of du:

Example 5.102. 

dodula.djan.
Youare-identical-withthat-namedJohn.

You are John.


means the same as

Example 5.103. 

domela .djan.
Youare-the-referent-ofthat-named John.

You are John.


It is common to use me selbri, especially those based on cmevla sumti using la, as seltau. For example:

Example 5.104. 

tamelai .kraislr.[me'u]karce
That(is-a-referent-ofthe-mass-named Chrysler)car.

That is a Chrysler car.


The elidable terminator me'u can usually be omitted. It is absolutely required only if the me selbri is being used in an indefinite description (a type of sumti explained in Section 5.1), and if the indefinite description is followed by a relative clause (explained in Chapter 5) or a sumti logical connective (explained in Section 5.1). Without a me'u, the relative clause or logical connective would appear to belong to the sumti embedded in the me expression. Here is a contrasting pair of sentences:

Example 5.105. 

remelecinolraitru.ela.djan.[me'u]cublabi

Two of the group the three kings and John are white.


Example 5.106. 

remelecinolraitrume'u.ela.djan.cublabi

Two of the three kings, and John, are white.


In Example 5.105 the me selbri covers the three kings plus John, and the indefinite description picks out two of them that are said to be white: we cannot say which two. In Example 5.106, though, the me selbri covers only the three kings: two of them are said to be white, and so is John.

Finally, here is another example requiring me'u:

Example 5.107. 

tame la'e le se cusku be dome'ucukta
Thatis-a-(what-you-said)type-ofbook.

That is the kind of book you were talking about.


There are other sentences where either me'u or some other elidable terminator must be expressed:

Example 5.108. 

leme le ci nolraitru[ku]me'ununsalci
the(the three kings)type-of-event-of-celebrating

the Three Kings celebration


requires either ku or me'u to be explicit, and (as with be'o in Section 5.1) the me'u leaves no doubt which cmavo it is paired with.