9.8. Other modal connections

Like many Lojban grammatical constructions, sentence modal connection has both forethought and afterthought forms. (See Chapter 9 for a more detailed discussion of Lojban connectives.) Section 9.1 exemplifies only afterthought modal connection, illustrated here by:

Example 9.44. 


Causing the mass of water to be grasped by me, I grasped the cup.

I grasp the water because I grasp the cup.

An afterthought connection is one that is signaled only by a cmavo (or a compound cmavo, in this case) between the two constructs being connected. Forethought connection uses a signal both before the first construct and between the two: the use of both and and in the first half of this sentence represents a forethought connection (though not a modal one).

To make forethought modal sentence connections in Lojban, place the modal plus gi before the first bridi, and gi between the two. No i is used within the construct. The forethought equivalent of Example 9.44 is:

Example 9.45. 


Because I grasp the cup, I grasp the water.

Note that the cause, the x1 of rinka is now placed first. To keep the two bridi in the original order of Example 9.44, we could say:

Example 9.46. 


In English, the sentence Therefore I grasp the water, I grasp the cup is ungrammatical, because therefore is not grammatically equivalent to because. In Lojban, seri'agi can be used just like ri'agi.

When the two bridi joined by a modal connection have one or more elements (selbri or sumti or both) in common, there are various condensed forms that can be used in place of full modal sentence connection with both bridi completely stated.

When the bridi are the same except for a single sumti, as in Examples 8.1 through 8.3, then a sumti modal connection may be employed:

Example 9.47. 


Example 9.47 means exactly the same as Example 9.44 through Example 9.46, but there is no idiomatic English translation that will distinguish it from them.

If the two connected bridi are different in more than one sumti, then a termset may be employed. Termsets are explained more fully in Section 9.1, but are essentially a mechanism for creating connections between multiple sumti simultaneously.

Example 9.48. 

Motivated-bythat-namedJohn gavethe-mass-ofmoneyto-me.

I gave the book to John, because John gave money to me.

means the same as:

Example 9.49. 


Here there are three sumti in each half of the termset, because the two bridi share only their selbri.

There is no modal connection between selbri as such: bridi which differ only in the selbri can be modally connected using bridi-tail modal connection. The bridi-tail construct is more fully explained in Section 9.1, but essentially it consists of a selbri with optional sumti following it. Example 9.37 is suitable for bridi-tail connection, and could be shortened to:

Example 9.50. 


Again, no straightforward English translation exists. It is even possible to shorten Example 9.50 further to:

Example 9.51. 


where le cukta is set off by the non-elidable vau and is made to belong to both bridi-tails – see Section 9.1 for more explanations.

Since this is a chapter on rearranging sumti, it is worth pointing out that Example 9.51 can be further rearranged to:

Example 9.52. 


which doesn't require the extra vau; all sumti before a conjunction of bridi-tails are shared.

Finally, mathematical operands can be modally connected.

Example 9.53. 


n = 4 because n = 2 + 2.

can be reduced to:

Example 9.54. 


n is 2 + 2, and is thus 4.

The cmavo vei and ve'o represent mathematical parentheses, and are required so that ni'igi affects more than just the immediately following operand, namely the first re. (The right parenthesis, ve'o, is an elidable terminator.) As usual, no English translation does Example 9.54 justice.

Note: Due to restrictions on the Lojban parsing algorithm, it is not possible to form modal connectives using the fi'o-plus-selbri form of modal. Only the predefined modals of selma'o BAI can be compounded as shown in Section 9.1 and Section 9.1.