9.12. Modal conversion: JAI

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:



modal conversion



modal place structure tag

So far, conversion of numbered bridi places with SE and the addition of modal places with BAI have been two entirely separate operations. However, it is possible to convert a selbri in such a way that, rather than exchanging two numbered places, a modal place is made into a numbered place. For example,

Example 9.82. 


has an explicit x1 place occupied by mi and an explicit bau place occupied by la .lojban. To exchange these two, we use a modal conversion operator consisting of jai (of selma'o JAI) followed by the modal cmavo. Thus, the modal conversion of Example 9.82 is:

Example 9.83. 

la.lojban.cujai bau cuskufaimi
That-namedLojban is-the-language-of-expressionused-byme.

In Example 9.83, the modal place la .lojban. has become the x1 place of the new selbri jai bau cusku. What has happened to the old x1 place? There is no numbered place for it to move to, so it moves to a special unnumbered place marked by the tag fai of selma'o FA.

Note: For the purposes of place numbering, fai behaves like fi'a; it does not affect the numbering of the other places around it.

Like SE conversions, JAI conversions are especially convenient in descriptions. We may refer to the language of an expression as le jai bau cusku, for example.

In addition, it is grammatical to use jai without a following modal. This usage is not related to modals, but is explained here for completeness. The effect of jai by itself is to send the x1 place, which should be an abstraction, into the fai position, and to raise one of the sumti from the abstract sub-bridi into the x1 place of the main bridi. This feature is discussed in more detail in Section 9.1. The following two examples mean the same thing:

Example 9.84. 

lenumilebnalecuktacuse krinu

My taking the book is justified by my seeing it.

Example 9.85. 

mijai se krinulenumiviskalecuktakei

I am justified in taking the book by seeing the book.

Example 9.85, with the bracketed part omitted, allows us to say that I am justified whereas in fact it is my action that is justified. This construction is vague, but useful in representing natural-language methods of expression.

Note: The uses of modals discussed in this section are applicable both to BAI modals and to fi'o-plus-selbri modals.