4.9. Rules for inserting pauses

Summarized in one place, here are the rules for inserting pauses between Lojban words:

  1. Any two words may have a pause between them; it is always illegal to pause in the middle of a word, because that breaks up the word into two words.

  2. Every word ending in a consonant must be preceded and followed by pauses. Necessarily, all such words are cmevla.

  3. Every word beginning with a vowel must be preceded by a pause. Such words are either cmavo, fu'ivla, or cmevla; all gismu and lujvo begin with consonants.

  4. If the last syllable of a word bears the stress, and a brivla follows, the two must be separated by a pause, to prevent confusion with the primary stress of the brivla. In this case, the first word must be either a cmavo or a cmevla with unusual stress (which already ends with a pause, of course).

  5. A cmavo of the form Cy must be followed by a pause unless another Cy-form cmavo follows.

  6. When non-Lojban text is embedded in Lojban, it must be preceded and followed by pauses. (How to embed non-Lojban text is explained in Section 4.1.)