5.11. Conversion of simple selbri

Conversion is the process of changing a selbri so that its places appear in a different order. This is not the same as labeling the sumti with the cmavo of FA, as mentioned in Section 5.1, and then rearranging the order in which the sumti are spoken or written. Conversion transforms the selbri into a distinct, though closely related, selbri with renumbered places.

In Lojban, conversion is accomplished by placing a cmavo of selma'o SE before the selbri:

Example 5.109. 

mipramido

I love you.


is equivalent in meaning to:

Example 5.110. 

dosepramimi
You[swap x1 and x2]loveme.

You are loved by me.


Conversion is fully explained in Section 5.1. For the purposes of this chapter, the important point about conversion is that it applies only to the following simple selbri. When trying to convert a tanru, therefore, it is necessary to be careful! Consider Example 5.111:

Example 5.111. 

la.alis.cucadzuklamalezarci
That-namedAliceis-a-walkertype-of-goer-tothemarket.
That-namedAlicewalkinglygoes-tothemarket.

Alice walks to the market.


To convert this sentence so that le zarci is in the x1 place, one correct way is:

Example 5.112. 

lezarcicuse
Themarketis-a-[swap x1/x2]
Themarket
kecadzuklama[ke'e]la.alis.
(walkertype-of-goer-to)that-namedAlice.
is-walkinglygone-to-bythat-namedAlice.

The keke'e brackets cause the entire tanru to be converted by the se, which would otherwise convert only cadzu, leading to:

Example 5.113. 

lezarcicusecadzu
Themarket(is-a-[swap x1/x2]walker)
Themarketis-a-walking-surface
klamala.alis.
type-of-goer-tothat-namedAlice.
type-of-goer-tothat-namedAlice.

whatever that might mean. An alternative approach, since the place structure of cadzu klama is that of klama alone, is to convert only the latter:

Example 5.114. 

lezarcicucadzuse klamala.alis.
Themarketwalkinglyis-gone-to-bythat-namedAlice.

But the tanru in Example 5.114 may or may not have the same meaning as that in Example 5.111; in particular, because cadzu is not converted, there is a suggestion that although Alice is the goer, the market is the walker. With a different sumti as x1, this seemingly odd interpretation might make considerable sense:

Example 5.115. 

la.djan.cucadzuse klamala.alis
That-namedJohnwalkinglyis-gone-to-bythat-namedAlice

suggests that Alice is going to John, who is a moving target.

There is an alternative type of conversion, using the cmavo jai of selma'o JAI optionally followed by a modal or tense construction. Grammatically, such a combination behaves exactly like conversion using SE. More details can be found in Section 5.1.