6.14. sumka'i summary

The Lojban sumka'i are the cmavo of selma'o KOhA. They fall into several classes: personal, definable, quantificational, reflexive, back-counting, indefinite, demonstrative, metalinguistic, relative, question. More details are given in Chapter 6; this section mostly duplicates information found there, but adds material on the implicit quantifier of each sumka'i.

The following examples illustrate each of the classes. Unless otherwise noted below, the implicit quantification for sumka'i is ro (all). In the case of sumka'i which refer to other sumti, the ro signifies all of those referred to by the other sumti: thus it is possible to restrict, but not to extend, the quantification of the other sumti.

Personal sumka'i (mi, do, mi'o, mi'a, ma'a, do'o, ko) refer to the speaker or the listener or both, with or without third parties:

Example 6.81. 

mipramido
Iloveyou.

The personal sumka'i may be interpreted in context as either representing individuals or masses, so the implicit quantifier may be pisu'o rather than ro: in particular, mi'o, mi'a, ma'a, and do'o specifically represent mass combinations of the individuals (you and I, I and others, you and I and others, you and others) that make them up.

Definable sumka'i (ko'a, ko'e, ko'i, ko'o, ko'u, fo'a, fo'e, fo'i, fo'o, fo'u) refer to whatever the speaker has explicitly made them refer to. This reference is accomplished with goi (of selma'o GOI), which means defined-as.

Example 6.82. 

lecribegoiko'acuxekri.iko'acitkalesmacu
Thebeardefined-asit-1is-black.It-1eatsthemouse.

Quantificational sumka'i (da, de, di) are used as variables in bridi involving predicate logic:

Example 6.83. 

rodapoiprenu
Allsomethings-1whichare-persons
cupramipadepoifinpe
loveonesomething-2whichis-a-fish.

All persons love a fish (each his/her own).


(This is not the same as All persons love a certain fish; the difference between the two is one of quantifier order.) The implicit quantification rules for quantificational sumka'i are particular to them, and are discussed in detail in Chapter 6. Roughly speaking, the quantifier is su'o (at least one) when the sumka'i is first used, and ro (all) thereafter.

Reflexive sumka'i (vo'a, vo'e, vo'i, vo'o, vo'u) refer to the same referents as sumti filling places in the top level bridi of the sentence, with the effect that the same thing is referred to twice:

Example 6.84. 

lecribecubatcivo'a
Thebearbiteswhat-is-in-the-x1-place.

The bear bites itself.


Back-counting sumka'i (ri, ra, ru) refer to the referents of previous sumti counted backwards from the sumka'i:

Example 6.85. 

miklamala.frankfurt.ri
Igo-tothat-namedFrankfurtfrom-the-referent-of-the-last-sumti

I go from Frankfurt to Frankfurt (by some unstated route).


Indefinite sumka'i (zo'e, zu'i, zi'o) refer to something which is unspecified:

Example 6.86. 

miklamala.frankfurt.
Igo-tothat-namedFrankfurt
zo'ezo'ezo'e
from-unspecifiedvia-unspecifiedby-means-unspecified.

The implicit quantifier for indefinite sumka'i is, well, indefinite. It might be ro (all) or su'o (at least one) or conceivably even no (none), though no would require a very odd context indeed.

Demonstrative sumka'i (ti, ta, tu) refer to things pointed at by the speaker, or when pointing is not possible, to things near or far from the speaker:

Example 6.87. 

komuvgau
You [imperative]move
titatu
this-thingfrom-that-nearby-placeto-that-further-away-place.

Move this from there to over there!


Metalinguistic sumka'i (di'u, de'u, da'u, di'e, de'e, da'e, dei, do'i) refer to spoken or written utterances, either preceding, following, or the same as the current utterance.

Example 6.88. 

liresu'iredulivo
The-numbertwoplustwoequalsthe-numberfour.
.ila'edi'ujetnu
The-referent-ofthe-previous-utteranceis-true.

The implicit quantifier for metalinguistic sumka'i is su'o (at least one), because they are considered analogous to lo descriptions: they refer to things which really are previous, current, or following utterances.

The relative sumka'i (ke'a) is used within relative clauses (see Chapter 6 for a discussion of relative clauses) to refer to whatever sumti the relative clause is attached to.

Example 6.89. 

miviskalemlatukupoizo'e
Iseethecat(s)such-thatsomething-unspecified
zbasuke'aloislasi
makesit/them-(the-cats)from-a-mass-ofplastic.

I see the cat(s) made of plastic.


The question sumka'i (ma) is used to ask questions which request the listener to supply a sumti which will make the question into a truth:

Example 6.90. 

doklamama
Yougo-towhat-sumti?

Where are you going?


The implicit quantifier for the question sumka'i is su'o (at least one), because the listener is only being asked to supply a single answer, not all correct answers.

In addition, sequences of lerfu words (of selma'o BY and related selma'o) can also be used as definable sumka'i.