8.8. Relative clauses in vocative phrases

Vocative phrases are explained in more detail in Section 8.1. Briefly, they are a method of indicating who a sentence or discourse is addressed to: of identifying the intended listener. They take three general forms, all beginning with cmavo from selma'o COI or DOI (called vocative words; there can be one or many), followed by either a cmevla, a selbri, or a sumti. Here are three examples:

Example 8.71. 

coi. frank.

Hello, Frank.

Example 8.72. 

co'o xirma

Goodbye, horse.

Example 8.73. 

fi'i la .frank. e la .djordj.

Welcome, Frank and George!

Note that COI or DOI followed by a selbri, as in Example 8.72, is an abbreviation of COI/DOI followed by le plus the selbri – co'o le xirma – while Example 8.71 is an abbreviation of:

Example 8.74. 


Syntactically, vocative phrases are a kind of free modifier, and can appear in many places in Lojban text, generally at the beginning or end of some complete construct; or, as in Example 8.71 to Example 8.73, as sentences by themselves.

As can be seen, the form of vocative phrases is similar to that of sumti, and as you might expect, vocative phrases allow relative clauses in various places. In vocative phrases containing cmevla or selbri, relative clauses can occur both after the COI or DOI cmavo and before the terminating do'u, both forms having identical meaning.

Example 8.75. 

coi.frank.poixunrese bende

Hello, Frank from the Red Team!

The restrictive relative clause in Example 8.75 suggests that there is some other Frank (perhaps on the Green Team) from whom this Frank, the one the speaker is greeting, must be distinguished.

Example 8.76. 


Goodbye, horse where I am!

Example 8.77. 


Example 8.76 and Example 8.77 mean the same thing. In fact, relative clauses can appear in both places.