6.1. The five kinds of simple sumti

If you understand anything about Lojban, you know what a sumti is by now, right? An argument, one of those things that fills the places of simple Lojban sentences like:

Example 6.1. 


In Example 6.1, mi and lo zarci are the sumti. It is easy to see that these two sumti are not of the same kind: mi is a sumka'i (the Lojban analogue of a pronoun) referring to the speaker, whereas lo zarci is a description which refers to something described as being a market.

There are five kinds of simple sumti provided by Lojban:

  1. descriptions like lo zarci, which usually begin with a descriptor (called a gadri in Lojban) such as lo;

  2. sumka'i, such as mi;

  3. quotations, which begin with lu, lo'u, zo, or zoi;

  4. pure numbers, which usually begin with li.

Here are a few examples of each kind of sumti:

Example 6.2. 

[request][!]You [imperative]supportthat-namedLojban.

Please, support Lojban!

Example 6.2 exhibits ko, a sumka'i; and la .lojban., a description referring to a named entity.

Example 6.3. 

micuskulu.e'osaili'u lotcidu

I express Please! to the reader.

Example 6.3 exhibits mi, a sumka'i; lu .e'o sai li'u, a quotation; and lo tcidu, a description.

Example 6.4. 


This is three meters long.

Example 6.4 exhibits ti, a sumka'i; and li ci, a number.

Most of this chapter is about descriptions, as they have the most complicated syntax and usage. sumka'i, numbers, and quotations are described in more detail in Chapter 6, Chapter 6, and Chapter 6 respectively, so this chapter only gives summaries of their forms and uses. See Section 6.1 through Section 6.1 for these summaries.