7.9. sumti and bridi questions: ma and mo

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

ma

KOhA

sumti question

mo

GOhA

bridi question

Lojban questions are more fully explained in Section 7.1, but ma and mo are listed in this chapter for completeness. The cmavo ma asks for a sumti to make the bridi true:

Example 7.63. 

doklamama
Yougo-towhat?

Where are you going?


The cmavo mo, on the other hand, asks for a selbri which makes the question bridi true. If the answer is a full bridi, then the arguments of the answer override the arguments in the question, in the same manner as the go'i-series cmavo. A simple example is:

Example 7.64. 

do mo

What predicate is true as applied to you?

How are you?

What are you doing?

What are you?


Example 7.64 is a truly pregnant question that will have several meanings depending on context.

(One thing it probably does not mean is Who are you? in the sense What is your name/identity?, which is better expressed by:

Example 7.65. 

macmenedo
What-sumtiis-the-name-ofyou?

What is your name?


or even

Example 7.66. 

doima
O[what sumti?]

which uses the vocative doi to address someone, and simultaneously asks who the someone is.)

A further example of mo:

Example 7.67. 

lomo prenucudarxido.ibarda
A[what selbri?]type-ofperson hityou? A big thing.

Which person hit you? The big one.


When ma or mo is repeated, multiple questions are being asked simultaneously:

Example 7.68. 

madjunoma
[What-sumti]knows[what-sumti]?

Who knows what?