6.11. sumti qualifiers

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

la'e

LAhE

something referred to by

lu'e

LAhE

a reference to

tu'a

LAhE

an abstraction involving

lu'a

LAhE

an individual/member/component of

lu'i

LAhE

a set formed from

lu'o

LAhE

a mass formed from

vu'i

LAhE

a sequence formed from

na'ebo

NAhE+BO

something other than

to'ebo

NAhE+BO

the opposite of

no'ebo

NAhE+BO

the neutral form of

je'abo

NAhE+BO

that which indeed is

lu'u

LUhU

elidable terminator for LAhE and NAhE+BO

Well, that's quite a list of cmavo. What are they all about?

The above cmavo and compound cmavo are called the sumti qualifiers. All of them are either single cmavo of selma'o LAhE, or else compound cmavo involving a scalar negation cmavo of selma'o NAhE immediately followed by bo of selma'o BO. Syntactically, you can prefix a sumti qualifier to any sumti and produce another simple sumti. (You may need to add the elidable terminator lu'u to show where the qualified sumti ends.)

Semantically, sumti qualifiers represent short forms of certain common special cases. Suppose you want to say I see 'The Red Pony', where The Red Pony is the title of a book. How about:

Example 6.52. 

miviskalulexunrecmaxirmali'u
Isee[quote]theredsmall-horse[unquote].

But Example 6.52 doesn't work: it says that you see a piece of text The Red Pony. That might be all right if you were looking at the cover of the book, where the words The Red Pony are presumably written. (More precisely, where the words le xunre cmaxirma are written – but we may suppose the book has been translated into Lojban.)

What you really want to say is:

Example 6.53. 

miviskaleselsinxa
Iseethething-represented-by
belulexunrecmaxirmali'u
[quote]theredsmall-horse[unquote].

The x2 place of selsinxa (the x1 place of sinxa) is a sign or symbol, and the x1 place of selsinxa (the x2 place of sinxa) is the thing represented by the sign. Example 6.53 allows us to use a symbol (namely the title of a book) to represent the thing it is a symbol of (namely the book itself).

This operation turns out to be needed often enough that it's useful to be able to say:

Example 6.54. 

miviskala'elulexunrecmaxirmali'u[lu'u]
Iseethe-referent-of[quote]theredsmall-horse[unquote]-.

So when la'e is prefixed to a sumti referring to a symbol, it produces a sumti referring to the referent of that symbol. (In computer jargon, la'e dereferences a pointer.)

By introducing a sumti qualifier, we correct a false sentence (Example 6.52), which too closely resembles its literal English equivalent, into a true sentence (Example 6.54), without having to change it overmuch; in particular, the structure remains the same. Most of the uses of sumti qualifiers are of this general kind.

The sumti qualifier lu'e provides the converse operation: it can be prefixed to a sumti referring to some thing to produce a sumti referring to a sign or symbol for the thing. For example,

Example 6.55. 

mipucuskulu'elevicukta
I[past]expressa-symbol-forthenearbybook.

I said the title of this book.


The equivalent form not using a sumti qualifier would be:

Example 6.56. 

mipucuskulesinxabelevicukta
I[past]expressthesymbol-forthenearbybook.

which is equivalent to Example 6.55, but longer.

The other sumti qualifiers follow the same rules. The cmavo tu'a is used in forming abstractions, and is explained more fully in Section 6.1. The triplet lu'a, lu'i, and lu'o convert between individuals, sets, and masses; vu'i belongs to this group as well, but creates a sequence, which is similar to a set but has a definite order. (The set of John and Charles is the same as the set of Charles and John, but the sequences are different.) Here are some examples:

Example 6.57. 

mitrocitu'alevorme
Itrysome-abstraction-aboutthedoor.

I try (to open) the door.


Example 6.57 might mean that I try to do something else involving the door; the form is deliberately vague.

Most of the following examples make use of the cmavo ri, belonging to selma'o KOhA. This cmavo means the thing last mentioned; it is equivalent to repeating the immediately previous sumti (but in its original context). It is explained in more detail in Section 6.1.

Example 6.58. 

lo'iratcucubarda
The-set-ofratsis-large.
.iku'ilu'aricmalu
Butsome-members-ofit-last-mentionedare-small.

The set of rats is large, but some of its members are small.


Example 6.59. 

loratcucucmalu.iku'ilu'iribarda
Someratsare-small.Butthe-set-ofthem-last-mentionedis-large.

Some rats are small, but the set of rats is large.


Example 6.60. 

micedogirzu
Iin-a-set-withyouare-a-set.
.ilu'origunma
The-mass-ofit-last-mentionedis-a-mass.
.ivu'iriporsi
The-sequence-ofit-last-mentionedis-a-sequence

The set of you and me is a set. The mass of you and me is a mass. The sequence of you and me is a sequence.


(Yes, I know these examples are a bit silly. This set was introduced for completeness, and practical examples are as yet hard to come by.)

Finally, the four sumti qualifiers formed from a cmavo of NAhE and bo are all concerned with negation, which is discussed in detail in Chapter 6. Here are a few examples of negation sumti qualifiers:

Example 6.61. 

miviskana'ebolegerku
Iseesomething-other-thanthedog.


This compound, na'ebo, is the most common of the four negation sumti qualifiers. The others usually only make sense in the context of repeating, with modifications, something already referred to:

Example 6.62. 

minelciloiglarecidja
Ilikepart-of-the-mass-ofhot-type-offood.
.ijedonelcito'ebori
Andyoulikethe-opposite-ofthe-last-mentioned.
.ijela.djein.cunelcino'ebora
Andthat-namedJanelikesthe-neutral-value-ofsomething-mentioned.

I like hot food, and you like cold food, and Jane likes lukewarm food.


(In Example 6.62, the sumti ra refers to some previously mentioned sumti other than that referred to by ri. We cannot use ri here, because it would signify la .djein., that being the most recent sumti available to ri. See more detailed explanations in Section 6.1.)