2.14. Vocatives and commands

You may call someone's attention to the fact that you are addressing them by using doi followed by their name. The sentence

Example 2.56. 

doi la .djan.


means Oh, John, I'm talking to you. It also has the effect of setting the value of do; do now refers to John until it is changed in some way in the conversation. Note that Example 2.56 is not a bridi, but it is a legitimate Lojban sentence nevertheless; it is known as a vocative phrase.

Other cmavo can be used instead of doi in a vocative phrase, with a different significance. For example, the cmavo coi means hello and co'o means good-bye. Either word may stand alone, they may follow one another, or either may be followed by a sumti.

Example 2.57. 

coila.djan.
Hello,that-namedJohn.

Example 2.58. 

co'ola.djan.
Good-bye,that-namedJohn.

Commands are expressed in Lojban by a simple variation of the main bridi structure. If you say

Example 2.59. 

do

tavla

You

are-talking.


you are simply making a statement of fact. In order to issue a command in Lojban, substitute the word ko for do. The bridi

Example 2.60. 

ko

tavla


instructs the listener to do whatever is necessary to make Example 2.59 true; it means Talk! Other examples:

Example 2.61. 

ko

sutra

Be fast!


The ko need not be in the x1 place, but rather can occur anywhere a sumti is allowed, leading to possible Lojban commands that are very unlike English commands:

Example 2.62. 

mi

tavla

ko

Be talked to by me.

Let me talk to you.