In a previous lesson, we saw how to associate "name" and "I", forming "my name", using be: lo cmene be mi. But this only works because the x2 of cmene is the person who goes by that name. Similarly for "my language", or lo bangu be mi, where the x2 of bangu is the language user.
But what about other kinds of associations? How would you say "my cat"? Certainly not lo mlatu be mi, because that would mean "the cat of the species I/me", which does not make sense.
It turns out that Lojban has other words for association, which do not rely on the sumti places. Here are the definitions:
ne non-restrictive relative phrase. "which is associated with..."
pe restrictive relative phrase. "which is associated with..."
po possessive relative phrase. "which is specific to..."
po'e inalienable relative phrase. "which belongs to..."
Wow, so many words! What's the difference between them?
Consider the first two, ne and pe. Both indicate loose association only, like saying "my chair" about a chair which you sit on. It's not really yours, but has something do to with you. A more intimate connection can be established with po, which makes the association unique and binding to a person, as in my car for a car that you actually own. The last kind of associator is po'e, which makes a so-called "inalienable" bond between sumti, meaning that the bond is innate between the two sumti. Some examples could be "my mother", "my arm" or "my home country"; none of these "possessions" can be lost (even if you saw off your arm, it's still your arm), and are therefore inalienable. Almost all of the times a po'e is appropriate, though, the x2 of the selbri contains the one to which the x1 is connected, so be is better. As a result, po'e does not see much use.
Finally, the difference between ne and pe is that ne indicates non-restrictive association, while pe indicates restrictive association. This perfectly mirrors the distinction between noi and poi, which we studied in a previous lesson.
Let's see a few examples:
|lo gerku ne mi cu melbi||The dog, which I am associated with, is beautiful. – My dog is beautiful.|
|lo gerku pe mi cu melbi||The dog that I am associated with is beautiful. – My dog is beautiful.|
|lo gerku po mi cu melbi||The dog that is mine is beautiful. – My dog is beautiful.|
Note that the colloquial translations of these three sentences, "my dog is beautiful", is the same in English (granted, the first two could be a bit misleading in the absense of further context). The first two sentences could be used whether you actually own the dog or were just taking it for a walk. The third sentence more precisely conveys that the dog is strongly associated with you; perhaps you own it.
Note that po does not literally imply ownership, but merely some kind of association which is stronger than pe. It is just a matter of degree, and everything is relative. As always, context is key.
Finally, there is a more concise way of writing some relative phrases. Instead of lo SELBRI pe SUMTI, one may instead write lo SUMTI SELBRI. For example, lo gerku pe mi becomes lo mi gerku. Similarly lo gerku pe lo prenu becomes lo lo prenu ku gerku, meaning "the dog of the person". This second example is a bit difficult to read, so it is generally avoided. But when the sumti is simple, such as "mi", the alternative structure is often used.
As usual, before proceeding to the next lesson, get some practice with interactive exercises – look for the "Practice" button nearby!
Beware that exercises loop indefinitely, so feel free to stop once you feel you've had enough. And be sure to revisit exercises on different days, to benefit from the spacing effect.
- Relative phrases: ne, pe, po, po'e
- Also teach "lo mi gerku"
- New exercises
dunda x1 [donor] gives/donates gift/present x2 to recipient/beneficiary x3 [without payment/exchange]
pelxu x1 is yellow/golden [color adjective]
zdani x1 is a nest/house/lair/den/[home] of/for x2
tavla x1 talks/speaks to x2 about subject x3 in language x4
pendo x1 is/acts as a friend of/to x2 (experiencer); x2 befriends x1
prenu x1 is a person/people (noun) [not necessarily human]; x1 displays personality/a persona
mlatu x1 is a cat/[puss/pussy/kitten] [feline animal] of species/breed x2; (adjective:) x1 is feline
ctuca x1 teaches audience x2 ideas/methods/lore x3 (du'u) about subject(s) x4 by method x5 (event)
nelci x1 is fond of/likes/has a taste for x2 (object/state)
gerku x1 is a dog/canine/[bitch] of species/breed x2
melbi x1 is beautiful/pleasant to x2 in aspect x3 (ka) by aesthetic standard x4
sutra x1 is fast/swift/quick/hastes/rapid at doing/being/bringing about x2 (event/state)
lojbo x1 reflects [Loglandic]/Lojbanic language/culture/nationality/community in aspect x2
ciska x1 inscribes/writes x2 on display/storage medium x3 with writing implement x4; x1 is a scribe
djuno x1 knows fact(s) x2 (du'u) about subject x3 by epistemology x4
nupre x1 (agent) promises/commits/assures/threatens x2 (event/state) to x3 [beneficiary/victim]
cusku x1 (agent) expresses/says x2 (sedu'u/text/lu'e concept) for audience x3 via expressive medium x4
gleki x1 is happy/gay/merry/glad/gleeful about x2 (event/state)
citka x1 eats/ingests/consumes (transitive verb) x2
plise x1 is an apple [fruit] of species/strain x2
vecnu x1 [seller] sells/vends x2 [goods/service/commodity] to buyer x3 for amount/cost/expense x4
skami x1 is a computer for purpose x2
pilno x1 uses/employs x2 [tool, apparatus, machine, agent, acting entity, material] for purpose x3
cmene x1 (quoted word(s)) is a/the name/title/tag of x2 to/used-by namer/name-user x3 (person)
bangu x1 is a/the language/dialect used by x2 to express/communicate x3 (si'o/du'u, not quote)
fanva x1 translates text/utterance x2 to language x3 from language x4 with translation result x5
mukti x1 (action/event/state) motivates/is a motive/incentive for action/event x2, per volition of x3
gasnu x1 [person/agent] is an agentive cause of event x2; x1 does/brings about x2
mi pro-sumti: me/we the speaker(s)/author(s); identified by self-vocative
do pro-sumti: you listener(s); identified by vocative
ti pro-sumti: this here; immediate demonstrative it; indicated thing/place near speaker
ta pro-sumti: that there; nearby demonstrative it; indicated thing/place near listener
zo'e pro-sumti: an elliptical/unspecified value; has some value which makes bridi true
lo veridical descriptor: the one(s) that really is(are) ...
ku elidable terminator: end description, modal, or negator sumti; often elidable
fa sumti place tag: tag 1st sumti place
fe sumti place tag: tag 2nd sumti place
fi sumti place tag: tag 3rd sumti place
fo sumti place tag: tag 4th sumti place
fu sumti place tag: tag 5th sumti place
se 2nd conversion; switch 1st/2nd places
te 3rd conversion; switch 1st/3rd places
ve 4th conversion; switch 1st/4th places
xe 5th conversion; switch 1st/5th places
xu discursive: true-false question
ma pro-sumti: sumti question (what/who/how/why/etc.); appropriately fill in sumti blank
mo pro-bridi: bridi/selbri/brivla question
na bridi contradictory negator; scope is an entire bridi; logically negates in some cmavo compounds
go'i pro-bridi: preceding bridi; in answer to a yes/no question, repeats the claim, meaning yes
su'u abstractor: generalized abstractor (how); x1 is [bridi] as a non-specific abstraction of type x2
nu abstractor: generalized event abstractor; x1 is state/process/achievement/activity of [bridi]
du'u abstractor: predication/bridi abstractor; x1 is predication [bridi] expressed in sentence x2
sedu'u compound abstractor: sentence/equation abstract; x1 is text expressing [bridi] which is x2
kei elidable terminator: end abstraction bridi (often elidable)
vau elidable: end of sumti in simple bridi; in compound bridi, separates common trailing sumti
cu elidable marker: separates selbri from preceding sumti, allows preceding terminator elision
poi restrictive relative clause; attaches subordinate bridi with identifying information to a sumti
noi non-restrictive relative clause; attaches subordinate bridi with incidental information
ke'a pro-sumti: relativized sumti (object of relative clause)
ku'o elidable terminator: end NOI relative clause; always elidable, but preferred in complex clauses
be sumti link to attach sumti (default x2) to a selbri; used in descriptions
bei separates multiple linked sumti within a selbri; used in descriptions
be'o elidable terminator: end linked sumti in specified description
pi'o pilno modal, 1st place used by ...
mu'i mukti modal, 1st place because of motive ...
gau gasnu modal, 1st place agent/actor case tag with active agent ...
pu time tense relation/direction: did [selbri]; before/prior to [sumti]; default past tense
ca time tense relation/direction: is [selbri]; during/simultaneous with [sumti]; present tense
ba time tense relation/direction: will [selbri]; after [sumti]; default future tense
zo quote next word only; quotes a single Lojban word (not a cmavo compound or tanru)
lu start grammatical quotation; quoted text should be grammatical on its own
li'u elidable terminator: end grammatical quotation; seldom elidable except at end of text
ne non-restrictive relative phrase marker: which incidentally is associated with ...
pe restrictive relative phrase marker: which is associated with ...; loosest associative/possessive
po restrictive relative phrase marker: which is specific to ...; normal possessive physical/legal
po'e restrictive relative phrase marker: which belongs to ... ; inalienable possession
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