In this lesson, you will become familiar with the concept of a tanru. A tanru is formed when a selbri is put in front of another selbri, modifying its meaning. To understand the concept of tanru, consider the noun combination "lemon tree" in English. If you didn't know what a lemon tree was, but had heard about both lemons and trees, you would not be able to deduce what a lemon tree was. Perhaps a lemon-colored tree, or a tree shaped like a lemon, or a tree whose bark tastes like lemon. The only things you could know for sure would be that it would be a tree, and it would be lemon-like in some way.
An example of a Lojbanic tanru would be the expression pelxu zdani, most likely meaning a house painted yellow.
zdani x1 is a nest/house/lair/den/[home] of/for x2. (event/state).
pelxu zdani x1 is a nest/house/lair/den/[home] (which is somehow pelxu-related) of/for x2. (event/state).
The connection between pelxu and zdani could be any: the houses are somehow related to yellow. Perhaps they are painted in yellow color. Or perhaps the word "yellow" is written on the front door, or perhaps there is a yellow volleyball in its patio. Because the connection can be any, even silly things, there is no precise English equivalent of a tanru. Of course, context is key, and you would never use pelxu zdani to refer to a house containing a yellow voleyball unless you were really, really confident that the listener would pick up the intended meaning.
Take another example:
gerku zdani x1 is a nest/house/lair/den/[home] (which is somehow gerku-related) of/for x2. (event/state).
In this example, the house is somehow connected to dogs. Perhaps it is a dog's house. Also, the order of the words is very important:
zdani gerku x1 is a dog/canine/[bitch] (which is somehow zdani-related) of species/breed x2. . (event/state).
While gerku zdani is a house, zdani gerku is a dog. What does zdani gerku mean, you ask? Perhaps the dog has the shape of a house. Or perhaps the dog always stays at his (or his owner's) house. It's entirely open to interpretation (and context).
Let's have a few more examples of tanru:
Since tanru are selbri, they can be converted into sumti with the usual lo..ku construct.
It is also possible to form tanru using reordering with se and friends:
Tanru versus filling sumti places
It is important to realize the difference in meaning between making a tanru and actually filling a sumti place.
|ti zdani lo prenu ku||This is a house of/for a person.|
|ti prenu zdani||This is a house somehow related to a person.
[perhaps] This is a house of/for a person.
[perhaps] This is a house that has personality.
Notice how, in the first example, we know for sure that it is a person's house, because "person" actually filled the x2 sumti place for zdani. In the second example, which uses a tanru, there is no way to be certain: the relation could be any. It could be that this is a person's house. It could be the house has a personality. It could be the house has the shape of a person. It could mean anything, as long as it has to do with person/personality.
In other words, if you are able to fill up the sumti place instead of constructing a tanru, it is generally advisable to do so for increased precision.
Your turn. Try to translate the following sentences. Try to use common sense to translate the tanru constructs, but keep in mind that alternative interpretations are perfectly valid as well.
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.
|do sutra tavla fo lo lojbo ku||You talk quickly in Lojban.|
|mi dunda lo pelxu zdani ku||I donated the yellow house.|
|mi nelci lo sutra mlatu ku||I like fast cats.|
|do mlatu ctuca lo prenu ku||You teach people in a cat-like manner.|
|do pelxu ciska||You write in a yellow-like manner (perhaps using yellow ink).|
|ti sutra se mlatu||This is a fast cat species.|
Now, translate the following sentences from English into Lojban:
|This is a lojbanic cat.||ti lojbo mlatu|
|I write in a lojbanic way.||mi lojbo ciska|
|You donated a beautiful house.||do dunda lo melbi zdani ku|
|The talking friend wrote something quickly.||lo tavla pendo ku sutra ciska|
|I like the yellow gift.||mi nelci lo pelxu se dunda ku|
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.
- 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
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
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