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                    NAMES AND DESCRIPTIONS

le .... ku     "what I am describing as ....", "the ..."

This is the most often used kind of description; it claims only that you
have something in mind that you are describing in this particular way.
It does not claim that the description is complete or accurate, or even
remotely true.  If you had a giant yellow machine manufactured by
Caterpillar, Inc., you could say

     le mlatu cu cliva le dinju le bitmu
     xi        selbri  x2       x3
     the cat  leaves   the building via the wall.

As long as you have some reason to think your listener will know what
you mean, this is fine.  A description with "le" means what you want it
to mean.

lo .... ku     "that which fits the description of ...."

     le mlatu goi lo pelxu ke barda minji ku  jersi le se dapma
     x1                                       selbri  x2
     The cat (the yellow kind of big machine) chases the accursed.

"lo" makes the claim that the thing you have in mind actually fits the
description you are giving it.  This is called a "veridicial"
description.  Best used carefully.

la .... ku     "that which I am calling/naming ...."

     ri goi la kai,ot. cu bajra le rirxe goi la kalorad.
     x1                  selbri x2
     He (named Coyote) runs to the river (named Colorado).

Remember that "goi" ties two sumti together to fit in one sumti place,
and indicates that the two refer to the same thing.

Anything that can fit in a "le ... ku" can also be put in a "la
... ku". If I want to name my cat "Dog", for example,

     lo mlatu cu se cmene zo gerku mi
     x2        selbri     x1       x3
     The cat  is named    "Dog"    by me.

     la gerku cu dapma la kai,ot. le mafka
     x1        selbri  x2         x3
     Dog       curses  Coyote  by doing/saying the magic.

"la" differs from "le" in that genuine names, such as "kai,ot.", are
allowed to follow a "la" but not a "le".

"le (brivla)" means "the x1 place of (brivla)".  If you want to refer to
other places, use se, te, ve, xe.  (See "Converted Brivla.")


When one brivla follows another, the first is interpreted as modifying
the second in some way, much like an adverb-verb or adjective-noun
combination in English.

You've seen some tanru already:  "le ciblu pinxe" for "the blood-
drinker", "le krili bolci" for "the crystal ball".

ko'a cu krili bolci tcidu le bradi xe klama
x1      (    selbri     ) x2
She crystal-ball-reads the enemy-means-of-transport.

Notice several things here:

1) When a tanru is used as the selbri of the sentence, IT HAS THE PLACE
STRUCTURE OF ITS FINAL BRIVLA. e.g. a "krili bolci tcidu" is a kind of
reader.  "ko'a" fits in the x1 place of "tcidu".

2) When three or more brivla are strung together, the first modifies the
second, THEN THE TWO TOGETHER modify the third, etc.  So, e.g.  "krili"
modifies "bolci", which together modify "tcidu".

3) Converted brivla such as "xe klama" may be used in tanru.  So can
negated and abstracted brivla, of which more in a while.

There is no limit to the number of brivla that can be strung together in
a tanru.  This can be fun.

     le nixli cu dukse bapli cinse te venfu xenru cusku

It can also be tricky, because to say what you mean, you have to get
them in the right order, and use conversions and abstractions when you
mean them.  "The girl excess-force-sexual-revenge-regret- expresses" is
also harder for the listener to hear than

     le nixli cu cusku xenru le cinse te venfu ke dukse bapli

"The girl apologises for the sexual-revenge-type-of-excess-force."

Which brings us to "ke" and "ke'e".  If you don't want each bridi to
modify the next in a strict left-to-right order, you can use "ke" and
"ke'e" to regroup them.  "ke" is a parenthesis, and "ke'e" is its
corresponding closing parenthesis (often elidable), for bridi in tanru.

le cakla ladru           the chocolate milk
le lenku ladru           the cold milk
le lenku cakla ladru     is not what we want- we are putting cold
                         chocolate into the milk.
le cakla lenku ladru     better but still not right- we are making
                         the milk "chocolate-cold"
le lenku ke cakla ladru  The cold (chocolate milk) says it right.

There are (at present) about 1,360 5-letter brivla in the language.  The
average brivla has 2.4 places.  (Five-place brivla like "klama" are not
common, but are useful for teaching the idea of place structures.)  Let
us say for simplicity three places per brivla, for an even 1,000 brivla.
SO- each brivla may be preceded by "se" or "te", then preceded by
"na'e", "nu", "ni", or "ka" (of which more later), then preceded by any
of the other brivla in the 1,000 for a total of 144,000,000 potential
two-brivla tanru.

Lojban does not lack for vocabulary or for subtlety of expression.  The
potential is actually much greater, as there are a lot of options that
we won't cover in this introduction.  Each tanru can be condensed into a
shorter single word, called a "lujvo".  ("brivla" is a lujvo for "bridi
valsi".)  We won't cover lujvo- making here, but lujvo are designed to
be easily "unmade", their source tanru recognized.  This means that you
don't have to learn millions of words in order to have them available
for use.  The amount of memorization required to speak Lojban fluently
is far, far less than for any natural language.



"le cukta" translates as "the book".  But how would you say "my book"?
The simplest way is "le mi cukta".  This means, literally, "the me
book", the book that pertains to me in some way.  (There are other ways
of indicating possession of various kinds, alienable and inalienable,
that we won't go into here.)  The general form of this is

          le [any sumti] [any selbri] ku

So, for example,

<<lu mi se kavbu le mikce li'u>> se bacru la .alis. goi ko'a
   "I am captured by the doctor", utters Alice (hereafter ko'a.)

.i ri bacru <<lu le ri respa cu bandu le vorme li'u>>
   She utters "His reptile defends the door."

.i le ko'a nu denpa ku clani   .i le ko'a ni xagji ku se zenba
   Her wait is long.               Her hunger increases.

.i le ko'a dakfu cu catra le le mikce ku respa
   Her knife kills the doctor's reptile.

.i le ri rectu cu mansa le ko'a nu xagji
   Its meat satisfies her hunger.

.i la .alis. ku cliva le ri na'e jinsa palta
   Alice leaves her non-clean dishes.

Notice several things here.

1) We have used "ri" in several places to refer to the previous sumti.
"ri" changes its meaning as you continue to speak, always pointing one
sumti back, not counting mi, do, mi'o, or ko'a.  So, above, it refers in
turn to the doctor, the doctor's reptile, and Alice.

2) Instead of "ri" and "ko'a", we could have used lerfu, letters, as

.i .abu cu bacru <<lu le my. respa cu bandu le vorme li'u>>
   A. utters "The M's reptile defends the door."

.i le ry. rectu cu mansa le .abu nu xagji
   The R's meat satisfies A's hunger.

3) We have used "nu" and "ni".  These are called "abstraction
operators", which we will cover next.


There are a number of different abstraction operators in Lojban.  These
three are the most often used.

nu .... kei    x1 is the event/state of .... (can also be the
               activity/acievement/process of ....)
                ("-hood, -ing, -ion")
ka .... kei    x1 is the property/quality of  ....  ("-ness")
ni .... kei    x1 is the amount of ....

These three can be thought of as related to these brivla:

fasnu     x1 is an event occuring to x2   "happen"
ckaji     x1 has quality/feature/property x2
klani     x1 is a quantity of x2 on scale x3

There are three major ways abstractions are used:  abstraction clauses,
abstract descriptions, and abstracted selbri.


     (descriptor) (abstraction operator) (sentence) [kei][ku]
     le nu .... kei ku  "the event/state/activity of ...."
     le ka .... kei ku  "the property of ...."
     le ni .... kei ku  "the amount of ...."
(The closing markers may often be elided.)

Some examples:

le nu mi prami do
the event/state/activity of 'me loving you'

le ninmu ku cpacu le ka ri kakne le melbi [ku][kei][ku]
x1         selbri x2=(  x1 selbri x2)
the woman acquires the property of 'she is able to be the
     beautiful one' (She had plastic surgery to remove a defect)

le ni le nanla cu tcidu [kei] ku cenba
      (x1        selbri)=x1     selbri
The amount of 'the boy studies' varies.
The amount (that the boy studies) varies.

mi djica le nu do klama la katmandus.
I desire the event of 'you come to Katmandu'
I want you to come to Katmandu.

le mi pendo cu zgana le ni mi pinxe le birje
My friend observes the amount of 'I drink the beer'.
My friend watches how much I drink beer.

mi lifri le nu zo'e xagji zo'e
I experience the event of '(something) hungers for (something)'.
This last sentence brings us to ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONS. If we
elided the two "zo'e", we would have

mi lifri le nu xagji
I experience the hunger.

We can think of abstract descriptions as abstraction clauses from which
all the sumti have been left out.  Abstract descriptions are often used,
as in the story of Alice's Reptile.  Some other examples:

gleki     x1 is happy about x2
     le ka zo'e gleki zo'e kei ku
     the property of 'something is happy about something'
     le ka gleki "the happiness"

fengu     x1 is angry at x2 for x3
     le ka fengu "the anger"

darlu     x1 argues for x2 against x3
     le nu zo'e darlu zo'e zo'e kei ku
     the event of 'something argues for something against
     le nu darlu  "the argument"
     le nu darlu [kei] ku cfipu mi
     The argument confuses me.

krici     x1 believes creed/belief x2 about subject x3
          nu krici [kei]  "having faith"
          le nu krici [kei][ku]  "the act of believing"
          le ka se krici [kei][ku]  "the  believableness" (the
          property of x2 being believed)
          le ni krici [kei][ku]  "the amount of belief"
          le ni se krici [kei][ku]  "the credibility" (the amount
          that x2 is believed)

djica     x1 desires x2 for x3
          nu djica  "desiring, wanting"
          le nu djica  "the wanting"
          le ni djica  "the amount of desire"
          le ka se djica  "the desirableness" (the property of
          x2 being desired)
          le ni se djica "the desirability" (the amount that x2
          is desired)

jikca     x1 interacts socially with x2
          nu jikca  "socially interacting"
          le nu jikca  "the socializing"
          le ka jikca  "the sociableness"
          le ni jikca  "the amount of socializing"
galtu     x1 is high in frame of reference x2
          le ni galtu  "the altitude"
slabu     x1 is old to x2 in feature x3
          le ni slabu  "the age", "the amount of oldness".

Finally we have ABSTRACTED SELBRI.

Putting a brivla inside a nu .... kei turns it into a one-place
predicate:  x1 is the event/state of (brivla)ing, or (brivla)hood.
Putting it inside a ka .... kei turns it into:  x1 is the property of
(brivla)ness.  Inside a ni .... kei it becomes:  x1 is the amount of
(brivla)ing or (brivla)ness, whichever you are measuring.  (Usually this
is clear from context.  If not, there are ways to specify it; for
example using "internal sumti", which we will cover later.)

Abstracted selbri have the feel of slogans.

     la rigliz. cu curve ke denci nu zalvi mansa [kei]
     (Wrigley's is a pure kind-of teeth grinding satisfaction.)
     Wrigley's is pure chewing satisfaction.

     le frili cu nu fengu [kei] .i le nandu cu nu fraxu [kei]
     The easy thing is being angry. The hard thing is forgiving.

A word here about ELIDING TERMINATORS.

So far, I have sometimes just left out closing markers (like "ku" and
"kei") when they could be left out, and sometimes shown them in
brackets.  You may have gotten a feel for how it works.

EVERY le, la, and lo has a ku.  EVERY nu, ni, and ka has a kei.  EVERY
opening marker always has, implicitly, it's terminator.  The question
is, "When can the dumb computer parser deduce, by looking only at the
next word and knowing what has gone before, that I have finished that
structure and am beginning a new one?"

If the dumb-computer-parser CAN deduce what you are doing, even if you
leave out the closing marker, then you can leave it out.

Writing your own sentences, when in doubt, put them in.

You can leave all of them out at the end of any sentence.

Some structures nest inside one another, and others don't.  If they
nest, they usually nest only at a particular place, or in a particular
way.  If they don't, the beginning of a new one automatically ends the
one before.  In descriptions, for example:  normally "le ... ku"s do not
nest.  So in most sentences, where the sumti are descriptions, and one
description follows another, the "ku" is not required.  But possesive
descriptions put a sumti following the "le"; so you can get two "le"s
immediately in a row.

le mikce cu bajra le zdani le pulji
The doctor runs to the house from the police.

le le mikce ku respa cu nu se citka
The doctor's reptile is eaten.

If two structures nest, and they have different terminators, closing the
outer one automatically closes the inner one.  (Structures do not
overlap.  There are no [ { ] }.)

le ni mi tcidu [kei] ku se zenba
The amount of 'I study' increases. (The "kei" can be elided
because the "ku" closes the "le".)

"cu" is useful for eliding the terminators of the sumti that comes
before the selbri.  "cu" indicates that a selbri follows; when the
dumb-computer-parser encounters a "cu" it knows that the preceding sumti
has ended.  SO, by putting in "cu" you can usually leave out at least
one terminator, sometimes several.

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