Answers to exercises

Exercise 1

  1. .i la djiotis. nelci ga loi cidjrkari gi loi nanba

  2. .i gu la djiotis. nelci loi cidjrkari gi la djiotis. citka loi cidjrkari

  3. .i la djiotis. gu'u nelci gi citka loi cidjrkari

  4. .i la djiotis. ge nelci loi cidjrkari gi xebni loi zirpu

  5. .i gonai la djiotis. gi la suzyn. djuno ledu'u la jan. gu'onai zvati gi tadni (or: .i go la djiotis. ginai la suzyn. djuno ledu'u la jan. gu'onai zvati gi tadni)

  6. .i la djiotis. nelci ge ga loi cidjrkari gi loi nanba gi loi jisra (You're joining loi cidjrkari .a loi nanba to loi jisra)

  7. .i ganai go la djiotis. ginai la suzyn. djuno ledu'u la jan. zvati gi la jan. se denpa

Exercise 2

  1. ce: You are picking a murderer out of a group, so the group you are picking from needs to be well-defined. That makes it a set.

  2. bi'o: The dictionary does not contain the letters alpha and delta, of course, but all the Greek dialect words between those two letters; so we are dealing with a range. And however slow the Academy of Athens has been in getting the volumes out (67 years and counting), it has still done them in alphabetical order; so the order of the interval matters.

  3. bi'o: This is still a range, as you are being asked to consult the text contained between those pages (you will also be looking at page 23.) The pages are also assumed to be in numerical order, so bi'o is preferred (although bi'i would not be incorrect: even if you looked through the pages backwards, you would still end up looking at the same pages.)

  4. ce'o: Even if you don't know what on earth a dactyl and an anapaest is (no, they are not components of dinosaurs), you can tell from the definition that the order of short and long syllables makes a difference. So the two terms involve types of sequences.

  5. ce: You are still picking something out of a well-defined group, so Lojban uses a set. In fact, all superlatives in Lojban ('fastest', 'smartest', 'most likely to dance the funky chicken') involve sets in the same way.

  6. joi: Discussion is a group effort, and it does not involve ranges of people or sequences of people. We could speak of sets of people involved in discussion, if we assumed that you're definitely either in the discussion or out of it; but joi avoids having to commit to such a clearcut distinction.

  7. .e: This is a perfectly logical connective: what Ranjeet and Zhang do with their shirts, they do independently.

Exercise 3

  1. ( ( bad music ) magazine )

  2. ( bad ( music magazine ) )

  3. ( ( ( bad music ) magazine ) ) — The ke spans the entire tanru, so it doesn't make much of a difference in the meaning.

  4. ( ( bad ( music magazine ) ) )

  5. ( bad ( music ( magazine reader ) ) )

  6. ( ( bad ( music magazine ) ) reader ) — bo binds zgike and karni together, so this becomes a three-part tanru, which still binds leftwards.

  7. ( ( bad music ) ( magazine reader ) )

  8. ( ( ( bad music ) magazine ) reader ) — the keke'e pair is merely reproducing the standard structure of a tanru.

  9. ( ( bad ( music magazine ) ) reader )

  10. ( ( bad ( music magazine ) ) reader )

Exercise 4

  1. Zhang is the most purple out of Zhang, Ranjeet, Jyoti and Susan. (Literally, "Zhang is superlative in purpleness among..." You would normally use a lujvo — in this case ziryrai 'purplest' — to cut the sentence down to a manageable size: la jan. ziryrai la jan. ce la ranjit. ce la djiotis. ce la suzyn..)

  2. Also, Zhang either dances better than Ranjeet, or drunk (at that time). (Or: when he's not drunk.) (Literally, again, the Lojban gives more detail: "Zhang exceeds Ranjeet in the amount by which he is expert at dancing." And here, too, you can use a lujvo to make the sentence somewhat simpler: .i la jan. cremau la ranjit. lenu dansu, from certu zmadu 'more expert'.)

  3. Susan brings Jyoti a beer, and Zhang a soda. (Or soft drink, or pop, or coke, or cordial, or lolly water — whatever your local word for carbonated beverages is.)

  4. Zhang quickly (whether or not willingly) drinks the soda. (Remember that gu'u sutra gi djica means the same as sutra ju djica: it is the willingness, rather than the quickness, that is irrelevant.)

  5. Ranjeet says "Don't you think you'll eventually want some hot, freshly-brewed coffee?" (As the punctuation in the English shows, the Lojban words for freshly-brewed — literally the more prosaic 'newly constructed' — go together. If the bo was not there, Ranjeet would be saying something like the coffee being novel in that it is hot ({hot [kind of] new} made coffee); perhaps the establishment doesn't normally have much of a water heating process, so any actual hot coffee would be a sensation.)

  6. Zhang says "New skin? Huh? My current skin is head-to-foot beautiful!" (Zhang has misheard Ranjeet over the thumping music, not to mention the buzz in his own head. As this shows, you can use non-logical connectives to join together selbri as well as sumti: from head to toe snuck inside a tanru is as good a place as any for it.)

  7. Ranjeet shouts "Coffee!"

  8. Zhang looks confusedly, and afterwards (then) laughs and says "No, silly! I'm drinking soda!" (Ranjeet's exclamation can also be interpreted as an observative — "Look! Coffee!", especially to a mind as addled as Zhang's.)

    Note: Just like .i, gi'e can be followed by a tense to indicate when the second term happened relative to the first term. If gi'e means 'and', then gi'e ba bo means 'and later', or 'and then'. We saw someting similar with gi ca bo above.

    But bo still binds immediately to what went before it. So if we left things as they were, we would be saying something like "Zhang looks confusedly and then laughs. He also says..." In that case, it wouldn't necessarily be clear that he spoke after he stared at Ranjeet, dumbstruck: since logical AND says nothing about the time when things happen, that sentence would still be true even if Zhang had made his perceptive remark three days earlier.

    What we want is for the and later to apply to both him laughing and him talking. To force this to happen, we use the bracket ke instead of bo (ke can also take tense): "Zhang {stares}, and then {laughs and says 'No, silly...'}" You might also want to refer to p. 364 of The Complete Lojban Language.

Exercise 5

  1. .i la djiotis. noi gu'e jgari gi pinxe loi ckafi cu tavla la suzyn.

  2. There are several ways you can say this:

    • .i lu .i lenu ge la jan. vi zvati gi do penmi ri ca le cabdei cu xamgu li'u

    • .i lu .i ge lenu la jan. vi zvati gi lenu do penmi ri ca le cabdei cu xamgu li'u

    • .i lu .i xamgu fa lenu ge la jan. vi zvati gi do penmi ri ca le cabdei li'u

    • .i lu .i xamgu fa ge lenu la jan. vi zvati gi lenu do penmi ri ca le cabdei li'u

  3. .i la suzyn. cusku lu .i ko tavla mi ge la ranjit. ginai la jan.

  4. .i xu slabu ckule bo pendo do li'u or .i xu slabu ke ckule pendo do li'u (slabu ckule pendo would have meant 'friend from an old school' instead.)

  5. .icazibo la suzyn. tirna la'o gy. Superfreak gy. no'u le pamoi be le'i selsanga poi se dansu or .icazibo la suzyn. tirna la SUperfrik. noi pamoi le'i selsanga poi se dansu

  6. .i ge la suzyn. krixa zo .ui gi joigi la suzyn. gi la ranjit. co'a dansu (if you want to emphasise that they're dancing together) or .i ge la suzyn. krixa zo .ui gi ge la suzyn. gi la ranjit. co'a dansu (if you don't.)

  7. .i la djiotis. ge catlu la jan. noi ge cisma gi zbasu le jipci loi nanbrpretsele gi frumu (le jipci 'that which I describe as a chicken' is the easiest way around the fact that Zhang's incipient masterpiece of contemporary art is not an actual flesh-and-blood, clucking chicken. Lojban being the logical language it is, you'll probably find people insisting on the distinction, and saying things like 'facsimile of a chicken' or 'chicken-like thing'.

    Like we said, the final vowel of nanbrpretsele is pretty much up to you — until there's a standard dictionary fu'ivla for it, at least.)

    Note: Strictly speaking, neither le jipci nor lo jipci actually work. le is non-veridical ("that which I describe as"), but it is also specific (the speaker, at least, must have a specific referent in mind — which is not necessarily the case here.) lo is veridical, so it at least raises the expectation that the chicken clucks and lays eggs — although many Lojbanists would allow for metaphorical extension, and say that a chicken made out of pretzels is still a chicken, of the species Chickenus Breadproductus Pretzelus. (Remember: all chickens have to have a species or breed (lo se jipci) to be called le jipci! Compare The Complete Lojban Language, Chapter 6.2, and the example of teddybears.)

  8. .i lo fange kensa bo xe klama ce'ogi mo'u klama gi ce'ogi te gusni gi vimcu le vo pendo le dansydi'u (Although fange ke kensa xe klama would also have been fine. fange kensa xe klama would have meant a vehicle intended only for alien space — which can't be right, since the spaceship has just paid planet Earth a surprise visit. Way surprising...)