Chapter 8. Swapping things round: conversion and simple lujvo

Table of Contents
selbri conversions
sumti conversions
Negative lujvo
Reflexives and reciprocals
Answers to Exercises

selbri conversions

Conversion is swapping the places of a bridi around. We have already encountered one case of conversion: the cmavo, se, which changes round the first and second places of a bridi. For example

la djiotis. cinba la ranjit.
Jyoti kisses Ranjeet.

is the same as

la ranjit. se cinba la djiotis.
Ranjeet is kissed by Jyoti.

se is part of a series of cmavo which go, in alphabetical order, se, te, ve, xe. Like a lot of these series, the first one is used a lot more than the others, but sometimes the others are useful.

Just as se changes round the first and second places, te changes round the first and third places, ve, the first and fourth, and xe, the first and fifth.

ti bakfu loi tirse grana loi skori
This is-a-bundle-of iron rods held together with string.

loi skori cu te bakfu loi tirse grana ti
String holds the bundle of iron rods together (literally, "with string are bundled iron rods.")

The ti has now moved to a less conspicuous place in the sentence, and so can now be dropped out without being missed. In fact place conversion is often used when we want to get rid of places like this.

As I've said, the more extreme conversions like ve and xe are rarely used, partly because most gismu only have two or three places, and partly because even with four- or five-place gismu, the less-used places are what come towards the end.



x1 is the country of peoples x2 with land/territory x3; (people/territory relationship)


x1 (person/mass) wars against x2 over territory/matter x3; x1 is at war with x2


x1 is money/currency issued by x2; (adjective:) x1 is financial/monetary/pecuniary/fiscal


x1 is a letter/missive/[note] to intended audience x2 from author/originator x3 with content x4


x1 (agent) influences/lures/tempts x2 into action/state x3 by influence/threat/lure x4

Exercise 1

Convert the following sentences so that the highlighted sumti comes first. Miss out any unimportant places.

  1. zo'e fengu lenu jamna

  2. ti xatra mi la jan.

  3. zo'e xlura mi lenu cliva le gugde kei loi jdini

  4. lo prenu cu tavla zo'e zo'e la lojban.

  5. lo prenu cu dunda le cukta mi