Negative lujvo

Just as se has the combining form sel, the negative na'e has the combining form nal, and we can use this to make lujvo in exactly the same way.

Note: na has its own rafsi, nar; but na'e is more useful in creating new words. na'e in a selbri still indicates an existing kind of relationship, which you would want to describe with a single lujvo; while na could mean anything, including non-existence — making it too broad a concept for most uses.

For example, jdice means 'decide' and has the short combining form jdi. naljdi therefore means 'not decide' or 'be indecisive'. Some other examples:

lo naljmi 

one who does not understand (from jimpe 'understand')

lo naljvi 

a non-competitor (from jivna 'compete')

lo nalkri 

a non-believer/skeptic (from krici 'believe')

lo nalyla'e 

an unlikely event (from lakne 'be likely')

lo nalre'a 

a non-human (from remna 'be human')

We can see that nal is like the English non-, but we need to remember that non- sometimes has other meanings or associations that nal does not have. lo naljvi is simply someone who is not taking part in a competition, not a 'non-contender' in the sense of someone who competes but doesn't stand a chance of winning. Similarly lo nalre'a is someone who is not a member of the species homo sapiens (e.g. a chimpanzee or Klingon), and cannot be applied to someone who is inhumane or perceived as subhuman in some way.

We can also use nal with sel and its relatives; for example,

lo naltertcu 

not a purpose/activity for which something is needed; something which has no requirements (from nitcu 'x1 needs/requires/is dependent on/[wants] necessity x2 for purpose/action/stage of process x3')

lo nalveltu'i 

an area of disagreement; a controversial issue (from tugni 'x1 [person] agrees with person(s)/position/side x2 that x3 (du'u) is true about matter x4')

lo nalselzi'e 

something you are not free to do (from zifre 'x1 is free/at liberty to do/be x2 (event/state) under conditions x3')

lo nalselsanji 

something you are unaware of (from sanji 'x1 is conscious/aware of x2 (object/abstract); x1 discerns/recognizes x2 (object/abstract)'; this gismu has no suitable short combining form)

lo nalselse'i 

someone who lacks a self/ego; an enlightened person according to Hindu/Buddhist philosophy (from sevzi 'x1 is a self/ego/id/identity-image of x2')

As you'll have guessed, the companions of na'e, namely to'e and no'e, have rafsi of their own: tol- and nor-, respectively. So 'disinterested', 'uninterested' and 'bored' in Lojban are norselci'i, nalselci'i and tolselci'i.

lujvo can be much more interesting than this; interesting enough, in fact, that we won't be covering them any further here. You can make lujvo out of pretty much any tanru you can devise; this is the main way to introduce 'new words' into Lojban. But to make the lujvo you come up with work, you need some background knowledge:

It's worth your while to look into these issues if you'll be using the language seriously, and especially if you'll be writing in it. (lujvo are easier to deal with while writing than while speaking, because you have the time to reflect on how you'll be creating your new word.) At this stage, though, you don't need to go into all that just yet.

Exercise 3

If you have access to a gismu list, use it to look up gismu and make lujvo meaning the following, using short combining forms where possible and nal- where necessary.

  1. a television

  2. a subject of conversation

  3. someone who is deceived or cheated

  4. an immoral or amoral (not virtuous) person

  5. a railroad

  6. an insignificant event

  7. something unseen

  8. something about which you have no feelings/emotions