5. Getting used to predicates.

Here we are! Welcome to latcmatcad, the Town of Cats.

Ohh!! Kitties! Wait… where are they…?

Weird, they’re not here. They must be in a meeting or something. Well, while we’re waiting here, let me tell you about .i and zo’e.

Expresses the start of a new sentence.
An unspecified/unknown term. You can use this when you don't want to fill in a slot (for example, when it's clear from context). Basically, "something".

In Lojban, you put .i between sentences to separate them. It’s kind of the opposite of putting a period at the end in English.

x1 is something white
x1 is something black

How come we haven’t been saying .i up until now?

Well, we were speaking in single sentences. When saying a single sentence, or at the start of speech, you don’t have to say .i. But it’s safer to say it anyway.

Hmm. So, “.i at the start of a sentence”. …Wait, I remember seeing zo’e before.

That’s right. This time, I’m going to teach you a useful fact about zo’e. Listen up:

You can drop zo’e terms at the end of a sentence, or when x1 is zo’e.”

This also means that when it looks like some terms are missing, you can imagine a zo’e there.

Wait! Look! There’s a cat! Kitty kitty kitty!

Huh? Oh, there it is! Heeeere kitty!

Oh, let’s try saying this in Lojban.

x1 is a cat of species x2.

The zo’e before “mlatu” is the x1, so we can drop it. And since we can also drop zo’e terms from the end, {zo’e mlatu zo’e} can simply become {mlatu}. To put it in a diagram,

zo’e [predicate] [term] [term] zo’e zo’e zo’e … = [predicate] [term] [term]

Of course, you can’t freely delete zo’e from other places, so be careful.

[predicate] [term] zo’e [term] ≠ [predicate] [term] [term]

mlatu .i mlatu .i mlatu .i mlatu .i mlatu …

Wow, there’s a bunch of them now… Well, since it looks like their meeting is over, let’s walk and talk some Lojban. I’ll teach you all the words you need, so you just have to string them together.

The goal of this lesson is to get used to making sentences, so grab a pen and paper and make sentences together with Sora. If you don’t really know what should go in a place, just put zo’e there. (And if that zo’e comes at the end, you can just drop it.)

1) I’m in Latcmatcad.

x1 is at x2 (a place).

mi = I / me
la .latcmatcad. = _Latcmatcad_ (a given name).

2) Sora goes to Latcmacad by this car.

x1 goes to x2 from x3 via route x4 by vehicle/means x5.

**la .soran.** = Sora (a given name).
**lo vi karce ku** = this car

3) Koshon knows that Sora is in Latcmatcad.

x1 knows fact x2 about subject x3 by means x4

la .kocon. = Koshon (a given name).
lo du'u la .soran. zvati la .latcmatcad. kei ku = The fact that Sora is in Latcmatcad.

4) I like walking.

x1 likes x2.
x1 walks on surface x2 with limbs x3.

lo nu cadzu kei ku = walking

5) Many cats are sleeping.

x1 is asleep.

lo so'i mlatu ku = many cats

6) I am glad to meet you in Latcmatcad.

x1 meets x2 in x3.
x1 is glad/happy about x2.

do = you
lo nu [clause] kei ku = The event of [clause].

7) We are tired. So, we drink coffee or tea.

x1 is tired due to x2.
x1 drinks x2 from x3.

mi'o = you and I
.i se ki'u bo = Therefore, ... (Use this in place of **.i**)
lo ckafi ku .a lo tcati ku = coffee or tea

Aaah, I’m so tired! But this Earl Grey is delicious…

Good work! How’d it go? Did you get the hang of it? I’ll write down the answers.

★Answer key★ (The parts in square brackets can be omitted.)

Alright, I did pretty well. Let’s see… first, I decided what the predicate is. Then, looking at its definition, I filled the “holes” in it (x1 et cetera) with terms to put together what I’m trying to say. That’s basically it.

Exactly. This kind of “definition with holes in it” is called a place structure by Lojban speaker. It expresses the “structure”, meaning-wise, of the “places” (holes) of a predicate.

“Place structure”, huh. I’m writing this stuff down. …Wow, I’m starving. You know, I could go for some eggs.

Eggs, huh…

Was it all the “eggs 1”, “eggs 2”?

True/False Questions

  1. You can always omit zo'e.
  2. The word .i marks the end of a sentence.
  3. {" This equation is correct"=>"“zo’e [predicate] [term] [term] zo’e zo’e = [predicate] [term] [term]”"}
  4. {" This equation is correct"=>"“[predicate] [term] zo’e [term] = [predicate] [term] [term]”"}
  5. If you don't need to specify what exactly you're talking about, you can say zo'e instead of a term.
  6. Even when it's clear from context that you're talking about “me”, you have to say “mi” instead of “zo'e”.

-/- answers correct!

Words introduced in this lesson