6.13. Pro-sumti summary

The Lojban pro-sumti are the cmavo of selma'o KOhA. They fall into several classes: personal, definable, quantificational, reflexive, back-counting, indefinite, demonstrative, metalinguistic, relative, question. More details are given in Chapter 7 ; this section mostly duplicates information found there, but adds material on the implicit quantifier of each pro-sumti.

The following examples illustrate each of the classes. Unless otherwise noted below, the implicit quantification for pro-sumti is ro (all). In the case of pro-sumti which refer to other sumti, the ro signifies all of those referred to by the other sumti : thus it is possible to restrict, but not to extend, the quantification of the other sumti.

Personal pro-sumti ( mi , do , mi'o , mi'a , ma'a , do'o , ko) refer to the speaker or the listener or both, with or without third parties:

Example 6.77. 

mi prami do
I love you.

The personal pro-sumti may be interpreted in context as either representing individuals or masses, so the implicit quantifier may be pisu'o rather than ro : in particular, mi'o , mi'a , ma'a , and do'o specifically represent mass combinations of the individuals (you and I, I and others, you and I and others, you and others) that make them up.

Definable pro-sumti ( ko'a , ko'e , ko'i , ko'o , ko'u , fo'a , fo'e , fo'i , fo'o , fo'u) refer to whatever the speaker has explicitly made them refer to. This reference is accomplished with goi (of selma'o GOI), which means defined-as.

Example 6.78. 

le cribe goi ko'a cu xekri .i ko'a citka le smacu
The bear defined-as it-1 is-black. It-1 eats the mouse.

Quantificational pro-sumti ( da , de , di) are used as variables in bridi involving predicate logic:

Example 6.79. 

ro da poi prenu
All somethings-1 which are-persons
cu prami pa de poi finpe
love one something-2 which is-a-fish.

All persons love a fish (each his/her own).

(This is not the same as All persons love a certain fish ; the difference between the two is one of quantifier order.) The implicit quantification rules for quantificational pro-sumti are particular to them, and are discussed in detail in Chapter 16. Roughly speaking, the quantifier is su'o (at least one) when the pro-sumti is first used, and ro (all) thereafter.

Reflexive pro-sumti ( vo'a , vo'e , vo'i , vo'o , vo'u) refer to the same referents as sumti filling other places in the same bridi, with the effect that the same thing is referred to twice:

Example 6.80. 

le cribe cu batci vo'a
The bear bites what-is-in-the-x 1 -place.

The bear bites itself.

Back-counting pro-sumti ( ri , ra , ru) refer to the referents of previous sumti counted backwards from the pro-sumti:

Example 6.81. 

mi klama la .frankfurt. ri
I go-to that-named Frankfurt from-the-referent-of-the-last-sumti

I go from Frankfurt to Frankfurt (by some unstated route).

Indefinite pro-sumti ( zo'e , zu'i , zi'o) refer to something which is unspecified:

Example 6.82. 

mi klama la .frankfurt.
I go-to that-named Frankfurt
zo'e zo'e zo'e
from-unspecified via-unspecified by-means-unspecified.

The implicit quantifier for indefinite pro-sumti is, well, indefinite. It might be ro (all) or su'o (at least one) or conceivably even no (none), though no would require a very odd context indeed.

Demonstrative pro-sumti ( ti , ta , tu) refer to things pointed at by the speaker, or when pointing is not possible, to things near or far from the speaker:

Example 6.83. 

ko muvgau
You [imperative] move
ti ta tu
this-thing from-that-nearby-place to-that-further-away-place.

Move this from there to over there!

Metalinguistic pro-sumti ( di'u , de'u , da'u , di'e , de'e , da'e , dei , do'i) refer to spoken or written utterances, either preceding, following, or the same as the current utterance.

Example 6.84. 

li re su'i re du li vo
The-number two plus two equals the-number four.
.i la'e di'u jetnu
The-referent-of the-previous-utterance is-true.

The implicit quantifier for metalinguistic pro-sumti is su'o (at least one), because they are considered analogous to lo descriptions: they refer to things which really are previous, current, or following utterances.

The relative pro-sumti ( ke'a) is used within relative clauses (see Chapter 8 for a discussion of relative clauses) to refer to whatever sumti the relative clause is attached to.

Example 6.85. 

mi viska le mlatu ku poi zo'e
I see the cat(s) such-that something-unspecified
zbasu ke'a loi slasi
makes it/them-(the-cats) from-a-mass-of plastic.

I see the cat(s) made of plastic.

The question pro-sumti ( ma) is used to ask questions which request the listener to supply a sumti which will make the question into a truth:

Example 6.86. 

do klama ma
You go-to what-sumti?

Where are you going?

The implicit quantifier for the question pro-sumti is su'o (at least one), because the listener is only being asked to supply a single answer, not all correct answers.

In addition, sequences of lerfu words (of selma'o BY and related selma'o) can also be used as definable pro-sumti.