6.8.  Indefinite descriptions

By a quirk of Lojban syntax, it is possible to omit the descriptor lo , but never any other descriptor, from a description like that of Example 6.42 ; namely, one which has an explicit outer quantifier but no explicit inner quantifier. The following example:

Example 6.44. 

ci gerku [ku] cu blabi
Three-of-those-which-are dogs are-white.

Three dogs are white.

is equivalent in meaning to Example 6.42 . Even though the descriptor is not present, the elidable terminator ku may still be used. The name indefinite description for this syntactic form is historically based: of course, it is no more and no less indefinite than its counterpart with an explicit lo . Indefinite descriptions were introduced into the language in order to imitate the syntax of English and other natural languages.

Indefinite descriptions must fit this mold exactly: there is no way to make one which does not have an explicit outer quantifier (thus *gerku cu blabi is ungrammatical), or which has an explicit inner quantifier (thus *reboi ci gerku cu blabi is also ungrammatical – re ci gerku cu blabi is fine, but means 23 dogs are white ).

Note: Example 6.32 also contains an indefinite description, namely su'o ci cutci ; another version of that example using an explicit lo would be:

Example 6.45. 

mi ponse su'o ci lo cutci
I possess at-least three things-which-really-are shoes

I own three (or more) shoes.