5.11.  Conversion of simple selbri

Conversion is the process of changing a selbri so that its places appear in a different order. This is not the same as labeling the sumti with the cmavo of FA, as mentioned in Section 5.7 , and then rearranging the order in which the sumti are spoken or written. Conversion transforms the selbri into a distinct, though closely related, selbri with renumbered places.

In Lojban, conversion is accomplished by placing a cmavo of selma'o SE before the selbri:

Example 5.109. 

mi prami do

I love you.

is equivalent in meaning to:

Example 5.110. 

do se prami mi
You [swap x1 and x2] love me.

You are loved by me.

Conversion is fully explained in Section 9.4 . For the purposes of this chapter, the important point about conversion is that it applies only to the following simple selbri. When trying to convert a tanru, therefore, it is necessary to be careful! Consider Example 5.111 :

Example 5.111. 

la .alis. cu cadzu klama le zarci
That-named Alice is-a-walker type-of-goer-to the market.
That-named Alice walkingly goes-to the market.

Alice walks to the market.

To convert this sentence so that le zarci is in the x1 place, one correct way is:

Example 5.112. 

le zarci cu se
The market is-a-[swap x1/x2]
The market
ke cadzu klama [ke'e] la .alis.
( walker type-of-goer-to ) that-named Alice.
is-walkingly gone-to-by that-named Alice.

The keke'e brackets cause the entire tanru to be converted by the se , which would otherwise convert only cadzu , leading to:

Example 5.113. 

le zarci cu se cadzu
The market (is-a-[swap x1/x2] walker)
The market is-a-walking-surface
klama la .alis.
type-of-goer-to that-named Alice.
type-of-goer-to that-named Alice.

whatever that might mean. An alternative approach, since the place structure of cadzu klama is that of klama alone, is to convert only the latter:

Example 5.114. 

le zarci cu cadzu se klama la .alis.
The market walkingly is-gone-to-by that-named Alice.

But the tanru in Example 5.114 may or may not have the same meaning as that in Example 5.111 ; in particular, because cadzu is not converted, there is a suggestion that although Alice is the goer, the market is the walker. With a different sumti as x1, this seemingly odd interpretation might make considerable sense:

Example 5.115. 

la .djan. cu cadzu se klama la .alis
That-named John walkingly is-gone-to-by that-named Alice

suggests that Alice is going to John, who is a moving target.

There is an alternative type of conversion, using the cmavo jai of selma'o JAI optionally followed by a modal or tense construction. Grammatically, such a combination behaves exactly like conversion using SE. More details can be found in Section 9.12 .