Chapter 14: If Wishes Were Horses: The Lojban Connective System

11. Termset logical connection

So far we have seen sentences that differ in all components, and require bridi connection; sentences that differ in one sumti only, and permit sumti connection; and sentences that differ in the selbri and possibly one or more sumti, and permit bridi-tail connection. Termset logical connectives are employed for sentences that differ in more than one sumti but not in the selbri, such as:

✥11.1    I go to the market from the office
    and to the house from the school.

The Lojban version of ✥11.1 requires two termsets joined by a logical connective. A “term” is either a sumti or a sumti preceded by a tense or modal tag such as “pu” or “bai”. Afterthought termsets are formed by linking terms together by inserting the cmavo “ce'e” (of selma'o CEhE) between each of them. Furthermore, the logical connective (which is a jek) must be prefixed by the cmavo “pe'e” (of selma'o PEhE). (We could refer to the combination of “pe'e” and a jek as a “pehejek”, I suppose.)

✥11.2    mi klama le zarci ce'e le briju pe'e je
    le zdani ce'e le ckule
I go to-the market [plus] from-the office [joint] and
    to-the house [plus] from-the school.

The literal translation uses “[plus]” to indicate the termset connective, and “[joint]” to indicate the position of the logical connective joint. As usual, there is an equivalent bridi-connection form:

✥11.3    mi klama le zarci le briju
    .ije mi klama le zdani le ckule
I go to-the market from-the office,
    and I go to-the house from-the school.

which illustrates that the two bridi differ in the x2 and x3 places only.

What happens if the two joined sets of terms are of unequal length? Expanding to bridi connection will always make clear which term goes in which place of which bridi. It can happen that a sumti may fall in the x2 place of one bridi and the x3 place of another:

✥11.4    mi pe'e ja do ce'e le zarci
    cu klama le briju
I [joint] or you to-the market [plus]
    go to/from-the office.

can be clearly understood by expansion to:

✥11.5    mi klama le briju
    .ija do le zarci cu klama le briju
I go to-the office,
    or you to-the market go from-the office.

So “le briju” is your origin but my destination, and thus falls in the x2 and x3 places of “klama” simultaneously! This is legal because even though there is only one selbri, “klama”, there are two distinct bridi expressed here. In addition, “mi” in ✥11.4 is serving as a termset containing only one term. An analogous paradox applies to compound bridi with tail-terms and unequal numbers of sumti within the connected bridi-tails:

✥11.6     mi klama le zarci gi'e dzukla vau le briju
I (go to-the market and walk) to/from-the office.

means that I go to the market from the office, and I walk to the office; “le briju” is the x3 place of “klama” and the x2 place of “dzukla”.

Forethought termsets also exist, and use “nu'i” of selma'o NUhI to signal the beginning and “nu'u” of selma'o NUhU (an elidable terminator) to signal the end. Nothing is inserted between the individual terms: they simply sit side-by-side. To make a logical connection in a forethought termset, use a gek, with the gek just after the “nu'i”, and an extra “nu'u” just before the gik:

✥11.7    mi klama nu'i ge le zarci le briju
    nu'u gi le zdani le ckule [nu'u]
I go [start termset] both to-the market from-the office
    [joint] and to-the house from-the school
    [end termset].

Note that even though two termsets are being connected, only one “nu'i” is used.

The grammatical uses of termsets that do not contain logical connectives are explained in Chapter 12 and Chapter 16.