Chapter 5: “Pretty Little Girls' School”: The Structure Of Lojban selbri
5. Complex tanru with “ke” and “ke'e”
The following cmavo are discussed in this section:
ke KE start grouping ke'e KEhE end grouping
There is, in fact, a fifth grouping of “pretty little girls' school” that cannot be expressed with the resources explained so far. To handle it, we must introduce the grouping parentheses cmavo, “ke” and “ke'e” (belonging to selma'o KE and KEhE respectively). Any portion of a selbri sandwiched between these two cmavo is taken to be a single tanru component, independently of what is adjacent to it. Thus, ✥4.2 can be rewritten in any of the following ways:
✥5.1 ta ke melbi cmalu ke'e nixli ckule That is-a-( pretty little ) girl school. ✥5.2 ta ke ke melbi cmalu ke'e nixli ke'e ckule That is-a-( ( pretty little ) girl ) school. ✥5.3 ta ke ke ke melbi cmalu ke'e nixli ke'e ckule ke'e That is-a-( ( ( pretty little ) girl ) school ).
Even more versions could be created simply by placing any number of “ke” cmavo at the beginning of the selbri, and a like number of “ke'e” cmavo at its end. Obviously, all of these are a waste of breath once the left-grouping rule has been grasped. However, the following is equivalent to ✥4.4 and may be easier to understand:
✥5.4 ta melbi ke cmalu nixli ke'e ckule That is-a-(pretty type-of ( little type-of girl )) type-of school.
Likewise, a “ke” and “ke'e” version of ✥4.3 would be:
✥5.5 ta melbi cmalu ke nixli ckule [ke'e] That is-a-(pretty type-of little) ( girl type-of school ).
The final “ke'e” is given in square brackets here to indicate that it can be elided. It is always possible to elide “ke'e” at the end of the selbri, making ✥5.5 as terse as ✥4.3.
Now how about that fifth grouping? It is
✥5.6 ta melbi ke cmalu nixli ckule [ke'e] That is-a-pretty type-of ( (little type-of girl) type-of school ) That is a beautiful school for small girls.
✥5.6 is distinctly different in meaning from any of Examples 4.2 through 4.5. Note that within the “ke … ke'e” parentheses, the left-grouping rule is applied to “cmalu nixli ckule”.
It is perfectly all right to mix “bo” and “ke … ke'e” in a single selbri. For instance, ✥4.5, which in pure “ke … ke'e” form is
✥5.7 ta melbi ke cmalu ke nixli ckule [ke'e] [ke'e] That is-a-pretty type-of ( little type-of ( girl type-of school ) ).
can equivalently be expressed as:
✥5.8 ta melbi ke cmalu nixli bo ckule [ke'e] That is-a-pretty type-of ( little type-of (girl type-of school) ).
and in many other different forms as well.