Chapter 6: To Speak Of Many Things: The Lojban sumti

14. Quotation summary

There are four kinds of quotation in Lojban: text quotation, words quotation, single-word quotation, non-Lojban quotation. More information is provided in Chapter 19.

Text quotations are preceded by “lu” and followed by “li'u”, and are an essential part of the surrounding text: they must be grammatical Lojban texts.

✥14.1    mi cusku lu mi'e djan. li'u
I say the-text [quote] I-am John [unquote].
I say “I'm John”.

Words quotations are quotations of one or more Lojban words. The words need not mean anything, but they must be morphologically valid so that the end of the quotation can be discerned.

✥14.2    mi cusku lo'u li mi le'u
I say the-words [quote] “li mi” [unquote].
I say “li mi”.

Note that the translation of ✥14.2 does not translate the Lojban words, because they are not presumed to have any meaning (in fact, they are ungrammatical).

Single-word quotation quotes a single Lojban word. Compound cmavo are not allowed.

✥14.3    mi cusku zo .ai
I say the-word “.ai”.

Non-Lojban quotation can quote anything, Lojban or not, even non-speech such as drum talk, whistle words, music, or belching. A Lojban word which does not appear within the quotation is used before and after it to set it off from the surrounding Lojban text.

✥14.4    mi cusku zoi kuot. I'm John .kuot
I say “I'm John”.

The implicit quantifier for all types of quotation is “su'o” (at least one), because quotations are analogous to “lo” descriptions: they refer to things which actually are words or sequences of words.