Answers to Exercises

Exercise 1

  1. Come to me.

  2. Give me the book.

  3. Act so that Isabel likes you. (or "Butter up Isabel" perhaps.)

  4. Be fast ("Hurry up!")

  5. Like yourself. (Note that changing the word order doesn't change the meaning here.)

Exercise 2

  1. catra (assuming it's Julius Caesar we're talking about.)

  2. la romios. (assuming it's that Juliet.)

  3. na nenri or na go'i, unless we're talking about Paris, Texas.

  4. la tolstois.

  5. Trick question. la can name a specific Porsche, not Porsches in general, and a specific Porsche might go fast or not (e.g. it could have just broken down and not go at all.) In general, la porc. means just what I say it means, but as a name it is not used in general to refer to all Porsches, or to the typical Porsche. (Lojban has other ways of doing that.)

  6. la KEnedis.

  7. ninmu or go'i (Despite the pen-name, George Eliot was a woman.)

  8. Not much we can say with the vocabulary we have at the moment other than prenu (maybe emphasising that Sakyamuni — the Buddha — was a person, not a God or somesuch). Other possible answers would be xindo 'Indian', or pavbudjo 'first Buddhist'.

  9. finti — not ciska! Lojban separates the business of putting pen to paper from the act of creating a work of art. If Shakespeare had dictated Hamlet to Francis Bacon, Bacon would have been the ciska ('writer'), but Shakespeare would have remained the finti ('creator').

  10. la karl.marks.

  11. fengu or go'i — we're talking about Laurel and Hardy here.

Exercise 3

  1. le la meiris. cifnu (Mary's child)

  2. le cukta pe la meiris. (Mary's book)

  3. le mi cukta (My book)

  4. You can't do this (for now): le le ninmu cukta is ambiguous. (The woman's book)

  5. You can't do this: there is no article in ma for mi to follow. The Lojban literally means 'my what?', but it can be used more flexibly. do nelci ma pe mi, for example, means "What do you like about me?"

  6. le karce pe zo'e ([Someone's] car)

  7. le rokci pe la tim. (Tim's rock)

  8. You can't do this: la la tim. meiris. would be confusing. (Tim's Mary — for example, his sister, or his partner. Note that, as we discuss in the next section, this is not necessarily a demeaning thing to say: pe does not imply ownership, but only association.)

  9. le ma cukta (Whose book?)

  10. le la roz. cmene (Rose's name; not 'The name of the rose', which would involve the gismu for 'rose', rozgu.)

Exercise 4

  1. po: You own it, so it's uniquely associated with you (by default.)

  2. pe: You don't own it, and you can change it, so neither kinds of 'possession' apply.

  3. po'e: Your genetic fingerprint makes your genes inseparably yours.

  4. Though you might consider yourself inseparable from your jeans, too, they are of course po.

  5. po: There's no real sense of 'possession' involved here; but this is still a unique association.

  6. po'e: If there's one thing that's inseparable from you — it's you.

  7. po: I may not have paid any money for it, but a gift is my property nonetheless, so it's uniquely associated with me.

  8. po: Since I've given the gift away, I do not own it in any real sense. But the gift is still uniquely associated with me, since it was me that gave it away.