Times and Events

If we want to give the time of an event, rather than just tell the time, we need to fill in some more places. The second place of tcika is 'state/event': people don't have times — events have times. So we need some way to show that the sumti in this position is a state or an event, and not a thing. But

la daucac. tcika le mi klama

won't work; it does not mean "Ten o'clock is the time that I go" (or come!), but "Ten o'clock is the time of my goer," which is meaningless.

We get round this problem with the word nu, which means — you guessed it — 'state/event'. This is called an abstraction descriptor (or abstractor for short), other common descriptors being ka (quality or property), ni (amount) and so on (for a complete list, see The Complete Lojban Language, p. 269). What nu does here is allow us to put a whole bridi into a selbri place, and by extension (if we put an article in front of it) a sumti place. The sequence goes a little like this:

la robin. salci

Robin celebrates

la jbonunsalci cu nu la robin. salci

Logfest is an event such that Robin celebrates — Logfest is Robin's celebration/celebrating

mi nelci le nu la robin salci.

I like the event such that Robin celebrates — I like Robin's celebration/Robin celebrating

When used to introduce a sumti, nu is usually written together with the article (le or lo), but is actually a separate word. So what we want is

la daucac. tcika lenu mi klama

(note that there is no cu here, since la daucac. is a cmene)

Exercise 2

What do these Lojban sentences mean?

  1. li pamu pi'e reno tcika lenu mi dunda le cukta do

  2. li ze tcika lenu tivni la SEsamis.strit.

  3. li pa tcika lenu mi ciska

  4. la klaudias. nelci lenu zo'e vecnu loi kabri la .iulias.

  5. la tim. nelci lenu li paso tcika lenu la meiris. cliva