|Lojban For Beginners — velcli befi la lojban. bei loi co'a cilre|
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Inevitably with textual cmavo, there's a lot of words that can only be called odds and ends; they each have a specific little job, and don't have much in common. The Complete Lojban Language, Chapter 19, bemoans the same problem in paedagogy for the same topic; so at least we're in good company.
To survive in Lojbanistan, though, you'll certainly need the following:
ni'o begins a new paragraph. Paragraphs are usually associated with new topics, and ni'o is meant to remind you of cnino 'new'. There's some complicated stuff about what happens with tenses and assigned pro-sumti across different types of paragraph, but you can do without that for now.
To emphasise a word, where you would use stress in a spoken natural language, and italics or capitals in a written language, Lojban insists (as should be no surprise to you by now) that you use a separate word: ba'e. Like UI, this word can go pretty much anywhere in a Lojban sentence, but it emphasises the word that follows it, rather than what precedes it. Or, to put it in Lojban,
zo ba'e basna le valsi poi se lidne jenai lidne zo ba'e
zo ki'a, I hear you ask? Good, that means you've been paying attention! zo is a quotation marker, just like lu. However, zo quotes only the word immediately after it. This means it does not need a terminator: we already know where the quotation ends. The saving of two syllables is highly valued in a language which can get as prolix as Lojban does.
Note: Since zo quotes any word following it — any word — it turns out that zo ki'a doesn't mean "zo? Huh?" at all, but "The word ki'a." To ask "zo? Huh?", you'll have to resort to (wait for it) zo zo ki'a.
Parenthetical remarks can go anywhere UI can — meaning pretty much anywhere in a Lojban sentence. With parentheses, just like with quotes, you need to know where the parenthesis starts, and where it ends. And just like quotes, the end-parenthesis terminator is going to be pretty hard to drop out. The normal Lojban parentheses are to and toi. So "This (no, I don't want another one!) apple is rotten" comes out in Lojban as:
ti poi to vi'onai do'u mi na djica lo drata toi plise cu fusra
Translate the following disfunctional dialogue.