|Lojban For Beginners — velcli befi la lojban. bei loi co'a cilre|
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Let's now look at a slightly embellished version of the plot-advancing example sentence from Lesson 7, involving Zhang and Susan:
We have snuck into the sentence a new pro-sumti: vo'a. This means 'the first sumti of this bridi', and like the others, comes in a series — vo'e refers to the second sumti, vo'i to the third and so on. In practice, vo'a is used quite a lot, while the others are rarer; but that could be because people still tend to think in terms of natural languages, where only the equivalent of vo'a is usual. Those equivalents are reflexives — words like herself, itself, and so on; and vo'a is very handy for expressing them. As people start thinking more in Lojban, the others could get used more.
la suzyn. na djuno fi vo'a fe le du'u la jan. cinynei sy.
Susan doesn't know about herself that Zhang fancies ('sexually-likes') her.
Here are some more straightforward examples of its use:
la meilis. pensi vo'a
Mei Li thinks about herself.
You can also say
le gerku cu batci vo'a
The dog bites itself.
but this is the same as mi nelci mi, which is simpler.
mi nelci vo'a
I like myself.
Now for something clever — which will also look slightly familiar.
soi is a cmavo meaning something like "you can change these sumti round and the bridi will still be true." If there is only one sumti after the soi, the other one is taken to be the one immediately before soi. So we can say the same thing more briefly as la suzyn. zgana la djiotis. soi vo'a, or even just ko'a zgana ko'i soi vo'a. That is why you were able to use soi vo'a as 'and vice versa' in the previous lesson's exercises.
la suzyn. zgana la djiotis. soi vo'a vo'e
Susan notices Jyoti and vice versa.
Susan and Jyoti notice each other.
Note: vo'a is fixed in what it refers back to and, unlike ri, can point back to ko'a — though you can also repeat ko'a if you prefer.
Tip: There is a gismu that does the same job, simxu: "x1 (set) has members who mutually/reciprocally x2." You saw a sneak preview of this, too, in the previous lesson. It is mostly used in compound selbri (tanru), and from there, in lujvo (sim-, -si'u). We haven't covered enough grammar to use it properly yet, but you'll be seeing it again towards the end of the lessons.