7.2. Personal pro-sumti: the mi-series

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:




I, me








you and I




I and others, we but not you




you and I and others




you and others





The mi-series of pro-sumti refer to the speaker, the listener, and others in various combinations. mi refers to the speaker and perhaps others for whom the speaker speaks; it may be a Lojbanic mass. do refers to the listener or listeners. Neither mi nor do is specific about the number of persons referred to; for example, the foreman of a jury may refer to the members of the jury as mi, since in speaking officially he represents all of them.

The referents of mi and do are usually obvious from the context, but may be assigned by the vocative words of selma'o COI, explained in Section 13.14. The vocative mi'e assigns mi, whereas all of the other vocatives assign do.

Example 7.5. 

mi'e .djan. doi frank. mi cusku lu mi bajra li'u   do
I-am John, O Frank, I express [quote] I run [unquote] to you

I am John, Frank; I tell you I run.

The cmavo mi'o, mi'a, ma'a, and do'o express various combinations of the speaker and/or the listener and/or other people:

All of these pro-sumti represent masses. For example, mi'o is the same as mi joi do, the mass of me and you considered jointly.

In English, we can mean mi or mi'o or mi'a or even ma'a, and English-speakers often suffer because they cannot easily distinguish mi'o from mi'a:

Example 7.6. 

We're going to the store.

Does this include the listener or not? There's no way to be sure.

Finally, the cmavo ko is logically equivalent to do; its referent is the listener. However, its use alters an assertion about the listener into a command to the listener to make the assertion true:

Example 7.7. 

do klama le zarci
You go-to the store.


Example 7.8. 

ko klama le zarci
You [imperative] go-to the store.

Make you go to the store true!

Go to the store!

In English, the subject of a command is omitted, but in Lojban, the word ko must be used. However, ko does not have to appear in the x1 place:

Example 7.9. 

mi viska ko
I see you-[imperative]

Make I see you true!

Be seen by me!

In Example 7.9, it is necessary to make the verb passive in English in order to convey the effect of ko in the x2 place. Indeed, ko does not even have to be a sumti of the main bridi:

Example 7.10. 

mi viska le prenu poi prami ko
I see the person that loves you-[imperative]

Make I see the person that loves you true!

Be such that the person who loves you is seen by me!

Show me the person who loves you!

As mentioned in Section 7.1, some pro-sumti series have corresponding pro-bridi series. However, there is no equivalent of the mi-series among pro-bridi, since a person isn't a relationship.