19.10. More on quotations: ZO, ZOI

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:



quote single word



non-Lojban quotation



non-Lojban name

The cmavo zo (of selma'o ZO) is a strong quotation mark for the single following word, which can be any Lojban word whatsoever. Among other uses, zo allows a metalinguistic word to be referenced without having it act on the surrounding text. The word must be a morphologically legal (but not necessarily meaningful) single Lojban word; compound cmavo are not permitted. For example:

Example 19.48. 

zo si cu lojbo valsi

si is a Lojbanic word.

Since zo acts on a single word only, there is no corresponding terminator. Brevity, then, is a great advantage of zo, since the terminators for other kinds of quotation are rarely or never elidable.

The cmavo zoi (of selma'o ZOI) is a quotation mark for quoting non-Lojban text. Its syntax is zoi X. text .X, where X is a Lojban word (called the delimiting word) which is separated from the quoted text by pauses, and which is not found in the written text or spoken phoneme stream. It is common, but not required, to use the lerfu word (of selma'o BY) which corresponds to the Lojban name of the language being quoted:

Example 19.49. 

zoi gy. John is a man .gy. cu glico jufra

John is a man is an English sentence.

where gy stands for glico. Other popular choices of delimiting words are .kuot., a Lojban name which sounds like the English word quote, and the word zoi itself. Another possibility is a Lojban word suggesting the topic of the quotation.

Within written text, the Lojban written word used as a delimiting word may not appear, whereas within spoken text, the sound of the delimiting word may not be uttered. This leads to occasional breakdowns of audio-visual isomorphism: Example 19.50 is fine in speech but ungrammatical as written, whereas Example 19.51 is correct when written but ungrammatical in speech.

Example 19.50. 

mi djuno fi le valsi po'u zoi gy. gyrations .gy.

I know about the word which-is gyrations.

Example 19.51. 

mi djuno fi le valsi po'u zoi jai. gyrations .jai

I know about the word which-is gyrations.

The text gy appears in the written word gyrations, whereas the sound represented in Lojban by jai appears in the spoken word gyrations. Such borderline cases should be avoided as a matter of good style.

It should be noted particularly that zoi quotation is the only way to quote rafsi, specifically CCV rafsi, because they are not Lojban words, and zoi quotation is the only way to quote things which are not Lojban words. (CVC and CVV rafsi look like names and cmavo respectively, and so can be quoted using other methods.) For example:

Example 19.52. 

zoi ry. sku .ry. cu rafsi zo cusku

sku is a rafsi of cusku.

(A minor note on interaction between lo'u ... le'u and zoi: The text between lo'u and le'u should consist of Lojban words only. In fact, non-Lojban material in the form of a zoi quotation may also appear. However, if the word le'u is used either as the delimiting word for the zoi quotation, or within the quotation itself, the outer lo'u quotation will be prematurely terminated. Therefore, le'u should be avoided as the delimiting word in any zoi quotation.)

Lojban strictly avoids any confusion between things and the names of things:

Example 19.53. 

zo .bab. cmene la bab.
The-word Bob is-the-name-of the-one-named Bob.

In Example 19.53, zo .bab. is the word, whereas la bab. is the thing named by the word. The cmavo la'e and lu'e (of selma'o LAhE) convert back and forth between references and their referents:

Example 19.54. 

zo .bab. cmene la'e zo .bab.
The-word Bob is-the-name-of the-referent-of the-word Bob .

Example 19.55. 

lu'e la bab. cmene la bab.
A-symbol-for Bob is-the-name-of Bob.

Example 19.53 through Example 19.55 all mean approximately the same thing, except for differences in emphasis. Example 19.56 is different:

Example 19.56. 

la bab. cmene la bab.

Bob is the name of Bob.

and says that Bob is both the name and the thing named, an unlikely situation. People are not names.

(In Example 19.53 through Example 19.54, the name bab. was separated from a preceding zo by a pause, thus: zo .bab.. The reason for this extra pause is that all Lojban names must be separated by pause from any preceding word other than la, lai, la'i (all of selma'o LA) and doi (of selma'o DOI). There are numerous other cmavo that may precede a name: of these, zo is one of the most common.)

The cmavo la'o also belongs to selma'o ZOI, and is mentioned here for completeness, although it does not signal the beginning of a quotation. Instead, la'o serves to mark non-Lojban names, especially the Linnaean binomial names (such as Homo sapiens) which are the internationally standardized names for species of animals and plants. Internationally known names which can more easily be recognized by spelling rather than pronunciation, such as Goethe, can also appear in Lojban text with la'o:

Example 19.57. 

la'o dy. Goethe .dy. cu me la'o ly. Homo sapiens .ly.

Goethe is a Homo sapiens.

Using la'o for all names rather than Lojbanizing, however, makes for very cumbersome text. A rough equivalent of la'o might be la me zoi.