7.9. sumti and bridi questions: ma and mo

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:



sumti question



bridi question

Lojban questions are more fully explained in Section 19.5, but ma and mo are listed in this chapter for completeness. The cmavo ma asks for a sumti to make the bridi true:

Example 7.63. 

do klama ma
You go-to what?

Where are you going?

The cmavo mo, on the other hand, asks for a selbri which makes the question bridi true. If the answer is a full bridi, then the arguments of the answer override the arguments in the question, in the same manner as the go'i-series cmavo. A simple example is:

Example 7.64. 

do mo

What predicate is true as applied to you?

How are you?

What are you doing?

What are you?

Example 7.65 is a truly pregnant question that will have several meanings depending on context.

(One thing it probably does not mean is Who are you? in the sense What is your name/identity?, which is better expressed by:

Example 7.65. 

ma cmene do
What-sumti is-the-name-of you?

What is your name?

or even

Example 7.66. 

doi ma
O [what sumti?]

which uses the vocative doi to address someone, and simultaneously asks who the someone is.)

A further example of mo:

Example 7.67. 

lo mo   prenu cu darxi do .i barda
A [what selbri?] type-of person   hit you?   A big thing.

Which person hit you? The big one.

When ma or mo is repeated, multiple questions are being asked simultaneously:

Example 7.68. 

ma djuno ma
[What-sumti] knows [what-sumti]?

Who knows what?