19.7. Utterance ordinals: MAI

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:



utterance ordinal, -thly



higher order utterance ordinal

Numerical free modifiers, corresponding to English firstly, secondly, and so on, can be created by suffixing mai or mo'o of selma'o MAI to a number or a lerfu string. Here are some examples:

Example 19.36. 

mi klama pamai le zarci .e remai le zdani
I go-to (firstly) the store and (secondly) the house.

This does not imply that I go to the store before I go to the house: that meaning requires a tense. The sumti are simply numbered for convenience of reference. Like other free modifiers, the utterance ordinals can be inserted almost anywhere in a sentence without affecting its grammar or its meaning.

Any of the Lojban numbers can be used with MAI: romai, for example, means all-thly or lastly. Likewise, if you are enumerating a long list and have forgotten which number is wanted next, you can say ny.mai, or Nthly.

The difference between mai and mo'o is that mo'o enumerates larger subdivisions of a text; mai was designed for lists of numbered items, whereas mo'o was intended to subdivide structured works. If this chapter were translated into Lojban, it might number each section with mo'o: this section would then be introduced with zemo'o, or Section 7.