## Chapter 6: To Speak Of Many Things: The Lojban sumti

### 15. Number summary

The sumti which refer to numbers consist of the cmavo “li” (of selma'o LI) followed by an arbitrary Lojban mekso, or mathematical expression. This can be anything from a simple number up to the most complicated combination of numbers, variables, operators, and so on. Much more information on numbers is given in Chapter 18. Here are a few examples of increasing complexity:

✥15.1 li vo the-number four 4 ✥15.2 li re su'i re the-number two plus two 2 + 2 ✥15.3 li .abu bopi'i xy. bote'a re su'i by. bopi'i xy. su'i cy. the-number a times x to-power 2 plus b times x plus c ax^{2}+ bx + c

An alternative to “li” is “me'o”, also of selma'o LI. Number expressions beginning with “me'o” refer to the actual expression, rather than its value. Thus ✥15.1 and ✥15.2 above have the same meaning, the number four, whereas

✥15.4 me'o vo the-expression four “4”

and

✥15.5 me'o re su'i re the-expression two plus two “2+2”

refer to different pieces of text.

The implicit quantifier for numbers and mathematical expressions is “su'o”, because these sumti are analogous to “lo” descriptions: they refer to things which actually are numbers or pieces of text. In the case of numbers (with “li”), this is a distinction without a difference, as there is only one number which is 4; but there are many texts “4”, as many as there are documents in which that numeral appears.