The following paragraphs list all the selma'o of Lojban, with a brief explanation of what each one is about, and reference to the chapter number where each is explained more fully. As usual, all selma'o names are given in capital letters (with “h” serving as the capital of “”') and are the names of a representative cmavo, often the most important or the first in alphabetical order. One example is given of each selma'o: for selma'o which have several uses, the most common use is shown.
selma'o A (Chapter 14)
Specifies a logical connection (e.g. “and”, “or”, “if”), usually between sumti.
Also used to create vowel lerfu words when followed with “bu”.
selma'o BAI (Chapter 9)
May be prefixed to a sumti to specify an additional place, not otherwise present in the place structure of the selbri, and derived from a single place of some other selbri.
Emphasizes the next single word, or marks it as a nonce word (one invented for the occasion.
Attaches sumti which fill the place structure of a single unit making up a tanru. Unless otherwise indicated, the sumti fill the x2, x3, and successive places in that order. BE is most useful in descriptions formed with LE. See BEI, BEhO.
Separates multiple sumti attached by BE to a tanru unit.
Elidable terminator for BE. Terminates sumti that are attached to a tanru unit.
Prefix attached to a mathematical operator to mark it as higher priority than other mathematical operators, binding its operands more closely.
Joins sumti or tanru units (as well as some other things) to form intervals. See GAhO.
Joins tanru units, binding them together closely. Also used to bind logically or non-logically connected phrases, sentences, etc. BO is always high precedence and right-grouping.
Elidable terminator for PA or BY. Used to terminate a number (string of numeric cmavo) or lerfu string (string of letter words) when another string immediately follows.
A suffix which can be attached to any word, typically a word representing a letter of the alphabet or else a name, to make a word for a symbol or a different letter of the alphabet. In particular, attached to single-vowel cmavo to make words for vowel letters.
Words representing the letters of the Lojban alphabet, plus various shift words which alter the interpretation of other letter words.
A particle which indicates the intensity of an emotion: maximum, strong, weak, or not at all. Typically follows another particle which specifies the emotion.
Specifies whether a bridi refers to an actual fact, a potential (achieved or not), or merely an innate capability.
Assigns a selbri definition to one of the five pro-bridi gismu: “broda”, “brode”, “brodi”, “brodo”, or “brodu”, for later use.
Joins multiple terms into a termset. Termsets are used to associate several terms for logical connectives, for equal quantifier scope, or for special constructs in tenses.
When inserted between the components of a tanru, inverts it, so that the following tanru unit modifies the previous one.
When prefixed to a name, description, or sumti, produces a vocative: a phrase which indicates who is being spoken to (or who is speaking). Vocatives are used in conversational protocols, including greeting, farewell, and radio communication. See DOI, DOhU.
Separates the selbri of a bridi from any sumti which precede it. Never strictly necessary, but often useful to eliminate various elidable terminators.
Forms a question which asks when, where, or in what mode the rest of the bridi is true. See PU, CAhA, TAhE, and BAI.
Cancels the assigned significance of all sumti cmavo (of selma'o KOhA) and bridi cmavo (of selma'o GOhA).
selma'o DOI (Chapter 13)
The non-specific vocative indicator. May be used with or without COI. No pause is required between “doi” and a following name. See DOhU.
Elidable terminator for COI or DOI. Signals the end of a vocative.
Prefix for a sumti, indicating which numbered place in the place structure the sumti belongs in; overrides word order.
Specifies the direction in which, or toward which (when marked with MOhI) or along which (when prefixed by VEhA or VIhA) the action of the bridi takes place.
A mechanical signal, outside the grammar, indicating that there is no more text. Useful in talking to computers.
selma'o FEhE (Chapter 10)
Indicates that the following interval modifier (using TAhE, ROI, or ZAhO) refers to space rather than time.
Elidable terminator for FIhO. Indicates the end of an ad hoc modal tag: the tagged sumti immediately follows.
When placed before a selbri, transforms the selbri into a modal tag, grammatically and semantically equivalent to a member of selma'o BAI.
Signals the end of a compound alphabet letter word that begins with TEI. Not an elidable terminator.
Indicates that the following mathematical expression is to be interpreted as reverse Polish (RP), a mode in which mathematical operators follow their operands.
Indicates that the following indicator(s) of selma'o UI affect not the preceding word, as usual, but rather all following words until a FUhO.
Cancels all indicators of selma'o UI which are in effect.
Indicates the beginning of two logically connected sumti, bridi-tails, or various other things. Logical connections include “both … and”, “either … or”, “if … then”, and so on. See GI.
Specifies whether an interval specified by BIhI includes or excludes its endpoints. Used in pairs before and after the BIhI cmavo, to specify the nature of both the left- and the right-hand endpoints.
Elidable terminator for GOI. Marks the end of a relative phrase. See KUhO.
Separates two logically or non-logically connected sumti, tanru units, bridi-tails, or other things, when the prefix is a forethought logical connective involving GA, GUhA, or JOI.
Specifies a logical connective (e.g. “and”, “or”, “if”) between two bridi-tails: a bridi-tail is a selbri with any associated following sumti, but not including any preceding sumti.
Specifies the beginning of a relative phrase, which associates a subordinate sumti (following) to another sumti (preceding). See GEhU, NOI.
A general selma'o for all cmavo which can take the place of brivla. There are several groups of these.
Indicates the beginning of two logically connected tanru units. Takes the place of GA when forming logically-connected tanru. See GI.
Separates two sentences from each other.
Specifies a logical connection (e.g. “and”, “or”, “if”) between two tanru units, mathematical operands, tenses, or abstractions.
When followed by a tense or modal, creates a conversion operator attachable to a selbri which exchanges the modal place with the x1 place of the selbri. When alone, is a conversion operator exchanging the x1 place of the selbri (which should be an abstract sumti) with one of the places of the abstracted-over bridi.
Specifies a non-logical connection (e.g. together-with-as-mass, -set, or -sequence) between two sumti, tanru units, or various other things. When immediately followed by GI, provides forethought non-logical connection analogous to GA.
Indicates that the following mathematical operands (a list terminated by TEhU) form a mathematical vector (one-dimensional array).
Groups everything between itself and a following KEhE for purposes of logical connection, tanru construction, or other purposes. KE and KEhE are not used for mathematical (see VEI and VEhO) or discursive (see TO and TOI) purposes.
Elidable terminator for NU. Marks the end of an abstraction bridi.
Elidable terminator for KE. Marks the end of a grouping.
When preceded by a tense, makes it “sticky”, so that it applies to all further bridi until reset by another appearance of KI. When alone, eliminates all sticky tenses.
selma'o KOhA (Chapter 7)
A general selma'o which contains all cmavo which can substitute for sumti. These cmavo are divided into several groups.
Elidable terminator for LE and some uses of LA. Indicates the end of a description sumti. Also used after a tense or modal to indicate that no sumti follows, and in the compound NA+KU to indicate natural language-style negation.
Elidable terminator for PEhO: indicates the end of a forethought mathematical expression (one in which the operator precedes the operands).
Elidable terminator for NOI. Indicates the end of a relative clause.
Descriptors which change name words (or selbri) into sumti which identify people or things by name. Similar to LE. May be terminated with KU if followed by a description selbri.
Cmavo which combine with the following alphabetic letter to represent a single marker: change from lower to upper case, change of font, punctuation, etc.)
Qualifiers which, when prefixed to a sumti, change it into another sumti with related meaning. Qualifiers can also consist of a cmavo from selma'o NAhE plus BO. See LUhU.
Descriptors which make selbri into sumti which describe or specify things that fit into the x1 place of the selbri. See LA, KU.
Indicates the end of a quotation begun with LOhU. Not an elidable terminator.
Descriptors which change numbers or other mathematical expressions into sumti which specify numbers or numerical expressions. See LOhO.
Elidable terminator for LU. Indicates the end of a text quotation.
Elidable terminator for LI. Indicates the end of a mathematical expression used in a LI description.
Indicates the beginning of a quotation (a sumti) which is grammatical as long as the quoted material consists of Lojban words, whether they form a text or not. Terminated by LEhU.
Indicates the beginning of a quotation (a sumti) which is grammatical only if the quoted material also forms a grammatical Lojban text. Terminated by LIhU.
Elidable terminator for LAhE and NAhE+BO. Indicates the end of a qualified sumti.
When suffixed to a number or string of letter words, produces a free modifier which serves as an index number within a text.
Produces a mathematical operator from a letter or other operand. See TEhU, VUhU.
Produces a tanru unit from a sumti, which is applicable to the things referenced by the sumti. See MEhU.
The elidable terminator for ME. Indicates the end of a sumti converted to a tanru unit.
Suffixes added to numbers or other quantifiers to make various numerically-based selbri.
Produces a mathematical operand from a sumti; used to make dimensioned units. Terminated by TEhU.
A tense flag indicating movement in space, in a direction specified by a following FAhA cmavo.
Contradictory negators, asserting that a whole bridi is false (or true).
Also used to construct logical connective compound cmavo.
selma'o NAI (Chapter 14, Chapter 15)
Negates the previous word, but can only be used with certain selma'o as specified by the grammar.
selma'o NAhE (Chapter 15)
Scalar negators, modifying a selbri or a sumti to a value other than the one stated, the opposite of the one stated, etc. Also used with following BO to construct a sumti qualifier; see LAhE.
Creates a mathematical operator from a selbri. See VUhU.
Creates a mathematical operand from a selbri, usually a “ni” abstraction. Terminated by TEhU.
Marks the beginning of a new paragraph, and indicates whether it contains old or new subject matter.
selma'o NOI (Chapter 8)
Relative clause introducers. The following bridi modifies the preceding sumti. Terminated by KUhO. See GOI.
Abstractors which, when prefixed to a bridi, create abstraction selbri. Terminated by KEI.
Creates a selbri from a mathematical operator. See VUhU.
Marks the beginning of a termset, which is used to make simultaneous claims involving two or more different places of a selbri.
Elidable terminator for NUhI. Marks the end of a termset, and is also used in the middle of one to mark the termset joint (a logical or non-logical connective).
Digits and related quantifiers (some, all, many, etc.).
Precedes a logical or non-logical connective that joins two termsets. Termsets (see CEhE) are used to associate several terms for logical connectives, for equal quantifier scope, or for special constructs in tenses.
An optional signal of forethought mathematical operators, which precede their operands. Terminated by KUhE.
Specifies simple time directions (future, past, or neither).
The pro-bridi update flag: changes the meaning of sumti implicitly attached to a pro-bridi (see GOhA) to fit the current context rather than the original context.
A particle which, when suffixed to a number, makes an extensional tense (e.g. once, twice, many times).
A particle which erases the previous phrase or sentence.
Particles which convert a selbri, rearranging the order of places by exchanging the x1 place with a specified numbered place.
Also used in constructing connective and modal compound cmavo.
selma'o SEI (Chapter 19)
Marks the beginning of metalinguistic insertions which comment on the main bridi. Terminated by SEhU.
Elidable terminator for SEI and SOI. Ends metalinguistic insertions.
A particle which erases the previous single word.
Marks reciprocity between two sumti (like “vice versa” in English).
A particle which closes and erases the entire previous discourse.
selma'o TAhE (Chapter 10)
A tense modifier specifying frequencies within an interval of time or space (regularly, habitually, etc.).
Signals the beginning of a compound letter word, which acts grammatically like a single letter. Compound letter words end with the non-elidable selma'o FOI.
Elidable terminator for JOhI, MAhO, MOhE, NAhU, or NIhE. Marks the end of a mathematical conversion construct.
Left discursive parenthesis: allows inserting a digression. Terminated by TOI.
Elidable terminator for TO. The right discursive parenthesis.
Groups multiple sentences or paragraphs into a logical unit. Terminated by TUhU.
Logical terminator for TUhE. Marks the end of a multiple sentence group.
selma'o UI (Chapter 13)
Particles which indicate the speaker's emotional state or source of knowledge, or the present stage of discourse.
A tense indicating distance in space (near, far, or neither).
Elidable terminator for a simple bridi, or for each bridi-tail of a GIhA logical connection.
Left mathematical parenthesis: groups mathematical operations. Terminated by VEhO.
A tense indicating the size of an interval in space (long, medium, or short).
selma'o VEhO (Chapter 19)
Elidable terminator for VEI: right mathematical parenthesis.
A tense indicating dimensionality in space (line, plane, volume, or space-time interval).
A mechanism for attaching relative clauses or phrases to a whole (possibly connected) sumti, rather than simply to the leftmost portion of the sumti.
Mathematical operators (e.g. $+$, $-$). See MAhO.
The subscript marker: the following number or lerfu string is a subscript for whatever precedes it.
Hesitation noise: content-free, but holds the floor or continues the conversation. It is different from silence in that silence may be interpreted as having nothing more to say.
A tense modifier specifying the contour of an event (e.g. beginning, ending, continuing).
A morphological glue word, which joins the two words it stands between into the equivalent of a lujvo.
A tense indicating the size of an interval in time (long, medium, or short).
A tense indicating distance in time (a long, medium or short time ago or in the future).
Joins multiple relative phrases or clauses which apply to the same sumti. Although it is generally translated with “and”, it is not considered a logical connective.
Single-word quotation: quotes the following single Lojban word.
Non-Lojban quotation: quotes any text using a delimiting word (which can be any single Lojban word) placed before and after the text. The delimiting word must not appear in the text, and must be separated from the text by pauses.
Separates a logical prenex from a bridi or group of sentences to which it applies. Also separates a topic from a comment in topic/comment sentences.