22. Conversion of sumti tcita: JAI

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

     jai     JAI                 tense conversion
     fai     FA                  indefinite place

Conversion is the regular Lojban process of moving around the places of a place structure. The cmavo of selma'o SE serve this purpose, exchanging the first place with one of the others:

22.1)  mi cu klama le zarci
       I go-to the market.

22.2)  le zarci cu se klama mi
       The market is-gone-to by-me.
It is also possible to bring a place that is specified by a sumti tcita (for the purposes of this chapter, a tense sumti tcita) to the front, by using “jai” plus the tense as the grammatical equivalent of SE:
22.3)  le ratcu cu citka le cirla vi le panka
       The rat eats the cheese [short distance] the park.
       The rat eats the cheese in the park.

22.4)  le panka cu jai vi citka le cirla fai le ratcu
       The park is-the-place-of eating the cheese by-the rat.
       The park is where the rat eats the cheese.
In Example 22.4, the construction JAI+tense converts the location sumti into the first place. The previous first place has nowhere to go, since the location sumti is not a numbered place; however, it can be inserted back into the bridi with “fai”, the indefinite member of selma'o FA.

(The other members of FA are used to mark the first, second, etc. places of a bridi explicitly:

22.5)  fa mi cu klama fe le zarci
means the same as
22.6)  fe le zarci cu klama fa mi
as well as the simple
22.7)  mi cu klama le zarci
in which the place structure is determined by position.)

Like SE conversion, JAI+tense conversion is especially useful in descriptions with LE selma'o:

22.8)  mi viska le jai vi citka be le cirla
       I saw the place-of eating the cheese.
Here the eater of the cheese is elided, so no “fai” appears.

Of course, temporal tenses are also usable with JAI:

22.9)  mi djuno fi le jai ca morsi be fai la djan.
       I know about the [present] is-dead of-the-one-called “John”.
       I know the time of John’s death.
       I know when John died.