4. Some words used to indicate selbri relations

Here is a short table of some words used as Lojban selbri in this chapter:

    vecnu   x1 (seller) sells x2 (goods) to x3 (buyer) for x4 (price)
    tavla   x1 (talker) talks to x2 (audience) about x3 (topic) in language x4
    sutra   x1 (agent) is fast at doing x2 (action)
    blari'o x1 (object/light source) is blue-green
    melbi   x1 (object/idea) is beautiful to x2 (observer) by standard x3
    cutci   x1 is a shoe/boot for x2 (foot) made of x3 (material)
    bajra   x1 runs on x2 (surface) using x3 (limbs) in manner x4 (gait)
    klama   x1 goes/comes to x2 (destination) from x3 (origin point) via x4 (route) using
            x5 (means of transportation)
    pluka   x1 pleases/is pleasing to x2 (experiencer) under conditions x3
    gerku   x1 is a dog of breed x2
    kurji   x1 takes care of x2
    kanro   x1 is healthy by standard x2
    stali   x1 stays/remains with x2
    zarci   x1 is a market/store/shop selling x2 (products) operated by x3 (storekeeper)

Each selbri (relation) has a specific rule that defines the role of each sumti in the bridi, based on its position. In the table above, that order was expressed by labeling the sumti positions as x1, x2, x3, x4, and x5.

Like the table in Section 3, this table is far from complete: in fact, no complete table can exist, because Lojban allows new words to be created (in specified ways) whenever a speaker or writer finds the existing supply of words inadequate. This notion is a basic difference between Lojban (and some other languages such as German and Chinese) and English; in English, most people are very leery of using words that “aren’t in the dictionary”. Lojbanists are encouraged to invent new words; doing so is a major way of participating in the development of the language. Chapter 4 explains how to make new words, and Chapter 12 explains how to give them appropriate meanings.