ti mo finpe

English Translation

What kind of fish is this?

“ti mo finpe” is a short phrase in the constructed language Lojban. Lojban is an engineered language designed for precision and ambiguity-free communication. It is based on predicate logic, which can make it seem quite different from natural languages for new learners. To understand “ti mo finpe,” we’ll break down the components of the phrase:

  • “ti”: This is a demonstrative pronoun meaning “this” or “these.” It is used to indicate an object or objects that are physically nearby or contextually obvious to the speaker and the listener.

  • “mo”: This is an interrogative word that essentially turns a statement into a question by replacing the selbri (the main verb of the sentence, which usually describes a relation). It asks “what is the relation?” or “what does it do?” – akin to asking, “What about it?” in English.

  • “finpe”: This is a gismu (one of the basic root words in Lojban). It stands for a specific concept, in this case, “fish.” As a gismu, it acts as a verb or predicate word that relates one or more sumti (argument phrases, which can be nouns or noun phrases) to this concept.

Putting it together, “ti mo finpe” can be interpreted as:

  • “As for this/As regards this, it has what relation to being a fish?”

This phrase is somewhat incomplete and ambiguous out of context since the “mo” invites someone to fill in the relation. It is a shorthand way of raising a question about the relationship between “this” (whatever “ti” refers to) and the concept of “fish.”

For example, if you were looking at an animal in an aquarium and you said “ti mo finpe,” you might be asking “How is this (creature) related to being a fish?” or more simply, “Is this a fish, and if not, what is it?”

In a full sentence, you might see more information that specifies the kind of relationship, such as:

  • “ti melbi finpe” meaning “This is a beautiful fish.”

If you replace “melbi” with “mo,” you get “ti mo finpe?” which then asks, “What is beautiful about this fish?” or “How is this a beautiful fish?”

In conclusion, Lojban phrases use a logical structure that may involve a selbri (predicate) and one or more sumti (arguments) to express complete thoughts. The phrase “ti mo finpe” uses “mo” to form a question about the relationship between “this” and “fish,” inviting clarification or further information