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selskiski describes a style of tanru that is the inverse of the usual order of tanru. In other words, the tertau ("noun/verb", metaphorically se skicu thing described) comes before the seltau ("adjective/adverb", metaphorically skicu describer)


This style has a chief advantage over the normal, English-like ordering of "adjective-noun"; namely, the selbri-unit that describes the subject is uttered first. There is a reason the military uses it (c.f. "Meal, Ready to Eat").

Many languages other than English uses this style of compound-words, e.g. French, Spanish, and Malay.

Note that selskiski does not change lujvo. This is because lujvo are already defined words, and as such rearranging all the rafsi would be impractical. Furthermore, some decisions for rafsi assignment were based on the regular "skiselski" ordering, e.g. the numbers have CVC rafsi, but no CVV, which makes it impossible to reverse lujvo like pavdei.

In small doses

The Eulojban cmavo keu (selma'o KE, ortho-Lojban ke'oi) signifies a selskiski tanru.

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The real thing

If you are ready to try selskiski for real, you can use the Eulojban cmavo ke'eu (ortho-Lojban ke'e'u or jo'au selskiski) to indicate that all subsequent tanru are selskiski style. Use ke'eunai (ke'e'unai / jo'aunai selskiski / jo'au skiselski) to switch back.

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Potential issues

There is a problem that uniquely crops up with selskiski tanru; how {be} should work. Under skiselski {be} works rather naturally, with {lo broda brode be ko'a} being equivalent to {lo poi'i broda brode ko'a}, as {ko'a} is considered to be in brode2 in both cases. On the other hand, a normal interpretation of {lo (keu) brode broda be ko'a} would put ko'a in broda2 instead, which won't match {lo poi'i (keu) brode broda ko'a}.

One possible solution is to use some kind of tanru terminator, maybe {sei'o}, to end the tanru before attaching a {be}. However, that can be unwieldy. The other option is either use another cmavo like {beu} (no ortho-Lojban form decided yet) to function as a {be} for the entire tanru, or just make {be} refer to the entire tanru by default, and use another method to mark a specific selbrisle. Maybe {cobe} or {bebo} might work, but would require some changes to existing grammar...

Or just use {poi'i} / new voi