This is the fasnu modal, and is commonly seen to translate if.

Commonly? I can't remember ever seeing fau used, especially since the mailing list message where someone asked how you're supposed to use a modal that has only one place. --rab.spir

Let me rephrase that. Was commonly seen in 'Tweeners writings, and particularly Nick Nicholas' — mi'e nitcion (duh :-) . Didn't see that message, but Lojban Central has in the past rejected the contention that sumti tcita readily transform from their base gismu to sentences with that gismu as a selbri. See pe necessary for sumti plus (BAI-type modifier) Gotcha.

What could this modal ever be useful for, except as a way to try to say "if"? And it's odd that anybody that likes a Logical Language would use such a weird method to express what is so nicely captured with a logical expression. --xod

  • Sorry, it's precisely because I like a Logical Language that I think it bogus to claim ganai captures 'if': it doesn't capture the covert notion of causality 'if' almost always entails. (The Falsehood Entails Anything things is obviously pathological, and not an if-then anyone uses in real life.) Although, thanks to you, I'm now using ganai a lot more anyway. :-) — nitcion

    • I think it's a good thing that Lojban distinguishes the pure "if" of correlation from causality. These concepts are conflated in English, and it brings a lot of grief! People are notorious for this conflation — could it be because their languages does not distinguish them clearly? --xod

That it might mean if is purely a matter of convention; that meaning does not come from the word fasnu. Why should "mi gasnu le nu le gerku cu citka kei fau le nu mi dunda lo cidja gy" mean "I make the dog eat if I give him food." and not "I make the dog eat by giving him food."? fau means if no more than ci'a means according to. It's incurably malglico.

  • This example is a bit odd anyway, because gasnu already has an event place — the x2 — so it is not clear what another event place can do for it. The resulting underlying selbri is something like "x1 is the agent of event x2, associated with event x3", where we really have no clue how the two events are supposed to be associated — it could be cause, effect, whatever. --John Cowan
    • Exactly, that's the point! Anything which has an "obvious" event associated with it will have that as part of the place structure, and it's will never be clear how the two events are supposed to be related. — Adam