11.3. Types of event abstractions

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

mu'e

NU

point-event abstractor

pu'u

NU

process abstractor

zu'o

NU

activity abstractor

za'i

NU

state abstractor

Event abstractions with nu suffice to express all kinds of events, whether long, short, unique, repetitive, or whatever. Lojban also has more finely discriminating machinery for talking about events, however. There are four other abstractors of selma'o NU for talking about four specific types of events, or four ways of looking at the same event.

An event considered as a point in time is called a point-event, or sometimes an achievement. (This latter word should be divorced, in this context, from all connotations of success or triumph.) A point-event can be extended in duration, but it is still a point-event if it is thought of as unitary, having no internal structure. The abstractor mu'e means point-event-of:

Example 11.17. 

lemu'ela.djan.cucatrala.djim.cuzekri
Thepoint-event-of(that-namedJohnkillsthat-namedJim) is-a-crime.

John's killing Jim (considered as a point in time) is a crime.


An event considered as extended in time, and structured with a beginning, a middle containing one or more stages, and an end, is called a process. The abstractor pu'u means process-of:

Example 11.18. 

ca'olepu'ulelatmobalje'acuporpikei
[continuitive]theprocess-of(theLatingreat-statebreaking-up)
so'ije'atrucuselcatra
manystate-rulerswere-killed

During the fall of the Roman Empire, many Emperors were killed.


An event considered as extended in time and cyclic or repetitive is called an activity. The abstractor zu'o means activity-of:

Example 11.19. 

mitatpiri'alezu'omiplipe
Iam-tiredbecause-oftheactivity-of(Ijump).

I am tired because I jump.


An event considered as something that is either happening or not happening, with sharp boundaries, is called a state. The abstractor za'i means state-of:

Example 11.20. 

leza'imijmivecuckapedo
Thestate-of(Iam-alive) is-dangerous-toyou.

My being alive is dangerous to you.


The abstractors in Example 11.17 through Example 11.20 could all have been replaced by nu, with some loss of precision. Note that Lojban allows every sort of event to be viewed in any of these four ways:

Further information on types of events can be found in Section 11.1.

The four event type abstractors have the following place structures:

mu'e: x1 is a point event of (the bridi)

pu'u: x1 is a process of (the bridi) with stages x2

za'i: x1 is a continuous state of (the bridi) being true

zu'o: x1 is an activity of (the bridi) consisting of repeated actions x2