13.2. Pure emotion indicators

Attitudinals make no claim: they are expressions of attitude, not of facts or alleged facts. As a result, attitudinals themselves have no truth value, nor do they directly affect the truth value of a bridi that they modify. However, since emotional attitudes are carried in your mind, they reflect reactions to that version of the world that the mind is thinking about; this is seldom identical with the real world. At times, we are thinking about our idealized version of the real world; at other times we are thinking about a potential world that might or might not ever exist.

Therefore, there are two groups of attitudinals in Lojban. The pure emotion indicators express the way the speaker is feeling, without direct reference to what else is said. These indicators comprise the attitudinals which begin with u or o and many of those beginning with i.

The cmavo beginning with u are simple emotions, which represent the speaker's reaction to the world as it is, or as it is perceived to be.

ua

discovery

confusion

.u'a

gain

loss

ue

surprise

no surprise

expectation

.u'e

wonder

commonplace

ui

happiness

unhappiness

.u'i

amusement

weariness

uo

completion

incompleteness

.u'o

courage

timidity

cowardice

uu

pity

cruelty

.u'u

repentance

lack of regret

innocence

Here are some typical uses of the u attitudinals:

Example 13.7. 

uamizvafa'ilemimapku
[Eureka!]Ifoundtheof-mehat.

[Eureka!] I found my hat! [emphasizes the discovery of the hat]


Example 13.8. 

.u'amizvafa'ilemimapku
[Gain!]Ifoundtheof-mehat.

[Gain!] I found my hat! [emphasizes the obtaining of the hat]


Example 13.9. 

uimizvafa'ilemimapku
[Yay!]Ifoundtheof-mehat.

[Yay!] I found my hat! [emphasizes the feeling of happiness]


Example 13.10. 

uomizvafa'ilemimapku
[At-last!]Ifoundtheof-mehat.

[At last!] I found my hat! [emphasizes that the finding is complete]


Example 13.11. 

uudocortu
[Pity!]youfeel-pain.

[Pity!] you feel pain. [expresses speaker's sympathy]


Example 13.12. 

.u'udocortu
[Repentance!]youfeel-pain.

[Repentance!] you feel pain. [expresses that speaker feels guilty]


In Example 13.10, note that the attitudinal uo is translated by an English non-attitudinal phrase: At last! It is common for the English equivalents of Lojban attitudinals to be short phrases of this sort, with more or less normal grammar, but actually expressions of emotion.

In particular, both uu and .u'u can be translated into English as I'm sorry; the difference between these two attitudes frequently causes confusion among English-speakers who use this phrase, leading to responses like Why are you sorry? It's not your fault!

It is important to realize that uu, and indeed all attitudinals, are meant to be used sincerely, not ironically. In English, the exclamation Pity! is just as likely to be ironically intended, but this usage does not extend to Lojban. Lying with attitudinals is (normally) as inappropriate to Lojban discourse as any other kind of lying: perhaps worse, because misunderstood emotions can cause even greater problems than misunderstood statements.

The following examples display the effects of nai and cu'i when suffixed to an attitudinal:

Example 13.13. 

uela.djan.cuklama
[Surprise!]that-namedJohncomes.

Example 13.14. 

uecu'ila.djan.cuklama
[Ho-hum.]that-namedJohncomes.

Example 13.15. 

uenaila.djan.cuklama
[Expected!]that-namedJohncomes.

In Example 13.15, John's coming has been anticipated by the speaker. In Example 13.13 and Example 13.14, no such anticipation has been made, but in Example 13.14 the lack-of-anticipation goes no further – in Example 13.13, it amounts to actual surprise.

It is not possible to firmly distinguish the pure emotion words beginning with o or i from those beginning with u, but in general they represent more complex, more ambivalent, or more difficult emotions.

.o'a

pride

modesty

shame

.o'e

closeness

detachment

distance

.oi

complaint/pain

doing OK

pleasure

.o'i

caution

boldness

rashness

.o'o

patience

mere tolerance

anger

.o'u

relaxation

composure

stress

Here are some examples:

Example 13.16. 

.oila.djan.cuklama
[Complaint!]that-namedJohnis-coming.

Here the speaker is distressed or discomfited over John's coming. The word .oi is derived from the Yiddish word oy of similar meaning. It is the only cmavo with a Yiddish origin.

Example 13.17. 

.o'onaila.djan.cuklama
[Anger!]that-namedJohnis-coming!

Here the speaker feels anger over John's coming.

Example 13.18. 

.o'ila.djan.cuklama
[Beware!]that-namedJohnis-coming.

Here there is a sense of danger in John's arrival.

Example 13.19. 

.o'ecu'ila.djan.cuklama
[Detachment!]that-namedJohnis-coming.

Example 13.20. 

.o'ula.djan.cuklama
[Phew!]that-namedJohnis-coming.

In Example 13.19 and Example 13.20, John's arrival is no problem: in the former example, the speaker feels emotional distance from the situation; in the latter example, John's coming is actually a relief of some kind.

The pure emotion indicators beginning with i are those which could not be fitted into the u or o groups because there was a lack of room, so they are a mixed lot. ia, .i'a, ie, and .i'e do not appear here, as they belong in Section 13.1 instead.

ii

fear

nervousness

security

.i'i

togetherness

privacy

io

respect

disrespect

.i'o

appreciation

envy

iu

love

no love lost

hatred

.i'u

familiarity

mystery

Here are some examples:

Example 13.21. 

iismacu
[Fear!]a-mouse!

Eek! A mouse!


Example 13.22. 

la.djan.iucuklama
That-namedJohn[love!]is-coming.

Example 13.23. 

la.djan.ionaicuklama
That-namedJohn[disrespect!]is-coming.

Example 13.21 shows an attitude towards a vaguely specified relation; the attitudinal modifies the situation described by the bare selbri, namely the mouse that is causing the emotion. Lojban-speaking toddlers, if there ever are any, will probably use sentences like Example 13.21 a lot.

Example 13.22 and Example 13.23 use attitudinals that follow la .djan. rather than being at the beginning of the sentence. This form means that the attitude is attached to John rather than the event of his coming; the speaker loves or disrespects John specifically. Compare:

Example 13.24. 

la.djan.cuklamaiu
That-namedJohnis-coming[love!]

where it is specifically the coming of John that inspires the feeling.

Example 13.23 is a compact way of swearing at John: you could translate it as That good-for-nothing John is coming.