Chapter 13: Oooh! Arrgh! Ugh! Yecch! Attitudinal and Emotional Indicators

3. Propositional attitude indicators

As mentioned at the beginning of c13-§2, attitudinals may be divided into two groups, the pure emotion indicators explained in that section, and a contrasting group which may be called the “propositional attitude indicators”. These indicators establish an internal, hypothetical world which the speaker is reacting to, distinct from the world as it really is. Thus we may be expressing our attitude towards “what the world would be like if ...”, or more directly stating our attitude towards making the potential world a reality.

In general, the bridi paraphrases of pure emotions look (in English) something like “I'm going to the market, and I'm happy about it”. The emotion is present with the subject of the primary claim, but is logically independent of it. Propositional attitudes, though, look more like “I intend to go to the market”, where the main claim is logically subordinate to the intention: I am not claiming that I am actually going to the market, but merely that I intend to.

There is no sharp distinction between attitudinals beginning with “a” and those beginning with “e”; however, the original intent (not entirely realized due to the need to cram too many attitudes into too little space) was to make the members of the “a”-series the purer, more attitudinal realizers of a potential world, while the members of the “e”-series were more ambivalent or complex about the speaker's intention with regard to the predication. The relationship between the “a”-series and the “e”-series is similar to that between the “u”-series and the “o”-series, respectively. A few propositional attitude indicators overflowed into the “i”-series as well.

In fact, the entire distinction between pure emotions and propositional attitudes is itself a bit shaky: “.u'u” can be seen as a propositional attitude indicator meaning “I regret that ...”, and “a'e” (discussed below) can be seen as a pure emotion meaning “I'm awake/aware”. The division of the attitudinals into pure-emotion and propositional-attitude classes in this chapter is mostly by way of explanation; it is not intended to permit firm rulings on specific points. Attitudinals are the part of Lojban most distant from the “logical language” aspect.

Here is the list of propositional attitude indicators grouped by initial letter, starting with those beginning with “a”:

.a'a    attentive   inattentive avoiding
.a'e    alertness           exhaustion
.ai intent      indecision  refusal
.a'i    effort      no real effort  repose
.a'o    hope                despair
.au desire      indifference    reluctance
.a'u    interest    no interest repulsion

Some examples (of a parental kind):

✥3.1  .a'a do zgana le veltivni
[attentive] you observe the television-receiver.
I'm noticing that you are watching the TV.

✥3.2  .a'enai do ranji bacru
[exhaustion] you continuously utter.
I'm worn out by your continuous talking.

✥3.3  .ai mi benji do le ckana
[intent] I transfer you to-the bed.
I'm putting you to bed.

✥3.4  .a'i mi ba gasnu
    le nu do cikna binxo
[effort] I [future] am-the-actor-in
    the event-of you awake-ly become.
It'll be a real pain for me to wake you up.

✥3.5  .a'o mi kanryze'a
    ca le bavlamdei
[hope] I am-health-increased at-time
    the future-adjacent-day.
I hope I feel better tomorrow!

✥3.6  .au mi sipna
[desire] I sleep.
I want to sleep.

✥3.7  a'ucu'i do pante
[no interest] you complain
I have no interest in your complaints.

(In a real-life situation, Examples 3.1-3.7 would also be decorated by various pure emotion indicators, certainly including “.oicai”, but probably also “.iucai”.)

Splitting off the attitude into an indicator allows the regular bridi grammar to do what it does best: express the relationships between concepts that are intended, desired, hoped for, or whatever. Rephrasing these examples to express the attitude as the main selbri would make for unacceptably heavyweight grammar.

Here are the propositional attitude indicators beginning with “e”, which stand roughly in the relation to those beginning with “a” as the pure-emotion indicators beginning with “o” do to those beginning with “u” — they are more complex or difficult:

.e'a    permission          prohibition
.e'e    competence          incompetence
.ei obligation          freedom
.e'i    constraint  independence    resistance to constraint
.e'o    request             negative request
.e'u    suggestion  no suggestion   warning

More examples (after a good night's sleep):

✥3.8  .e'a do sazri le karce
[permission] You drive the car.
Sure, you can drive the car.

✥3.9  e'e mi lifri tu'a do
[competence] I experience something-related-to you
I feel up to dealing with you.

✥3.10    .ei mi tisna
    le karce ctilyvau
[obligation] I fill
    the car-type-of petroleum-container.
I should fill the car's gas tank.

✥3.11    .e'o ko ko kurji
[request] You-imperative of-you-imperative take-care.
Please take care of yourself!

✥3.12    .e'u do klama le panka
[suggestion] You go to-the park.
I suggest going to the park.

Finally, the propositional attitude indicators beginning with “i”, which are the overflow from the other sets:

.ia belief      skepticism  disbelief
.i'a    acceptance          blame
.ie agreement           disagreement
.i'e    approval    non-approval    disapproval

Still more examples (much, much later):

✥3.13    .ianai do pu pensi le nu tcica mi
[disbelief] You [past] think the event-of deceiving me.
I can't believe you thought you could fool me.

✥3.14    do .i'anai na xruti do le zdani
You [blame] did-not return you to-the house
I blame you for not coming home.

✥3.15    .ie mi na cusku
    lu'e le tcika
    be le nu xruti
[agreement] I did-not express
    a-symbol-for the time-of-day
    of the event-of (you return)
It's true I didn't tell you when to come back.

✥3.16    .i'enai do .i'e zukte
[disapproval] you [approval] act
I don't approve of what you did, but I approve of you.

✥3.16 illustrates the use of a propositional attitude indicator, “i'e”, in both the usual sense (at the beginning of the bridi) and as a pure emotion (attached to “do”). The event expressed by the main bridi is disapproved of by the speaker, but the referent of the sumti in the x1 place (namely the listener) is approved of.

To indicate that an attitudinal discussed in this section is not meant to indicate a propositional attitude, the simplest expedient is to split the attitudinal off into a separate sentence. Thus, a version of ✥3.8 which actually claimed that the listener was or would be driving the car might be:

✥3.17    do sazri le karce .i e'a
You drive the car.  [Permission].
You're driving (or will drive) the car,
    and that's fine.