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Thoughts on attitudinals
- To: lojban-list
- Subject: Thoughts on attitudinals
- From: cbmvax!snark.uu.net!eric
- Date: Fri, 1 Jun 90 15:53:44 EDT
- Resent-date: Wed, 26 Jun 91 13:33:37 EDT
- Resent-from: cbmvax!uunet!PICA.ARMY.MIL!protin
- Resent-message-id: <9106261952.AA25652@relay1.UU.NET>
- Resent-to: John Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I just got the paper on lojban attitudinals today, looked it over and was
pretty well impressed with the system; it looks comprehensive enough to be
However, I see one omission which (to my eyes) is pretty glaring; the lack
of an indicator for the "powerful/weak" distinction. Note how this is different
from the `courage/cowardice' or `success/failure' distinction. Its middle
ground might be something like `able to maintain current level'
I think this is pretty clearly an a-group attitudinal. For the moment, let's
assume it is "ao".
It could be used to say things like:
naoro'i I feel emotionally weak (i.e. drained, lacking reserves)
aoro'o I feel physically powerful (strong, physically able)
caoro'u I can maintain sexually (I'm good for a while yet, hon) :-)
A related idea which may also deserve an a-group attitudinal is the opposition
`confidence/uncertainty/can't hack it', expressing one's feelings about the
relation of a challenge to one's capabilities. Let's assume this is "ae".
naero'i I can't cope with these feelings right now.
aero'o I can meet this physical challenge.
caero'u I'm not sure I can keep this (level of sexual excitement) up.
Also, I think there's a missing e-group attitudinal -- there ought to be
a way to express "constrained/closed/limited" vs. "free/open/unlimited";
an options-increasing vs. options-decreasing gradient. Let's suppose it's
nearo'i I feel emotionally constrained ("Give me some space")
earo'o I feel free to act physical ("Nice elbow room here")
cearo'e This doesn't change the range of mental possibilities.
Something else I'd like to see added is an epistemic indicator for
`mythologically true' or `it is folklore that' or `it is proverbial that'.
This differs from `hearsay' in that it asserts that the same alleged fact
would be reported by anyone sharing cultural context with the speakers,
without making a strong judgement about truth value. This would be useful in
translating proverbs or even the expression "Once upon a time..."
Some of the "included middles" seem to me to have obvious loadings that
aren't included for example:
ci'a withholding judgement, "no blame" (as the I Ching would say)
cuu indifference, detachment, clinical attitude
ci'u encountered but unfamiliar
cuo in process, pending
cua maintenence, "holding one's own". Good idiomatic trans. of usual
reply to "How's it going?"
I think the connotation of `searching' out to be moved to the neutral grade
of "ua", so it would read
ua discovery, eureka
cua searching, "on the road"
nua confusion, absence, disorientation
Comment on all these proposals is invited.
Eric S. Raymond = ...!uunet!snark!eric (mad mastermind of TMN-Netnews)