emotions in Lojban

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They lacked ways to express emotional information conveniently, so that - especially in English - much of that information had to be carried by body language and was almost entirely missing from written language. This characteristic (which makes English so well suited for business) left women vulnerable to hostile language followed by the ancient "But all I said was...." excuse; and it restricted women to the largely useless "It wasn't what you said, it was the way you said it!" defense against such hostility. In constructing Láadan, I focused on giving it features intended to repair those two deficiencies.

— Dr. Elgin, creator of Láadan[1]


  • xod:
    • Since we have attitudinals in Lojban, we should not color utterances without attitudinals with emotional content, as we do in English and probably all natural languages. Since we have cmavo ui we have no need for subtlety and entendre, and in fact should do away with it, since perceived unintended slights are a major miscommunication threat. It should be possible for me to utter do bebna without offense. However, le'o do bebna is fighting words.
      • jay:
        • Just because something is true doesn't mean that people won't get upset over it. You can't prescribe away humans' refusal to accept reality. Telling some women their weight (a simple physical attribute inherent in all objects!) could get you slapped.
          • xod:
            • A guy can dream, can't he? One hopes that a jbofetsi is jbokai enough to be able to comprehend the spectrum of do tilju a'u nai, do tilju ge'e, and do tilju au ro'u. This is an experiment which can actually be performed.
  • The difference between using an attitudinal & using the corresponding gismu is the difference between honking your horn & applying your brakes.
    • LordBrain:
      • Huh? breaking and honking both seem near reflex responses to me.. In what way are these differences similar, and which is the horn and which the brakes?
        • I don't get this one either, but the difference is between a scream brought on by a pain and the calm statement "I have a terrible pain." If you must mix them up, do as we do in English: use the predicative forms throughout - which, alas, destroys the point here, I think.