Chapter 10: Imaginary Journeys: The Lojban Space/Time Tense System
18. Tense negation
Any bridi which involves tenses of selma'o PU, FAhA, or ZAhO can be contradicted by a “-nai” suffixed to the tense cmavo. Some examples:
✥18.1 mi punai klama le zarci I [past] [not] go-to the market. I didn't go to the market.
As a contradictory negation, ✥18.1 implies that the bridi as a whole is false without saying anything about what is true. When the negated tense is a sumti tcita, “-nai” negation indicates that the stated relationship does not hold:
✥18.2 mi klama le zarci canai le nu do klama le zdani I go-to the market [present] [not] the event-of you go-to the house. It is not true that I went to the market at the same time that you went to the house. ✥18.3 le nanmu batci le gerku ne'inai le kumfa The man bites the dog [within] [not] the room. The man didn't bite the dog inside the room. ✥18.4 mi morsi ca'onai le nu mi jmive I am-dead [continuitive - negated] the event-of I live. It is false that I am dead during my life.
It is also possible to perform scalar negation of whole tense constructs by placing a member of NAhE before them. Unlike contradictory negation, scalar negation asserts a truth: that the bridi is true with some tense other than that specified. The following examples are scalar negation analogues of Examples 18.1 to 18.3:
✥18.5 mi na'e pu klama le zarci I [non-] [past] go-to the market. I go to the market other than in the past. ✥18.6 le nanmu batci le gerku to'e ne'i le kumfa The man bites the dog [opposite-of] [within] the room. The man bites the dog outside the room. ✥18.7 mi klama le zarci na'e ca le nu do klama le zdani I go-to the market [non-] [present] the event-of you go-to the house. I went to the market at a time other than the time at which you went to the house. ✥18.8 mi morsi na'e ca'o le nu mi jmive I am-dead [non-] [continuitive] the event-of I live. I am dead other than during my life.
Unlike “-nai” contradictory negation, scalar negation of tenses is not limited to PU and FAhA:
✥18.9 le verba na'e ri'u cadzu le bisli The child [non-] [right] walks-on the ice The child walks on the ice other than to my right.
The use of “-nai” on cmavo of TAhE and ROI has already been discussed in c10-§9; this use is also a scalar negation.