Chapter 19: Putting It All Together: Notes on the Structure of Lojban Texts

8. Attitude scope markers: FUhE/FUhO

The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

fu'e    FUhE    open attitudinal scope
fu'o    FUhO    close attitudinal scope

Lojban has a complex system of “attitudinals”, words which indicate the speaker's attitude to what is being said. The attitudinals include indicators of emotion, intensity markers, discursives (which show the structure of discourse), and evidentials (which indicate “how the speaker knows”). Most of these words belong to selma'o UI; the intensity markers belong to selma'o CAI for historical reasons, but the two selma'o are grammatically identical. The individual cmavo of UI and CAI are discussed in Chapter 13; only the rules for applying them in discourse are presented here.

Normally, an attitudinal applies to the preceding word only. However, if the preceding word is a structural cmavo which begins or ends a whole construction, then that whole construction is affected by the attitudinal:

✥8.1  mi viska le blanu .ia zdani [ku]
I see the blue [belief] house.
I see the house, which I believe to be blue.

✥8.2   mi viska le blanu zdani .ia [ku]
I see the blue house [belief].
I see the blue thing, which I believe to be a house.

✥8.3   mi viska le .ia blanu zdani [ku]
I see the [belief] blue house
I see what I believe to be a blue house.

✥8.4   mi viska le blanu zdani ku .ia
I see (the blue house ) [belief]
I see what I believe to be a blue house.

An attitudinal meant to cover a whole sentence can be attached to the preceding “.i”, expressed or understood:

✥8.5  [.i] .ia mi viska le blanu zdani
[belief] I see the blue house
I believe I see a blue house.

or to an explicit “vau” placed at the end of a bridi.

Likewise, an attitudinal meant to cover a whole paragraph can be attached to “ni'o” or “no'i”. An attitudinal at the beginning of a text applies to the whole text.

However, sometimes it is necessary to be more specific about the range of one or more attitudinals, particularly if the range crosses the boundaries of standard Lojban syntactic constructions. The cmavo “fu'e” (of selma'o FUhE) and “fu'o” (of selma'o FUhO) provide explicit scope markers. Placing “fu'e” in front of an attitudinal disconnects it from what precedes it, and instead says that it applies to all following words until further notice. The notice is given by “fu'o”, which can appear anywhere and cancels all in-force attitudinals. For example:

✥8.6  mi viska le fu'e .ia blanu zdani fu'o ponse
I see the [start] [belief] blue house [end] possessor
I see the owner of what I believe to be a blue house.

Here, only the “blanu zdani” portion of the three-part tanru “blanu zdani ponse” is marked as a belief of the speaker. Naturally, the attitudinal scope markers do not affect the rules for interpreting multi-part tanru: “blanu zdani” groups first because tanru group from left to right unless overridden with “ke” or “bo”.

Other attitudinals of more local scope can appear after attitudinals marked by FUhE; these attitudinals are added to the globally active attitudinals rather than superseding them.