zipcpi: zo i'au ki'a? FAQ about the new cmavo, i'au

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Initially proposed by la zipcpi.

Note: I have since reconsidered my potential solution to this problem. See Proposal:_Redefine_attitudinal_default_scope_as_ambiguous.

zo i'au ki'a (What does i'au mean?)

It is a context-free way of attaching attitudinals or other UI-cmavo to entire sentences or statements as an afterthought. e.g.

do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni ricfu i'au ui (lit.: you help me [with] an event-of me increase-in an amount-of rich *scope:sentence *happiness; nat.: You helped me become richer. Yay!)

I don't see why this is necessary. Can't I just use vau?

vau isn't sufficient, especially not in the example sentence I just gave. Note that there is more than one bridi-tail left open (three, in fact), thus to actually attach to the entire sentence you require do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni ricfu vau vau vau ui, which just sounds wrong.

But wait, I've seen it used in a sentence where vau does work?

The reason i'au was invented is to avoid any necessary consideration for grammatical context or remaining famyma'o when attaching afterthought attitudinals (i'au a'inai). It could even work where vau won't be grammatical, e.g. coi lo cusku pe la .lojban. i'au ui (Hi, speakers of Lojban! [smiles]), in which case you won't have to think "Hm, no I can't use vau because this sentence doesn't have a bridi. So what famyma'o do I need to use... oh yeah, do'u" (oi)

How about .i instead?

.i is often used as a solution to this problem but it isn't ideal, as the connection of the UI-cmavo to the event in the sentence is less straightforward, and in order to avoid the UI-cmavo applying to the next sentence you then need another .i. This becomes more obvious for UI-cmavo that imply more than just emotion, substantially changing the meaning depending on what it is attached to, like pe'a, xo'o or xu. For example:

do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni ricfu i'au xu = xu do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni ricfu (You helped me become richer, yes? / Did you help me become richer?)
Parallels some languages, like Chinese, where "true/false?" is added as an afterthought.

Compare the following (note: pathological translations. <Angle brackets> denotes what xu attaches to. Grey text denote words implied by the grammar.):

do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni <ricfu xu> vau kei ku vau kei ku vau (You helped me increase in something-ness, but is that "rich"?)

do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni <ricfu vau xu> kei ku vau kei ku vau turns out to still mean the same thing as the last sentence, as the ni-clause hasn't been closed yet.

do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo <ni ricfu vau kei xu> ku vau kei ku vau (You helped me increase in something, but is that "richness"?)

do sidju mi lo nu <mi zenba lo ni ricfu vau kei ku vau xu> kei ku vau (You helped me with something... is it that I become richer?)

do sidju mi lo nu mi zenba lo ni ricfu <.i xu co'e> (You helped me become richer. [Something] true or false?")
Technically makes the first sentence a statement rather than a question, leaves the true/false question up to context, and if you want to add another sentence after that, another .i must be used to avoid asking a different question altogether.

Wait, what? I am just a beginner to Lojban, I have no idea what all this is about!

Don't worry, using i'au is much easier than explaining how it works or why it was created. All it means is that if you want to use attitudinals like ui or the true/false question particle xu at the end of your sentence, you should probably place an i'au before them. Otherwise you'd usually just end up attaching it to the last word you said, which may change the meaning of your sentence entirely.

Just be prepared for the fact that you may have to link others to this page, as it is still a very new word. (current as of May 13, 2015)

What if I want to mark not just a sentence, but many of them? Perhaps I had just finished a long joke or long rant with dripping sarcasm all over.

(OK I admit this hasn't been asked yet; just including it for consideration)

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking of some possible solutions:

  1. either use i'au after .i (e.g. blablablabla and that's why I should be allowed to destroy Lojban once and for all. .i i'au zo'o)
  2. revert to .i zo'o, perhaps saving 1 for emphasis
  3. Or use bu'onai (end attitudinal). However this doesn't seem to be compatible with how the CLL describes it in this chapter. If iu bu'onai could mean "I don't love you anymore", zo'o bu'onai doesn't seem to be very reassuring (i'au u'i).