Lojban is a fascinating conlang, and learning even some of its basics helps you notice various gaps in your thinking. Eg, you can’t say that “X is of value” without implicitly acknowledging that an unstated part of the sentence is “of value to somebody”.

Pronounced ‘shnig-lick’, Cniglic is an extremely specialized conlang derived from Lojban. Structurally, it’s simply the wholesale appropriation of Lojban’s “indicators”, including “attitudinals”, “emotionals”, “discursives”, and “vocatives”; and, once lifted out of the original context, it becomes a sort of modular block that can be plugged into any other language. (I’ve thrown a near-complete reference up here, so it’s easy for me to check no matter where I happen to be.)

For the emotionals alone, with just a basic set of fifty words, all of which are extremely short, close to 2,500 distinct emotional states can be expressed – not counting combinations thereof. That’s nigh-certainly even better than just assuming there’s a German word for whatever oddball emotion you want to express. For example, thinking about about my not-nostalgia-yet related to an old canal, Cniglic offers a possible answer: “.uenai.u’anairo’i.i’uro’o”: the expectation of the emotional loss of a physical familiarity.

I’ve also managed to get a word added to Lojban’s “experimental” namespace, of a form which Cniglic inherits: “bei’e“, giving an explicit word to use to think about Bayesian evidence. But that’s likely fodder for a full post of its own.

ki’e, fe’o, co’o

Leave a Reply