Cniglic (pronounced shneeg-leesh) takes a certain subsection of Lojban, the indicators (including the vocatives, the evidentials, the discursives, and the attitudinals), and bolts them on to some other language, such as English.

The most basic form of Cniglic consists of the 39 emotional scales, and the five words that create the 9-point positions for each scale, and perhaps the half-dozen emotional categories. With just 50 words, a total of 2,457 distinct emotional states can be described - and that's without even counting combinations thereof, let alone the possibilities added by Cniglic's more advanced terms. Entire conversations can be carried on in Cniglic, and can be understood even if the speakers share no full language in common, though the content of such discussions will be somewhat limited.

Except for the Vocatives, the grammar the remaining words is simple. At the beginning of a sentence, they refer to the whole sentence; otherwise, they refer to the previous word. So "[.ui] I got a blue car!" means the speaker is happy about the entire idea, while "I got a blue [.ui] car!" means they're happy about the blueness.

Emotional modifiers:

These suffices modify the attitudinal they're attached to, creating nine levels for each emotional scale.

Modifier Modification Pronunciation
cai very strong shy
sai strong sigh
(nothing) felt
ru'e weak ROO-heh
cu'i not felt SHOO-hee
nairu'e weak negative nigh-ROO-heh
nai negative felt nigh
naisai strong negative nigh-sigh
naicai very strong negative nigh-shy

Attitudinal indicators and suffixes with examples of modifier use:


Simple pure emotions:

Attitudinal sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
.ua wa, wah discovery
I don't get it
.u'a OO-ha gain loss
.ue weh surprise
no surprise expectation
.u'e OO-heh wonder
Ho hum. commonplace
.ui we, wee happiness
.u'i OO-hee amusement weariness
.uo wo, woe completion
At last!
.u'o OO-hoe courage timidity cowardice
.uu woo pity
I'm sorry
.u'u OO-hoo repentance
I'm sorry
lack of regret innocence
lack of guilt

Complex pure emotions:

Attitudinal sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
.o'a OH-ha pride modesty shame
.o'e OH-heh closeness detachment distance
.oi oy complaint
no complaints
doing OK
.o'i OH-hee caution
boldness rashness
.o'o OH-hoe patience mere tolerance anger
.o'u OH-hoo relaxation
composure stress

Miscellaneous pure emotions:

Attitudinal sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
.ii yee fear
nervousness security
.i'i EE-hee togetherness
.io yo respect lack of respect disrespect
.i'o EE-hoe appreciation lack of appreciation envy
.iu you, yoo love lack of love
no love lost
.i'u EE-hoo familiarity mystery

Simple propositional emotions:

Attitudinal sounds attitude -cu'i -nai
.a'a AH-ha attentive inattentive avoiding
.a'e AH-heh alertness exhaustion
.ai I, eye intent indecision rejection
.a'i AH-hee effort lack of effort
no real effort
.a'o AH-hoe hope
.au ow desire indifference reluctance
.a'u AH-hoo interest no interest

Complex propositional emotions:

Attitudinal sounds attitude -cu'i -nai
.e'a EH-ha permission prohibition
.e'e EH-heh competence incompetence
.ei Aay, ey obligation
ought to
No matter freedom
.e'i EH-hee constraint independence resistance to constraint
.e'o EH-hoe request negative request
.e'u EH-hoo suggestion no suggestion warning
.ia ya belief skepticism disbelief
.i'a EE-ha acceptance blame
.ie yeh agreement disagreement
.i'e EE-heh approval non-approval disapproval

Emotional categories:

Category sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
(nothing) general/overall
ro'a RO-ha social asocial antisocial
ro'e RO-heh mental absentminded mindless
ro'i RO-hee emotional emotionless denying emotion
ro'o RO-hoe physical intangible denying physical
ro'u RO-hoo sexual asexual sexual abstinence
re'e REH-heh spiritual secular sacrilegious

Attitudinal modifiers:

Modifier sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
ga'i GA-hee hauteur
equal rank meekness
lack of rank
le'o LEH-hoe aggressive passive defensive
vu'e VOO-heh virtue sin
se'i SEH-hee self-orientation other-orientation
ri'e REE-heh release
emotional outburst
restraint control
fu'i FOO-hee easily
with help
without help with difficulty
with opposition
be'u BEH-hoo lack
se'a SEH-ha self-sufficiency dependency



cmavo sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
pei pay attitude question
dai die, dye empathy
bu'o BOO-hoe start emotion
I'm getting...
continue emotion
I still feel...
end emotion
I'm ceasing to feel...



These show how the speaker came to say the utterance - the source of the information or idea. A sentence with an evidential becomes a statement about 'how it is with the speaker'.

Evidential sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
ja'o ZHA-hoe I conclude
I reason
I deduce
ca'e SHA-heh I define
I now pronounce
ba'a BA-ha I expect
I anticipate
I experience I remember
su'a SOO-ha I generalize
I induce
I particularize
ti'e TEE-heh I hear (hearsay)
not necessarily literally "hear"
ka'u KA-hoo I know by cultural means
se'o SEH-hoe I know by internal experience
za'a ZA-ha I observe
pe'i PEH-hee I opine
It is my opinion that...
ru'a ROO-ha I postulate
I presume
I assume
ju'a ZHOO-ha I state
(elliptical discursive)


These provide structure to a discourse, and show how a given word or utterance relates to the whole discourse. They are most often used at the beginning of sentences, and are abbreviations for metalinguistic claims that reference the sentence or text they are found in.

Consecutive discourse:

cmavo sounds (nothing)
ku'i KOO-hee however
in contrast
ji'a ZHEE-ha additionally
si'a SEE-ha similarly
mi'u MEE-hoo ditto
po'o PO-hoh the only relevant case

These five discursives are mutually exclusive, and therefore they are not usually considered as scales. The first four are used in consecutive discourse. [ku'i] makes an exception to the previous argument. [ji'a] adds weight to the previous argument. [si'a] adds quantity to the previous argument, enumerating an additional example. [mi'u] adds a parallel case to the previous argument, and can also be used in tables or the like to show that something is being repeated from the previous column. [po'o] is used when there is no other comparable case, and thus corresponds to some of the uses of "only".

Commentary on words:

cmavo sounds (nothing) -nai
va'i VA-hee in other words
in the same words
ta'u TA-hoo expanding a tanru making a tanru

[ta'u] is a discursive unique to Lojban and its derivatives; it expresses the particularly Lojbanic device of tanru. Since tanru are semantically ambiguous, they are subject to misunderstanding. This ambiguity can be removed by expanding the tanru into some semantically unambiguous structure, often involving relative clauses or the introduction of additional brivla. The discursive [ta'u] marks the transition from the use of a brief but possibly confusing tanru to its fuller, clearer expansion; the discursive [ta'unai] marks a transition in the reverse direction.

Commentary on discourse:

cmavo sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
li'a LEE-ha clearly
ba'u BA-hoo exaggeration accuracy understatement
zo'o ZO-hoe humorously dully seriously
sa'e SA-heh precisely speaking loosely speaking
roughly speaking
to'u TO-hoo in brief
in short
skipping details
in detail
do'a DO-ha generously
broadly construed
narrowly construed
sa'u SA-hoo simply elaborating
pa'e PA-heh justice prejudice
je'u ZHEH-hoo truly
It is true that...
su'a SOO-ha abstractly
in general
in particular


cmavo sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
ju'o ZHOO-hoe certainly uncertain certainly not
la'a LA-ha probably improbably

Discourse management:

cmavo sounds (nothing) -cu'i -nai
ta'o TA-hoe by the way (sometimes: speaking of which,...) returning to point/subject
in any case
as I was saying
ra'u RA-hoo chiefly
above all
equally incidentally
mu'a MOO-ha for example omitting ex. end examples
zu'u ZOO-hoo on the one hand on the other hand
ke'u KEH-hoo repeating continuing
new content
da'i DA-hee supposing
in fact
in truth
According to the facts

Miscellaneous indicators:

Attitudinal sounds (nothing) -nai
ki'a KEE-ha metalinguistic confusion
na'i NA-hee metalinguistic negator
jo'a ZHO-ha metalinguistic affirmer
li'o LEE-hoe omitted text (quoted material)
sa'a SA-ha material inserted by editor/narrator
xu khoo true-false question
Is it true that...?
pau pow question premarker rhetorical question
pe'a PEH-ha figurative language literal language
bi'u BEE-hoo new information old information
ge'e GEH-heh non-specific indicator
kau cow indirect question



Grammar and usage is simple. Each vocative can be used by itself; or it can be followed by a name or some other indicator of who's being addressed; or it can be followed by [do'u], to make clear that what follows isn't the name of who's being addressed. [mi'e] is the exception, as it's followed by the speaker's name (or, in the case of [mi'enai], something that's not the speaker's name) instead of who's being addressed.
Vocative pronounced written English
doi doy (vocative director)
Sir/Madam ...
You there ...
coi shoy greetings
co'o SHOW-hoe partings
See you later
coi co'o shoy-show-hoe Greetings in passing
ju'i ZHOO-hee attention
ju'icu'i ZHOO-hee-SHoo-hee at ease
ju'inai ZHOO-hee-nigh ignore me/us
nu'e NOO-heh promise
I promise
nu'ecu'i NOO-heh-SHOO-hee release promise
nu'enai NOO-heh-nigh non-promise
ta'a TAH-hah interruption
Excuse me, but...
pe'u PEH-hoo request
ki'e KEE-heh appreciation
Thank you
ki'enai DEE-heh-nigh disappreciation
fi'i FEE-hee welcome
How may I help you?
French: bienvenue
At your service
fi'inai FEE-hee-nigh unwelcome
be'e BEH-heh request to send
"Hello, are you there?"
re'i REH-hee ready to receive
(telephone) "Hello?"
re'inai REH-hee-nigh not ready
Hold on
Just a minute
mu'o MOO-hoe completion of utterance
Temporary, closer
mu'onai MOO-hoe-nigh more to follow
I'm not done
je'e ZHEH-heh successful receipt
I understand
je'enai ZHEH-heh-nigh unsuccessful receipt
Please repeat
"Beg your pardon?"
vi'o VEE-hoe will comply
vi'onai VEE-hoe-nigh will not comply
No way!
ke'o KEH-hoe please repeat
What did you say?
ke'onai KEH-hoe-nigh no repeat needed
Okay, I get the point
fe'o FEH-hoe end of communication
Over and out!
(use at the end of an e-mail
iff not expecting a response)
fe'onai FEH-hoe-nai not done
mi'e MEE-heh self-identification
I am...
mi'enai MEE-heh-nigh non-identification
My name isn't...
do'u DOE-hoo (terminates vocative)

Experimental cmavo: bei'e

This family of words is built in the pattern of Lojban's MAI words, with a number preceding the cmavo "bei'e". It is used grammatically like an evidential (ie, before the sentence or after the specific word being referred to), and indicates the decibels of logarithmic Bayesian probability the speaker assigns to the word or phrase that the "bei'e" refers to.

Cmavo Pronounced Written Decibels Percentage
Odds notes
ni'uci'ibei'e nee-hoo-shee-hee-bay-heh -∞ 0% 1:∞ complete disbelief
ni'uvobei'e nee-hoo-voh-bay-heh -4 28.5% 2:5 a reasonable doubt
ni'ucibei'e nee-hoo-shee-bay-heh -3 33.3% 1:2
ni'urebei'e nee-hoo-reh-bay-heh -2 38.7% 2:3 probable cause
ni'upabei'e nee-hoo-bay-heh -1 44.3% 4:5
ni'ubei'e nee-hoo-bay-heh <0 <50% <1:1 less than even odds
more unlikely than likely
nobei'e noh-bay-heh 0 50% 1:1 neither belief nor disbelief
ma'ubei'e mah-hoo-bay-heh >0 >50% >1:1 greater than even odds
more likely than not
pabei'e pah-bay-heh 1 55.7% 5:4 preponderance of the evidence
rebei'e reh-bay-heh 2 61.3% 3:2
cibei'e shee-bay-heh 3 66.6% 2:1 clear and convincing evidence
vobei'e voh-bay-heh 4 71.5% 5:2
mubei'e moo-bay-heh 5 76.0% 3:1 beyond a reasonable doubt
xabei'e khah-bay-heh 6 80.0% 4:1
zebei'e zeh-bay-heh 7 83.3% 5:1
bibei'e bee-bay-heh 8 86.3% 6:1
sobei'e soh-bay-heh 9 88.8% 8:1
panobei'e pah-noh-bay-heh 10 90.9% 10:1 one nine
xarebei'e khah-reh-bay-heh 62 99.99994% 1,500,000:1 5 standard deviations
ci'ibei'e shee-hee-bay-heh 100% ∞:1 complete belief
xobei'e khoh-bay-heh ? ?% ?:? question
asking listener their level of belief

A poem

Written in Tengwar:
Written in Latin/English letters:'asai
Whee! Whee! Wah! Oooh ha sigh
Wah! Woe, Whee! Oooh ha sigh
Woe, Wah! Wah! Oooh ha sigh
Wah! Woe, Whee! Oooh ha shy
Rough meaning:
I'm happy, I'm happy, Eureka, it's good!
Eureka, At last, I'm happy, it's good!
At last, Eureka, Eureka, it's good!
Eureka, At last, I'm happy, it's great!
-- Source

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