11.11. Event-type abstractors and event contour tenses

This section is a logical continuation of Section 11.3.

There exists a relationship between the four types of events explained in Section 11.3 and the event contour tense cmavo of selma'o ZAhO. The specific cmavo of NU and of ZAhO are mutually interdefining; the ZAhO contours were chosen to fit the needs of the NU event types and vice versa. Event contours are explained in full in Section 10.10, and only summarized here.

The purpose of ZAhO cmavo is to represent the natural portions of an event, such as the beginning, the middle, and the end. They fall into several groups:

All these cmavo are applicable to events seen as processes and abstracted with pu'u. Only processes have enough internal structure to make all these points and spans of time meaningful.

For events seen as states and abstracted with za'i, the meaningful event contours are the spans pu'o, ca'o, and ba'o; the starting and ending points co'a and co'u, and the achievement contour co'i. States do not have natural endings distinct from their actual endings. (It is an open question whether states can be stopped and resumed.)

For events seen as activities and abstracted with zu'o, the meaningful event contours are the spans pu'o, ca'o, and ba'o, and the achievement contour co'i. Because activities are inherently cyclic and repetitive, the beginning and ending points are not well-defined: you do not know whether an activity has truly begun until it begins to repeat.

For events seen as point-events and abstracted with mu'e, the meaningful event contours are the spans pu'o and ba'o but not ca'o (a point-event has no duration), and the achievement contour co'i.

Note that the parts of events are themselves events, and may be treated as such. The points in time may be seen as mu'e point-events; the spans of time may constitute processes or activities. Therefore, Lojban allows us to refer to processes within processes, activities within states, and many other complicated abstract things.