"Should" has a lot of different meanings that aren't distinguished in any language I know of. Here are the three I can pinpoint:

  1. Moral

  2. Strategic

  3. "False subject". This one is the vaguest, but here's an example: "Rey shouldn't have defeated Kylo in The Force Awakens". It's neither a moral nor a strategic should - at least, not one that applies to Rey. The statement it's actually making is that the story would be better if this didn't happen, in other words, Rey isn't the subject of the 'should'; the story or the writer is. Hence the name.

    This is also used for jokes (X should have happened = it would've been funny if X had happened), general design (user interface consultant says "the button should be here" = "the interface is better if the button is here"), et cetera. The only consistent rule of this form seems to be that the grammatical subject is not the semantic subject.

Spem of course is going to separate all these. They're all used as combo verbs. Here they are so far:



I'm not sure if I need to add one for "two-sided moral irrelevance". nu rɑ means it's perfectly okay to not do something and nu rɑi means it's perfectly okay to do something, but I don't have a succinct way to explicitly make both statements. I would add ro but that's taken. reu doesn't sound that good. ru is another possibility, but that doesn't sound good when followed by nu. Maybe rei.

Strategic, perfect information

Strategic, given information

The perfect information strategic should words reference what would actually promote the subject's goals. The given information variants reference what the subject, at the time, thought would be beneficial. Note that these are aliases for "tu ke ni zɑ(i)".

False subject

My tentative plan for this is to have the words (should) and wɑi (shouldn't), which go at the beginning of the sentence, since that structure most accurately reflects the "it would be better/worse if ..." that they designate. I'm not sure whether I should distinguish strategic and artistic false subjects. Maybe or θa for one of them.

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