This is actually an important question for language definition. Depending on what language you speak, the world is divided into
animate vs. inanimate
rational vs. non-rational
human vs. non-human
human vs. animal vs. inanimate
male vs. other
male human vs. other (a bit sexist!)
masculine vs. feminine
masculine vs. feminine vs. neuter
strong vs. weak
augmentative vs. diminutive (Ref wikipedia)
The toki pona pronoun system doesn't offer much guidance with "ona," which covers all imaginable pronominal categories. "jan" now officially covers humans, apes, and Neanderthals(important below) as well as the indefinite pronoun.
I can't find a ref on Sonya's wiki specifically about olin, but I found the reference in jan Pije lessons,
This word is used to mean love. However, it only refers to affectionate love, like loving people. For example, you might olin your girlfriend or your parents, but you don't olin baseball. You can't olin things or objects; if you still want to say that you like something and can't use olin, it's best to say it like this: ni li pona tawa mi
. -- "That (is) good to me." I like that."
So what is different about baseball and people? Animate/inanimate? Human/not human? Extremely spherical/not very spherical? (And yeah, I know, language with Russian and Icelandic have the "to me X is pleasing" construction, separate from I love him/her, but one languages obviousness could be anything but in another)
How would you fill in the following? "olin e" or "pona tawa"? And it seems depending on the noun-class system you pick it isn't always reciprocatable.
Anyhow, I'm inclined to overuse olin and pick a phrase that is editorializing, but I'd be curious to hear what other people would pick and why.Edward Scissorhands and Winona Ryderjan "Edward Scissorhands" li ... jan "Winona Ryder"
jan "Winona Ryder" li ... jan "Edward Scissorhands"
Winona Ryder can be affectionate, so can she love the inanimate? Ed also appears to be immortal, another no-no for the "human" category, see bicentennial man below Spock and Ulhura (1/2 vulcan + human)jan "Spock" li ... jan "Ulhura"
jan "Ulhura" li ... jan "Spock"
Alien-human hybrid and human. This should be simpler than Spock's mom and dad's romance.Spocks Mom and Spock's Dad (human + Vulcan)mama meli pi jan "Spock" li ... mama mije pi jan "Spock"
mama mije pi jan "Spock" li ... mama meli pi jan "Spock"
An incredible gentic feat, because they're both entirely alien species.The Quest for Fire
Ika (human girl) and Naoh (Neanderthal guy). In the story Neanderthals and humans can interbreed, not unlike chimps and bonobos, horses and donkeys, etc.jan Ika li ... jan Naoh
jan Naoh li .... jan Ika
Neanderthals add a linguistic twist to the question, because they (in the movie) could barely speak, and language sometimes is a dividing line between things closer to humans and further away from, rocks or viruses or chickens. Frankenstein + Bride (dead human + dead human)jan moli meli li ... jan moli meli
The dead are usually inanimate in the sense of not moving. But even Bones in Star Trek said "He's dead Jim!", not "It (the corpses) is dead, Jim"Beauty + Beast (human + human transmogrified into animal)meli pi lukin pona li ... soweli monsuto
soweli monsuto li ...meli pi lukin ponaPrincess + Frog (erotic activity between human and human transmogrified into frog)meli li .... akesiBender (a robot) who falls in love with the only thing more perfect than himself, a Gold Plated copy of self (robot + robot copy)jan "Bender" li ... jan "Bender" pi sama aleBicentential man - Andrew Martin + Little Miss (human + robot who commits suicide to conform to the legal definition of human)jan "Andrew" li ... jan lili "Miss".
jan lili "Miss" li .... jan "Andrew"Artifical Intelligence - Robotic David (mechanlical analogue for a lost child) & his mother-- robot loves mom, but mom can't really connect to the robot boy.jan "David" li .... mama sama
mama pi jan "David" li .... jan "David"Fruit Fucker 2000 and Oranges.http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/02/11/jan kili unpa li unpa e kili.taso jan kili unpa li olin e kili sama?Japanese guy and imaginary Anime personagehttp://boingboing.net/2009/11/24/footag ... e-fir.htmljan pi ma Nihon li olin e meli pi musi pi ilo nanapa.
meli pi musi pi ilo nanapa li sona ala e ni: jan pi ma Nihon li lon.
[b]Zo-philia... both in real-life and ancient myth.[b]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-animal_marriage
... too many scenarios to translate, ranging from...jan li unpa utala e soweli
(Man rapes goat. If you translate it as "soweli li pona tawa jan", it's doesn't seem equivallent)
tojan li olin e soweli
. (Ancient myths-- they're all abstractions and allegories, some about love and if you remove the word, it's a different story)