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Controversial Phrases - Page 4 - Toki Pona Forums

Controversial Phrases

Mind and thought: Wisdom, mental health, cognition, self-talk, consciousness, philosophy, psychology, optimizing your thinking, productivity hacks
Menso kaj penso: Saĝaĵoj, psiĥa sano, kogno, memparolado, psiĥa stato, filozofio, psikologio, rearanĝi sian pensadon, plibonigi sian produktokapablon
janMato
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Location: Takoma Park, MD
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Re: Controversial Phrases

Postby janMato » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:35 pm

It seems "example-speak" seems to have rules of its own. If one is asked to use "blerg" in a sentence, people will choose pronouns because they are neutral and non-specific, since the topic of an example is the word that one is trying to illustrate. I'm flipping through "Describing Morphosyntax" and lot of example sentences have pronouns with no specific antecedent.

So how does toki pona express definiteness and indefiniteness? I'm still new to pragmatics, so I'll try two diagnostic sentences:

Estoy buscando a una empleada
I'm looking for a (specific) housekeeper. (I'm looking for the housekeeper)
mi alisa e jan mi ni: jan li pona e tomo.

Estoy buscando una empleada
I'm looking for a (any) housekeeper.
mi alisa e jan wan ni: jan li pona e tomo.

And this one would be ambiguous and could mean either.
mi alisa e jan pi pona tomo.

janKipo
Posts: 3064
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm
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Re: Controversial Phrases

Postby janKipo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:36 am

So, in tp, the trick for definiteness is to pin it down by another reference: 'jan mi pi pona tomo' is definite whereas 'jan pi pona tomo' is not. Nor is 'jan pi pona pi tomo mi' and 'jan pi pona tomo mi' is hopeless. This seems in line with the idea that definiteness comes with added details, which are hard in tp.


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