Oops, yeah I learnt pinyin only, but it seems the Wade-Giles uses are what I use to refer to things still. That is a bit strange.
I have a cheap pocket book version, "The Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu; A new translation, commentary and introduction; by Ralph Alan Dale". It seems heavily new-age inspired to be fair.
I really appreciate you setting the historical context of that part of the text for me. I can't remember hearing of that before, and that certainly brings added clarity to the sense of that part of it.
"Integrated everything", well that is not the term he uses. In fact he uses the greater portion of the introduction explaining how he understands the phrase, and concludes "The Great Integrity" is most fitting. He uses terms reflective of that throughout his translation then. I suppose I relaxed a bit that meaning to come up with "integrated everything" which from his arguments about his "The Great Integrity" interpretation, seemed to be fitting.
I really like your suggestion of using "jan li pali e pona la jan li pali e pona ala la ni tu li nimi e sama", sure its a bit cryptic, but I think the nature of the text requires a bit of that
Ok, now the much more interesting stuff
Firstly, I want to thank you again for taking the time to interact, and also for presenting a brief history of pi usage. It is interesting as to how this word has developed and became to be what it is (or isn't) today.
If we can do everything we want to do already, without needing to add the exception rule for pi + one word + en. Then I see no reason to add it. My example about red squirrels and blueness was clearly incorrect, but even if it doesn't restrict the language why add in that exception rule, if it's not needed.
I noticed a post on Redit the other day something like this :
musi pi sike en palisa ; a game of sticks and balls. No doubt what the intended meaning is, is this: (a game of (sticks and balls)) and not a (a game of balls) and (sticks). Now clearly she/he knows not to say :
musi pi sike palisa ; a game of stick like balls. And he has ingrained the rule: "only one word after pi", and probably knows how there is the colour exception to make use of breaking that rule, so ;
musi pi sike en palisa ; should only be understood in the intended way.
Essentially using an exception rule for the rule of pi, one word, en, to express things. But then en becomes more something you need to go on by context, much like we use it in english.
Can she/he say ;
musi pi sike lili en palisa suli ; this would stretch it too far, breaking the exception rule used to express this in the first place. However why not relax en more? it would be useful ? After all we use "and" like that in english.
Well simply this;
musi pi sike pi palisa ; this already works.
musi pi sike lili pi palisa suli ; it's more expressive.
AND -- it saves "en" from increasing its ambiguity.
This way is also simpler, not needing additional exception rules for pi.
Anyway I suppose that is a slightly different although related topic to the use of pi in the following way;
So I wrote out some forms for "inside system" -- and you wrote this ;
1) 'insa nasin ni' "this systematic interior", maybe one (or a selection) of centers of some system.
2) 'insa pi nasin ni' "inside/center of this system (or these systems, of course)"
(I added the 1 and 2). I found this be a good example of what I am trying to explain about how pi is often used. Also, don't misunderstand me, I am not implying anything about correctness or style or anything like that. Maybe, I am misrepresenting you even. This just serves me well to explain something, I'm having difficulty in explaining. Maybe, this will be a bad explanation : -
First, lets be very basic, and not worry about all the other things you can do with words - that gets complicated. Lets just take this at face value, and simply.
Second, lets use the official book only for our considerations.
In 1 and 2; we have the same possible interpretation, hence "center of system" [I1]
In 1, another possible interpretation is given, hence "systematic interior" [I2]
in 1. it is considered that [I2] is more probable than [I1].
According to pu; insa nasin -- both nouns; read as "center of system"
So in 1. [I1] should be more a probable interpretation than [I2]
Eitherway, the observation is this ;
pi -- is not needed, but it reduces the most likely semantic scope of the phrase.
ijo pi moku, ijo moku ; even if these can mean the same things;
According to pu, pi starts a noun group, so moku is more likely a noun, so again; reduces the most likely semantic scope of the phrase. Maybe it's best to assume it, if anything, merely changes the order of things we try.
jan alasa waso -- hmm this one is tricky, but without a pi, is probably the best way to increase the likelihood of the interpretation you want. Even if it seems less than ideal. I suppose these kind of noun+verb+noun phrases are "just" going to be tricky to try to clarify.
mmm, I am not sure we are on the same page about how words work in toki pona. From reading the book i get this impression ;
lawa -- this is first, so it is most likely a noun, so it likely means head or mind.
jan lawa -- now it is second, it could still be a noun, for something like "man of mind", a mindful man. Or it might be a verb for something like "man that leads" or is useful in some way for that action. So lets say, normally ;
1. jan lawa -- normally means leader.
2. jan pi lawa -- is this just a bad way to say leader, or as the book implies (I think), a good way to distinguish, that I mean "a man of mind".
My take is that a reading of the book would lead one to think that 2. jan pi lawa, is distinguishing man of mind, from leader. And the only reason this is frowned upon is the unnecessary exception rule added to language outside of the book, which it might clash with. Or the older pre-pu usage as the language was being developed.
If we ignore the clash with the suggested new rule for colours. We are all clear, since it is meaningless, therefore it would only be used to try to reduce semantic scope. And the rule for colours is unnecessary anyway.
Something totally meaningless is of utmost importance in normal conversation. Since we can then use these things, and I think we tend to, for putting a marker at a certain point, to say something like; "this is not the common way this is used". Perfect for toki pona, since it can be very ambiguous.
Natural friendly communication uses irrelevancies all the time to convey more information, more compactly.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.