sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Tinkerers Anonymous: Some people can't help making changes to "fix" Toki Pona. This is a playground for their ideas.
Tokiponidistoj: Iuj homoj nepre volas fari ŝanĝojn por "ripari" Tokiponon. Jen ludejo por iliaj ideoj.
janTe
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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janTe » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:55 am

Hi. I wrote above about weights, measures, and currencies, and how with appropriate units, you shouldn't need large numbers.

With the year 2010 nearly upon us, I've been thinking about the other kind of numbers -- numbers that don't represent quantities, but instead are just arbitrary identifiers like phone numbers, street numbers, or calendar dates.

These numbers seem to usually have special readings.

* There seems to be a consensus that 2010 is going to be called "twenty-ten", not "two-thousand-ten". The year 1984 was always "nineteen-eighty-four", never "one thousand nine hundred and eighty-four".

* Here in Toronto, there's a highway called the 401, which is always pronounced "four-oh-one", never "four hundred and one". (But highway 400 is "four hundred".) There's an article on chicago.straightdope.com about how street numbers like 12513 are always "one twenty-five thirteen" in Chicago, and 10358 is always "one oh-three fifty-eight". (But 6800 is "sixty-eight-hundred".)

* In Chinese, there are special words for 20 and 30 that are only used in calendar dates.

It seems to me that for numbers that don't represent actual quantities, people just say whatever is shortest and quickest to say. They never say numbers greater than 100, unless that number is an even multiple of 100. In Toki Pona, I suspect people will just read out the digits individually. 1984 will be "wan luka-tu-tu luka-tu-wan tu-tu". 10358 will be "wan ala tu-wan luka luka-tu-tu". Same for phone numbers.

I think we need two systems of writing numbers in Toki Pona. For quantities, I think the "roman" numerals (suggested in another thread) is quite sufficient. You can write AAAMMLTW and read it as "ale-ale-ale-mute-mute-luka-tu-wan". Though, maybe word for 500 would be nice. (sewi?) But I don't think we need any words for 1000 or greater. If you use the metric system, you never need a quantity greater than 1000. Even when talking about money, people don't usually say $150,000 -- they say 150 grand.

For numbers that don't represent quantities, I think it's easier to write them in European "arabic" numerals (e.g. 123-456-7890), and just read them digit-by-digit in TP.
Last edited by janTe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby jan Ote » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:52 am

janTe wrote:These numbers seem to usually have special readings.
* There seems to be a consensus that 2010 is going to be called "twenty-ten", not "two-thousand-ten". The year 1984 was always "nineteen-eighty-four", never "one thousand nine hundred and eighty-four".
In my language we always call the year 2010 the same way we call the number: "dwa tysiące dziesięć (dziesiąty)" ("2010(th)"), never "20-10".
PL: George Orwell. 1984 [Tysiąc dziewięćset osiemdziesiąty czwarty]
RU: Dzhordzh Orvell. 1984 [Tsiacha deviatsot vosemdesiat chetviortyj / Тысяча девятьсот восемьдесят четвертый]

janTe wrote:[people] never say numbers greater than 100, unless that number is an even multiple of 100.
Oh, never? My post code is "27-532". Guess, how do I read it...
I read phone numbers by grouping digits to form 3- or 2-digits numbers ("8223514" is "822-35-14"; "501554022" is "501-554-022" or "501-55-40-22"). In my language this is an usual way of reading.

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janTe » Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:06 am

jan Ote wrote:In my language we always call the year 2010 the same way we call the number: "dwa tysiące dziesięć (dziesiąty)" ("2010(th)"), never "20-10".


Sorry, I was talking about English. In an earlier draft, I made it clear that I was talking about English, but I lost it during a hasty edit.

I read phone numbers by grouping digits to form 3- or 2-digits numbers ("8223514" is "822-35-14"; "501554022" is "501-554-022" or "501-55-40-22"). In my language this is an usual way of reading.


Yeah, phone numbers are read like that in French too.

But, in Toki Pona, saying 99 as "mute mute mute mute luka luka luka tu tu wan" is so much longer than "luka-tu-tu luka-tu-tu" that I think it's easier to just read one digit at a time. But, you can read it in groups of two or three digits if you prefer.

My point is that it's better to write it as a string of "Arabic" digits, rather than writing it in words or "roman" numerals.

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby jan Ote » Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:23 am

kulupu nimi "mute mute mute mute luka luka luka tu tu wan" li ike mute.
kulupu nimi "luka-tu-tu luka-tu-tu" li ike.

janKipo, Mon Dec 21, 2009 wrote:To use tp expressions in yet another sense complicates the central language unduly, and -- as a look will tell -- makes for unusably long number expressions. Personally, I am now at the point of suggesting apriori number words (consonants x vowels, say) [...] And I think we should just read the numbers off as strings [...]

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janMato » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:43 pm

janTe wrote:My point is that it's better to write it as a string of "Arabic" digits, rather than writing it in words or "roman" numerals.


I don't think it is controversial that modern mathematical notation is vastly superior-- in fact it has squelched just about all other competing systems globally. Egyptian fractions and hexidecimal counting are rare oddities. Sonja chose inefficient numbers on purpose to encourage a state of mind where one doesn't care about numbers. In Klingon Mark Okrand made a joke that Klingons are not necessarily accurate, but always precise (Reporting for duty at 6:34 and 18 seconds, sir!". For example, if some one asks your salary, you round to the nearest 1000, and reporting to the penny would make one sound like an accountant or overly concerned with one's salary. The toki pona way is to not care because stuff like that will take care of itself. Mi jo e mani mute. I got a lot of money. The exact amount doesn't matter.

I think the conversation on numbers continues to bubble on because it's framing is so close to a challenge--
"Bet you can't figure out how to do math in toki pona!"
"I bet you I can!"

And the practical matter of wanting to be able to express just about anything. Somethings need some numeric and spatial concepts to convey and saying "well toki pona doesn't have a way of saying X" isn't very satisfying and the language feels like its expressive enough to convey anything with a little work and cooperation amongst collocutors

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janKipo » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:19 pm

taso kulupu 'wi wi' li pona .

As I keep saying, the only thing tp might need numbers for are addresses and those are just strings. If you want to do untp things in tp, then use un-tp words (already for addresses, since in tp land there aren't many streets nor very long ones nor telephones nor calendars nor ...).
So, howsabout: u ja ki le mo nu pu se to wa for 0-9 (screwy order for vowels to prevent getting into other problems) then teka kata kilo meka kika tela and so on going up and tesi seni mili going down (I forget the larger and smaller oom prefixes: nano, piko, fento, etc.)

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janMato » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:35 pm

janKipo wrote:So, howsabout: u ja ki le mo nu pu se to wa for 0-9 (screwy order for vowels to prevent getting into other problems) then teka kata kilo meka kika tela and so on going up and tesi seni mili going down (I forget the larger and smaller oom prefixes: nano, piko, fento, etc.)


ala wan tu le mo luka pu se to wa

That would bump base root count from 123 to 129.

Teka Kata Kilo Meka Kika Tela
Tesi Seni Mili ...
(obvious loan words, but modifiers but not exactly proper modifiers, so I'm only 80% certain they should be capitalized)

If they are base words, then it would be about 20-40 new root words

Anyone compile a complete list of tp math and number proposals yet?

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janTe » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:38 pm

janMato wrote:
janTe wrote:My point is that it's better to write it as a string of "Arabic" digits, rather than writing it in words or "roman" numerals.


I don't think it is controversial that modern mathematical notation is vastly superior


Ah, but I'm not saying we should use modern mathematical notation. Modern mathematical notation is positional, and I don't want that.

I'm suggesting that we only use Arabic numerals when the digits don't have any positional value (like telephone numbers), or when the positional value is irrelevant (like highway numbers, street addresses, years). When representing quantities that you might do math on, I think using Roman numerals is more in the spirit of Toki Pona, and that is not a positional system.

My real point is that numbers as identifiers and numbers as quantities need to be treated differently. Identifiers need to use the digits 0-9 (it makes no sense to represent your phone number in Base 16, or to look for highway number in roman numerals), they tend to be long (at least three digits, usually), but you don't need any concept of "ten" or "twenty" or "hundred". Quantities do need a concept of "ten" or "twenty" or "hundred" (unless you resort to decimal notation), but with modern units, any quantities you use are likely to be less than 1000. (In traditional English units, the quantities were much smaller, often less than 20.)

janKipo wrote:As I keep saying, the only thing tp might need numbers for are addresses and those are just strings. So, howsabout: u ja ki le mo nu pu se to wa for 0-9


I'd like this, as long as they didn't have numeric value. That is, arabic digits were just treated as symbols with no particular ordering, and were distinct from numbers like wan, tu, or luka. It would help for giving phone numbers.

I wonder if Sonja would be willing to give us standard readings for the digits 0~9 if it was made clear that we didn't want to use them for counting.

teka kata kilo meka kika tela and so on going up and tesi seni mili going down (I forget the larger and smaller oom prefixes: nano, piko, fento, etc.)


You skipped micro- :-) I think centi- would be senti, rather than seni, no? And I think hecto- would be keto, rather than kata.

So that's teka, keto, kilo, meka, kika, tela; and tesi, senti, mili, miko, nano, piko, fento.

And I'd capitalise them, and use them like proper names.

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janKipo » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:44 pm

They're all meant to be foreign (so ala, wan, tu, don't enter here), not base (and we need some for the alphabet, too). None of this is official tp, after all -- as often noted.
I suppose then they should all be capitalized, which is fine, since it makes them even more not tp.
As for a summary or survey of tp mathematics suggestions, a skim through the topics in the archives turns up a lot of cases, but only a couple of partial summaries. The main issue has been how to express large numbers and that has involved at various points expressing functions like multiplication or addition or exponentiation to construct such numbers better than mere concatenation. Little has been done about doing math beyond that point that I can remember, though I suppose someone -- or several someones -- have suggested words for adding and multiplying and the like and expressing equations of a simple sort. But nothing very developed, certainly not even to the elementary level of Lojban MEX, say.

I said I can't ever remember them, so I'm not surprised I got some of them wrong as well as missing a lot. The problem with 'senti' is that 'ti' is not a legal tp syllable, so it would have to be 'sensi' if at all. Sometimes, my Greek lets me down. OK, 'keto' and 'miko' (we have to watch out for overlaps and possible minimal pairs).

Of course, we don't need the oom prefixes for addresses, though we would probably use them to cover right 0s, and we don't need the fractional ones at all. But I am realist enough to think that if we can say a ten-digit number, someone will figure out how to make it about tens of millions of something. I am not going to get into that, any more than I am going to get into the use of hexadex for machine addresses. But the potential comes with dealing with the simple cases.

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Re: sin pi toki nanpa tan jan Sonja

Postby janTe » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:00 pm

Maybe we could borrow the digit names from Esperanto? Nulo, Unu, Du, Turi, Kuwara, Kuwin, Sesa, Sepa, Oka, Nawa?

Wow, have a look at numbers in Hawaiian. http://library.thinkquest.org/3502/numbers.htm They're almost as verbose as Toki Pona numbers.
Last edited by janTe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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