Toki Pona with Inflections?!

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.
loewe
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:37 am

Toki Pona with Inflections?!

Postby loewe » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:27 pm

So, I've been having trouble with tp poetry of the late. I dislike the fact that it is so very difficult to write poetry in tp simply because words that should be very, very short are very, very long. Like tawa. And kepeken. I mean, seriously! In most languages, they are either a case ending or a monosyllabic word.

Taking this into consideration, I decided to make tp inflected! Wootness! Here are my basic outlined thoughts. They mostly revolve around nouns, but they dabble with adjectives and verbs too.

-make uniform endings for the four basic parts of speech
-take each of the prepositions/modifers and make it so that there are endings that go onto nouns that take the prepositions'/modifiers' spots
-internally modify roots upon declension, i.e.: consonant gradation, vowel change, all those fun things

Let's get started, shall we?

To begin with, I decided to go with the basic -a for nouns. I'll figure out the other parts of speech endings later. So, we have a basic word, lawa.
e, the accusative case, should end the word in an -e. lawe, or e lawa.
pi, the genitive, should be -i. lawi, or tawa lawa.
li, the li-case, should be -o. lano (oops! lawo doesn't work if we stay close to the phonetics of tp, so we put n in place of w), or lawa li.
o, the vocative, should be -u. lanu (wu doesn't work, so nu), or o lawa.
Now, obviously this is where the basic available endings stop being available. And this is where vowel harmony or consonant gradation comes into play. In lawa's case, consonant gradation and in a word like uta, vowel harmony/change.
lawa changes to la because the w grades down, and the double a merges.
Continuing on...
tawa is -a in the second form. la, or tawa lawa.
tan is -e in the second form. le, or tan lawa.
kepeken is -i in the second form. li, or kepeken lawa.
lon is -o in the second form. lo, or lon lawa.
I haven't thought of the best preposition for -u yet.

Looking at the vowel change type of word, uta, it declines in the following way:
uta changes to ita because the linguistic opposite of u is i.
ita, tawa uta.
ite, tan uta.
isi, kepeken uta. (as we all know, ti is not a valid syllable. It should be)
ito, lon uta.

I'm finished for now. I realize that what I have posted above may not make sense to all ( I don't expect people to understand the logic of a crazy pers-cough, genius), and that some may consider it to be blasphemy against tp, but I love complicating things. It makes them work more beautifully than they already do.

And by no means am I already done. I'm still going to develop this and use it in my numerous works of literature whether you like it or not. ... That was slightly rude. I apologize. Please leave your comments, and I'll always be happy to reply to them.

janKipo
Posts: 3037
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Toki Pona with Inflections?!

Postby janKipo » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:55 pm

Errrh, shouldn't this be in the musi section?

So, you're having trouble with tp poetry. Are you sure you are using the right forms? A language determines its poetry to a large extent:I used to lecture for an hour and a half and scarcely ever got away from iambs. Greeks, with the full weight of their IE heritage, have to go for dactyls -- and have enough virtually meaningless particles to carry it off. Romans not so much, despite "Pubs" Maro's best efforts. tp. with its mixture of iambs, dactyls and meaningful monosyllables, doesn't lend itself to classic Western forms. So something else is recommended. But assonance and rhyme are embarrassingly easy (so much so that vile doggerel rears its ugly head -- bad puns are easy, too). Semantic parallelisms are hard because of the limited vocabulary -- we have yet to figure how to say most things one way, let alone two. As you might expect, syllable based forms work pretty well: haiku and its ancestors. And, of course, there is always free verse.

As to the proposal taken seriously, all the usual objections apply: it's complex, not simple; changing words increases the difficulty in learning by at least an order of magnitude (probably more, since tp is very easy now); cases complicate structural rules --- especially if case allows words to break free from positional function markers. And so on.

That being said, the proposals look like they might build into a rather interesting language, another spin-off from tp in a novel direction (there are already a handful of spin-offs), and, as such, I, as a member of the Language Creation Society, encourage you to develop it. Because, yes, some of those moves are a lot of fun (almost as good as putting clicks in Mohawk).

But always remember, it ain't toki pona.

loewe
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:37 am

Re: Toki Pona with Inflections?!

Postby loewe » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:40 am

janKipo wrote:Errrh, shouldn't this be in the musi section?

But it's a tp spin-off. I think it should be fine where it is: I don't make up new words (at least, now) and I just apply rules to the existing language that doesn't really change the overall basic structure of tp. Furthermore, I am definitely a "crazy person who wants to change tp."
So, you're having trouble with tp poetry. Are you sure you are using the right forms? A language determines its poetry to a large extent:I used to lecture for an hour and a half and scarcely ever got away from iambs. Greeks, with the full weight of their IE heritage, have to go for dactyls -- and have enough virtually meaningless particles to carry it off. Romans not so much, despite "Pubs" Maro's best efforts. tp. with its mixture of iambs, dactyls and meaningful monosyllables, doesn't lend itself to classic Western forms. So something else is recommended. But assonance and rhyme are embarrassingly easy (so much so that vile doggerel rears its ugly head -- bad puns are easy, too). Semantic parallelisms are hard because of the limited vocabulary -- we have yet to figure how to say most things one way, let alone two. As you might expect, syllable based forms work pretty well: haiku and its ancestors. And, of course, there is always free verse.
The poetic styles that you mentioned may work, actually. Maybe the invariable initial stress can get me somewhere in meter styled poems? I never tried that. Syllabic poem structure are what got me into this tp spin-off, however: since I write mostly haiku and tanka, simple yet ridiculously long words like kepeken butcher the whole poem because they take up three spaces, leaving only two syllables for the rest of my creative brain to try to fill in the first line of a haiku, for example. That's assuming somehow I used kepeken incorrectly. If I go grammatically correct, though, it'll all get screwed up because I'd have to split my words to convey my meaning. There is simply no way to express "Use your head (o kepeken e lawa sina)" or something of the like in seven or five syllables, for example. My system needs more thinking in this aspect too: cases and stuff aside, kepeken and a few other monsters are usually used as verbs. That means I have to shorten them too... aaah, pain in the monsi. No one said that conlanging was easy, huh?
As to the proposal taken seriously, all the usual objections apply: it's complex, not simple; changing words increases the difficulty in learning by at least an order of magnitude (probably more, since tp is very easy now); cases complicate structural rules --- especially if case allows words to break free from positional function markers. And so on.
I'm quite aware of the fact that nobody wants to learn another tp, especially ones with inflections, so I wasn't even hoping for its adoption. Besides, poetry that happens in Vegas-err, my head stays in my head, so basically this overcomplicated tp is esentially my own tp code that only I will understand. I just felt like it was an unconventional idea that would be interesting to some people. For observation, of course.
That being said, the proposals look like they might build into a rather interesting language, another spin-off from tp in a novel direction (there are already a handful of spin-offs), and, as such, I, as a member of the Language Creation Society, encourage you to develop it. Because, yes, some of those moves are a lot of fun (almost as good as putting clicks in Mohawk).
I guess you might have already guessed that I am a conlinguist? (Yes, it's spelled conlanger. I know. However, conlinguist is waaay more euphonious) I just love tinkering with the inner structure of languages, making them work like I want them to. For example, a polysynthetic version of English is sitting around in the margins of various papers gathering dust strewn on my desk. Obviously, I make a lot of languages of my own, none turning out quite the way I want them to.
But always remember, it ain't toki pona.
Tp and tp spin-offs complete each other. One cannot exist without the other...

janKipo
Posts: 3037
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Toki Pona with Inflections?!

Postby janKipo » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:59 am

Well, tp could exist without spin-offs, but, in the real world of conlinguistics (cunning linguist jokes just waiting to happen),that is extremely unlikely (the last conlang with any traction that didn't have a well-known spin-off was probably Solresol in the 1880s). So, spin away. At a certain point, the tp website will stop publishing your thought along this line, but for now write on.

Your polysynthetic English has to go somewhere else, but I'd love to see it worked out. If you are not already a member of LCS, please drop over to conlang.org and see if it is for you (advice, tools, even some money-making possibilities).

But back to poetry. There are some tp haikus buried away in archives, and some discussion of how to get to them, I think (I can't find them now; I'll get back to you on that if you like). There are also a number of other "poems" (writing does not go clear across the page) there; they might give you some ideas on how to work within tp proper (not tokimus ponarum).


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