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Toki Pona Forums • Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?
Page 1 of 5

Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:11 am
by janTe
I'd really like a word that means "to fold" (like folding a shirt) or "to bend" (like bending the bow of a bow-and-arrow).

The word lipu refers to something that is flat and foldable, and linja refers to something long and bendable, but we don't have a way to say "fold" or "bend".

The word could also be used for elbow, wrist, knee, hook (like a fishing hook), bend in the road, to bend your arm, bend over (great for sex vocabulary), turn (for directions), angle (in maths), corner of a room, and numerous other things.

The word could also describe hair that is curly or wavy.

And we could describe something as "straight" by saying it is "not bent".

I've found myself wanting a word like this a few times already.

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:06 pm
by janMato
ala is officially productive (can be used to make new phrases with opposite meaning. similar to un- in English or mal- in Esperanto)

linja ala not straight, wavy.

I'm starting to think that the tp verb system is like Basic English (or another language whose name I forgot) where the bias is to use few verbs and lots of complements. I get this idea from the numerous "li pana e X" constructions Sonja posts.

mi kama e lija pi kiwen suno tawa linja ala.
I cause-to-happen the line of shiny rock to un-straight.
I bend the spoon.

Anyhow, your suggestions are just as good as mine, how would you bend the spoon?

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:26 pm
by janTe
Wait, the word "linja" can mean straight? Where have you seen that?

That would change everything.

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:39 pm
by janMato
Sonja hasn't published her book, the official wiki isn't all filled in either.

The 117~120 word list can still be found in the wayback machine and place like this:
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Toki_Pona/WordTpEn where indeed, it is marked as (n.)

It's been an open question if words can be used outside of the official part of speech. I've seen people post the opinion that the phrase "part of speech" doesn't apply to toki pona as well as it does in natural languages, so marking linja as noun isn't all that meaningful.

The alternate theory is that one should only put "linja" in head noun positions, after pi, after preps, etc.. I don't see too many people strictly following this, and less often do you see anyone being corrected for using a word outside of the official part of speech.

Here is a few community innovation examples from the wikia (not necessarily canon) using linja in a modifier position:

http://tokipona.wikia.com/wiki/telo_linja river
http://tokipona.wikia.com/wiki/soweli_pi_nena_linja elephant

and from a fan page...
http://anadder.com/toki_pona/song_of_songs "...anpa sinpin li sama e tomo linja pi kiwen walo...." chin is like house-linear of white rocks" chin like marble columns.

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:52 pm
by janTe
But, I can see that "linja" means long, or linear, but I don't see anything that implies it means straight.

A winding, bending river (or elephant trunk) is still "linja", but it's not straight.

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:58 pm
by janMato
"long, very thin, floppy thing"

Well a straight line is long and very thing. It isn't necessarily floppy and elephant tusks aren't either. Neither is river floppy. Some lines are straight and if we were emphasizing curves, I'd start talking about variations of sike.

I think the definitions are vague suggestions of the general category, if I got strict in my own writing to both the part of speech and the definition, I think it would be very hard to talk about anything.

If linja isn't the closest thing to straight, what is closer? If nothing is closer, is it better to be silent or use linja and hope for the best? (with regards to if or if not the reader will understand)

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:49 pm
by janTe
That's why I think we need a word for something that is bent or not straight.

I suggest "elbo".

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:12 pm
by janMato

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:28 pm
by janKipo
Well, I don't have a case of 'linja' for "straight" but I'm outta date. It is used for linear measures (height, width, length) but those are often measured using floppy things like measuring tapes, so I don't think that is evidence.
"fold, bend, turn" looks like a useful notion to have but is not one we seem to have occasion for so far. I suppose it is going to have to be built up from 'tawa' and 'sike' and maybe some other things, but the details -- in general or for particular variants -- doesn't seem obvious at the moment. Other suggestions (aside from 'elbo' which ain't tp)?

Re: Are there any words you've found yourself wanting?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:17 pm
by janMato