Rhetoric in TP

Tinkerers Anonymous: Some people can't help making changes to "fix" Toki Pona. This is a playground for their ideas.
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jan Misite
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Rhetoric in TP

Postby jan Misite » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:45 pm

I started this thread to give jan ante and jan kapiwe some space to do what he wants since we're not really talking the same thing. I don't really want to change things much, I'm conservative on this. If poeple want to conlang, I don't want to clutter things up. Continued from h ere. http://forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2093&start=20

Thanks for clearing that up Kipo.

I was thinking that ona could be used exophoric ally for some reason. I guess then, that in some sense ni is like english it/this/that, but only 'it' in a restricted sense...Using ona for cataphora, or late introcpductions of something you want to give a statement on, or just cannot identify right away...Actually I have some interesting ideas for writing things down. I would like to try them out this weekend and see how you folks like them. In a way, TP nouns like meli work have similar capacities to English pronouns...then actually, it's hard to say 'ona' means it because it could cataphoric ally refer to almost any thing or person anywhere!

I think the thing I admire about lojban is the idea of the grammar more than anything. I admire it. I gave up learning the language a while ago when I couldn't understand the use of articles.

I don't mind that lojban has unambiguous parsings, it's just not what I am really interested in. I wouldn't want to get rid of donkey sentences for instance, because a lot of interesting natural language phenomenon deserve to be understood rather than treated as inappropriate. That's kind of what I would like a conlang to do, really. Stuff like singular they in English fascinate me, and I think I kind of understand them but not well enough. A lot of intonation I think is related and it is undeservedly cast aside, probably 'cause it's really hard to analyze.

Could you please show me an example of 'X ijo'?

I gave the example a few pages back of a cognitive science approach to copulas a few pages back because I think all of these phenomena are related.

What do you think of the other ways I suggested on the other page? I will rewrite them in a few. Jan Kipo, at the end of your post is one of the unusual constructions I was thinking of. What do you think of it? Is this an endorsement of rhetorical questions? I like it because these things are things only you can know, so my raising the question of what I think about something is unanswerable by the listener, so of course they're going to wait for me to answer my own question. I would like to think that's legal, although people might have other feelings about how fair it is as a conversational strategy...

@silipu: thanks, I wondered about that. I much prefer that phrasing to the 'wile e ni:...' trick. Instead of saying, "I would like Stephanie to come over" (which used the semicolon) I said "If Stephanie were to come I would like it" which used a 'la phrase'. 'It' in this case refers to a 'ni'. ( It feels kind of weird for 'ni' to be referring to inside a sentence actually, doesn't it?)

I will explain what I mean in regards to Kalusa. Kalusa was a collaborative conlang that used a submission system with voting to grow the language. At the same time that people proposed grammatical principles (which were never explicit...the sentences were provided without explanation) they would propose the words which would be parsed by the reader...I think it was a problem, that the issue of semantics versus readability was never cleared up. In the end, people cheated the vote system and gamed the submission process so that the sound of the language got more and more ridiculous, or so I heard. I think the same set-up could work well for any developing conlang that needed to develop rhetorically. TP could gain from it. As it is we use the corpus for attested forms, right? Well, why not see what everyone thinks of the readability of those forms? The difference is kind of that, unlike a natural language just because someone says something doesn't mean it has ever been used to solve a discourse problem in a real language environment. This would provide some kind of feedback for speakers at least right? and I think it could encourage innovation where people saw problems in being understood by other people. The only problem I see is if un dedicated people came by or were insincere about stuff, but that's not very likely is it?

Of course this might be overkill. This happens in a different way on this very board all the time. . I think if another language were to begin like Kalusa you would need two buttons to give a rating for both well-formedness and one for understandability. It is possible that you could see people who are more conservative about the grammar of the language actually rejecting new words over time and sticking to a few while others would be more willing to incorporate vocabulary and extrapolate new sentences and new uses. These things go hand in hand but they are again, not the same thing. There might be problems with people being able to distinguish these two things but it could still be worthwhile. (to go further on this tangent, I might do a voting system with abstaining, not yet decided, yes, no and a preferred option, which is like yes with a star next to it as a kind of best practices thing that pushes it to the top amongst closely weighted scores...I guess the Margin would have to be determined as a percentage of votes based on the community and on those voting on individual items.)

I think another limitation might be context. When people recognize part of what you're talking about they go the extra mile to understand difficult sentences. Writers would probably have to find clever ways of talking about things people had seen or know about, ie news, movies, or Internet phenomena. But the thing is, people will already do this if theyre attracted to your language and TP's community does this very well. Some things are already almost as succinct as headlines and they read just fine ie fish kills Irwin (jan pije).

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