Or rather: janliko tok!
I have been working on an abbreviated toki pona or tokpon tenlil ("quick toki pona"). The idea is that it still rings true to toki pona syntax; along with that comes the simplicity and elegance of toki pona. However, three-syllable words in toki pona seemed to me redundant, so I began by collapsing every word into a monosyllabic morpheme, and the rest grew from there. In no way is this meant as reform or replacement of toki pona but rather a supplement for those who want to say things in a hurry or perhaps just prefer the sound of tenlil.
- Most of the original words are replaced by monosyllabic morphemes in the form of consonant-vowel-consonant (see full list below).
- The first syllable of a tenlil word is stressed and, if it is not a separator, takes the role of a noun.
- Adjectives adjoin their preceding nouns: jan pona becomes janpon. Adverbs act similarly.
- pi is omitted entirely. It is assumed a new word is a noun so jan pona pi toki pona becomes janpon tokpon. pi is unnecessary here.
- Double letters are combined. An example of this within a word is janat. (jan ante > jan nat > jannat > janat)
- Double letters are combined. An example of this between words is jana'teljol. (jan ante pi telo loje > jan nat pi tel jol > jannat teljol > jana'teljol). Note that stress is preserved in this case: JANa'TELjol. The apostrophe only serves to combine the sounds, but the words remain distinct. Otherwise, the meaning would change from a bloody stranger to a red, watery stranger (janateljol = jan ante telo loje).
- Proper nouns can be written in one of two ways. Since toki pona treats names as adjectives, you can join the name to its noun. For example, jan Sonja would become simply janSonja. However, this breaks the rule of stress slightly, so another way to demonstrate this would be as such: jansónja. This eliminates the need for majuscule letters, preserves the pronunciation, and notifies the reader of a foreign adjective. For these reasons, I prefer the latter suggestion, but, for the ease of typing, the former will also be made acceptable.
- Separators are a unique class of morphemes (reduced to simply one vowel) and are explained in fuller detail below.
The five separators (I am taking a liberty here by classifying taso as a separator) are as follows:
- la becomes a
- e remains as e
- li becomes i
- o remains as o
- taso becomes u
Notice how a adjoins to the end of tenpin; but i, to the beginning of wat.
Also notice that, in tenlil, mi and sina are not exempt from i as with toki pona's li:
tenpo pini la mi tawa = tenpina mis iwat
Also, as an inadvertent bonus, this rule removes ambiguity of what part of speech follows li:
jan pona li sona = janpon ison ("Friend knows")
jan pona li sona = janpon lonson ("Friend is smart")
jan pona li sona = janponi son ("Friend is thought")
For commands and vocatives, follow the form below:
o toki! = otok!
jan o, pona! = jano pon!
jan o pona! = jan'opon!
A few last things to mention (and I hope that, after which, I will have covered all possible syntax issues with tenlil):
- Interjections are handled the same way in toki pona. pon! tok! muk! jap!, etc.
- Prepositions act as verbs or adverbs (mi lon insa sina = mis ijine sis), (mi toki kepeken lipu = mis itokepe lip), (mi toki tawa sina kepeken lipu = mis itokwate sis itokepe lip), (wile tawa mi li moli = wil iwate mi imol).
- Short conjunctions pose no problems: mi en sina li toki = mis jen sis itok.
- However, you should be careful with longer conjunctions. For example, the phrase jan mi pi ma suli en jan sina pi ma lili when translated into tenlil (because of the omission of pi) could be ambiguous to whether it was saying that "my people of great lands and of your people of small lands" or the intended "my people of great lands and your people of small lands." Note, to show this: janmis masul jenjansis maslil and janmis masul jen jansis maslil are used, respectively.
- Questions of the form x ala x will be handled via hyphens: sina moku ala moku? = sis imok-lak-mok?
- Some of these rules may be subject to change if they prove to be inefficient or confusing, but hopefully this gives an idea of how a shortened toki pona would behave.
English: The scientist never dreamed of having such enormous power. (16 syllables)
toki pona: tenpo pini ala la jan pi sona mute li tawa e ma lape ni: ona li jo e wawa suli. (30)
tokpon tenlil: tenpinlaka jan sonmut iwate maslapnis: jon ijose waksul. (19)
Please excuse any translation mistakes that I may have made; these examples were mainly for demonstration of grammar, so I was not focusing very much on the actual content. Excuse my mistakes but, of course, do not ignore them. I would still appreciate any corrections to my translations, if you find any errors. Thanks!