Passive and Causative (pana (e) sona)

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Passive and Causative (pana (e) sona)

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:57 am

Active: The children are learning Toki Pona.
Passive: Toki Pona is being learnt by the children.
Causative: The parent is teaching the children Toki Pona. (i.e. "makes them learn")

jan pi toki pona o,

Outside of pu, I have observed forms like *"pana sona" instead of "pana e sona" (to teach).

    mama li pana e sona pi toki pona tawa jan lili. (The parent is teaching Toki Pona to the children.)
    → *mama li pana sona e toki pona tawa jan lili.

It reads well (for an English-speaker), but it's not pu. The root for this seems to be that Toki Pona doesn't have a causative, and no passive. Otherwise a sentence expressing "The parent is making Toki Pona something known to the children" might have emerged. But such a sentence seems not to be possible because it would look like this:

    *mama li sona e toki pona tawa jan lili. *(The parent knows Toki Pona according to the children.)

The reason for this seems to be how pu shows how to "convert any verb into a noun" (pu, page 26):

    toki (something that you speak)
    moku (something that you eat)

So *"ijo toki" (something to speak, something talkable) and *"ijo moku" (something to eat, something edible) turn into "toki" and "moku". The implicit rule seems to be that "ijo" is omitted before a transitive verb (*"ijo sona" → "sona") which prevents us from forming passives and causatives. I hope this "rule" can be interpreted like this, though: "ijo" is omitted before transitive verbs (like "toki" and "moku") except when used in order to express passives and causatives. Here's what I mean:

    nimi sin li ijo toki. (The new words are being spoken.)
    kili li ijo moku. (The fruit is being eaten.)
    toki pona li ijo sona. (Toki pona is being known.)

    mama li ijo toki e nimi sin tawa jan lili. (The parent makes the children say the new words.)
    mama li ijo moku e kili tawa jan lili. (The parent makes the child eat the fruit.)
    mama li ijo sona e toki pona tawa jan lili. (The parent teaches Toki Pona to the children.)

This is not a "pona" style, but it seems possible.

jan Tepan
jan Tepan: "o pilin pona o pu!"

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Re: Passive and Causative (pana (e) sona)

Postby janKipo » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:08 am

This is interesting and deals with a real felt problem with tp. While tp does have an array of causative constructions, from making transitive verbs from nouns and adjectives to using 'kama' as a transitive verb (though that has problems), it does not have passives. And they would often be useful. I don't quite see, however, how Tepan's ideas work toward this. 'ijo moku' has perfectly good (though rare) meanings in tp, either "something eating" or "something edible" ("context etc. "). Adding a new meaning hardly seems helpful.
Things like 'ijo moku' are also not obviously (at least) the source of the move from a transitive verb to the genus of its direct object, which seems a simple move in its own right that covers all transitive verbs and prepositions.
Nor does the situation with 'pana sona', which is just incorporation, provide any useful information that I can see.
So barring quite a bit more detail, I don't see a case for passives here.

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