Who of us is really a toki pona master?

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loteni
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby loteni » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:12 pm

jan ali pi jan ali --- every human "of" whole humans -- specifically the subset of all humans that are whole. ali is used as a modifer in both cases...

You don't seem to have access to the official book. I posted the definition of alasa from the book, as you can see "to hunt" is first in the list of meanings for the word.

She developed the language over many years, you seem to have access to most of an older dictionary, and drafts that pre-date the official one. You can find other dictionaries online, but they tend to offer their own interpretations and reorder and add things. I think Sonja very cleverly wrote the dictionary in pu.

I would be thinking the same as you if I never got the book. The book presents a completed form of the language, not the early draft copies and variations, you find online.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby janKipo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:10 pm

Well, of course, I disagree about pu being complete or even accurate but it is a good starting place. You will rarely go wrong following it (well, some people will be puzzled by a few things, but they just need to learn a bit about dialects). Sonja's definitions give hints about the meanings of the words, but practical hints in the sense that they tie in with English (etc.) and allow translations. Eventually. this can be a disadvantage when you come to trying to say something where using English and translating clearly gets it all wrong. But that is way down the pike.
I tried at one point to give tpish definitions of the words and then derive the English from them. I didn't get to many words and I don't like much of what I did but it seems the ideal way to proceed. In any case, 'alasa' is about searching for and collecting desirable things and from that you get particular activities and specific items as the POS and the context require.

loteni
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby loteni » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:25 pm

I don't think it is fair to say pu is not accurate, It merely disagrees with how a lot of the community had come to use the language at that time. You could say it was inaccurate if it was supposed to be a report on common usage, but it is as explained; just how Sonja uses the language. Since it is technically the official book from the creator of the language, say version 1.0 of toki pona, it is probably more accurate at this point to say that if the community disagrees with its usage, then they are being inaccurate. Of course she has kindly allowed derivatives of toki pona as long as they follow certain rules. However, I think it is fair to say that there are a few proto-dialects of toki pona. The differences are so slight that for the most part, you would be hard pressed to even recognise where the differences are.


This issue about what words mean and how to use them, I see this as a big issue in toki pona.

Commonly people learn the words, by reading the words in the definition, and then forming a kinda of semantic blob to encapsulate that word. With this semantic blob in place they use the words in various contexts and POS that together are closest to meaning what they intend to say. Now they don't do this with all words, just most of them, some words have meanings which they realise are quite distant semantically, so they kind of form a couple of blobs for them instead. I think all words work like this, although Sonja doesnt explicitly specify this is how the dictionary is intended to portray words, it seems quite clear from the way the dictionary is formatted. All words tend to have a hierarchy of meaning; that is they are divided into senses; and semantic points, within those senses.

Here are some examples of how this plays out, and why this makes a big difference:

1. Someone blames me for something, I respond, "taso, mi suwi"
-> most people are going to think this is like me acting all cute, as if to say, im too cute to do that. This is because they have blobbed the meaning of the word, and lost alot of expressibility with it. It actually clearly means in that context; "but, I'm innocent"

2. New people arrive we do not know, I say, "mi mute li wile pona e ona"
-> most people are going to think this is like me acting all assertive, as if to say, lets fix them. This is again because they have blobbed the meaning of the word, and lost alot of expressibility with it. It actually clearly means in that context; "lets befriend them".

3. Someone asks me to read a document to them, I say, "mi ken ala kalama e ona"
-> most people are going to just be confused, because they have blobbed the meaning of the word, and lost expressibility with it. It actually clearly means; "I can't recite that"

I have come across this thing a lot, people that have been using the language for a fair while, and have little idea what the words mean. Trying to "teach" me, that say, pona is just all kinds of "good", whatever you think that is... this is wrong, pona is a much more objectively defined version of "good", ie - friendly, useful..etc.... They have singular and small semantic blob scope for each word, and often fail to understand how to use said words in different POS! Their expressibility is severly crippled and they use the lang for games of how to express simple things, very crudely.

Of course this won't solve the problem of topi pona to english exactness, but I think it might at least help a little.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby janKipo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:20 pm

Well, inaccurate if your goal is to read and write on the websites. And occasionally inaccurate as regards her own usage, certainly as far as stating rules go, but occasionally even about the actual cases. and, of course, in several cases she has changed from what she did earlier and convinced other people to do (mean!). Still, it is the prestige dialect and to be understood by all.

I think the idea of a semantic blob is an important one since most tp words have one of those as their meanings and individual translations emerge from this under the influence of POS and context: 'moku' is just oral ingestion and all the components of that (except the ingestor, interestingly) emerge from various factors in the context, linguistic and real.

Sorry, but (on the evidence of pu inter alia) 'suwi' doesn't mean "innocent" in the sense of "not guilty", but only in the sense of "uncorrupted". So you really are just being cute (in a different meaning of that expressions, too). Wrong blob.
'mi mute li wile pona e sina' (not 'ona', since this is direct discourse, -- we are free from the sequence of tenses but not from pronoun shifts) can mean "we want to lay some good on you" which might mean "be friends' eventually but right now looks more like helping with the move and supplying immediately needed supplies ('pona' gets to "friendly" by a very long route, though it does get there. It begins with friends being those with whom you have exchanged favors, so this offer is indeed a start -- you have to give a favor to get into an exchange.)
'mi ken ala kalama e ona' is "I can't articulate it" or "pronounce it", so more precise than "recite it" which might be about religious objects to doing this chant, say. That is, 'kalama's blob is about producing sound (and so the sound and everything but the production device).
No, 'pona' is just any positive value; which one depends upon context and often added words. People who say it is any kind of good have (correctly)huge blobs, which need to be fined down in context. You seem to be pointing to (despite what you say) lots of little meanings scattered all over the place. To be sure, people don't use the full potential of these words, but they do seem to use them widely enough for the rather limited things they say.

janpona120
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: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby janpona120 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:00 am

This discussion is named -- "Who of us is really a toki pona master?" And I see different interpretations of equal things. Even a word "pona" is under an "utala". For me, It means that tp is disbalanced. And as a result, tp-community has not the tp-masters. But, why? May be tp needs some polishing?

For example, what is a main (proto-semantic) meaning for the word "pona"? Good, simple...? Cold, cold. The hot meaning (close with proto-semantic one) is: health. So, "jan pona" (on the first place) is a person for health. It is someone who makes you healthy: physically, mentally and psychologically. Of course, a real friend gifts to you a lot of healthy: things, situations and words. An enemy destroy you (your health), a friend helps -- he surrounds your life by a wall of healthy things. So, you are happy, because some close one adds some portion of health. Therefore, you call him -- "jan pona mi".

This phylosophy is usual for slavic invitations (greetings, wishes): be healthy, for a health, all for good (health)... like Ukrainian: "zdoroven'ki buly" (українською мовою: "здоровенькі були"). In such a case, English "I feel good" means (proto-semantically) "I am healthy".

Also, revision of another words demonstrate how far from proto-semantics they are. Freedom -- ken, choice -- wile. tp has still one correlation for freedom -- "wawa" (power). Who has a power, he has a freedom. Now, about "choice -- wile". The biggest wish ("wile") is... passion. But, the passion is a quality of someone, who is a slave of wishes. It is so far from freedom. There is a close word corresponding with "choice". It is "or... or". So, tp-equivalent of choice is "anu". I remember that "anu" is not a noun. It should. "mi jo e anu" -- I have a choice.
pu li pan. mi nasin e tan.

janKipo
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:45 am

Well, none of this seems to have much foundation in tp lore although it makes a certain sense in its own right. As I said, 'pona' covers all positivity, health, wealth, friendship, peace, and so on. So a jan pona might be presumed to provide all these things and that I like something just means that I take it as so providing of appropriate things (one can't expect a candy bar to provide health, pona sijelo, but at least tastiness, pona uta)
'ken' and 'wile' form a pair (the usual logical duals, here the strong and weak modals, parallel to universal and particular quantifiers and AND and OR). 'ken x' means that no strong force prevents x, which is just right for "freedom." 'wile x" is less good for "choice", since it means that a strong force compels x. It works only because (in tp lore again) the strong force is assumed to be will. If that will is one's own (and sorting this out is a perennial problem in tp) then it works for choice. If it is someone else's (as almost all cases of "must/have to/should" are in tp), then it is the opposite of choice, but rather compulsion. 'mi wile tawa' is thus a hard saying in tp, quite compatible with the equally hard 'mi wile ala tawa' or, worse, 'mi wile tawa ala'. The tp precise solution would be to separate out the external force in something like 'wawa li wile e ni: mi tawa' and contrast that with 'mi wile ala tawa' or 'mi wile tawa ala' (ie 'mi wile e ni: mi tawa ala' or 'mi wile ala e ni: mi tawa'). Then 'wile' makes sense as a choice, doing what I want.

I'm not sure just what proto semantics might be since I see no particular reason for thinking that there is a realm of meaning independent of a particular language or group of languages. That line of thought leads to Platonism and philosophical languages and the strange notion that the words in tp (for example) are ambiguous. Even the notion of genetic semantics, where we trace current meanings back to earlier meanings, doesn't seem to reveal much about current meanings nor give insight into the nature of reality (or true meaning or whatever).

I am not quite sure what a tp master would be, but it seems likely that there isn't one at present since there are so many questions about tp that no one seems to know the answer to and new ones keep turning up all the time. In addition, tp has no organization which could eventually certify a master if one came along. The title would have to come by community acclamation, I suppose, and the community is just divided enough to make such acclamation unlikely in any case. All of which seems fine, since the language seems to be doing just fine without either organization or a master who can issue decrees. Discussion leads to consensus or, at least, clearly defined camps and dialects, which still maintain contact and mutual intelligibility.

loteni
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby loteni » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:59 pm

but, I'm not corrupt -- in the context of the question, we actually use that in english even...Back to the official dictionary; Innocent is the actual word though.

Topic is "Who is a Toki Pona Master". Even if he won't admit it, jan Kipo is! There are probably a ton of tp masters on this forum alone.

When jan Kipo, makes the claim that such and such is wrong, and such and such is right. What he means to say is that is wrong or right, in the dialect of "Kipo" -- the most common dialect in use, seems to be his. Largely, it seems to me that he is the progenitor of that dialect. It amounts to his own personal usage of the words in toki pona. To make the objective claim that something is right or wrong, needs some kind of outside standard that is appealed to, the official book is that standard, so jan Kipo is not making objective wrong or right claims, that would make him in error. Although he words things as if he is, and that leads to much confusion.

Now for the most part the different dialects are very much identical, so what is right or wrong in one is right or wrong in them all.

But, you have to bear in mind that we are each making claims with respect to different dialects. I added a "footnote/signature" to my posts to make this clear for me at least.

So power of dialects; you have come across kipo dialect and realise it lacks expressive power to make something like a pure dictionary. Jan Kipo has agreed that is probably not possible (in his dialect). You seem intent on making a new dialect, so far removed from current ones as to be a completely different, derivative language.

I think the official dialect possibly has expressibility and power enough to do such a pure dictionary project.

I am not sure anyone but Sonja herself is a master of the official dialect. There are much more people that are at mastery level with the other dialects. This is not surprising, the other dialects are a lot smaller and simpler than the official dialect.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:39 pm

Context: in the case of an accusation, it is not your corruption but your guilt that is at issue and 'suwi' doesn't cover that. Look at all the words offered, not just one to figure out what each one actually means (English being the polysemic language it is).

Kipo is not a master but an observer. He doesn't generate tp but records what he sees (and, okay, maybe organizes things a bit and reduces tendencies to rules or at least guidelines). His own idiolect is actually rather different from the one he tends to try to get others to use, mainly because he like pushing boundaries that others have only just found (using 'ni' as a verb is one of the latest oddnesses, though no one has called him on it yet). And he does keep posing questions about ow to deal with problems that may arise with the system at the moment (see Punctuation down on jan nasa). He tends to avoid saying "right" and "wrong", preferring "you don't have to" or "the community generally doesn't". since the comment are intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive (the stuff about 'nimi' is an exception, since that is a logical point that people just don't get).
It is not clear that "right" and "wrong" require an external standard; Norma Loquendi is possibly enough. But, if an external standard is required, I don't ee any particular objective reason to pick pu over some other standard, since all are just someone's idiolect made into rules. Subjectively, pu is preferred out of respect for Sonja's role in creating the language and (occasionally) guiding some of its developments. But pu stops off well before current issues even arise and so is not a lot of help with them. So what Kipo says in these areas is, while not definitive, often all there is to go on. He does present things as suggestions and questions usually, so the ideas of right and wrong don't really enter yet.

I am not clear what you mean by a pure dictionary. If you mean one where ever tp word is defined in terms of only tp words then as often noted, this is a contradictory goal and so not useful. If you mean lists of alternate ways to say things in tp, that is obviously possible and works as well in Kipo's idiolect as anyone else's (maybe better, since he has a good deal more flexibility than someone who uses only construction actually spelled out in pu). Kipo is puzzled by how a dialect (pu's) which lacks so many constructions and so many useful meanings can be more powerful or expressive than other dialects which have them.

loteni
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby loteni » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:07 pm

Paragraph 1; context, accusation; I already explained that it seems clear to me pu doesnt recommend the semantic blob for words approach.

Paragraph 2; This is entirely circular. You are extremely proactive in "correcting" use of toki pona to reflect the way you think it should be used, and then you "merely" report on that... Trying to have cake and eating it, I think you must know this double standard is more than a bit disingenuous.

Paragraph 3; The contradiction of dictionaries in one language; When dictionaries are written in this way of course there is a floating foundation of meaning, yet we all use these types of dictionaries all the time. The idea is that the reader has a small subset of words that they already know, and can gather the meaning of words they do not based on that foundation. This is not a problem in any other natural language, and it's not a problem in toki pona. Although this issue is more in front view, since there are only 120 words in toki pona, giving rise to questions like; what subsets of words would be needed to understand the rest, is there a smallest subset?

Other; I totally ignored your idea about some proposed "actually prefered kipo dialect", I'm not sure how that really interacts with the issues here. But "ni" as a verb, I have been thinking about other uses of this word! It is extremely hard to imagine for me though. What do you mean when you use "ni" as a verb ?

[oh added..]

I see you are trying to distance your dialect, from the one you "report on"... Yeah that won't work. Maybe you have ideas about how new things could be done, that is great, and a different topic...
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Who of us is really a toki pona master?

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:50 pm

1. It doesn't, but in so doing it misses a major feature of the language. that the words have coherent meanings, not just scattered fragments of different meanings. This is the natural thing to think about a language.

2. If it is true that I actually do more than note what current usage seems to be, then I suppose this is a fair comment. I don't think I do, however, since I am constantly changing things as I perceive that usage is changing. Admittedly, I don't follow my own observations, but I take that as my prerogative as a user, just as I assume that people will do what they want regardless of what I say or how often I point out that most people do it otherwise. To be sure, I do, I suppose, think that some things make more sense than others and some things are clearly wrong by whatever textbook you happen to choose. So, to that extent I am prescriptive, but I notice that other people think what I think senseless is perfect OK and I just note that as dialectic difference.

3. The point is that in tp, the base vocabulary is the whole of the vocabulary and so there is no need for a dictionary to define words you haven't met before. You have met them already and know what they mean (pretty much -- I suppose there are occasional surprise, but I doubt they can be explained in tp). Given that the whole vocabulary is 125 words, I can't imagine why you would want a smaller subset nor do I think that looking for such a subset is a profitable use of time and effort (nor likely to succeed).

I used 'ni' to mean "to point to/indicate/refer to', i.e., for what it does in a sentence.


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