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Whistled Toki Pona

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:25 am
by jan Mataka
Many languages, especially languages with very simple phonology, such as Piraha͂, have a whistled form. Why not toki pona?
Only 5 tonemes are needed to represent each of toki pona's words using words of up to 3 tonemes in length. I propose the following tonemes:

High /˥/ (1), Mid /˧/ (2), and Low /˩/ (3), Falling /˥˩/ (4), and Rising /˩˥/ (5),

Here is the word list (Note: the tonemes assigned to a word are arbitrary.):

a 1
akesi 2
ala 3
ale 4
anpa 5
ante 11
anu 12
awen 13
e 14
en 15
esun 21
ijo 22
ike 23
ilo 24
insa 25
jaki 31
jan 32
jelo 33
jo 34
kala 35
kalama 41
kama 42
kasi 43
ken 44
kepeken 45
kili 51
kiwen 52
ko 53
kon 54
kule 55
kulupu 111
kute 112
la 113
lape 114
laso 115
lawa 121
len 122
lete 123
li 124
lili 125
linja 131
lipu 132
loje 133
lon 134
luka 135
lukin 141
lupa 142
ma 143
mama 144
mani 145
meli 151
mi 152
mije 153
moku 154
moli 155
monsi 211
mu 212
mun 213
musi 214
mute 215
nanpa 221
nasa 222
nasin 223
nena 224
ni 225
nimi 231
noka 232
o 233
olin 234
ona 235
open 241
pakala 242
pali 243
palisa 244
pan 245
pana 251
pi 252
pilin 253
pimeja 254
pini 255
pipi 311
poka 312
poki 313
pona 314
pu 315
sama 321
seli 322
selo 323
seme 324
sewi 325
sijelo 331
sike 332
sin 333
sina 334
sinpin 335
sitelen 341
sona 342
soweli 343
suli 344
suno 345
supa 351
suwi 352
tan 353
taso 354
tawa 355
telo 411
tenpo 412
toki 413
tomo 414
tu 415
unpa 421
uta 422
utala 423
walo 424
wan 425
waso 431
wawa 432
weka 433
wile 434

And some unofficial words:

kin 435
kipisi 441
leko 442
monsuta 443
namako 444
oko 445
pake 451

Example (kili lili):

/˩˥.˥ ˥.˧.˩˥/

/˥.˩˥.˧ ˩.˥˩ ˥.˩˥ ˩˥.˥/

/˧.˩.˩˥ ˥.˧.˥˩ ˩.˥.˥˩ ˥.˧.˥˩ ˥.˧.˩˥/

/˥.˩˥.˧ ˥.˥˩.˩˥ ˥.˧.˩˥ ˥.˩˥ ˩˥.˥ ˥.˧.˩˥/

Note that each toneme is separated from the rest by a very brief pause, and words are separated by longer pauses.

What are your thoughts? Are there any changes I should make?

Re: Whistled Toki Pona

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:45 am
by janKipo
An interesting code, but not something that grows -- as whistling codes in natural languages do -- from the base language itself. tp doesn't have tones, only stress and less stress, so that can't be a source for a whistle. All two-syllable words have the same stress pattern and so on. It might be that there is some pona qualities to the various sounds that make up a word (a noun spectrogram shows there is, but not one that coverts naturally to tones). And, of course, the tune to which each sentence is said might contribute something. But, for the moment, this is just another arbitrary code, even less related to the language than, say, the emoticon code. (btw citing Piraha~ data is almost a sure way to get everybody suspicious about whatever you say.)

Re: Whistled Toki Pona

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:35 am
by Jan Tomen
Silbo gomero and a video about it.

Silbo is basically a way of whistling spanish, not technically a language. It could be used to "pronounce" in any other language, but as spanish has simpler phonemes, it is specially intelligible when whistling.

Good news are, toki pona has phonetics very similar to spanish.

Silbo is a bit hard to learn and understand at first, but it follows some simple rules:

-For vowels, whistle with the same mouth opening you would say them. This makes i the highest pitched, then e, a, and o/u are the lowest.
-For consonants, you just whistle the ones that don't require you to close your lips. Mainly:
---K (sounds like a short stop)
---Y (our toki pona J, sounds like a short i)
---G (sounds like a short dip in volume)
---S (sounds like a sharp, airy fluctuation).
-Any other consonant is replaced:
---K replaces p, f
---Y replaces d, n, l, r
---G replaces m, n, j, b
---S replaces t, ch

So basically it is a "rewrite" of the language with 4 vowels and 4 consonants.

mi wile moku e kili -- GI UIYE GOKU E KIYI
toki Sibo li amusi tawa mi -- SOGI SIGO YI AGUSI KAUA GI

Re: Whistled Toki Pona

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:24 am
by janKipo
Thanks for that brief and informative description.
tp, even though it has very few words in a large word space, has a large number of very similar words, made even more so by this reduction in the number of consonants (the vowels are less a problem, since tp is almost a three-vowel system anyhow). So, this is not going to be a very practical code for tp.

Re: Whistled Toki Pona

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:32 am
by Jan Tomen
Silbo gomero isn't a practical code even for spanish. It has a niche application (long-distance simple communication over empty expanses of mountain ranges). Out of that that it's just a curiosity.