Comments on esun

Toki Pona news: new website, upcoming book, announcements from the language's creator
Tokiponaj novaĵoj: nova TTT-ejo, venonta libro, aperonta libro, anoncoj de la kreinto de la lingvo
User avatar
jan Ote
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:15 am
Location: ma Posuka
Contact:

Comments on esun

Postby jan Ote » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:46 am

toki!
mi jan Ote.
I have noticed a new word in toki pona: esun. And I have some problems with it. I don't know what is the right place to comment the language itself, while not inventing anything nor suggesting any improvements. Hope it's not quite out of topic here.
http://en.tokipona.org/wiki/esun:
esun
noun
1. market
a community event where people trade goods; market, marketplace, bazaar, trading place
2. store
a place where goods are offered for sale; store, shop
So, the esun is strange, because:

1. A noun, not a verb.
The idea of market, i.e. market-event or market-place is secondary, the primary idea is TO-TRADE. People have an idea and a word for trading activity before they start to trade in regular way in a permanent place.
But here we see the opposite: the marketplace is a main, single word and to-trade is its coumpound derivative:
lon esun - to be at the market, to do business, to be trading


2. Trading before receiving
The idea of marketplace is a basic main word, but the idea of receiving goods is not. There is no single word for to-receive, to-take. Tokipona people have to use a compound "kama jo". Strange.

3. Day-of-market vs. days-beetwen-markets
tenpo esun (market day) can be used to express the concept of "week". This originates from the widespread human custom of a farmers' market, a specific market day that reoccurs every so many days. If everyone in a region agrees to travel to a certain place on a certain day, it makes trading a lot simpler. In modern times, the week has been set to 7 days, but many other durations have existed in history.
The obvious meaning of "tenpo esun" for me is the actual day-of-market, the day WHEN people are trading. If "tenpo esun" is a period of time between two market days (or a period of time which lasts the same number of days), so what term for the day-of-market should one use? In "I met hir in the day of market" I couldn't use "tenpo esun", because it's reserved for a less literal meaning: "a week".

4. 7 days without 7
Last but not least.
Tokipona people "invented" (or borrowed ;)) a concept of trade, and know that every certain number of days, say seven, they can travel and trade in a certain place. But they can count only to... what number? They do not have a word for number greater than 2. Strange.
Suppose, the markey day is today. How one could know when there'll be the next market? In the past there were two ways. The first: each day between market days has its name. Not the case in toki pona. The second: days between market days are numbered (compare: nundinal cycle in ancient Rome) or just counted. But one is supposed to count to this very number of days to use this.
There have been preliterate societies that were able to count and name numbers only additive on 2 basis (4=two-two), like tribes in South America, Africa or Australia. It's a toki pona model. But these tribes, using only "1-2-many" or "1-2-3-many" numeral system were not trading. They haven't got markets. No word for 6 or 7 or 8, but no market and no week also.
One have to count 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, some way, if he wants to use "a week", "period between markets". But in toki pona the only way to get 7 is "tu-tu-tu-wan". ("Advanced numbers" are not recommended extension). It's really strange to me that one can say: "tenpo esun" for "a week", i.e., say, 7 days, some constant and precise number of days, greater than 5-6, but he have to use far more complicated idea and wording for "5 days" ("tenpo suno [pi] tu tu wan"?).

rdmiller3
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:41 pm
Location: Muskego, Wisconsin US
Contact:

Re: Comments on esun

Postby rdmiller3 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:43 am

Any language invented by a woman must of course have some way to say "to shop".
:lol:
(Just kidding! I couldn't resist.)

jan-ante
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: Comments on esun

Postby jan-ante » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:03 pm

sina toki e ijo pona

sopping is an essential part of american life cycle:

ona li lape
ona li lawa e tomo tawa
ken la ona li pali
ona li lawa e tomo tawa
ona li kama jo e ijo mute lon tomo pana ijo / ona li tawa Esun
ona li lawa e tomo tawa
ona li lape

mi pilin e ni: nimi Esun li lon ala la toki li ike tawa jan Mewika

janKipo
Posts: 3007
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Comments on esun

Postby janKipo » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:53 pm

Two brief notes
1 Though the reading for 'esun' is, inter alia, 'shop', the underlying notion seems to be 'trading' not 'shopping'. So, think first of all of a bazaar, not a mall, and then see how much of that carries over into the world in which you live (and how little of it is in stock trading, for example).
2. 'tenpo esun' doesn't have to be seven days, but let us take it as that conventionally. How do we know when seven days are up if we can't count above two? Well, for one thing, God hung the moon just for that purpose (it says in holy books of the west and middle east): the visible halfway point between full and new and again between new and full comes to average out at about seven days -- and if the market is earlier or later by a day, what the heck. Folks in Lao-lao- land notice stuff like that (and can actually see the moon and some stars).

Sonja
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:17 pm

Re: Comments on esun

Postby Sonja » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:55 pm

rdmiller3 wrote:Any language invented by a woman must of course have some way to say "to shop".
:lol:
(Just kidding! I couldn't resist.)


a a a, sina nasa. :)

Sonja
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:17 pm

Re: Comments on esun

Postby Sonja » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:05 pm

jak Ote wrote:I don't know what is the right place to comment the language itself, while not inventing anything nor suggesting any improvements. Hope it's not quite out of topic here.


I'm open to receiving comments and thoughts on the new content. And I'll take the time to share my thought process.

The idea of market, i.e. market-event or market-place is secondary, the primary idea is TO-TRADE. People have an idea and a word for trading activity before they start to trade in regular way in a permanent place.


That's because I consider the event and place much more culturally, socially and holistically important to a people than the simple routine act of trading for business's sake. There is a lot more than just trading that happens at an esun. It's more than just the sum of its parts.

There is no single word for to-receive, to-take. Tokipona people have to use a compound "kama jo". Strange.


Many language have two-word expressions for something as universal as love or need. Take Dutch houden van and nodig hebben (spelling?). Toki Pona does not focus on receiving and selfishness. It's focused on giving. All human languages have strange asymmetries like this.

Also, the market-time is one of the definitions of esun. No need to add an extra tenpo if you want to talk about the event in time. I'll reword the definition a bit to make it more obvious.

Hope this helps. In the end, we can debate the arbitrary details that make up a language forever, and every inventor will have a different vision.

User avatar
jan Ote
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:15 am
Location: ma Posuka
Contact:

Re: Comments on esun

Postby jan Ote » Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:59 am

janKipo wrote:'tenpo esun' doesn't have to be seven days
My point. Etruscan-Roman nundinal cycle had 9 days. Then it's more difficult to determine (whithout numbers) when a next 'week' is.
janKipo wrote:the visible halfway point between full [moon] and new and again between new and full comes to average out at about seven days -- and if the market is earlier or later by a day, what the heck.
It sounds like an easy task but in practice is not. I used to observe the moon when I was young and it's pretty difficult is to tell when the moon is exactly in the halfmoon phase. Even a new moon is a problem. Muslims are using a lunar calendar and they have to use a rule of "when two Muslims had sighted the Hilal, then it's the time". And if you choose 'the day after', then, well, chances are you miss the market, because other people made another decision.

Anyway, it would be nice having toki pona as language of some consistent real 'culture and society', like a language of some tribe(?). But it doesn't have to be like this. After all it's an artficial language.
Last edited by jan Ote on Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jan Ote
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:15 am
Location: ma Posuka
Contact:

Re: Comments on esun

Postby jan Ote » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:06 am

Sonja wrote:There is a lot more than just trading that happens at an esun.
Oh, I see. One goes to esun to meet people and interact. Some kind of meeting. A trade was less important while introducing this word, even if it's used to describe some trade concepts.
Sonja wrote:
jak Ote wrote:There is no single word for to-receive, to-take. Tokipona people have to use a compound "kama jo". Strange.
Many language have two-word expressions for something as universal as love or need. Take Dutch houden van and nodig hebben (spelling?). Toki Pona does not focus on receiving and selfishness. It's focused on giving.
I've never thought about it this way. Thank you.

Sonja wrote:In the end, we can debate the arbitrary details that make up a language forever, and every inventor will have a different vision.
:) Thank you that you found some time to share your thoughts.

User avatar
jan Ote
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:15 am
Location: ma Posuka
Contact:

Re: Comments on esun

Postby jan Ote » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:37 am

Just 2 cents about 'esun' in wiki:
1. market
a community event where people trade goods; market, marketplace, bazaar, trading place
2. store
a place where goods are offered for sale; store, shop
Bazaar and marketplace are places, not events. I suppose it would be more clear to a reader to set it up this way:
1. market (event)
a community event where people trade goods; market, fair
2. market, store (place)
a place where goods are offered for sale; marketplace, bazaar, trading place, store, shop


tenpo esun (market day) can be used to express the concept of "week"
I think it's a lapsus, should be "(market time)".

janKipo
Posts: 3007
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Comments on esun

Postby janKipo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:35 am

pakala a! jaK Ote o, the event market or bazaar (or souk or ...) is older and more basic than the store, which evolved with cities (OK, villages) much later than the event and consciously (at first anyhow) as fixing the event in one place and then as ongoing rather than episodic. Even in the early stores (better markets, since stores were storage before they were markets) the mode was still barter (and still is in probably most parts of the world).


Return to “sin pi toki pona”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests