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What is pu - Page 3 - Toki Pona Forums

What is pu

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janKipo
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Re: What is pu

Postby janKipo » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:52 pm

Recursion tends to make for many levels, but that is merely incidental. The essence is the coming back to the same place in the definition again (as the name sorta says).

'tawa', as a verb, always means "move" some how; the question is what moves. With the intransitive, it is the subject; with the transitive, it is the object. The subject brings about the motion of the object, but may do that without any motion on its part (by issuing an order, say, or turning on a magnet).
Your subsequent examples are intransitive and thus not much of a problem -- except for the double 'tawa's, which are merely redundant.
Well, the astronaut version uses 'tawa' for the means, where 'kepeken' seems called for 'kepeken palisa pi suli mute' Oh, you aren't talking about a spaceship! I suspect 'kepeken' is still appropriate, but 'nasin' ought to be here somewhere, for "course" and the like ("vector" isn't quite right since they have direction but not length, but close enough).

Your remark about 'tawa' seems to be the one in use, but is still a bad idea, especially when there are a number of actual and potential preps that no one has tried -- 'nasin' for one (with or without 'lon')

'la' phrases are still conditions, but "condition" has a somewhat different sense. All this needs some work through.

Note that 'tawa mun' also means "go to the moon" which could be confusing.

I am leery of 'pi' with verb phrases, but they should be legal -- just not used much, since other tricks are available -- PP and 'la'.
1

janTe
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Re: What is pu

Postby janTe » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:34 pm

There's an ambiguity when a word like "tawa", "poka", or "sama" is used after a noun. Is it a modifier or a preposition? This ambiguity trips me up a lot. (For example, mi pana e tomo tawa sona could mean "I give your car" or "I give a house to you".)

My guess is that "pu" makes clear that the following word is a preposition. I think maybe "I give a house to you" could become *mi pana e tomo pu tawa sona.

This is only a guess. But if it's right, it might become easier to use other words as prepositions. Maybe "nasin" could used for "through" or "across". Maybe "anpa" could be used for "under".

My only "evidence" for this guess is that the French wikipedia claims that "pu" is used to avoid certain ambiguities, and the ambiguity of "pana e tomo tawa sona" was noted a long time ago.

(Though, I'd also be happy for a word that means "block" or "lump" (or "uncarved block"). We have shape words for flat things, and long things, but not for something that's just a lump or a block.)

janMato
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Re: What is pu

Postby janMato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:53 pm


janTe
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"noka" (Was: What is pu)

Postby janTe » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:43 pm


janMato
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Re: "noka" (Was: What is pu)

Postby janMato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:56 pm


janTe
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Re: What is pu

Postby janTe » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:36 am

You know what I just realised? In English, "poo" is an affectionate, diminutive suffix. For example, you can call your boyfriend "Mikey-poo". It's a little old-fashioned, though.

Could "pu" be a diminutive suffix? Esperanto has one, so jan Sonja would certainly be familiar with the concept.


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