regarding Pu

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
jan Oma
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:21 pm

regarding Pu

Postby jan Oma » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:40 pm

Whenever the topic of the new book comes up, there is always at least one person who brings up that the community has made changes in usage to the language that might not be reflected in the book.

As someone new to the language, can someone give a summary of what those changes are, exactly?

janKipo
Posts: 2827
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: regarding Pu

Postby janKipo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:46 pm

No one seems to have made a list, though someone should have. The first thing to say is that most tpers can understand a variety of styles. The second is that they are not slow to "correct" what differs from their own preference. On the other hand, most of the things that get corrected now are the same things that got corrected in the early days. There haven't been many changes and the essentials remain-- and remain unfamiliar to beginners. But let's see.
1. There are half a dozen words that are not in the pu vocab or are listed as alternates which are considered fully functional. Check older lists for their meanings and uses.
2. 'pi' indicates a unit block within a string of modifiers, a break in the left grouping of each successive word. It is not a possessive marker. It cannot be followed by just one word (obviously).
3. 'kepeken' is a preposition, so, like all preposition, wherever it occurs, it's complement, the tool, follows immediately, without 'e'.
4. To speak a language X is 'toki kepeken toki X' or 'toki lon toki X'. To talk about X, is 'toki e ijo (pi) X'.
I'm sure there are more but these are the ones that turn up most. and they are not all that different from pu (a word that is not much used).

janKipo
Posts: 2827
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: regarding Pu

Postby janKipo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:58 pm

Oh, yes
5. Prepositional phrases can modify nouns, but (see above) must be introduced by 'pi'.
6. The only multi word modifiers that do not take 'pi' are numbers or 'nanpa' followed by a number. (The verdict is pending on reduplication for emphasis.)

jan_endy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:07 am
Location: ma Kanse

Re: regarding Pu

Postby jan_endy » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:57 am

2. 'pi' indicates a unit block within a string of modifiers, a break in the left grouping of each successive word. It is not a possessive marker. It cannot be followed by just one word (obviously).


IMHO, it is not so obvious. To me, "pi" is a disambiguation operator meaning something like "of". It is very useful to distinguish a property and a field of application.

For example
jan sewi soweli is an animal god like egyptian one (soweli is a property)
jan sewi pi soweli is the god of the animals (soweli is a field of application)

we can cope to the rule by adding qualificatives :
jan sewi pi soweli ali
but this is not as minimalist as I'd like it to be.

janKipo
Posts: 2827
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: regarding Pu

Postby janKipo » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:43 pm

Something like this usage, though not quite this justification, existed in very early tp and left some traces in Pije's lessons (he once uses 'pi' for "have"). This was a minor role already in those lessons and dropped out completely in later usage. This list is an attempt to report current standards, so this usage does not have a place. The "obviously" referred to the context of right grouping, where one word would not fit. Arguably, Egyptian gods are 'jan soweli sewi' and gods for animals, if not 'soweli sewi', are 'jan sewi soweli', given the standard ordering of modifiers.

janKipo
Posts: 2827
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: regarding Pu

Postby janKipo » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:30 pm

And, not new but still needing saying,
7. one's introduction -- and other cases of naming -- goes ' mi jan Kipo' or 'nimi mi li (nimi) 'Kipo'', not 'nimi mi li jan Kipo'. My name is not a person and I am not a word. Similarly, naming goes 'mi nimi 'Sala' e meli lili mi'


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