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Some strands in the semantic web - Toki Pona Forums

Some strands in the semantic web

Archives from the old Yahoo! group
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John E Clifford
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Some strands in the semantic web

Postby John E Clifford » Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:59 pm


There has been some mention on this list of the rule that says "A li B e C,"
when "B" is a word
not normally thought of as a transitive verb, is to be understood as "A makes C
B/ brings it about
that C li B/ causes C to (be) B.

There are some parallel regularities: If A is a transitive verb, A as a noun is
the generic term
for the direct object of A "moku," for example is the transitive verb "eat" (you
can't eat without
something being eaten. What is eaten is ipso facto food, "moku" as a noun.
Related to this is
that the nouns from "tawa" class verbs are the generic complement: "ona tan tan"
"it is from the
source" is a convenient tautology.

None of these patterns is carried through completely in the word list:
causatives are not usually
listed separately, unless there is a specialization that meaning that is of
interest (though
"tomo" "to build, construct" hasn't been listed). Many of the nouns from verbs
(as we might say)
are also not listed nor used: "tawa" is not down as "goal, destination,
direction," for example,
but only variations of the verbal noun "going."


In one sense, the second principle might be seen as a special case of the first:
eating something
is causing it to be food in a very immediate sense. This immediate sense is
characteristic of the
direct object nouns when there is a merely classifying noun to contrast it with:
"kepeken" for
"tool" is something actually used to do something, whether or not it was
designed/intended for
that purpose; "ilo" was so designed but might never be so used (I have a
screwdriver -- designed
to drive screw -- which I use only to open paint cans - as ilo it drives screws,
as kepeken it
opens cans.)conversely, the nouns could all be taken as patients for the
activities of the verbs:
food is what is being/has been/is to be eaten.

Perhaps this can be worked up into one or several systems; for now, I just note
the relations.
Are there others that you have noticed?


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