Nitpicking the Wikipedia article on toki pona

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Nitpicking the Wikipedia article on toki pona

Postby janMato » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:56 pm

Sorry for the roughness of my notes, my job is interfering with my hobbies. pakala!

Wikipedia nitpicks

"resembles George Orwell's fictional language Newspeak.[6]"
Newspeak was an incomplete idea for a conlang. Toki pona is a language. Comparing apples and oranges. Actually this whole paragraph is unclear-- it wasn't intended to be zen like, it was intended to be taoism-like

Category (purpose)
-- conlang, yes
-- this is a small/mininal language
-- Not really a personal language (used in communication)
-- Not really auxlang (easy, but not practical minded)
-- Philosophical language/Engineered Language (maybe)

-- Several people contributed to the earliest tp, Nikita Ayzikovsky, Brian Knight, et al. Since then the community has been playing the same role that speakers in a natural language community do-- tense in la phrases and luka are the best examples of community innovations that are routinely used.

Word Count
"120 Toki Pona roots" 124/125

Phonetic Distribution
Corpus is currently ~500Kb, so it's time to recheck Jim Henry's stats.

- ands and ors can join modifiers
- ands and ors fuzzy.

2. Subclauses can be adverbial, mute la, ken la, etc, instead of noun phrases

- doesn't address
prepositional phrase + DO -- 9(c)only hints of this
multi-sentence contructions
(S e ni: S) <-- one unit when a it is a question

-- Ingores recent modal list expansion
"(The modal may be kama (coming/future tense), ken (can), or wile (wants to).)"

* kama isn't really tense here? It means becoming/turning into more than tense

Compound nouns
"Toki Pona relies heavily on noun phrases (compound nouns),"
Legal noun phrases are internally grammatical and noun-noun is not grammatical.
"(For this reason they are called "proper adjectives"; they are functionally the same as compound nouns.)"

Order of operations of toki pona? Does involving lojban concepts and grammar apply? Better to say that all modifiers modify the head, except when there is a pi, then the pi phrase modifies the head. pi-chains of 3 or more are ambiguous-- which they would not be in lojban!

Are proper modifier really nouns? A noun is a noun if it can be used as a noun, e.g. stand alone as subject, as object, as prep complement. It isn't a noun.

There is a zero copula.[14]
By the taxonomy in Payne, there is a predicate particle-- a zero copula is the same as juxtaposition. Tp requires "li", which is invariant and doesn't behave at all like a verb.

Anti-analytic language bias. *no* words in toki pona inflect. All operation in toki pona are lexical or analytic. Rather than saying "language X has no tense", one should say "tense is expressed analytically or lexically"
"Toki Pona does not inflect verbs according to person, tense, mood, or voice.[14]"
This section should note that the typical TMP layout is:
[Time] la verb [Manner] lon [Place]

Passivation type valence reduction is done lexically, using "ijo" as a subject, possiblly "tan" constructions (need to check how often this has happened). Valency altogether needs more study.

Wrong word count
"The 120-root vocabulary[22]"
"On the word list on the official website there are 123 roots including those not present in the vocabulary"

-- Kind of misses the phases
1,2,3,4 -> 1, 2, many -> 1, 2, 2+1, 2+2, luka -> "advance numbers", many community proposals

Obsolete roots
-- no mention of noka

New roots
-- no mention of namako, pu, kipisi, monsuta, ... I forget the fifth

-- These examples aren't really representative of the corpus anymore.

-- The estimate of 100 speakers is meaningless. We do have a count of how many people have written something in toki pona.
-- Same problem with census in total speakers in upper box (dozens with chat ability??)
-- This describes a point in time. The community was:
irc + livejournal -> yahoo mailing list -> forum + toki lili + other blogs through out this time.
also wikipedia -> wikia (which has since gone quiet)

See also
-- What the hell does Hyponymy have to do with TP? (anymore than any other language?)
-- same for other see-also links.

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Re: Nitpicking the Wikipedia article on toki pona

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:50 pm

I think the Orwell stuff is old SWH left over: it will change your way of thinking by limiting what you can think about, or some such. Crap.
Zen IS Daoism, weAaring a rather misleading Buddhist robe (the master is still called LaoZi).
actually quite practically minded but not set up for the scientific and commercial purposes that auxlangs have.
Definitely not a philosophical language (though I once said it was, mea culpa). Every conlang is an engelang, they just vary the blueprints.
I don't know the earliest level, though this seems plausible, with Sonja being the instigator and pivot and final say. The later stuff is overly optimistic so far.
Well, roots is just the wrong word, but the count keeps shifting, so putting down other than "about 120" is probably wrongheaded for a while.
Well, ands and ors do join modifiers, whether it is legal or not. What does fuzzty mean (both logical and collective)?
Subclauses are always conditional; la phrases are of several kinds, not yet well worked out.
S e ni: S is always a unit interpretively but separate grammatically.
What is a case of PP +DO?
It's not the only one to ignore 'awen, pini; open' 'kama is a hard one to specify, since it seems to affect the meaning of the whole VP in different ways with different complements. But, if you must put a "will" in everywhere the English does, then 'kama' is better than 'wile.'
Don't like calling them compound nouns.
noun-noun is grammatical, of course, in a number of different ways.
This sounds like they don't understand proper adjectives (which is not too surprising).
Comparison to Lojban seem especially inapt, the blueprints are not even from the same pad. Modification is left grouping, each successive modifier modifying the whole unit that goes before, except that 'pi' introduces a right grouped unit that extends over at least two words. 'pi' followed by three or more words, without additional 'pi's are ambiguous, as are successive 'pi's each followed by to or more simple modifiers.
Proper modifiers are definitely not nouns, they always have to be preceded by a noun.
The notion of copula does not apply (any more than it does in Lojban or Chinese). Calling 'li' one or otherwise trying to sneak one in is a category mistake. (just say that nouns and modifiers can be the heads of VPs).
Depends on what you mean by tense. Temporal relations are expressed by la phrases (and, perhaps, by unexplored PP), tp has no grammatical tense == nor any other latinate grammatical moves.(person, number mood, mode, active-passive-whatever, case, ...)Looking for them was bad linguistics already 150 years ago, though folks back then had a sort of excuse. Not now.
Not sure how typical the time manner place layout you suggest is or whether it is worth mentioning in a survey.
tp doesn't have a passive and I am unsure your attempts will manage to give it one. It certainly shouldn't be mentioned in a survey (yet, of course).
I think the thing to say is that the official number system is ... and that, while various folks have tied to bring this more into line with modern thought, no system having succeeded and damned few of them even on a reasonable course.
I think the absence of 'noka' is just a typo and slow response time; I haven't seen any development in 'luka' to suggest otherwise.
Other new "root' (yuck! ptui!) alasa
So, it is seriously dated,
What the hell is hyponymy? (sounds like sous texte)

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Re: Nitpicking the Wikipedia article on toki pona

Postby janKipo » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:23 pm

HOOrah! a new load of spam to get rid of!

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