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Toki Pona Forums • Difference between lon and awen
Page 1 of 1

Difference between lon and awen

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:56 pm
by mije Wi
What's the difference between lon and awen?

Re: Difference between lon and awen

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:16 pm
by janMato

Re: Difference between lon and awen

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:06 pm
by mije Wi
It doesn't seem so simple...

And don't their meanings never overlap?

Re: Difference between lon and awen

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:18 pm
by janMato

Re: Difference between lon and awen

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:17 pm
by janKipo
As Mato says, 'lon' is a preposition (class P), meaning "at" and taking a noun phrase as its complement (where things are at). When the noun phrase is omitted, the assumed complement is Reality (as currently defined in the conversation) and so, as a modifier or intransitive verb, it means "true, real, correct" depending on the context (as always). As a transitive verb it means "cause to be at" so "place at/in/on". While it is possible to use the transitive form (with a direct object after 'e') along with the noun phrase complement, the usual thing to do is move the complement to the end with another 'lon' (or, usually, tawa' because of the directive nature of causality).
'awen' is a modal (class M), a verb that takes a verb phrase as complement. It means "continue, keep on" with whatever the verb phrase says. It's like inertia: what is moving keeps on moving, what is resting keeps on resting. Without the complement, it means "remain, stay, continue, not change" and so on, hence the modifier meaning of "permanent, enduring, stable" and the like. So, 'lon' is used to describe putting something somewhere, 'awen' to describe its staying there. As a transitive verb (without the complement), it means "cause to stay" and so variously "preserve, keep, imprison, fasten" and the like.

Re: Difference between lon and awen

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:39 am
by mije Wi
Thank you!