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Word Number vs Official Count - Toki Pona Forums

Word Number vs Official Count

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jan Akesimun
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Word Number vs Official Count

Postby jan Akesimun » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:32 pm

I've just realized while compiling a dictionary of all of the toki pona words just how off the official 125 word count is. Counting the 11 archaic words, the two newest, and the suggested wiki, jalan, and ipi, there's now technically 142 words in this "small" language's total vocabulary. I also counted kijetesantakalu since if most of the people on here see it they'd probably know what it meant, even if it was just an April Fool's joke, so it seems there's now 143 total words at least most fluent tp speakers (readers?) know in total.

A bit of a jump from the "simple language with 118 words," no? :)
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Kuti
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Re: Word Number vs Official Count

Postby Kuti » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:28 pm

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janKipo
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Re: Word Number vs Official Count

Postby janKipo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:24 pm

Fair is fair. The old words are officially not in the language, so those that use them now are at least nonstandard, if not non-tp altogether. The suggested -- as opposed to officially declared and defined -- aren't in the language either. Sowe have at most half a dozen new words for a total of 124, still a pretty small language by most accounts. In terms of actual words, as opposed to meaningful word components, tips about third smallest I know of. And the smaller ones are much harder to use (it seems to me).
But ultimately the question is whether tp can function as a language, not how small it is. Of course, it's small size is probably the main reason we are interested in it at all.

janMato
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Re: Word Number vs Official Count

Postby janMato » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:34 pm

I count about 140 or so if we stick just to words that are still written down somewhere and were written by jan Sonja. I think I may be 1 or 2 off from your count depending on pu (which is merely reserved), and noka (which seems like it might be "archaic", but the tea leaves published by jan Sonja are hazy) In the corpus, use of the words other than the 125 most "official looking" words is pretty negligible in the corpus.

Even if jan Sonja took a break from work and issued an edict blessing all 140 or so words as official (and she hasn't), then toki pona is still a small language, with an incredibly small number of morphemes.

I think the biggest accounting scandal is not talking about the lexeme count (side stepping what a lexeme *really* i)s, if lexemes include all thing set phrases, compound phrases, idioms, "unofficial phrases", then toki pona has at least 3000+, just counting the entries in the dictionary jan Kipo compiled (the one in MS-Excel format). If you include the proper modifiers, then tp probably easily has another 1000 proper modifiers than a fluent toki pona speaker would need to memorize. I haven't attempted to, but it's on my to do list to mechanically parse the entire corpus into distinct noun phrases, which I suspect would run into the 10's of thousands. Some large percent of those are the sort of things that a person would memorize because some phrases are just so hard to make up or hard to expect people to understand on the fly.

The killer problem for small language design is that the # of meanings we'd like to express is so large and so many meanings are fundamentally hard to transparently describe in a short noun or verb phrase that large scale lexicalization is likely to creep into any small language that is being used as a language.

Kuti
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Re: Word Number vs Official Count

Postby Kuti » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:50 pm

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janKipo
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Re: Word Number vs Official Count

Postby janKipo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:07 am

I've put them in the dictionary in their alphabetic places, but with a * in front and minimal definitions. just for these reasons. But I don't count them among the words.


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