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Toki Pona Forums • Some fine points
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Some fine points

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:00 pm
by janKipo
There is a new post with this title at tpnimi.blogspot.com. It deals with some special cases of 'pi', 'en', and 'toki', all of which have caused problems for some people sometimes.

Re: Some fine points

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:09 pm
by jan_Anti
You raise some interesting points. I fully agree with you on 2–4. Omitting 'pi' preceding a PP is a mistake many advanced TP users make, but I think it is a nice distinction to make, and it is completely justified by the grammar

On #5, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this or where you are getting it from: "The basic principle used earlier was that the DO of a verb had to be something that would also be referred to by that verb used as a noun (the moku e moku principle). Thus, the DO of 'toki' had to have a message ('toki' again) as its referent. So, the DO could not be a language or a topic talked about. " This looks like you're saying that you can only 'lukin' things that are 'lukin' themselves, which is obviously not true.

I fully agree that "speak English" should be "toki kepeken toki Inli". Without 'kepeken' it would just mean "say English" (or "talk about English"). The other solutions just seem artificial, and I don't think they would be supported by actual language use if you were to research it. A preposition for 'about' is something I think many people (including me) feel should be in the language, but I don't know which word would be best suited.

About #1 ("no 'pi' with 'nanpa' followed by a number"):
Is this something that seems to be agreed upon in the community, or is it just your opinion on how the language *should* be? As you say, Pije states that you do have to use use 'pi' with ordinal numbers. I have always used it that way, and I cannot recall ever having seen anyone use the construction you advocate. That being said, I haven't spent that much time in the TP community. It would be interesting to hear input from other TPers more experienced than me.

Re: Some fine points

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:53 pm
by janAetherStar
Thank you! Never really thought about the whole 'pi before a prepositional phrase that modifies a noun' thing before.

Re: Some fine points

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:36 am
by janKipo
But what you lukin at are lukin, sights, visions, visible things, so the 'moku e moku' rule still holds. They are, to be sure, often more than just that, but these further things are not relevant to their being seen. I think the corporeality of things seen gets in the way of noticing that, as seen, they are like sounds ('kute') and textures ('pilin').

The issue of where to put the references to the language seems to ride a lot on whether we translate 'toki' as "say" or "speak" (at least the arguments seem to go that way). Since the basic meaning is "communicate" and that goes with the 'kepeken' format, that line of chat seems settled (though the adverbial pattern is still possible, if not used for topics).

The "about" preposition (or whatever) still needs consideration, but, in the meantime, the 'ijo [topic]' form works, not only with 'toki', but also 'sitelen', 'kute', 'pilin' and 'sona' (and maybe some others I've forgotten). The adverbial approach is still also possible, I suppose.

As far as I can trace, the history of the 'nanpa' rule seems to be that it was officially 'pi nanpa N' in Pije and early corrections were made to that rule. But these corrections were regularly ignored. Eventually Miss Gadgrind bowed to Norma Loquendi and the corrections stopped being made. Then the parallel with multi-word cardinals came alone as an ex post facto justification for the change, and the corrections -- always, I think, in the form "you don't need 'pi' -- switched sides.

On 'nanpa', the question arises whether "how many?" should be 'nanpa seme' or 'mute seme' (both needing 'pi', by the way). Both seem OK and no difference of meaning has emerged. But I wonder if 'nanpa seme' without 'pi' might mean "which one in order?"