Dittolexy

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janKipo
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Dittolexy

Postby janKipo » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:32 pm

There has always been a pattern in tp of a word followed immediately by another copy of the same word. For the most part, this has been confined to the word 'mute', which appears naturally in 'jan pi mute mute', "very many people", or 'jan pi pona mute mute' "many very good people" or even 'jan pi pona pi mute mute' "a very very good person". It is this last case which seems to have provided a pattern for other words, with the duplication intensifying the meaning of the single word. Even 'lili' duplicated does not behave as expected. First of all, it rarely occurs and, second, when it does it almost always means "very small, tiny" (or, occasionally, "very few"). 'jan lili lili' doesn't seem to ever mean "a few small people", but always "tiny people", while 'jan pi lili lili' ("a moderately small group of people" or so, English doesn't bend around this easily) just doesn't occur at all, nor do the parallels of the other 'mute' expressions. Further, 'mute' occurs in 'jan mute mute' without 'pi' but clearly meaning the same thing as 'jan pi mute mute'. Further, both 'mute' and 'lili' occur in repetition strings of more than two elements: 'mute mute mute', 'lili lili lili lili' and so on, in each case marking greater intensification "ginormous" "itsy bitsy te-insy" and the like. In addition, both 'pona' and 'ike' occur in similar patterns: pairs that are clearly not modifications (though I suppose one could fadge up a nearly plausible story for each) and extended strings. In both these cases (and probably in others that may come to light), the intent is clearly intensification, maybe even comparative and superlative (without actual comparisons, of course). Even outside the realm of adjectives, this pattern occasionally occurs: 'mi lukin e jan jan', by context, if nothing else, clearly "I see a whole lot of people" and 'jan lawa li pali pali e tomo utala' "The king worked energetically/ constantly to build castles".

So, what are we to do with these expressions? They are a common pattern in most languages, even English (see the "very very" above) and so can't be simply rejected as unnatural. But in their usual form they do not fit into the tp grammar as usually expounded. They are not, as noted, really modifications, since the second occurrence doesn't really modify the first; they work as a unit. But, of course, in tp, a unit modifier (as they often are) of more than one word requires 'pi', which they regularly omit. Insisting on 'pi' would make the cases of 'mute' (which are the most common cases) work out right and would not affect the others much, except for the added word. On the other hand, we have another case of duplication, though with an intervening 'ala', and there the surface grammars have found that the best plan is to just take that complex as a single item filling the verb slot, So, xx might be treated as a single item, not requiring 'pi' in modifier complexes any more than as verbs or nouns. This adds a handful of rules to the grammar but may ultimately simplify the semantics -- and shorten an occasional sentence. But it does create a new ambiguity in the 'mute; case (which might be handled by a comma -- see other article).

Or, finally, we might say that such expressions are too untp to be accommodated and require them to be rephrased with in unexceptionable terms: intensives with 'mute' or 'kin', superlatives with comparisons (two sentences!) with everything or, at least with 'ali', plurals with 'mute', repeated and repetitive actions with 'tenpo mute la' or at least (as does occur occasionally) 'li x li x'. This creates no new problems, but some might say it reduces the charm and extrasemantic expressive power of tp.

So?

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jan_Lope
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Re: Dittolexy

Postby jan_Lope » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:40 am

toki jan Kipo!

pi is used to separate a noun from another noun that has an adjective. Please see pu page 44 and https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Updated_j ... sson_11_pi

That's why the first word after pi is a noun (or pronoun).

jan pi mute mute


It could means "person of/with a lot of quantitiy"

(I know pi is a separator and means not "of". But I didn't find a better translation at the moment.)

jan pi pona mute mute


It could means: "person of/with a lot of positivity"

jan pi pona pi mute mute


This is wrong because the first pi-phrase has only one word - the noun "pona". It's could mean: "person of ?? positivity and of a lot of quantitiy".

Please think about how works the other separators li, e and la:
- A li-phrase starts after a li and stops if a new li there.
- A e-phrase starts after an e and stops if a new e there.
- A la-phrase starts to beginning of a sentences or after a la and stops if a new la there.

The best way is to avoid several pi. But if you use several pi keep in mind how separators work in Toki Pona. They end a phrase and start a new one.


I agree with you that repetition of adjectives, for example "mute mute mute", is not a good style. Better is to use "mute kin".

For me the repetition of pi is also not a good style. Keep in mind that Toki Pona means "language of simplicity".

pona!
pona!
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Re: Dittolexy

Postby janKipo » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:53 am

jan_Lope wrote:toki jan Kipo!

pi is used to separate a noun from another noun that has an adjective. Please see pu page 44 and https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Updated_j ... sson_11_pi
That's why the first word after pi is a noun (or pronoun).

My point (not in this case exactly) is that this rule is a) out of date and hasn't been used for at least 6 years b) wasn't actually adhered to before.
'pi' precedes any modifier of more than one word, whatever the hed of that modifier may be.

jan pi mute mute


It could means "person of/with a lot of quantitiy"

(I know pi is a separator and means not "of". But I didn't find a better translation at the moment.)

No, it means "very many people" (which, I suppose, is what your translation actually means, albeit very indirectly.
jan pi pona mute mute


It could means: "person of/with a lot of positivity"

No, "many very good people" (ignoring the possibility of dittolexy). The second 'mute' is not in the 'pi' phrase and so modifies the whole preceding.
jan pi pona pi mute mute


This is wrong because the first pi-phrase has only one word - the noun "pona". It's could mean: "person of ?? positivity and of a lot of quantity".

No, the fact that the second word in a 'pi' phrase is 'pi' merely extends the 'pi' phase to include that 'pi's phrase. So this is "a very very good person"
Please think about how works the other separators li, e and la:
- A li-phrase starts after a li and stops if a new li there.
- A e-phrase starts after an e and stops if a new e there.
- A la-phrase starts to beginning of a sentences or after a la and stops if a new la there.

We can argue about whether to call any of these separators, but, in fact, a predicate need not stop when another predicate occurs, since it DO or PP may be after (and shared with) the other predicate. The same applies to DOs and their PPs. 'la' phrases are the reverse of these, since they come at the end of their phrase. Just as there are problems about the right hand end of predicates and DO, there are problems about the left hand end of 'la' phrases, which may contain other 'la' phrases, so that the grouping of several 'la' phrases is one of those questions that commas are though about to heal. 'pi', on the other hand, is merely a marker for grouping within a modification. Ordinarily, each new word modifies everything to its left, but sometimes a pair (or more) of words have to be understood as being a modification in their own right, to be taken as a unit into a longer modification. Typical cases of these are the familiar noun + adjective, where everybody starts (a holdover from 'pi' as a possessive/genitive marker in the earliest days), PPs, adj+adverb ('mute', lili' 'ali', ala' ) and random other cases.
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The best way is to avoid several pi. But if you use several pi keep in mind how separators work in Toki Pona. They end a phrase and start a new one.

I agree that multiple 'pi's is sloppy, but it is often necessary once you get into that position. The rest is just not true.
I agree with you that repetition of adjectives, for example "mute mute mute", is not a good style. Better is to use "mute kin".

For me the repetition of pi is also not a good style. Keep in mind that Toki Pona means "language of simplicity".

pona!

Well, we sorta agree in the end. But the middle is very different.

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jan_Lope
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Re: Dittolexy

Postby jan_Lope » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:32 am

My point (not in this case exactly) is that this rule is a) out of date and hasn't been used for at least 6 years b) wasn't actually adhered to before.


The Toki Pona book of Sonja released 2014 and not 6 years ago.
I took your opinion note.

Thanks
pona!
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Re: Dittolexy

Postby janKipo » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:41 pm

Yes, pu contains that rule, followed almost immediately by what are obviously violations of it. But, interestingly, the apparent violations are explained away by taking the adjectives and verbs involved and calling them nouns. So 'jan pi pona mute' "a very good person" is explained as "a person of much goodness", which seems to come to the same thing, I suppose, but seems a roundabout way to get there. The only cases that can't be made to fit into this form are PP as modifiers. There pu -- and most other books as well -- simply give no examples. However, they all automatically take ambiguous cases as though the modifier sense needed some further mark. Of course, most of these cases are terminal and involve 'tawa', so not too much can be made of them, given the existing ambiguities. On the other hand, pu and most other books are quite clear that , except for 'pi' phrases, grouping is to the left, so 'jan tan ma Teja' is some marginally intelligible thing about a Texas earthly original person. I suppose one could twist that around to mean a person from Texas, but I couldn't guarantee it, as opposed to 'jan pi tan ma Teja'. Alternatively, one could make PP exempt from the rule in the way that numbers are, but, unlike numbers, prepositions sometimes get used in other ways: 'pana tawa ona' could be "her moving present" as well as "a present for her", if we don't require 'pi' for modifying PPs. It seems the grouper rule covers all the old cases and some that the old rule didn't consider -- and it doesn't say weird things like "a man of much goodness".


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