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Hierarchy of en and anu - Toki Pona Forums

Hierarchy of en and anu

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jan Alanto
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Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby jan Alanto » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:34 pm

Last night, I was thinking about these connectives, anu and en, and their hierarchy in toki pona. What are the meanings of these sentences and phrases (if I'm getting them right)?

mi wile e soweli en kala anu waso. ("I want [beef and fish] or chicken"?)
mi wile e soweli e kala anu waso. ("I want beef and [fish or chicken]"?)
mi wile e soweli anu kala e waso. ("I want [beef or fish] and chicken"?)
mi wile e soweli anu kala en waso. ("I want beef or [fish and chicken]"?)
soweli en kala anu waso ("[beef and fish] or chicken" or "beef and [fish or chicken]"?)
soweli anu kala en waso ("beef or [fish and chicken]" or "[beef or fish] and chicken"?)

I omitted the interpretation "I want beef and fish or I'm a chicken" and similars.

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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby jan_Lope » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:57 pm

jan Alanto o, toki.

I think the best is to avoid these sentences with "anu" and "en". Use two or more sentences instead.

Maybe you think about commas here. But there are no rules for commas in Toki Pona (except "o,"). People with different mother tongues use commas in a different way. And there are really no need for commas if you use short sentences. The aim of Toki Pona is to say something as simple as possible.

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Last edited by jan_Lope on Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby janKipo » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:45 pm

I have to agree with Lope here. The short tp answer is "Don't do that." But, if you do (and you -- or someone -- will) then note:

mi wile e soweli en kala anu waso. ("I want [beef and fish] or chicken"?) Here you have a mixture (sausage meat maybe?) of meat and either fish or fowl. I suspect what you were shooting for was 'mi wile e soweli e kala anu waso' "I want meat and either fish or fowl" which is, in tp, unambiguous.

mi wile e soweli e kala anu waso. ("I want beef and [fish or chicken]"?) So, you have that here, which means the first one needs another look at. So, it could be that the choice is between a mixture of meat and something else (either fish or fowl) or meat and fish together and fowl. And I see no way to sort those out in this sentence (though a comma would surely help.

mi wile e soweli anu kala e waso. ("I want [beef or fish] and chicken"?). This is unambiguous: You want fowl and then either meat or fish.
mi wile e soweli anu kala en waso. ("I want beef or [fish and chicken]"?) And this is ((meat or fish) and bird) together or (meat or (fish and bird) together).
soweli en kala anu waso ("[beef and fish] or chicken" or "beef and [fish or chicken]"?) (meat and fish)together or bird/ (meat and (fish or bird))together.
soweli anu kala en waso ("beef or [fish and chicken]" or "[beef or fish] and chicken"?) Yup!

As I say, commas would help but basically this should be dealt with at the sentential level and, probably, mixed terms shouldn't get involved in this sort of construction. This is style, of course, not grammar, but intelligibility counts for a lot.

As for grammar, 'anu' is allowed between sentences (as 'en' is not) and also between predicates and direct objects (and everywhere else, in fact, but exactly ow it works in those places (sentences, predicates, DOs) has not been worked out exactly. Does it take a 'li' with predicates say or an 'e' with DOs or a 'la', say. with sentences? Clearly and 'e' with DOs would help here, perhaps more than commas, even. But that won't help in NPs standing alone.

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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby jan Alanto » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:59 pm

Oh. So it seems they are just ambiguous.
TP proverb: "toki lili li toki pona".

I think the problem is not exactly with "en" and "anu" together, but only "anu". I've thought about using "poka" and "anu" but the same problem arises. Could "taso" clearify/disambiguate/simplify?

o pana e pan (pi) poka telo wawa anu ko kili taso tawa mi. - Give me bread with coffee or just jam.

And a sentence break could make this even clearer:
o pana e pan (pi) poka telo wawa tawa mi. anu o pana e ko kili taso. - Give me bread with coffee. Or give just jam.

I used "pi" between parentheses because I'm dealing with grammarians of divergent opinions.

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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby jan_Lope » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:23 pm

pona!
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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby janKipo » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:06 pm

Well, I disagree with the objection to 'pan pi poka telo wawa', but then, I think 'poka' is a preposition, like it has been said for many years (people, but never Sonja in public, keep saying Sonja has gone back on this). Lope does not and doesn't believe in using 'pi' with PP modifiers. His reading is, of course, also grammatical, but not very likely. His reading of the second sentence (without 'pi' in particular) is just wrong, since it violates the left-grouping rule. It might get by in the 'pi'-less case, but he seems to hold that PPs can't modify NPs (or maybe that is just Tepan). His two sentence solution, of course, just misses the point (or rather comes down on the least likely side), though the two 'e's rather than 'poka' does seem right. Do you really want (or be willing to accept) jam without bread?. But then, it is not clear what the first sentence, in any form is asking for in a real situation.

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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby jan Alanto » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:07 pm


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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby janKipo » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:32 pm

Ah! So the possibilities you are ordering really are: bred and coffee together and "jam" alone, never bread and one or both of coffee and jam (well, not both, apparently, because of the 'taso'). So, Lope's final suggestion seems a good one to me, since anything else clearly allows for the bread and (coffee or jam) choice, What all this looks like in basic sentences is harder to say, for once, except maybe reversing the order, as you suggest, would help (though possibly creating a coffee and (bread or jam) situation). The 'poka' would help there, though, or even 'lon poka' (however odd that might seem).
(I think we say "guava paste" in English, if I have the plant right.)

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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby jan_Lope » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:16 am

Last edited by jan_Lope on Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hierarchy of en and anu

Postby janSilipu » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:33 am

Well, whatever that logic is. It does not obviously apply to 'pi'. As for 'poka' being a noun here, I can't think of any reason to think that -- except, perhaps, the notion that whatever comes after a 'pi' must be a noun, countless cases to the contrary notwithstanding.


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