Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

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janAleje
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:10 pm

Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby janAleje » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:08 pm

Hi everyone! I'm new here, but hope to one day be a fluent tokiponist. I'm a little confused as to the use of "la." According to this: http://rowa.giso.de/languages/toki-pona/english/toki-pona-lessons_en.pdf it "separates an adverb of context" from the sentence. I don't know what an "adverb of context" is, but I assume it's some type of adverb. What I'm wondering is, for example, would you be able to say "he eats well" in two ways: "ona li moku pona" and "pona la ona li moku"? Thanks for the help.

loteni
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby loteni » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:09 pm

Yeah you can say that in both them ways.

la is a powerful particle, it allows you setup a context of what follows it. The best way to understand it is that provides the set of which what follows it, is in.

pona la mi moku ; so this then, is "in the context of goodness" mi moku. Or "mi moku" is something which exists in the set of things that are good.

This is why "ken la" means things like "possibly, maybe, not impossible, sometimes". Since provides the set of "possibility" to what follows it. ken is also allowed/permissibility...

ken mute la -- mostly, most probably that. Since "most" of the "possibilities" are such that -- what follows la...

Logical implication - ie ; if ... then ... comes out nicely from this also. As does when x, y, etc...

However the clearest way to home in on "he eats well"; would be ona li moku pona e ijo -- he eats things well. Or he eats (in a good way), things.

I really recommend focusing your learning from the official book by Sonja Lang, its richer and more expressive dialect.
Last edited by loteni on Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:12 pm

Well, except that it doesn't say much about 'la'. For starters you might look at (the not exhaustive, but possibly exhausting) discussion at
http://tpnimi.blogspot.com/2014/07/la-phrases.html
http://tpnimi.blogspot.com/2014/08/note ... tions.html
Just by the way, 'ken la' does not mean "sometimes", since it might be possible though never actually occurring. And in the community usage, 'pona la' is a comment on the sentence following, "happily, fortunately, it is good that", not a modifier of the verb of that sentence. The verb modifier 'la' phrases tend to come from terminal prepositional phrases, especially temporal ones.

loteni
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby loteni » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:49 pm

I have a footnote/signature saying my claims are based on the official dialect.

Jan Kipo makes claims based on his own personal usage. It is worth noting that his usage is the most common dialect in use, largely due to his prolific activities in convincing people to use it.

Since toki pona, does not use temporal markers for words, ken la covers sometimes as well.

You may be tempted to think mi wile moku e moku -- is a statement about what I want to do in the future, and it might be, but it isnt necessarily. It could mean; I should have eaten in the past, or I should eat now, or I should eat in the future.

preverb awen - is not necessarily like -ing a verb in english, and preverb kama is not necessarily future tense either.

If there is a more specific way to say something you intend to say, it is probably best to use that instead.
Last edited by loteni on Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:32 pm

"sometimes" is 'tenpo la', quite regularly.
Although Aleje doesn't seem to have mentioned English future or progressive, loteni's remarks are good points for starters. the best plan is jut to forget all about tenses and related fripperies of Engish for a while. You can get back to them in various ways if they really matter.

Kipo claims to be reporting what most people do, not his own idiolect (which is deviant in a variety of ways). So, by definition, most people do it that way (though not Kipo).

There is no official dialect. That of pu, so far as it goes, is a prestige dialect because it is the founder's and has the most expensive book. It will do, but it is wise to be aware of other dialects (they differ in really minor ways so that you may not even notice the differences) when you are reading the sites.

loteni
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Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby loteni » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:57 pm

Sure tenpo la can also mean "sometimes", since tenpo covers; occasion...though it's a bit of a stretch to come to that meaning, ken la, would likely be interpreted differently as well, but again can mean "sometimes".

tenpo pi mute lili la -- is clearer for "sometimes"

Sure if you redefine things to make you correct, then you are correct, with respect to that new definition. Still that is bad form, and only leads to confusion, unless you specify this before you make said claims. Since you are so proactive in "correcting" usage you cannot separate your propagation of your dialect, from merely your observations of usage, in a general sense.

Again claiming "no official dialect", only to try to redefine the official dialect as a "prestige dialect". What do we mean by official, etc..etc...

If any dialect can claim itself to be official, pu dialect is that dialect. It is seems to me that you don't like that the overtones of "official" and "non-official" being carried over to pu-dialect and your dialect. So to remove said overtones, you first downplay the normal use of "official", redefine pu-dialect as "not 'really' official, just merely 'prestige or something'" and then continue to equate the "actual official" with "what is used by most people", and since you convince most people to use your dialect, you can then say; kipo dialect is the official dialect!
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:51 pm

So, 'tenpo la' means, literally, "at a/some time", not "occasionally" ("at a few times") which is probably better for "sometimes", except literally. 'tenpo la' is also standard for "Once upon a time" at the beginning of fairy tales. 'ken' has nothing to do with time.

Well, since I don't push any point unless I see that it is pretty regularly used and that others criticize its misuse, I stick with my claim to be descriptive and reactive.

"Official" does have a meaning and, since there is no certifying agency (aside, perhaps, from community consensus, but even that isn't certified). there is no official anything, just common usage, highly respected usage, roundly condemned usage and so on. Sorry, that is just the way the language is set up -- like English but not French, say.

pu is indeed prestigious, but that does make it official (cf the Queen's English, note that even Sonja does claim that i is official, though she does say her book is, which is hubris). The common dialect of most users (if there really is one) is no more official than pu's; it is just what most people use. That is an advantage for writing on these sites. Of course, so is using pu, since everyone recognizes it. And Pije's and even Lope's and 76 Lessons'. None of them are really official because, as noted frequently, nothing is, just like in English. (tp has the advantage that no one has even put out a style book yet.)

loteni
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby loteni » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:04 am

tenpo la -- literally just sets up a context of time for what follows; maybe you are going to make a statement about time itself.

ken - has to do with possibility, ken la -- sets up a set of the possible, which include times, the thing with time in tp is most all statements can be pertaining to past, present or future, this includes ken and ken la...

eg;

tenpo la ijo li moli --- in the context of time, things die -- a statement about time.

ken la mi moku -- in the set of the possible, I eat -- a statement that I eat sometimes.

ken la, basically says one or more, and these are time dispersed like most all tp phrases/words/sentences....

I have a footnote. It is probably best to apply one to janKipo's posts when you read his posts; "with respect to 'kipo dialect'", lest you get confused on what is right and wrong.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.

janKipo
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby janKipo » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:57 am

I suppose I should have a corresponding footnote about your idiolect, but in the context it is a given.
No, 'tenpo la S' means that there is a point in time at which S is true. 'ken la S' has no such implication. If you want to use 'x la S' as a topic raising construction, you need to reference the topic inside "as for time, S happens in it" more or less. pu, by the way, does not mention topic raising nor illustrate it -- another case of community standards being more generous and expressive than pu.
Last edited by janKipo on Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

loteni
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Re: Use of "la" vs. putting adj./adv. after verb?

Postby loteni » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:43 pm

Im not sure many people would agree with your strange interpretation of "la"

In pu you can use "la" to raise a topic like this : "topic" tawa mi la B ; this means "topic" in my perspective, B ; Where B is a statement about said topic, in your perspective.
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.


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