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la phrases

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:55 am
by jan_Lope
toki!

Normal sentences of Toki Pona start with a noun phrase. A noun phrase starts with a noun or pronoun. Sometimes there is a conjunction word before (taso, en) but we can ignore the conjunction here.

A la phrase can be a complete sentence. It starts with with a noun or pronoun too.

A la phrase can be the same as a prepostional object after lon.
... lon X. = X la ...
A prepostional object starts after the preposition with a noun or pronoun of course. So the la phrase starts with a noun or pronoun.

You talk about time with this la phrase:
tenpo ... la ...
What is tempo here? A noun.

A sentence with a la phrase "A la B" can be write as "When condition A Then B". To describe a conditon you need a noun or pronoun at the beginning.

A la phrase can be a single word. This can't be a prepostion, because a prepostion connect to a prepositional object. But before the prepostion is nothing and after it is the seprator la. Nothing can connect here.


As you can see la phrases start normally with a noun or pronoun.

janTepanNetaPelin wrote la phrases start with a preposition. I can't see it.

But are there posisibilities for preposition at the beginning of a la phrase?

Why do you think it is possible?

How can we distinguish such preposition from a noun?

pona!

Re: la phrases

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:20 am
by janTepanNetaPelin
jan_Lope wrote:toki!

janTepanNetaPelin wrote la phrases start with a preposition. I can't see it.

But are there posisibilities for preposition at the beginning of a la phrase?

Why do you think it is possible?

How can we distinguish such preposition from a noun?

pona!


toki!

Let's consider a sentence like:

"tan seme la sina pu?" - "Why do you read the Book?"

There are two plausible ways of analysing the sentence.

First (jan Lope's way), "tan" can only be a noun with the meaning "reason" and "seme" has to be its modifier, yielding "what reason". Its form without "la" would be:

"sina pu lon tan seme?" - lit. "At what reason do you read the Book?" → "Why do you read the Book?"

Second (my, jan Tepan's way), "tan" might be a preposition with the meaning "because of" and "seme" could be its argument, yielding "because of what"/"why". Its form without "la" would be:

"sina pu tan seme?" - lit. "Because of what do you read the Book?" → "Why do you read the Book?"


Both ways of reading "tan seme la sina pu?" yield the same English sentence. But jan Lope's restriction ("nouns first") has consequences as soon as one tries to translate "Because of whom do you read the Book?" ("Who made you read the Book?" for short.). Let's start with the Toki Pona sentence without "la":

"sina pu tan jan seme?"

According to my way ("prepositions welcome"), we can put "tan jan seme" to the beginning of the sentence, using "la":

"tan jan seme la sina pu?" - "Because of which person do you read the Book?" → "Who made you read the Book?"

According to jan Lope's way ("nouns first"), this isn't allowed. "tan" has to be read as a noun. This requires a "pi" between "tan" and "jan seme".

"tan pi jan seme la sina pu?" - "At whose reason do you read the Book?" → "Who made you read the Book?"

For the sake of completeness, this is the same as:

"sina pu lon tan pi jan seme?"

jan Lope o, your way isn't wrong, but it's unnecessarily restrictive from my point of view, and I still got the impression, that you haven't realized yet how your restriction leads to a "pi" between "tan" and "jan seme". (If you do see it now, then that should answer your question "how can we distinguish such preposition from a noun?")

Page 52 of the Book shows what happens if a lon-phrase is put to the beginning of a sentence: "lon" is dropped. Other prepositions are kept, yielding "tan seme la". (That's how I see it. jan Sonja simply said something like "you can put the words after "lon" in front of the sentence, using "la". She left out the grammatical implications of this, which is what this is all about.)

mi tawa.

Re: la phrases

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:37 am
by jan_Lope
janTepanNetaPelin wrote:"tan seme la sina pu?" - "Why do you read the Book?"

There are two plausible ways of analysing the sentence.

First (jan Lope's way), "tan" can only be a noun with the meaning "reason" and "seme" has to be its modifier, yielding "what reason". Its form without "la" would be:

"sina pu lon tan seme?" - lit. "At what reason do you read the Book?" → "Why do you read the Book?"


toki!

I din't wrote that you can transfer any la phrase to a prepositional object with lon.

We saw that a noun or pronoun start a la phrase normally. Where is the evidence that tan is here a preposition?

pona!

Re: la phrases

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:12 am
by janTepanNetaPelin
jan_Lope wrote:
toki!

I din't wrote that you can transfer any la phrase to a prepositional object with lon.

We saw that a noun or pronoun start a la phrase normally. Where is the evidence that tan is here a preposition?

pona!


toki!

Are other types of la-sentences relevant to this discussion?

There is no proof. I'm only laying out what sort of sentences can be derived from my interpretation of Toki Pona's grammar, and which sentences can be derived from yours.

Thanks for the exchange. It's time for others to comment.

mi tawa.