la phrases

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jan_Lope
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la phrases

Postby jan_Lope » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:55 am

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!
pona!
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janTepanNetaPelin
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Re: la phrases

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:20 am

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.)

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Re: la phrases

Postby jan_Lope » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:37 am

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!
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Re: la phrases

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:12 am

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.

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jan Alanto
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Re: la phrases

Postby jan Alanto » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:31 pm

Maybe Tepan don't know any evidence that endorses his way of using prepositions before "la", but I found those in the Official Toki Pona Book:

1. Sonja mentions "fragment" as A in "A la B." She doesn't explicit it must be a noun or a pronoun (she doesn't even distinguish nouns and pronouns). As a prepositional phrase is indeed a sentence fragment, it may go before "la".

2. In an exemple, Sonja uses "tan seme la" and translates it just as if it were "tan seme" at the end. Although she doesn't explicit the literal interpretation like in some previous examples, it's simpler to assume she meant "from what" than "what reason la", just changing the order of the sentence.

2.1. As a complement to the argument 2 it can be said that the nominal POV (that of the dictionary) of "tan" is a preposition, further validating that it should be read as such before "la" and also requiring another step of reasoning to get at the noun "reason" instead of "because of".

3. The definition given by Sonja for prepositions is that it introduces a noun. Nothing is said about connecting that noun to anything else. Prepositions can even be used without a verb.

I didn't add to those arguments that Sonja isn't prescriptivist, but rather describes her own way of using toki pona, implying freedom of interpretation of the rules, providing it keeps the simplicity and structure. Moreover, that's the way the community uses "la" and prepositions.

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Re: la phrases

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:35 am

There is more organized material on 'la' phrases on tpnimi.blogspot.com.
This discussion seems backwards to me, being about whether you can import NPs from a 'la' to a PP at the end, after 'lon'. The terminal PPs. are primary, part of the basic sentence, to which 'la' phrases are peripheral. The situation seems to be that any terminal PP can be moved to a 'la' phrase. But 'lon' is regularly (always?) dropped in the process and some other prepositions may be on certain occasions (not well worked out). So, going from 'x la S' to 'S lon x' works if this is restoring the underlying situation, changed by the opposite shift, but generally not otherwise.

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Re: la phrases

Postby jan_Lope » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:31 pm

toki!

jan Alanto wrote:1. Sonja mentions "fragment" as A in "A la B." She doesn't explicit it must be a noun or a pronoun (she doesn't even distinguish nouns and pronouns). As a prepositional phrase is indeed a sentence fragment, it may go before "la".


I think you mean a prepositional object for "prepositional phrase". A prepositional object could be only at the end of a sentence in Toki Pona. I 've checked a lot of correct Toki Pona sentences I didn't find prepositions in other places than at the beginning of a prepositional object.

jan Alanto wrote:2. In an exemple, Sonja uses "tan seme la" and translates it just as if it were "tan seme" at the end. Although she doesn't explicit the literal interpretation like in some previous examples, it's simpler to assume she meant "from what" than "what reason la", just changing the order of the sentence.

2.1. As a complement to the argument 2 it can be said that the nominal POV (that of the dictionary) of "tan" is a preposition, further validating that it should be read as such before "la" and also requiring another step of reasoning to get at the noun "reason" instead of "because of".

3. The definition given by Sonja for prepositions is that it introduces a noun. Nothing is said about connecting that noun to anything else. Prepositions can even be used without a verb.

I didn't add to those arguments that Sonja isn't prescriptivist, but rather describes her own way of using toki pona, implying freedom of interpretation of the rules, providing it keeps the simplicity and structure. Moreover, that's the way the community uses "la" and prepositions.


Why do you think "tan" is a preposition in "tan seme la"?

"tan" can be
- adjective: causal,
- noun: origin, cause
- preposition: from, by, because of, since
- verb intransitive: to come from, originate from, come out of
depends of it position in a sentence. Only at the beginning of a prepositional object "tan" is a preposition.
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Re: la phrases

Postby jan Alanto » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:22 pm

toki a!

jan_Lope wrote:I think you mean a prepositional object for "prepositional phrase".

(I call "prepositional object" what comes after the preposition i.e. the noun it introduces, and prepositional phrase the whole formed by the preposition and its object)

jan_Lope wrote:I 've checked a lot of correct Toki Pona sentences I didn't find prepositions in other places than at the beginning of a prepositional object.

Well, if a correct sentence is assumed by you to be a sentence with prepositions only at the end of it, then you'll really never find one with a preposition before "la".

jan_Lope wrote:Why do you think "tan" is a preposition in "tan seme la"?

1. Because the original meaning of "tan" is a preposition (it's in the dictionary as such).

2. Because there's no reason to assume it would change into a noun before "la", since it was mentioned nowhere that:
a) before "la" can't go a preposition,
b) prepositions only occur at the end of a sentence (It's said that it can be, unrestrictively) and
c) It can be changed into a noun (or anything else, you made that assumption). Out of "la" phrases, for example, if "tan" (or any other preposition) comes after a noun, it must become an adjective, and if it comes before "li", it must become a noun, but the problem is that Sonja doesn't explicitly mention those changes of POS and there's not a single example of that (as for verbs, as prepositions can go immediately after "li" without a verb, maybe they just can be used like verbs, while still being prepositions. Why assume they change into verbs?). Also note that "tawa" and "sama" have explicitly stated adjective meanings, unlike "tan", "lon" and "kepeken". Sonja doesn't change these into "nouns", "adjectives" or even "verbs" (unless it is assumed they do).

3. Because it's simpler (besides not contradicting any rule) to assume that it remains a preposition before "la", as it's only one assumption, and if it were a noun we must assume first that it can be turned into a noun that means "origin, cause" and that "what cause la" means the same as "because of what" i.e. "why". That seems legit, but it's the amount of steps it takes to get understood that makes it less simple (ike).

Note that for many times I used the word "assumption", or "assume", especially referring to your way of using toki pona. That's because as you make assumptions about toki pona grammar, then we (I and Tepan) are also free to assume some things, and therefore, you have no right to appoint them as mistakes without acknowledging your own ones.

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Re: la phrases

Postby jan_Lope » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:20 am

toki!

jan Alanto wrote:Well, if a correct sentence is assumed by you to be a sentence with prepositions only at the end of it, then you'll really never find one with a preposition before "la".


If you give me an example we can discuss it.

jan Alanto wrote:1. Because the original meaning of "tan" is a preposition (it's in the dictionary as such).


As I wrote "tan" can be an adjective, a noun, a preposition or a intransitive verb depends of it position in a sentence with equal rights. There are no "original meaning". At the beginning of a sentence is only a slot for a noun or a pronoun because at the beginning is a noun phrase. "tan" can only be a noun here (see above). You said "tan" can here a preposition also. But what is the rule of this additional rule ? Please keep in mind the golden rule of Toki Pona: Keep it as simple as possible. A additional rule make it more complex and ambiguous.

jan Alanto wrote:2. Because there's no reason to assume it would change into a noun before "la", since it was mentioned nowhere that:
a) before "la" can't go a preposition,


I didn't wrote that. If a complete sentence before "la" a preposition can be in a prepositional object in the verb phrase of this sentence.

jan Alanto wrote:b) prepositions only occur at the end of a sentence (It's said that it can be, unrestrictively) and


Please give an example.

jan Alanto wrote:c) It can be changed into a noun (or anything else, you made that assumption).


It does not change to a noun. It is a noun.

jan Alanto wrote:Out of "la" phrases, for example, if "tan" (or any other preposition) comes after a noun, it must become an adjective, and if it comes before "li", it must become a noun,


After a noun "tan" is an adjective.

jan Alanto wrote:but the problem is that Sonja doesn't explicitly mention those changes of POS


What you mean with "changes of POS"?

jan Alanto wrote:and there's not a single example of that (as for verbs, as prepositions can go immediately after "li" without a verb, maybe they just can be used like verbs, while still being prepositions.


Direct after "li" can only be slots for verbs, adjectives or nouns because after "li" starts a verb phrase.
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Re: la phrases

Postby jan Alanto » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:41 am

jan_Lope wrote:If you give me an example we can discuss it.

tan jan seme la sina pu? (the example given by Tepan)
kepeken ilo sitelen la jan li ken sitelen lon lipu. (I made that up)

Can you claim those are wrong examples? Just because it's said the words after "lon" can be placed before "la" with the same meaning, it doesn't mean that is the only case of "la" phrase besides a whole sentence (the case with tenpo is considered to be of the "lon" type). Can't you at least see that "sina pu tan seme?" (why do you pu?) is more probable and simpler than "sina pu lon tan seme?" (do you pu in what cause? (?))? The latter doesn't make sense, is complicated and we aren't granted that "tan" can be a noun.

jan_Lope wrote:As I wrote "tan" can be an adjective, a noun, a preposition or a intransitive verb depends of it position in a sentence with equal rights. There are no "original meaning".

No, it can't. No line in the book Sonja wrote states that possibility. It only says "tan" is a preposition and nothing more.

jan_Lope wrote:You said "tan" can here a preposition also. But what is the rule of this additional rule?

I didn't add a rule. It's stated in the book that "tan" is a preposition only and that particle "la" connects two sentences or a fragment to a sentence. Since a preposition with its object is indeed a fragment of a sentence, and not a whole sentence or not out of toki pona, then it's legitimate to understand it as such. You added the rules that prepositions can be other POS's and that before "la" can only be a noun or noun phrase.

jan_Lope wrote:
jan Alanto wrote:it was mentioned nowhere that:
a) before "la" can't go a preposition,

I didn't wrote that. If a complete sentence before "la" a preposition can be in a prepositional object in the verb phrase of this sentence.

pona... Let me rectify that: a) before "la" can't be a preposition alone with its object.

jan_Lope wrote:
jan Alanto wrote:b) prepositions only occur at the end of a sentence (It's said that it can be, unrestrictively) and


Please give an example.

"tan seme la soweli wawa pimeja li moku e ona?" (p. 52). But you made up a rule that it is a noun here.

jan_Lope wrote:After a noun "tan" is an adjective.

Now, you owe me an example. According to your rule, it surely is. But what about Sonja's?

jan_Lope wrote:What you mean with "changes of POS"?

A word that is of a certain part of speech (POS, in toki pona: adjective, noun, number, particle, preposition, pre-verb,and verb), becoming another, for example, a noun can be turned into a verb, according to Lesson 18 (but maybe they remain nouns, just used the same way as verbs).

jan_Lope wrote:Direct after "li" can only be slots for verbs, adjectives or nouns because after "li" starts a verb phrase.

That contradicts Lesson 8, which states a preposition can indeed be used without a verb, for example "kulupu pali li kepeken seme?" (p.35) You must see clearly that there is a preposition immediately after "li". Is it the verb "kepeken" with an adjective qualifying it as "seme"? The translation implies that "seme" is what is used, so for it to be a verb (a word that expresses action done to a noun) shouldn't it be followed by "e" "kulupu pali li kepeken e seme?"?

I could keep using pu to refute your rule that before "la" can't go a preposition, but you don't follow Sonja's book as I thought initially. I then, owe you no explanation on the usage of a preposition in the beginning of a "la" phrase, neither does Tepan, as our usage is supported by The Book and your rule prohibiting it is not.


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