When is a predicate is only formed by an adjective?

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When is a predicate is only formed by an adjective?

Postby jan_Lope » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:18 am

Does anyone know a possibility in Toki Pona that a predicate is clearly only formed by an adjective?
By this I mean that the predicate in this case cannot be a verb or noun.

For example:

ona li pona.

This sentence has three possible grammatical variants and thus at least three possible statements.
- With the transitive verb "pona" is the meaning: "It is fixing."
- With the noun "pona" is the meaning: "It's the good."
- With the adjective "pona" is the meaning: "It is good."

We can formulate the sentence grammatically more clearly.

ona li pona e ilo.
Here only the transitive verb "pona" as predicate possible: "It is fixing the tool."

ona li pona ala pona?
In a yes/no question with "ala" you can only allow one verb as a predicate: "It is fixing?"

ona li pona pi jan ali.
Here only the noun "pona" is possible. "pona pi jan ali" is the predicate here: "It's the good of all people."

Is there a sentence structure that only allows one adjective as a predicate?
Last edited by jan_Lope on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
jan Lope
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Re: When is a predicate is only formed by an adjective?

Postby janKipo » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:40 am

Though Lope won’t see this, I may as well drop my small change.
“Clearly” is easy; there are many cases where all the probabilities of the context lead to that assignment. But “necessarily’ is different. No matter how likely it is that ‘jan li pona’ has ‘pona’ as an adjective as the predicate, it is always *possible* that it has a verb with omitted DO. I suppose that Lope wants a case that can’t be of the latter sort and I doubt that he can find one, given the ingenuity of linguists to create counterexamples.

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