Wrong place name pronunciation

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KNTRO
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Wrong place name pronunciation

Postby KNTRO » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:44 am

Hi all again,

I have found a very few weird things in Toki Pona so far. One of these unlogical things is related to a specific place name pronunciation.

In page 112 of The Official Toki Pona Book it says:
These suggestions are generally based on how the words are pronounced in the local language.


And then, in page 114, it says ma Mesiko for México, but it's wrong and I'll explain why.

Mexicans speak Spanish, and in Spanish México is pronounced MEh-heeh-koh, with heeh sounding something similar as in hill or heel. In old Spanish, the x sounded like a nowadays Spanish j, like in old Quixote [kee-HOh-teh].

So, since the syllable ji is not allowed in Toki Pona [page 37], my suggestion will be México to be ma Mekiko. While it's not the perfect match for the Spanish jthe k sounds way closer to the Spanish j than the current s in ma Mesiko.

Anyway, I doubt Sonja Lang be open to modify this so many years after the book has been published. :roll: Just my 2 cents here. :P

Thank you all for reading!
sina toki kepeken Epanja, la sina kama pona lon kulupu sin pi ilo Telegram a! ;)

janKipo
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Re: Wrong place name pronunciation

Postby janKipo » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:46 am

About your footpiece, probably 'sina toki kepeken toki Epanja' "You speak Spanish", not "You are the Spanish language" as you wrote.

x is a velar fricative,which offers the choice of a velar sound, k, or a frictive s. Sonja chose s, possibly influenced by the fact that it was until recently pronounced sh and still is in parts of Mexico. The argument for k is a good one but lacks side argumentsother than English usage, which struggle to avoid.

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Re: Wrong place name pronunciation

Postby KNTRO » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:20 pm

janKipo wrote:About your footpiece, probably 'sina toki kepeken toki Epanja' "You speak Spanish", not "You are the Spanish language" as you wrote.


Thanks a lot for this headsup! I'll fix it now.

janKipo wrote:x is a velar fricative,which offers the choice of a velar sound, k, or a frictive s. Sonja chose s, possibly influenced by the fact that it was until recently pronounced sh and still is in parts of Mexico. The argument for k is a good one but lacks side argumentsother than English usage, which struggle to avoid.


I'm afraid I don't get this. You mean Toki Pona is been created from the point of view of English language? According to page 112 of the official book, these pronunciations are based on local languague of every country.

I'd like to read Sonia's answer anyway.

Thank you for replying and helping me out with Toki Pona! 8-)
sina toki kepeken Epanja, la sina kama pona lon kulupu sin pi ilo Telegram a! ;)

janKipo
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Re: Wrong place name pronunciation

Postby janKipo » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:21 pm

No, we try to avoid English input and arguments that veer close to English are automatically suspect. So the case for/s/ is that it is a fricative, like /x/, is a sibilant like /x/used to be and still is in parts of Mexico (admittedly not parts where Spanish is dominant, but the "Mexico" is not basically a Spanish word), while /k/ is properly velar but plays to an Anglo preference. ("Texas" fares worse, with many folks preferring 'Tejas', which has only spelling, but not either Anglo spelling nor pronunciation.

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Re: Wrong place name pronunciation

Postby KNTRO » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:12 pm

janKipo wrote:No, we try to avoid English input and arguments that veer close to English are automatically suspect.


Gotcha.

janKipo wrote:"Mexico" is not basically a Spanish word


As I said, while it's not a contemporary Spanish word, it is an Old Spanish word for sure. Texas is the very same case. In fact, some guys are named Xavier, while the present day equivalent for that name is Javier. Both México and Texas are not English language words, but Old Spanish words.

That's why I consider ma Mesiko is really wrong. And again: I think Sonja is not gonna fix this unfortunately. :cry:
sina toki kepeken Epanja, la sina kama pona lon kulupu sin pi ilo Telegram a! ;)

janKipo
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Re: Wrong place name pronunciation

Postby janKipo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:48 pm

But in the old Spanish, they were pronounced Shavier, Meshiko, and Teshas. So, back to Sonja’s side again. To the practical point, modern Spanish /x/ offers a choice for toki pona, /k/ for its velarity or /s/ for its fricativity. There is, at that point, no decisive reason for one rather than the other, so you use subjective factors. I don’t know Sonja’s subjective source here; maybe it’s just that ‘Mesiko’ “sounds better” than ‘Mekiko’ (it does to me). In any case, we are, as you note, stuck with it.


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