toki pona has a very simple phonology, so it's phonemes can be pronounced many ways.
When I learn a language I like to try learning the accent. But there's no example of a detailed allophony for toki pona, and strictly speaking with the IPA pronunciation wouldn't be realistic.
So this is my realistic "accent" for toki pona. It doesn't change the phonology, and it doesn't break any rules by collapsing or creating new distinctions. It is similar to Japanese in some ways, but also has it's own sound to it.
Plosive [p ~ b] /p/ [t ~ d] /t/ [k ~ g] /k/ (ʔ)
Nasal [m] /m/ [n] /n/
Fricative [s̠ ~ ʃ] /s/
Tap [ɾ ~ ɺ] /l/
Approximant /w/ w ~ ʋ /j/ j
Nasal /n ~ m ~ ŋ/ n
Free variant allophones:
/w ~ ʋ/ are in free variation.
/ɾ ~ ɺ/ may surface as either central or lateral.
Plosives are aspirated in free variation at the beginning of words.
/s/ is palatalized before /i/.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palataliz ... und_change
They are not distinct phonemes, but a palato-alveolar articulation [ʃ] occurs before /i/, and a slightly retracted alveolar articulation [s̠] occurs before /e, a, o, u/.
Syllable final /n/ becomes /m/ before /p/, like "anpa" [ʔamba], /ŋ/ before /k/, [n] before /t/, /s/, /l/, /w/, /j/ and /ŋ/ at the end of a word.
The semivowels /i/ and /u/ become vowel sequences following /n/, like "linja" /ɺinia/.
Plosives are voiceless at the beginning of words, voiced and unaspirated elsewhere.
A glottal stop presets any word beginning in a vowel, similarly to Hausa, German, and Singapore English. This also occurs in other English dialects, as well as the majority of languages, but not as regularly.
Close /i ~ ɪ/ i /u ~ ʊ/ u
Mid /ɛ ~ e/ e /ɔ ~ o/ o
Open /a/ a
/i ~ ɪ/ /u ~ ʊ/ /ɛ ~ e/ /ɔ ~ o/ are in free variation.
The first syllable of each word in toki pona is accented.
Here, the accent is indicated by a higher pitch (pitch accent) and lengthening.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch-accent_language
/mama pi mi mute o, sina lon sewi kon/
[máːma pʰi mi múːdɛ ʔʰɔ ʃíːna ɺɔn s̠é̞ːwɪ kɔŋ]
/nimi sina li sewi/
[níːmɪ ʃíːna ɾi s̠ɛ́ːwi]
/ma sina o kama/
[ma ʃíːna ʔɔ kʰáːma]
/jan o pali e wile sina lon sewi kon en lon ma/
[jaŋ ʔɔ pʰáːɺi ʔʰɛ wíːɾɛ ʃɪ́ːna ɺo̞n s̠ɛ́ːwɪ kʰoŋ ɛn ɺo̞m ma]
/o pana e moku pi tenpo suno ni tawa mi mute/
[ʔɔ pʰáːna ʔʰe mɔ́ːkʊ pi tʰɛ́ːmbo s̠úːno̞ ni tʰaːwa mi múːdɛ]
/o weka e pali ike mi. sama la mi weka e pali ike pi jan ante/
[ʔo̞ wɛ́ːga ʔʰɛ páːɾi ʔɪ́ːgɛ s̠áːma ɾa mi wɛ́ːga ʔʰɛ páːɺɪ íːge pʰi jaŋ ʔáːndɛ]
/o lawa ala e mi tawa ike/
[ʔo ɺáːwa ʔáːɾa ʔɛ mɪ tʰáːwa ʔʰíːge̞]
/o lawa e mi tan ike/
[ʔʰɔ ɺáːwa ʔʰe mi taŋ ʔíːgɛ]
/tenpo ali la sina jo e ma e wawa e pona/
[téːmbo áːɺi ɾa ʃɪ́ːna jɔ ʔʰe̞ ma ʔɛ wáːwa ʔʰɛ póːna]