It confuses me why you would say that about the book. The books prescribed usage of the language allows me to say things that I come to find other dialects have great difficulty in saying, and end up coming up with very clunky ways of saying, that misses the meaning of what they are trying to say. I find that the book has encoded a method that reminded me of how my own children used words in new ways when they didnt know there was another word we use for that which they were saying. And ways of speaking about things that are new in a given language seems to first adopt spontaneous using these methods also. And so I also find that other dialects are playing catch-up to the official book dialect.
If we look in the dictionary in the book. moku is a VERB and only a VERB. It is given one sense of meaning and within that sense is the action of eating, or to eat. The other semantic points within that sense are also useful for expansion, however eating seems to be a good overall sense of the word. So just taking that specific meaning of that sense of the word, we can convert the word into a noun; "something you eat"; food. The book actually explains this rule of conversion using this word in this sense at that semantic focus.
So now we can add another entry in the dictionary; moku (noun) : food. This is not a primary noun though so we shouldn't think of moku being in the dictionary as NOUN, if we want to make a dictionary with these expanded meanings, we need to be clear its not primarily a noun, because this is important in the language. Maybe the entry would be something like : moku (NOUN - Derived from VERB - level 1 derivative) : food.
so now I can say things like "mi moku e moku", the verb is primary use, and means eat, and I am using the word as a noun, there exists a verb derived NOUN of moku, and that means "food". so "mi moku e moku" means "I eat food" ..
, now I have another word, food / moku / noun, and I can make other words from this; Lets make another verb, because it would be useful to be able to say more related action things with this.
noun -> verb; use food on; feed, to feed. So now I have a 2nd level derived verb version of moku, meaning feed (its derived from a derivative). I can express that, given the right context very simply now; other dialects might be forced to say "mi pana e moku tawa soweli", but in the right context I can express that same thing like this "mi moku e soweli".
Now lets squeeze more meaning out of it; and turn it back into a noun:
verb -> noun; something you feed; livestock, animals, plants, people... (things that need feeding)
And if you study the official book, you come to realise you can, in the right context, say "mi moku e moku", to mean "I feed the livestock"....
Well hopefully others understand the rules better than I did, because you cannot mean it to say that. Obviously this process would go loopy and weave all over the place and anything could mean anything... Whenever I come to an issue like this in studying pu, I assume, Sonja is very clever and has solved the problem; and yeah upon re-reading the book
I note for the umpteenth time that she has worded things very well. There are no semantic loops in toki pona, and the semantic chain breaks stop me also from getting "I feed the livestock" from "mi moku e moku".
Follower of the official dialect of toki pona as presented in the official book; Toki Pona, The Language of Good by Sonja Lang.