About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Language learning: How to speak Toki Pona, translation problems, advice, memory aids, tools and methods to learn Toki Pona and other languages faster
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KNTRO
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About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby KNTRO » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:38 pm

Hello all,

Has anyone read a book titled Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life? It's somehow based on the Toki Pona: The Language Of Good book, but there's a lot of strange things that don't appear in the official book. For instance, a couple of words, like these ones:
monsuta = monster
namako = spice [i.e., a different meaning of sin]
kipisi = to cut


Are these words official after all? :|
sina toki kepeken Epanja, la sina kama pona lon kulupu sin pi ilo Telegram a! ;)

janKipo
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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:06 pm

Interesting. Where is this book to be got and who is it by?
I think 'monsuta' is not in the official list and 'namako¿ is only in as an alternate to 'sin'. Both are widely used quite independently. 'Monsuta' means "fear" and 'namako' means "extra" and the like. I think 'kipisi' is in pu, though I don't keep track. It, too, is widely used, both for "cut" and also for things like chapters.
Last edited by janKipo on Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby KNTRO » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:56 pm

janKipo wrote:Where is this book to be got and who is it by?


The book is by jan Pije and jan Lope. You can read it and download it from here.

janKipo wrote:I think 'monsuta' is not in the official list and 'namako¿ is only in as an alternate to 'sin'. Both are widely used quite independently. 'Monsuta' means "feat" and 'namako' means "extra" and the like. I think 'kipisi' is in pu, though I don't keep track. It, too, is widely used, both for "cut" and also for things like chapters.


I own the Toki Pona: The Language of Good in EPUB and have also recently bought the physical book (Made in the USA | Middletown, DE | 12 September 2018). Both monsuta and kipisi doesn't exist in the digital book nor in the paperbook. While namako, as said, is just an equivalent to sin, but it doesn't mean spice necessarily.

In the book Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life you will also find another strange stuff, like using an apostrophe for make use of the English verb to be, like:
mi moku = I eat
mi ' moku = I am food


WTF? :?: I guess no one ever needs to say I am food in Toki Pona, despite its well known ambiguity.

But there's a lot more of crazy things in that book. You're gonna have fun for sure. :lol:
sina toki kepeken Epanja, la sina kama pona lon kulupu sin pi ilo Telegram a! ;)

janKipo
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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:52 pm

Well, the fact that Lope is involved does guarantee some oddities, though I would have hoped Pije would restrain them somewhat. I will check it out when I get some time.

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby KNTRO » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:50 pm

janKipo wrote:I will check it out when I get some time.


Yes, please! Whenever you have some free time, let me know your comments, since you are the Toki Pona expert here. ;)

Thanks so much in advance!
sina toki kepeken Epanja, la sina kama pona lon kulupu sin pi ilo Telegram a! ;)

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:02 am

Working piecemeal, between other tasks.
Chapt 1. Lope’s characterization of English vowels is pejorative at best, just muddled generally (they aren’t arbitrary, etc.). Basically, he confuses sounds and spelling (which is closer to his claims). Of course, tp consonants are not open to all (the stops are unaspirated in the purest version, for example) nor are vowels always pronounced the same (unstressed are different from stressed, but it ways more or less common. toe European languages other than English). What is true is that English doesn’t have pure /i/, /u/, /o/. What is not clear is whether that makes a difference in tp. Probably not.

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:12 am

Chapt 2.
That apostrophe is the oddest thing in Lope’s work. He says (correctly) that there is no verb “to be” in tp, meaning no copula. He then talks about the apostrophe as marking the missing copula. But, of course, it is not missing, since it was never there or even possible there. All he means is that European readers have trouble distinguishing nonoun predicates from verb predicates some times and so he put a comma in for the noun predicates. Since it is not yet clear that nouns and verbs are grammatically distinct in this slot, this is purely a device for Europeans and has nothing to do with tp itself. I short, it doesn’t belong here at all.

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:12 am

Of course, ‘li’ does not just come between a third person subject and a verb (including, of course, the “missing” “be”); it comes after frst person ‘mi mute’ (and the like) and ‘second ‘sina mute’ (etc.).

The way this is presented makes it seem that the subject and the predicate (what ‘li’ comes before) are separately constructed and then stuck together, with or without ‘li’, depending, rather than the whole growing organically from earlier sentences in a grammatical chain. I keep trying to do grammar in the item-and-arrangement fashion, but find I always have to come back to item-and-process to understand what is going on. Relations between sentences are hard to explain if there is nothing behind the piles of blocks in the frame.

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:35 am

Chapter 4 or so
Here is the usual crap about the direct object standing for the thing that is acted upon, in spite of the many cases where it haas nothing done to it or even does something to the subject. It is just the noun that fills out the verb, in whatever way is allowed (not always obvious).
Compound sentences. Compounds of what? We can buld a sentence with a subject block and a predicate block (with or without ‘li’, depending) but we can also build one with several predicate blocks in a row after the subject. This means the subject does several things (though it is not clear why it means that exactly; that’s just how the rule goes. Similarly, we can build a transitive verb with a verb and an object (with ‘e’). Or we can build it several object phrases (with e’s) in a row meaning the subject does the same thing to several objects. Implicitly, these translate as “and” in both sorts of cases and could presumably be deconstructed into a number of similar sentences, but there is nothing in the grammar to suggest any of this.
The case of ‘wile Verb e’ is muddled. Is ‘wile Verb’ now a compound verb, to which the object attaches? The grammar is unclear and it gets worse as we get more complicated items here. (I think that ‘wile’ and other modals take predicates -- without ‘li’ -- as complements and that the object here simply attaches to Verb in this subordinate predicate. This amounts to recursion and so is a no-no, but works too well to ignore.). I have read that Lope has actually spelled out the grammar underlying his remarks and it would be helpful to have those. Some of my objections are to technicality which may not actually occur in his grammar but only in his popular exposition. His grammar, for example, may not have an item “be” that actually occurs in the structural description of sentences.

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Re: About the "Toki Pona: The Simple Way Of Life" book

Postby janKipo » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:02 am

Adv & adj
Lope limits adjective strings to three members, apparently. I don’t know where he got this nor whether he is serious. He does have (but does not develop) the notion of adjective types and “logical” order. I’m not sure tp has this or what it is, if it does. I use English classes and order just out of habit. The determiners: numbers, possessives, ’ni’, do usually go at the end, but can be moved forward if the end gets a little heavy (which Lope has made sure won’t happen, apparently). They can also occur in any combination with the others: “these five goats of mine” “five of these goats of mine” “my five of these goats” and so on. But these may not be possible given only three adjectives. He does talk about selecting things -- a process -- but says little about the context in which it occurs (apparently prelinguistic, but not obviously).

So far, Lope lives up to billing as being more restrictive than pu or Pije and less clear. He also has that odd comma, which doesn’t fit anybodies ideas -- except an occasional bad translator’s. I actually had a flash about that. If you hold that every predicate has to begin with a verb (somehow defined and fixed for each word) then a predicate which appears to begin with a noun, say (defined like the verbs), is indeed missing a verb and to make it grammatical it has to be supplied with an invisible one. This has a certain tidiness as compared to the usual position that tp words don’t belong to a particular part of speech except for translation purposes and that any kind of word can begin a predicate.

Confusion of words and things and concept: There are many words not in tp. Translation: there are many concepts that do not have a single direct one-word translation in tp. This kind of muddle is common here.


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