Clause-trophobia

Tinkerers Anonymous: Some people can't help making changes to "fix" Toki Pona. This is a playground for their ideas.
Tokiponidistoj: Iuj homoj nepre volas fari ŝanĝojn por "ripari" Tokiponon. Jen ludejo por iliaj ideoj.
janMato
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Contact:

Clause-trophobia

Postby janMato » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:25 pm

The accusative clitic "e" and the other clitics "sama", "lon", "kepeken", etc. seem to be related. They seem to serve the role of prepositions or cases. We can by canon, write this:

[noun phrase] e ni : [sentence]. And the sentence after "ni" modifies "ni".

So if I have a thing in mind that takes a whole sentence (because it's actions are the salient features), I can refer to it in the accusative. But not the locative (lon), instrumental (kepeken), causal (tan), lative/dative (tawa), etc. This seems entirely unfair to deprive these prepositions of a clause introducing role.

Can I do the same with all the other preprositions? Has anyone else tried to? Can we trust a community reference even if it appears to be embedded in a sentence with other stylistic and grammar errors? And what is a santa clause? Inquiring minds want to know.

... prep + ni : [sentence]
... prep + ni : [noun phrase, i.e. sentence fragment]


Sometimes the "prep + ni" is followed by a ":" sometimes not.

We also have things like this, which gets really close to relative clauses.
... prep + [noun] + ni : [sentence]
... prep + [noun] + ni : [noun phrase]


jan li sona li sona pona e jan ni: jan Sonja li mama pi toki pona.
tokipona.wikia.com/wiki/jan_li_sona_e_jan_ni

People knows and knows well whom is Sonja, inventor of toki pona.

I would have written "jan li sona li sona pona e sona ni: jan Sonja li mama pi toki pona" or People know and know well (the fact that) that Sonja is the inventor of toki pona.
This is either a clever extension to the canonical "e ni:" clause, or it is bad tp because there is a word in between "e" and "ni"

After excluding all phrases of the type
"mi kama poka ni la waso li kalama lon mi."
sites.google.com/site/tokiponadave/
In the above sentence, I think "ni" is just modify "poka". If build this box, birds will chirp on me. When "prep + ni" is being used to set up a clause, the "ni" refers to something forward in the sentence.

e ni: (canon)

lon ni : (also idiom for "here", but that isn't the sense I'm interested in.)
sina ali li toki e pilin sina lon ni : jan li ken ala ken pona e toki pona ?
forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=445

You all speak out your feelings where can a person an improve (their) toki pona?

sama ni :
mi mute li ken toki e nimi sama ni: "tenpo pi selo oko tawa"
forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=842&start=10

We can say the words like "time of moving ocular heat"
ona li lon tomo mi la ona li awen sama ni: soweli li lon anpa soweli.
anadder.com/toki_pona/jan_lawa_lili/5

If she is in my room, she remains like an animal that is in a place of rut.

tan ni : (lots of people use this as the "because", although that would be an adverbial clause of cause and effect and should be in the la phrase)
ale ken sona *e ken pali jan tan ni: jan Eloto lon ma tomo Alikanaso li wile e ni: .... etc
http://www.wessisc.co.uk/tokipona/eloto.html

Everyone can know the ledgendary feats on account of the fact that Eloto was from from the land of Alikansano and wanting that ....
* ken pali jan - I don't know what this phrase means. If it was a clause, then I would guess, pali jan ken, possible person work, ledgendary feats

jan Posate li wile pana e ike tawa jan Otesija tan ni: jan Otesija li pakala e oka pi jan Palipimu.
alelipona.blogspot.com/2009/06/otesi-nanpa-wan.html

Posate wants to give nastiness to Otesija on account of Otesija blinding Palipimu.

tawa ni:
lipu ni li lon tawa ni: jan li ken lukin e toki sitelen lon toki pona li toki kepeken toki pona.
alelipona.blogspot.com/2009/06/ijo-nanpa-wan.html

This page exists so that people can see writings in toki pona and speak with toki pona.

poki ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi lukin poka ni : ma li anpa e ilo poki pi lete mute.
I looked in the place that is under the refrigerator.

kepeken ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi wile pana e mani tawa jan kepeken ni : ilo li pakala e tomo.
I want to give money to the man with the machine that is demolishing houses.

insa ni : (not an offical prep, but suggestive of one)
mi wile tawa insa ni : mi ken lape kepeken ala kalama.
I want to go in where I can sleep without noise.

-----
jan Mato li mi li jan ala pi sona toki. mi kama sona e toki ala.
I'm a fake linguist who studies fake languages.
Last edited by janMato on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jan Josan
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:41 pm
Location: ma tomo Nujoka
Contact:

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby jan Josan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:16 pm

These are great questions, beyond my abilities to answer, but I wanted to say I'm impressed with your research. I will add a couple suggestions for the examples you couldn't find:


janMato wrote:poki ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi lukin poka ni : ma li anpa e ilo poki pi lete mute.
I looked in the place that is under the refrigerator.

seems easier to accomplish with "lukin tawa" in this case. maybe something like "Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam"
o pana e tomo, tawa mi lon poka ni: soweli li tawa.

janMato wrote:kepeken ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi wile pana e mani tawa jan kepeken ni : ilo li pakala e tomo.
I want to give money to the man with the machine that is demolishing houses.

Having trouble sorting out the machine that is doing and the man that is using...head hurts...

janMato wrote:insa ni : (not an offical prep, but suggestive of one)
mi wile tawa insa ni : mi ken lape kepeken ala kalama.
I want to go in where I can sleep without noise.

I would say lape lon kalama ala but this seems reasonable


janMato wrote:jan Mato li mi li jan ala pi sona toki. mi kama sona e toki ala.
I'm a fake linguist who studies fake languages.

toki e jan ni li lon. taso ona li sin.

janKipo
Posts: 3036
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janKipo » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:49 pm

janMato wrote:The accusative clitic "e" and the other clitics "sama", "lon", "kepeken", etc. seem to be related. They seem to serve the role of prepositions or cases.

Why call them clitics; they just are prepositions or verbs or adjectives functioning prepositionally (all this is already a little beyond truly tp grammar). That they serve the role of prepositions is accurate; cases less so, since there are no cases in tp (nor in universal grammar come to that, so this is relative to some other particular grammars that go in for that sort of thing).
We can by canon, write this:

[noun phrase] e ni : [sentence]. And the sentence after "ni" modifies "ni".

Well, is the referent of it, anyhow.
So if I have a thing in mind that takes a whole sentence (because it's actions are the salient features), I can refer to it in the accusative. But not the locative (lon), instrumental (kepeken), causal (tan), lative/dative (tawa), etc. This seems entirely unfair to deprive these prepositions of a clause introducing role.

The trick is, of course, that the 'ni:' calls attention to events and propositions, the referents and intensions of sentences, and these do not regularly come into language in places other than as the objects of verbs of mentation and references to causal connections ('tan ni' is, contrary to your remark, quite legit and frequent). Should an appropriate occasion arise, the other forms would be quite as legit. that is, the other prepositions are not deprived, merely not used. Indeed, though I cannot think of a case, I can easily imagine seeinf 'mi pali e ni tawa ni; mi kama jo e mani' "I do this so that I make money" and other similar locutiions. I can't think of a case where 'lon' would be plausible at the moment, but, then, I am not very creative (which means, inter alia, that I suspect that I have seen a 'tawa' case).
Can I do the same with all the other prepositions? Has anyone else tried to? Can we trust a community reference even if it appears to be embedded in a sentence with other stylistic and grammar errors? And what is a santa clause? Inquiring minds want to know.

Santa clause? I am (as often) not sure what you are talking about here. Your basic questions is answered (an always was, just not stressed, because it did not cover a major English category, like "that" clauses).
... prep + ni : [sentence]
... prep + ni : [noun phrase, i.e. sentence fragment]


Sometimes the "prep + ni" is followed by a ":" sometimes not.

If it is only a noun phrases, then it can replace 'ni' (perhaps inelegantly). The colon is a writing convention, not a linguistic one and is only sporadically followed (and the only at the end of sentences, not when the 'ni' is embedded). I suppose it has some occasional phonetic parallel, but am not sure (I haven't heard much tp, either).
We also have things like this, which gets really close to relative clauses.
... prep + [noun] + ni : [sentence]
... prep + [noun] + ni : [noun phrase]


jan li sona li sona pona e jan ni: jan Sonja li mama pi toki pona.
tokipona.wikia.com/wiki/jan_li_sona_e_jan_ni

People knows and knows well whom is Sonja, inventor of toki pona.

I would have written "jan li sona li sona pona e sona ni: jan Sonja li mama pi toki pona" or People know and know well (the fact that) that Sonja is the inventor of toki pona.
This is either a clever extension to the canonical "e ni:" clause, or it is bad tp because there is a word in between "e" and "ni"

I take it as a restrictive relative clause -- in English terms, that is -- "People know and know well the person that is the Sonja that created tp." (last year's style book, Lord knows what this year says about this).
After excluding all phrases of the type
"mi kama poka ni la waso li kalama lon mi."
sites.google.com/site/tokiponadave/
In the above sentence, I think "ni" is just modify "poka". If build this box, birds will chirp on me. When "prep + ni" is being used to set up a clause, the "ni" refers to something forward in the sentence.

I can't actually find this line on Dave's page, so I am not sure what he meant, but I suppose either "If/when I come with this..." or (corrected to 'kama lon poka ni') "If/when I come near here/this, ..." neither of which sets up a clause, but only refers to something either mentioned (earlier, presumably) or pointed to extra verba.
e ni: (canon)

lon ni : (also idiom for "here", but that isn't the sense I'm interested in.)
sina ali li toki e pilin sina lon ni : jan li ken ala ken pona e toki pona ?
forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=445

You all speak out your feelings where can a person improve (their) toki pona?

I remember this as being another shot at how to say "about" with mentatives, but I may be misremembering. "You all express your thought about whether tp can be improved." Since it is probably from Sonja, it is sorta authoritative, but 'lon' just seems the wrong word here (Eng calque and all).
sama ni :
mi mute li ken toki e nimi sama ni: "tenpo pi selo oko tawa"
forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=842&start=10

We can say the words like "time of moving ocular heat"

"time of moving eye skin" Augenblick. Apparently it is meant to be generalized -- other expressions like this one -- since otherwise the whole 'sama ni:' part is unnecessary, the quote could modify 'nimi' directly (well, 'nimi ni' is clearer).
ona li lon tomo mi la ona li awen sama ni: soweli li lon anpa soweli.
anadder.com/toki_pona/jan_lawa_lili/5

If she is in my room, she remains like an animal that is in a place of rut.

Umph! This could (prep phrase modifying noun being OK) be done directly; otherwise, this is needed and is a bit hard to reconstruct in English (in its favor as tp, I suppose). "An animals is at the bottom on/under an animal" I guess (emphasized) that it means "underdog," which could also be done without the 'ni' trick: just 'sama jan anpa' for example.
tan ni : (lots of people use this as the "because", although that would be an adverbial clause of cause and effect and should be in the la phrase)
ale ken sona *e ken pali jan tan ni: jan Eloto lon ma tomo Alikanaso li wile e ni: .... etc
http://www.wessisc.co.uk/tokipona/eloto.html

Everyone can know the ledgendary feats on account of the fact that Eloto was from from the land of Alikansano and wanting that ....
* ken pali jan - I don't know what this phrase means. If it was a clause, then I would guess, pali jan ken, possible person work, ledgendary feats

This just points to the following explanation, as it clearly does. "Everybody know... because Eloto in the city Alikanaso wants..." I have to admit, the rest of the sentences looks to be a bit of a mess; I'll go look at it later. 'ken pali jan' often means "Human Right to Work" but that doesn't seem to do much here. Maybe "Human power to Achieve" but that isn't much better.
jan Posate li wile pana e ike tawa jan Otesija tan ni: jan Otesija li pakala e oka pi jan Palipimu.
alelipona.blogspot.com/2009/06/otesi-nanpa-wan.html

Posate wants to give nastiness to Otesija on account of Otesija blinding Palipimu.

Or, more staightforwardly, "because Odysseus destroyed Polyphemus' eye." So? Reference to an event, here described.
tawa ni:
lipu ni li lon tawa ni: jan li ken lukin e toki sitelen lon toki pona li toki kepeken toki pona.
alelipona.blogspot.com/2009/06/ijo-nanpa-wan.html

This page exists so that people can see writings in toki pona and speak with toki pona.

Good, here is an example with 'tawa' of purpose. Notice that one effect of the 'ni' not noticed in this case is to take the next sentence out of the truth evaluation process (like the "that" in English). "with' in the sense of means, not accompaniment
poki ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi lukin poka ni : ma li anpa e ilo poki pi lete mute.
I looked in the place that is under the refrigerator.

'poka' but 'poka ni' means "accompanying this one" just 'lon anpa pi poki lete' or however elaborated. No clause required.
kepeken ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi wile pana e mani tawa jan kepeken ni : ilo li pakala e tomo.
I want to give money to the man with the machine that is demolishing houses.

This looks like a real restrictive relative clause"the man that has the machine that demolishes houses" but then just
'jan ni: jan li jo e ilo ni: ilo li pakala...' or shorter: jan pi ilo ni: ilo li pakala e tomo' No prep involved (though could use 'kepeken in place of -- or after -- 'pi')
insa ni : (not an offical prep, but suggestive of one)
mi wile tawa insa ni : mi ken lape kepeken ala kalama.
I want to go in where I can sleep without noise.

prep is 'lon insa' but I don't see this as particularly clausal 'mi wile tawa ni: mi ken lape lon ni tan kalama ala'

-----
jan Mato li mi li jan ala pi sona toki. mi kama sona e toki ala.
I'm a fake linguist who studies fake languages.


Well, "is a linguistic non-human and learns no languages" But that does raise the issue how to distinguish "studies
languages (or a language)" from "learns a language" 'jan Mato li sina li jan pi sona toki ala. sina kam sona e toki pali (or 'pi pali jan')'
Last edited by janKipo on Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

janKipo
Posts: 3036
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janKipo » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:51 pm

janMato wrote:The accusative clitic "e" and the other clitics "sama", "lon", "kepeken", etc. seem to be related. They seem to serve the role of prepositions or cases.

Why call them clitics; they just are prepositions or verbs or adjectives functioning prepositionally (all this is already a little beyond truly tp grammar). That they serve the role of prepositions is accurate; cases less so, since there are no cases in tp (nor in universal grammar come to that, so this is relative to some other particular grammars that go in for that sort of thing).
We can by canon, write this:

[noun phrase] e ni : [sentence]. And the sentence after "ni" modifies "ni".

Well, is the referent of it, anyhow.
So if I have a thing in mind that takes a whole sentence (because it's actions are the salient features), I can refer to it in the accusative. But not the locative (lon), instrumental (kepeken), causal (tan), lative/dative (tawa), etc. This seems entirely unfair to deprive these prepositions of a clause introducing role.

The trick is, of course, that the 'ni:' calls attention to events and propositions, the referents and intensions of sentences, and these do not regularly come into language in places other than as the objects of verbs of mentation and references to causal connections ('tan ni' is, contrary to your remark, quite legit and frequent). Should an appropriate occasion arise, the other forms would be quite as legit. that is, the other prepositions are not deprived, merely not used. Indeed, though I cannot think of a case, I can easily imagine seeinf 'mi pali e ni tawa ni; mi kama jo e mani' "I do this so that I make money" and other similar locutiions. I can't think of a case where 'lon' would be plausible at the moment, but, then, I am not very creative (which means, inter alia, that I suspect that I have seen a 'tawa' case).
Can I do the same with all the other prepositions? Has anyone else tried to? Can we trust a community reference even if it appears to be embedded in a sentence with other stylistic and grammar errors? And what is a santa clause? Inquiring minds want to know.

Santa clause? I am (as often) not sure what you are talking about here. Your basic questions is answered (an always was, just not stressed, because it did not cover a major English category, like "that" clauses).
... prep + ni : [sentence]
... prep + ni : [noun phrase, i.e. sentence fragment]


Sometimes the "prep + ni" is followed by a ":" sometimes not.

If it is only a noun phrases, then it can replace 'ni' (perhaps inelegantly). The colon is a writing convention, not a linguistic one and is only sporadically followed (and the only at the end of sentences, not when the 'ni' is embedded). I suppose it has some occasional phonetic parallel, but am not sure (I haven't heard much tp, either).
We also have things like this, which gets really close to relative clauses.
... prep + [noun] + ni : [sentence]
... prep + [noun] + ni : [noun phrase]


jan li sona li sona pona e jan ni: jan Sonja li mama pi toki pona.
tokipona.wikia.com/wiki/jan_li_sona_e_jan_ni

People knows and knows well whom is Sonja, inventor of toki pona.

I would have written "jan li sona li sona pona e sona ni: jan Sonja li mama pi toki pona" or People know and know well (the fact that) that Sonja is the inventor of toki pona.
This is either a clever extension to the canonical "e ni:" clause, or it is bad tp because there is a word in between "e" and "ni"

I take it as a restrictive relative clause -- in English terms, that is -- "People know and know well the person that is the Sonja that created tp." (last year's style book, Lord knows what this year says about this).
After excluding all phrases of the type
"mi kama poka ni la waso li kalama lon mi."
sites.google.com/site/tokiponadave/
In the above sentence, I think "ni" is just modify "poka". If build this box, birds will chirp on me. When "prep + ni" is being used to set up a clause, the "ni" refers to something forward in the sentence.

I can't actually find this line on Dave's page, so I am not sure what he meant, but I suppose either "If/when I come with this..." or (corrected to 'kama lon poka ni') "If/when I come near here/this, ..." neither of which sets up a clause, but only refers to something either mentioned (earlier, presumably) or pointed to extra verba.
e ni: (canon)

lon ni : (also idiom for "here", but that isn't the sense I'm interested in.)
sina ali li toki e pilin sina lon ni : jan li ken ala ken pona e toki pona ?
forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=445

You all speak out your feelings where can a person improve (their) toki pona?

I remember this as being another shot at how to say "about" with mentatives, but I may be misremembering. "You all express your thought about whether tp can be improved." Since it is probably from Sonja, it is sorta authoritative, but 'lon' just seems the wrong word here (Eng calque and all).
sama ni :
mi mute li ken toki e nimi sama ni: "tenpo pi selo oko tawa"
forums.tokipona.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=842&start=10

We can say the words like "time of moving ocular heat"

"time of moving eye skin" Augenblick. Apparently it is meant to be generalized -- other expressions like this one -- since otherwise the whole 'sama ni:' part is unnecessary, the quote could modify 'nimi' directly (well, 'nimi ni' is clearer).
ona li lon tomo mi la ona li awen sama ni: soweli li lon anpa soweli.
anadder.com/toki_pona/jan_lawa_lili/5

If she is in my room, she remains like an animal that is in a place of rut.

Umph! This could (prep phrase modifying noun being OK) be done directly; otherwise, this is needed and is a bit hard to reconstruct in English (in its favor as tp, I suppose). "An animals is at the bottom on/under an animal" I guess (emphasized) that it means "underdog," which could also be done without the 'ni' trick: just 'sama jan anpa' for example.
tan ni : (lots of people use this as the "because", although that would be an adverbial clause of cause and effect and should be in the la phrase)
ale ken sona *e ken pali jan tan ni: jan Eloto lon ma tomo Alikanaso li wile e ni: .... etc
http://www.wessisc.co.uk/tokipona/eloto.html

Everyone can know the ledgendary feats on account of the fact that Eloto was from from the land of Alikansano and wanting that ....
* ken pali jan - I don't know what this phrase means. If it was a clause, then I would guess, pali jan ken, possible person work, ledgendary feats

This just points to the following explanation, as it clearly does. "Everybody know... because Eloto in the city Alikanaso wants..." I have to admit, the rest of the sentences looks to be a bit of a mess; I'll go look at it later. 'ken pali jan' often means "Human Right to Work" but that doesn't seem to do much here. Maybe "Human power to Achieve" but that isn't much better.
jan Posate li wile pana e ike tawa jan Otesija tan ni: jan Otesija li pakala e oka pi jan Palipimu.
alelipona.blogspot.com/2009/06/otesi-nanpa-wan.html

Posate wants to give nastiness to Otesija on account of Otesija blinding Palipimu.

Or, more staightforwardly, "because Odysseus destroyed Polyphemus' eye." So? Reference to an event, here described.
tawa ni:
lipu ni li lon tawa ni: jan li ken lukin e toki sitelen lon toki pona li toki kepeken toki pona.
alelipona.blogspot.com/2009/06/ijo-nanpa-wan.html

This page exists so that people can see writings in toki pona and speak with toki pona.

Good, here is an example with 'tawa' of purpose. Notice that one effect of the 'ni' not noticed in this case is to take the next sentence out of the truth evaluation process (like the "that" in English). "with' in the sense of means, not accompaniment
poki ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi lukin poka ni : ma li anpa e ilo poki pi lete mute.
I looked in the place that is under the refrigerator.

'poka' but 'poka ni' means "accompanying this one" just 'lon anpa pi poki lete' or however elaborated. No clause required.
kepeken ni: (couldn't find any community usages.)
mi wile pana e mani tawa jan kepeken ni : ilo li pakala e tomo.
I want to give money to the man with the machine that is demolishing houses.

This looks like a real restrictive relative clause"the man that has the machine that demolishes houses" but then just
'jan ni: jan li jo e ilo ni: ilo li pakala...' or shorter: jan pi ilo ni: ilo li pakala e tomo' No prep involved (though could use 'kepeken in place of -- or after -- 'pi')
insa ni : (not an offical prep, but suggestive of one)
mi wile tawa insa ni : mi ken lape kepeken ala kalama.
I want to go in where I can sleep without noise.

prep is 'lon insa' but I don't see this as particularly clausal 'mi wile tawa ni: mi ken lape lon ni tan kalama ala'

-----
jan Mato li mi li jan ala pi sona toki. mi kama sona e toki ala.
I'm a fake linguist who studies fake languages.


Well, "is a linguistic non-human and learns no languages" But that does raise the issue how to distinguish "studies
languages (or a language)" from "learns a language" 'jan Mato li sina li jan pi sona toki ala. sina kama sona e toki pali (or 'pi pali jan')'
Last edited by janKipo on Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

janMato
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Contact:

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janMato » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:47 pm

re: parts of speech
Maybe it would be less controversial if we had a toki pona name for them, the same way that Lojban has names for parts of speech brivla, cmene, cmavo

re: what kind of clauses I think I'm seeing
Yeah, I'm not sure what clauses I think I'm seeing, in the english or tp. I think the verbs and the clause structure of any langauge will be the hardest to define and unlike gender or modifer agreement, getting rid of verbs and phrase co-ordinating strategies wouldn't simplify a language. (Riding a bicycle is simple until you need to explain how the physics works.) I think if I was defining a language, the language definition would probably be a bit incomplete in the area of verbs and phrase syntax-- those areas are just complicated, in tp or any language. Even piraha has a bazillion forms of each verb (because it has agglutinating verbs). And I would be so brave to say isolating languages that don't inflect, like tp, are doomed to have more complex word order rules.

re: necessity of clauses at all
I agree writing could be done without any "[prep] ni : [sentence]" phrases, I agree. We probably could still write usable tp without he canonical "li X e ni: Y" phrase, too. But, I think it is arguable if the alternatives are easier, clearer or equivallent.

re: is "tan ni + sentence" legit (or anything like that)
Is
"tan ni : " + sentence
canonical or defacto acceptable?

Personally, I favor all prepositions *should* be able to introduce clauses. [np] + li + [vp] + e ni + [setentence] + [lon/tan/anpa/poki/insa/kepeken/...] ni + [sentence]
I'm under the impression that all sentences of the above type are not canonical right now. If they are, then the thesis of my post is moot.

I like this pattern because it seems like it has parallels to a canonical pattern, so if is tinkering with the artist's prerogatives, it's a pretty conservative change, but with dramatic impact.

re: the Santa clause?
ni li toki a a a nasa. tenpo ni li poki tenpo pi jan Kurisuto.

re: [np] + pi + [n] + ni + [sentence] e.g. jan pi ilo ni: ilo li pakala e tomo
Is that canonical or defacto?
To follow the "[np] li [vp] e ni : [sentence]" pattern, it would be "jan pi ni: ilo li pakala e tomo", which would be useful for embedding setences into noun phrases-- but it would mean pi was departing from it's role as a mere noun phrase building tool. I see why you added the "pi ilo ni" though, it was so there would be 2 words after pi.

re: ni + [sentence fragment/noun phrase]
If someone says..
*? mi lukin kepeken ni ilo pi oko tu. / I see therewith my eyeglasses

Either it's bad tp, or they are trying to introducing a clause with a noun phrase because "ni" should modify "ilo", e.g.
mi lukin kepeken ilo pi oko tu ni. / I see with my glasses (better tp, but doesn't look like a "[prep] ni : X" phrase anymore)

mi lukin kepeken ni: mi kama jo lon esun ilo pi oko tu. / I see with that which I bought at the opticians.

re: 'jan Mato li sina li jan pi sona toki ala. sina kam sona e toki pali' ... study constructed languages'
mi jan Mato li jan pi sona toki ala. mi kama sona e ni: toki li toki ale.
I'm Matt the non-linguist. I study the languages that people don't speak. (now it's funnier again.:-)

janKipo
Posts: 3036
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janKipo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:27 pm

janMato wrote:re: parts of speech
Maybe it would be less controversial if we had a toki pona name for them, the same way that Lojban has names for parts of speech brivla, cmene, cmavo

On the other hand, over on Lojban list they are yet again arguing about just what those technical terms (which ought perforce be unambiguous and precise) mean. We can try various things, but, given the way that wo0rds can shift into various functions, they aren't going to be very useful just yet. I expect that the flux will settle down a bit grammatically. And then maybe some grammatical and a few semantic categories will do some good (if not insisted on too rigorously.
re: what kind of clauses I think I'm seeing
Yeah, I'm not sure what clauses I think I'm seeing, in the english or tp. I think the verbs and the clause structure of any language will be the hardest to define and unlike gender or modifier agreement, getting rid of verbs and phrase co-ordinating strategies wouldn't simplify a language. (Riding a bicycle is simple until you need to explain how the physics works.) I think if I was defining a language, the language definition would probably be a bit incomplete in the area of verbs and phrase syntax-- those areas are just complicated, in tp or any language. Even piraha has a bazillion forms of each verb (because it has agglutinating verbs). And I would be so brave to say isolating languages that don't inflect, like tp, are doomed to have more complex word order rules.

Yes, isolating languages need to have word order rules or or lots of prepositions (or post- or en-) to cover grammatical roles somehow. Fortunately, tp is pretty easy -- at the start: subject li verb (e object)(prep phrase) is the only clause in tp. This can be elaborated slightly for a compound sentence: sentence la sentence. The there can be complex sentences with multiple subjects or prep objects joined by 'en' or 'anu', or multiple verb (+obj)(+prep) with new 'li's or multiple objects with new 'e's. Then we get to the various kinds of vers which take complements, and so on and so on. Yes, it gets complicated, but it still stays pretty much in nice order (there are no inversions, no subordinate clauses). It is still hard to write up, as witness the several versions of the tp grammar, each acknowledged to be incomplete and/or unrevealing.
re: necessity of clauses at all
I agree writing could be done without any "[prep] ni : [sentence]" phrases, I agree. We probably could still write usable tp without he canonical "li X e ni: Y" phrase, too. But, I think it is arguable if the alternatives are easier, clearer or equivallent.

I really have trouble trying to think of how to do some things without the various 'ni' tricks. Indeed, I have some trouble thinking how to do some things even with them, but I am sure that they are essential to tp as a functioning language. The write-around for an English indirect discourse, boggles the mind even when it can conceive how it might be done.
re: is "tan ni + sentence" legit (or anything like that)
Is
"tan ni : " + sentence
canonical or defacto acceptable?

Personally, I favor all prepositions *should* be able to introduce clauses. [np] + li + [vp] + e ni + [sentence] + [lon/tan/anpa/poki/insa/kepeken/...] ni + [sentence]
I'm under the impression that all sentences of the above type are not canonical right now. If they are, then the thesis of my post is moot.

I like this pattern because it seems like it has parallels to a canonical pattern, so if is tinkering with the artist's prerogatives, it's a pretty conservative change, but with dramatic impact.

A case where I am not following your point, I think. 'tan ni + sentence' is canonical and essential (given any sort of talk about causes and motives and the like -- i.e, any interesting talk). The grammar merely treats the sentence containing 'tan ni' and the following sentence as separate sentences, not a main and subordinate. And, of course, if the need should arise, any other preposition (and 'e' of course) works as well. Now the double prepositional case, e.g. "He told me Mary loved him to make me mad" (where "to make me mad" modifies "told' not "loved" -- though I expect the other is hard to do as well) The only available approach is to pile up the secondary sentences in order (and this could get complicated if the secondary sentences also had 'ni:' in them). 'ona li toki e ni tawa mi tawa ni. meli Meli li olin e ona. mi kama ike.' Not very satisfactory -- and devices like indexing not only don't really help but are impractical in practice (look at Lojban anaphora for example). But the alternative introduces sentential recursion, which means that the notion of a sentence immediate gets more complicated multiplicatively, not additively. It's things like this that get me thinking about non-linear languages, but that is another whole matter -- taken up elsewhere.
re: the Santa clause?
ni li toki a a a nasa. tenpo ni li poki tenpo pi jan Kurisuto.

Christ's clock? time-capsule? maybe 'tenpo poki' time for packages? a a a kin.
re: [np] + pi + [n] + ni + [sentence] e.g. jan pi ilo ni: ilo li pakala e tomo
Is that canonical or defacto?
To follow the "[np] li [vp] e ni : [sentence]" pattern, it would be "jan pi ni: ilo li pakala e tomo", which would be useful for embedding sentences into noun phrases-- but it would mean pi was departing from it's role as a mere noun phrase building tool. I see why you added the "pi ilo ni" though, it was so there would be 2 words after pi.

Perfectly normal, the standard form for restrictive relative clauses; most of the earlier cases have been not relative clauses but "that" clauses (a distinction not helped by the current -- well, last year -- rule that restrictive relative clauses are introduced by "that," too).
re: ni + [sentence fragment/noun phrase]
If someone says..
*? mi lukin kepeken ni ilo pi oko tu. / I see therewith my eyeglasses

It immediately raises the question "Why the 'ni'?" the whole works fine without it.
Either it's bad tp, or they are trying to introducing a clause with a noun phrase because "ni" should modify "ilo", e.g.
mi lukin kepeken ilo pi oko tu ni. / I see with my glasses (better tp, but doesn't look like a "[prep] ni : X" phrase anymore)

Not bad, just awkward (and maybe not saying quite what was intended). Why should it look like a '[prep] ni: X' phrase? There is no obvious subordinated sentence (we leave deep semantics out of all this for now, anyhow).
mi lukin kepeken ni: mi kama jo lon esun ilo pi oko tu. / I see with that which I bought at the opticians.

This on the other hand is bad tp, though only mildly so: 'mi kama jo e ni lon...' (I would have used -- I think -- 'kepen ilo ni' and 'kam jo e ilo' -- aesthetics).
re: 'jan Mato li sina li jan pi sona toki ala. sina kama sona e toki pali' ... study constructed languages'
mi jan Mato li jan pi sona toki ala. mi kama sona e ni: toki li toki ale.
I'm Matt the non-linguist. I study the languages that people don't speak. (now it's funnier again.:-)

Well, maybe, but you said "Languages speak totally" (whatever that means). sina li kama sona e toki ni: jan ala li toki kepeken ona' "You learn languages that nobody speaks in."

janTe
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:34 pm

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janTe » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:42 am

Is anyone familiar with the Topic-Comment structure of Chinese (a non-inflecting language, like Toki Pona)? I wonder if the whole "[prep] + ni: [sentence]" construction could be avoided if we used Topic-Comment. It requires saying things in the reverse order of English, but it works in Chinese.

Instead of saying "I want to give money to the man with the machine that is demolishing houses", you say "Machine that is demolishing houses, a man uses it, I want to give money to him". ilo li pakala e tomo, jan li kepeken e ilo ni, mi wile pana e mani tawa jan ni.

Instead of "He told me Mary loved him to make me mad", you'd say "Me mad, he wants. So Mary loves him, he tells me." mi pilin ike, ona li wile. Tan ni la, meli Meli li olin e ona, ona li toki tawa mi.

I wonder if this could still be considered proper Toki Pona.
Last edited by janTe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

janMato
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Contact:

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janMato » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:10 am

janTe wrote:Is anyone familiar with the Topic-Comment structure of Chinese (a non-inflecting language, like Toki Pona)? I wonder if the whole "[prep] + ni: [sentence]" construction could be avoided if we used Topic-Comment. It requires saying things in the reverse order of English, but it works in Chinese.


I like the topic fronting style. It solves an important problem where things get verbose unless you can rely on the reader to do the work of understanding. For example, if we knew the topic was coffee, then ilo means coffee machine and telo means coffee.

mi pali lon tomo "Starbucks". mi pana e telo tawa jan. tenpo suno ni la mi pali kepeken ilo pakala. As for me, I work at Starbucks. I serve coffee. Today the espresso machine was broken.

There might be a better example than mine to illustrate topic fronting though.

User avatar
jan Josan
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:41 pm
Location: ma tomo Nujoka
Contact:

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby jan Josan » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:12 am

janTe wrote:I wonder if this could still be considered proper Toki Pona.

The problem is you can't have clauses. but if you replace the commas with periods, it is proper TP:
ilo li pakala e tomo. jan li kepeken e ilo ni. mi wile pani e mani tawa jan ni.
mi pilin ike. ona li wile. Tan ni la, meli Meli li olin e ona. ona li toki tawa mi.[/quote]

I think the first one works perfectly, but the second one needs some work.
Meli li olin e ona. ona li toki e ni. mi pilin ike. ona li wile e ni.

But maybe Mary doesn't love him, he only says it to make me mad. so maybe adding nimi?:
Meli li olin e ona. ona li toki e nimi ni. mi pilin ike. ona li wile e ni.

janMato
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Contact:

Re: Clause-trophobia

Postby janMato » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:31 am

The problem is you can't have clauses.
[/quote]

That is, no dependent clauses. There are at least 2 place in the canonical sentence to embed a sentence, eg.

X la vp e ni: X
where X is a TP sentence, vp is verb phrase

And those can have sentence embedded in them, too, so I think.

[X la vp e ni: X] la [X la vp e ni: X] e ni: [X la vp e ni: X]. Heaven help us should we need to read that!

I can't tell if jan Kipo finally agreed or disagreed with me, but it seems you can maybe have independent clauses like

X la vp e ni: X tawa ni: X lon ni: X poki ni: X kepeken ni: X.

Again, grammar isn't rhetoric and style, heaven help us if such a pattern was used to it's full extent. If I was writing the style guide, I recommend putting the "e ni:" clause (and similar ones) in double quotes.

mi pilin ike tawa ni: "meli li olin e ona."


Return to “jan nasa li wile ante e toki pona”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests