kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

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janMato
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kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janMato » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:02 pm

My opinions on the great toki pona sales contract experiment

Suitablity of toki pona for legal contracts. Worked just fine. Just as difficult to understand as any credit card privacy policy. Buying and selling, online included, is already so common that the majority of the details of the contract are already embedded in our culture. toki pona might be unsuitable for never seen before derivatives contracts like interest rate swaps, mortgage swaps or wife swapping.

When reading the contract, I got the vague idea about contracts being sent back and forth. I didn't understand this until the package arrived with two poster-quality toki pona sales contracts in hieroglyphics, then it was obvious that the artists was planning on retaining a copy of the art piece for himself. As I've said elsewhere, context and paralinguistic evidence needs more formal treatment and study.

Suitablity of toki pona for business. Half way through the experiment jan Josan switched to English to say he wasn't in this for the money, it was just a friendly experiment.

I tried to respond in tp, that fair is fair and if someone does some work, they should get paid. I wanted to also convey that I'd be happy with what ever quantity of art he felt was fair, because I know that professional artists in New York normally charge four to five digit dollar amounts for a custom single piece of art-- I was psychologically prepared to receive a postcard for my $100. I wasn't clever enough to write that. I'm optimistic about Sonja's inclusion of more abstractions in the definition list for base root words to help convey words like "fair" without resorting to "pona"

I read this as meaning toki pona really needs more conventions of politeness. If a language lacks effective tense markers (grammatical or otherwise), the worst that can happen is the listener misinterprets a sentence as being in the past or future instead of the present. If a language lacks established politiness markers, the worst that can happen is people will fight un-necessarily, and after all, isn't that was real world legal contracts are trying to prevent? The politeness markers don't necessarily have to be the sort regarding establishing pecking orders that people seem to *want* to remove from languages. Politeness markers that signal that I consider them as trust-worthy, honest, well-intended, an equal, etc are very handy. Right now, conveying that sense is just as hard as saying "It is two days walk from my fathers village to my sister's village." Please feel free to take this as a challenge to use toki pona examples to prove me wrong in both cases. We don't need a "royal we" or a "you, my lord" in toki pona to convey politeness. We do need to disabuse ourselves of the idea that "o pana e moku tawa mi" will necessarily be interpreted as a polite request.

Japanese has a reputation of being highly indirect language, relying heavily on context. I think it is no accident that it is the language most famous for extensive use of non-optional grammaticalized politeness markers and probably has quite a few optional constructs for marking politeness. The risk of being misunderstood and thought rude are high in vague speech.

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janKipo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:57 pm

I think (mi la) the idea is not so much to need politeness markers as to avoid impoliteness markers. The assumption in tp is always that the remark is made in the most respectful relevant sense. A "Duck!" (Lord knows how to say that) may be more imperative than "Pass the salt" (salt? salt? ....) but that is circumstantial. The point is that there is no way in tp to be imperious (give orders without requisite real -- as opposed to conventional -- authority) -- or cringing either, for that matter. All is on a level, except in quite defined, task-related, situations. And even there, the language is the same, since the difference is covered by context.
In theory.
It is worth noting that Japan also has one of the most hierarchically structured societies in the world (political gloss-over notwithstanding) and tp aims at a totally non-layered society.

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janMato » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:39 pm

janKipo wrote:I think (mi la) the idea is not so much to need politeness markers as to avoid impoliteness markers. The assumption in tp is always that the remark is made in the most respectful relevant sense.

I'm skeptical that no-markers automatically will be heard as a polite marker, or a neutral no-impoliteness. Anyhow, from my experience people in the tp chat room and sometimes in the forum aren't taking unmarked sentences as signs of respect, esteem, etc.

janKipo wrote:A "Duck!" (Lord knows how to say that) may be more imperative than "Pass the salt" (salt? salt? ....) but that is circumstantial.

Point taken, markers of politness may result in a longer or shorter sentence.

janKipo wrote:And even there, the language is the same, since the difference is covered by context. In theory.

I'd agree with you more if the topic was toki pona being used amongst a group of people of largely homogeneous backgrounds that know if it is rude to call some one by their first name or by their professional titles. For example, if was graduate assistant again, I wouldn't have any choice but to refer to you as jan Kipo pi sona suli pi lon sona (or some such construction). Failing to translate the Dr. or Professor would be a distracting message. Our real-world social context makes polite language obligatory to consider and to somehow signal.

janKipo wrote:It is worth noting that Japan also has one of the most hierarchically structured societies in the world (political gloss-over notwithstanding) and tp aims at a totally non-layered society.

As of today, I'm preferring to imagine we're all hierarchy sensitive homonids, and from culture to culture are using different signals, but in the end needing to conveying the same information to trigger or avoid triggering ancient modules in the brain relating to pecking-orders, jealously, empathy, territoriality, group-building...both positive and negative things that are unlikely to change when we change the language we speak.

Anyhow, this is nothing that can be resolved quickly and its solution will likely occur in community innovation regardless to if anyone imagines politeness signals are superfluous or not. Its quite amazing that people will try to speak in a conlanguage. I should think it mind boggling that people would try to live a con-culture to go with the language, and as long as they aren't, they're going to feel a need to express their own culture in the conlanguage, or should tp be lucky enough, what ever culture happens to evolve in this online tp land of ours.

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janKipo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:22 pm

Well, as any sociological researcher knows, real people are a problem for theories (and are, so, best ignored). Did tp come to be spoken in a real-world situation or did these forums (and the other boards) get more nearly face-to-face, some innate hierarchical programming might kick in (or, if there got to be more children of females in these meetings, for that matter). As matters now stand, the plan seems to be to resist what seem to be merely home-culture urges to introduce layers and, indeed, ones that arise merely from the apparent realities on these sites (though I haven't noticed any). It may be impossible; it may be a Whorfian effect (haw!) or at least a part of tp as ascesis, but a dead level community is presupposed in tp. So we go with that until we have to change.
I suppose that the first obstacle i, as you rightly say, that bare forms are taken as not neutral but possible rude (he didn't say "PLease," etc. -- Sesame Street has a lot to answer for). Again, they are not signs of respect, if that means anything other than recognition of demonstrated merit of an observable, quantifiable sort (roughly speaking), and they are not personal evaluations, generally speaking: doing a bad job does not make you a bad person (and oppositely as well). Basic Daoist shit.
You were a GA in a different time and place, apparently -- I called most of my masters by their first names after about the second week and from then on for 10 years (well, Carnap liked to be called "Carnap" and Montague hated "Dick"). Not in class, of course -- context again, but around the office and at parties. Indeed, using "Professor X" was a signal of some sort of formal horror (inviting him to be on my committee -- though I think I did that on a first name basis except for the Spanish guy). Context, of course, making a part of your point. And any student who came to see me more than once or took a second course, slipped into informal modes of address, with my encouragement. Here, I take 'jan Kipo' to be totally adequate and level (jokes aside, of course: sorry about the "Karl" and "Julius" -- did you notice, by the way, that large parts of Who's on First work fine in tp?).

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janMato » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:33 pm

janKipo wrote:Well, as any sociological researcher knows, real people are a problem for theories (and are, so, best ignored).

a a a!

janKipo wrote:... but a dead level community is presupposed in tp. So we go with that until we have to change.

It's not a matter of language design. Politeness signals are harder to say in toki pona--they're more abstract, harder to figure out what we really were saying in English. So it would be be handy for Sonya to tell us how to say "please, thanks, sorry, congratulations, etc" That said, it's hardly necessary. All of those could be expressed through community innovation--i.e. just talking within the bounds of the existing syntax and vocabulary.

janKipo wrote:You were a GA in a different time and place, apparently

University of Akron, Akron Ohio. I can remember at least two cases where people were corrected for not using the right title and I can't remember anyone using first name basis. In 3rd person speech--when the prof wasn't it the room, it was only title + last. High school was much stricter with regard to names. It would make an interesting experiment to see if people tried to re-create they honorifics if asked to try to talk to people of various ranks using Klingon, French, or Toki pona.

janKipo wrote:Who's on First works fine in tp?).


jan Abbot: ni la jan Kosutejo, mi tawa ma Nujoku kepeken sina. sina sona e jan ni: jan "Bucky Harrist". jan li jan lawa suli pi kulupu musi "Yankees". jan li pana e pali tawa mi. sina kepeken kulupu la mi li jan lawa.
Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bucky Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.

jan Costello: jan Abbot o! sina jan lawa la sina sona e jan musi ale. mi pilin e ni: ni li lon.
Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.

jan Abbott: lukin la mi sona e jan.
Abbott: I certainly do.

jan Costello: sina sona e ni: mi sona lukin ala e jan ni pi kulupu "Yankees". mi sona e nimi pi jan kulupu la o toki e nimi jan ni tawa mi
Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

jan Abbott: pona. taso nimi jan mute li nasa la mi pana sona e nimi ona jan mute tawa sina.
Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

jan Costello: sina toki e "nimi nasa"?
Costello: You mean funny names?

jan Abbott: ona li nimi nasa, li nimi suwi. nimi wan li nimi "Dizzy Dean"
Abbott: Strange names, pet names...like Dizzy Dean...

jan Costello: jan sama on li nimi Daffy
Costello: His brother Daffy.

jan Abbot: nimi "Daffy Dean"...
Abbott: Daffy Dean...

jan Costello: ... en jan lili meli pi jan sama pi jan mama sina pi ma Kanse
Costello: And their French cousin.

Abbott: ..pi ma Kanse?
Abbott: French?

jan Costello: nimi li nimi "Goofè" pi toki Kanse
Costello: Goofè.

jan Abbot. jan Goofè Dean! ....mi pali e lawa insa....mi mute li jo e ni: jan "Seme" li lon wan, e ni: ijo "Seme" li lon tu, e ni: jan "Sona-Ala" li lon tu wan...
Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...

jan Costello: pona a! kin la mi wile sona e ni.
Costello: That's what I want to find out.

jan Abbott: tempo pini lili la mi toki e ni: jan "Seme" li lon wan, e ni: ijo "Seme" li lon tu, e ni: jan "Sona-Ala" li lon tu wan...
Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.

jan Costello: sina li ala anu ala jan lawa lili?
Costello: Are you the manager?

Abbott: mi jan lawa lili.
Abbott: Yes.

Costello: tempo kama la kin la sina jan lawa
Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

Abbott: tempo kama la li lon
Abbott: Yes.

Costello: sina sona ala e nimi pi kulupu musi?
Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?

Abbott: kin la mi sona.
Abbott: Well I should.

Costello: a! jan seme li lon wan?
Costello: Well then who's on first?

Abbott: li lon.
Abbott: Yes.

Costello: mi wile sona e nimi pi ona jan
Costello: I mean the fellow's name.

Abbott: jan "Seme"
Abbott: Who.

Costello: jan li lon wan?
Costello: The guy on first.

Abbott: jan "Seme"
Abbott: Who.

Costello: jan musi pi ma wan?
Costello: The first baseman.

Abbott: jan "Seme"
Abbott: Who.

mu mu mu mu....

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janKipo » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:49 am

The title experiment looks interesting -- probably not decisive of anything, but a nice test of tp adaptability. As for the rest, we have a "Thank you" 'pona', i.e., a conventional response to a job requested accomplished. Conventional sympathy is 'ike a' (a gift of furniture is always soothing). Congratulation is also 'pona.' And so on.
Thanks for the script.

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby jan Josan » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:40 am

I received the second drawing back yesterday, complete with jan Mato's signature. I'll take a picture soon of the contract to share with the rest of the community. Everything did work fine, particularly considering the situation is a bit complicated even explained in English (first we write a contract, then I make a 2 drawings of the same contract...) It probably also was due in part to the wide latitude we both gave to the outcome that it was a positive exchange. It was also the closest I've come to being able to create a physical context for meaning in toki pona ( writing "sitelen ni..." on a post it note and attaching it to a drawing cuts through the abstraction quite nicely.)

I'm not sure the politeness markers are really the missing element, since I have noticed swindlers on the street are particularly good at using them. In fact I may even go so far as to say they can be used by the unscrupulous to distract from the real content of an exchange or contract.

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janMato » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:10 am

jan Josan wrote:I'm not sure the politeness markers are really the missing element, ...


If I may ask then, why did you switch to English? If you hadn't, how would you imagine my opinion of you would change?

Mechanisms for communicating social thingies has been my pet peeve since 2007. Last time I searched for additional direction on polite-talk in tp, all I found was my post from 2007. I'm probably influence by ideas in Klingon (Klingon dispenses with all words with a whiff of politeness or diplomacy because both are for wimps---and Klingon are aliens.) That made me imagine that there would be (or would rapidly develop) politeness mechanism in any language, just because we're all humans. Even Esperanto after years of use as a living language has started to get grammatical irregularities and one of them is dankon happens to be polite speech, It holds the accusative marker in the absence of surrounding sentence *even by* speakers who are beginning to drop the "n" marker in the rest of their sentences. I forecast in 100 years, toki pona will have an extensive set of polite phrases and be going down the road towards making them opaque idioms, grammaticalizations, non-transparent compound words, etc.

Business is a high risk endevour where most of the time people want very much to do business again, so it pays to minimize the risk of accidental insult, slight, etc. So one would imagine this would start to show up in the language and it *should*, imho, be one of the easier things to do. Right now, expressing good manners (and not just rank, but also diplomacy, comraderie, etc) is, imho, advanced toki pona. <== This afternoon I plan to translate this into toki pona. Not translating the "imho"'s would render the results much less polite. imho.

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby jan Josan » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:23 pm

janMato wrote:If I may ask then, why did you switch to English? If you hadn't, how would you imagine my opinion of you would change?

I wan't sure at the time how much of my tp was understood (without a face to face encounter.) But I'm not sure how politeness would have helped. I can imagine several ways to be polite, (jan pona o, jan suli o, jan sona o, jan sewi o, toki sona li pona li suli, wile mi li pona ala pona tawa sina? mi wile e ni: wile sina en wile mi li sama, mi wile ala pana e ike tawa sina...) but I think the most likely place for insult would be a general miscommunication of the terms of exchange, rather that the politeness of how it was done (I imagine Manhattan Island was probably sold with much politeness) I also imagine even on the chat room this exchange could have been different (I think I remember though that you said you've had bad experiences there, and mentioned this desire for honorifics then too).

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Re: kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona

Postby janMato » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:06 pm

jan Josan wrote:jan pona o, jan suli o, jan sona o, jan sewi o, toki sona li pona li suli, wile mi li pona ala pona tawa sina? mi wile e ni: wile sina en wile mi li sama, mi wile ala pana e ike tawa sina

Perfectly clear, but rather long to use very often, except when maybe begging for ones life (that set of phrases should be in more travel guides). In terms of ease of use, really short, well-known, almost idiomatic formulae are more useful.

jan Josan wrote:...but I think the most likely place for insult would be a general miscommunication of the terms of exchange, rather that the politeness


Man, you guys are making me have to think hard. Okay. What is politeness and why does it exist? I think polite language is where people are trying to emphasize the set of sentences and meaning that they *weren't* trying to convey. We call our boss "sir" when talking because the risk of being misunderstood as being insubordinate is high and the cost of getting fired is really high. We say "please" because the risk of communicating "I own that, I'm entitled to that" is high. The higher the risk of miscommunication, the worse the worst-possible-misunderstanding, then the more important it is to send lots of signals that attempt to preclude that.

jan Josan wrote:...of how it was done (I imagine Manhattan Island was probably sold with much politeness)


Exactly! Each side was trying to rip off the other side. One side buying land for trinkets and one side selling legal rights (the right to use the land) that was meaningless in their legal system. They were both lying and hoping the other side didn't notice. That's probably why we say formulaic stuff like "I kid you, not...I swear on my mothers grave, etc.", besides who in their right minds relies solely on the words to detect lies? Lies are in the eyes and the tone of voice.

This politeness stuff is usually formulaic and sometimes grammaticalized. It's formulatic because--What good is an immunization against mis-understanding if the immunizing sentence itself can be misunderstood?

mi en sina li lon tomo moku. mi wile e ko kiwen namako walo.

mi toki e ni: "sina li jo e ko walo. mi wile e ko walo"
People are odd and are likely to think I ask because it is mine, because I plan to take it and keep it, because you should not have it, because I out rank you and this is an order, etc. If there is any risk at all of that sort of misunderstanding, it's cheaper to add polite speech to show that I mean nothing of *that* sort. Salt may not be the best example. Diplomacy is more exciting when facing impending war or peace, divorce, getting fired/staff quiting. I'll illustrate that next time I have a chance to write a good drama in toki pona.

"sina wile la mi wile e ko walo", If you'd like, I'd like some salt.
"ni li pona tawa sina la mi wile e ko walo", If it pleases you, I'd like some salt.
"pali namako sina li ni la mi wile e ko walo", if it is a trivial effort for your, I'd like some salt.

Sorry, Excuse me, Forgive me---Stepping on feet-- the polite talk is to disabuse the interlocutor that the stomping was intentional, or that one doesn't care about the accidental pain they've caused.
"pakala mi!"/"mi pakala" <-- this formulae is almost fully established in tp.

Goodbye. (god be with you)
mi tawa. <--- I don't like this established formula, it's sounds like "I'm leaving". It's only polite by convention.
tempo kama la mi en tu li lukin sama <-- I'll see you later.
o tawa anpa jan sewi <--- "While it may look like I'm abandoning you, someone will be watching after you."

Anyhow, the legal contract is the peak of this sort of "polite" language, at least in the sense that each sentence is written to exclude other meanings that would lead to social discord.

jan Josan wrote:I also imagine even on the chat room this exchange could have been different (I think I remember though that you said you've had bad experiences there, and mentioned this desire for honorifics then too).


Honorifics are useful for disabusing people of the idea that one speaks from above, being an informal level (of being better at tiddly-winks) or formal (with a title of nobility).


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