jan Ape wrote:How many more words must Sonja add? The vocabulary is getting larger and larger.
As for toki pona, personally I'm with you on this one, but in the end it's language designer's prerogative.
tp has variously been called a personal, philosophical and semantic prime language (ie. minimalistic). A personal language will have as many words as the inventor feels like adding, philosophical as many as needed to express philosophy in the desired manner.
If tp ever hits 1000 words, it would have as many as Klingon, na'vi, and many other constructed languages that aren't really considered semantic prime languages, imho. <-- (look English is getting evidentials, lets all use this in speech so it gets into the OED)!
However, the the upper and lower bonds for morpheme count in a semantic prime language is probably a testable proposition. I'm guessing about 100 to 500 morphemes. If we had a large collection of mature semantic prime languages, I would test each one by seeing how many novel compound words and phrases a can be understood by a competent speaker-- for example, would a competent speaker of na'vi understand unil-tìran-tokx without additional paralinguistic evidence, definitions and so on? (It means dream-walk-body or "Avatar").
(btw, lets see here, calqued that would be "sijelo pi tawa pi sitelen lete
", or maybe "jan ilo pi soweli laso
" robots of the blue animals, or maybe "jan ilo pi jan laso" depending on how you feel about calling aliens homonoid.)
jan Ape wrote:Toki Pona is a positive language but there is a word for death but no word for life? A word for lost/absent and now a word for monster? Toki Pona is a very lovely language but it will make it harder for new beginners to learn if more and more words are added.
Sonja recently clarified in the "ala" definition that "ala" is indeed productive in the same way that Esperanto "mal-" and English "un-" is. I think this means that it might be safe to say the following:mi wile moli ala
. I want to live. (but also, I want to not die. I want to come to life)mi pilin pona tawa moli ala
. I enjoy life. (but also, I enjoy being a zombie (undead), I like not dying)
As for ease of learning, proper names, eponyms, loan words via "nimi Fuba pi toki Inli" (word foobar of the English language) and non-transparent noun and verb phrases (jan sewi = god) are what really drive up the number of lexemes someone has to memorize. I'm not sure what would be a good solution for a semantic prime language. Even if proper names were built out of base morphemes, they'd probably be just as opaque as a transliterated word.