Why move to SostiMatiko?

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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:40 am

Why move to SostiMatiko?

Postby SostiMatiko » Mon May 26, 2014 8:33 am

Greetings to all conlangers,
I m writing here with a hope to transmit my fire of enthusiasm for the Systematic Language / SostiMatiko.
Sometimes I feel SostiMatiko is overqualified to be liked by tokiponists, but then again, SostiMatiko is minimal and (in my opinion) easier than tp, I have seen people admiring SostiMatiko, I have not ever seen any argument against SostiMatiko, so there is a chance some people will love it, starting from here.

When I got to know the existence of tokipona I felt this kind of enthusiasm, because it claims to be a minimal language designed for maximal capacity; this was very close to what I was planning to construct since 1993: a minimal language of 222 words capable to express practically everything.
But when I was really aquainted with tp, oh no! It's not what i thought!.
I could write an endless list of faults I can find with tp; but my purpose here is not to show the shortcomings of tp – they are anyway known to tokiponists themselves – my effort here is to encourage you to discover the unlimited capacity of SostiMatiko.

The SostiMatiko 222 words is not just “99 words more than tp”; none of the 222 words is purely grammatical (although they can be used grammatically too); if tp can make 120X120 pairs of words, SostiMatiko can make 222X222 pairs; but that is not the only thing:
each of the SostiMatiko words can be a nominal (noun / pronoun / adjective / participle) ending in –o, an active verb ending in –i, a passive verb ending in –eti, an adverb ending in –a, and the verbs can be in “required action” mode lacking the –i; therefore, the 222 lexical entries give 222X6 words already on the basic level.
Importantly, SostiMatiko gives explicit descriptions whereas tokipona fails to be explicit even in combinations of words; the only tp phrases that are explicit are the ones that do not have to be spoken at all because that information is evident from the non-linguistic context; otherwise, tp phrases can be understood only with the help of a “natural” language, commonly English. Why does this happen? Because the individual words in tp combinations are too vague. An example, in a lesson it is said that “sona ma” is geology; but if there were not the gloss “geology”, I would not understand it, because “sona ma” can be knowledge of the world, of countries, of places or a particular place, and so on.
The same goes for all tp expressions: they are explicit only when the non-linguistic context makes the words superfluous.
How is it different with SostiMatiko? it is because the SostiMatiko words are considerably more specific; e.g., together with geo “earth” we have xoro “room, space”, semo “point”, mero “part”, edro “seat”, and on the advanced level also: pino “level”.

SostiMatiko uses the affixes more economically: we do not have to use any object marker (tokipona “e”) because the position of the object after the verb is enough to show it is the object. An example: “arnito oiki trupo” = “the bird nests in the hole”, literally arnito “the bird” oiki “makes/does house/home” trupo “the hole”; in tp it would be something like “waso li tomo e lupa”, so tp needs “li” before every verb and “e” before every object, while SostiMatiko needs only –i to show which word is the verb.
(Please note, the SostiMatiko direct object function is quite wider than in English).

In tp there is a strict word order SVO; in SostiMatiko this is preferred but not strict, because the subject or even the verb or the object is usually omitted if it is understood from the context, or if the speaker wants not to make it specific. Also, there are words that can function as markers of the object and of the subject when the basic order SVO is changed.
Although there is freedom regarding the order SVO, SostiMatiko word order is head-final; e.g. the bird’s nest is “arnito oiko” = “bird house/home”, and not *oiko arnito, because *oiko arnito would mean “the house is a bird”, which hardly makes sense, so “oiko arnito” would mean “the house (pet) bird”.
The head-final word order is not just a matter of taste; it is practicality: “a white bird” in SostiMatiko is “fotino arnito” (white bird) and not *arnito fotino, because “arnito fotino” means “the bird IS white”. So, even concerning nouns and modifiers, you still have freedom of word order, but the meaning is modified accordingly: e.g. if you say “worai fotino arnito” = is correct, but also if you say “worai arnito fotino” it is also correct; however, “worai fotino arnito” means “(i) saw a white bird”, while “worai arnito fotino” means “(i) saw a bird, it was white” or “i saw that the bird was white”.

If you tell me that it is terribly hard to pronounce a consonant cluster as in arnito, there is an optional reduced vowel that can be pronounced (but not written) between the two consonants. Apart from the optional reduced vowel (you can call it “schwa” if you prefer), the SostiMatiko vowels are practically the same as in tokipona or as in modern Greek; the consonants pronounced as in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
So, the basic level has already been described.

The advanced level can combine the basic suffixes explained above [-o, -a, -(i), -et(i)]; e.g., “language” in SostiMatiko is usually “frasao” (fras “talk” + a “way suffix” + o “noun suffix”), i.e. “the way of talking”, not the same as “fraso” (simply “words, talking”).
Also, the advanced level contains 20 shortcut affixes, not for very frequent use, which can give amazing productivity and conciseness; e.g. frasani = fras-an-i = (you) can say, instead of “bori frasi” (can say).

There is also a super advanced, although rarely to be actually used, function of back formation; e.g. from mikro “small” we can make miko “smallness”. This is not really hard after one has mastered the 222 words vocabulary.
I deem it is easier to master the SostiMatiko 222 words than the 123 ones of tokipona, for reasons you can see in http://users.sch.gr/ioakenanid/systematic.xls , specifically in the worksheet named “222creation”.
For people (as jan Kipo) who find it hard to use spreadsheets, please see the SostiMatiko etymology here: http://www.unilang.org/blog/SostiMatiko ... -1117.html
A whole blog is http://www.unilang.org/blog/SostiMatiko/

If you already wish to be a member, here is the place: https://www.facebook.com/groups/omado.sosti.matiko/
I will gladly answer all questions (or comments) regarding the Systematic Language / SostiMatiko, the fascinating minimal language for every practical purpose.
Thank you for reading.

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