Is "li ala li" grammatically correct?

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Is "li ala li" grammatically correct?

Postby janU » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:07 am

It looks like the way of asking questions is similar to one way you can in Chinese.

So is li ala li something you could say in toki pona?

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Re: Is "li ala li" grammatically correct?

Postby janKipo » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:20 pm

No. ‘li’ is merely a marker of the boundary between subject and predicate and has no content, so can’t be joined in this way. Further, a second ‘li’ could only appear after a predicate occurred (Well, ‘ala’ is a possible predicate, but not intended as one here.
The short version of the rule about ‘ala’ questions in tp is that ‘ala’ is inserted between the verb (head of a predicate) and a repetition of the same word, ‘x ala x’. There are some deviations from this but all involve the patern ‘x ala x’ and x can't be ‘li’. (The pattern is probably borrowed from Chinese but appears to be the opposite structure, as I understand it: Ch: x (ala x), tp (x ala) x.)

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