Is "li ala li" grammatically correct?

Language learning: How to speak Toki Pona, translation problems, advice, memory aids, tools and methods to learn Toki Pona and other languages faster
Lingva lernado: Kiel paroli Tokiponon, tradukproblemoj, konsiloj, memoraj helpiloj, iloj kaj metodoj por pli rapide lerni Tokiponon kaj aliajn lingvojn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:44 pm

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?

Posts: 2894
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

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.)

Return to “kama sona toki”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests