It is a simple pidgin-like language based on universal human experience designed to express as much as possible with relatively few sounds and words. The name toki pona means "good language" or "simple language". Toki Pona has only 14 basic sounds chosen to be easy to pronounce for anybody, regardless of their linguistic background. The basic words can, in theory, be combined together to make over , compound words. Most of the words have several meanings and context helps to determine which particular meaning is intended.
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Distribution[ edit ] The statistical vowel spread is fairly typical when compared with other languages. This is a common distribution, and similar to Polynesian.
They have the same values as in the International Phonetic Alphabet :  j sounds like English y, and the vowels are like those of Spanish or Italian. Capital initials are used to mark proper adjectives , while Toki Pona roots are always written with lowercase letters, even when they start a sentence. The former, in which each word is represented by a symbol, was devised as an alternative by Lang herself.
It has been described as "a hieroglyphic-like script that makes use of squiggles and other childlike shapes. Symbols representing a single adjective may be written inside or above the symbol for the preceding word that they modify.
It has also been written with symbols used in fonts such as dingbats, mathematical symbols, and so on. It is more elaborate and visually resembles the Mayan script. The lexical roots do not fall into well defined parts of speech ; rather, they may generally be used as nouns, verbs, modifiers, or interjections depending on context or their position in a phrase. The word li always comes before the predicate unless the subject is mi or sina by itself. The direct object marker e comes before the direct objects.
More li and e markers can introduce new predicates or direct objects. It can also replace li, or come after the subjects mi or sina, to express wishes. The first method is to use the "verb ala verb" construction in which ala comes in between a duplicated verb, auxiliary verb, or other predicators.
Another way to form a yes-no question is to put "anu seme? Questions cannot be made by just putting a question mark at the end of a sentence. Therefore, ona can mean "he", "she", "it", or "they". In practice, Toki Pona speakers use the phrase mi mute to mean "we", though the number is often discernible from context and thus only mi is necessary.
Likewise, ona mute may mean "they" and sina mute would mean "you" plural. In this case, lukin modifies pona and pona lukin as a whole modifies jan. Demonstratives, numerals, and possessive pronouns come after the head like other modifiers. Person is inferred from the subject of the verb; time is inferred from context or a temporal adverb in the sentence as a subclause.
Verbs from prepositional roots have their objects right after them without the direct object marker e, similar to when they are used as a preposition. For instance, "purple" may be represented by combining laso and loje. The phrase laso loje means "a reddish shade of blue" and loje laso means "a bluish shade of red". In addition, ala can mean zero, although its more literal meaning is "no" or "none," and ale "all" can express an infinite or immense amount. For numbers larger than two, speakers would use mute which means "many".
This feature purposely makes it impractical to communicate large numbers. For example, using this structure ale tu would mean "" and mute mute mute luka luka luka tu wan would signify "78". Later, the pronoun ona replaced iki he, she, it, they , which was sometimes confused with ike bad.
The meanings were later merged into lukin, oko being the alternative. Most users, however, tend to follow the traditional definitions. For example, oko eye is identical to Slavic oko and similar to other cognates such as Spanish ojo, Italian occhio and English ocular; likewise, toki speech, language is similar to Tok Pisin tok and its English source talk, while pona good, positive , from Esperanto bona, reflects generic Romance bon, buona, English bonus, etc. However, the changes in pronunciation required by the simple phonetic system often make the origins of other words more difficult to see.
The word lape to sleep, to rest , for example, comes from Dutch slapen and is cognate with English sleep; kepeken to use is somewhat distorted from Dutch gebruiken, and akesi from hagedis lizard is scarcely recognizable. Each word and letter has its own sign, which is distinguished by the hand shape, location of the hand on the body, palm or finger orientation, and the usage of one or both hands. Most signs are performed with the right hand at the required location.
A few signs, however, are performed with both hands in a symmetrical way. A Yahoo! There are also 11 video games unofficially translated via ROM hacking available on tokipona.
Linguistique. TOKI PONA : la langue la plus simple du monde ?
1. Prononciation et orthographe
Lexique non officiel du toki pona
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