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Is toki pona an Isolating Monocategorial Associational language? - Printable Version

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Is toki pona an Isolating Monocategorial Associational language? - janmato - 01-03-2013 06:56 AM

A bit of googling and bam, this is the science of simple languages here and more exciting than HMMMM (the idea that Neaderthals didn't speak, but did music, mostly beat box tunes and wordless rapping)

Here is a pdf slide show:

So I wrote a syntax for a language and some said it look like an IMA. The idea is by David Gil, who has a paper titled "How Much Grammar Does It Take to Sail a Boat?" (It's about how archaic humans probably had to communicate to cross the oceans and become the flores hobbits.

lacking in word-internal morphological structure

• Monocategorial
lacking in distinct syntactic categories

lacking in distinct construction-specific rules
of semantic interpretation, relying instead on
default application of the association operator"

Isolating -- almost. pi attaches to the word and so does e, as compared to li, which can have modals inserted between it and the verb.
Monocategorical -- almost. Words can go in any slot, except la, e, li and pi.
Associational -- this is what I keep thinking of when I use pi-- it's like the universal operator that stands in for anything you please, and modification in toki pona seems to work the same way (noun modifier) means, the noun is somehow characterized by modifier, a pick any relation you please thing.

RE: Is toki pona an Isolating Monocategorial Associational language? - janKipo - 01-03-2013 09:14 AM

Isolating: sure: no word-internal significant structure at all. (I wouldn't say pi and e *attach* to words, there is no change of any sort involved in their sequencing. ditto li, which precedes the verb -- which may happen to be modal in use, but there is no modal class, per se).

monocategorial: well, yes, except for li, pi, e, la maybe a and mu (and we know that pi, at least, was once more open to variation). I doubt that any language is completely without some special words.

Associational. yes, except for prepositional phrases, which behave slightly differently, I think, the only semantic connections are juxtaposition, distinguished only by left and right grouping, without that difference being semantically significant. The pattern works equally well for noun and verb phrases.

Maybe we should be trying to teach tp to chimps, as a step toward Planet of the Apes.