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jo in sitelen pona
jo in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /jo//j/ sounds like English Y, as in "fjord" or "hallelujah".
Usage 2023: Core (99% ↗︎ )2022: Core (98%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱤓 U+F1913

jo is a core content word relating to ownership and possession.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word jo is derived from Mandarin Chinese (pinyin: yǒu), meaning "to have".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

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The semantic space of jo includes ownership and possession, but varies heavily between speakers. Some proficient speakers limit the use of jo to direct physical possession, such as holding something in one's hands, or a container enclosing another thing. Other speakers are more lenient with the definition of jo, extending it to more abstract and culturally specific concepts of possession.

jan li jo e pan

jan li jo e pan.

The person has a sandwich.

Some speakers avoid the word jo altogether, a style of speech called jon't.

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines jo as:

VERB  to have, carry, contain, hold

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as jo:[2]

have5, possess5, carry5, contain4, own4, hold4, possession4, ownership4, include3, consist3, comprise3, grasp2, equip2, bring2, grip2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

jo in linja pona

The sitelen pona glyph for jo (󱤓) includes a circle for a person's head, connected to a G-shaped line with a horizontal stroke representing a hand. If the curve is taken as the body, it represents a person bending over to grasp something. The curve can also be interpreted as an arm extending at an angle at the shoulder, holding something out to the side or against the torso.

The glyph for jo is notably narrow in jan Sonja's handwriting in Toki Pona: The Language of Good. In the linja pona font and many fonts thereafter, it has circular proportions or wider, and a long horizontal bar that extends beyond the center.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

The sitelen sitelen word glyph for jo (jo) represents a pair of clasped hands, with the thumbs pointing upwards.

Like with any monosyllabic word, the word jo may also optionally be written with a syllable glyph (JO).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 234.

Further reading[edit | edit source]