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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]

The semantic space of jo includes ownership and possession, but varies heavily between speakers.

jo cannot be used to calque every sense of the English word "have".

Some proficient speakers limit the use of jo to direct physical possession, such as holding or carrying something in one's hands, or a container enclosing another being. Such a container is often poki or tomo, but this is not always the case; lipu tenpo translates "(table of) contents" as jo.

Other speakers are more lenient with the definition of jo, extending it to more abstract cultural concepts of possession.

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]

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 line is taken as the body, it represents a person bending over to grasp something. The line can also be interpreted as an arm extending at an angle at the shoulder.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 234.

Further reading[edit | edit source]