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ken in sitelen pona
ken in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ken/
Usage 2023: Core (100% ↗︎ )2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Preverb, content word
Codepoint 󱤘 U+F1918

ken is a core content word and preverb relating to abilities and possibilities.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word ken is derived from Tok Pisin ken, itself from English can.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

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inclusion of more meanings

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The semantic space of ken includes abilities and possibilities, whether innate or through outside permission.[2]

sina ken ala ken toki pona

sina ken ala ken toki pona?

Can you speak Toki Pona?

o ken e musi mi

o ken e musi mi!

Let me play!
(Make my entertainment possible!)

ken can roughly describe probabilities, particularly when words that indicate size, such as lili and suli, modify it.

ken suli la mi kama lon tenpo ike

ken suli la mi kama lon tenpo ike.

There's a big chance that we've arrived at a bad time.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

PRE-VERB  to be able to, be allowed to, can, may
ADJECTIVE  possible

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as ken:[3]

able5, potential5, ability5, capability5, capable5, may5, possible5, could5, eligible4, can4, possibility4, permission4, likelihood3, chance3, probability3, available3, opportunity3, maybe3, possibly3, odds3, patentially2, perhaps2, liberty2, might2, option2, viable2, enable2, privilege2, allow2, likely2, prospect2, freedom2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for ken (󱤘) is derived from the uppercase Latin letter K, as in the first letter of the word.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. lipamanka. "toki pona dictionary".
  3. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. pp. 243–244.

Further reading[edit | edit source]