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lon in sitelen pona
lon in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /lon/
Usage 2023: Core (100% → )2022: Core (100%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Preposition, content word
Codepoint 󱤬 U+F192C

lon is a core preposition and content word relating to presence, location, and truth.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word lon is derived from Tok Pisin long, meaning "in, on, at", itself from English along.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of lon includes truth, existence, and reality.

Preposition[edit | edit source]

As a preposition, lon indicates location, often with a spatial noun, often glossed as "in, on, at".

milontomo mi

mi lon tomo mi.

I'm home.
I'm in my house.

akesi li wile lon nena

akesi li wile lon nena.[2]

The lizard wants to be on the hill.

jan-ala li lon poka ona

jan ala li lon poka ona.[3]

There is nobody next to him (at his side).

lon can also qualify that something exists or is true on some condition, not necessarily in reality. It has a similar meaning to la, but not the same grammar.

mi ken tawa sina lon ni2   pali mi li pini

mi ken tawa sina lon ni: pali mi li pini.

I can meet up with you on this [condition]: my work is finished.

jan li pana e seli tan luka lon musi 

jan li pana e seli tan luka lon musi.

People shoot fire from their hands in the game.

Content word[edit | edit source]

As a content word, lon refers to presence or being at a location. The structure X li lon can be used to state that something exists or is present in the moment, the general vicinity, or other context of the conversation.

mi lon 

mi lon.

We're here.

It may be analogous to the dummy "it" from English, as in weather expressions:

lete li lon 

lete li lon.

It's cold.

More broadly, lon refers to concepts of reality, existence, and truth. This is because things that are true or real must "be somewhere". So, if no qualification follows lon, it can also be assumed that the "somewhere" is reality in general.

mi toki e lon 

mi toki e lon.[4]

I say the truth.

lonpi (kiwen ni) li wawa a

lon pi kiwen ni li wawa a!

This mineral's existence is amazing!

jan-ale o kama sona e lonona

jan ale o kama sona e lon ona.[5]

Everyone should learn their own truth.

jan-pona mi li toki lon

jan pona mi li toki lon![6]

My friends were telling the truth! (lit. were speaking truly)

This sense of lon is also often used as an interjection for agreement:

lon a

lon a!

So true!

pu[edit | edit source]

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

PREPOSITION  located at, present at, real, true, existing

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as lon:[7]

at5, existing5, real5, exist5, located5, presence5, yep5, existence5, actual5, on5, true5, living4, yes4, truth4, reality4, physical4, yeah4, genuine3, upon3, truly3, in3, alive3, position3, accurate3, exactly3, occupy3, live3, attendance3, certainly3, attend3, indeed3, right (not wrong)3, life2, definitely2, legitimate2, honestly2, onto2, location2, correct2, validity2, correctly2, occur2, precisely2, certain2, status2, physically2, placement2, sure2, mm-hmm2, fact2, amid2, availability2, frankly2, of course2, regarding2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for lon (󱤬) is a dot above a horizontal line, representing being on something or at someplace.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". tokipona.org. Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. jan Kita. "akesi li wile lon nena". utala.pona.la. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  3. Piron, Claude; trans. jan Tepo. "Gerda Malaperis". Google Docs. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  4. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 7.
  5. Hesse, Hermann; trans. jan Kala. "Siddhartha". tokipona.org. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  6. jan Kepe. (15 July 2023). "Nasi". http://utala.pona.la/toki-en-lipu/lipu-suli/nasi.html. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  7. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. pp. 271–272.

Further reading[edit | edit source]