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tan in sitelen pona
tan in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /tan/
Usage 2023: Core (99% → )2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Preposition, content word
Codepoint 󱥧 U+F1967

tan is a core preposition and content word relating to the origin, cause, or reason of something.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The etymology of the word tan is uncertain. Some possibilities include Cantonese (Jyutping: cung4), meaning "to follow; from";[1] Georgian -დან (-dan) "from; out of; since";[2] and Dutch dan "then; after that; in that case".[3]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of tan includes the source, origin, cause, or reason for something.

Preposition[edit | edit source]

As a preposition, tan is translated as "because (of)", "by", and "from".

mi tan ma [kasi alasa nasin awen telo a].

mi tan ma Kanata.

I'm from Canada.

kasi suli li ken kama tan kili lili 

kasi suli li ken kama tan kili lili.

A big plant can come from a small fruit.

ni li tan seme?

ni li tan seme?

Where is this from? (lit. this is from what?)
Why is that? (lit. this is because of what?)

mi pana e ijo pona tan ni> : mi olin e sina.

mi pana e ijo pona tan ni: mi olin e sina.

I gave something nice because you're dear to me.

Content word[edit | edit source]

As a content word, tan's semantic space includes "origin" and "reason", the latter being based on the preposition sense of "because". While some speakers chiefly use tan as a preposition, ku's "Notes on lipu pu" acknowledges the content word usage with the example sentence:[4]

mi sona ala e tan 

mi sona ala e tan.

I don't know the reason.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

PREPOSITION  by, from, because of

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as tan:[5]

from5, reason5, because of4, by4, source4, behalf of2, basis2, origin2, motive2, cause2, purpose2, per2, since2, factor2, incentive2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

An undo icon resembling tan in sitelen pona

The sitelen pona glyph for tan (󱥧) depicts a curved arrow pointing counterclockwise, pointing from the phrase for the origin to the phrase for what is from there. It resembles the undo icon in many applications, which returns a document to a previous state.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

The sitelen sitelen glyph for tan (tan), like all preposition glyphs, is composed of 2 parts: the "head" and the empty "body". When tan is not used as a preposition, it behaves as one cohesive glyph. However, as a preposition, the "body" is used as a container for its complement.[6]

The origin of the "head" of tan is unknown.

Like with any monosyllabic word, the word tan may also optionally be written with a syllable glyph (TAN). However, this is uncommon for tan, especially when used as a preposition, as the syllable glyph cannot act as a container for its complement.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Moniz, C. Ryan, van Der Meulen, Spencer H., jan Lipamanka. (8 October 2020). "Nimi Ale Pona. 2nd ed.". Google Sheets.
  2. jansegers. (29 May 2020). "Toki Pona Root Word Etymology Page". Medium.
  3. jan Pilipe. (27 July 2015). "Re: Whence these words?". Toki Pona Forums. "tan - Dutch 'dan' same as 'then' in English […]".
  4. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 7.
  5. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 355.
  6. Gabel, Jonathan. "Prepositions Part 1-". jonathangabel.com. Retrieved 15 July 2024.

Further reading[edit | edit source]