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taso in sitelen pona
taso in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈta.so/ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (99% → )
2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Semiparticle, content word
Codepoint 󱥨 U+F1968

taso is a core semiparticle that means "only". Grammatically, it works similarly to kin.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word taso is derived from Tok Pisin tasol, meaning "but, only", from English that's all.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of taso is very similar to the English word "only". For example, toki pona taso often means "Toki Pona only", which can etymologically be remembered as "Toki Pona, that's all". When used as a content word, taso expresses the idea of being alone in a category or qualification, or filtering options to the stated one.

Moreover, taso can be used at the start of a sentence; this is similar to the conjunction sense of "only", which can also be translated as "but" or "however".

mi wile lape taso mi ken ala

mi wile lape. taso, mi ken ala.

I want to sleep, only I can't.

Sentence-initial use[edit | edit source]

Caution: This section may be misleading or lack nuance, and should be rewritten. Do not assume this information to be correct.

There is some debate over whether to follow sentence-initial taso with la, treating it as a context phrase. Some speakers argue that taso la would have the separate meaning of "in the context of loneness", while others resist the use of taso without la as a conjunction. The same arguments apply to kin.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

PARTICLE  but, however

ku[edit | edit source]

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

only5, but5, solely5, however5, exclusively4, although4, though4, just4, exclusive4, despite4, nonetheless4, mere4, merely3, except3, yet3, sole3, nevertheless3, whereas3, regardless2, exception2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

According to jan Sonja, the sitelen pona glyph for taso (󱥨) was created synaesthetically.[citation needed] It is notably similar to the symbol for "but, except" in Blissymbols, which represents the halting of a free flow of speech,[3] but this has been stated to be a coincidence.[citation needed] The glyph could possibly be an alteration of the Latin letter T.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 356.
  3. Bliss, C. K. (1965). Semantography (Blissymbolics): A simple system of 100 logical pictorial symbols, which can be operated and read like 1+2=3 in all languages (...). 2nd enlarged edition. p 449. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Semantography (Blissymbolics) Publications. Retrieved 31 October 2023.

Further reading[edit | edit source]