Combined glyphs

From sona pona, the English–Toki Pona wiki
Examples of combined glyphs in pu: pilin*ike pilin ike (scalar), telo*lete telo lete (scalar), kala^lili kala lili (stacked), toki*pona toki pona (scalar)

In sitelen pona, the glyph of a head word may be combined with the glyph of one modifier. These are called combined glyphs in lipu pu.[1] They are also referred to as compound glyphs.

There are 2 main ways to combine glyphs:

  • Stacked: The modifier glyph goes above the head glyph. kala lili becomes kala^lili.
  • Scaled: The modifier glyph goes inside of the head glyph. kala lili becomes kala*lili. To allow for scalar combination, the head glyph generally must contain a single, sufficiently large, main negative space.

Nonstandard combinations[edit | edit source]

Caution: This subject is nonstandard and may not be understood by most speakers.

Merging[edit | edit source]

There is an occasional variant of scalar combination that merges the boundary of the modifier glyph into the head glyph. This is only legible with certain combinations of glyphs, and is largely used in logos or to distinguish non-proper names.

kulupu[edit | edit source]

The glyph for kulupu (kulupu) allows for a special combination, in which the modifier glyph replaces each of the 3 circle radicals. This plays on the fact that kulupu alone is interchangeable with the nonspecific phrase kulupu ijo, and the glyph for ijo is a single circle (ijo).

Recursion[edit | edit source]

Some people experiment with combining more than 2 glyphs at once, even using specific nesting rules to imply a group of modifiers as a pi phrase. Like merged scalar combinations, this may be more widely accepted in logotype design than standard writing.

Diacritics[edit | edit source]

Another experimental feature is treating the letterlike part of a (a), kin (kin), and o (o) as a diacritic. When placed below another glyph, that glyph replaces the vertical stroke. This feature was available in linja sike but has been deprecated.

UCSUR[edit | edit source]

In the UCSUR, the following codepoints are assigned to combined glyph control characters:


References[edit | edit source]