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o in sitelen pona
o in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /o/
Usage 2023: Core (100% → )2022: Core (100%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Particle
Codepoint 󱥄 U+F1944

o is a particle used to express desires and wishes, as well as to address a listener.

Functions[edit | edit source]

Imperative and optative[edit | edit source]

o is used to indicate an imperative, expressing a command or instruction. In this case, the particle li is replaced by o and the subject may optionally be ommited. Unlike li, the particle o can be used following mi or sina.

o kama sona e toki-pona

o kama sona e toki pona!

Learn Toki Pona!

o pakala ala e ijo mi

o pakala ala e ijo mi!

Do not break my things!

o is also used to indicate an optative mood, expressing a wish or hope. In many cases, it can be translated with "should" or with sentences starting with "may". In some cases it is used to express "must" or "have to", a meaning that is traditionally covered by wile.

mi o lape 

mi o lape.

I should sleep. (i.e. It would be better if I went to sleep)

sijelo sina o kama pona 

sijelo sina o kama pona.

May your body become good/healthy. (i.e. I wish for your body to become healthy)
I hope you get better!

Vocative[edit | edit source]

o, following a word or phrase, indicates a vocative phrase, expressing that the speaker is addressing that person, place, or thing. The phrase may either go before or after the rest of the sentence.

toki   jan-ale o

toki, jan ale o!

Hi, everybody!

soweli mi o   sina moku e lipu mi tan seme

soweli mi o, sina moku e lipu mi tan seme?

Doggo, why did you eat my homework?

If o comes before the addressee instead, it becomes a command to be or personify them. For example, o jan ale! means "Be everyone!" and o soweli mi! means "Be my pet!"

Combining both imperative and vocative phrases together can be expressed with a single o:

jan [ale luka uta] o kama

jan Alu o kama!

Come, Alu!

Alternatively, they may be separated:[citation needed…]

jan [ale luka uta] o   o kama

jan Alu o, o kama!

Come, Alu!

Definitions[edit | edit source]

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as o:[1]

hey3, shall3, should2, ought2, must2, please1, let½, dare½, mandate½, dear½

History[edit | edit source]

Some of the earliest Toki Pona texts feature an obsolete use of o. Placed before the subject of a sentence, o expressed the optative mood (used for wishes); before the predicate, it could only signal an imperative (used for commands). The following examples of optative sentences are taken from the earliest version of Toki Pona's Wikipedia page[2] (2004), but the vocabulary in the text suggests it was written in 2002.

o nimi pi mi mute li kama suli!

o nimi pi mi mute li kama suli!

May our name become important!

o jan li sona ala e toki pi jan ante 

o jan li sona ala e toki pi jan ante.

May people not understand each other's languages.

o ona li lape pona 

o ona li lape pona.

Let her rest well.

o stopped appearing before the subject early in the language's history.[citation needed] Since then, the second sentence type with o (before the predicate) has subsumed the meaning of the former: the imperative and optative were merged. Some speakers, such as jan Kipo (John Clifford) and jan Minasa (astrodonunt), prefer the historical usage of o, despite it now being considered nonstandard.[3]

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for o (󱥄) is composed of the punctuation stem and the lowercase Latin letter O. The punctuation stem can be drawn upright (o) or at a diagonal (o). Compare the glyphs for a, kin, and n.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 304.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Toki_Pona&oldid=2842887
  3. Stephan Schneider (jan Tepan). (21 July 2015). "Dialectal Toki Pona (KIPO)". GitHub.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Dictionaries[edit | edit source]