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In linguistics, context is information about the situation that surrounds an utterance. It is what lets the same statement mean different things in different situations, and thus statements taken out of context can be confusing and misleading.

Context matters a lot in Toki Pona because of the small vocabulary and resistance to lexicalization. As a result, Toki Pona often requires a certain translation strategy: "slowly narrowing the point of reference by using increasingly specific context", instead of simply translating words to equivalent words.[1]

Context can involve the physical environment and shared knowledge between speakers, especially previous parts of a conversation. Circumlocution is useful for building the latter kind of context, because you can refer back to past descriptions of concepts that have no dedicated words.

External resources[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Sonja, jan Lakuse, et al. (8 April 2024). "Toki Pona: From Personal Art Project to Small World Language". University of Colorado Boulder. (transcript). p. 6.
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