Radicals in sitelen pona

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In sitelen pona, a radical is a recurring graphical component across multiple glyphs. The radical-based analysis was invented[where? by whom?] after the initial set of glyphs was published in Toki Pona: The Language of Good.

Some of these elements were clearly intended, such as the emitters initially representing concepts relating to emittion, the triangle shape representing colors, and the incorporation of luka (the hand radical) representing manual actions. Other proposed radicals may be coincidental or questionably meaningful, such as acknowledgments of shared glyph "etymologies". For example, markers of non-declarative sentences have been analyzed as having a punctuation stem radical, but perhaps it is more direct to say that these glyphs are each based on Latin punctuation.

The term is taken from radicals of Chinese characters, which dictionaries use to sort words. This comparison has been disputed.[citation needed] While there have been attempts to group sitelen pona glyphs by common features, there is no standard collation, and glyphs are most often sorted alphabetically by the words' sitelen Lasina spellings. Radicals are more often used for shape-based input methods, comparable to Cangjie. In addition, not every sitelen pona glyph is considered to contain a radical, and some have multiple that are considered with equal or unclear priority.

History[edit | edit source]

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In 2020, radicals were used as the basis of the Wakalito input method.

Table of radicals[edit | edit source]

Description Shape Examples
Glyphs in pu Other
Arrow ni ni nasin tan alasa
Arrowhead li li e lili suli ante pan meso2
Box (closed) lipu lipu sitelen sona pakala pu len ku ju lu nu su u
Box (open) poki poki anpa insa monsi open poka sinpin sewi2
Circle (thing) ijo ijo kulupu toki pali kokosila1 linluwi4 apeja
Circle (head) jan jo lape lawa mama mani meli mijemoli mu wawa lanpan1
Cross ala ala en ma moli nanpa pimeja utala powe kapesi kapesi2
Dot (location) 󱲋 anpa insa lon monsi poka sinpin sewi2 kipisi lanpan meso meso2
Dot (disambiguator) seli uta
Dot (o-mouth) mu suwi
Dots (eyes) akesi lukin pipi soweli waso kala2 kijetesantakalu oko misa misa2 misa3 misa4 misa5 misa6 wasoweli jonke owe sutopatikuna
Emitters 󱲍 kalama pana seli sin sona toki kokosila namako1 namako2 olin2 majuna2 majuna1 lanpan3 isipin kulijo linluwi2 usawi jonke omekapo
Hammer ilo ilo kepeken
Hand (flat) luka luka kepeken moku pali pana
Hand (pointing) sina mi sina ona
Heart pilin pilin olin wile2 melome mijomi
Mouth (closed) pona ponaike epiku2
Mouth (open) uta2 kalama moku uta uta2
Legs tawa kama tawa awen
Punctuation stem 󱲙 a o seme kin n wa je
Tally mark wan tu mute nanpa san
Triangle (color) 󱲗 jelo kule laso loje pimeja walo unu kapesi kapesi2
Wavy line linja linja kon telo jasima linluwi linluwi2
Glyphs without any accepted radical
Glyph in pu other
ale anu esun jaki kala kasi ken kili kiwen ko kute la lete lupa mun musi nasa nena nimi noka palisa pi pini sama selo sewi sijelo sike supa taso tenpo tomo unpa weka wile leko misikeke misikeke2 monsuta soko1 soko2 soko3 tonsi kiki1 kiki2 kiki3 kiki4