Historical usage

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This article contains historical information that is presented for completeness, and may not reflect current usage.

During its development in the early 2000s, Toki Pona had major differences from its current, standard form. Various words and features changed and were added and removed. While a lot of information has been lost, since most of the activity at that time was on the unarchived IRC chatroom, there is still enough publicly accessible information to reconstruct early forms of Toki Pona.

Phonology[edit | edit source]

The phonology has remained unchanged from its initial form. In July 2002, Toki Pona Forums user Viktoro proposed reducing Toki Pona to a three-vowel system; jan Sonja had considered the idea and ultimately rejected it.[1]

Grammar[edit | edit source]

There have been several changes in the grammar of Toki Pona since its inception, most notably in the meanings and use of certain particles.

en[edit | edit source]

In current use, en only separates multiple subjects. It changed use several times before converging on the final system and was used for almost every definition of English "and".

supa en ilo li nasa en sin 

supa en ilo li nasa en sin.

The table and the machine are strange and new.[2]

en utala en utala ala li wile lon 

en utala en utala ala li wile lon.

Both war and peace need to exist.[3]

li pi[edit | edit source]

Today, pi rebrackets a following multiword phrase as a modifier. The previous usage of pi to mean "of" could also be used with the predicate marker to mean "made of".[citation needed]

tomo ni li pi kiwen 

*tomo ni li pi kiwen.

This house is made out of stone.

pi X en Y[edit | edit source]

This construction was (and sometimes still is) used to mean "of X and Y" or to list two adjectives. It is mostly replaced with just listing the adjectives now, although sometimes[citation needed…] that is ambiguous.
len pi(loje en laso)

*len pi loje en laso

a red-and-blue shirt

anu[edit | edit source]

Under construction This section needs work:
Provide an example
If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

anu was historically used as a question marker, without being accompanied by seme as is currently standard.

Lexicon[edit | edit source]

Under construction This page needs work:
list nimisin used at that time (see section on the discussion page)
If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

Many words currently falsely considered nimisin, are, in fact, not nimisin. Those include apeja, sutopatikuna, pata etc.

Some words (pu, esun, mani, pan, kiwen, ona) didn’t exist yet, though the two latter ones were added relatively early on. The word meaning “all” was spelled with i more often, this is a result of jan Pije’s course teaching it as such. Lastly, the words open & pini were used as preverbs a lot.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. vixcafe. (9 July 2002). "New lessons coming soon! / Trivocalic - Toki Pona Forums". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  2. Sonja Lang. (1 March 2024). "Original lesson 5". jan Pije's site.
  3. Sonja Lang. (1 July 2002). "Chat logs". tokipona.nykta.org.

External links[edit | edit source]