From sona pona, the English–Toki Pona wiki
Under construction: This page needs work. If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)
ala in sitelen pona
ala in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ (listen)
Usage 2023: Core (100% → )
2022: Core (100%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Particle, content word
Codepoint 󱤂 U+F1902

ala is a core particle used for negation and a content word relating to nothingness, as well as the number zero.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word ala is derived from Georgian არა (ara), meaning "no, not".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of ala includes nothingness, an absence of anything. As a transitive verb, it may refer to causing to become nothing, such as removing or erasing.

o ala e toki ni 
o ala e toki ni.

Delete this comment.

When used as a number, ala refers to the number zero.

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines ala as:

ADJECTIVE  no, not, zero

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as ala:[2]

not5, none5, zero5, no5, nothing5, neither3, nor2, hardly2

Function[edit | edit source]

As a particle, ala is used to negate a word, phrase, or sentence.

Tag questions[edit | edit source]

The word ala is used to form a yes–no question, by repeating the main word in the predicate, with the it between the repetitions.

sina moku ala moku?
sina moku ala moku?

Do you eat? (literally, "you eat not/eat?")

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for ala represents a cross, similar to the letter "X", a crosslinguistic symbol for negation. The glyph is sometimes used as an extended glyph {ijo}ala(ijo) that continues below the repeated word

ona li {pona}ala(pona) tawa sina
ona li pona ala pona tawa sina?

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

The sitelen sitelen glyph for ala represents an X cross inside a square.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 199.

Further reading[edit | edit source]