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ale in sitelen pona
ale in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈa.le/
Usage 2023: Core (90% ↘︎ )2022: Core (92%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Number, content word
Codepoint 󱤄 U+F1904

ale (also pronounced ali) is a core content word referring to everythingness, all or plenty of something.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word ale is derived from Dutch alle, meaning "all".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of ale includes the entirety of a given thing, or all entities in a given group.

ona ale li pona

ona ale li pona.

They all are good.
All of it is good.

When a modifier follows ale, the phrase describes all things with that quality.[2]

ale suwi li pona

ale suwi li pona.

Everything (that is) sweet is good.

The idea of "some, but not necessarily many" can be communicated by negating ale.

jan-ale ala li suwi

jan ale ala li suwi.

Not everyone is sweet.

By extension, ale can refer to everything in existence, reality, and life, similarly to the word lon.

ale li pona 

ale li pona.[3]

All is well.
Life is good.
Don't worry.

Number[edit | edit source]

ale may denote when something is infinite, or plentiful—that is, virtually infinite. This is reflected in its number sense, where ale means a hundred.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

ADJECTIVE  all; abundant, countless, bountiful, every, plentiful
NOUN  abundance, everything, life, universe

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as ale:[4]

every4, everything4, all4, entire4, universal3, completely3, total3, entirely3, universe3, altogether3, comprehensive3, full2, totally2, each2, fully2, any2, thoroughly2, absolute2, general2, countless2, complete2, whole2, hundred2

The respondents translated the following English words as the word variant ali:[4]

all2, entire2, universe2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for ale (󱤄) is derived from the infinity symbol, used in mathematics.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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ali[edit | edit source]

ali in sitelen pona
ali in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ
Usage 2023: Uncommon (32% ↘︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't use this word.2022: Uncommon (35%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱤄 U+F1904

ali is an uncommon variant of ale. They are generally considered to be spelling and pronunciation variants of the same word, not two separate synonyms. It was coined to distinguish itself from ala ("nothing"), which are minimal pair, whose final vowel is reduced to schwa by some speakers.[When? By who? Links]

In writing systems that are not based on phonetics, such as the logographic sitelen pona and sitelen sitelen, ale and ali are written the same way, and may then be read as either pronunciation.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. lipamanka. "toki pona dictionary".
  3. Lang, Sonja. (25 May 2014). Toki Pona: The Language of Good. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292300. OCLC 921253340.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 201.

Further reading[edit | edit source]