alasa

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alasa in sitelen pona
alasa in sitelen sitelen
Member of the San people hunting, holding a bow and arrow
Member of the San people hunting, holding a bow and arrow
Pronunciation /ˈa.la.sa/
Usage 2023: Core (99% ↗︎ )2022: Core (97%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Preverb, content word
Codepoint 󱤃 U+F1903

alasa is a core content word and preverb relating to hunting and searching.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word alasa is derived from Acadian French à la chasse, meaning "on the hunt".[1] It was coined around 2009 by jan Sonja, as cited in the Toki Pona wiki.[2]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of alasa includes "hunting and foraging", with an emphasis on finding or trying to do something. While it can refer to pursuing game, it often refers to nonviolent searches.[3]

mi alasa e kala

mi alasa e kala.

We are fishing. (lit. 'We are hunting fish.')

Preverb[edit | edit source]

As a preverb, alasa describes attempting to perform an action. This usage is also covered by the preverb lukin and was acknowledged in the Toki Pona Dictionary.[4][5] It is used in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Toki Pona edition) with this sense.[6]

o alasa lukin e lipu

o alasa lukin e lipu.[4]

Try to read the document.

soweli wawa li alasa utala e kulupu

soweli wawa li alasa utala e kulupu.[6]

The strong beast tried to attack the group.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

VERB  to hunt, forage

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as alasa:[7]

hunt5, hunting5, search4, pursuit4, pursue4, gather4, finding3, seek3, explore3, chase2, locate2, try2, collect2, quest2, catch2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for alasa (󱤃) represents a bow and arrow, pointing towards the right, following the direction of text.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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History[edit | edit source]

Caution: The subject of this section is historical information that is presented for completeness, and might not reflect current usage.

The word alasa was first used in the Toki Pona Forums in 2009.[2] It was initially rejected by some speakers as they deemed it against Toki Pona's philosophy of minimalism[8] or because it was a recently added word.[9] Nowadays, as of the Linku's 2023 survey, it is considered a core part of the vocabulary used by around 99% of speakers surveyed.

In 2013, the Toki Pona Wiki defined the word as the following, focusing primarily on the sense of hunting and gathering.[10]

1. to gather

to collect food, resources or material needed for daily life and survival; to gather, harvest

2. to hunt

to pursue and kill animals to use as food and clothing; to hunt

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". tokipona.org. Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 rdmiller3. (5 October 2009). "nimi sin sin (eĉ plu novaj vortoj, even more new words)". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  3. lipamanka. "toki pona dictionary". lipamanka.gay.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 9.
  5. waso Keli [@kelly.hi]. (12 October 2023). [Informal poll posted in the #sona-kulupu channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 29 October 2023. "[…] do you use "alasa" to mean "try", including when you're not using it as a preverb?".
    Do you use alasa for the meaning "to try", including when not as a preverb?
    Option Votes
    I don't use it as a preverb, nor standalone "try" 7
    I use it as a preverb, but not as standalone "try" 49
    I use it as a preverb, as well as as standalone "try" 42
    Other option 8
  6. 6.0 6.1 Baum, L. Frank. (3 February 2024). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Toki Pona edition). Translated by Sonja Lang. Illustrated by Evan Dahm. Tawhid Press. ISBN 978-0978292379. (Original work 1900.) p. 24.
  7. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 200.
  8. jan Ape. (20 December 2009). "What's the difference between "alasa e" and "kama jo e"". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023. "The word "alasa" is definitely not minimalistic. It can't be broken down to "lukin jo e" or "kama jo e", why such a useless word? […]".
  9. jan Ote. (20 October 2009). "Re: jan Kikamesi. jan lawa pi ma tomo Uluku". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023. "I avoid 'alasa' intentionally. It's a new word, and in my opinion it's too insignificant to include it to the official dictionary.".
  10. "alasa". Toki Pona Wiki. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2024.

Further reading[edit | edit source]