noka vs. anpa

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The difference between anpa ("lowly") and noka ("foot, leg"), when used inside prepositional phrases, varies between idiolects.

History[edit | edit source]

anpa has traditionally been used to mean "below". This is reflected in jan Pije's lessons using it for "underneath".[1][2]

pipi lilon anpami

pipi li lon anpa mi.

The bug is underneath me.

As of October 2009, the tokipona.org wiki entry for noka was absent from the list of words[3] and reportedly redirected to the entry for anpa, suggesting that jan Sonja intended to merge the two words[4]—similarly to the words that lipu pu later treated as synonyms.

pu[edit | edit source]

This subject or style relates to Toki Pona: The Language of Good.

Ultimately, as of pu's publication in 2014, noka was not merged into anpa. However, the book's chapter "Lesson 15: Spatial Nouns" introduces noka for the sense of "below"[5] instead of anpa, a discrepancy which is believed to stem from reversing the merger.

In this style:

pipi lilon nokami

pipi li lon noka mi.

The bug is underneath me.

ku[edit | edit source]

As of 2021, Toki Pona Dictionary acknowledges that anpa is more commonly used for "below".[6]

Distinction[edit | edit source]

A common distinction between lon noka and lon anpa

To resolve the discrepancy between traditional usage and the pu style, some speakers use lon anpa to mean "directly underneath", and lon noka for "at the foot (of); next to the lowest part". This assigns the words to nearby but separate parts of space.

The style may be influenced by the sitelen pona glyph for anpa (anpa), which is generally interpreted as a location dot underneath the open box radical, not next to its base.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Pije. Updated jan Pije's lessons: Lesson 7: Prepositions 2: Other prepositions. Wikibooks. Retrieved 2 November 2023.

    pipi li lon anpa mi. = "The bug is underneath me."

  2. jan Tepan [stefichjo] (2020).Traditional Toki Pona (Pije). GitHub. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  3. (1 October 2009). "Category:Toki Pona words". tokipona.org. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2023. (Originally archived on 28 October 2009.)
  4. jan Mato [janMato]. (4 October 2010). "Re: monsuta moli". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 31 March 2024.

    http://en.tokipona.org/wiki/noka redirects to anpa. Given that there is a redirect, I guess we have evidence that the disappearance of noka was intentional.

  5. Lang, Sonja. (25 May 2014). Toki Pona: The Language of Good. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292300. OCLC 921253340. p. 54.
    noka area below or under, …
  6. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 10. See Notes on lipu pu.

    The pu book introduces an oddity with how noka has traditionally been used. It is much more common to use noka as ‘leg, foot’ and anpa as ‘area below or under’.