From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki
esun in sitelen pona
esun in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈe.sun/
Usage 2023: Core (98% ↗︎ )2022: Core (96%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱤋 U+F190B

esun is a core content word relating to trade and exchanging.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The etymology of the word esun is uncertain. In 2020, jan Sonja stated that "esun was told [to her] by a taxi driver who spoke a language from the Akan family in West Africa".[1] However, it is unclear which language and which word it originated from.

The word might possibly originate from Twi edwom, meaning "market (place)",[2] as noted by ale sa in 2023.[3]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space space of esun includes the act or an instance of trading and exchanging, commonly but not universally relating to money.[4] It may refer to either buying or selling depending on context.

By extension, it may refer to any kind of exchanging, it can be anything either concrete—such as barter or swapping objects—or abstract—such as exchanging knowledge.[4]

mi esun e moku tawa sina

mi esun e moku tawa sina.

I purchased food for you.

ona li esun mute e kasi tawa ma ante

ona li esun mute e kasi tawa ma ante.[5]

They sold plants to many lands

It includes anything relating to trading, as well as a place of business. For the place, some examples include markets, shops, fairs, and bazaars. The phrase tenpo esun is a common way to say "week", which literally means "the time relating to business".

pu[edit | edit source]

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

NOUN  market, shop, fair, bazaar, business transaction

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as esun:[6]

trading5, trade5, shopping5, deal4, commerce4, purchase4, sales4, buy4, transaction4, market4, sale3, exchange3, sell3, retail3, business3, shop3, store2, commercial2, financial2, enterprise2, economy2, franchise2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for esun (󱤋) is derived from the Mi'kmaq hieroglyphs, according to jan Sonja in a message from 2021.[7] It is unknown, however, which hieroglyph it originated from. The closest thing found is the 32nd glyph in Page 5 of Buch das gut.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

Under construction: This section is empty. You can help us by adding to it.

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 esun was first used in the Toki Pona Forums around 2007.[8] In 2009, the Toki Pona Wiki defined the word as the following, focusing primarily on the sense of the place and event of market.[9]

1. market

a community event where people trade goods; market, marketplace, bazaar, trading place

2. store

a place where goods are offered for sale; store, shop

In a forum thread, jan Ote critiqued the definitions listed for esun, commenting on this, arguing that it was a secondary meaning to the meaning of "to trade". In the thread, jan Sonja clarified that she considered the sense of the event as more culturally important than trading for itself.[10] In 2013, the definition was subsequently clarified to the following:[11]

1. fair

a community event where people socialize and exchange goods or information; exhibition, fair, function, get-together, market, occasion, reception, reunion, social affair, social event, social gathering

2. trading place

a place where goods are offered for trade; bazaar, farmers' market, marketplace, shop, shopping mall, store, trading place

It also clarifies the use of tenpo esun for meaning "week":

The term tenpo esun (market period) can be used to express the concept of "week". This originates from the widespread human custom of a farmers' market, a specific market day that reoccurs every so many days. If everyone in a region agrees to travel to a certain place on a certain day, it makes trading a lot simpler. In modern times, the week has been set to 7 days, but many other durations have existed in history.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Sonja [@sonjalang]. (29 November 2020). [Message posted in the #tomo-toki-ante channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. "esun was told to me by a taxi driver who spoke a language from the Akan family in West Africa".
  2. "Twi Translation of "market"". LEARNAKANDICTIONARY.COM. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  3. ale sa [@nim64]. (16 October 2023). [Message posted in the #learning-general channel in the kama sona Discord server]. Discord.
  4. 4.0 4.1 lipamanka. "toki pona dictionary".
  5. jan Alonola. (1 January 2024). "kasi Kawa en telo Kawa" (in Toki Pona). lipu tenpo. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  6. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. pp. 205–206.
  7. jan Sonja [@sonjalang]. (24 February 2021). [Message posted in the #toki-pona channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. "i think that [symbol] is from Mikmaq".
  8. Rodrigo Portela Sánchez. (2 December 2007). "Re: New member - some Questions". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  9. jan Ote. (9 October 2009). "Comments on esun". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  10. (9 October 2009). "Re: Comments on esun". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  11. "esun". Toki Pona. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2024.

Further reading[edit | edit source]