jon't

From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

jon't is a common style of speech that avoids the content word jo.

Motivations[edit | edit source]

Toki Pona is not perfectly minimalist; many words can be reformulated with other words or grammatical expressions. For jo, alternative expressions can be found easily and describe the immediate situation more clearly. Many Tokiponists view jo as a calque of the English word "have".

A subset of jon't reduces the amount of situations in which jo would be used. In contrast, Toki Pona: The Language of Good is very broad in its usage of jo.

  • Describing having access to something or refering to a vague relationship to something [1], or even owning something, is the least common way of using jo.
  • Metaphorically holding or containing something is a common way of using jo.
  • Physically containing something is a common way of using jo.
  • Physically holding something is the most common way of using jo.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

Not all languages have a direct equivalent to the English "have" or use it the same way. In Russian, it is common to formulate it as У меня есть вещь (literally: "At me is a thing"). This kind of expression also works in Toki Pona:

ijo li lon mi 

ijo li lon mi.

A thing is at me. / A thing is with me.

For holding something, refering to the body part or tool that enables the holding can be referenced:

ijo li lon luka mi 

ijo li lon luka mi.

A thing is in my hand.

mi luka e ijo 

mi luka e ijo.

I apply a hand to a thing. / I grab a thing.

Containing something can simply refer to something being on the inside:

ijo li lon insa poki 

ijo li lon insa poki.

A thing is in the box. / The box contains a thing.

Relationships are more commonly referred to by using modifiers:

ijo ni li ijo mi 

ijo ni li ijo mi.

This thing is my thing.

In some situations, poki or tomo can be used:

ilo li poki e ijo 

ilo li poki e ijo.

The tool applies a container to a thing. / The tool contains a thing.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. kule epiku Atawan. "Beginner's Resource of Toki Pona". lipu-pi-ijo-pi-toki.pona.la. Retrieved 8 December 2023.