konwe

From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

konwe in sitelen pona
Pronunciation /ˈkon.we/ 🔊
Usage 2023: Obscure (7% ↗︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't understand this word.2022: Obscure (6%)
Book and era No book (post-ku)
Part of speech Content word

konwe is an obscure content word and nimi sin relating to life and animacy.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word konwe is borrowed from the surname of British mathematician John Horton Conway, best known for the cellular automaton Conway's Game of Life.[1] Another proposed etymology is the phrase kon wile. It was coined in 2021 by jan Emalan in the ma pona pi toki pona community.[2]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of konwe includes life and autonomy, either referring to living organisms or animacy itself. It is also used as an antonym for moli.

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

A Gosper gun creating gliders in Conway's Game of Life

The main sitelen pona glyph for konwe (konwe) depicts a glider, a pattern that moves diagonally in Conway's Game of Life, taking on a shape similar to the glyph once every two generations. Gliders are an example of artificial life arising from simple rules. The glyph was designed by kili Pami in 2023, and can be drawn in a single stroke.[3]

The font nasin luka uses an alternative glyph, a circle with eye dots, by analogy to the animal glyphs (akesi, pipi, soweli, waso, etc.) but with the generic circle shape of ijo.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Some speakers have criticized the word konwe for the synecdoche of Conway's name with the Game of Life, as he did not like having the game dominate his legacy.[citation needed]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Emalan. (12 August 2021). [Message posted in the #nimisin for life thread in the #sona-musi channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  2. jan Emalan. (12 August 2021). [Message posted in the #nimisin for life thread in the #sona-musi channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  3. kili Pami [@pam.berry]. (9 February 2023). [Message posted in the #linjamanka glyphs submissions! thread in the #toki-suli channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 23 December 2023. "and while i'm at it, i'd like to change my request LLN49, from ola to konwe. its glyph is a "glider". could be either of these, drawin [sic] with one stroke.".

Further reading[edit | edit source]