From sona pona, the English–Toki Pona wiki
luka in sitelen pona
luka in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈlu.ka/ (listen)
Usage 2023: Core (100%  )
2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Number, content word
Codepoint 󱤭 U+F192D

luka is a core content word relating to the hands and arms. It can also stand for the number five.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

luka is derived from the Croatian word ruka, meaning "hand".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

Content word[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of luka includes any and all parts of human upper limbs, such as the arms, elbows, hands and fingers; similarly to how noka can refer to legs or feet. As a transitive verb, it may refer to the act of interacting with something using said limbs, such as placing one's hand, hitting, petting, among other meanings.

When referring to non-human creatures, luka commonly has an anthropormized perspective of animal's bodies. Paws (for animals), wings (for birds), and tentacles (for octupuses or squids) are often referred to as luka.[2] Less commonly, bird claws may be referred to as luka as birds use them to grab and hold objects.

In sign language, luka refers to an individual sign and the act of signing itself. In luka pona (and when transcribing it into toki pona), the word is used as an interjection for greetings, instead of toki.

Number[edit | edit source]

As a number, the word luka stands for five, the amount of fingers on a human hand. In the early days of Toki Pona, it was the highest-value number word, before mute and ale acquired that status. This led to the creation of the idiom jo e luka mute, meaning "to be complicated", as big numbers would have many repetitions of the word luka.[3][4]

pu[edit | edit source]

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

NOUN  arm, hand, tactile organ
NUMBER  five

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as luka:[5]

hand5, arm4, five4, wrist3, touch2, palm2, handful2, gesture2, tap2, reach2, elbow2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for luka (󱤭) is a simplified mitten-like hand facing upwards, with the thumb on the left. Derived glyphs include kepeken, moku, pali, and pana.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. jan Juwan [@juwan.]. (21 October 2023). [Informal poll posted in the #sona-kulupu channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. "luka waso li seme?". Discord.
    Option Votes
    It means "wing" 55
    It means "claw" 6
    Depends on context 47
  3. jan Sonja (21 May 2002). "Compounds". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  4. jan Sonja [@sonjalang]. (16 November 2022). [Message posted in the #sona-musi channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. "luka was the highest number at the time, so big numbers were like luka luka luka luka luka luka luka wan[.] hence the idiom, ona li jo e luka mute, it is complicated". Discord. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  5. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 275.

Further reading[edit | edit source]