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lukin in sitelen pona
lukin in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈlu.kin/
Usage 2023: Core (99% ↗︎ )2022: Core (98%)
Book and era nimi pu ("synonym" in pu)
Part of speech Preverb, content word
Codepoint 󱤮 U+F192E

lukin is a core content word and preverb relating to vision.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word lukin is derived from Tok Pisin lukim, meaning "to see, to look at", itself from English look and the transitivizer suffix -im.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

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The semantic space of lukin includes vision and seeing. This includes interacting with something by seeing, such as reading, watching, or observing. As a modifier it can be used to mean "visual".

The semantic space also includes eyes and other light-sensing organs. This is a synonym of the traditional meaning of oko.

As a preverb, it means to try, which is similar to the English phrase "looking to do something". The preverb sense of lukin is a synonym for that of alasa, "seeking to do something".

lukin and oko[edit | edit source]

Before pu, lukin and oko were not considered synonyms. lukin meant "look, see, visual" and oko meant "eye, ocular".

Since pu, it has become common to use lukin for both meanings, while other speakers continued to make the old traditional distinction. Even others have begun using oko for "look, see", making the two words almost fully synonymous.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

NOUN  eye
VERB  to look at, see, examine, observe, read, watch
PRE-VERB  to seek, look for, try to

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as lukin:

see5, observe5, look at5, sight5, gaze5, observation5, check4, view4, scan4, watch4, visual4, examine3, inspection3, vision3, notice3, surveillance3, attention3, appearance3, examination3, detect3, assess2, stare2, perception2, perceive2, try2, glance2, impression2, reading2, regard (v)2, apparent2, visible2, read2, seek2, eye2, investigation2, monitor2, encounter2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for lukin (󱤮) is a wide oval with a dot inside, depicting an eye as seen from the front. It is sometimes drawn as more of an almond shape that forms a corner at each end. Compare oko, which represents an eye from the side.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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Related words[edit | edit source]

oko[edit | edit source]

oko in sitelen pona
oko in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈo.ko/
Usage 2023: Uncommon4, Common6 (57% ↘︎ )2022: Common (62%)
Book and era nimi ku suli ("synonym" in pu)
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥺 U+F197A

oko is an uncommon content word and pre-pu nimi ku suli relating to the eye. It was presented as a "synonym" of lukin in Toki Pona: The Language of Good.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.