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nanpa in sitelen pona
nanpa in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (100% ↗︎ )2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Semiparticle, content word
Codepoint 󱤽 U+F193D

nanpa is a core content word relating to numbers, and a semiparticle that introduces an ordinal number.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word nanpa is derived from Tok Pisin namba, itself from English number.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of nanpa includes numbers in general, rather than any specific number, such as wan or tu. It may also refer to calculations and, by extension, computer programs and coding.

ilo nanpa li ken nanpa e tenpo 

ilo nanpa li ken nanpa e tenpo.[2]

The number tool can count time.

ale li nanpa 

ale li nanpa.

Everything is a computer simulation.[3][4]

Ordinals[edit | edit source]

As a semiparticle, nanpa introduces and marks a number phrase as an ordinal number, analogous to the English suffix -th. As number phrases are introduced with nanpa, the use of the particle pi is discouraged as it would change the meaning.[5]

waso nanpa tu wan li kute e nimi 

waso nanpa tu wan li kute e nimi.

The third bird heard a word.

Non-numeric ordinals[edit | edit source]

Caution: The subject of this section is nonstandard and will not be understood by most speakers.
It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the standard style, and to be informed and selective about which nonstandard styles you adopt.

Some speakers use nanpa with non-number phrases. For example, the issues of lipu tenpo are "numbered" with arbitrary content words (such as lipu tenpo nanpa akesi). Although arbitrary words are used that way far more rarely, using certain words is more common:

nanpa open

nanpa open

first (literally, "starting number")

nanpa pini

nanpa pini

last (literally, "ending number")

This can describe a being that, of its kind, is uniquely distinguished by the phrase after nanpa. It can also be used similarly to a superlative, such as kiwen nanpa lili for "the smallest rock", equivalent to kiwen pi lili nanpa wan. It might imply a spectrum or an order in the mind of the speaker.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

PARTICLE  -th (ordinal number)
NOUN  numbers

ku[edit | edit source]

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

number5, count4, score3, rating3, rank3, measurement3, ranking3, statistical3, quantity2, calculate2, grade2, percentage2, edition2, percent2, statistics2, version2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for nanpa (󱤽) represents a number sign (#). It is upright and wider, taking on a square shape that more closely resembles the Viewdata square (⌗).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. jan Sate. (14 January 2019). "ilo nanpa (Toki Pona Calculator, English CC)" (in Toki Pona). Sadale [@SadaleNet]. YouTube.
  3. jan Kekan San (6 February 2023). "ale li nanpa". In lipu tenpo nanpa tu (in Toki Pona). lipu tenpo.
  4. jan Kekan San. (1 September 2023). "ale li nanpa". jan Kekan San [@gregdan3d]. YouTube. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  5. jan Juli (2021). "ordinals". nasin toki pona. GitHub. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  6. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 292.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Dictionaries[edit | edit source]