From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

ni in sitelen pona
ni in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ni/ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (100% → )
2022: Core (100%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥁 U+F1941

ni is a core content word meaning "this" or "that".

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word ni is derived from Cantonese (Jyutping: ni1), meaning "this".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

ni is a demonstrative pronoun, analogous to English this, that, these, and those. In the predicate, ni refers to a specificed action, meaning "to do this".

ni li lon

ni li lon.

That's true.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

ADJECTIVE  that, this

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as ni:[2]

this5, that5, these5, those4, particular2, specifically2, there2

Linking ni[edit | edit source]

ni can be used to link multiple sentences. The effect can be similar to the word "that", as used to start a relative clause. This is one of the main tools to describe ideas that are too complex to fit in a single sentence.

In sitelen Lasina, the sentence with ni typically ends in a colon. In sitelen pona, the glyph for a linking ni is often rotated to point at the other sentence.

mi sona e ni2 sina sona e ni2 mi sona

mi sona e ni: sina sona e ni: mi sona.

I know that you know that I know.

However, the ni does not need to be next to the other sentence for this to work.

kili ni2li pona wan li sike-lili mute li loje anu pimeja

kili ni li pona: wan li sike lili mute, li loje anu pimeja.

These fruits are good: Each one is many small round things, and is red or black.

ona vs. ni[edit | edit source]

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sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for ni (󱥁) is an arrow, pointing down by default. When used as a modifier in a stacked glyph, it points at the head word underneath. The glyph for ni may be turned to point in other directions, toward the words it is referencing.

soweli li toki e ni
 ni3 li nasa a

soweli li toki e ni
 ni li nasa a[3]

The animal said: "this is silly!"

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. pp. 302–303.
  3. lipamanka. (11 May 2023). "waso". LIPUmanka.

Further reading[edit | edit source]