a

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a in sitelen pona
a in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /a/ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (99% → )
2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu ("synonym" in pu)
Part of speech Particle
Codepoint 󱤀 U+F1900

a is a particle used to indicate emphasis and emotion.

Function[edit | edit source]

a is used to indicate emphasis or emotion on a word, phrase, or sentence. When at the end of a sentence, it is equivalent to the exclamation mark in English. It may also be used alone as an interjection, meaning "ah", "oh", "uhm", among other words.

a ni li pona tawa mi

a! ni li pona tawa mi.

Oh. This is good for me.

ni li musi a tawa mi

ni li musi a tawa mi!

This is so fun!

It typically applies to the word immediately before it. Take for example, the following phrases with similar but the exact meaning, where the particle a emphasizes a different word in the sentence.

ona a li pali e tomo

ona a li pali e tomo.

She builds a house.

ona li pali a e tomo

ona li pali a e tomo.

She builds a house.

ona li pali e tomo a

ona li pali e tomo a.

She builds a house.

When a is reduplicated, it is used to express laughter.

a a a

a a a!

Hahaha!

pu[edit | edit source]

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

PARTICLE  (emphasis, emotion or confirmation)

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as a:[1]

ah5, oh5, ha5, ooh4, uh4, gosh4, whoa4, wow4, um3, huh3, uh-huh2, quite2, gasp2, really2, mm-hmm2, hmm2, sigh2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for a (󱤀) is composed of the punctuation stem and the lowercase Latin letter A.

The letter A at the bottom is typically drawn in its single-story form ɑ, with a corner at the upper right and the tail extending noticeably further rightwards. However, the letter A can occasionally also be seen written as its double-story form a, or as the lower case Greek letter alpha (α, resembling a mirrored kala glyph). The punctuation stem can be drawn upright (a) or at a diagonal (a).

Compare the glyphs for kin, n, and o.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 199.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Dictionaries[edit | edit source]