From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

pali in sitelen pona
pali in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (100% ↗︎ )
2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥉 U+F1949

pali is a core content word relating to work and activities.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word pali is derived from Esperanto fari, meaning "to do, to make".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of pali includes work, effort done to achieve something. It is commonly used to describe the act or instance of creating things, including activities, projects, jobs, and work.

tomopalila mipalie pan

tomo pali la mi pali e pan.

At my workplace I make pastries.

Drift from "do" sense[edit | edit source]

Under construction This section needs work:
Not sure how to call the "X li Y e Z" = "X makes Z Y" construction. Apart from that, do other communities outside of ma pona do this? When did people *start* doing it?
If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

Historically and in lipu pu, pali was often used as a generic verb meaning "to do". This has since become notably less popular,[2] an instance of semantic drift.

sina pali e seme

sina pali e seme?

What're you doing? (obsolete usage; expressions like sina seme? preferred)
What are you working on? (surviving usage)[2]

Many speakers now prefer more direct constructions with a causative predicate.[citation needed] This may have motivated the change.

ona li pali e ni : mi pona

ona li pali e ni: mi pona.

They do this: I am good. (obsolete usage)

ona li pona e mi

ona li pona e mi.

They make me good. (modern usage)

pu[edit | edit source]

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

VERB  to do, take action on, work on; build, make, prepare

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as pali:[3]

work5, do5, construct5, make5, produce5, activity5, job5, build5, production5, labour5, working5, action5, task5, create5, function5, occupation5, operating4, project4, execute4, craft4, manufacturing4, develop3, generate3, compose3, assemble3, act3, profession3, assignment3, commit3, perform3, enact3, operation3, creation3, effort3, service3, accomplish3, implement3, operate3, implementation3, behaviour3, processing3, behave3, career3, actively2, employment2, practice2, development2, execution2, invent2, industry2, role2, procedure2, functional2, construction2, achieve2, prepare2, interact2, undergo2, accomplishment2, undertake2, busy2, behavioural2, productive2, industrial2, plan2, participation2, manipulate2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for pali (󱥉) is derived from a circle above a hand radical, representing a generic action. These may be drawn either connected or separated. The glyph could possibly be confused with a stacked glyph for luka ijo, however, ijo is unlikely to be a modifier.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. 2.0 2.1 jan Kekan San. "palin’t". Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  3. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 307–308.

Further reading[edit | edit source]