sitelen sitelen

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mi weka e ike jan la mi weka e ike mi.

sitelen sitelen, also known as sitelen suwi, is a logographic writing system for Toki Pona, created by Jonathan Gabel (jan Josan Kapo) around 2006.[1] It is one of the two constructed writing systems featured in the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good, alongside sitelen pona. The overall style of sitelen sitelen was inspired by United States west-coast comix and East Coast graffiti, while the word shapes themselves are often taken from hieroglyphs or religious symbols.[2]

sitelen sitelen is non-linear in nature. Rather than a straight row, words are arranged in blocks reminiscent of comic strips. Prepositions and part-of-sentence marking particles wrap around their contents, similarly to sitelen pona's cartouches.

Name[edit | edit source]

The original name for the writing system given by Gabel himself was sitelen suwi (meaning "sweet drawing"), describing the emphasis on appealing curves and shapes.[1]

The name sitelen sitelen (meaning "drawing writing, writing made out of drawings") was suggested by jan Kipo (John Clifford), as a way to refer to pictograms and hieroglyphs. This is nowadays the most common way to refer to the script, and Gabel calls it the "more official name."[1]

Both names are still in use, and both are commonly abbreviated as "SS".

Glyphs[edit | edit source]

Word glyphs[edit | edit source]

Aside from tonsi, which was added in 2020, Gabel designed the glyphs for nimi ku suli in collaboration with lon Jawin, jan Pensa, and jan Saki, with feedback from Nundrum, Skymandr, and jan Temili.[3]

Syllable glyphs[edit | edit source]

sitelen sitelen includes an alphasyllabary that is used to write names and words.

Any single-syllable word can optionally be written as a syllable glyph instead. This is also the primary way to write the words pu, ku and su, which lack their own word glyphs.

Multiple-syllable words written with syllable glyphs are normally placed within a capsule.

Null coda
a
e
i
o
u
Coda -n
an en in on un
a
e
i
o
u
∅…n
an
en
in
on
un
j
ja
je
jo
ju
j…n
jan
jen
jon
jun
k
ka
ke
ki
ko
ku
k…n
kan
ken
kin
kon
kun
l
la
le
li
lo
lu
l…n
lan
len
lin
lon
lun
m
ma
me
mi
mo
mu
m…n
man
men
min
mon
mun
n
na
ne
ni
no
nu
n…n
nan
nen
nin
non
nun
p
pa
pe
pi
po
pu
p…n
pan
pen
pin
pon
pun
s
sa
se
si
so
su
s…n
san
sen
sin
son
sun
t
ta
te
to
tu
t…n
tan
ten
ton
tun
w
wa
we
wi
w…n
wan
wen
win

Punctuation glyphs[edit | edit source]

Glyph Name sitelen Lasina
Period .
Comma ,
Exclamation !
Question ?
Colon :
Cartouche capitalization
Capsule

Punctuation marks are placed under the block of text that precedes it. With the period, exclamation mark and question mark there is usually space left empty underneath to signify the end of a sentence block. The comma and colon usually do not have such a gap, connecting directly to the block of text that follows it.

The word glyph for la is shaped like a punctuation mark, and can be used as such, similar to a comma or colon.

Similar to sitelen pona, the cartouche is used for writing proper adjectives with syllable glyphs placed inside it.

The capsule is used for writing words with syllable glyphs. This is most common with multiple-syllable words, to show that it is one word rather than multiple one-syllable words. It can be used to write any word, and it is the primary way to write multiple-syllable words that don't have their own word glyph. Spelling a word out in a capsule can also be used to emphasize a single word, similar to using quotation marks in Latin script Toki Pona.

Writing[edit | edit source]

Glyph density[edit | edit source]

o ante e kulupu lili, written as syllable glyphs in 3 different sizes

When written at smaller sizes where they would otherwise be too dense, glyphs can be simplified. The drawing dictionary on Gabel's website presents each word glyph at large and small sizes to give examples for how details can be removed while staying recognizable.[4]

Notable works[edit | edit source]

lipu lawa pi esun kama, a sitelen sitelen contract describing the sale of itself

lipu lawa pi esun kama[edit | edit source]

jan Mato created a challenge to test whether constructed languages were suited for sales contracts.[5] In 2009, Gabel followed through on jan Mato's challenge, negotiating with him mainly in Toki Pona[6] and writing lipu lawa pi esun kama. Written in sitelen sitelen, the contract describes the sale of itself for US$100 to jan Mato.[7]

Afterwards, jan Mato reflected on the experiment, sharing his opinions on Toki Pona's suitability for contracts and business.[8]

nasin nasa[edit | edit source]

nasin nasa is a surreal webcomic written by Vacon Sartirani about weird creatures on a weird planet, written entirely in sitelen sitelen. The first chapter came out in June 2019 and the latest chapter in May 2020.[9][10]

meli lili pi len loje[edit | edit source]

In 2019, jan Same released a translation of The Little Red Riding Hood from the brothers Grimm in four different writing systems, including sitelen sitelen.[11]

lipu tenpo[edit | edit source]

Since its first issue in February 2021, almost every issue of the monthly webzine lipu tenpo includes a poem written in sitelen sitelen, alongside the same poem written in the Latin alphabet.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Original glyph, now deemed alternative

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gabel, Jonathan (n.d.). "Welcome - kama pona". jonathangabel.com. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  2. Gabel, Jonathan (n.d.). "sitelen sitelen acknowledgements and etymology". jonathangabel.com. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  3. Jonathan Gabel. (5 September 2021). Designing glyphs - sitelen suwi pi nimi ku suli. https://jonathangabel.com.
  4. Gabel, Jonathan (n.d.). drawing dictionary: step by step. jonathangabel.com. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  5. Re: mi namako. Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  6. jan Josan (11 December 2009). esun kepeken toki pona. Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  7. Gabel, Jonathan (2 August 2012). lipu lawa pi esun kama. jonathangabel.com. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  8. jan Mato (10 January 2010). kama sona lukin pi esun pi toki pona. Toki Pona Forums.
  9. Vacon. Nasin Nasa. Tapas. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  10. Vacon Sartirani. nasin nasa. WEBTOON. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  11. jan Same. meli lili pi len loje. musi lili. Retrieved 23 October 2023.

External links[edit | edit source]