Inferences from toki pona utterances

So I’m noodling again the idea of knowledge representation with toki pona.

If I say: jan li laso. And then ask: seme li laso? Then it should be easy enough to look up jan. (That is to bind seme to jan)

But if the structure is different but equivalent, then I need to generate the equivalencies or inferences (in the case where the derived sentence has less information)

ni li ilo jan.
jan li jo e ilo. (possession)
ilo li jan. (adjective.)
ilo jan li ni. (equivallence)

jan li moku e kili.
jan li moku. (direct objects are optional)
!= moku li jan. (can’t reverse order)
? kili li moku. (the fruit is eaten?)

ni li ilo laso jan.
ilo li laso li jan. (Both adjectives, unlikely reading here.)
ilo li laso. jan li jo e ilo laso. (adjective & possession)

ni li ilo jan laso.
jan-ilo li laso. (compound with adjective)
ilo li jan li laso. (unlikely reading)

jan li soweli tomo e soweli.
tenpo pini la soweli soweli tomo ala.
tenpo ni la soweli li soweli tomo.

ni li ilo pi jan Mato
* jan li Mato.
jan Mato li jo e ilo. (posession)
ilo li jan Mato. (modifier)
ilo pi jan Mato li ni. (equivallence)

jan lon ma Mewika li jan pali lon tomo pali.
jan li lon ma Mewika.
jan li jan.
jan li pali. pali li lon tomo pali.

mi moku e kili tan ma Asija.
mi moku.
mi moku. moku ni li tan ma Asija. (what is the scope of the PP?)
kili li tan ma Asija. (what is the scope of the PP?)

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One Response to Inferences from toki pona utterances

  1. John E. Clifford says:

    ‘kili li moku’ is fine, but I don’t think it works with every verb (but counterexamples end up sounding ok, if odd). ‘ilo li laso li jan’, on the other hand is almost always not going to work; genuine parallel modifiers should be written as such. The taming also entails the the person is the cause of the change, however you want to put that. ‘jan li Mato’ depends upon how strictly we interpret the rule that personal modifiers always have to have a noun, unlike other modifiers. Practice tends to be a little lax. ‘ilo li jan Mato’ doesn’t seem to follow. ‘jan pi lon ma Mewika’ though I know you don’t like it and it doesn’t make much difference here. Or in the next one either. In the last set it does again; the un’pi’ed form seems to mean “because of” rather than “of origin”, but, as written, the scope is the sentence (or the verb), so the second is ok, the third not.