Saturday, July 25, 2015

Economy of words

It seems incredible that there could be a language that you can learn in just 30 hours - but then Toki Pona is a decidedly minimalist creation, with a vocabulary of just 123 words. All languages work by means of metaphor, but that process is particularly pronounced in Toki Pona due to the tiny vocabulary, which demands playfulness and creativity from its speakers. It also dispenses with all politeness markers - and yet, as even enthusiastic speakers of the language confess, the lack of these can prove to be the cause of social discomfort. Old habits die hard, it seems.

(Thanks to Simon for the link.)

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