Toki Pona/Demographic information
Name of Language
The language is called "toki pona" which roughly means "good speech." It is abbreviated as tp, and is usually written in lower case according to the conventions of the language.
The people who use toki pona will be called users, since they generally don't speak it, but instead write it. At the moment, there is no fictional culture of fictional tokiponans. Even if one is proposed, it's outside the of the scope of this document. Instead, we will be discussing the characteristics of the real life people that are using toki pona.
The language is used by constructed language fans, almost entirely in written messages across the internet. Theses fans are geographically spread across North and South America, Europe, Russia, Australia, Malaysia and Japan. Of these, Canada, the US and East and West Europe are most heavily represented. There is a notable lack of toki pona users in China, South East Asia and Africa.
toki pona is a new language. It did not evolve from any previous language, except for the possibly influence of the mother tongue of the users.
toki pona has been referenced in a few journals. Because the language is small and well developed, a few researchers have used it instead of creating a language of their own.
The sociolinguistic situation
toki pona is an online community, so it is lacking most of the features one would expect of a natural language, creole or pidgin. The speakers don't share a common culture outside of an interest in languages, new languages and participation in online communities. Unlike a creole, this language is not a mix of the speakers languages and there is nothing that remotely looks like the creole situation, where slaves or workers from many lands have to work together for a master or employer that speaks yet another language. Everyone using toki pona is voluntarily using it. Unlike a pidgin, this isn't a language born of any desperate need to communicate. toki pona can be spoken well or poorly. It has many more rules than a pidgin.
The using community is small enough that one can identify characteristics of ideolects, i.e peculiarities of the syntax of one person, but not large enough to identify dialects.Last modified on 19 October 2010, at 20:57