For example, "I do not want to want opium"

For example, this doesn't work, it is a yes-no question!

mi wile ala wile e ijo nasa
Do I want a drug?
? Do I want not-want a drug?

The positive doesn't seem to work either

mi wile wile e ijo nasa
* I want [in a wanting manner?] a drug.

3 Answers 3


mi wile ala e ni: mi wile e ijo nasa.
I want not <obj>-this I want <obj>-thing crazy

The same principle as in "I do not want to drink water."

mi wile ala e ni: mi moku e telo.
I want not <obj>-this I drink <obj>-water

  • 9
    While I assume OP does not require it, I personally would appreciate it if you could add some form of gloss to the answer so someone not familiar with the language can appreciate the structure as well and learn something from this question. Mar 4, 2018 at 16:15
  • The question centers on the word ”ala”, which is used as a negation, but it can also be used to pose a question, as in “sina wile ala wile X?”, do you want or not want X? That's why the attempt to say “mi wile ala wile X”, I want to not want X, can be interpreted as the question “Do I want or not want X”. The answer given uses the word “ni”, this, as a way out of the problem, by saying “me wile ala e ni: ni wile X”, I do not want this: I want X.
    – PapaFreud
    Nov 6, 2018 at 7:01

I think you can express something like this as (101). If we imagine a speaker addicted to using their smartphone, they might say something like this.

Mi  wile ike    e  ilo  toki. (101)
1sg want bad D.O. tool speak

I think to want badly in English would map to wile mute, since you're talking about extent rather than making a value judgment.

Making a value judgment and describing wanting something as egodystonic are not exactly the same thing, but they are similar, at least when talking about oneself.


mi wile e ni: mi wile tawa.
I want this: I want to go.

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