Canon/2010/October-December

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The Na'vi language canon is the complete collection of information about the Na'vi language provided by authoritative sources, namely Paul Frommer and the creators of Avatar (James Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox).

The canon comprises two things:

  • words and phrases spoken or written in Na'vi
  • descriptions of the linguistic elements of Na'vi such as orthography, morphology, syntax, and grammar

The Na'vi words and phrases from canonical sources are presented or linked to on the Corpus page (where copyright allows). Documentation, explanation, and analysis of Na'vi linguistics are presented on other Learn Na'vi wiki pages (Phonology, Morphology, Grammar, etc.). This page serves to document the canonical sources themselves. The majority of the examples on this page come from email correspondances with Frommer.



This page includes information dated October 2010 - December 2010. To access past information please see:


As X as Y; Keep on keepin' on

Quoted by Wm Annis, Dec 1 2010, ([1]).

As ADJ/ADV as N/PRN

This uses the new word nìftxan with na (the example means "I am as good as you"):

Oe lu nìftxan sìltsan na nga.
I’d also like to allow an optional –ri form in place of na:
Ngari lu oe nìftxan sìltsan.
That wouldn’t work all the time. For example:
?Utralìri lu fìpo nìftxan tsawl.
That places too much emphasis on utral, which is only the standard of comparison and presumably hasn’t yet figured into the conversation. In this case na utral would be preferable.

This construction can also be used with adverbs.

Continuative

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've decided to go with a new verb, var. As a main verb it means 'to persist in a state, to continue to perform an action.' As such, it can take the place of mi with a repeated verb. For example, instead of this:
Pol trram yerikit tarmaron. 'He was hunting hexapede yesterday.'
Fìtrr mi teraron. 'He's still hunting (hexapede) today.'
you could simply say:
Pol trram yerikit tarmaron. 'He was hunting hexapede yesterday.'
Fìtrr var. 'He still is today.'
As a helping verb, it functions in place of salew/'ì'awn that we discussed earlier:
Var nivume ko! 'Let's keep learning!'

Duration and Loan Word, "Jesus"

Quoted by Plumps, December 1 2010 (forum discussion).

First of all, the way you express duration is to add -o to the time word:
zìsìto amrr = 'for five years'
ayzìsìto = 'for years'
As for the translation of Jesus, why not Yeysu? That's close to the way the Italians say it, and besides, there's no reason to retain the Latin ending -us--it's hardly universal!

A later update, December 20:

By the way, the place I had used fmal was in a line of dialog for one of the video games:
Luke pay, ke tsun ayoe tìreyti fmival.
‘Without water we cannot sustain life.’

Keng

Quoted by Wm Annis, December 31 2010 (forum discussion).

I've always had a minor worry about the word keng. The only context it occurs in from Frommer is the Why is this Night translation. Because it occurs in a sentence with ke and because of the phonetic similarity, I was a bit worried it might be another pair like ke... kaw'it. It isn't. It can be used in any situation where we want to prop up something unexpected (one of "even"s jobs in English).

This was my example sentence:

Yom teylut keng oel! Even *I* eat teylu!

Pawl said it was fine.