Canon/2011/January-March

From Learn Na'vi Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

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 January 2011 - March 2011. To access past information please see:

Stop!

Quoted by Wm Annis, February 2 2011 (forum post).

Well, that's an interesting question. I checked the dialog for the film and the video games, and in fact I didn't have any "stop V-ing" constructions. What I did have were examples of "stop N" (presumably, stopping the N's from V-ing, although that wasn't expressed). For "stop N," I had used a si- construction:
ulte kawtu ke tsun ayoer tìftang sivi 'and no one can stop us'
Txo ke tsiyevun oe tìftang sivi for . . . 'If I should not succeed in stopping them . . . '
So what to do for "stop V-ing"? Well, since sngä'i takes modal syntax for "begin to V" which is the same as "begin V-ing," I don't see why it shouldn't be the same for ftang. So yes, your surmise is correct.
...
The one thing you can't do with ftang is to use it transitively: So you can't say *Oel pot ftolang, but only Oe poru tìftang soli. Again, I think that's OK.

Ordinal Clarification

Quoted by Plumps, February 13, 2011 ([1]).

Ma frapo,
I got in contact with K. Pawl the other day to ask about how to count when we would say something like “hunter (number) 3”, “I search room 5” or “welcome to program 2” etc. Irish uses a slightly different set of numbers for this altogether, so I was curious how Na’vi treated these.
The answer seems simple but I think worth mentioning:
Quote from: Paul Frommer, Feb 7, 2011
OK . . . about counting things in Na’vi:
Actually, it’s easy. There isn’t anything exactly equivalent to “hunter number 3”—instead, you just use the ordinal (as opposed to the cardinal) numbers. (Cardinals: one, two, three, . . . ; ordinals: first, second, third, . . . ) So:
hunter number 3 = taronyu apxeyve (or, of course, pxeyvea taronyu)
(If you see any problem with that system, let me know. But I think it’s OK.)

Clarification on 'Awpo

Quoted by Kì'eyawn, February 26 2011 ([2]).

Kaltxì frapoya,
So, Frommer corrected a sentence i wrote using the word 'awpo:
Quote from: Karyu Pawl
‘Awpo is indefinite, akin to tuteo ‘someone’ but not necessarily a person. I originally used it in the Hunt Song. “Choose one among you . . .” – that is, one animal among you to feed the people. But it’s not “Choose THE one among you . . ."
So, for example, "The best hunter is the one who hunts to feeds others," Frommer recommended using tsatute instead:
Taronyu aswey lu tsatute a taron fte yomtivìng aylaru.

Nì- with Participles

Reported by Kì'eyawn, March 24 2011 ([3]).

Kaltxì frapoya,
A good number of us have developed the habit of attaching nì- to participles in order to make adverbs, based on the Frommerian word nìawnomum (nì-<awn>omum). So, for example, you might see a word *nìpawneng being used to mean "as told," or something to that effect. So, in my most recent conversation with Karyu Pawl, i asked how he felt about this.
Regarding whether nìawnomum is the basis for a productive way of using nì- with participles, the answer was an emphatic NO. He said, however, that the existence of nìawnomum opens the door to the possibility that there are other words in Na'vi that are constructed the same way (i.e., nì-V<awn>ERB), but these will need to be explicitly listed in the dictionary, and will not be common.
So, that means this construction is not at all productive, but nìawnomum might not be the only one of these we see.