Canon/2012/January-June

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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 January 2012 - June 2012. To access past information please see:

I have something to say

Reported by wm.annis, January 5 2012 (forum)

Asking Karyu Pawl to confirm the line of dialog, Ma eytukan, lu oeru aylì'u frapor.

Yup. That's what Jake was supposed to say.
In this case, I don't see a problem with a "double dative." The poster who said these are most likely to occur where one dative is a possessive is probably right; I can't think of another straightforward kind of example. But this is a case where word order clearly makes a difference:
(1) Lu oeru aylì'u frapor.
(2) Lu frapor aylì'u oeru.
are not the same.
"Fpi" isn't quite the same thing: it's used more in cases of "for the sake of, for the benefit of." So:
Tsakem soli oe fpi nga. 'I did it for you.' -- i.e., for your benefit.
Cf.:
Tsakem soli oe ngaru. 'I did it to you.'
Or:
(3) Stxelit fpole' oel ngaru. 'I sent the gift to you.'
(4) Stxelit fpole' oel ngafpi. 'I sent the gift for you.' -- i.e. I sent it to someone else for your sake. (Perhaps you were sick and not able to get out, so I sent it on your behalf.)

A poetic license and a note on adposition position

Reported by wm.annis, March 17, 2012 (forum)

A few days ago I asked Pawl about a possible variation possessive word order. One consequence of this is that he made a very clear statement in support of something most of us have suspected but never had overt confirmation on, regarding suffixed adpositions:

Quote from: K. Pawl
So for ordinary usage I think we should star Gen Adp NP is a potential variant of Adp Gen NP and Adp NP Gen, or better, reserve it for poetry.
As for other variants, I think we all agree that Gen NP+Adp and NP+Adp Gen are both OK? oeyä tsyokxfa and tsyokxfa oeyä?
BTW, the reason a postpositive Adp can separate a N and Adj, as in fìtrrmì lestranten, is by analogy with N+case Adj.
For example, we have fìtrrä letsranten 'of this important day.' I thought of a postpositive Adp (well, at least ) as a quasi-case . . . and in fact in some languages (Finnish, say?) it would actually count as a case, right? So . . .
fìtrrä letsranten ~ fìtrrmì lestranten

So, for the purposes of genitives and attributive adjectives with nouns, a suffixed adposition patterns like case.

The question I was asking about was the possibility of a variant word order. I came up with it for a LEP sentence, but changed it back to something reasonable later. We know that fa oeyä tsyokx and oeyä tsyokxfa both work for "with my hand." I wondered if oeyä fa tsyokx might be possible. It is, sort of...

Quote from: K. Pawl
I'm happy to allow your word order proposal in poetry. As you noted, we already have examples of poetic or ceremonial w.o. that one wouldn't be :likely to find in conversation.

Concerning tup

Reported by Plumps, April 5 2012 (forum).

About tup: Yes, it's a conjunction. I used it only once, I think, in the video game dialog:

Lam ngay oer, fo kayä ìlä hilvan tup na’rìng. I bet they'll take the river rather than the forest.

That's obviously short for: . . . fo kayä ìlä hilvan tup kayä ìlä na’rìng.

So tup conjoins clauses, which makes it a conjunction.