Verb infixes

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Note: this page is about the morphology of the verb infixes primarily. For the meaning and use of these, see Verb syntax.


All verbal inflection in Na'vi makes use of infixes. These are morphemes which, rather than occurring before (prefixes) or after (suffixes), are inserted into the middle of the verbal root. There are three positions for infixes. Frommer speaks of first position, second position and pre-first position. In some online documentation people have chosen to label the positions ‹1› (pre-first), ‹2› (first) and ‹3› (second).

Pre-first position

This position holds affixes that change transitivity, as well as the participle markers.

Reflexive ‹äp›
Causative ‹eyk›
Active Participle ‹us›
Passive Participle ‹awn›

First position

Infixes that occur in the first position indicate tense, aspect, and mood.

First position affixes are placed between the onset and the nucleus of the verb's penultimate syllable. If the verb is monosyllabic, they are placed before the first, and only, vowel of the root.

Aspect

Perfective ‹ol›
Imperfective ‹er›

When the perfective infix ‹ol› encounters the pseudovowel ll the combination reduces to the simple consonant. The perfective of plltxe is thus poltxe not *p‹ol›lltxe. The same thing occurs when the imperfective infix ‹er› encounters the pseudovowel rr. Therefore, the imperfective of frrfen is frrfen not *f‹er›rrfen.

Tense

Future ‹ay›, ‹asy›
Proximal Future ‹ìy›, ‹ìsy›
Present none
Proximal Past ‹ìm›
Past ‹am›

Mood

The subjunctive infix is ‹iv›.

Combination of affixes in first position

Although not all possible combinations of aspect, tense, and mood are known from the current corpus, it is known that at least some combinations result in a new, complex infix.

Second position

"Laudative" ‹ei› (‹eiy› before i)
"Pejorative" ‹äng› (optionally ‹eng› before i)
Honorific ‹uy›
Indirect evidential ‹ats›

Infixes which occur in the second position indicate a range of features, including most prominently the speaker's attitude toward the event.

When the laudative infix, ‹ei›, is followed by the vowel i a euphonic y is inserted, so *s‹ei›i becomes seiyi.

When the pejorative infix, ‹äng› is followed by the vowel i, its vowel is optionally raised to e, as in s‹eng›i.