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 from the year 2013. To access past information please see:
Ftärpa and Skiempa
Reported by Markì and Wm.annis in this forum post, Jan 12 2013.
Email from Frommer to Markì:
- OK, regarding mìn and kìm:
- Mìn is an intransitive verb meaning 'turn' or 'rotate.' So:
- Mìn ne ftärpa.
- 'Turn to the left.'
- Kunsìpìri txana tìmeyp lu tsyal a mìn.
- 'The gunship's main weakness is the rotor system.'
- Kìm is a transitive verb meaning 'spin'--i.e. spin something:
- Pol rumit kolìm.
- 'He spun the ball.'
- As you see, kìm is roughly equivalent to the causative of mìn, meykìn: to spin something is to make the thing turn.
- Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.
Email to Wm.annis about the same matter:
- Of course, mìn ne skiempa is well formed too. (Stress on the 1st syllable: SKI-em-pa.)
- Ftärpa and skiempa should be in the dictionary. They aren't in my spreadsheet, so I'll add them there too.
Reported by Wm.annis in this forum post, Jan 26 2013.
I asked K Pawl if he happened to have a quick example of how pänutìng should be used from either the game or movie dialog that didn't make it into the final cut. He sent this in reply,
- Quote from: K Pawl
- From the movie:
- TSU'TEY: Neytiriti fkol pänutolìng oeru!
- 'Neytiri was promised to me!'
So now we know for sure it's transitive.
Comparisons and Gerund
Reported by Plumps in this forum post, Jan 31 2013.
We know that we can handle ‘I am as fast as you’ with the ‘A lu nìftxan ADJ na/pxel B’. Is this also possible with other verbs? E.g. Oe tul nìftxan nìwin na nga ‘I run as fast as you’?
- Yes, that’s fine. Here, nìftxan is used before an ADV, not an ADJ, but that’s perfectly OK.
The same question with unequal comparisons: Our paradigm there is ‘A to B lu ADJ’. Is this also possible with other verbs? Like 'Oe to nga tul nìwin ‘I run faster than you’.
And if the particle to behaves like sì, it should theoretically be possible to use it with a case ending, right? Like Oel to ngal yerikit taron nìltsan ‘I hunt yerik better than you’ ?
- That seems fine to me as well.
With the superlative, we have examples of lu ADJ frato, N a-ADJ frato, V frato but not ADV frato. So these should be correct: Po lu win frato. ‘S/He is the fastest.’ (faster than all) Oel tsole’a fwampopit awin frato. ‘I saw the fastest Tapirus.’
- Those are all OK.
Nga oer tsranten frato. ‘You matter the most to me.’
- Yes, that’s OK. But I’m wondering now about the “V frato” examples. Have you come across others in this category, besides tsranten? Whereas frato is freely used with all (scalable) adjectives and adverbs, I think its use with verbs should be quite restricted. For example, what would it mean to say, “Pol yerikit taron frato”? You need an adverb here, I think: “Pol yerikit taron nìltsan frato”—He hunts yerik better than anyone, or, the best of all.
Is po tul nìwin frato ‘s/he runs the fastest’ also correct?
- Sure, that’s fine.
And concerning gerund formation of compound verbs.
- As to the gerund with compound verbs: good question! I hadn't given that consideration. But the answer is clear in my mind: it's tìyomtusìng, not *yomtìtusìng.
I don’t know if you can provide me with a short answer whether we could use kelsar (kel.SAR, from ke+l(e)sar) to mean ‘useless, in vain’?
- Tsalì'u alu kelsar kosman lu nì'aw!