Word Order Restrictions
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While Na'vi is usually described as having free word order, there are nonetheless some restrictions to know about.
- Ke must always go directly before the verb, kea must go before its noun.
- A si verb will always have the word order X si or, negated, X ke si or X rä'ä si (where X is the noun or adjective element).
- The sole exception is irayo si, which can have the order disrupted somewhat.
- If there is no noun or adjective element, just say si (or ke si, or rä'ä si), like this example,
- Nga tsap'alute soli srak? - Did you apologize?
- Soli. - (I) did (apologize).
- Attributive/non-predicative adjectives must either go directly before or directly after the noun they describe. You can use both kawnga tute and tute akawng.
- Possessives/genitives must either go before directly before or directly after their possessed noun, except that an adjective describing the noun may come in between if necessary:
- oeyä 'eylan = 'eylan oeyä,
- oeyä sìltsana 'eylan = 'eylan asìltsan oeyä
- Ma must go directly before the name who is being addressed.
- Srake should only go either at the very beginning of a yes/no question, and srak at the end.
- The words ko and nang must only go at the end of the sentence.
- Modal verbs can only come somewhere before the secondary verb; the secondary verb cannot happen somewhere before the modal:
- nga yivom tsun = wrong
- tsun nga yivom / nga tsun yivom / tsun yivom nga = correct forms.
- There are exceptions in song (the Hunt Song, livu win sì txur oe zene).
- The topical must come at the beginning of the clause.
- Again, exceptions may be found in song, the Hunt Song, pxan livu txo nì'aw oe ngari....