Author Topic: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi  (Read 5484 times)

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Swoka Swizaw

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2010, 02:52:30 pm »
Ma Sempul Frommer once said in an interview that eventually Na'vi would end up growing by the community, much like how Klingon did.

Skxawng is so the new petaQ! (Maybe not as much intended meaning and inflection, but all the same.)


Well ... knowing Frommers statement about the connection between language and culture/philosophy, this seems to lack a real foundation.

From his UGO-interview:

Quote
Jordan Hoffman: Well, this leads to an actual question – the Na’vi philosophy is a very natural, holistic way of life. Those blue suckers are very green. Did this in any way inform the construction of the language?

Paul Frommer: No. Only with certain concepts that I knew needed to be in there like “Tree of Souls” or “Hometree” and some of the religious concepts of Eowah. Otherwise, no, I just wanted exotic sounds to the Western ear – the ejectives the [proceeds clicking and making beat box sounds] and something fun for the audience. There is really no connection between the grammatical structure or aural quality of a language with the culture of a people.

To be sure, that is a shame. A further dimension like that would, at least for me, make it more aestetically pleasing. As a fan of the language, I can say that I hope(d) that ma Frome would opt to applying his full creativity to his (soon to be $2 billion) project.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 03:02:12 pm by Swoka Swizaw »

Offline tìngay mungeyu

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2010, 05:36:03 pm »
Hey,

I've just stumbled upon this thread, and thought I'd chip in. While I think (and it seems most everyone else agrees) that Taronyu's reasoning is convincing, its correctness with respect to the language as a whole cannot be posited without substantial evidence. Consider the following examples from Hungarian:

Possession:
Jó íja van a harcosnak.
Good bow-POS-3P-S is-3P-S the warrior-DAT.
Good bow is to the warrior.
The warrior has a good bow.

State:
Súlyos sebe van a harcosnak.
Serious wound-POS-3P-S is-3P-S the warrior-DAT.
Serious wound is to the warrior.
The warrior has a serious wound/is seriously wounded.

This of course doesn't resolve the debate at hand, but shows that in a non-IE language (the likes of which I believe were the primary inspiration for Na'vi) such constructions can be used to express state and possession alike.

Cheers,
blueme

Kaltxí,

(I hope this is not offtopic :))

I'm Hungarian, and it's really hard to learn Na'vi (that is so similar to my mother tongue) through English explanations. :-\
I need to translate difficult grammer rules then I realize that they are just like in Hungarian.  :)
OK, it's not a complain, I love Na'vi language, I'm happy to learn it and to know that languages like Hungarian could be the primary inspiration for Na'vi.  :D

Offline tsrräfkxätu

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2010, 06:41:29 pm »

Kaltxí,

(I hope this is not offtopic :))

I'm Hungarian, and it's really hard to learn Na'vi (that is so similar to my mother tongue) through English explanations. :-\
I need to translate difficult grammer rules then I realize that they are just like in Hungarian.  :)
OK, it's not a complain, I love Na'vi language, I'm happy to learn it and to know that languages like Hungarian could be the primary inspiration for Na'vi.  :D

I think I read somewhere that Dr. Frommer had looked at some obscure Asian languages for inspiration -- maybe one of the Uralic relatives of Hungarian among them. Or maybe it's just coincidence, but there are indeed some features that are easier to understand if you know Hungarian (like the topic-comment syntax.)
párolt zöldség — muntxa fkxen  

Offline Alìm Tsamsiyu

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2010, 12:59:28 pm »
Ma Sempul Frommer once said in an interview that eventually Na'vi would end up growing by the community, much like how Klingon did.

...I hope(d) that ma Frome would...

Sorry to come in here swinging the Grammar Nazi baton, but unless you're actually addressing Frommer himself, you do not use "ma" before his name.  Na'vi "Ma" != English "My." (For all you non-computer science guys, != means NOT EQUAL).
Oeyä ayswizawri tswayon alìm ulte takuk nìngay.
My arrows fly far and strike true.

Swoka Swizaw

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2010, 06:47:27 pm »
Ma Sempul Frommer once said in an interview that eventually Na'vi would end up growing by the community, much like how Klingon did.

...I hope(d) that ma Frome would...

Sorry to come in here swinging the Grammar Nazi baton, but unless you're actually addressing Frommer himself, you do not use "ma" before his name.  Na'vi "Ma" != English "My." (For all you non-computer science guys, != means NOT EQUAL).

Cool. Thanks for the correction...

Offline Na'rìghawnu

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2010, 08:04:12 am »

In Frommers message there is the line

Sìlpey oe, layu oeru ye'rìn sìltsan a fmawn ...
"I hope, I will soon have good news ..."

Here again lu occurs with the dative (oeru). And this time in connection with a solid noun "news".
Can this also just be interpreted as "state" or alike? I don't think so. To me this clearly shows the construction of a dativus possessivus: To me there will be news = I will have news.


Offline Taronyu

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2010, 09:23:01 am »
Noted.

I don't think that this can be anything else.

Offline txura utral

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2010, 11:58:02 am »

In Frommers message there is the line

Sìlpey oe, layu oeru ye'rìn sìltsan a fmawn ...
"I hope, I will soon have good news ..."

Here again lu occurs with the dative (oeru). And this time in connection with a solid noun "news".
Can this also just be interpreted as "state" or alike? I don't think so. To me this clearly shows the construction of a dativus possessivus: To me there will be news = I will have news.



So i guess this means that lu + dative is used for possession of physical objects as well. Kewl.
Na'viti ayngal nume, ayskxawng!
Learn your Na'vi, morons!

I apologize in advance for my grammar.

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2010, 12:15:15 pm »

In Frommers message there is the line

Sìlpey oe, layu oeru ye'rìn sìltsan a fmawn ...
"I hope, I will soon have good news ..."

Here again lu occurs with the dative (oeru). And this time in connection with a solid noun "news".
Can this also just be interpreted as "state" or alike? I don't think so. To me this clearly shows the construction of a dativus possessivus: To me there will be news = I will have news.



So i guess this means that lu + dative is used for possession of physical objects as well. Kewl.

Not necessarily, "good news" isn't a physical object. How can you hold news?

In any case, I'd say it's all but canon now that lu+dative=possessive (non-physical) but I don't think we yet have a possessive for physical objects.

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2010, 12:18:17 pm »
I guess the question becomes whether or not people should be allowed to use it to show physical possession until either confirmed or denied by Pawl.
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Offline Doolio

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2010, 12:25:45 pm »
well, yes, that was the original question:)
and i think that we should vote or something, as both sides have strong arguments, or, better to say, neither side has solid arguments :D

...taj rad...

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2010, 12:29:53 pm »
well, yes, that was the original question:)
and i think that we should vote or something, as both sides have strong arguments, or, better to say, neither side has solid arguments :D

In those cases I always say "no" we shouldn't, it's bad practice. If we had some example showing the dative being used to show physical possession I'd say sure but we don't (as far as I know).

Offline suomichris

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2010, 12:38:27 pm »
So, what am I suggesting? Based on what we know: that using ___-ru lu ___ only works when you're talking about a state of someone. Essentially, it isn't used for possession. You cannot use lu to mean have.
I was reading through this thread again, and I am confused by the logic here.  Possession, by any definition, is a state, regardless of whether that possession is physical or abstract, and certainly not an activity.

I suggest, again, that X-ru lu is the possessive construction, regardless of what is possessed.  We have no information to the contrary.  This could be wrong (doubtful), but I think we should go by what we have until we see a counterexample, instead of hypothesizing.  I will also note again that lots of languages HAVE a dative-possessive construction, Latin being perhaps the best known: Mihi liber est.

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2010, 12:48:11 pm »
So, what am I suggesting? Based on what we know: that using ___-ru lu ___ only works when you're talking about a state of someone. Essentially, it isn't used for possession. You cannot use lu to mean have.
I was reading through this thread again, and I am confused by the logic here.  Possession, by any definition, is a state, regardless of whether that possession is physical or abstract, and certainly not an activity.

I suggest, again, that X-ru lu is the possessive construction, regardless of what is possessed.  We have no information to the contrary.  This could be wrong (doubtful), but I think we should go by what we have until we see a counterexample, instead of hypothesizing.  I will also note again that lots of languages HAVE a dative-possessive construction, Latin being perhaps the best known: Mihi liber est.

What I was saying is that we only have canon examples of possessing a state of being ("ngaru lu fpom srak" for example) but we don't have any canon examples of possessing a physical object (that I know of). I agree that we have nothing to the contrary and if I have to show possession of a physical object I will use lu+dative but I don't think we should teach it nor assume that it's correct until we have an example one way or another.

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2010, 12:50:20 pm »
So, essentially keep it as a secret of us higher ups until we find out more?
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Offline Doolio

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2010, 12:58:59 pm »
Quote
I suggest, again, that X-ru lu is the possessive construction, regardless of what is possessed.  We have no information to the contrary.
but we have no information which supports that view either. the whole discussion is about that. we have examples for both ways in existing languages. in my language, for example, you can't use the oeru lu to indicate physical possession but you can use it to indicate a state of being or some abstract, wider sense of possession or some relation, for example "oeru lu 'itan" could pass perhaps, but not "oeru lu tsko".

also, your latin example doesn't indicate physical possession either. can you say "i have a sword" in latin with dative+be construction? i am just asking as i don't know, i am not implying.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 01:01:22 pm by Doolio »
...taj rad...

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2010, 01:04:08 pm »
I swear I read those new messages and thought I was reading old messages over, confused why they were marked as today.

Haven't we gone over all this?

Doolio, curiosity here what is your language?
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Offline suomichris

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2010, 01:04:17 pm »
What I was saying is that we only have canon examples of possessing a state of being ("ngaru lu fpom srak" for example) but we don't have any canon examples of possessing a physical object (that I know of). I agree that we have nothing to the contrary and if I have to show possession of a physical object I will use lu+dative but I don't think we should teach it nor assume that it's correct until we have an example one way or another.
Right.  But Taronyu seemed to be assuming that the lack of such examples meant that such things weren't possible; I don't think that's the case....  I'l also hard-pressed to see where we draw the line.  I mean, "I have words for you" is more concrete than "I have well-being."  The DAT-lu construction is thus being used for a rather wide range...

Anyway, I was just saying that, as you mention, we don't know, so we shouldn't also make it look like the DAT-lu construction CAN'T be used for such things....  Which, I think, some folks might get form Taronyu's first post.

Offline Doolio

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2010, 01:12:58 pm »
omängum:
serbian, and i think that this is the case in a fair number of slavic languages...

suomichris:
Quote
nyway, I was just saying that, as you mention, we don't know, so we shouldn't also make it look like the DAT-lu construction CAN'T be used for such things
well, that is the whole point and dillema:) should we use it for physical possession or not? we don't have evidence for any of these, and we could go wrong with either decision. the question is, IMHO, what is the safer option. for me, it is always safer NOT to incorporate something, and then incorporate it if we find out later that it is possible, then to incorporate something we are unsure of, and later we could find ourselves un-learning things.
...taj rad...

Offline suomichris

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Re: Lu and the Dative, and the Epistemology of Na'vi
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2010, 01:14:50 pm »
also, your latin example doesn't indicate physical possession either. can you say "i have a sword" in latin with dative+be construction? i am just asking as i don't know, i am not implying.
Yes; the example I gave was "I have a book."  And I just checked with my roommate (who teaches Latin) and he says you can use it wherever.

Could you give us a couple Serbian examples to look at?

 

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