Learn Na'vi > Advanced Grammar

Adverbs or nouns?


Expressions like fìkrr, fìtrr, fìtseng, tsatseng, tsakrr, are described as adverbs in the dictionaries, because their translations (today, now, here, then etc) are adverbs in the English language. Technically, the words themselves are nouns prefixed with prenouns and the literal translation is this-day and so on. So technically, are they adverbs, or nouns which we just prefer to undertand as adverbs?

Even in Engish, some adverbs can be treated as nouns, for example "the customs of today".

I think that these expressions are actually nouns in NA'vi as they can be regularly treated as nouns. In English we can't say "of here" but in Na'vi we can easily decline the "adverb" and say fìtsengä which should be translated "of this place".

I think i have read about some exotic languages that have no adjectives, but verbs like "be good" which take the role of adjectives, and are translated as such in English.

You are absolutely right.

They are both nouns and adverbs depending on how you use them.

I don’t know of the classification. Whether a reevaluation is in order. Frommer approves of the Taronyu dictionary, so I think, if something were to be decided, Markì would have to get in contact with K. Pawl.

I am afraid that this question has no single answer.

While creating or translating a language, everybody is influenced by his/her own language - by both the dictionary and the structure of it.
So I understand why are those nouns marked as adverbs - because they are used as adverbs, both in Na'vi and in the translation (not necessarily in English only, but in other languages as well).
However, in the Na'vi language, these words are not adverbs derived from nouns, they are nouns.

With all this in mind, such words are marked as both nouns and adverbs in the Czech version of the dictionary. This is not a proposal to do the same in all languages - only an example of the approach we selected as a best compromise between syntax and semantics.

I have read that in the previous centuries, when European grammarians tried to document exotic languages, they tried to fit it into the logic of the european languages, using european terms. Since then, relevant terms have been employed to describe these features, and everything is described according to the logic of each language.

I guess that, according to the older logic, the prenouns would be described as "prefixed pronouns" or "prepositions" and in a grammar book they would be included in such chapters. :)

Tirea Aean:
We treat and use them as adverbs often, but you're right. They are basically nouns with affixes, done in the standard way for any noun. So it is also valid to use them as nouns, I would think. I know for a fact that fìtseng and tsatseng at the very least have official examples of being used in both ways. It was just worth mentioning these as adverbs, because not every noun can qualify for use as an adverb outright. Nouns are nouns, but a select few can be used as an adverb like this.


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