Author Topic: Na'vi: head initial or final?  (Read 2306 times)

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Na'vi: head initial or final?
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:14:09 pm »
Of course, Na'vi can be both ways (tswusayona torukìl nusäka ikranit tawmì yameiom  /  torukìl atswusayon yameiom ikranit anusäk mì saw) but I'm kinda curious which is more common, especially on Karyu Pawl's blogs.

On a side note I *think* I can tell different writers apart in nìNa'vi nì'aw (where I lurk a lot lol) based on head initiality or finality...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 09:01:17 pm by Urekiníste Lûsenin »
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 08:27:43 pm »
Of course, Na'vi can be both ways (tswusayona torukìl nusäka ikran tawmì yameiyom  /  torukìl atswusayon yameiyom ikran anusäk mì saw) but I'm kinda curious which is more common, especially on Karyu Pawl's blogs.

On a side note I *think* I can tell different writers apart in nìNa'vi nì'aw (where I lurk a lot lol) based on head initiality or finality...

If you base this more on how compound nouns (and some adjectives) are formed there is a much stronger tendency for a head-final leaning. However, with regular attribution though, I think it's quite complex and variable. Native speakers of English coming to Na’vi tend to put simple adjectives before nouns and a-clauses after them, but I think it's really kind of a free-for-all much of the time, and when sentences become complex all slots get filled. ;-)

Thanks for de-cloaking, but feel free to lurk as much as you like too.  ;D

BTW, with yameiyom do you mean "ate (and I'm pleased about that)"? That would require a tiny tweak to yameiom and might be equally likely expressed with yoleiom.


Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 08:29:13 pm »
Yeah, lol I was spelling it phonetically based on (mis)pronunciation.

I'm actually interested in adposition order. Prepositions are something of an aversion to me (lol) as they seem to be exclusively bound to Indo-European languages and languages highly influenced by them...of course I'm probably wrong.
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 08:46:43 pm »
Also:

tswusayona torukìl nusäka ikranit tawmì yameiom  and  torukìl atswusayon yameiom ikranit anusäk mì saw
Nìrangal frapo tsirvun pivlltxe nìNa'vi :D

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 08:59:32 pm »
Yeah, lol I was spelling it phonetically based on (mis)pronunciation.

I'm actually interested in adposition order. Prepositions are something of an aversion to me (lol) as they seem to be exclusively bound to Indo-European languages and languages highly influenced by them...of course I'm probably wrong.

They also float around quite a bit. If an advanced speaker is writing to a less advanced speaker he or she is probably more likely to use them as a preposition, but if more advanced speakers are writing to each other, they are just as likely to be suffixed as clitics, essentially mirroring a very robust case system. One of the most common ones, , in speech goes simply to m- before most vowels.

Mì ’ana ››› mì ana (via lenition) ››› /MAna/ in speech ››› “on the hanging vine.” But, that's somewhat of an outlier example. Most often when used as prepositions they remain distinct words in both speech and the orthography.


Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 09:01:30 pm »
Also:

tswusayona torukìl nusäka ikranit tawmì yameiom  and  torukìl atswusayon yameiom ikranit anusäk mì saw
Ahh! Thanks ;)
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 08:51:14 am »
Prepositions are something of an aversion to me (lol) as they seem to be exclusively bound to Indo-European languages and languages highly influenced by them...of course I'm probably wrong.

Oh, gosh.  Some very non-Indo-European languages are completely adposition-happy.  Navajo, for example, has 70+ of them, and uses them with wild abandon.
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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 09:22:12 am »
Prepositions are something of an aversion to me (lol) as they seem to be exclusively bound to Indo-European languages and languages highly influenced by them...of course I'm probably wrong.

Oh, gosh.  Some very non-Indo-European languages are completely adposition-happy.  Navajo, for example, has 70+ of them, and uses them with wild abandon.
I'm talking about prepositions...
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 10:46:47 am »
Prepositions are something of an aversion to me (lol) as they seem to be exclusively bound to Indo-European languages and languages highly influenced by them...of course I'm probably wrong.

Oh, gosh.  Some very non-Indo-European languages are completely adposition-happy.  Navajo, for example, has 70+ of them, and uses them with wild abandon.
I'm talking about prepositions...

If you'll read my response above, Na’vi's adpositions can be PREpositions, or not. If you want to use the exclusively as clitic suffixes, go right ahead. Fluent speakers will understand you easily.



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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 02:04:46 pm »
Assuming that in OP you're talking about adjectives coming before or after the noun, I tend to go with whichever flows more. Or feels more natural based on the words. Quite subjective. I tend to use N aADJ more than ADJa N because of how not-english it is. But I do mix stuff up. And for certain super common phrases, I go with the mainstream and say Txon lefpom instead of lefpoma txon. But hey. There IS freedom there. And just about everywhere.

On prepositions: what's the issue? I don't see an issue. :-\ I like to use Na'vi adpositions as prepositions a lot of the time. Maybe more often than enclitic. It kinda depends on my mood that day: hmmm. I think I'm gonna use enclitic adpositions to the Max today. Tomorrow I might say: meh. That's lame. I'm feeling normal prepositions today. Hmm.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 04:11:34 pm »
I actually feel a bit uncomfortable with the super flexibility of Na'vi. It seems like it's there to make English syntax still correct while allowing for other syntax patterns which Pawl almost always uses.

Is there any language that has adpositions that go both before and after the noun?
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 04:17:27 pm »
In English, we use prepositions to create 'prepositional phrases', examples being 'to him', 'above her', 'around it', etc. where the final word is always the object/receiver of the action described by the word before, which can be called 'prepositions'. In Na'vi, we use adpositions to do the same thing, with the big difference being that can prepositional, nonbound, or postpositional, enclitic. The word 'adposition' makes sense to describe the little 'byte' that can go before or after the target word. But is the resulting phrase, a 'prepositional phrase' because of its function, regardless of where the adposition is? Or is it an 'adpositional phrase'?

I use the nonbound prepositional form a lot more often that the enclitic, postpositional form,but I definitely use both regularly.

And ma  Urekáthte Lûseni, its interesting you used this sentence. I have always believed that, due to its size, a toruk could capture prey and eat it while flying, much to the chagrin of the unlucky meal. ::)

Yawey ngahu!
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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 04:22:48 pm »
I actually feel a bit uncomfortable with the super flexibility of Na'vi. It seems like it's there to make English syntax still correct while allowing for other syntax patterns which Pawl almost always uses.

Is there any language that has adpositions that go both before and after the noun?

But in so many cases English syntax is not grammatical in Na'vi. Passive voice, "be" as a helping verb, ...

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 04:29:03 pm »
I actually feel a bit uncomfortable with the super flexibility of Na'vi. It seems like it's there to make English syntax still correct while allowing for other syntax patterns which Pawl almost always uses.

Is there any language that has adpositions that go both before and after the noun?

But in so many cases English syntax is not grammatical in Na'vi. Passive voice, "be" as a helping verb, ...
Hmm I agree. But I've always found that with Na'vi's agglutinating conjugation and declension system, using SVO word order and adpositions in front is prone to create confusion more clearly.

"be" as a helping verb is technically correct, syntactically speaking. There's nothing really wrong with oe lu pamrel susi, since pamrel susi is an adjective and NOUN lu ADJECTIVE is correct; but it's super redundant and nobody says that (just like in English nobody says "please become in the state of eating" as a polite request to eat as in Japanese)
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 04:33:13 pm »
I've heard somewhere that SVO word order is only common in more-or-less analytic languages, since the verb serves to split up the subject and the object. Is this true?
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"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 04:36:14 pm »
I actually feel a bit uncomfortable with the super flexibility of Na'vi. It seems like it's there to make English syntax still correct while allowing for other syntax patterns which Pawl almost always uses.

Is there any language that has adpositions that go both before and after the noun?

But in so many cases English syntax is not grammatical in Na'vi. Passive voice, "be" as a helping verb, ...
Hmm I agree. But I've always found that with Na'vi's agglutinating conjugation and declension system, using SVO word order and adpositions in front is prone to create confusion more clearly.

This might be true...

Quote
"be" as a helping verb is technically correct, syntactically speaking. There's nothing really wrong with oe lu pamrel susi, since pamrel susi is an adjective and NOUN lu ADJECTIVE is correct; but it's super redundant and nobody says that (just like in English nobody says "please become in the state of eating" as a polite request to eat as in Japanese)

Incorrect. Verbs containing the participle infixes us or awn may NOT be used as predicative adjectives. Attributive only. There is a note about this in Horen (and NiaN too, I think).

I've heard somewhere that SVO word order is only common in more-or-less analytic languages, since the verb serves to split up the subject and the object. Is this true?

All these questions seem like they belong in /advanced-grammar. Moving...

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 04:50:02 pm »
Is there any language that has adpositions that go both before and after the noun?

Yes, though not too many, and typically it's only a restricted set that act this way, rather than the whole set.
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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 07:53:04 pm »
There's nothing really wrong with oe lu pamrel susi, since pamrel susi is an adjective and NOUN lu ADJECTIVE is correct; but it's super redundant and nobody says that (just like in English nobody says "please become in the state of eating" as a polite request to eat as in Japanese)

There's actually QUITE a bit wrong with oe lu pamrel susi. It's not grammatical and it's very challenging to make any sense out of it. Verbs infixed with ‹us› do NOT function as predicates in Na’vi. I can only parse that sentence partially, and TO ME, it sounds like it's missing ...-a tute, where the speaker sounds like she intends to be saying Oe lu pamrelsiyu, but doesn't know all of the morphological rules to produce that. To this speaker of Na’vi, it absolutely does NOT mean "I am writing." I can only guess that you might be intending that meaning due to the fact that I speak Japanese too and 食べてください/お食べになってください (Tabete kudasai/O-tabe-ni-natte kudasai ("please become in the state of eating")) is as familiar to me as "I am eating" or "Please have something to eat."

Why are you “uncomfortable with the super flexibility of Na'vi”? Is it because of something that you've encountered in theoretical linguistics? Or is it just hard as a learner of the language?

I agree that it's VERY unusual, but so is the fact that attribution can go in both directions in Na’vi. I am currently learning Cherokee. It is polysynthetic, but the morpheme slots (so far) seem to be quite positionally constrained, even though word order is not always.



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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 08:09:22 pm »
I'm not claiming it makes semantic sense; only that it's perhaps syntactically correct, and if you apply English parsing rules on the sentence it would make sense.

I would write お食べになる syntactically as tìyusuyomne slu and お食べになってください as tìyusuyomne slivu rutxe. It only makes sense if you apply Japanese-ish parsing rules, or else you are literally requesting a person to become the action of eating, not to become in the state of eating. My point was that even though it might not make sense, Na'vi can "imitate" the syntax of quite a lot of languages. Put it another way, calquing to Na'vi can be a more concise and elegant way for writing "(honorific) eat-noun-DAT-INF (request particle)". I bet English cannot do that  :P

I'm uncomfortable mostly because it makes Na'vi look obviously and carefully constructed. Get a tribe to speak Na'vi for a century and I'm sure there would be a *strong* tendency to either head-finalness or head-initialness, and probably huge amounts of alliteration and vowel harmony with the infixes, which as it stands often produce weird sounding sequences not found in lexical forms.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 08:15:37 pm by Urekáthte Lûseni »
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

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Re: Na'vi: head initial or final?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 08:40:04 pm »

Tìyusuyomne slu is also not grammatical, though "more there" than the pamrel susi example. If ‹uy› could go in a gerund, it would be in the correct position, yes. However, I can only imagine it as occurring in a context like Tìsrusew tìyus(uy)omne slu, where the activities in the (ceremonial) evening switched from "dancing to eating". Ne with slu only occurs in limited contexts. It's not equivalent to the dative. Tìyusuyomne slu doesn't remotely mean anything like お食べになる。お食べになる could only occur in archaic Japanese as phrase final or modern Japanese as an adjectival phrase preceding a noun.

Quote
Put it another way, calquing to Na'vi can be a more concise and elegant way for writing "(honorific) eat-noun-DAT-INF (request particle)".

お食べになってください is Yivuyom (ngenga) rutxe in Na’vi. It is more directly, eloquently rendered in Na’vi from Japanese than in English, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the productivity of tì__us____. Nothing.

Quote
...huge amounts of alliteration and vowel harmony with the infixes, which as it stands often produce weird sounding sequences not found in lexical forms.

I would be very interested to hear your examples of this/these. What are these “weird sounding sequences not found in lexical forms”?


 

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