Author Topic: Passive in Na'vi  (Read 2170 times)

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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2014, 01:09:28 pm »
Is "pamrel si" really necessary there? What about Hamletit ngolop Shakespeare-ìl ulte... - Hamlet was created by Shakespeare and... / Shakespeare created Hamlet and....?

Tam...
After that, I don't think that the topical makes sense.
Why?
If I see this example from Na'viteri:
Tsalì’uri fko pamrel si fyape? ‘How is that word written?’ (Literally: ‘As for that word, how does one write (it)?’
and also think about ’Upxareri oe pamrel si 'I write the message.'
A sentence like

        Hamletìri pamrel soli Shakespeare ulte... OR Vurìri alu Hamlet pamrel soli Shakespeare ulte...
        (The Hamlet was written by Shakespeare and... / The Story called Hamlet was written by Shakespeare and...)

should work. (Btw, Shakespeare has no case endings as he is the author of Hamlet)
The topic case does not mean always "as for X", and it can cover the dative because the topic 'defines' a word.

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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2014, 01:23:04 pm »
Is "pamrel si" really necessary there? What about Hamletit ngolop Shakespeare-ìl ulte... - Hamlet was created by Shakespeare and... / Shakespeare created Hamlet and....?
Hamletit ngolop Shakespeare-ìl is active sentence (Shakespeare created Hamlet). I'm not sure if it can be converted successfully into passive, it should be like:
Fkol ngolop Hamletit (One created Hamlet / Hamlet was created), but how to add author?
Fkol ngolop Hamletit fa Shakespeare ?? It sounds weird, active voice gives much better sense. Or word order is what simulate passive voice in original sentence? It gives sense too.  :-\
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Offline Yawne Zize’ite

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2014, 04:27:13 pm »
I should have been clearer.

I read Frommer's message to mean that the English passive has (at least) three uses. The first use is to omit the agent, which in Na'vi can be done with fko. The second use is to emphasize the patient, which in Na'vi can be done with word order.

The third use is to make it easier to join sentences. In English, the sentences to be joined need to have the same grammatical subject. For example, if you say "Shakespeare created Hamlet and is very famous", that expands to "Shakespeare created Hamlet and [Shakespeare] is very famous." But if you say "Hamlet was created by Shakespeare and is very famous", that expands to "Hamlet was created by Shakespeare and [Hamlet] is very famous."

In Na'vi, "Hamlet" needs to be in the patientive case (Hamlet-it) in the first sentence, but the subjective case (Hamlet) in the second sentence. My instinct was to side-step the case mismatch by putting "Hamlet" into the topical case (Hamlet-ìri) and assuming the listener can plug "Hamlet" in as the direct object of the first sentence and subject of the second sentence. This is probably wrong, but why is it wrong?

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2014, 05:26:35 pm »
How about Fkol alu Shakespeare ngolop Hamletit?

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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2014, 06:50:27 pm »
Well, I should remind that Na'vi doesn't have a passive by its design.
The different between active and passive sentence is,
active - to emphasize who or what do an acation
passive - to emphasize the action itself. The question who or what do the action is mostly not important and can be omitted.

But Na'vi does not make that difference between active and passive, because it's pointless for them.


...it should be like:
Fkol ngolop Hamletit
To put an unspecific pronoun makes that sentence not automatically to a passive sentence, because Na'vi sentences are always 'active' (I would say 'neutral').
That Na'vi sentence could be translated as:

"One created Hamlet" - active
OR
"Hamlet was created by one" - passive

The same also for this example:

Fkol pole'un fì'ut.
This is decided.

And this can be translated as: "One decided this" or "This is decided by one", but we could omit the "by one", and this is the advantage of using fko.
So, for the Hamlet example:

"Hamlet was created." - passive too


In the previous page, I wrote an example that is quite near at an english passive sentence:

Ke tsolun rivun swizawit.
Could not find the arrow.

Here, I've omitted the subject because one can omit it.


Now, to our little problem to add the author.
It makes not much sense to add fko, beause the author DID the action of creating Hamlet, it was not 'someone'. fko would work if you leave out the author's name there.

Hamletur pamrel soli Shakespeare ulte...
Shakespeare write Hamlet and... - active
Hamlet was written by Shakespeare and... - passive


One point to the word order. To make a translation from Na'vi to a terran passive sentence easy, one could write/say the Na'vi sentence in the passive sentence's word order.


To the topical use. I see nothing wrong using the topical for Hamlet as the topic puts the point even on that word.
So, the dative has been covered by topic case:

Hamletìri pamrel soli Shakespeare ulte...
Shakespeare write the Hamlet and...
The Hamlet was written by Shakespeare and...

And if this way is not the safe way, one could write this:

Hamletur pamrel soli Shakespeare ulte tsavur...
Shakespeare write the Hamlet and that story...
The Hamlet was written by Shakespeare and that story...

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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2014, 03:17:30 am »
Passive voice has always been ambigious and confusing to me. But here, I think it is easy to spot-- and avoid.

First though, let's revisit
Fkol alu Shakespeare ngolop Hamletit

This sounds a bit strange, but there are times when this is what you want to say. There is a construct occasionally used in English, where someone might say "One Shakespeare wrote Hamlet". This can be used in passive voice as well.

These sentences, I think are all active voice, even though some are past tense:
Shakespearel ngop Hamletit Shakespeare creates Hamlet.
Shakespearel ngerop Hamletit Shakespeare creates Hamlet.
Shakespearel ngolop Hamletit Shakespeare created Hamlet.
Shakespearel ngamop Hamletit Shakespeare created Hamlet.
Shakespearel ngasyop Hamletit Shakespeare will create Hamlet.
And so on. These simple sentences have reasonably unambigious (and slightly different) meaning.

To create passive voice, the past tense aspect must be emphasized. This is actually kind of hard to do in Naʼvi.

* Hamletit lamu ng(<ol>)op Shakespeareil.

There are some interesting things about this sentence. First of all, you have a verb phrase (lamu ngop), something frowned on very much in Naʼvi. Second, the subject needs to be at the end of the sentence to make the most sense with the word order. The subject is deemphasized in passive voice, yet we know that you can put the item you want to receive extra 'punch' at the end of a Naʼvi sentence. But you can say

Hamletit ngolop Shakespearel, and that is correct grammatically. However, someone translating this might translate it into the English passive voice, due to the word order: "Hamlet was created by Shakespeare". So although it is grammatically correct to use other word orders, this is a case where it makes the most sense to use SVO (or maybe OSV) if the speaker wants this translated active voice in (at least!) English.

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Offline Plumps

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2014, 04:25:53 am »
In Na'vi, "Hamlet" needs to be in the patientive case (Hamlet-it) in the first sentence, but the subjective case (Hamlet) in the second sentence. My instinct was to side-step the case mismatch by putting "Hamlet" into the topical case (Hamlet-ìri) and assuming the listener can plug "Hamlet" in as the direct object of the first sentence and subject of the second sentence. This is probably wrong, but why is it wrong?

That’s a good point and I agree with you. I’d also create something like

Hamletìri pamrel soli Shakespeare ulte txanro’a.

I.e. with the topic. One reason for me is that a play/name is a definite sentence element. Of course, Shakespeare could have written a story/play, but we’re speaking about a specific play here, namely with the title »Hamlet« – for me, that’s definite.

Now, this of course assumes that you know that Hamlet is indeed a play (as well as a character name within that play). The reason that the dative doesn’t work for me here is that with a name or person, I automatically would interpret that as that Shakespeare wrote whatever to Hamlet. In this respect I would favour the construct with ngop, because Shakespeare created the character of Hamlet as well as the play itself.

Vurit alu Hamlet ngolop tutel alu Shakespeare.
“(the story) Hamlet was created by (the person) Shakespeare.”

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2014, 07:55:39 pm »
Vurit alu Hamlet ngolop tutel alu Shakespeare.
“(the story) Hamlet was created by (the person) Shakespeare.”[/size][/font]

It would be hard to improve on this!

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

Offline Yawne Zize’ite

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2014, 11:50:27 am »
Ma ʼEylan Ayfalulukanä, the passive and the past tense aren't connected. It is more common to use the passive in the past, because if you didn't see something happen you are less likely to know the agent, but you can use it with any tense.

Here are some examples:
"The palulukan is eating a yerik." Palulukan-ìl yerom yerik-it.
"A yerik is eating the palulukan." Yerik-ìl yerom palulukan-it.
"The palulukan is being eaten by a yerik." Palulukan-it yerom yerik-ìl.

In English, we emphasize that we care about the palulukan by using the passive. It makes the patient, the palulukan, the grammatical subject and focus of the sentence. The agent, the yerik, is shoved off to the side in the prepositional phrase "by a yerik".
In Naʼvi, we can't make the patient the subject, but we can rearrange the words so the palulukan is the focus.

"The palulukan is being eaten." Palulukan-it yerom (fkol).

We don't know what is eating the palulukan, but it still has to be the patient to show that the palulukan is dinner. So we can add a dummy subject fko if we need to, either to emphasize that we don't know what is eating the palulukan or because otherwise a different subject would be filled in from context.

Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2014, 12:01:10 pm »
But, would not the topic case let emphasize even that point?
Palulukanìri yerom yerikit. :-\

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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2014, 03:58:04 pm »

Here are some examples:
"The palulukan is eating a yerik." Palulukan-ìl yerom yerik-it.
"A yerik is eating the palulukan." Yerik-ìl yerom palulukan-it.
"The palulukan is being eaten by a yerik." Palulukan-it yerom yerik-ìl.

So, I am assuming the third example is English passive voice.

I think the clue here is the 'is being eaten'. This is quite awkward to translate in Na'vi, as you have a present tense and a 'past tense' being used together in a verb phrase (And I just did it with 'being used'). However, the third Na'vi sentence is quite grammatical. This is where word order can create a translation challenge. If the emphasis is on the palulukan, than the second sentence does the job, as the item of emphasis in a Na'vi sentence should be at the end. But to properly translate the second sentence into English, the English of the third sentence is actually more correct (and vice versa).

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Offline Yawne Zize’ite

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2014, 01:33:54 pm »

Here are some examples:
"The palulukan is eating a yerik." Palulukan-ìl yerom yerik-it.
"A yerik is eating the palulukan." Yerik-ìl yerom palulukan-it.
"The palulukan is being eaten by a yerik." Palulukan-it yerom yerik-ìl.

So, I am assuming the third example is English passive voice.

I think the clue here is the 'is being eaten'. This is quite awkward to translate in Na'vi, as you have a present tense and a 'past tense' being used together in a verb phrase (And I just did it with 'being used'). However, the third Na'vi sentence is quite grammatical. This is where word order can create a translation challenge. If the emphasis is on the palulukan, than the second sentence does the job, as the item of emphasis in a Na'vi sentence should be at the end. But to properly translate the second sentence into English, the English of the third sentence is actually more correct (and vice versa).
I must have some mental block about writing clearly, to provide an example of the passive form and not clearly indicate which it is! Yes, it is "is being eaten".

English and other modern European languages have many verb forms that require multiple words to express. Even though the passive is two words, a form of "to be" with the past participle, it is conceptually one form and in most other languages is expressed with just one word. Instead of "is", "being", and "eaten", it functions as a single verb "is-being-eaten", the present progressive passive form of "to eat". So instead of translating the three words separately, you have to come up with the Naʼvi present progressive passive form of "to eat". (I cheated a little. Yerom is the imperfective form -- very similar to the English progressive form -- but it isn't marked for tense, because there is no way to specifically mark present tense in Naʼvi. And Naʼvi doesn't even have a passive form.)

Also, the version with the topical, palulukan-ìri yerom yerik-ìl, looks even better as a translation of the passive used to focus attention on the patient.

Other multi-word verb forms in English are the progressive (is eating), the perfect (has eaten), the past imperfect (used to eat), and I probably forgot some. I would translate "is eating" as yerom and "used to eat" as yarmom. "Has eaten" is harder, because Naʼvi doesn't have a form that corresponds to our perfect. The perfect means that something happened, and the state resulting from that verb continues up to the present time. My guess would be yamom but someone with a better handle on Naʼvi's tense-aspect system could give a better answer.

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2014, 01:10:23 am »
Irayo, ma Yawne Zize’ite, for an explanation I can actually grasp and understand!

The <alm> infix would probably be a close match for the English past perfect. Some people here use the compound infixes more effectively than others.

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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2014, 11:49:39 am »
But, would not the topic case let emphasize even that point?
Palulukanìri yerom yerikit. :-\
But it gives no sense. As patientive case is present in the sentence, agentive case must be present too - except when there's unspoken agentive. But it is here - it is palulukan.
Only topical usage I can think of is Yerikìri palulukan yerom -> As for hexapede, palulukan eat (him).
But as the same idea can be expressed by agentive + patientive, whole this construction seems weird to me.
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2014, 12:15:56 pm »
To be honest, I'm not sure if that is possible.
My original idea was: Palulukanìri, (pol) yerom yerikit. (prodrop - leaving out the pronouns)
then, I remembered me on this one:
Roleiun futa lu fo kanu sì leso’ha nìwotx ulte Uniltìrantoxkìri lì’fyayä leNa’vi wawet fol tslam.
But apparentely, I confused something. :S
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 02:03:23 pm by Tìtstewan »

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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2014, 01:59:05 pm »
To be honest, I'm not sure if that is possible.
My original idea was: Palulukanìri, (pol) yerom yerikit. (prodrop - leaving out the pronouns)
You've meant pol, srefpìl oe - otherwise that sentence is completely wrong
Quote
then, I remembered me on this one:
Roleiun futa lu fo kanu sì leso’ha nìwotx ulte Uniltìrantoxkìri lì’fyayä leNa’vi wawet fol tslam.
But apparentely, I confused something. :S
But this example is different.
In your example topical and agent are the same (very strange), in Paul's example topical and agent are different (ok).
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Passive in Na'vi
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2014, 02:03:13 pm »
Of course pol... wìya typo... fixing.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 03:23:40 pm by Tìtstewan »

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