Author Topic: Pragmatics  (Read 1228 times)

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Offline Taronyu

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Pragmatics
« on: February 02, 2010, 05:23:35 pm »
So, I was in the IRC, and I decided to just play around with Na'vi a bit, as one does, and said this:

Kaltxì! Ayngari livu fpom srak?

Naturally, there was some large amount of contention. First, it was settled that -ri there isn't necessary, but can be inserted. It  may not be the best thing to write in Na'vi, but it works, nonetheless.

But livu?

I was thinking that srak, as a particle, could be used to convey implicature: "I am hoping that you are well?" Would then be the translation, with a yes or no question being the answer, as it would be implied that "Are you well?" would be the meaning. But is this possible? I argue that it might be, if srak is viewed not so much as a marker for validity of a statement, but rather as a way to ask for affirmation or negation. However, this got me thinking some more: do we have any case of the language being used to imply something that isn't there? Obviously, there is Oel ngati kameie, but that sort of implicature is almost a given. What else is there?

For those of you who want some review: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatics

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 09:11:53 pm »
There you go again, trying to make Na'vi a living language.  Honestly... you and Prrton... <shakes head>

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 09:28:36 pm »
Isn't that why we're all here making dictionaries, worksheets and learning about grammar?
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Offline roger

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 10:38:54 pm »
You'd need either ngari or ngaru. (I don't know which conclusion you came to.)

As for livu, my reading is that you're asking, not if they are well, but if they should be well, or maybe, wouldn't they please be well.


Offline Taronyu

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 05:41:50 am »
You'd need either ngari or ngaru. (I don't know which conclusion you came to.)

As for livu, my reading is that you're asking, not if they are well, but if they should be well, or maybe, wouldn't they please be well.

Settled on either. As for the optative, can't it also mean: I hope that you are well.

Eri, heh. Yes. I'm trying hard. However, I made this thread to see if there is anything in the corpus that is pragmatic and not directly understood. Anyone know?

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 05:45:22 am »
That's like asking if there is anything helpful on the non-porn sites on the internet.  The sample is just too small to make any sort of call either way.
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Offline Taronyu

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 06:08:59 am »
That's like asking if there is anything helpful on the non-porn sites on the internet.  The sample is just too small to make any sort of call either way.

Haha. Well, no harm in asking. :)

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 08:05:06 am »
this got me thinking some more: do we have any case of the language being used to imply something that isn't there?

Wouldn't imperatives fall in that category?  The optative may or may not be used, with implications for the degree of politeness of the request.  The pronoun may or may not be present; I'm not sure what its presence or absence implies, but it probably implies something.

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Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 07:40:34 pm »
I was thinking that srak, as a particle, could be used to convey implicature: "I am hoping that you are well?" Would then be the translation, with a yes or no question being the answer, as it would be implied that "Are you well?" would be the meaning. But is this possible? I argue that it might be, if srak is viewed not so much as a marker for validity of a statement, but rather as a way to ask for affirmation or negation.

I'm not sure I understand the highlighted part.  To my eyes, srak has always meant "right?" or "yes/no?".  "You are well, yes or no?"  "You want dinner, right?"  "We're all going to die, aren't we?"  I.e., as you said, a way to ask for affirmation or negation, since the answer to any of those could in fact be "no".  "No, I'm sick."  "No, I ate earlier." "No, Eywa will protect us."

In what way is (or could be) srak a marker for validity of a statement?

----

Okay, wait, maybe I do understand you.

Marker for validity of a statement: "Tsu'tey is hunting, yes?" -> "Tell me whether Tsu'tey is hunting."

Solicitation of affirmation or negation: "I want to hunt, yes?" -> "Tell me whether you think I should go hunting."

Or perhaps: "I will hunt, yes?" -> "Tell me whether you will hunt with me."

That's what you had in mind, srak?

  - Eri

Offline roger

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 07:49:40 pm »
I was thinking that srak, as a particle, could be used to convey implicature: "I am hoping that you are well?" Would then be the translation, with a yes or no question being the answer, as it would be implied that "Are you well?" would be the meaning. But is this possible? I argue that it might be, if srak is viewed not so much as a marker for validity of a statement, but rather as a way to ask for affirmation or negation.

I'm not sure I understand the highlighted part.  To my eyes, srak has always meant "right?" or "yes/no?".  "You are well, yes or no?"  "You want dinner, right?"  "We're all going to die, aren't we?"  I.e., as you said, a way to ask for affirmation or negation, since the answer to any of those could in fact be "no".  "No, I'm sick."  "No, I ate earlier." "No, Eywa will protect us."

In what way is (or could be) srak a marker for validity of a statement?

----

Okay, wait, maybe I do understand you.

Marker for validity of a statement: "Tsu'tey is hunting, yes?" -> "Tell me whether Tsu'tey is hunting."

Solicitation of affirmation or negation: "I want to hunt, yes?" -> "Tell me whether you think I should go hunting."

Or perhaps: "I will hunt, yes?" -> "Tell me whether you will hunt with me."

That's what you had in mind, srak?

That's starting to merge into ko territory.

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 11:11:32 pm »
That's starting to merge into ko territory.

Hm, why so it is.

http://wiki.learnnavi.org/index.php?title=Canon#Extracts_from_various_emails

Quote
As for ko, I don't know any Japanese but I did have in mind Mandarin ba, a sentence-final particle glossed by Li and Thompson as "solicit agreement." Typical translations of ba are: "Don't you think so?" "Wouldn't you agree?" "Let's . . ." "Why don't you . . ." "I'll do X, OK?" I've used ko for all such things, maybe a bit more widely than ba.

Hm.

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Offline Alìm Tsamsiyu

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2010, 08:24:21 am »
Yeah... I'm really not sure what you'd use for his sentence:

"I'm hoping that you are well...?"

To add ko would be to make it sound like "Let's agree that I'm hoping you are well."

To add srak would be to make it sound like "Am I hoping that you are well?"

Hmm - let's see what it'd be from the Na'vi rather than the English:

Ayngari livu fpom, srak?
PL-You-TOP be-SJV well.being, yes/no?
As for you all, you should be well, hmm?

With the topic marker there, that implies, to me at least, that this line would be more like part of a dialogue.
I give this as an example (took it from plural to singular for the example so it'd be easier to show):

P1: "I got attacked by a stingbat yesterday, but I took it down easily with my bow."
P2: "Nice."
P1: "Yes, but I got a few bruises from it..."
P2: "You? Shouldn't you be fine (in a situation like that)?"

Here, P2's final response there seems to convey the message that he is somewhat surprised P1 was injured in the fight with the stingbat, thinking that he/she shouldn't have gotten hurt, perhaps suggesting that P1 is usually a fierce warrior (or at least tells everyone that he/she is)

If you used the dative with the sentence:

Ayngaru livu fpom, srak?
PL-you-DAT be-SJV well.being, yes/no?
May well.being be to you all, yes?

This one is closer to the "Are you doing well" sentence that we all know and love, but it is complicated with the subjunctive. So, I'm inclined to agree with roger on this one:

As for livu, my reading is that you're asking, not if they are well, but if they should be well, or maybe, wouldn't they please be well.

And I don't think it could mean "I hope that you are well," mainly because we have a word for hope already. Also, making that into a confirm/deny question doesn't seem right to me.  :-\
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 08:32:40 am by Alìm Tsamsiyu »
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Offline Alìm Tsamsiyu

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Re: Pragmatics
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2010, 08:47:02 am »
Oops - I realized I left off analyzing what it'd be like with ko rather than srak... lol.

Ayngari livu fpom, ko. - Note: ko does not turn necessarily it into a question
As for you.all, you should be well.

This one seems more like it's making the statement, almost commanding them that they should be fine/well, regardless of what may have happened.  The ko added here seems almost like something a Drill Sergeant would throw in, lol:

DS: "What's that?! Do I hear you losers whining about getting shot at in the rain? You should be JUST FINE with it!"
RECRUITS: "SIR, YES, SIR!"

With the dative:

Ayngaru livu fpom, ko.
Let's (hope that) you all have well.being

This one sounds closer to what you were shooting for, Taronyu - I think that it might actually work like this for your intended meaning.  However, it doesn't ask a question really, so it would be more like a statement saying:

P1: "It's a dangerous mission... but we have no choice."
P2: "Let's hope that you are OK."

Anyway, that's what I think about the whole deal :P

Oe ayngaru si irayo, taluna aynga oeyä aylì'ur apxay tolìng mikyun.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 08:51:00 am by Alìm Tsamsiyu »
Oeyä ayswizawri tswayon alìm ulte takuk nìngay.
My arrows fly far and strike true.

 

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