Author Topic: zene = should?  (Read 1206 times)

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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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zene = should?
« on: February 18, 2010, 11:58:02 am »
I was wondering whether zene, like the Spanish deber (which can, like zene, also be used for "have to" constructions) could be used for "should" constructions when it is in the subjunctive.

So could I should eat be oe zivene yivom?

Just for reference, the Spanish constructions are debo que comer and deberìa (wrong accent) que comer IIRC.
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Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 07:59:09 pm »
I've been wondering this myself--whether <iv> functions as an, erm, conditional (is that the word?).  So, similarly, if z<iv>ene meant "should," ts<iv>un would mean "could"--right?
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 01:53:39 am »
I believe the consensus around here was that <iv> marks English (and Spanish and probably other languages' as well) conditionals as well as subjunctives and so ts<iv>un = could is probably correct.

The must -> should or to have to -> should would be more interesting as it doesn't work directly in English.
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Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 05:11:58 pm »
The must -> should or to have to -> should would be more interesting as it doesn't work directly in English.

I dunno; what's the original meaning of the word "shall"?
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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 05:41:59 pm »
"shall" means you are going to do it, no matter what
"will" means you are going to do it, but something could theoretically come up that could prevent you from doing it

The equivalent of must is to have to, so getting should from zene seems to me a little off.

Personally, for should I would go with the <ats> infix, because should seems like you have conflicting feelings about doing whatever it is that you are going to.  I should do my homework, but I'd rather watch Avatar now.

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 05:46:36 pm »
Personally, for should I would go with the <ats> infix,

That's not what that infix is for.  It's job is to indicate that you're making an inference about what you're saying, that you are uncertain about the knowledge.  English (and Dutch, it turns out) uses the verb "must" to indicate both obligation and this suppositional notion.  If you're going to meet a friend to see "Avatar" for the 32nd time or whatever, and you get there and don't see him, you could say, "he must be inside already."  This isn't a statement of obligation, but of judgement.  For obligation, we have zene; for judgement we have ‹ats›.
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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 05:55:27 pm »
Doesn't <ats> also function as "might?"  I'm not saying it should be used, just that zivene is more like would have to than should. What would be nice is a verb meaning shall.
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Offline roger

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 06:58:07 pm »
Doesn't <ats> also function as "might?"  I'm not saying it should be used, just that zivene is more like would have to than should. What would be nice is a verb meaning shall.
It's times like these that I miss German.

For "might", you could append kxawm "perhaps". Personally, I'd use <ats> for anything conclusion inferred from evidence or otherwise uncertain, until I hear differently. Degrees of certainty or uncertainty would then be up to words like kxawm, omum, etc.

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 08:10:18 pm »
OK, still need a should though. 

BTW how cool is it that we are in a position to talk about these detailed aspects of the language now?
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Offline roger

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 12:00:37 am »
OK, still need a should though.  

BTW how cool is it that we are in a position to talk about these detailed aspects of the language now?

I think zivene might do the trick. But it really requires that we know the conditional: there's also 'would' and 'could'.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 12:02:53 am by roger »

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2010, 12:23:25 am »
Ma Roger,

You seem to have had a fair amount of email contact with Dr. Frommer; does he always explicitly say what can be shared when he writes, or is it considered ok to post a question that he answers, but doesn't explicitly say that you can share?
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Offline roger

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2010, 12:37:17 am »
Ma Roger,

You seem to have had a fair amount of email contact with Dr. Frommer; does he always explicitly say what can be shared when he writes, or is it considered ok to post a question that he answers, but doesn't explicitly say that you can share?

Normally he doesn't say a thing. It's rare for him to explicitly give permission, and even rarer for him to ask me not to share. Mostly I go on my own judgement, and just hope I get it right. If there's a project in the planning stages, then I don't want to let the cat out of the bag. For example, the Ma Sempul letter before it appeared online. Also, if he's musing about what he should do in an area that isn't developed yet, say options 1,2,3, where 1 is grammatical and 3 is not, but he's not sure of the grammaticality, or the value, of 2, then I don't want to make 2 public; once it's out, people might start using it, and he might decide later that either he doesn't like it after all, or that it conflicts w s.t. else in the grammar. Also, personal chit-chat I tend to cut out. Usually that's no prob cuz it's in English, but every once in a while it's in Na'vi, and would be nice to release, but is more personal that I would like to be made public about me, so I cut it out. (I'm not talking about anything particularly sensitive here, just my level of comfort with publicity, and I'm probably more publicity shy than Frommer is. But best to err on the side of caution.)

I've just asked him if there's a difference in certainty with COND vs. COND + EVID, so if we're lucky we might get an answer on this.

Of course, if he's written to you, we'd all like to know what he has to say!

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 03:25:09 am »
Well, given that I think it's ok to share this.  It's not hugely surprising, but it is pertinent to the discussion at hand.  I sent him a message a while ago and received the following email on Jan 30 (edited for relevance, his answer verbatim in bold):

Quote
3. Can the subjunctive be used as the conditional tense?

>>The answer is yes, but I'll leave that for another time. (Tell you the truth, there are still a few bugs here that I want to work out.)

My other two questions have since been answered in other posts.
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Offline roger

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 02:05:47 pm »
Well, given that I think it's ok to share this.  It's not hugely surprising, but it is pertinent to the discussion at hand.  I sent him a message a while ago and received the following email on Jan 30 (edited for relevance, his answer verbatim in bold):

Quote
3. Can the subjunctive be used as the conditional tense?

>>The answer is yes, but I'll leave that for another time. (Tell you the truth, there are still a few bugs here that I want to work out.)

My other two questions have since been answered in other posts.

Thanks. That lets us know where we stand. After all, he has stated that the language isn't finished yet. I don't think he was quite ready for it to be made fully public when the film came out, though of course he's been delighted with the response.

BTW, it would be nice to have the other two answers even if they're repeated elsewhere. Sometimes we're straining at the limits of what we can read into s.t., so having it again with slightly different wording might prove helpful.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 02:07:39 pm by roger »

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: zene = should?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2010, 02:37:01 pm »
OK, I'll post them. 

Quote
1. There are some examples of vowel contractions, but what happens when the attributive is used with an adjective with the same letter? Is it apxa utral or apxaa utral?

>>Good question. It's the first--apxa utral. In this case the modifying a is swallowed up by the a in the base of the adjective.


2. Are there contractions with infix combinations? I spoke = Oe pollltxe or something else?

>>Glad you noticed that! "Pollltxe," although it follows the rules, would be completely unstable--no one would ever be able to say it. So it's become poltxe. I can't think of other examples, but as the vocabulary expands, this process is sure to come up again.

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