Author Topic: Dissertation on Conlangs  (Read 1236 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline evegwood

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
Dissertation on Conlangs
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:08:03 am »
Hello! I'm a linguistics student writing my dissertation on the factors that contribute to the success of a constructed language. As well as looking at conlangs created to overcome language barriers (like Esperanto and Volapük), I'm researching conlangs made for movies, books and games: Quenya, Dovahzul, Klingon and, obviously, Na'vi. I figured this would be the best place to talk to people who are investing their time in learning the latter!

If any of you would be happy to answer a couple of questions, I'd really appreciate it. Your responses will be completely anonymous, but please indicate somewhere in your reply that you give permission for me to use what you say. If you could also include your age and gender, that would be very helpful, but not necessary. You don't have to answer all the questions if you don't want to.

  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?

If there's anything else you'd like to mention about your experiences with Na'vi or conlangs in general please don't hesitate to do so! If you would be more comfortable messaging me privately please feel free to send me a PM. Thanks so much!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 09:25:31 am by evegwood »

Offline Stranger Come Knocking

  • Taronyu
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 715
  • us United States
  • Karma: 12
  • Rinoti Syt
    • Author Website
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 09:26:49 am »
1. Dothraki, High Valyrian, Astapori Valyrian, Quenya, and a myriad of my own conlangs.
2. I would say basic-intermediate.
3. I love languages.
4. Online, here.  Offline, in letters.
5. I'm a little miffed if someone just makes something up willy-nilly with no reasoning behind it (no linguistic evolution or derivation).
6. I think Na'vi has evolved enough that, with exception of the upcoming movies, it will go out on it's own.  I think it's starting to separate from having to cling to Karyu Pawl for every little thing.
7. Yes, but that's just me.


I will not die for less
I dug my grave in this
Will I go before I fall
Or live to slight the odds?

This is my book.  You should check it out.  Speculative sci-fi murder mystery.

Offline Tirea Aean

  • The Blue One
  • Olo'eyktan Anawm
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9634
  • nv Eywa'eveng
  • Karma: 236
  • Can't help helpin'
    • Tirea Aean
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 09:39:11 am »
Kaltxi! Hello there! Ah, another researcher! :D Welcome to the Learn Na'vi forums. This particular subforum is for saying hello and briefly introducing yourself to the current members. This research participation proposal might have more visibility in another subforum. I'll think about where best to move it and move it there, if that's okay with you.

As far as your data collection, I assume it's fine that we simply reply to this post with responses to your questions.

  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?

  • I speak English natively, and some German as L2
  • Honestly, not as fluent as I used to be, but I'm still one of the more fluent people around today, with consideration to what it means to be fluent in a bleeding-edge conlang in development.
  • Enjoying Avatar was a massive primary reason. But other major reasons include the beauty of the language (mostly spoken but written as well), its relative ease to learn (it's the easiest language I've ever tried to learn) And it has opened an entire love for languages for me.
  • Almost exclusively online. No one I know outside of the Internet can understand or has genuine interest in learning.
  • The Na'vi Community's additions to the language actually /are/ canon, though. We work directly with the creator of the language himself. Since he is the final authority, all of our contributions are actually just suggestions to the creator who gets to decide the final fate of the content of the suggestion. The vocabulary (sometimes even small parts of grammar) is an anonymous suggestion open to all members of the forum, with tools and knowledge required for making good submissions given. We all, even the creator of the language, Dr. Frommer, acknowledge that there are certain aspects of the language that would fall under James Cameron's jurisdiction and we all simply just stay away from those areas so not to step on his feet since Avatar and the Na'vi are actually creations of James Cameron. But we the community see a vocabulary gap or even grammatical structure gap within reason and fill it. And it becomes canon through the creator's blog, naviteri.org. Anything that is not canon, or passed through Dr. Frommer is not accepted here and is seen as speculation. We like to speculate, but we generally don't accept non-canon anything at the end of the day, so not to spread any confusion that would later have to be un-learned.
  • It is indeed important that the community's form of Na'vi is as canon as possible. We, with Frommer are canon. I am a big fan of consistency and being sure and honest and simple. When things are controlled by one creator as final canon authority, things are consistent, simple, and true. If people were able to just come up with whatever and claim it as part of the language, we would have such undesirable chaos. That's why I fear the day he leaves us. Hopefully Na'vi and its speakers here will evolve to the point where it can continue without the original creator yet still be good. I'm just not confident that this time has come yet.
  • As I said, Na'vi is the easiest language I've ever tried to learn, compared to all natural languages I've tried to learn, such as German, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Swedish and Polish. All of these languages contain so many things that make them complicated but Na'vi lacks. For example, Na'vi has:
       
    • NO grammatical gender (so no male/female/neutral articles or nouns),
    • no articles at all for that matter,
    • NO verb conjugation with respect to person or number. All pronouns and nouns simply just use the root form of the verb or inflect it for tense, aspect, and mood. But the verbal inflection is kind of simple because it's mostly optional.
    • No adjectival agreement to the noun in number or anything. And it doesn't matter which side of the noun it goes on.
    • Simple and comprehensive case system of 5 cases (or no case): Agent, Patient, Dative, Genitive, Topic.
    • ... and so on..

Some other interesting research that others before you have done here:

http://forum.learnnavi.org/beginners/media-release-on-navi-research-study/
EDIT: Results -> http://forum.learnnavi.org/news-announcements/language-of-avatar-under-study/msg565381/#msg565381

http://forum.learnnavi.org/beginners/questionnaire-for-navi-learners/5/
^I'm not sure where the results of that one are published, though..
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 09:44:57 am by Tirea Aean »

Offline evegwood

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 09:47:01 am »
  • The Na'vi Community's additions to the language actually /are/ canon, though. We work directly with the creator of the language himself. Since he is the final authority, all of our contributions are actually just suggestions to the creator who gets to decide the final fate of the content of the suggestion.

Yes, I noticed that after browsing through the forums a bit more! That's very interesting, and very different to most of the other languages I've been looking at. I'll have a closer look at his website and through the Lexical Expansion section of the forums. And thank you for the extra links! (and I'd be very happy for the thread to be moved elsewhere, I wasn't too sure where to put it)

Thank you both for your responses!

Offline Tirea Aean

  • The Blue One
  • Olo'eyktan Anawm
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9634
  • nv Eywa'eveng
  • Karma: 236
  • Can't help helpin'
    • Tirea Aean
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 09:55:04 am »
  • The Na'vi Community's additions to the language actually /are/ canon, though. We work directly with the creator of the language himself. Since he is the final authority, all of our contributions are actually just suggestions to the creator who gets to decide the final fate of the content of the suggestion.

Yes, I noticed that after browsing through the forums a bit more! That's very interesting, and very different to most of the other languages I've been looking at.

Yeah, I was thinking that our setup is quite rare. I'm very grateful for how things are. :)

Quote
I'll have a closer look at his website and through the Lexical Expansion section of the forums. And thank you for the extra links! (and I'd be very happy for the thread to be moved elsewhere, I wasn't too sure where to put it)

Thank you both for your responses!

Sure! No problem. Yeah, go ahead and have a look around. Maybe you'll find other interesting things about the language and us on the way. :)

Mod Edit: Thread has been re-located to a subforum of higher traffic/visibility.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 09:58:37 am by Tirea Aean »

Offline Tìtstewan

  • LearnNavi Zeykoyu
  • Toruk Makto
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9702
  • de Germany
  • Karma: 318
  • Ke lu oeru kea krr krrtalun!
    • My YouTube Channel
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 10:16:45 am »
Kaltxì ulte zola'u nìprrte'!
Hello and welcome!

It's totally cool to see a study about na'vi (and conlangs) are still made. :)
Let me mention, that there was some surveys earlier. Here you can find the first survey. It's four yeras old, but it should be useful. The results are available as attachment in this post.

Unfortunately, I also have to mention that the current forum activity isn'tthat high as four years back (that why I also mentioning that survey).
Anyways, I'll try to answere your questions.


  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
I only know a bit of Klingon, but I almost forgot most stuff on it...
As for natlangs, I am able to speak English, German and Romanian.

  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
Between advance and intermediate, I think.

  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
I like this language as it's easy and beautiful, and Avatar, of course. I am also interested in languages.

  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
Mostly online: 99% online, 1% offline

  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
Well, addition of the community is actually canon as everyone have the possibilty to contribute to make new word or grammar suggestions anonymously (we have even extra sections for that). Almost everyone is using the canon material that we got (and will get) by Paul Frommer, published by emails and by his own blog na'viteri.org. Na'vi is one of the very, very rare community based conlang I know. We do know that there are some grammar holes and a lot of word is missing, but we are trying to describe, explain things in other way if possible.
Absolutely this:
Quote from: Tirea Aean
The Na'vi Community's additions to the language actually /are/ canon, though. We work directly with the creator of the language himself. Since he is the final authority, all of our contributions are actually just suggestions to the creator who gets to decide the final fate of the content of the suggestion. The vocabulary (sometimes even small parts of grammar) is an anonymous suggestion open to all members of the forum, with tools and knowledge required for making good submissions given. We all, even the creator of the language, Dr. Frommer, acknowledge that there are certain aspects of the language that would fall under James Cameron's jurisdiction and we all simply just stay away from those areas so not to step on his feet since Avatar and the Na'vi are actually creations of James Cameron. But we the community see a vocabulary gap or even grammatical structure gap within reason and fill it. And it becomes canon through the creator's blog, naviteri.org. Anything that is not canon, or passed through Dr. Frommer is not accepted here and is seen as speculation. We like to speculate, but we generally don't accept non-canon anything at the end of the day, so not to spread any confusion that would later have to be un-learned.

  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
As I have been ninja'd twice four times, and Tirea Aean apparently is reading my mind, absolutely this:
Quote from: Tirea Aean
It is indeed important that the community's form of Na'vi is as canon as possible. We, with Frommer are canon. I am a big fan of consistency and being sure and honest and simple. When things are controlled by one creator as final canon authority, things are consistent, simple, and true. If people were able to just come up with whatever and claim it as part of the language, we would have such undesirable chaos. That's why I fear the day he leaves us. Hopefully Na'vi and its speakers here will evolve to the point where it can continue without the original creator yet still be good. I'm just not confident that this time has come yet.

  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
Yes it is, compared to other (natural) languages I know.

EDIT:
Your responses will be completely anonymous, but please indicate somewhere in your reply that you give permission for me to use what you say. If you could also include your age and gender, that would be very helpful, but not necessary.
I forgot to add this :S
I am male, 25 years old and you have the permission to use my information I have mentioned here.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 05:57:18 pm by Tìtstewan »

-| Dict-Na'vi.com | Na'viteri Files | FAQ | LM | Puk Pxaw 'Rrta | Kem si fu kem rä'ä si, ke lu tìfmi. |-

Offline Neytiri te Tskaha Mo'at'ite

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: 37
  • Nì'aw tirea tsranten...
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 01:34:43 pm »
Kaltxì! Lu oeru prrte' fwa tseiun srung sivi ngaru.
Hello! It's a pleasure to be able to help you.


  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
Not fluently. I have looked into other conlangs, but they have never appealed to me as much as Na'vi has, and they're always too difficult for me to learn.

  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
Lì'fyari leNa'vi tok oel kxaylyìt, spaw oe! I am fluent in Na'vi, I believe. I have spoken Na'vi probably every day of my life since learning it, and often think in Na'vi. Na'vi has changed the way I think (particularly word order), and sometimes I forget the English word for something for a moment and can only think of the Na'vi word. ;D

  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
I chose to learn Na'vi because of its beauty, and because of how closely I related to the Na'vi when I first saw Avatar.

  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
Mostly online, simply because there isn't anyone offline to speak it with, but I have taught some Na'vi to family and friends offline. I also write letters in Na'vi. I may be guilty of talking to myself in Na'vi too... ::)

  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
As others have said, words that are approved by Frommer are canon, no matter who came up with them. If they are not approved, though, I do not use them and I discourage others from using them.

  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
Very important! I'm a grammar Na'vi. ;D

  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
For me, yes, it was extremely easy to learn. Na'vi is still the easiest language I have ever encountered. However, being a karyu (teacher), I have seen many different people, all with different experiences of Na'vi. Some say it's easy, others disagree.

I'm an 18 year old female from the UK. You have my permission to use everything I've said. :)
Ke tse'a ngal ke'ut a krr fra'uti kame.

Offline Blue Elf

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5447
  • cz Czech Republic
  • Karma: 112
    • My attempt for blog
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 01:44:08 pm »
Your responses will be completely anonymous, but please indicate somewhere in your reply that you give permission for me to use what you say.
I'm still laughing reading such lines. You've indicated for what you need my answers. If I respond, it means I accepted and I agree with what you intend to do. I don't understand why explicit agreement is necessary, but you have it.

Quote
Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
No, Na'vi is the only conlang I deal with
Quote
How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
I'm quite good in writing (let's say upper intermediate), can't guess in speech as I didn't speak in Na'vi for ages (what a shame...)
Quote
Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
Avatar was the first reason, second was to try to learn something unusual to see if I can do that.
Quote
Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
Only online, here on forum and on my blog. In real life nobody can understand us.
Quote
How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
As TA already explained, what is approved by Paul Frommer, it is cannon. I don't think we currently use in community some unofficial words.
Quote
Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
Sure - although official textbook doesn't exist, established rules are described and must be followed, otherwise we couldn't understand each other. Of course there are still some gray areas and sometimes big surprise occurs, when thing is explained.
Quote
Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
It is both easy and difficult. Easy, because it has many features of my native language, difficult because it very carefully distinguishes between transitive and intransitive verbs. But it is learnable and many features are very logical, so finally I'd say it is quite easy.

But what really does learning easy, is very helpful and friendly community residing here. Always someone can help you, if you have a question. Well, activity is now quite low, but I believe it raises again with new Avatar releases.
Oe lu skxawng skxakep. Slä oe nerume mi.
"Oe tasyätxaw ulte koren za'u oehu" (Limonádový Joe)


Offline Tanri

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1021
  • cz Czech Republic
  • Karma: 25
  • Mìkam aysanhì tìranyu.
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 05:36:35 pm »
Quote
Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
No.
I' am aware of them for a long time, especially esperanto, klingon and Tolkien languages, but I took only a quick look at them, to fullfill my curiosity.

Quote
How fluent in Na'vi are you?
I'd guess something between "basic" and "quite well".
It's difficult to evaluate myself, however I feel quite solid in reading and writing, as these are predominant methods of learning Na'vi. In spoken language, I have problems with long sentences, often the overall meaning misses me completely, even when I understood all the words one by one.

Quote
Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
This question itself contains the answer - enjoying Avatar.
Now I am not speaking only about elements that good movie consists of, but rather about Na'vi philosophy and their approach to life, in general. Na'vi language allows me to be part of it.

Quote
Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
Technically both, but the good opportunities for the latter can be counted easily on the fingers of single Na'vi hand, unfortunately.

Quote
How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
I am not sure if such a category (of non-approved language components) even exists.
There are terms and concepts that'll probably never make it into the language, and they must be expressed by playing with the existing vocabulary and grammar. I think everybody here does that nice and very carefully, not overstepping into the territory of prof. Frommer.

Quote
Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
Yes, indeed. To keep certain level of the discipline, is very important.
The advantage of a language against a math, for example, is that language usually have more space within the rinks, that there are many ways to achieve one particular result. But the ability of staying within some rules is the only thing that stands between the language and gibberish.

Quote
Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
It depends of the learner, of course.
I have found lot of Na'vi features in my own language, so I can't say it's difficult. I can't say it's easy, either, because some Na'vi properties are totally exotic to me.


Being an forty years male, I am helping to pull the Na'vi age average to the reasonable numbers. :D
And yes, ma evegwood, you have my permission to use the informations above for the purpose of your work. Good luck with your dissertation!
Tìvawmìri txopu rä’ä si. Nrr!

Offline Vawmataw

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 5576
  • nv Eywa'eveng
  • Karma: 92
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 08:16:15 pm »
  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
1. Mi parolas Esperanton. ;)
2. I speak quite well Na'vi, but I make some stupid mistakes
3. I probably found the language interesting.
4. Mostly online, but the drafts of some of my Na'vi poems were written offline.
5. The non-canon vocabulary can help a lot when you want to say a word that can't be translated into the conlang. However, if you invent structures and words for fun wihtout the approval of the language's authority, I think it's like destroying the language.
6. If you want to learn and use the language, it needs to be as accurate to the canon as possible. ;)
7. More or less. There are some diffuculties, but it's far from being as hard as German or Finnish language. Esperanto is the easiest language in my opinion.

You can use the answers for your reasearches, but please don't use my personal information (unless it's obligatory for your research, but I still don't like it).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 08:39:46 pm by Vawmataw »
Fmawn Ta 'Rrta
Stop by the Omatikayan Memes Center for some good quality Na'vi memes.

Offline evegwood

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 08:42:32 am »
Your responses will be completely anonymous, but please indicate somewhere in your reply that you give permission for me to use what you say.
I'm still laughing reading such lines. You've indicated for what you need my answers. If I respond, it means I accepted and I agree with what you intend to do. I don't understand why explicit agreement is necessary, but you have it.

Haha, I know, it's a bit silly, but it's just so that all bases are covered! :)

You can use the answers for your reasearches, but please don't use my personal information (unless it's obligatory for your research, but I still don't like it).

I understand your concern! Don't worry, I won't be using any usernames, and information about age and gender is just so I can get a broad idea of the range of Na'vi speakers. Everything will remain anonymous.



Thank you everyone for your responses so fair, I really appreciate it!

Offline Kiyevame Ikran

  • Uniltìranyu
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • nv Eywa'eveng
  • Karma: 4
  • Hrh peu?
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2015, 10:18:52 am »
Q: Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
A: No. Although I am fluent in 3 real languages.

Q: How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
A: Beginner. Having trouble in making a flawless short sentences. Speaking and vocabulary is an easy thing for me.

Q: Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
A: At first, I was confused whether I wanted to learn either French, German, Spanish or Russian. I can't learn all of the 4 languages and I have hard time to decide. So I started to be attracted to Na'vi language when I watch the movie Avatar. I found that the Na'vi language is very beautiful and the movie is the best movie that I have ever seen. So I'm like "screw it real language", "just try conlang".

Q: Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
A: Online, writing in here. Offline, maybe mumbling or any circumstances that no one is around.

Q: How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
A: Everything depends on Karyu Pawl (Prof Paul Frommer)

Q: Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
A: Yes. Accuracy of the contents is the key to learning the language correctly.

Q: Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
A: Actually yes. It doesn't require any symbol related stuff like Chinese or Korean. As many people understand, key to learning is to practice.
Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random-Random

Offline Wllìm

  • Taronyu
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
  • nl Netherlands
  • Karma: 47
    • Wimiso (weptsenge oeyä)
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2015, 01:41:58 pm »
To start: I'm male, 21 years old. My native language is Dutch, I furthermore speak English quite fluently, a bit of German and a little bit of French. I study computer science. Of course, I give you permission to use this post for your research :)

Well, here are my answers:

  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
    Well, I know quite some conlangs by name: Esperanto, Ido, Klingon, Quenya, Sindarin, Lojban, Volapük, Toki Pona. However, obviously, most of those I only know by name :) As for writing/speaking:
    Oe tsun pamrel sivi nìNa'vi. (of course)
    .i mi kakne lo nu se bangu la lojban. (but only a little bit!)

  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
    I'd classify myself between "speak at a basic level" and "speak quite well". I can write Na'vi sentences quite easily and quickly, without too many mistakes. I can also often "avoid" vocabulary that I need and don't know yet by using other vocabulary to explain the concept. Speaking is more difficult; mainly because I have had almost no exercise in understanding spoken Na'vi. So I think having an actual conversation would be difficult for me, unless my conversation partner would talk very slowly and clearly ;)

  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
    I have been interested in conlangs in general for a longer time already. After I read somewhere that the language of the Na'vi in Avatar was actually a real language (when I saw the movie, I thought that it was not a complete, learnable language), I wanted to try learning it, since the language sounds beautiful, and of course, because of Avatar :)

  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
    Only online. There is no-one at all I know who speaks Na'vi. The only one I talk to offline is myself ;D

  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
    As others said, community additions have a real chance to become official elements of the language. Until a word is official, I won't use it. I like speculating and thinking about unknown elements of the grammar, although also with grammar I try to only use things in my written Na'vi that are officially known.

  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
    For me, yes, quite so. I try to only use "official" things. It also depends on the kind of thing you're writing of course: if I'm writing something in a Na'vi-only thread, I check my message a few times to see if everything seems correct; if I'm writing something in the spam section, I may be less careful ;)
    I tried translating the interface of my computer to Na'vi, which means inventing Na'vi terms for "mouse", "hard drive", "folder", and so on, since of course the Na'vi don't have those. I never make up words myself, instead I try to describe the concept using existing Na'vi words (for example swirä avusll for "mouse").

  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
    No language is easy to learn, and it also takes time to learn Na'vi, especially vocabulary. However, I think the grammar of Na'vi is logical and not too difficult (no grammatical gender!). There, I had the advantage of already being familiar with cases, since I learnt to read Latin and Greek in school. In the pronunciation of Na'vi, there are some tricky sounds, but you have that in any language.
    Also, the amount of material on Na'vi that is available on the Internet is very large. For example, there is a comprehensive dictionary, but beyond that, there is also a complete, formal, description of the grammar of the language. For me, that helps, because if you're uncertain about something, you can just look it up.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:50:28 am by Wllìm »
Ke lu oeru kea 'rrkotswo :D
Noun declension toolVerb infix tool •  Weather forecasts in Na'viKDE nìNa'viMy Na'vi blog

Seykxel sì nitram! Ngal rolun fì'upxaret aketsuktse'a! :D

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 4676
  • us United States
  • Karma: 44
  • Palulukan alu Kenya 06/23/1996 - 01/15/2017
    • The Lionlamb website
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 03:35:57 am »
I came across this a few days after it was posted. I hope its not too late!

  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
I work a fair amount with Dothraki, and am quite active in that community. I also know enough Klingon to be dangerous ;)

  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
I would say 'advanced intermediate', or 'speak at a basic level'. I can carry on a brief conversation with another Naʼvi speaker, if they speak slowly and carefully. Like most others here, my written Naʼvi skills are a lot better, even though Naʼvi is technically not a written language.

  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
The language has a nice sound to it, an unusual (to me) grammar, and at the time I began  (almost exactly five years ago), a manageable vocabulary (about 500 words at that time).

  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
Like most others, I use written Naʼvi here the most, but I occasionally use it in other online places, like Facebook. I have used Na'vi words to label patch panels and list wiring color codes where I work (TV station as broadcast engineer). Probably the most unusual use I have though, is speaking to animals. I am also a zookeeper on the weekends and work mainly with big cats. I speak Na'vi to them on a regular basis, and a couple of the cats now show a demonstrated response to Naʼvi commands. I also speak Naʼvi to my domestic cats at home. Last, but not least, I have my GPS set up to speak Naʼvi.

  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
I personally would like to see some modern vocabulary developed, to make the language more useful on a day-to-day basis. Because of my science/engineering background, I miss not having modern terminology available. We have discussed in the past (a long time ago!) the idea of having a 'classical Naʼvi' and a 'modern Naʼvi'. The modern Naʼvi would use the classical words, plus additional, community generated terminology for modern things. The classical Naʼvi would remain true to the cultural conditions of the Naʼvi people, and I think it is extremely important that it does remain 'pure'. The modern Naʼvi idea never caught on. However, Dr. Frommer and a few 'early adopters' came up with a handful of modern terms, to facilitate community engagement. So thus we have some words like eltu lefngap for 'computer', syeprel for 'camera', and  tsyänel for 'TV channel'.

I agree with all the others about the LEP project. It is truly unique, and I don't know of any other conlang that has such a mechanism.

  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
Absolutely, and you can see from the comments the other folks have posted that this sentiment is pretty universal in the community. Still, if you look back over the past five years of the development of the language, you will see that it has evolved somewhat under the influence of the community.

  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?
It is very easy to learn, compared to the vast majority of languages that are available to study and learn. The other conlang I work with, Dothraki, is considerably more challenging, especially in the grammar area, and it is a little more 'typical' in complexity compared to most other 'artlangs'. I am also one of the older folks in the community. At 54 years old, much of my 'youthful ability to learn language' is gone, so I have to work a lot harder than the younger folks here to get fluent in this language. And, like others, I tend to make more 'stupid errors' than I really should.
[/list]

I am male, and 54 years of age. Feel free to use any material I have posted here in your dissertation!

Quote
If there's anything else you'd like to mention about your experiences with Na'vi or conlangs in general please don't hesitate to do so! If you would be more comfortable messaging me privately please feel free to send me a PM. Thanks so much!

I'll just add that this is one of the nicest, most helpful communities I have ever been a part of, and it does feel like 'family' here. In addition, some of the most fun times I have ever had, have been when the Naʼvi speakers/'Avatar' fan community gets together once a year for their annual meetup. And like a couple other posters here, I have had opportunities to teach a beginner's Naʼvi lesson at sci-fi conventions, etc.

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

Offline Ftiafpi

  • Olo'eyktan
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 4757
  • Karma: 123
  • Plltxe 'eylan ulte fpxäkìm.
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 06:31:22 pm »
My name is Ian Riley and I'm Male, 28 years old. I'm a structural engineer in the state of Maine. Using my personal details is fine. If you have any further questions feel free to PM me.

  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?

No. Learning Na'vi was my first.

  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)

I used to be able to speak fairly well but I'm grossly out of practice. Give me enough time to translate and I can get by in written form. With some studying I could probably get back to a basic level quite quickly.

  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?

Avatar was obviously the biggest but the other part was the connection it made with the fictional universe. For the same reason someone studies Star Trek details, or reads the detailed histories of Tolkien's works, it was a way to delve beyond the film. Once there I realized how rewarding it was to learn this language and how much I was enjoying it. After that, being connected to all these other people who also were learning the language was amazing. Today, I continue to learn completely because of the connection it brings with my friends and fellow learners in the Na'vi language community.

  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?

Mostly online but some offline as well. I try to interest anyone I can at least once about the language and occasionally throw out sentences to people on a whim. Occasionally I'll talk to myself, or use it to yell at drivers who make poor lane changes. ;)

  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?

Only if it's made for very specific reasons and is kept at a distinct distance from the "canon" vocabulary. Obviously languages are by their very nature something that grows and evolves over time. However, created languages, especially created languages with a fictional source material, are often special because they are created as just one more artistic or creative detail of that fictional world. Non-canonical additions to the language that are made without purpose in the original fiction aren't appropriate.

That said, that does not mean that the "canon" can't include members of the community (or even the community at large). If the community can agree on new words that should be added (or subtracted) that fit in the languages fictional world then these can easily be considered part of the language. Obviously, this should be done with the cooperation of the creator of the fictional world's advice or at least understanding. Otherwise there could be new "canon" from the original creator that conflicts with fan "canon". A good example would be the Star Wars expanded universe, much of the "lore" in the expanded universe conflicted with details in Star Wars episodes 1 to 3.

  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?

Yes, however what the definition of "canon" is becomes entirely personal. Though I believe most people will agree that the original creation and anything done in partnership or sanctioned by the original creator is automatically canon. With Na'vi we felt it was important to have the creator of the language vet each word in a submission process and add them to the "canon". Thus, for Na'vi, I believe that most people will agree that all the words in the Na'vi vocabulary are canon, even if some of it originated inside the community.

  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?

Quite easy. This is definitely one the most attractive features about Na'vi to me. I learned French a little during High School but found it to be a tediously slow process and soon gave it up. With Na'vi it was very easy to learn the basics. I feel this is a key feature to a successful created language as it makes it more available to those who are only interested casually but may find they enjoy learning the language more than they thought. A language can't exist in a vacuum and the more speakers of the language exist, the better.

Online Plumps

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 6034
  • Karma: 215
  • ’Ivong Na’vi
    • Aylì'uä Ramunong (Pìlok)
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2015, 12:36:35 pm »
Before I forget … I hope I’m not too late :P

I’m male, 31 years old. My native language is German, I also speak English quite fluently, a bit of Irish and Swedish, and have a basic knowledge of French and Latin from school. You have my permission to use this post for your research.

  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na’vi?
    I dabbled into Esperanto, Klingon, Quenya, and Sindarin but only to have a look at their grammar. I was never able to use/speak it sufficiantly.

  • How fluent in Na’vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
    I’d classify myself as advanced concerning the grammar and vocabulary. As for speaking I consider myself as medium, it still doesn’t come out as fluently as I like it to be; I still need practice in understanding longer spoken texts (which we don’t have that many of anyway…).

  • Why did you choose to start learning Na’vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
    Really, by accident. I didn’t intend to learn it. When I joined the forum I realised that I could explain certain grammatical aspects and terminology to the German community members due to my interest/university background in grammar and linguistics. The more I taught people and translated sentences and got myself reassurance from the English boards the more words stuck into my head. By then it was too late to resist ;)

  • Where do you use Na’vi, both online and offline?
    Online: this forum *duh* :P , twitter, google+, Skype, Team Speak and my blog in which I write and record for almost 5 years now.
    Offline: in short text messages to members of the community, at Avatar Meet-Ups or when we just meet as friends (without it being labeled “Avatar Meet-up”, I mean ;) ) – at one such instance the two of us managed to talk a whole day only in Na’vi. I also kept a diary-kind-of notebook in which I would write in Na’vi. Various translations of songs, poems, short texts.

  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
    Proud. Because we have this process by which we actually can contribute to the language. That’s one of the great and attractive features, I think. Not having the feeling that the creator sits in his ivory tower but that you can actually talk to him about an idea, problems you encountered while using the language, gaps in the lexicon, and that he is not only willing to listen to you and work on solving these issues but that he is open for suggestions. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to contribute to the growing of the language …

  • Is it important for you that the community’s form of Na’vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
    For me, yes, no way around it.
    There are work-arounds for words and concepts we (still) don’t have but I am reluctant to use them and always try to be on the safe side with grammatical structures we are unclear about or idioms we use daily and don’t even recognise them as such. Only with correctly used examples can others pick up the more challenging aspects of the grammar.
    Having said that I’d like to emphasise that we are all beginners in the language. Nobody is perfect, nobody is without error, we all make mistakes! Fortunately, the community is so friendly and is always willing to help and give advice when it’s needed.

  • Do you think Na’vi is easy to learn?
    Compared to other languages I have/had an interest in, I think yes, it’s easy to learn. It has its challenges with certain grammatical structures but I think the main hindrance to easiness of learning at the moment is the lack of knowledge for certain aspects that haven’t been fully explained so far. Some verbs with uncertain transitivity, how to talk about family/kinship, cardinal directions etc. Those remain obstacles that make it at times hard to talk about certain topics.

  • If there’s anything else you’d like to mention about your experiences with Na’vi or conlangs in general please don’t hesitate to do so!
    I'll just add that this is one of the nicest, most helpful communities I have ever been a part of, and it does feel like 'family' here. In addition, some of the most fun times I have ever had, have been when the Naʼvi speakers/'Avatar' fan community gets together once a year for their annual meetup.

    Tim takes the words out of my mouth! It’s not just a couple of people coming together because they had a blast watching a movie (a couple of times :P ). There are real friendships that developed out of this. I am so grateful having this opportunity of getting to know all these wonderful people that I would never have known otherwise.

Offline evegwood

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2015, 07:12:28 am »
Thank you all so much! Your help is really appreciated :D

Online Plumps

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 6034
  • Karma: 215
  • ’Ivong Na’vi
    • Aylì'uä Ramunong (Pìlok)
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2015, 11:14:35 am »
Nìprrte’ – gladly! :)

Will you let us know about the result of your dissertation? I’d be very interested in your findings.

I read In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent the last two days. Very fascinating read, quite interesting and at times heart-warming; and some times I could strangely relate :P
Too bad it was published too early to have Na’vi included. She talks about being amazed that Klingon language learners used it at one qep'a' for ‘genuine communication’. She would have been awestruck by the Na’vi community ;D

Offline Toruk Makto

  • LearnNavi Admin
  • Toruk Makto
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 6027
  • us United States
  • Karma: 211
  • . Txepsiyu Markì .
    • Learn Na'vi
Re: Dissertation on Conlangs
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2015, 07:29:31 pm »
  • Do you know/speak any other conlangs apart from Na'vi?
  • How fluent in Na'vi are you? (know a couple of words/speak at a basic level/speak quite well/fluent)
  • Why did you choose to start learning Na'vi, other than enjoying Avatar?
  • Where do you use Na'vi, both online and offline?
  • How do you feel about community additions to the language, such as non-canon vocabulary or grammatical structures?
  • Is it important for you that the community's form of Na'vi is as accurate to the canon as possible?
  • Do you think Na'vi is easy to learn?

1. I am only involved with Na'vi.

2. I guess I could be labeled as intermediate. I am definitely not fluent.

3. The film had a lot of powerful messages regarding indigenous peoples and our natural world. I felt the need to try to support those messages in the context of the film. It occurred to me early on that the most enduring and scalable takeaway from the film was the language, so I joined here right at the start and eventually ended up as the administrator of LearnNavi. I have developed a new interest in languages that I never had before and greatly value what I have learned from the brilliant people in this community.

4. I mainly use it online.

5. Ditto Tirea Aean's description of the LEP. Na'vi is the first conlang to ever advance and grow organically by virtue of a large and real-time community afforded by the internet. Paul Frommer's willingness to engage the fan base and his enthusiastic support of our community and the story world of Avatar is, IMO, the single greatest factor in the continuing success of this language. That said, I consider Na'vi to be a "greenhouse" language. One that has the advantages of organic and diverse input, but still growing under controlled conditions. In order for Na'vi to fulfill its primary task of being a resource for the Avatar movie franchise, this control is necessary.

6. The LearnNavi community is as much an ambassador for the Na'vi language as a growth engine for it. Thus, it is imperative that we attempt to adhere to the proper and canon form of the language as much as possible.

7. I have a bad case of old dog/new tricks. I am learning, but slowly. For me, it isn't as easy as for a lot of these youngsters running around here. ;)

-Markì


EDIT: Almost forgot... Permission granted. I am male, 51.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 07:44:29 pm by Toruk Makto »

Lì’fyari leNa’vi ’Rrtamì, vay set ’almong a fra’u zera’u ta ngrrpongu
Na'vi Dictionary: http://eanaeltu.learnnavi.org/dicts/NaviDictionary.pdf

 

Become LearnNavi's friend on Facebook Follow LearnNavi on Twitter! Watch LearnNavi's videos on YouTube

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines | XHTML | RSS | WAP2 | Site Rules

LearnNavi is not affiliated with the official Avatar website,
James Cameron, or the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation.
All trademarks and servicemarks are the properties of their respective owners.
Images in the LearnNavi.org Forums and Gallery may not be used without permission.

LearnNavi Affiliates:
ToS

LearnNavi is the community to learn Na'vi, the Avatar Language
"A place where real friendships are made." -Paul Frommer

AvatarMeet | Learn Na'vi Forum | Learn Na'vi Wiki | Na'viteri

LearnNavi