Author Topic: Question about "ma" before the name.  (Read 1491 times)

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Offline neytiri.blue

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Question about "ma" before the name.
« on: October 11, 2010, 06:22:12 pm »
I received a private message from a fellow Na'vi and I noticed that she wrote,

Kaltxì ma Neytiri -

I've noticed "ma" being placed infront of many names through out the board. When I first look at it, I think of french and how it is the feminine version of "my"...and with no association to French, I figured this was a way of being nice and sort of saying "sister Neytiri" or "friend Neytiri" - a way to be nice. But perhaps I am wrong it is a grammar rule.

I am very new to Na'vi and I honestly just got back to school yesterday and I haven't had a chance to look over the handbooks, but perhaps someone would not mind explaining this custom to me.

Thanks  ;D

Offline Amaya

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010, 06:25:02 pm »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 06:29:46 pm »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

It is not actually related to politeness.  It's what linguists call a "vocative" — when saying the name or title of someone you are speaking to, their name is put in a special form.  In Na'vi, that means the word ma goes before it.  English just uses the bare name for this, so we've had fun trying to come up with a way to explain it.  If you use twitter, it's sort of like the "@" sign — it names the person you are addressing.

Some vocatives:

  Hey, Bob, did you see the game last night?!
  Learn to drive, moron!
  Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline neytiri.blue

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2010, 06:42:49 pm »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

It is not actually related to politeness.  It's what linguists call a "vocative" — when saying the name or title of someone you are speaking to, their name is put in a special form.  In Na'vi, that means the word ma goes before it.  English just uses the bare name for this, so we've had fun trying to come up with a way to explain it.  If you use twitter, it's sort of like the "@" sign — it names the person you are addressing.

Some vocatives:

  Hey, Bob, did you see the game last night?!
  Learn to drive, moron!
  Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.





Okay! That makes perfect sense. I thought it has something to do with a term of endearment or being polite or friendly. Thanks for explaining that. The twitter reference was brilliant! I am learning so much about linguistics just by learning this langauge.   ;D




Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010, 10:26:22 am »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

It is not actually related to politeness.  It's what linguists call a "vocative" — when saying the name or title of someone you are speaking to, their name is put in a special form.  In Na'vi, that means the word ma goes before it.  English just uses the bare name for this, so we've had fun trying to come up with a way to explain it.  If you use twitter, it's sort of like the "@" sign — it names the person you are addressing.

Some vocatives:

  Hey, Bob, did you see the game last night?!
  Learn to drive, moron!
  Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
Listen to my Na'vi Lessons podcast!

Offline archaic

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 09:45:33 am »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

Someone talking about me?
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Offline 'Oma Tirea

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 04:47:04 pm »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

Someone talking about me?

HRH... ::)

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Offline Stars

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 08:15:54 am »
"ma" before the name is a politeness.  The closest version in English would be "o neytiri", kindof archaeic and formal.  Basically it's nothing like "my" and only used for adressing someone directly. :D

It is not actually related to politeness.  It's what linguists call a "vocative" — when saying the name or title of someone you are speaking to, their name is put in a special form.  In Na'vi, that means the word ma goes before it.  English just uses the bare name for this, so we've had fun trying to come up with a way to explain it.  If you use twitter, it's sort of like the "@" sign — it names the person you are addressing.

Some vocatives:

  Hey, Bob, did you see the game last night?!
  Learn to drive, moron!
  Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.

Can I ask where you guys read about that??
I'm kinda confused because in the scene Neytiri and Jake are sleeping by the Tree of Voices, when she tries to wake him up she says "Ma Jake" and the translation(subtitle) for that is "My Jake"....Unless she was actually saying "MY Jake".

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 12:33:03 pm »
We got the information about the vocative from Paul Frommer.

But my DVD agrees with him in the scene you are describing.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Stars

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 05:52:06 pm »
Aah, okay! Thank you!
I've been reading a few of Na'viteri.org's posts and I think I'm starting to understand the meaning of "Ma". :D

Offline Kyle Kepone

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2010, 03:10:08 pm »
So I'm assuming "ta" serves the same purpose as "ma," yes?

Ope, no. I'm mistaken. Ta serves a totally different purpose.
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Offline Meynari Ke'nawm

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2010, 09:25:14 am »
I received a private message from a fellow Na'vi and I noticed that she wrote,

Kaltxì ma Neytiri -

I've noticed "ma" being placed infront of many names through out the board. When I first look at it, I think of french and how it is the feminine version of "my"...and with no association to French, I figured this was a way of being nice and sort of saying "sister Neytiri" or "friend Neytiri" - a way to be nice. But perhaps I am wrong it is a grammar rule.

I am very new to Na'vi and I honestly just got back to school yesterday and I haven't had a chance to look over the handbooks, but perhaps someone would not mind explaining this custom to me.

Thanks  ;D

The "ma" before the name is basically the like putting a or the before a noun. It's part of the language for no real reason. It mostly just means "Oh, _______," or "My ________", but it shows neither affection nor possession. It also can't be used for anything else. Oh, well. Kìyevame, ma tsmuk!
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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2010, 01:39:45 pm »
Please do pay attention and read the rest of the thread before replying, especially to a thread that is a few weeks old already.  The question was already answered, and it was pointed out that "ma" does NOT mean "my".
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
Listen to my Na'vi Lessons podcast!

Offline macjen9776

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Re: Question about "ma" before the name.
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2010, 11:29:10 am »
This clears this issue up for me.  I kept seeing people saying "ma" before their name and could not figure out what they were doing.  Hopefully, I will be able to catch on a bit quicker next time.

 

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