Author Topic: Topic Marker  (Read 1295 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oeyä Nantang

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Karma: 0
  • I shot my bow before the Na'Vi did =P
Topic Marker
« on: July 24, 2010, 10:26:50 am »
Kaltxi

I have posted a topic about this topic before, but I never really got a streight forward "Here-is-what-the-Topic-marker-is" answer. I realize I should just skip over this. Though I would realy, really liek to learn this. So what I am wanting as a description of the topic marker. NiaN just sorta skims over it, and the Crash course is a very confusing document in general. I want to learn it for completeness. I really do appriciate all replys

Irayo

Offline Payä Tìrol

  • Omatikaya
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
  • Karma: 4
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 10:50:38 am »
It translates roughly as "with regards to _____", etc. where the noun doesn't directly have any relation to the verb in the same clause.

For example, one idiomatic expression that uses it is lrrtok sivi. When you use that to wish someone good luck, it comes out to "May there be smiles (to you) with ______" where the blank is a noun, the thing with which you want to wish luck, that takes the topical.
Oeyä atanìl mì sìvawm, mipa tìreyä tìsìlpeyur yat terìng

Offline Carborundum

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • Posts: 1021
  • Karma: 24
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 10:52:41 am »
There are a couple of situations when it's completely safe to use the topical.

Firstly, when apologizing, congratulating, wishing good luck, and so forth, about a specific thing (e.g. I apologize about this moron).

Secondly, Frommer recently revealed that na'vi uses something called inalienable possession. Inalienable possessions are things that are absolutely, doubtlessly yours (for lack of proper linguistic terminology). As far as is currently known, na'vi considers family members and body parts to be such.
When talking about possession of inalienable possessions, you can substitute the genitive suffix for the topical. Using the genitive is still correct though.

Topical-ìri, aside from this these cases, everyone are on more or less equally shaky ground.
We learn from our mistakes only if we are made aware of them.
If I make a mistake, please bring it to my attention for karma.

Offline Unil Akawng

  • Uniltìranyu
  • **
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: 9
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2010, 11:15:16 am »
Kaltxì!

For more information on the topical case you can check these two articles from the wikibook.

But in a nutshell, the topic marker is used to set, well, the topic of the sentence. Topical case marking is used with the noun or pronoun which your sentence is all about. In English, the equivalent of marking a word X for topical case would be saying "as for X, ...", or "regarding Х ...". Then it's understood that the rest of the sentence refers to X.

An example from the movie:

Oeri ta peyä fahew akewong ontu teya längu. ((Ugh,) my nose is full of his alien smell.)

    oe-ri    ta    po-yä    fahew    a-kewong    ontu    teya    l‹äng›u
    me-top    from    s/he-gen    smell    attr-alien    nose    full    be‹pej›

The literal translation would be "As for me, from his alien smell the nose is full". Here, oe is in the topical case, so we understand that the rest of the sentence refers to the speaker, and that the nose is his, and not of some other person :)

Having said all that, you can safely ignore the topical case for now. It is not grammatically required, so when in doubt, just don't use it - it won't be a mistake.
Tukruhu ne ayoeng zola'u a fkori tukrufa tìyerkup! - Александр Невский
На'ви-русский словарь v.2.09 для jMemorize

Offline Oeyä Nantang

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Karma: 0
  • I shot my bow before the Na'Vi did =P
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 11:25:09 am »
So what determines which suffix is used? (Iri, or Ri)

Offline Unil Akawng

  • Uniltìranyu
  • **
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: 9
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2010, 11:28:13 am »
-ìri is used for the words ending with a consonant, and -ri is for those that end with a vowel.
Tukruhu ne ayoeng zola'u a fkori tukrufa tìyerkup! - Александр Невский
На'ви-русский словарь v.2.09 для jMemorize

Offline wm.annis

  • Olo'eyktan Anawm
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 3074
  • Karma: 143
  • Translate the meaning, not the words!
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2010, 11:28:24 am »
I have posted a topic about this topic before, but I never really got a streight forward "Here-is-what-the-Topic-marker-is" answer. I realize I should just skip over this. Though I would realy, really liek to learn this. So what I am wanting as a description of the topic marker.

No one can answer this for you completely yet.  Apart from the fixed uses Carborundum mentioned, and the new information about inalienable possession that we got from Frommer's blog very recently, we have too few examples of the topical in use to make really firm statements about it.

Lots of Human languages have topic-comment constructions, so there are some very vague things we can say about the Na'vi topical, which Unil Akawng has linked to.  But even among Human languages, the correct situations to use the topic vary widely.  Two weeks ago, I would never have guessed "inalienable possession" as one use for it.  So, we're still waiting on Frommer to use it more often, or to tell us more details about how he sees it being used.

For the forms of the ending, see the Na'vi Grammar Cheat Sheet.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Carborundum

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • Posts: 1021
  • Karma: 24
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2010, 11:29:43 am »
So what determines which suffix is used? (Iri, or Ri)
Copy-pasta from Taronyu's dictionary:
–ìri: PF topical suffix for nouns ending in a consonant, dipthong, or pseudo-vowel (allo-
   morph of ri): Fìskxawngìri tsap’alute sengi oe. I apologise for this moron.
–ri: PF topical for nouns ending in a vowel (TOP.): Ayngari zene hivum You must leave.
We learn from our mistakes only if we are made aware of them.
If I make a mistake, please bring it to my attention for karma.

Offline Muzer

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • Posts: 1348
  • Karma: 10
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2010, 11:39:10 am »
Kaltxì!

For more information on the topical case you can check these two articles from the wikibook.

But in a nutshell, the topic marker is used to set, well, the topic of the sentence. Topical case marking is used with the noun or pronoun which your sentence is all about. In English, the equivalent of marking a word X for topical case would be saying "as for X, ...", or "regarding Х ...". Then it's understood that the rest of the sentence refers to X.

An example from the movie:

Oeri ta peyä fahew akewong ontu teya längu. ((Ugh,) my nose is full of his alien smell.)

    oe-ri    ta    po-yä    fahew    a-kewong    ontu    teya    l‹äng›u
    me-top    from    s/he-gen    smell    attr-alien    nose    full    be‹pej›

The literal translation would be "As for me, from his alien smell the nose is full". Here, oe is in the topical case, so we understand that the rest of the sentence refers to the speaker, and that the nose is his, and not of some other person :)

Having said all that, you can safely ignore the topical case for now. It is not grammatically required, so when in doubt, just don't use it - it won't be a mistake.

This could easily just be an example of inalienable possession (my nose).
[21:42:56] <@Muzer> Apple products used to be good, if expensive
[21:42:59] <@Muzer> now they are just expensive

Offline wm.annis

  • Olo'eyktan Anawm
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 3074
  • Karma: 143
  • Translate the meaning, not the words!
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2010, 11:42:42 am »
This could easily just be an example of inalienable possession (my nose).

I also interpret that sentence this way now.

I cover a few of the recent and larger topical examples in this post.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Unil Akawng

  • Uniltìranyu
  • **
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: 9
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2010, 11:44:00 am »
This could easily just be an example of inalienable possession (my nose).

Agreed, it's ambiguous. Mea culpa.
Tukruhu ne ayoeng zola'u a fkori tukrufa tìyerkup! - Александр Невский
На'ви-русский словарь v.2.09 для jMemorize

Offline Oeyä Nantang

  • Ketuwong
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Karma: 0
  • I shot my bow before the Na'Vi did =P
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2010, 01:51:25 pm »
Thanks guys, your replys were exactly what I needed.  :) I really think whoever wrote NiaN needs to include a full description of the Topic marker instead of skimming over it like they did.

Offline Payä Tìrol

  • Omatikaya
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
  • Karma: 4
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2010, 01:56:18 pm »
I believe the two examples we're sure of are given in the "special constructions" section. Beyond that, we really don't know. At the moment, I believe you may use it if you feel it is appropriate.
Oeyä atanìl mì sìvawm, mipa tìreyä tìsìlpeyur yat terìng

Offline Pxia Säsngap

  • Taronyu
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 679
  • Karma: 5
  • Oel ngati kameie
    • Stachel's Life
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2010, 05:16:07 pm »
Secondly, Frommer recently revealed that na'vi uses something called inalienable possession. Inalienable possessions are things that are absolutely, doubtlessly yours (for lack of proper linguistic terminology). As far as is currently known, na'vi considers family members and body parts to be such.
When talking about possession of inalienable possessions, you can substitute the genitive suffix for the topical. Using the genitive is still correct though.

Nang, did not know about that! Ma Carborundum oe ngaru irayo seiyi tì'eyngìri ( ;) )
Eywa ayngahu
Ma oeyä eylan aynga oeru yawne lu <3 ;D :D ;D

Offline Carborundum

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • Posts: 1021
  • Karma: 24
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2010, 05:24:46 pm »
Secondly, Frommer recently revealed that na'vi uses something called inalienable possession. Inalienable possessions are things that are absolutely, doubtlessly yours (for lack of proper linguistic terminology). As far as is currently known, na'vi considers family members and body parts to be such.
When talking about possession of inalienable possessions, you can substitute the genitive suffix for the topical. Using the genitive is still correct though.
Nang, did not know about that! Ma Carborundum oe ngaru irayo seiyi tì'eyngìri ( ;) )
Hayalo oeta :)
We learn from our mistakes only if we are made aware of them.
If I make a mistake, please bring it to my attention for karma.

Offline Pxia Säsngap

  • Taronyu
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 679
  • Karma: 5
  • Oel ngati kameie
    • Stachel's Life
Re: Topic Marker
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2010, 05:39:26 pm »
Eywa ayngahu
Ma oeyä eylan aynga oeru yawne lu <3 ;D :D ;D

 

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

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
| 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