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Na'vi Reference Grammar

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wm.annis:
So, here it is, at last.

  Horen Lì'fyayä leNa'vi (Version 1.23, Dec 18 2017)

A few months ago, I wrote up a very dense Na'vi grammar cheat sheet designed to fit into a single, double-sided sheet of paper.  I had to leave out a lot of useful information, especially syntax, so I said I'd work on a larger document.  I had no idea how much larger it would turn out.  On it's first release (August 13, 2010), the thing is 54 pages long.  Now, some of those pages are just for the index, but still.

About this Grammar
This document will not teach you Na'vi.  It's a reference, and I've tried to cover everything we know for sure about the language.  So, I hope it will be a good guide when you have questions about the details of some point of Na'vi grammar.

I use a lot of cross-referencing in the grammar.  When you see a section number, like 6.2.1, you can click on it to be taken to that section.  The index takes up several pages, and once again, you can click on any page number to be taken straight to that page.  For now, there's no table of contents, but I hope the index will be more useful for people.  Please let me know where I've missed obvious things to index.

If you see text in maroon, that means I'm uncertain about something.  Hopefully the maroon parts will disappear over time.

In the Syntax chapter especially, you will see "F" floating in the margin.  This means I'm using a Na'vi example straight from Frommer.  If you see any places where I've created an example, but for which you know there is a Frommerian example, please let me know.

Save the trees!  For now, at least, please don't print this.  It is 54 pages!  And it's going to be changing fairly rapidly for a few months, I'm sure.  I will probably not update this as quickly as Taronyu updates the dictionary, but any substantial release of information about Na'vi from Frommer is likely to lead to a new release in a day or two.

I hope everyone will find this useful.


You can see the LaTeX sources under the LearnNavi github space: https://github.com/LearnNavi/Horen

omängum fra'uti:
Lesar nìtxan nang!

Reading through it a few comments...


--- Quote from: §2.1.4. ---A syllable with a pseudovowel must start with a consonant or consonant cluster
--- End quote ---
Psuedovowel syllables are strictly a single consonant and never a cluster or no consonant kefyak?


--- Quote from: §2.1.4.1. ---muiä [mu.i.æ], ioang [i.o.aŋ].
--- End quote ---
Just a little nitpick that the IPA is being given to show syllable boundaries, but it is incomplete. (No stressed syllable indicated.) The impression I get though is that this is intentional to avoid cluttering it up?


--- Quote from: §2.1.4.2. ---tsenge is [tsɛ.ŋɛ] not *[tsɛŋ.ɛ]. Reduplication may override this, as in kangangang [kaŋ.aŋ.aŋ], where the echo effect is desired.
--- End quote ---
Again with the stressed syllable, but also...
It's kxangangang not kangakgang...
Also I'm not sure I agree with the assertation that it is reduplication overriding it.  I think that in that example, it is desired sound of the onomatopoeia which is setting the syllibafication, not reduplication.  And further, that is one of a small number of things which may override syllabification.

§2.2.2.
I saw a thread recently about ADP+, and what exactly the lenition is in - and I don't recall there being an example where an ADP+ and its noun was separated by another word which would lenit (IE - *mì feyä kelku or *mì peyä helku) - so unless you know otherwise, perhaps this is an unanswered question worthy of a red mark?

§2.3.6.
There's also many cases of the vowel in lu being elided, probably worth mentioning.  This appears both in the songs and the movie dialog, though the movie dialog is backed by an actual explanation of the dialog by Frommer.


--- Quote from: §2.4.3.1. ---The first person pronoun root oe, though pronounced we when taking a suffix, retains the original spelling.
--- End quote ---
Probably worth adding in that the first person dual inclusive oeng gets the "we" treatment all the time as the ng(a) gets the same treatment as suffixes.

§3.2.
It is probably important to mention that oeng and all its derived pronouns regain the "a" from nga when taking a suffix.  Comments on this should also be included in §3.2.2.5. where oeng becomes oengeyä

And other general comments...
Some places you note different registers, but other places you do not.  Notably we have an example of the participle used alone with no verb and no attribution - tìkan tawnatep.  There is also a specific section on register (§7.3.), but most of the more informal rules are spread out through the document, while the Register section is more about formality.

More comments as I get more time to read through it, but what I've seen so far is txantsan!

Kì'eyawn:
Tewti, ma William, fì'u leiu txantsan!  Ngaru irayo seiyi oe!

Plumps:
Ma William,
this is truely amazing work!!! Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into this!

Thoughts:

I’m officially confused :P I thought, K. Pawl said when looking at your grammar cheat sheet that the case suffixes after diphthongs would be either -ìl, -it, -ti etc., not the one-letter endings? That’s why I was confused seeing *keyeyt in his first blog post…

6.2.6. I think there are better examples for the gerund… I think the *tìtaron lu lehrrap example was given at a time when the gerund form with tì-‹us› was not yet developed(?). With this example it seems more correct to say »the hunt is dangerous«

6.7.9. minor mistake in example sentence; it’s: tafral ke lìsyek oel ngeyä keye’ungit therefore I will not heed your insanity.

(?)6.15.3. Have you not marked a sample sentence as Frommarian when it didn’t come originally from him? I would think that corrections by him can be considered attested… But that can be discussed, can’t it?
(I’m aiming at fo ke lu ’ewan kaw’it, which (I think) was a sentence by Prrton but was corrected by K. Pawl; I was expecting an F in the margin…)

pp. 39 f. Don’t know if you have an influence on that but the footnote 13 is on the wrong page…

So much at a first glance.
Nìmun, nìngay txantsana tìkangkem! *Karma* nefä! :D

Lance R. Casey:
Tewti! Txantsana tìkangkemìri aftxavang ngeyä irayo seiyi ayoe nìwotx ma Wìlyìm!

After reading it through once, this stood out:


--- Quote from: p3, §1.2 ---Notatation and Conventions
--- End quote ---
p4, §2.1.1: Is it correct to sort /ɾ/ under "liquids"?

p6, §2.2: No wavy underline to mark the lenitable consonant in 'eylan, although in this case it is hardly required. Also, perhaps pe+ should be mentioned here.

p6, §2.2.2: According to, well, you, pxisre is also ADP+.

p11, §3.2.3.1: From the movie we have ohengeyä as the genitive form of ohe ngengasì.

p12, §3.3.3: ay+ marked as non-leniting.

p15, §3.6.3: How about a quick mention of the s-futures, with a link to §6.7.9?


--- Quote from: p17, §4.1.1 ---The independent forms of the numerals from one to eight are:
--- End quote ---
p18, §4.3.1: Pxelo has also been confirmed.

p19, §5.1.1: Bob ;)

p19, §5.1.1.2: And pronouns, e.g. nìayoeng.


--- Quote from: p21, footnote ---Many human languages are more strict.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: p24, §6.1.2.2 ---The subject may be either subjective in or agentive.
--- End quote ---
p28, §6.5.1 See §2.2.2 above.

p30, §6.5.17.2: We also have mì sìrey in (my) life.

p30, §6.5.28: Pxisre is ADP+ as per above (if that's correct, of course).


--- Quote from: p33, §6.7.4 ---Because the imperfective presents an on-going state of affairs, it can be used in in complex sentences to indicate simultaneous action, [...]
--- End quote ---
p34, §6.8.3.1: Include sìlpey without tsnì?

p39, §6.17.2: "Relative clause" (and nothing else) mentioned thrice.

p43, §6.20.1: Should also mention that either san or sìk can be dropped when circumstances so permit.

p43, §6.20.2: Also thoughts, according to WB.

p48: No title?

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