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Some Thoughts

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Taronyu:
So, last night I made a new dictionary, available here. While doing this, I ran across no small amount of things I thought were worth noting. I have collected these thoughts here: there are many, and they are not easy to read one after the other, but I didn't want to create a separate thread for each (understandably). So, please have a look if you like.

Notes:

’awve and 'e'al, "first" and "worst", are both superlatives, but don't seem to derive from anything. This is rather interesting, since most languages, as far as I'm aware, have the opposite.

'engeng means "level". Any idea what this means? It's a noun in the dictionary, but I wonder if that refers then to the construction tool?

ìnglìsì - "English". I would suspect that this comes from English - but we have an interesting thing going on in "sì". Is the /s/ part of the loan word, or a marker for the "do, make" verb, si? Or is it possible that the -ì is a loan-word marker of some sort?

aylaru "to the others" - this is stated in the dictionary as a contraction of ay+labe+ru. I think this is wrong: ay+ is obviously the plural, and +ru the dative. la is tricky: but, if one submits an unattested form of *la, as an apposition for otherness, it works. Examples of this in use is lahe, "other"and lapo "others". So, what we have here is a simple "to the others".

There are three words for blue. I find this to be weird. ean is an adj., Omatikaya assumedly means "Blue flute clan", although we're not sure how, while seze means blue flower - but probably not a blue flower. I just though this is interesting, I don't think any conclusions can be drawn.

faketuan "alien" is listed. I think this is wrong - fa, as we all know, is a preposition for "with". ke means "not", "tu"person, and "an" is a masculine marker. Thus - this is really just with-not-person-male - thus, sort of "not us". I assume that the -an is there because the subject was Jake Sully, a male, and they made it a noun by compounding.

This leads me to my most interesting note, I think. ketuwong is alien, but so is kewong. It can be assumed, then, that *wong means something like "local"or "same", and that the tu is unnecessary. Then, if one considers kawng - perhaps this is a contracted form of ke-wong, meaning "not same", and thus "bad, evil". There is another way of looking at kawng, though: submit that *kaw is a stem, an allomorph of not, from kawkrr and kawtu. In this way, kawng would mean "not-inclusive" - not us. Same meaning.

Another interesting form here is keye'ung - literally not - ye? - thing - inclusive - not with us. Perhaps ye comes from y\"a, meaning with? "not with us". Which would match the definition of keye'ung, as "insanity".

fìfya - this is a contraction of fì and fia'o. I want to know why the 'o is lost. While we're on this, I derived the non-solo-attested appositional form *fì to mean "this". pretty straight-forward. \

fko - listed as an adj. for "one". Surely this is merely a changed pronounciated of po? Where is this attested, and is this an allomorph? Same for fo, which is also listed - surely just a lenited form. And yet the definition for fo is plural. I don't understand.

The word for sling: k'nivi or kxnivi? There is a discrepency in the dictionary between the pronunciation and transcription.

kea is listed as an adjective meaning no. Is there a form attested of ake?

Kìyevame must stem from kame. This may have been discussed elsewhere - I don't see how it could with the infixes we know.

kllfriyo is listed as "be responsible" - wouldn't this imply passivity?

Vocalic /ll/ seems to only be possible after p, k, and m. Is this worth noting in the phonology?

Can *mun be derived from mune "two" and muntxe "mated"? How about *nul from nulkrr "longer (time)" Could *'em (above) be derived from ta'em? If *kem can be derived from fìkem and kempe, meaning action. would this be a noun or a particle?

Should ditransitive verbs be marked, suc as pänutìng?

for all affectionate forms, the final vowel goes to a high vowel. Thus sa'nok becomes sa'nu, and 'eveng becomes 'evi. Could this be a phonological/derivational rule?

What is the purpose of sä?

For srake: does yes/no follow the same patterns as in english? I am aware that in other languages yes or no may be the wrong response, especially for negation concerning conditionals.

Sutx seems wrong. "track, lock up"is given - perhaps this should be "trap"?

tawng n. "duck" must simply be wrong, as it also means v. "dive". I've changed this to v. "duck" in my dictionary.

How is te different from ma?

toktor is probably from english Doctor. But then what about tokx? Is this, as well? Would this be the first case of deletion derivation?

Tsahaylu - could this be derived from tsahay + lu? Bond is? Tok would normally be used for the existential copula, but perhaps the equation of na'vi to animal is what is important.

tswayon - shouldn't this be tswon? "fly"

Coda:

--- Quote from: Taronyu on December 27, 2009, 11:06:12 pm ---'engeng means "level". Any idea what this means? It's a noun in the dictionary, but I wonder if that refers then to the construction tool?

--- End quote ---

I doubt it refers to the construction tool, since Na'vi don't do much in the way of precision construction.  I think it's more likely that it refers to levels of a structure, such as a kelutrel, although I haven't found any info to back this up yet.


--- Quote ---ìnglìsì - "English". I would suspect that this comes from English - but we have an interesting thing going on in "sì". Is the /s/ part of the loan word, or a marker for the "do, make" verb, si? Or is it possible that the -ì is a loan-word marker of some sort?

--- End quote ---

I think the "sì" is a loan word substitute for the "sh" sound in English, given that Na'vi doesn't use that sound at all.


--- Quote ---aylaru "to the others" - this is stated in the dictionary as a contraction of ay+labe+ru. I think this is wrong: ay+ is obviously the plural, and +ru the dative. la is tricky: but, if one submits an unattested form of *la, as an apposition for otherness, it works. Examples of this in use is lahe, "other"and lapo "others". So, what we have here is a simple "to the others".

--- End quote ---

This one puzzles me, especially since the root word, "aylaberu" contains "be," a sound not normally found in Na'vi.  Do you know the source for this particular word?  It may be an incorrect transcription of the original words.


--- Quote ---There are three words for blue. I find this to be weird. ean is an adj., Omatikaya assumedly means "Blue flute clan", although we're not sure how, while seze means blue flower - but probably not a blue flower. I just though this is interesting, I don't think any conclusions can be drawn.

--- End quote ---

I'm willing to bet seze is the name for a flower that happens to be blue, and not literally 'blue flower'.  Omatikaya could be similar in that it refers to a flower or something normally called "blue flute," but that's a bit more of a stretch.  

That said, I'm quite interested in the Na'vi concept of color, especially given the range of colors that are predominant in their world.  It's an interesting fact that most paleolithic human societies tend to have just two colors - warm (red-yellow) and cold (green-purple).  Sure enough, in Na'vi we have just two explicitly named colors, rim (yellow) and ean (blue), that correspond with warm and cold.  Is the paucity of colors an intentional choice on the part of Dr. Frommer?  Or are there more that just haven't been revealed yet?


--- Quote ---fìfya - this is a contraction of fì and fia'o. I want to know why the 'o is lost. While we're on this, I derived the non-solo-attested appositional form *fì to mean "this". pretty straight-forward. \

--- End quote ---

I think the contraction is coherent, as the two roots that are being contracted are fi and fia.  "This" and "way."  Fia'o refers not so much to the abstract concept of a way as it does to a literal path or way for someone to go.


--- Quote ---The word for sling: k'nivi or kxnivi? There is a discrepency in the dictionary between the pronunciation and transcription.

--- End quote ---

I think they mean essentially the same thing.  After all, outside of Na'vi plosives are usually transcribed as k' p' t' instead of kx px tx.  That said, that's the first Na'vi word I've seen where a plosive is not immediately followed by a vowel.  Odd.


--- Quote ---How is te different from ma?

--- End quote ---

Do we have any instances of te actually being used?  Or full names, for that matter?  It's idle speculation at this point, but I could see Na'vi using te to denote clan membership along the lines of Omatikaya te Neytiri.

omängum fra'uti:

--- Quote ---’awve and 'e'al, "first" and "worst", are both superlatives, but don't seem to derive from anything. This is rather interesting, since most languages, as far as I'm aware, have the opposite.
--- End quote ---
No commends on worst, but first I don't see how it's not derived from anything.  I'm not sure what the -ve is, but 'aw is "one".

Nuruhuine:
Oel ngati kame ma Taronyu

Thanks for the very hard work you put into that dictionary. I just noticed it a few minutes ago. I will download and read it as soon as I get back from work.

Eywa ngahu ma Taronyu.

-Nuru.

Taronyu:

--- Quote from: omängum fra'uti on December 28, 2009, 12:34:40 am ---
--- Quote ---’awve and 'e'al, "first" and "worst", are both superlatives, but don't seem to derive from anything. This is rather interesting, since most languages, as far as I'm aware, have the opposite.
--- End quote ---
No commends on worst, but first I don't see how it's not derived from anything.  I'm not sure what the -ve is, but 'aw is "one".

--- End quote ---

Yes, 'awve is from one. But I don't understand why the superlative doesn't have a regular adposition, as one would expect. So that worst would be, for instance, kawngve.

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