Author Topic: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)  (Read 1687 times)

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Offline Plumps

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'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« on: June 23, 2018, 05:40:17 am »
Ma frapo,

I had the opportunity to ask K. Pawl about a few things that came up for discussion on the Discord server. So here it goes:


Quote from: me
How do we say “Count from 3 to 8”? Would tiam ta pxey vay vol suffice? Somebody suggested ne as the adposition. Pamìrìk suggested, since most people start from ’aw to just say tiam vay/ne vol.
Tsari pefya nga fpìl?

Quote from: K. Pawl
I like vay here. Ne implies motion towards something, and is used mainly with verbs of motion like kä, za'u, tätxaw, etc. But this brings up another question. What if it's not counting from 3 (up)to 8, but rather from 8 down to 3? Countdowns are certainly common! A similar situation occurs if, say, the temperature falls from 20 degrees to 15 degrees. What is "to"? Vay doesn't seem appropriate, since it implies "up to." I'm wondering if we need a new adposition meaning "down to" as the opposite of vay. […]

BTW, I think Tiam vay vol is fine.

So, it seems that there is another adposition needed for “down to”. Maybe something for a new LEP entry? :D Feel free to suggest things there.



Concerning

Quote from: me
Could be used as the opposite of ìlä ‘according to (a person)’ in the sense of ‘contrary to (what somebody said)’ as in:

     Wä Feyral, muntxa ke soli Ralu sì Newey nìwan mesrram.
     “Contrary to what Peyral reported, Ralu and Newey were not secretly married the day before yesterday.”

Quote from: K. Pawl
I hadn't thought of that use of , but I like it. I don't see why it shouldn't be used in the way you've described. I also like tì’efuwä oeyä. It'd be used in sentences like, Tì’efuwä oeyä, fpìl Peyralìl futa ke zene ayoeng kivä. I.e., "I think we have to go, but Peyral doesn't."



And finally, the genitive question:

Quote from: me
The last one concerns multiple genitives: By now we only ever saw 2 genitives in sequence, e.g. in your example Pìlokä fìhapxìyä tìkan lu law. ‘The aim of this section of the blog is clear.’ The question arose whether there has to be a special sequence in order for it to make sense?

Mako said to this:

“I am willing to guarantee you that because the noun ending in -y/ä has to come next to the noun it is possessing […], the nouns have to be sequenced correctly in order for the sentence to make sense. Let me show it like this:
    (1) oeyä tsmukä tsko = oeyä } tsmukä { tsko or oeyä { tsmukä { tsko
    (2) tsmukä oeyä tsko = tsmukä } oeyä { tsko or tsmukä { oeyä { tsko
Only one of these options means “My sibling’s bow”. The attribution can only go one way once the direction has been decided”

Which I’m not so sure about. To me (2) logically also means “my sibling’s bow”. What do you think about that?

Quote from: K. Pawl
I agree with you. Both (1) and (2) seem fine to me, and I don't see how they could each be interpreted as other than "my sibling's bow."

However, Mako has pointed to an issue that deserves some scrutiny. Let me throw this out for discussion.

Here are the six possible arrangements of the words 'itanä, karyuä, and kelku:

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä
3. 'itanä kelku karyuä
4. karyuä kelku 'itanä
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku

And here are two possible meanings of these phrases:

A. the home of the son's teacher
B. the home of the teacher's son

Here are some questions to consider:

a. Are all six phrases grammatical and acceptable, or are some of them unacceptable?

b. Of the acceptable phrases (which may be all of them), which ones have the A meaning and which have the B meaning?

c. Are any of the acceptable phrases ambiguous--that is, allowing both the A and the B meaning?

d. If there is ambiguity in any of these cases, how much of a problem is that--or should there be a rule that in a potentially ambiguous case, one meaning is to be preferred over the other?

Please throw this out for discussion! I'll be interested in how people feel about these questions.

So there it is. :) Please feel free to comment and discuss the above questions that K. Pawl laid out. I’m giving it some time before I ‘report back’ to him :P And I’m doing this here rather than on Discord just to have a better overview.

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 06:10:45 am »
Please take my words with a grain of salt, as I am not the most proficient with Na'vi.

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä A (home of son's teacher).
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä B (home of teacher's son).
3. 'itanä kelku karyuä A (home of son's teacher), but possibly incorrect
4. karyuä kelku 'itanä B (home of teacher's son), but possibly incorrect.
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku A (home of son's teacher).
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku B (home of teacher's son).

I feel as though the main thing that determines this for me is which one comes first, since there aren't any other clarifiers. I see 3 and 4 as feeling incorrect, I'm not sure why. It may be an english thing, or it may be that having the subject (home) between the two qualifiers (son and teacher, which dictate which home it is) confuses me even more. At the same time, however, unambiguous sentences don't feel 'wrong' to me even if they're not in stereotypical 'english' order. Still, as a primarily English speaker I tend to personally prefer having it in a linear order, even though Na'vi doesn't need to follow that pattern, so that may be why I don't like them as much.

The most interesting thing is that to me, despite this being my reflex reaction (re: the meanings), I could easily see both meanings in each sentence; this is to say that they are all ambiguous to me, because there don't appear to be any real markers to signify what's going on. I feel that in the case of a potentially ambiguous sentence / case, the first thing encountered should be treated as the 'dominant' meaning; in essence, if you first speak about the teacher, you should assume it's about the teacher's son (and in this example, as a result, the teacher's son's home). This could easily solve any ambiguity issues that come up.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 06:17:32 am by aze »

Offline Pamìrìk

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 09:05:59 am »
Quote from: K. Pawl
And here are two possible meanings of these phrases:

A. the home of the son's teacher
B. the home of the teacher's son

I disagree and believe there is a third possible [mis]understanding: C. the teacher and son's home. Though we have seen examples of shared ownership listed with , (...mestxelit alu lora merel Tsyanä sì oeyä[naviteri]), I feel the nature of the genitive case lends itself to this possible [mis]understanding. I am not asserting that this is a correct translation or that it should be this way, but I will try to explain why I feel it is easy to interpret it as such.

This dives into misgiving I have with the genitive case in Na'vi, where it is one of few grammar structures that can lead to ambiguous constructions because it can't decide if it is or isn't an adjective. Most of the time, it does behave very much like an adjective- it can describe things with lu (fìtseng lu awngeyä), it goes next to a noun [phrase], but doesn't have the directional indicator of a that adjectives have, and doesn't take up an "adjective slot" (oeyä rima ikran akoak). Because of this weirdness, you can create ambiguous constructions like tsole'a karyul oeyä numeyut - my teacher saw student -OR- teacher saw my student. There exist workarounds for this, such as tsole'a karyul numeyut oeyä - obviously "my student" due to placement, so choosing a particular word order for the sentence to escape inherent ambiguity is par for the course for the genitive. While I think it is ungraceful, it's not totally unheard of (see apxa, the topical, clause attribution).

This brings me to KP's important questions:

Quote
a. Are all six phrases grammatical and acceptable, or are some of them unacceptable?
This is what we are trying to figure out.

Quote
b. Of the acceptable phrases (which may be all of them), which ones have the A meaning and which have the B meaning?

For each, I will mark how I feel.

A. the home of the son's teacher (son's teacher's home)
B. the home of the teacher's son (teacher's son's home)
C. the home of the teacher and son (misunderstanding), or, "this is a potential problem"


1. kelku 'itanä karyuä  B
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä  A
3. 'itanä kelku karyuä  C
4. karyuä kelku 'itanä  C
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku  A
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku  B

Quote
c. Are any of the acceptable phrases ambiguous--that is, allowing both the A and the B meaning?
As stated above, 3 and 4 are not immediately clear, and lend themselves to confusion. Because of the genitive case's ability to be on either side of its noun phrase, AND it's lack of need to be next to the noun itself (oeyä rima ikran akoak), there are two meanings:

3. ( ('itanä kelku) karyuä )
3. ( 'itanä ( kelku karyuä ) )

1, 2, 5, and 6 get around this by only providing one valid interpretation:

1.  ( (kelku 'itanä ) karyuä )
5. ('itanä ( karyuä kelku ) )

This is internally consistent with the logic of clause attribution nesting, another grammar problem solved by mandating a specific order/clustering of clauses. Languages don't always have to be internally logical and consistent, but in nearly everything else Na'vi is, and if it was up to me I would preserve this.

Quote
d. If there is ambiguity in any of these cases, how much of a problem is that--or should there be a rule that in a potentially ambiguous case, one meaning is to be preferred over the other?

There is ambiguity, and it is an issue. I believe that the rule to solve this gracefully is to chain modals to always read in their relationship order from the noun, outward. This is actually how I assumed it worked up until this point, and was surprised to find it wasn't already a rule.

In a world where Ayä noun Byä constructions are legal, I would always side on the relationship being as follows:

3. ( ('itanä kelku) karyuä ) B. the home of the teacher's son (teacher's son's home)

This mirrors how the topical case can sometimes be employed for inalienable possession (and must be at the beginning of a sentence). I feel the Na'vi would be more used to hearing a "primary possessor" first. Perhaps not the strongest argument, but it's the only case I could come up with for either of them given the rest of what I know about Na'vi grammar.

Thanks for sharing! I eagerly await a decision, one way or another, on this issue.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 09:14:11 am by Pamìrìk »

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 10:38:04 am »
And finally, the genitive question:

Quote from: me
The last one concerns multiple genitives: By now we only ever saw 2 genitives in sequence, e.g. in your example Pìlokä fìhapxìyä tìkan lu law. ‘The aim of this section of the blog is clear.’ The question arose whether there has to be a special sequence in order for it to make sense?

Mako said to this:

“I am willing to guarantee you that because the noun ending in -y/ä has to come next to the noun it is possessing […], the nouns have to be sequenced correctly in order for the sentence to make sense. Let me show it like this:
    (1) oeyä tsmukä tsko = oeyä } tsmukä { tsko or oeyä { tsmukä { tsko
    (2) tsmukä oeyä tsko = tsmukä } oeyä { tsko or tsmukä { oeyä { tsko
Only one of these options means “My sibling’s bow”. The attribution can only go one way once the direction has been decided”

Which I’m not so sure about. To me (2) logically also means “my sibling’s bow”. What do you think about that?

Quote from: K. Pawl
I agree with you. Both (1) and (2) seem fine to me, and I don't see how they could each be interpreted as other than "my sibling's bow."

However, Mako has pointed to an issue that deserves some scrutiny. Let me throw this out for discussion.

Here are the six possible arrangements of the words 'itanä, karyuä, and kelku:

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä
3. 'itanä kelku karyuä
4. karyuä kelku 'itanä
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku

And here are two possible meanings of these phrases:

A. the home of the son's teacher
B. the home of the teacher's son

Here are some questions to consider:

a. Are all six phrases grammatical and acceptable, or are some of them unacceptable?

b. Of the acceptable phrases (which may be all of them), which ones have the A meaning and which have the B meaning?

c. Are any of the acceptable phrases ambiguous--that is, allowing both the A and the B meaning?

d. If there is ambiguity in any of these cases, how much of a problem is that--or should there be a rule that in a potentially ambiguous case, one meaning is to be preferred over the other?

Please throw this out for discussion! I'll be interested in how people feel about these questions.

So there it is. :) Please feel free to comment and discuss the above questions that K. Pawl laid out. I’m giving it some time before I ‘report back’ to him :P And I’m doing this here rather than on Discord just to have a better overview.

I disagree and believe there is a third possible [mis]understanding: C. the teacher and son's home.

I am in agreement with Pam here. I think shared ownership could likewise be indicated by having a genitive noun on either side of the normal noun, and quite like that as an interpretation. So that leaves 4 remaining sentences to scrutinize:

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä - the teacher's son's home
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä - the son's teacher's home
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku - the son's teacher's home
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku - the teacher's son's home

This is all well and good, and we can see that a certain sequence order does inherently exist in Na'vi in the case of common noun x common noun. However, I think it's worth pointing out that with pronoun genitive usage, there are certain constructions that don't have a legitimate grammatical meaning if following this model. Explaining this from the example I posed:

1. oeyä tsmukä tsko - my sibling's bow
2. tsmukä oeyä tsko - sibling's my bow
3. oeyä tsko tsmukä - my sibling and my bow
4. tsmukä tsko oeyä - my sibling and my bow
5. tsko oeyä tsmukä - sibling's my bow
6. tsko tsmukä oeyä - my sibling's bow

Pronouns can't be possessed by common nouns and make sense, so pronouns appear to be an exception to the rule if this sentence always means "my sibling's bow" (or mine and my sibling's bow, as Pam suggests). You can replace oeyä with ngeyä or peyä and certain orders following the same conventions as the 'itanä karyuä kelku example don't make sense.

So in summary, my two cents on this is that if 1, 2, 5, and 6 are legal constructions, then in cases of pronoun possession, the pronoun will always take priority over the common noun, regardless of structure.

1. oeyä tsmukä tsko - my sibling's bow
2. tsmukä oeyä tsko - my sibling's bow
5. tsko oeyä tsmukä - my sibling's bow
6. tsko tsmukä oeyä - my sibling's bow

Irayo ma Plumps, mesìpawm alahe txantsan lamu.

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 09:30:38 pm »
I disagree and believe there is a third possible [mis]understanding: C. the teacher and son's home.

I am in agreement with Pam here. I think shared ownership could likewise be indicated by having a genitive noun on either side of the normal noun, and quite like that as an interpretation. So that leaves 4 remaining sentences to scrutinize:

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä - the teacher's son's home
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä - the son's teacher's home
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku - the son's teacher's home
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku - the teacher's son's home

This is all well and good, and we can see that a certain sequence order does inherently exist in Na'vi in the case of common noun x common noun. However, I think it's worth pointing out that with pronoun genitive usage, there are certain constructions that don't have a legitimate grammatical meaning if following this model. Explaining this from the example I posed:

1. oeyä tsmukä tsko - my sibling's bow
2. tsmukä oeyä tsko - sibling's my bow
3. oeyä tsko tsmukä - my sibling and my bow
4. tsmukä tsko oeyä - my sibling and my bow
5. tsko oeyä tsmukä - sibling's my bow
6. tsko tsmukä oeyä - my sibling's bow

Pronouns can't be possessed by common nouns and make sense, so pronouns appear to be an exception to the rule if this sentence always means "my sibling's bow" (or mine and my sibling's bow, as Pam suggests). You can replace oeyä with ngeyä or peyä and certain orders following the same conventions as the 'itanä karyuä kelku example don't make sense.

So in summary, my two cents on this is that if 1, 2, 5, and 6 are legal constructions, then in cases of pronoun possession, the pronoun will always take priority over the common noun, regardless of structure.

1. oeyä tsmukä tsko - my sibling's bow
2. tsmukä oeyä tsko - my sibling's bow
5. tsko oeyä tsmukä - my sibling's bow
6. tsko tsmukä oeyä - my sibling's bow

Irayo ma Plumps, mesìpawm alahe txantsan lamu.

Okay, I'm terribly out of practice, and just now getting back to Na'vi, but for what it's worth... my vote is for:

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä - the teacher's son's home - the home of the son of the teacher
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä - the son's teacher's home - the home of the teacher of the son
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku - the son's teacher's home - the home of the teacher of the son
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku - the teacher's son's home - the home of the son of the teacher

because I've always though of an -ä or -yä as putting an "of the" in between the word it's attached to and the adjacent one it modifies.  So:

3. 'itanä kelku karyuä - the son and teacher's home - the home of the teacher and also of the son
4. karyuä kelku 'itanä - the teacher and son's home - the home of the son and also of the teacher

but I do admit that this interpretation is... a creative one on Pamìrìk's part :) , and might not be intuitive for all speakers.


As for the discussion of "my sibling's bow", I have to agree with Mako, for the reasons he put into words much better than I could.

Edit: oh drat - reasons, not reason's, for heaven's sake!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 10:31:43 pm by Alyara Arati »
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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 10:24:58 am »

Okay, I'm terribly out of practice, and just now getting back to Na'vi, but for what it's worth... my vote is for:

1. kelku 'itanä karyuä - the teacher's son's home - the home of the son of the teacher
2. kelku karyuä 'itanä - the son's teacher's home - the home of the teacher of the son
5. 'itanä karyuä kelku - the son's teacher's home - the home of the teacher of the son
6. karyuä 'itanä kelku - the teacher's son's home - the home of the son of the teacher

because I've always though of an -ä or -yä as putting an "of the" in between the word it's attached to and the adjacent one it modifies.  So:

3. 'itanä kelku karyuä - the son and teacher's home - the home of the teacher and also of the son
4. karyuä kelku 'itanä - the teacher and son's home - the home of the son and also of the teacher

but I do admit that this interpretation is... a creative one on Pamìrìk's part :) , and might not be intuitive for all speakers.

As for the discussion of "my sibling's bow", I have to agree with Mako, for the reason's he put into words much better than I could.

Tolätxaw nìprrte’ ma Alyara! Ngat ke tsole’a txankrr!

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 07:20:25 pm »
 :D Furia tìmätxaw oe, 'erefu nitram.  Irayo! :D
(I may even volunteer for the LEP again if I'm not too rusty.)
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Offline Plumps

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2018, 08:40:53 am »
Right, long overdue but here are my 2¢

Basically, we all seem to be in agreement about the order of 1, 2, 5, and 6. And I derived this from examples of KP and treated it internally as a ‘rule’ same as Pamìrìk did, i.e. the one I gave:

     Pìlokä fìhapxìyä tìkan lu law.

is rendered as “The aim of this section of the blog (is clear.)” (or “the aim of this blog’s section”) and not *“the aim of the blog of this section”.

So, I start with the head noun and go outwards from there, whether to the left or to the right doesn’t matter so that I arrive at.

     pìlokä < fìhapxìyä < tìkan

or

     tìkan > fìhapxìyä > pìlokä

So for me there is a sequential order. And inhernently, we all seem to do that (judging by the same result we all arrive at concerning 1, 2, 5 and 6).

I hadn’t thought of Pamìrìk’s solution with the A-ä NOUN B-ä but it is an unusual and maybe foreign concept to wrap our heads around but nonetheless, elegent in my opinion. It doesn’t always have to be this construct, as KP has shown us other constructs are possible but it would be nice if this opened the possibility. In this instance the genitive would act more like an attributive adjective.

If that were to pass then we need a rule on possessive pronoun use as Mako pointed out.

So yeah, probably nothing new here, just agreement :D but that also goes to show that a community has tendencies to use the language.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 08:45:57 am by Plumps »

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2018, 09:55:05 am »
I am the least experienced in the gang and i didnt have time to assess all the interesting ideas, but I would like to say mine, according to my generic linguistic instict :)

I guess that the matter of sequential  genitive should have some freedom but in a specific order. To say "the noun  of A of B" we can say it as either

noun Ayä Byä
OR
Byä Ayä noun

The order
Ayä noun Byä (and its reverse)
is legal but ambiguous and uncommon, except if there is a predefined context. For example if I ask "was the party held at the home of the teacher's daughter?" Then you can reply "No, it was held at the home of the teacher's son" or "No, it was held at the garage of teacher's daughter" using the Ayä noun Byä order, because the order of ownership is already understood.

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Re: 'count to', wä and sequential genitive (discussion)
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2018, 02:00:06 am »
FYI, I’ve sent our little discussion to K. Pawl. We’ll have to see what he’ll make of it.

 

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