Author Topic: A long answer to a quick question  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline Ftiafpi

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A long answer to a quick question
« on: March 22, 2010, 12:48:30 pm »
So, in a spur of the moment thing I e-mailed Frommer about 2 hours ago with a "quick question" on the pronunciation of "oe" and it's apparent two forms "oh-eh" (two syllables) and "weh" (one syllable). I just got this:

Quote from: Paul Frommer
Ngeyä tìpawmerì oe seiyi irayo.

Yes, you're right: the "oe" element in personal pronouns is sometimes pronounced in two syllables ("oh-eh") and sometimes one ("weh").

The general rule is that all vowels in a word are pronounced separately. The most extreme of example of this (so far!) is meoauniaea, which has 8 distinct syllables, all gliding smoothly from one to another.

But with the "oe" words, which are among the most common in the language, it's probable that more compact pronunciations evolved. People contract and shorten words all the time, especially the ones they use most frequently. In English, for example, "I am" is usually "I'm" in casual speech: two syllables have become one. The difference is that in English we change the spelling and punctuation to go along with the streamlined pronunciation while in Na'vi we don't. But the principle is the same.

So in careful, formal speech, "oeru" might be 3 full syllables. (And note that in honorific style, it's definitely 3: oheru.) But in ordinary conversation, "oeru" is normally "weh-ru."

The rule for these pronouns is as follows:

If the "oe" element comes at the end of the word, pronounce the two vowels separately; otherwise pronounce them as "weh." So oe and moe have two syllables and ayoe has three, but oel has one. However, in the dual and trial forms prefixed with m and px respectively, the vowels of oe are ALWAYS pronounced separately. So, for example, oel is one syllable but moel and pxoel are two.

Sìlpey oe tsnì fìtìoeyktìng* law livu ngaru set.

Trr lefpom livu ngar.

ta P.

*Tìoeyktìng = explanation, which contains the root oeyk 'cause' -- two syllables, stressed on the second: o.EYK. So tìoeyktìng should have four syllables: tì.o.EYK.tìng. I bet, though, that in casual speech on Pandora it's pronounced in three, as if it were tì.WEYK.tìng. Guess we'll need a native informant to find out for sure! :-)

Woohoo, a ton of info and a 2 hour turn around time. Karyu Pawl lu txantsan! :)

(Translation in the email by me)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 01:23:17 pm by Ftiafpi »

Offline Txurtxe'lan

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 12:57:41 pm »
Thats for getting that clarified for us! Great to see we have another rule in place.

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 01:03:40 pm »
I love how there is always more depth to the language when he responds like this.  I never thought about how "oe" was pronounced in oel vs. moe. 

Oh, so as not to double post, I'll include this note in the next NIAN update.

Ma Ftiafpi, you should ask him more questions if he gets back to you this fast. :)
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 01:17:49 pm »
I love how there is always more depth to the language when he responds like this.  I never thought about how "oe" was pronounced in oel vs. moe. 

Oh, so as not to double post, I'll include this note in the next NIAN update.

Ma Ftiafpi, you should ask him more questions if he gets back to you this fast. :)

I've vowed not to abuse my powers :P

I imagine it was a fluke or something, or maybe we should always preface our questions with the adjective "quick" to lure him in :)

Offline wm.annis

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 01:24:01 pm »
Yesterday he expressed an interest in getting grammar questions bundled up by topic, sort of like we have done for the LEP.  So, phonology questions, pronoun questions, etc., etc.  Some of the questions he will be able to answer quickly, some will required more thinking.

A further pronoun refinement from that very email:

Quote from: Karyu Pawl
Ngey 'upxareri irayo. (As you probably know, dropping the -ä on the genitive pronouns is colloquial and informal.)
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 01:46:18 pm »
Perhaps it's time to revisit the "Working together" concept?
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 01:48:44 pm by omängum fra'uti »
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 02:12:01 pm »
Perhaps it's time to revisit the "Working together" concept?

Indeed. As I said, it was a spur of the moment thing, I totally support the combined questions thing.

Offline Lance R. Casey

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 02:42:17 pm »
Quote from: Paul Frommer
Ngeyä tìpawmerì oe seiyi irayo.

Double typo or new form?

// Lance R. Casey

Offline Txur’Itan

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 02:51:08 pm »
Quote from: Paul Frommer
Ngeyä tìpawmerì oe seiyi irayo.

Double typo or new form?

That might be the discourse topic suffix?

Which implies
-ìri clause defined topic
-erì discourse defined topic
-?? subject defined topic maybe still needed?
私は太った男だ。


Offline 'eylan na'viyä

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 03:09:38 pm »
Txantsana fmawn
tewti, another refinement of the language.
i cant say how much i cherish that kind of contact.

Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 03:16:10 pm »
Quote from: Paul Frommer
Ngeyä tìpawmerì oe seiyi irayo.

Double typo or new form?

That might be the discourse topic suffix?

Which implies
-ìri clause defined topic
-erì discourse defined topic
-?? subject defined topic maybe still needed?

Or perhaps pawm can be pawm(e)? Naw, nevermind, that doesn't make must sense as it's a verb. Anyway, I like the thought of having a discourse defined topic a lot though.

Something to add to the combined questions I guess.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 03:17:45 pm by Ftiafpi »

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 03:18:18 pm »
Since he's used ìri in that situation before, I'm inclined to think typo.  (Hey, he's allowed his keyey too!)

Pawme is an interesting thought given Na'vi's love for ignoring "e" at the end of a word, but seeing as how pawm is a verb that seems like it would significantly change the nature of it.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 03:35:48 pm »
Pawme is an interesting thought given Na'vi's love for ignoring "e" at the end of a word, but seeing as how pawm is a verb that seems like it would significantly change the nature of it.

That was exactly my thought process. I love how I'm starting to think more and more linguistically about Na'vi. Not just how to use the language but how it was developed and what little subtleties it has.

Anyway, back on topic. I suppose we should add that as a "quick question" into the combined questions thread. Either it's kxeyey (love how you misspelled kxeyey :P) and it has a quick answer or it's not and that's something I would love to find out about.

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 03:39:16 pm »
... (love how you misspelled kxeyey :P) ...
And I love how you misinterpreted the plural of kxeyey as my kxeyey. :)
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 03:41:10 pm »
... (love how you misspelled kxeyey :P) ...
And I love how you misinterpreted the plural of kxeyey as my kxeyey. :)

oooo, tricksie you be my precious...

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2010, 05:22:54 pm »
Perhaps it's time to revisit the "Working together" concept?

Indeed. As I said, it was a spur of the moment thing, I totally support the combined questions thing.

Perhaps a "Grammar Expansion" in the child boards of language updates.  Time to start typing in colors again?

EDIT:  Never mind, just saw combining our efforts II.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 05:25:25 pm by NeotrekkerZ »
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline wm.annis

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2010, 06:00:16 pm »
Enwikified.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline roger

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2010, 12:21:23 am »
moe, pxoe cannot contract because there is no /mw, pxw/ in Na'vi. That was covered earlier, we just didn't know what conditioned the contraction where it was possible.

Offline roger

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2010, 02:37:32 am »
Quote from: Paul Frommer
Ngeyä tìpawmerì oe seiyi irayo.

Double typo or new form?

Paul said, "Ngaru tìyawr, lu kxeyey. Ngaytxoa. Eyawra lì'u lu tìpawmìri. Sempul lì'fyayä harmahaw."

He does seem to get back to us ASAP when it's a question of a mistake he may have made.

The first phrase is interesting. "tìyawr" is not included in his still-being-released vocab list.

Offline Plumps

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Re: A long answer to a quick question
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2010, 05:18:06 am »
Seems like our often neglected "e" ;) doesn't it?
tì- + eyawr => tìyawr
ngaru tìyawr = you are correct, you are right

 

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