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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Combining Our Efforts II
« on: March 22, 2010, 02:37:46 pm »
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Our last attempt at getting questions answered sort of petered out, so perhaps it's time to start another one with a fresh set of questions, since many of the questions in the old thread have since been answered.  Lets gather up questions and I'll try to group them by category so we can send them together in groups.  As always of course feedback on the exact wording of questions, as well as if we have answers, are accepted.

Please do not edit your posts after they are added or the updates may be missed.  If you need to add more or make corrections, post a new response.

Awaiting categorization
  • Ke'u... Rutxe pivawm nì'ul!
  • A full kinship system (vocabularly for relationships beyond parents, siblings, and children)
  • Transitivity with verbs in -eyk- (How productive is -eyk-, including with si-constructions and, and what rules govern accusative (-it/-ti/-t) and dative (-ur/-ru/-r) markings for elements affected by the causative infix?
  • "The more, the more" grammatical construct (How does Na’vi handle ‘comparative correlatives’?)
  • The usage of ke: rules of position in the flow of speech
  • Attributive -a- with adpositional phrases modifying nouns (Are there strict rules which govern these? Are there colloquial variations/differences?)
  • Attributive -a- and adjectives created with ke + le (is the -a- ever optional as is the case with simple le-?)
  • Negation with adverbs (are there paralles to the kea form used with nouns?)
  • 'Self' in Na'vi (How does one reference one’s self or one’s ‘own’ other than with transitive verbs that naturally take the pre-first infix, -äp-?)
  • Word order with slu (What mechanism clarifies A becoming B vs. B becoming A in the pattern «A slu B»?
  • Fì'u, fìkem and actions (can actions be generalized to fì’u et al?)
  • -Pe- with ANY noun to ask a WHICH question? (What about dual, trial, plural scenarios? How does -pe- behave?)
  • Clarification on transitivity and infix positions for ALL existent verbs. (This request is now at least triply redundant).
  • Clarification of comparative adjectives with nì'ul. (when there is nothing for «to» to be relevant to?)
  • The full story on sä- (How and when do you (Paul Frommer) create nouns with this prefix?)
  • How to ask for and give directions.
  • Range of parts of speech that combine to form si-constructions. (nouns, adjectives, ??)
  • Passive and active participles with si-constructions. (How would one say "a ‘clarified’ question" based on the conversational request, «Rutxe, law sivi.»)

Phonology and Phonotactics
  • When a word ending in a diphthong takes a vowel affix, how do we syllabify?  Is "kifeyä" "ki.fkey.ä" or "ki.fke.yä"?  Phrased differently, does the consonantal interpretation of "w" and "y" take precedence over a diphthong interpretation?
  • If words such as "yerik" get pluralized to "ayerik" creating a diphthong situation, would they be pronounced "ay.e.rik" or as "a.yer.ik"
  • Under what circumstances does the topical "-ìri" ending become just "-ri" (as in your "kem(ì)ri" from the Good Morning America materials)?
  • Final stops are unreleased.  Are they considered unreleased in synaphea or only at the end of an intonation unit?  That is, what do I do with the "-t" in "pot oel tse'a"?
  • What is the correct syllabification of the following words (Known syllables marked with . and assumptions marked with ?): pi.za?yu, a?to?ki.ri.na', kì?te.'e, me.o.a.u?ni.a.e.a, snu.mì?na, tsap.'a.lu?te
  • What happens when adpositions are added to words that end with the same vowel or consonant as the adposition begins?  cf. oe + eo
  • We are told there is no "-eng-" infix.  What's the conditioning factor in "sengi" (presumed from *sängi)?
  • We know that oeng reverts to oenga- when declined, does "pesu" then revert to *pesute when declined?
  • Does pum ever go to fum (mefum, pxefum)?
  • Does äa ever collapse/merge into just ä or a or äe into just ä or e (especially in word-final position)? Best example kinäa »»» kina or kinä or is it stable?

Participles and other Verbal Derivatives
  • Can an active participle take a direct object?  And if it can, is it really something that gets said much in casual speech?
  • Can a verbal noun ("tì-" or "tì-us-") take a direct object?  If so, what case does it take?  I must track down my memory of a objective genitive — wm
  • Can a passive participle take an agent, or must we always resort to a normal active construction when giving the agent? (As in some Semitic languages, where passives are forbidden when you want to name the agent.)
  • We have "tìrusey."  What might "tìtsawne'a" mean, if anything?
  • Does the passive participle infix have any extended or metaphorical meaning in an intransitive verb, or is it simply meaningless?
  • Would tì- or tì- + <us> be the gerund form of a verb?  It seems like the latter (Esp. since some verbs tì+verb means something specific) but I believe you've stated that tì+verb would be used as a gerund form.  How does this fit in with words like tìrol, tìpawm, tì'eyng, etc?
  • With the stative verbs such as "lìm" and "sim" having an adverb form "alìm" and "asim", can they not take the participle?  Is this a subordinate form lexicalized as an adverb, or is there something more productive going on?  Do all stative verbs behave like this?
  • Can pre-first position infixes combine?  For example, a reflexive causative form (I made myself do it) or a causative participle or such?
  • What other infixes can the participle infixes be used with?  Can you have future or past participle, perfective or imperfective, or even subjunctive?  What about the second position infixes?

Verb usage / forms
  • How can tsnì be used?  So far we have two examples with sìlpey and ätxäle si.  But more generally, what would be the rule?
  • Can the sentence structure used with modal verbs (oe new ngati tsive'a for example) be used more generally with sentences that would call for a non-finite verb?  (*Oe fmi nivume - I try to learn?)  Or even for sentences which don't call for a non-finite verb? (*Oe tsole'a nga taron - I saw you hunt?)
  • How do you use iv as subjunctive when there are two verbs:  "If you are walking and talking, you are not listening."  Would talking need iv if you already had tivìran?
  • How do you treat the apodosis?  Do you only worry about tense, or do you have to combine it with iv as well?  Ex:  what do you write for "listening" above?
  • Does the subjunctive match how it's used(so to speak) in English?  If not, which verbs/instances specifically require it?
  • Is there a general rule that kä can be attached productively to verbs where it makes sense?
  • Can nouns that are used with the auxiliary verb "si" take the plural, adjectives or adpositions?  IE would "Kem awin sivi" be "Do a quick action"?
  • Are we correctly hearing "tspìmìyang" in the movie for "I was about to kill him?"  If so, can any past infix be used in the first slot, "tspalmìyang, tspamìyang"?  Any future form in the second?  It seems like any aspect or mood marking would be restricted to one slot or the other.  In the context of the rest of the Na'vi verb system something like *tspìyìmang doesn't seem to make sense — but does this have some meaning?
  • When using modal verbs where does the tense go? In the modal itself or in the following verb? Does it matter?
    In other words, can you use «Fo nayew tsive’a tìkangkemit ahasey» for "They will want to see the finished work"? or should it be «Fo new tsiyeve’a tìkangkemit ahasey»?

Affixes and Adpositions
  • In the sentence "Ma smukan sì smuke, oel ayngati kameie.", is it necessary to pluralize "nga" if your intentions as to whom you were speaking to were already made obvious?
  • Back in December you said in your Language Log guest post, "Because of the “short plural” phenomenon, ADP+ adpositions can yield ambiguous structures. Example: mì ‘in’ is ADP+; does mì sokx mean ‘in the body’ or ‘in the bodies’? The language has developed ways of dealing with these potential ambiguities."  Care to elaborate what ways the language has develop to deal with the potential ambiguities of short plurals?
  • What's the difference between the meaning of the following sentences?  1. "Ikran zolup ne kllte tegfya rìk zup ta utral", 2. "Ikran zolup ne kllte nìfya'o a rìk zup ta utral", 3. "*Ikran zolup ne kllte na/pxel fwa rìk zup ta utral", 4. "*Ikran zolup ne kllte na/pxel rìk a zup ta utral"
  • Can the gender suffixes -e and -an be applied to other PNs such as *foan, *foe, *gan, *gae?  What about other nouns such as *ikrane, *pa'lian, 'eylane, 'evegan etc?
  • Must kea always come before the noun, or could *ake come after?
  • Can all adpositions including things like teri, na and pxel, occur as suffixes/enclitics as well as prepositions, or are there any exceptions?  It seems like all the times teri has shown up have been as a preposition equivelent of the case -ri.
  • does pesu "who?" have a plural fesu when you know multiple people are involved? The plural of tsa'u is sa'u; is the pl. of fì'u therefore ayfì'u, or fayu? Is there a contrast or parallel between sa'u and ?tsayu? Etc.
  • Do the interrogative pronouns take case endings in their pe+N form when asked with a transitive verb?  Ie. would it be "Pesu tsaye'a samsiyut" or "Pesul tsaye'a samsiyut"?  What about the answer, would it suffice just to say "'ite" or would you need to say "'itel"?
  • In Chinese, Topics are usually definite (given or inferable discourse topics), but not all topic-heavy languages do this.  Where does Na'vi's topical case stand?
  • All these rules — fìfrahoren? fìfrayhoren? frafayhoren? fìmehoren? tsapxehoren?

Word meanings
  • We have lots of words that seem like synonyms.  Are they truly synonyms, or is there a subtle difference in their meaning?
  • What is the difference between 'Awlie (once) and 'Awlo (once)?
  • What is the difference between kop (also) and nìteng (also)?
  • What is the difference between na (like, as) and pxel (like, as)?
  • What is the difference between nìn (look at) and tìng nari (look... at with dative)?
  • What is the difference between hawnu (protect) and tìhawnu si (protect)?
  • What is the difference between way (song) and tìrol (song)?  cf. pamtseo which is understandably different.
  • Exactly what sense of good is "sìltsan"?  Every time someone wants to use it as favorable (Good morning, good day, good night, etc) you shoot it down in favor of fpom.  It is good as in morally / not evil, good as in favorable / advantageous, or some other meaning?
  • In English we consider "two lungs" while other languages you have "eine Lunge" (One lungs) but "zwei Lungenflügel" (Two lung-wings).  With Na'vi, does "tsopì" mean the whole of what is in the body for breathing, or does it mean each part?  (And do Na'vi even have the same sort of lung anatomy...)
  • What exactly does nang do?  It goes with nìtxan, and apparently txantsan as well.  What else can it be used with?  Can it be taken as a sort of "txan" intensifier?
  • Regarding {lam} (glossed as "seem, appear"): First, can it be used in the sense of "manifest," as in "a ghost appeared?"  Second, how does one say "he seems to be a moron" — {po lam skxawng}, {po lam na/pxel skxawng}, {(oeru) lam fwa po lu skxawng}, {po lam livu skxawng}?
  • I have another word-usgae question.  The word tätxaw is glossed as "return."  I'm guessing that's in the sense of "The humans returned to Earth."  But does the thing that gets returned to (in this case, 'Rrta) use an adposition, or just the dative case marker?  And, secondly, could we use *teykätxaw to mean "return" in the sense of "He returned Neytiri's bow"?
  • Can fpìl be used to express opinion and belief as it can in English, or if it refers only to the cognitive process of thinking?
  • We have a single example of reduplication: {letrrtrr}.  Is this iterative sense generalizable, for things like {nìtxontxon}, or even {nìvulvul po CLIMB utralit} "he climbed the tree branch by branch"? {nìtskxetskxe oe zola'u ka kilvan} "I went across the river rock-by-rock"?  Or more out there yet, {Tutetute holahaw} "Person-by-person (they) (fell) asleep"?

Adjectives & Adverbs
  • Is the superlative "frato" used purely after an adjective as in "tsawl frato" (Biggest), or are there other uses?
  • How would a comparison such as "A is as ADJ as B" be formed?
  • is it possible to use more than two adjectives with one substantive? like Aa S aB aC || Aa Ba S aC || or could sì be used in a specific way?
  • are derived adjectives with "le-" in combination with noun-suffixes or appended adpositions possible ?
  • can the N be dropped out of an NP? Does the adj then take the adp/case?

Should be asked independently due to the size/required extra information
  • Clarification of the stress of every PN with every number.  (Ref)
  • It would also be nice to fill out the answer-word chart: ?kawtseng "nowhere", ?kawpo "no-one", no reason, no-how, no way, no (action), no (word), and similarly for which (?pefo "which one"), proximals & distals, some-, every-, other-, same-.

Vocabulary/Lexicon

General Usage
  • "Seven hunters went into the forest, but only three of them returned." - solved with takip or maybe pum or just pxefo? "three of seven Xs," (Kinäa tute*wrrta *pxefum)?
  • Does the application of txan and pxay for temporal words like zìsìt apply in correlation to their ability to be counted? Pxaya zìsìt or Txana zìsìt?

Currently not slated to be asked (May require clarification)
  • When starting a conversation with someone, is it proper to start with "Ma XXXX" or wait till during the conversation to say it. So "Oel ngati kameie, ma tsmukan." or "Ma tsmukan, oel ngati kameie."
  • How do you use iv as subjunctive when there's a modal verb:  Txo new nga rivey, oehu! Come with me if you want to live. Why not nivew rivey?
  • Way back in early December you gave a spoken dialog that is between two people to the New York Times.  In it, one is recounting yesterday when he was in the forest with Txewì.  However at the end, he says "Nari soli ayoe fteke nìhawng livok."  Was there a reason that was ayoe and not moe, since there only seemed to be two people in the forest that were being careful not to get too close?
  • can a adposition at the end of a word cause lenation on the following word?
  • Have we ever gotten an answer on those mysterious verbal infixes? tovaron, tevaron, telaron, tairon? They may be spurious, but we should get them out of the way if they are.

Answered



List of questions compiled through this post.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 07:44:12 pm by wm.annis »
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Offline Plumps

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 03:16:39 pm »
Great idea, ma omängum fra'uti

My question (for now) ;)

We have a construction to form the comparative (A to B lu Adj.)
How does the superlative work?
How would a construction like A is as Adj. as B work?

Thanks for the effort

Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 03:43:27 pm »
Quote from: Karyu Pawl
Ngeyä tìpawmerì oe seiyi irayo.
Question: Was this a typo or a new form of ìri/ri?

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 03:49:30 pm »
Phonology and Phonotactics

  • When a word ending in a diphthong takes a vowel affix, how do we syllabify?  Is "kifeyä" "ki.fkey.ä" or "ki.fke.yä"?  Phrased differently, does the consonantal interpretation of "w" and "y" take precedence over a diphthong interpretation?
  • What is the plural of "yerik"?  "Ayerik?"
  • Under what circumstances does the topical "-ìri" ending become just "-ri" (as in your "kem(ì)ri" from the Good Morning America materials)?
  • Final stops are unreleased.  Are they considered unreleased in synaphea or only at the end of an intonation unit?  That is, what do I do with the "-t" in "pot oel tse'a"?
  • What happens to the stress accent when one of the aspect infixes meets the pseudo-vowels and contracts?  "*ferrrfen" > "férfen" or "ferfén"?
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 04:02:43 pm »
A thought on this, I feel the old combined one petered out because we built up this huge unmanageable list of questions. Perhaps a good solution to this is we build up questions each week and then send out one email each week (like on a Friday or something). Then, we can mark questions that have been answered and take any unanswered ones and add them to next weeks question email. This should yield fast results, not overwhelm Frommer (too much), and allow us to have an easy system for asking and organizing questions and answers.

Thoughts?

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 04:06:16 pm »
Good idea.  Also the thread got long and so it was getting hard to sort through the new questions.  Perhaps I'll start linking to the last post which I have gathered questions from to make it easier.
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 04:08:35 pm »
I think that is also a good idea.


This goes along with the pluralizing of words like yerik, which may be what wm.annis was getting at in the first place but it was a little vague to me.
  • if words such as "yerik" get pluralized to "ayerik" creating a diphthong situation, would they be pronounced "ay.e.rik" or as "a.yer.ik"
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 04:20:39 pm »
Participles and other Verbal Derivatives
  • Can an active participle take a direct object?  And if it can, is it really something that gets said much in casual speech?
  • Can a verbal noun ("tì-" or "tì-us-") take a direct object?  If so, what case does it take?  I must track down my memory of a objective genitive — wm
  • Can a passive participle take an agent, or must we always resort to a normal active construction when giving the agent? (As in some Semitic languages, where passives are forbidden when you want to name the agent.)
  • We have "tìrusey."  What might "tìtsawne'a" mean, if anything?
  • Does the passive participle infix have any extended or metaphorical meaning in an intransitive verb, or is it simply meaningless?
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 04:32:07 pm »
Unsure of Categorization
  • When starting a conversation with someone, is it proper to start with "Ma XXXX" or wait till during the conversation to say it. So "Oel ngati kameie, ma tsmukan." or "Ma tsmukan, oel ngati kameie."
  • In the sentence "Ma smukan sì smuke, oel ayngati kameie.", is it necessary to pluralize "nga" if your intentions as to whom you were speaking to were already made obvious?
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 05:44:00 pm »
Unsure of classification

How do you use iv as subjunctive when there's a modal verb:  Txo new nga rivey, oehu! Come with me if you want to live. Why not nivew rivey?
Same question when there are two verbs:  "If you are walking and talking, you are not listening."  Would talking need iv if you already had tivìran?
How do you treat the apodosis?  Do you only worry about tense, or do you have to combine it with iv as well?  Ex:  what do you write for "listening" above?
Does the subjunctive match how it's used(so to speak) in English?  If not, which verbs/instances specifically require it?

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 06:03:28 pm »
Unsure of Categorization
  • When starting a conversation with someone, is it proper to start with "Ma XXXX" or wait till during the conversation to say it. So "Oel ngati kameie, ma tsmukan." or "Ma tsmukan, oel ngati kameie."
Neytiri greets Eytukan with "ma sempul, oel ngati kameie".
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 06:11:48 pm »
She also says "oeru txoa livu. ma oeyä tsmukan".  Seems like that question, then, has been answered.  Throughout the corpus it seems to be used fairly early on, but not necessarily before saying anything else.
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 10:49:22 pm »
I just want to add to the list of possible synonyms awaiting clarification:

tìrol vs. way

My guess was that tìrol refers to songs that are sung, whereas way is...instrumental, i guess.  But i may be wrong, and i'd like clarification on those.
eo Eywa oe 'ia

Fra'uri tìyawnur oe täpivìng nìwotx...

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 11:22:18 pm »
You forgot pamtseo.
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 11:31:49 pm »
I didn't forget pamtseo, ma tsmukan.  It's glossed as "music," while the other two are "song."  That distinction seems clear enough to me; but if you would like Karyu Pawl to clarify further, by all means, ask him.  I would never turn down an opportunity to learn more.

Eywa ngahu, ma tsmukan.
eo Eywa oe 'ia

Fra'uri tìyawnur oe täpivìng nìwotx...

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2010, 12:03:53 am »
Ah good point.  For some reason I thought one was "Music", one was "Song", and the third was "Song, music".
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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2010, 01:11:18 am »
  • Way back in early December you gave a spoken dialog that is between two people to the New York Times.  In it, one is recounting yesterday when he was in the forest with Txewì.  However at the end, he says "Nari soli ayoe fteke nìhawng livok."  Was there a reason that was ayoe and not moe, since there only seemed to be two people in the forest that were being careful not to get too close?
I think I'm going to withdraw this question...   I was browsing various sources and noticed that Frommer said he sometimes forgets to use the dual form, especially in first person, and unless someone else sees a reason that might not have been the case here, I don't think there's a point to digging up past mistakes.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2010, 01:33:58 am »
I've been thinking about it a while now, and I would like to clarify the use of nìfya'o adj (used with phrases) vs. tengfya vs. na and/or pxel.  For example, what's the difference (if there is one) between

Ikran zolup ne kllte tengfya rìk zup ta utral and
Ikran zolup ne kllte nìfya'o a rìk zup ta utral?

My guess is you can only use the adpositions with a single noun:  Ikran zolup ne kllte rìkna, but regardless it would be nice to know.

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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2010, 02:01:53 am »
Did you want to include for the sake of completeness
*Ikran zolup ne kllte na/pxel fwa rìk zup ta utral and
*Ikran zolup ne kllte na/pxel rìk a zup ta utral
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline roger

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Re: Combining Our Efforts II
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2010, 02:24:55 am »
We should verify the stress of every case of every PN of every number, just in case there are irregularities in there. That would be an awful thing to have to re-learn. Wouldn't be too hard to draw up a table & see if he agrees with it.

Should have: oe, oeg, awga, ga, po, fo, ca, caw, ca'u, sa, saw, sa'u, fì'u, fì'po, etc., and whatever the plurals of those last two are.

Would be worth asking if foan, foe, ngan, ngae, or 1pl are possible PN forms.

 

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