Author Topic: Definitive answers on proper nouns  (Read 1348 times)

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Offline Kì'eyawn

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Definitive answers on proper nouns
« on: February 14, 2011, 06:06:01 pm »
Kaltxì frapoya,

So, largely for my own edification, i asked Karyu Pawl about how we deal with compound and otherwise "complicated" proper nouns.  Specifically, i asked him (as examples) where the case markers go on "Karyu Pawl" and "ayRam aLusìng."  I was surprised by one of the answers, and in any case i wanted to share.

Quote from: Karyu Pawl
1.       On the “Karyu Pawl” + dative question: I have to admit I vacillated on this. The “hidden alu” explanation is appealing! But in the end I felt we should go with Karyu Pawlur. I agree that Karyu is acting as a kind of modifier here. So even though we would say tsataronyur alu Kamun, with titles like Karyu we should go with the case marking on the proper noun. So I’m with you on that one.


2.       As for the ayRam aLusìng question, I favor ayRam aLusìngit as the objective. The reason, as some people have suspected, is that ayRam aLusìng, although it originated as a N + Adj, is now a really a proper noun—a “giant noun,” as you mentioned.

I was trying to come up with a parallel in English and couldn’t find a really apt one. The closest I’ve come is Attorney General. What’s the plural? The purists want us to say Attorneys General, but most people think of it as a compound—or giant—noun, so the plural feels more natural as Attorney Generals. (Of course that’s not truly parallel with the Na’vi case, since N + Adj is extremely rare in English.) Another possibly related example in English comes with titles of books and movies: “The Thorn Birds is an interesting film.” There we’re taking something that looks plural and treating it as a giant, singular noun. So we say is rather than are. Again, not quite the same as the Na’vi situation.

So, there you have it.  In cases where one noun is being used as a sort of "title," the case marker goes on the proper name (so, "I saw Brother Kamun" would be Oel tsole'a Tsmukan Kamunit—but "I saw your brother Kamun" would be Oel tsole'a ngeyä tsmukanit alu Kamun).  But with proper nouns in which part of the name is an adjective, the case markers go at the very end of the compound—even if that means sticking it on what's technically an adjective.

So now you know  ;)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 06:08:25 pm by Kì'eyawn »
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Offline Nyx

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 06:41:25 pm »
Thanks for settling this :)

Just to make sure I got it right, part two is only about proper nouns, kefyak? So if I'm talking about any floating mountains, and not specifically the Legendary Floating Mountains, should I then put the case marker on ayram to make it "ayramit alusìng"? I mean, in that case I'm just describing mountains that happen to be floating (say, if they existed on some other planet).

Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 07:21:20 pm »
Thanks for settling this :)

Just to make sure I got it right, part two is only about proper nouns, kefyak? So if I'm talking about any floating mountains, and not specifically the Legendary Floating Mountains, should I then put the case marker on ayram to make it "ayramit alusìng"? I mean, in that case I'm just describing mountains that happen to be floating (say, if they existed on some other planet).

That's actually a remaining ambiguity, as is the issue of compound nouns that aren't proper nouns, like eltu lefngap.  I'll ask Frommer for clarification.
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Offline Kemaweyan

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 07:58:24 pm »
Wou! Thanks. It's a very important update :)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 08:02:26 pm by Kemaweyan »
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Offline 'Oma Tirea

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 10:40:38 pm »
This would now mean that Tireal Aean is incorrect as a proper name, and it would have to be Tirea Aeanìl

I have been saying it like that.  It's been more intuitive to do it that way :D

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Offline Kemaweyan

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 10:44:07 pm »
I always used tsmukanìl alu Tìrea Aean :)
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Offline 'Oma Tirea

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 10:51:14 pm »
I always used tsmukanìl alu Tirea Aean :)

That works, too (minus the small typo of ì ;))

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Offline Txonä Unil Stä'nìyu Rolyusì

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 02:11:43 am »
Thanks for settling this :)

Just to make sure I got it right, part two is only about proper nouns, kefyak? So if I'm talking about any floating mountains, and not specifically the Legendary Floating Mountains, should I then put the case marker on ayram to make it "ayramit alusìng"? I mean, in that case I'm just describing mountains that happen to be floating (say, if they existed on some other planet).

That's actually a remaining ambiguity, as is the issue of compound nouns that aren't proper nouns, like eltu lefngap.  I'll ask Frommer for clarification.

For this I have always put case endings on the actual noun part which here is "eltu" i.e. "zene sivar eltuti lefngap." It just seems weird to me putting a case ending on an adjective....even though in something like "eltu lefngap" the whole thing is the noun. I guess I always see it as noun + adj. Even though K. Pawl himself confirmed that proper nouns like "Ayram aLusìng" get the case ending at the end of the compound it still seems weird to me putting it on an adj. That's gonna take some getting used to lol. 

This would now mean that Tireal Aean is incorrect as a proper name, and it would have to be Tirea Aeanìl

I have been saying it like that.  It's been more intuitive to do it that way :D

I've been doing it this way too.

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Offline Sireayä mokri

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 07:42:54 am »
Irayo, that's very useful. But I got a question: Utral ayMokriyä is a proper noun which already has a case ending. So, how would it look like with genitive case applied? Utral ayMokriyä?
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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 11:58:18 am »
Tam, i spoke with Karyu Pawl last night and asked for some clarification.

Case endings go at the end of the compound word when it's a proper noun.  But for regular compounds (like "eltu lefngap") the case endings STILL go on the noun—i.e.,

Irayo, that's very useful. But I got a question: Utral ayMokriyä is a proper noun which already has a case ending. So, how would it look like with genitive case applied? Utral ayMokriyä?

That would be my guess.  It does look a little funny, doesn't it?  We know that soaia has the irregular genitive soaiä, so it's not totally out of the question that there might be something particular that goes on here.  I'll ask Karyu Pawl how he feels about "stacked" case markers like this.

Turkish has a particular way of dealing with endings on proper nouns, but it only makes a difference in writing, not pronunciation. 
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Offline Nyx

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Re: Definitive answers on proper nouns
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2011, 01:22:46 pm »
It does look a little strange with "Utral ayMokriyäyä", but hey, it is an alien language after all :P

 

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