Author Topic: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"  (Read 3191 times)

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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« on: January 28, 2010, 11:12:27 pm »
So I finally broke down and did what I was avoiding for a long time, and I emailed Paul Frommer.  There were three topics I had questions about, "si", possessive dative for physical possession, and the usage of "krr".

The auxiliary verb "si"...
The survival guide lists the verb si as "do, make", but this sounded to me like it was describing a concept more than a definition, so I asked about this.

Si is an auxiliary verb--it needs to be paired with something else. For the verb 'make' you would need something else like txula (build, custruct) or ngop (create).

About the only time si stands alone is when the non-verbial element has already been mentioned and is understood from the concept.  The example he gave of this was...

--Nga tsap'alute soli srak?
--Soli.

Dative possesive (Copula + dative)
This is indeed how physical possession is expressed, and as suspected Na'vi has no verb "to have".  However contrary to the general principal of flexible word order, the verb usually comes first when used for possession.  So for "I have an ikran" it would be "Lu oeru ikran".  He did not clarify why it was only "usually" and not always.

Krr & temporial adverb
This is a noun, but it can be used adverbially, as we've seen him do a few times.  So "tsakrr" is not just "that time" it can also be (and usually is) "AT that time".  Using a modifying clause with "krr" (linked with "a") it becomes a "when" clause.  For an example he gave:

Ngeyä Tireaioang zola'u a krr, law layu ngaru.
When your Spirit Animal comes, you will know.
At the time that your Spirit Animal has come, it will be clear to you.

I also asked about causatives, but apparently it's a bit of an explanation which he didn't have time for, aside from saying there is a causative infix.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Toruk Taronyu

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 11:25:26 pm »
Wow, kudos for getting through to Lord Frommer!  (you asked some good q's and cleared up a lot  :D)

Do you have the original message somewhere?
Oel tsayeie'a nìmun ngati!

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 11:38:28 pm »
Well of course yeah.  That email isn't going to the bin.  That was mostly a direct copy but it wasn't a copy & paste, obviously I did change a few things in the explanation.  I'm posting a more verbatim copy of the language specific bits ont he LN wiki.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Lance R. Casey

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 05:37:49 am »
there is a causative infix

This intrigues me! :D

Oh, and we now have explicit confirmation of the suspected frakrr always.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 05:42:02 am by Lance R. Casey »

// Lance R. Casey

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 07:31:05 am »
aside from saying there is a causative infix.

Outstanding!
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 07:40:26 am »
Update after thinking: that intersects interestingly with his Language Log statement that there's a "reflexive" infix as well.  If he meant "reflexive" more in the sense that reflexives are used in Western European languages (German, most of the Romance languages), then we have a +transitivity and a -transitivity infix pair (for the linguists, yes, yes, I know, valency).  What an interesting infix pile-up this will result in.

Even with the "free" word order, Frommer has some distinct habits of use.  He also seems to really like putting adverbs of degree or quantity after things, even at the end of clauses.  It'll be interesting to get this all sorted out from a discourse perspective.

Txula is new, yes?
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Na'rìghawnu

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 09:17:35 am »


Quote
--Nga tsap'alute soli srak?
--Soli.

So we have the proof, that the original form is really "tsap'alute si", and the notorius "tsap'alute sengi" (that we have twice in the corpus) must be explainable from this form; there is no "sengi" as a word in it's own (at least not in this phrase).


Offline Alìm Tsamsiyu

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 10:31:00 am »
Txula is new, yes?

Think so. It's not in Taronyu's dictionary, at least, and I've never seen it before.

Ah, the slow trickling sweet honey of information. :)
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 11:10:57 am »
Quote
Dative possesive (Copula + dative)
This is indeed how physical possession is expressed, and as suspected Na'vi has no verb "to have".  However contrary to the general principal of flexible word order, the verb usually comes first when used for possession.  So for "I have an ikran" it would be "Lu oeru ikran".  He did not clarify why it was only "usually" and not always.

Ahhh, this clears up so much, irayo!

EDIT: Here's the link to the wiki canon for easy of use: http://wiki.learnnavi.org/index.php?title=Canon#Dative_.2B_copula_possessive
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 12:08:17 pm by Ftiafpi »

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 05:08:15 pm »
Great questions, great to see Frommer's answers, and thanks for posting it to the wiki!

  - Eri

Offline Carborundum

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2010, 05:15:27 pm »
--Nga tsap'alute soli srak?
--Soli.
Just to make sure I understand this correctly, this is a dialogue yes?
Person#1 asks: 'Have you made an apology?'
Person#2 answers: '(I) have made (an apology)'
Right?

Edit: Irayo, ma wm.annis!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 05:29:07 pm by Carborundum »
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2010, 05:18:07 pm »
Just to make sure I understand this correctly, this is a dialogue yes?
Person#1 asks: 'Have you made an apology?'
Person#2 answers: '(I) have made (an apology)'
Right?

Yup.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Mirri

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2010, 09:14:28 pm »
Dative possesive (Copula + dative)
This is indeed how physical possession is expressed, and as suspected Na'vi has no verb "to have".  However contrary to the general principal of flexible word order, the verb usually comes first when used for possession.  So for "I have an ikran" it would be "Lu oeru ikran".  He did not clarify why it was only "usually" and not always.

Okay, physical possession I understand. If it was just that it'd be easy enough, because then every time I'd see a "have" in an English sentence I'm trying to translate, I could just dismiss it as an English construct and not something you'd say in Na'vi, e.g. in Na'vi you cannot "have a thought", "have a cold", "have a question", that's all just the English way of expressing it.

However, if we take the famous example: nga-ru lu fpom srak?
"Well-being" isn't exactly a physical thing is it? You might argue it's partly physical, but if it was all physical you'd just be asking if the other person was healthy, and there's more to the question than that, you're asking about a mental state too.

So how do I know which "have"s in English turn into lu+DAT and which are English colloquialisms?  :-\
Ngaya poanìl new mune 'uti: hrrap sì uvan. Talun poanìl new ayfoeti -- ayfo lu lehrrap ayu leuvan.

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2010, 09:21:50 pm »
We already knew it could be used for states and conceptual things...  IE "oeru lu aylì'u" I have words or "oeru lu fpom" I have well bring.  We didn't know if it could be used for physical possessions or not, as we'd yet to see an example of that.  Which is why I was asking, so we could stop saying "Well I THINK you can but I'm not sure".
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Toruk Taronyu

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 11:02:08 pm »
"oeru lu fpom" I have well bring.

oops! Should be well being.

And are we just sticking to Frommer's "usually" and saying "LU oeru fpom." ?

Oel tsayeie'a nìmun ngati!

Offline Mirri

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2010, 06:30:19 am »
"oeru lu fpom" I have well bring.

oops! Should be well being.

And are we just sticking to Frommer's "usually" and saying "LU oeru fpom." ?


Does the verb have to go in front of the sentence, or does it just need to be right in front of the dative pronoun?
Could you say "Pxi-a tukru-ti lu oeru." ? (I have a sharp spear)

Ngaya poanìl new mune 'uti: hrrap sì uvan. Talun poanìl new ayfoeti -- ayfo lu lehrrap ayu leuvan.

Offline Is.

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2010, 09:08:58 am »
The most intriguing thing about the response, imo, is the revelation that word order could sometimes matter a great deal!

"However contrary to the general principal of flexible word order, the verb usually comes first when used for possession."

I wonder how often this happens. I for one will refrain from ever using a verb in the beginning of a sentence now, unless it's concerning possession of some kind.

Great questions, Omängum.

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2010, 09:18:55 am »
I wonder how often this happens. I for one will refrain from ever using a verb in the beginning of a sentence now, unless it's concerning possession of some kind.

I'm not sure that's warranted.  Frommer seems happy to put other sorts of verbs at the beginning of clauses.  It's not like a particular word order for one function makes it unusable for other things.  A few random examples from the Corpus:

 Plltxe nga nìltsan!
 Sìlpey oe, layu oeru ye'rìn sìltsana fmawn
 zene oe 'awsiteng tìkangkem sivi fohu ...

'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Txur’Itan

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2010, 12:28:00 am »
Would those be predicates?
私は太った男だ。


Offline roger

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Re: Auxilary verb "si", possessive dative, & "krr"
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2010, 05:21:35 am »
Does the verb have to go in front of the sentence, or does it just need to be right in front of the dative pronoun?
Could you say "Pxi-a tukru-ti lu oeru." ? (I have a sharp spear)
No -ti on tukru.

We don't know, but word order is affected by discourse, so there may be differences in implication.

 

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