Author Topic: minor confirmation: uvan si  (Read 1169 times)

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Offline Tirea Aean

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minor confirmation: uvan si
« on: May 06, 2010, 12:19:22 pm »
kaltxì ma oeyä eylan. (ayngal snìmaytx uvanit.)

So here is the email conv between me and Frommer:

Quote from: me 5/4/10
Hello, Dr. Frommer. Syaw fko oeru Tirea Aean ta www.learnnavi.org. I would like to make this quick, because I know you are supremely busy. I love the Na'vi language with much passion. There is just something about "noun si" constructions that is bugging me. They are supposed to be intransitive, right? I saw this in one of our documents on learnnavi.org:

"...and when a sentence has an si verb, the object takes the dative
ending: Oe uvan si ay+au-ru. I play the drums..."

For one, I thought that since uvan=game, then uvan si=to play a game. not play as in play the drums. Am I correct about this?

Also, is that statement about si constructions using dative as a direct object true? I always thought that the dative was for indirect objects...or am I misunderstanding?

Krrìri ngengeyä seiyi oe ngengar irayo ma nawma karyu!

--Tirea Aean

Quote from: Paul Frommer 5/6/10
Kaltxì ma Tirea Aean,

Ngeyä 'upxareri seiyi oe irayo.

"Si constructions" are unusual, I know. So let me try to clarify them a bit for you:

It is correct that they're syntactically intransitive, with the "object" in the dative. One of the clearest examples is with "srung si," which as you know is the verb "help." In English, "help" is transitive--A helps B, and B is the direct object. But in Na'vi, it's more along the lines of "A engages in or performs help for (the sake of) B." So "I help you" is "Oe srung si ngaru"--literally, "I do helping to you."

Some si-constructions correspond to intransitives in English, and these don't take a dative: examples are "kelku si" (dwell) and "tìkangkem si" (work). But "kavuk si" (betray) works like "srung si":

Po kavuk soli awngar.
He betrayed us. (More literally, he engaged in betrayal to us.)

That said, the example with "uvan si" isn't accurate. You're right--"uvan si" is "play" in the sense of playing a game, not in the sense of playing an instrument. Some languages have the same word for both senses of play, but many, like Na'vi, do not. (We don't yet have a word for play in the instrumental sense, but it's on the list. <g>)

Thanks again for your question.

Sìlpey oe, ngeyä tìtslamur srung soli nì'it.

Eywa ngahu.

ta Pawl


This is obviously a minor update. From this we confirm that uvan si = play a GAME(and nothing else.)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 05:47:46 pm by Tirea Aean »

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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 12:34:52 pm »
Ahhh, Frommer is such an amazing guy. Anyone else as busy as he is would have just responded with a few sentences but Frommer responds with multiple, well-thought out, paragraphs. Good info (if mostly redundant).

First e-mail to Frommer?

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 12:44:28 pm »
Ahhh, Frommer is such an amazing guy. Anyone else as busy as he is would have just responded with a few sentences but Frommer responds with multiple, well-thought out, paragraphs. Good info (if mostly redundant).

First e-mail to Frommer?

Yeah, he's the man. I thought it would have taken him longer to reply with how busy he is, but no! he replied pretty quickly and wasnt abrupt about it.

the main purpose of this post is to point out that "uvan si" is strictly "to engage in playing a game"...I probably should have cut everything else out, because I already knew all of that other stuff too, but Na'vi in a Nutshell said something that I thought was weird, so I decided to ask about it, and all my prior belief was confirmed.

Yes, this was my first contact with him. ;D

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Offline Hawnuyu atxen

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 12:59:44 pm »
Quote
Some si-constructions correspond to intransitives in English, and these don't take a dative: examples are "kelku si" (dwell) and "tìkangkem si" (work). But "kavuk si" (betray) works like "srung si":

Call me a skxawng if you want, but couldn't we use "tìkangkem si" with -ru too, like "work for someone", or "do work for someone"?

And this is an interesting thing... i never thought about why -ru can be the object of intransitive verbs... now i know :D


And finally, yeah, Karyu Pawl tskxe seiyi!
"Hrrap rä'ä si olo'ur smuktuä." ; "Ke'u ke lu ngay. Frakemit tung." (Assassin's Creed)

Nikre tsa'usìn!

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 01:15:21 pm »
that would be

_____ tìkangkem si fpi ______.

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Offline Hawnuyu atxen

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 01:22:41 pm »
That would be good, but if i'd want to say " i'm his employee "? It would be (aside the fact that it's a totally letawtutea reading of this word) with -ru...
So i think -ru should be good too... sometimes...
"Hrrap rä'ä si olo'ur smuktuä." ; "Ke'u ke lu ngay. Frakemit tung." (Assassin's Creed)

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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2010, 01:25:50 pm »
I don't like the look of tìkangkem si + dative.

I'd either use fpi on the employer or <eyk> and put the employee in the accusative.

Actually, that sounds quite good:

I work for the olo'eyktan = olo'eyktanìl oeti tìkangkem seyki = the olo'eyktan makes me work.
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 01:29:42 pm »
Actually, that sounds quite good:

I work for the olo'eyktan = olo'eyktanìl oeti tìkangkem seyki = the olo'eyktan makes me work.

That depends on how strong a the Na'vi causative has a "control" overtone (some linguists worry about "control" in verbs quite a lot).  If it's strong control, your sentence means you work for the olo'eyktan without you having any say over the matter yourself.

In this situation, I actually am comfortable with fpi;)
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2010, 01:34:05 pm »
Not being a linguist I jumped on it because I sounded plausible, if it might be more a master-slave relationship than employer-employee so be it.  :D

Interestingly I had considered olo'eyktan oefa tìkangkem si which certainly implies a complete of lack of control on my part. Maybe it is possible to distinguish between two levels of control in causatives by using either -fa- or <eyk>?

The fpi option is certainly correct.
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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 04:00:17 pm »
Not really relevant in this case, but just because si-verbs use the dative where normally an object would be, doesn't mean semantically intransitive verbs can't still use the dative.

Consider "Eltu si" - pay attention.  Intransitive.  But you can pay attention to someone, and that to someone would be in the dative.  "Eltu si oer" - pay attention to me.

For work, though, I agree that dative doesn't make much sense.
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Offline Plumps

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 05:35:17 am »
Of course, confirmation with that would be great but since you can also »direct your attention toward somebody« I could imagine that you could also use the ADP ne for that.

On another note: I think we had this discussion somewhere else some time ago – do we suspect that »play« a character (e.g. in a drama) or »make believe« or »to pretend« respectively will be something different as well?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 04:32:35 pm by Plumps »

Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: minor confirmation: uvan si
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 12:05:04 pm »
1. No. Ne is directional. English uses to in a lot of ways that don't translate well.

2. Possibly, depending on the context pretending could be seen as a game. Most other uses of play would probably be separate words though.
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