Author Topic: On 'efu and f-words  (Read 175 times)

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Offline Mako

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On 'efu and f-words
« on: May 26, 2020, 04:02:44 pm »
Kaltxì frapor,

Some recent debate about the transitivity of 'efu led to the following conversation with KP via email. Sharing here for record:

Quote from: Mako
Kaltxì ma Karyu!

I have another listening exercise for you. This time, it's a bit more intermediate. There are two variants attached because the recording comes with a question about 'efu.

The question is this:
'efu fwa or 'efu futa?

Allow me to explain.

As I was writing the selection out, I used 'efu a lot. Usually it's cut and dry, transitive with nouns, intransitive-copular with adjectives. When I got to the sentence kifkeyt awotx fko tsun tsive’a a fì’u oe ‘efu, my gut instinct felt that the intransitive use here was best due to my instinct around when 'efu is transitive being, with a few not-for-people-adjective exceptions, it is transitive for physical things being felt (ie 'efu ta'lengti aekxtxu) and intransitive for feelings (oe 'efu nitram).

Here is the transcript for the exercise in both its forms:
‘awa lie a oeru sunu frato lu tìtswusayon. Ke lu ke’u na kem alu nerìn futa atxkxe ayfìwopxsì ftem. Tengkrr tswerayon, kifkeyt awotx fko tsun tsive’a a fì’ut oel ‘efu. Fìtì’eful oeru reykangal a fì’ut tsun oe ikranti mivakto. Nìrangal tsilvun ‘ivefu hufweti mì hey oeyä ulte nekll nivìn kifkeyti fa kusamea menari.

‘awa lie a oeru sunu frato lu tìtswusayon. Ke lu ke’u na kem alu nerìn futa atxkxe ayfìwopxsì ftem. Tengkrr tswerayon, kifkeyt awotx fko tsun tsive’a a fì’u oe ‘efu. Fìtì’eful oeru reykangal a fì’ut tsun oe ikranti mivakto. Nìrangal tsilvun ‘ivefu hufweti mì hey oeyä ulte nekll nivìn kifkeyti fa kusamea menari.

Irayo nìli!

ta Mako

Quote from: Karyu Pawl
First of all, nice little piece! Are you a pilot, by any chance? Or do you just love the experience of flying as a passenger? In any event, I especially liked your final thought: looking at the world fa kusamea menari. That’s very evocative and completely leNa’vi. Seysonìltsan!

I’d like to offer some suggestions for somewhat easier-to-parse syntax, which I think will make it more appropriate for a listening exercise and appeal to a wider audience.

Here’s how I would translate your passage into English. Let me know if this is what you had in mind or if I’ve misinterpreted anything:

The experience I like most is flying. There’s nothing like watching the land and clouds pass by. While flying, I feel that the entire world can be seen. This feeling makes me wish I could ride an ikran. I wish I could feel the wind in my face and look down at the world through Seeing eyes.

If I have that right, then see what you think about these proposed alternatives:

’Awa lie a oeru sunu frato > Tsalie . . .
Since you’re talking about the experience you like more than any other, tsa- feels right here. Note from Mako: We later went back to 'awa lie a txasunu.., dropping frato to streamline the meaning closer to my original intent.

kem alu nerìn futa > kem a nerìn futa
“Alu” is essentially “equational”: A alu B is A = B, where A and B are the same sorts of words. But kem is a noun and nerìn a verb, so that doesn’t work here. Using a by itself to introduce a modifying phrase gets you where you want to be.

kifkeyt awotx fko tsun tsive’a a fì’ut oel ‘efu
Well, that definitely made me think! Your insightful analysis of ’efu made me realize there’s a use of that verb that we haven’t seen yet (or at least I don’t think we have—I could be wrong about that.)

As you noted, ’efu can be vtr. or vin. As you said, “transitive with nouns, intransitive-copular with adjectives.” (BTW, the object noun in the transitive case doesn’t have to be completely tangible and concrete. For example, Oel ’efu ngeyä tìyawnit, ‘I feel your love.’). But we haven’t yet had “I feel that . . .” sentences, as in “I feel that she wants to go.”

The candidates are:
1. Oel ’efu futa po new kivä.
Perhaps. But I agree with you that this doesn’t feel quite right. The object of ‘efu here is too abstract.

2. *Oe ’efu fwa po new kivä.
This doesn’t work, because intransitive ’efu is always complemented by an adjective expressing a feeling.  “Fwa po new kivä” is not a feeling.
3. ???Oe ’efu tsnì po new kivä.
This would be an innovation, since to my knowledge we’ve never seen an example like this.

4. Lu oeru tì’efu a po new kivä.
In other words, “I feel that” = “I have the feeling that . . .”


I’ll think about this some more, but right now I’d go with #4 as the clearest and least problematic way of saying it. So we have:
lu oeru tì’efu a kifkeyt awotx fko tsun tsive’a

Fìtì’eful oeru reykangal a fì’ut tsun oe ikranti mivakto > Fìtì’eful oeti reykangal tsnì tsivun . . .
Here’s how William Annis explained it in his Horen:
6.11.1. Causative of Intransitive Verb. When an intransitive verb is made causative, the causee,
which had been in the subjective case, is in the patientive.

Oe kolä neto.                          I went away.
Pol oeti keykolä neto.             She made me go away.

In our case, rangal takes tsnì for its complement:
Oe rangal tsnì tsivun oe ikranti mivakto. (I’d tend to use tsivun rather than tsun, since you’re hoping something could be the case rather than stating it is the case.)

So the causative becomes:
Fìtì’eful oeti reykangal tsnì . . .

tsilvun > tsirvun
Tsilvun would mean “I wish I had been able to” (past counterfactual) rather than “I wish I were able to” or “I wish I could.”

mì hey oeyä > mì hey
So the whole thing would be:
Tsalie a oeru sunu frato lu tìtswusayon. Ke lu ke’u na kem a nerìn futa atxkxe ayfìwopxsì ftem. Tengkrr tswerayon, lu oeru tì’efu a kifkeyt awotx fko tsun tsive’a. Fìtì’eful oeti reykangal tsnì tsivun oe ikranti mivakto. Nìrangal tsirvun ‘ivefu hufweti mì hey ulte nekll nivìn kifkeyti fa kusamea menari.

As I said, let me know what you think about all this. Then I’ll offer some suggestions for the recording. In the next few posts I’m going to publish the two contest-winning stories that people have yet to see. After that I’ll be happy to publish this second listening exercise of yours.

Sorry for the dissertation. 😄 Someone (perhaps Einstein?) said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.” Words of wisdom.

P.

TL;DR:
Neither 'efu futa nor 'efu fwa, but instead use lu oeru tì'efu a... when you'd use an f-word for an abstract concept with 'efu.

Also some nice confirmation about rangal + causative still using tsnì.

I think that's it! I have one more to post, and if anything else comes back from this I'll update you all here.

Also, please note that some errors have been caught and fixed in the transcript that I left in for clarity here.

Offline Toliman

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Re: On 'efu and f-words
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 04:27:44 pm »
Interesting :) Thanks for posting here!

 

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