Author Topic: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi  (Read 262 times)

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Offline Pamìrìk

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Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« on: April 19, 2020, 10:46:15 pm »
I passed along some of the silly uses of Na'vi that are used around the discord to KP to gather his thoughts on slang, and continue my quest to pester KP about the mechanics of si-verbs ;D
Quote from: Pamìrìk
kaltxì ngaru ma Karyu Pawl,

sìlpey oe tsnì livu ngaru fpom mì hrr anafì'u. lu oer tìpawm a hek nì'it, slä ziyevawprrte' ngane.

mì lì'fyaolo', we have a few "memetic" uses of Na'vi that arise from using grammatical components in unorthodox ways. Though we never pass these along as canon or correct uses of the language, I am curious about your thoughts on how the Na'vi would interpret our memes, or if these kinds of uses of the language would ever be understood/used by them.

1. <name> si

Though si is not productive on our end, we still will sometimes use <name> si as an equivalent of "pulling a (name)", or "doing as (name) is known to do".

As one specific example, a member who goes by Mako is known for constructing sentences in a way that can be difficult to parse or syntactically ambiguous. The phrase "Mako rä'ä si" is sometimes jokingly used to say "don't write super-difficult-to-read Na'vi!". (I believe the more proper version of this would be, for example, "pamrel rä'ä si na Mako")

2. <ei> and <äng> on interjections

"sranänge", "sraneie", and "kehänge" in particular. Obviously they are not verbs, but for fun we sometimes apply infixes to non-verbs in the positions they usually occupy.

I hope you found these uses of Na'vi enjoyable. Again, these expressions are something we throw around in silly contexts, and isn't something we teach or imply is correct. On that note, a final question: how would one describe "casual speech" in Na'vi? We have the adjective skepek, but as far as I am aware the only opposite is räptum which feels a step too far in the opposite direction- offensive as opposed to just irreverent.

ta Pamìrìk

Response!

Quote from: Paul Frommer
Kxì, ma Pamìrìk!

I love word play, and I'm delighted you folks are having fun with Na'vi.

If we're talking validity, the question I would ask myself is, How likely would it be for these innovations to crop up among young Na'vis on Pandora? If they might use these colloquial bits of language themselves in informal contexts, there's no reason we shouldn't do the same.

I think the Name + si construction is exactly what young Na'vis would come up with! It seems like a perfectly natural extension of si-verbs: ordinary nouns and adjectives can be the non-verbal element in these constructions, so why not proper nouns as well? Obviously it's for informal use only, but I think it's great. (What would the English equivalent of "Mako rä'ä si" be? Maybe "Don't pull a Mako"?)

As for the <ei> and <äng> infixes in things other than verbs, like srane and kehe, I'm less certain those would occur in the casual speech of young people, but to tell you the truth, I'm not sure. They'd surely be considered "slang," but slang occurs in every language I know of. All I can say is, it's possible! And here are other relevant questions, not just about this particular issue but about virtually all language innovation: Does it fill a need? Does it serve a purpose as yet unserved? Does it make it easier or more efficient to express something you want to express? In this case, I think the answer might be yes! If you want to "color" your yeses or noes, the standard grammar says you can't use the attitudinals since there's no verb; the only way to do it is to add adverbs like fortunately, unfortunately, happily, sadly, etc.--or just to use your vocal inflection. But allowing things like sranänge and keheie gets around that problem neatly. So, even if it's Na'vi slang, I think those forms are really creative and I like 'em--in very casual conversation.

Just to repeat myself, I'm really happy you're all having fun with the language!

As for terminology for the different levels or "registers" of language--everyday language, ceremonial, formal, informal, conversational, slang, etc.--I'll have to think about it. We may need some new vocabulary items. (I agree, btw: räptum is extremely negative and not what's wanted here at all, unless you're specifically talking about coarse, vulgar language.)

Aylrrtokìri irayo!

ta P.

Offline Mako

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2020, 01:58:16 am »
I think I’ve officially arrived.

Thanks for sharing, Pam!

Offline Plumps

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 03:21:24 am »
That is indeed very intersting.

Also great to see/hear that K. Pawl lets us having fun with the language :)

As long as it’s not something like <name>ti za’ärìp :P which would be a too literal (and English) translation.

Offline Toliman

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 05:04:18 am »
Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

Offline Eana Unil

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2020, 06:52:35 am »
That is indeed very intersting.

Also great to see/hear that K. Pawl lets us having fun with the language :)

As long as it’s not something like <name>ti za’ärìp :P which would be a too literal (and English) translation.


Mllteie! And hrh, "pulling a <name>" would indeed go too far xD I guess "<name> si" is sufficiently wild as it is! ;D

Offline Wllìm

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2020, 02:30:58 pm »
"pulling a <name>"

HRH, I had no idea what Plumps was aiming at, thanks for the explanation ;D
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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2020, 04:13:13 pm »
I love it ;D
Canon memes :P
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Offline Toliman

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Re: Regarding some memetic uses of Na'vi
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2020, 05:02:39 pm »
HRH ;D

 

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