Author Topic: Tsun and Making Requests  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline tsyili

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Tsun and Making Requests
« on: April 15, 2020, 03:09:03 pm »
I emailed KP about usage of "tsun", here is the question and response.  :)

A question came up about whether "tsun" can be used to ask someone else to do something. I found a statement the Canon from you about tsun that says it will work for both "can" and "may", but does this include situations where the speaker is asking whether someone may do something for them? (For example; "can you give me this book?"
Quote from: Karyu Pawl
I don't see why tsun can't be used to ask someone to do something. For example:

Nga tsun oer srung sivi srak?

Srake tsun nga fìpukit tivìng oeru?

Those seem fine to me.

I haven't checked to see how a wide variety of other languages treat this, but it's natural for the word meaning "can" to assume the role of a request in many contexts. This would be a strange conversation:

A. It's hot in here. Can you open the window?

B: Yes.

[Some time elapses. Nothing happens.]

A. Er . . . I asked you to open the window.

B. No you didn't. You asked if I had the ability to open the window, and I answered yes. You didn't request that I do it.

I think you'd agree that B is being a jerk. In this situation there's no reason A would want to question B's ability; that's obvious. It was simply a conversational way of asking him to do something, somewhat less direct than "Please open the window." In comparable cases I think it would work the same in Na'vi.

Offline Plumps

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Re: Tsun and Making Requests
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2020, 06:03:29 pm »
Thanks for that confirmation.

Offline Toliman

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Re: Tsun and Making Requests
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2020, 06:30:37 pm »
Interesting, irayo!

Offline eejmensenikbenhet

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Re: Tsun and Making Requests
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2020, 12:12:18 pm »
Very interesting indeed!
I definitely used to be person B in answering that question coming from my parents or little brother though. :P ;D


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