Author Topic: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)  (Read 1257 times)

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Offline wm.annis

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Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« on: December 04, 2012, 05:42:55 pm »
I was looking at one of the songs on Pandorapedia, and I noticed a funny structure in the Tree Song,

    Utralä aNawm
    ayrina' lu ayoeng,
    a peyä tìtxur mì hinam
    awngeyä

What we have here is apparently attributive a cleft from (fancy-pants linguistics talk for "separated from") the noun it goes with, utral.  I asked Paul about this and he said,

Quote from: Karyu Pawl
Of course relative clauses that are separated from their heads are common in English: "I met a guy yesterday who came from Zimbabwe." But since "a" in Na'vi is so closely tied to its noun, I wouldn't want to make this a general option . . . except in poetry. :-)
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 05:46:32 pm »
I was looking at one of the songs on Pandorapedia, and I noticed a funny structure in the Tree Song,

    Utralä aNawm
    ayrina' lu ayoeng,
    a peyä tìtxur mì hinam
    awngeyä

What we have here is apparently attributive a cleft from (fancy-pants linguistics talk for "separated from") the noun it goes with, utral.  I asked Paul about this and he said,

Quote from: Karyu Pawl
Of course relative clauses that are separated from their heads are common in English: "I met a guy yesterday who came from Zimbabwe." But since "a" in Na'vi is so closely tied to its noun, I wouldn't want to make this a general option . . . except in poetry. :-)

Oh! WOW! When I saw that, in order to avoid a mental breakdown, I parsed it as thus:

Utralä anawm ayrina' lu ayoeng <-{a peyä tìtxur mì hinam awngeyä}

The great tree's seeds are we, in whose legs is her strength.

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Offline wm.annis

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 05:50:33 pm »
Oh! WOW! When I saw that, in order to avoid a mental breakdown, I parsed it as thus:

That was my impulse, too.  This note was K Pawl correcting me. :)
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Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 05:52:43 pm »
Oh! WOW! When I saw that, in order to avoid a mental breakdown, I parsed it as thus:

That was my impulse, too.  This note was K Pawl correcting me. :)

Holy crud.


Thanks for this update! :D Now I totally owe some poets an apology :O

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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 04:39:43 am »
Good to know this, thanks. I thought this information was known before, but when checked Horen, I found it was related to genitive.
Oe lu skxawng skxakep. Slä oe nerume mi.
"Oe tasyätxaw ulte koren za'u oehu" (Limonádový Joe)


Offline Tanri

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 05:34:54 am »
Good find, ma wm.annis. :)
This is worthy of notice, indeed.
Interesting - the presence of the pronoun peyä helps to decipher entire meaning, because it points back to utral, without ambiguity.
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Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 09:02:01 am »
Good find, ma wm.annis. :)
This is worthy of notice, indeed.
Interesting - the presence of the pronoun peyä helps to decipher entire meaning, because it points back to utral, without ambiguity.

And I even thought that genitive was not supposed to be too crazy far from its noun

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Offline eejmensenikbenhet

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Re: Clefted "a" (poetic syntax)
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 11:32:15 am »
I've sung this little tune so many times (also the complete song, not just the part from the movie) and it had me thinking every time: how can peyä refer to ayoeng? I thought I was just missing some information concerning grammar.
Thanks a lot for asking and sharing this!

 

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