Use of the Subjunctive after txo

Started by Zángtsuva, January 14, 2022, 03:56:50 AM

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QuoteKaltxì, ma Zángtsuva!

Fì'upxareri irayo! (Ay)ngeyä faysìpawm kosman leiu nìngay.

For now, let me answer your first question about txo. I'll address the other ones later, perhaps in a blog post. (And I'll include this answer as well.)

Your observation that the verb in the txo part of a txo . . . (tsakrr) sentence can either be subjunctive (with -iv-) or indicative (without it) is correct. The difference is meaningful.

Sometimes—probably most of the time—when we say "if," we're speculating: something might or might not be true; we don't know. For example,

1. Txo nga ngeyn livu, tsurokx.

Here, I don't know whether you're tired or not. You've been working hard, so you might well be. If in fact you are tired (which only you can know), then you should rest. Because I'm speculating, I use livu.

In some cases, however, "if" really means "given the fact that" or "since." For example,

2. Txo nga ngeyn lu, tsurokx.

Here, I've heard you sigh and say, "I'm so exhausted." So I know you're tired. What I'm telling you is, "Given the fact that you're tired, you should rest." That's why it's lu and not livu.

Because the subjunctive is almost dead in Modern English, "if" sentences in English are more ambiguous than in Na'vi. When I say, "If you're going to the store, pick me up some toothpaste," it's not clear whether or not I know you are in fact planning to go to the store. I might be speculating, or I might have heard you say you're going, in which case "if" here really means "since."

That being said, there are gray areas, and it's not always clear in Na'vi which kind of txo it is. In practice, the rules are somewhat flexible, and I probably haven't always been consistent myself. But the basic distinction still holds.

Btw, your email has prompted me to come up with several new vocabulary items! More soon.  😊

ta P.

Quote'Ä'! Oe zene mekeyeyt zosleykivu:

1. Txo nga ngeyn 'ivefu, tsurokx.

2. Txo nga ngeyn 'efu, tsurokx.

Ke omum teyngta pelun oe pxìm tìkxey si tsafya!



This is very interesting to read! Thank you for sharing this! :D

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Srane, eltur tìtxen si nìtxan. Irayo!

Tirea Aean

Txantsan! This makes a lot of sense, and is nice to know :)


Interesting to see confirmed what I have suspected for a while :D

Furia ngal ayoer toleiyìng tsasäomumit nìyll, irayo ngaru nìtxan!