Author Topic: Na'vi in a Nutshell  (Read 43519 times)

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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Na'vi in a Nutshell
« on: February 17, 2010, 09:54:45 pm »
Well here it is, a guide to Na'vi with as little linguistic terminology (still a few terms though) as possible.  I will try to keep it up to date as we get new grammar.  

Current Version:  2.8 (Updated 5/19/11)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 10:55:29 pm by NeotrekkerZ »
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline Swizaw Nguway

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 05:45:01 am »
Nice, thanks for this. Hopefully this will help beginners.

Offline jparachoniak

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 07:55:05 am »
I was about to ask you the difference between "pehrr" and "a krr" because I noticed tha a stuff which I had missed before when I noticed you answered my question  :)

This is really well done

Irayo
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Offline Will Txankamuse

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 08:24:16 am »
one small thing is that visitors to learnnavi.org who are not registered cannot view attachments.

This means 'drive bys' might miss out on your excellent guide, especially if they are unwilling to take the time to register for the forums.  I suggest you try to PM seabass and ask him to add the guide to the downloads page, or maybe link from the homepage.

Will
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If you see a mistake in my post please correct me!

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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 11:07:35 pm »
New version.  Added some info about creating nouns, <eyk>, and commands.  If you've printed version 1.0, the only pages that have changed are i, ii, 4, and 11.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 10:14:28 pm »
New version.  Added more info about <iv>, ko, teya si, fixed some typos and word stress.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline Java

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 10:38:49 pm »
irayo for this ma tsmuk.

eywa´eveng frrtu

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 05:58:28 pm »
Nice, thanks for this. Hopefully this will help beginners.
I really hope so because I feel like i'm in over my head with this Na'vi language.
And i really really want to learn it

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 07:07:40 pm »
I haven't had a chance to actually look at this as far as accuracy.  It looks pretty good for what it is.  (I'm ignoring things which, while technically not correct from a linguistic perspective, do still say the same thing in simplified terms.)

Just a few things.

1. I believe ll and rr can only appear in one form with a syllable...  One consonant then the psuedovowel.  You can't have, for example, fprr or arr.

2. Plurals...  I don't like the description of "4+" for plurals.  While it is good from the perspective of "If you know it's 2 or 3, use the correct form", it misses one important use - when there is an unknown number of something.  For example, "Lu ngaru ayeveng lu srak?" - do you have children?

3. I know I've used 'u in the past, but the truth is it's not an attested word on it's own, so it's probably best left out of learning material.  If you want a glottal stock example, I'd recommend 'evi (kid) or 'eylan(friend).

4. In 2.2, it's basically saying that tì- on a verb makes the gerund, which is not the case.  For example tìrol is "song" not "singing", tìkenong = "example" not "exemplifying", and tìrey is "life" not "living".  The only case of anything that looks like what is suggested is tìftang, but I believe that's more a deficiency of English word to describe the actual meaning.  It's possible something like the gerund form CAN be achieved with the participle, such as "tìrusol", but that's a more advanced topic.

5. With -tu on verbs, spe'etu is the ONLY example we have of that, so while it looks tempting, it is still shaky to derive a rule from that.

6. Not really a problem, but I feel it deserves a stronger wording that Na'vi does not typically use the gender suffix on po.  This is one I see people wanting to do constantly.

7. I understand why you did it, but I'm not sure I'm happy with the aspect infixes being included under the "Tense" heading.  And giving a straight English translation doesn't really explain it well.  Unfortunately I think the only teacher for that which avoids linguistic terms is example.

8. I'm a little uneasy about the subjunctive section, but that's still one I don't think I could explain well so it could be my own lack of full understanding.

9. With the "si" constructs, the verb is intransitive, and if there would be a direct object, it takes the dative.  "Oeru lrrtok si" is not "I smile" it's "? smiles to me".

10. For fay, might want to include the non contracted form fìay as well.  Also I believe teri is an adposition not a prefix.

11. An example in ch 7 uses po-yä not peyä

12. Example in 7.1.13 - clear is "law" not "taw".  "taw" is sky.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 08:17:17 pm by omängum fra'uti »
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Iktxum

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 08:13:51 pm »
3. I know I've used 'u in the past, but the truth is it's not an attested word on it's own, so it's probably best left out of learning material.  If you want a glottal stock example, I'd recommend 'evi (kid) or 'eveng (friend).

Hmm I thought 'eylan was friend and 'eveng was the "formal" version of kid, equivalent to child in English.

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2010, 08:16:51 pm »
Oh my you're right.  I was thinking 'eylan, but I wrote 'eveng probably because I'd just written 'evi.  And I wouldn't call 'eveng to be the formal version of 'evi, rather 'evi is the diminutive version of 'eveng.

Anyway, fixed, thanks! :)
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 09:55:20 pm »
Ma omängum fra'uti,

Thanks for your comments, I always appreciate critiques.  To respond to each of your points:

1.  I tend to agree with you here, but I didn't want to put in any suppositions.  I'll update it as soon as we know definitively.

2.  I'm not happy with 4+ either, but I wanted the beginner to have a clear distinction between the forms.  Will tweak for generic "we" in the next update.

3.  When I first wrote this it was up in the air, will fix.

4.  This was tweaked after the feb 13 email:
Quote
The point of participles in Na'vi is that they're ONLY used attributively. If you want a gerund, use a tì- nominalization:
    1. Tìtaron lu lehrrap. 'Hunting is dangerous.'
But perhaps I went too far with the interpretation.  Maybe the gerund is created only when the prefix doesn't give an established noun.  I would appreciate your take on this analysis.

5.  Very true, one example does not make a rule.  I just wanted to include the -tu for completeness.  I think I'll tweak it to be a less definitive statement.

6.  Yeah, I've seen it a lot too.  Most of the tips and language notes I wrote in the guide are there to take away the "common questions" beginners have. 

7.  I knew when I got to the chapter on verbs that there would be issues with <ol> and <am>.  My original intention was to use as little excess linguistic terminology as possible.  Maybe I should just write out a bunch of examples instead.  If anyone has a suggestion for how to improve this without introducing more terminology, please share.

8.  I like to think of that as a work in progress section.  It's not perfect, but I think that what's there at least is accurate.

9.  I don't know why, but when I looked at this:
Quote
"Si constructions" have a special syntax. They're considered intransitive--a bit strange, perhaps, but reasonable, I think. That is, "X si" is thought of as "engage in the X-activity," an intransitive concept. What would normally be considered the object is then in the dative, along the lines of, "engage in the X-activity to/for Y."
I saw "object" as "subject."  Thank you so much for pointing this one out.  It is a big error on my part.

10.  Was not aware of the alternate form, thanks.  As for teri-...I used Taronyu's dictionary to double check everything and (at the time at least) he said that what he was calling and adp. only went before the word what he was calling a prep could go before the word, or after as an enclitic.  This is exactly backwards in my understanding of what an adposition and preposition are, but I just "translated" his usage into mine for my guide.  I don't know if he's changed his definitions, but I see it currently listed as an adp.  which in my vernacular would be a preposition.  Do you know of any example where teri- is used as an enclitic or is explicitly said to be an adposition? 

11.  This came out of a discussion with Plumps83 concerning the following email on Feb 1:
Quote
And speaking of Neytiri's and Jake's eveng . . . and holpxay ayzekwäyä feyä . . . that's one for JC to figure out. <g>
We thought from this that the genitive suffix causes a vowel change/contraction when attached to a pronoun.  Perhaps these are optional forms? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this one.  It is ngeyä and not ngayä.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 10:30:08 pm »
1.
The ll and rr syllable form we've actually known for months.  It was in the language log post.

Quote
Pseudovowels. In CV syllables, the liquids l and r can replace the vowel. When they are syllabic they are lengthened (the r is very strongly trilled, the l always front and “light”) and written ll and rr respectively.

It specifically spells out that it's CV syllables only.

2.
For the plural, "4+ or a number that is not known" maybe?  This actually isn't that strange of a concept, it's a logical extension.  In English, you use the plural if the number is not known, even if it is 0 or 1.  But it would be ungrammatical to use the plural when you know it is 1.  In Na'vi, that extends to 2 and 3, it is ungrammatical to use the plural when you know it is 2 or 3.

4.
Hmm, I think that one needs clarification from Frommer.  I know he uas used the <us> version before with "tìrusey".

10.
Adpositions in Na'vi can come before as a preposition (And cause lenition if ADP+) or after as an enclitic.

11.
Um, not sure what you're saying here?  Po is a pronoun, so the genitive form is peyä...  And peyä is well attested.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 10:47:50 pm »
1.  Ah, thanks for that.  The Language Log is one thing I don't check very often.  Will amend.

2.  I found a way to state it without 4+, thanks for the suggestion though.

4.  Will remove this aspect until we have a clearer understanding.

10.  Right, that was my understanding.  Now that I know it is for sure an adposition I will fix it.

11.  I misread your statement above, so you can ignore my comment.  I have since fixed the error.

New version up in approximately 1 minute.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

jasgor9

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 10:23:58 pm »
Irayo! I just skimmed through it to see what it is all about, and it is great! I feel that this tool will play a powerful role in helping beginners like me to understand the language.  ;D

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2010, 12:28:14 am »
Glad to hear it.  Actually to all beginners JUST starting out learning the language, if you could give me any comments on whether any section/explanation is confusing, I would greatly appreciate it.  I wrote the thing primarily to address the common problems people just starting out seem to encounter, so anything that can help me refine it is more than welcome.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2010, 04:44:43 pm »
New Update.  Added a chapter on numbers, fixed some stresses and typos added a section about tsnì.  Enjoy!
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline Na’rìngä ’Evenge

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2010, 09:40:12 pm »
Thank you so much for this!

So far I've found many of the sections very helpful (and understandable).

This has defiantly started me down the right path!  :)

Offline TesterScot

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2010, 03:21:24 am »
New Update.  Added a chapter on numbers, fixed some stresses and typos added a section about tsnì.  Enjoy!

Irayo ma NeotrekkerZ!



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Offline Alìma Tanhì

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Re: Na'vi in a Nutshell
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2010, 02:20:13 pm »
As an beginner, I really appreciate this "guide for beginners" :) It hepls a lot during the tough start, irayo! :)

Oe lì'fyaru leNa'vi käpeiar taweyka Na'vi yawne leiu oer.

 

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