Author Topic: Na’vi through different clans  (Read 446 times)

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Offline cavador27

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Na’vi through different clans
« on: December 16, 2018, 08:54:31 am »
I have been wondering about the same question every time I see Avatar:
Does spoken Na’vi vary systematically with the different clans of Pandora?

To clarify, systematically in this sense means that there are phonetic changes that ALWAYS hold true.

The main argument I see to support this theory is that in the real world, many widespread languages vary systematically with pronunciation. At a larger scale, there are Chinese, Arabic, and their linguistic counterparts, all of which have many different dialects that are each in effect their own language. For example, a speaker of Levantine Arabic can barely if at all understand a speaker of Moroccan Arabic, and likewise. Might this be so in Na’vi?
There are also smaller examples, like in English. Even though speakers of British English, Australian English, and American English can understand eachother, there are still many systematic phonetic differences.
But what about the so-called Brooklynese? Even though this accent is not only native to Brooklyn but to NYC as a whole, there are still less than 10 million speakers in all (and the number is slowly dwindling). Speakers of Brooklynese are known for three major phonetic changes that are very systematic and regular. These changes hold with every speaker, even though there are so few.

These smaller examples are roughly anologous to the clans of Pandora. So shouldn’t the clans speak systematically different, or at least dialected, variations of Na’vi as well?

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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 09:30:09 am »
I believe in dialects, too, but we have absolutely no information about language except in the movie and the ASG.

Offline Toliman

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 09:52:19 am »
Yeah, I believe in dialect too. I would be very surprised if there was not any dialects across all clans on Pandora.
But it's true that we have not any information about this...

Offline Wllìm

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 11:20:51 am »
I think dialects would indeed be plausible. However, because the Na'vi can hear the voices of their ancestors at the Tree of Voices, it could be that language change happens slower than on Earth :-\
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Offline Toliman

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 11:40:49 am »
However, because the Na'vi can hear the voices of their ancestors at the Tree of Voices, it could be that language change happens slower than on Earth :-\
Yeah, I thought about it too. However I think that despite it there is still enough space for language changes, I think.
But your idea is completelly right.


Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 01:33:59 pm »
I would expect dialects, but perhaps the variation is no more than that between UK vs. US English as most extreme.

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Offline Ertew

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 02:26:25 pm »
I think that ToV transfer memories as particular feelings rather than words, but so far we can't be sure about this.

Back to topic, there have to be dialects but I also expect something like English - slight different US, UK or Australia. Nothing more.
Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors.

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Offline Toliman

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 02:38:21 pm »
I would expect dialects, but perhaps the variation is no more than that between UK vs. US English as most extreme.
Back to topic, there have to be dialects but I also expect something like English - slight different US, UK or Australia. Nothing more.
Sure just this, nothing like as chinese dialects ;D

Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 02:50:23 pm »
I don't think that an Omatikaya will connect with someone on the other side of the world via the Tree of Voices.
That same person would live in a more or less different reality and will therefore develop sayings according to their environment, so I would not be surprised to see closely related languages and dialects.

But anyway, since it's a movie, it wouldn't be impossible for James Cameron to say "All Pandorans speak Na'vi, period."

Offline Toliman

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 03:29:47 pm »
But anyway, since it's a movie, it wouldn't be impossible for James Cameron to say "All Pandorans speak Na'vi, period."
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Offline Lynxcat

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 08:34:55 am »
This is really interesting! I didn't think about such being possible until now. I'm sure there would be different pronunciations of Na'vi words from different parts of Pandora.  :)
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Offline Mech

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Re: Na’vi through different clans
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2018, 04:48:00 am »
I will repeat that we have no official word on the Na'vi dialects, if there are any, and everything we can say about it is just an educated guess or speculation. However I can say a coupe of things:

1. In products like Avatar video games and the Survival's Guide to Pandora, there are some non-Frommerian Na'vi words and names that don't fit with the rules. The concensus is that these words are "non-canon", but I like to think about them as words that come from another dialect. For example the non-canon name Beyda'amo, a Na'vi of the Tipani clan in the Avatar video game, could perhaps correspond to *Pxeytxa'amo in Omaticaya (where Omaticayans say px and tx, the Tipani could pronounce them b and d). But this explanation exists only in my mind. I prefer this explanation than wiping such words out from the canon.

2. in another thread, I expressed an idea about very few canonical words that phonotactically don't fit with the majority of other Na'vi words, for example they have a lot of consecutive vowels, like mauia or meoauniaea. In my mind, this could mean that these words are loan from another dialect or from an ancient form of the language.

 

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