Author Topic: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction  (Read 5743 times)

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Offline wm.annis

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Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« on: June 26, 2010, 01:37:50 pm »
In Frommer's first blog post he has a substantial chunk of Na'vi.  He pulled out the new vocabulary for us already, but it looks like a few obvious — but so far unattested — derivations and uses also got worked in, and plenty of interesting and useful grammar occurs in the post.  There are, for example, several nice uses of the topical case outside the small set of fixed uses (thanks, apologies) we know already.


Vocabulary and Usage

In addition to the new words Frommer pulled out into footnotes, his post also contains sngä'iyu beginner.

We already have srekrr listed as before, but there's a puzzling use that leads me to suspect the word has other shades of meaning.  Speaking about the second kind of posts (for intermediate and advanced learners), he says, Fayupxaremì oe payängkxo teri horen lì’fyayä leNa’vi fpi sute a tsun srekrr tsat sivar.  The literal translation is In these messages I will chat about the rules of the Na'vi language for people who can use it before.  Using "before" here is not very good English.  I suspect already as an additional meaning.

We have two more uses of fpi, bringing the total (published) Frommerian use of this adposition to to three.  Fayupxare layu aysngä’iyufpi these messages will be for beginners.  The other use is in the example sentence from the paragraph above about srekrr.

We have an example of ftxey used to present a "whether... or..." enumeration of options, in sìlpey oe, ... frapo—ftxey sngä’iyu ftxey tsulfätu—tsìyevun fìtsenge rivun ’uot lesar I hope ... that everyone — whether beginner or expert — will be able to find something useful here.

The idea of "else" in the phrase "something else" is handled by Na'vi lahe other, from lu law ’uo alahe, ma eylan something else is clear, my friends.

The verb sìlpey is freely used both with and without tsnì for the clause of what is hoped.

It's starting to look more and more like kop is also in the sense of in addition (to) (see the last example sentence in this post).


Morphosyntax

We see that the noun prefix fne- kind, sort of is not like the other prefixes such as fì- and tsa-.  With the latter set we expect number marking to come between the prefix and the noun.  However, when fne- is involved, the number marking is moved out, which sort of makes semantic sense.  Lu pìlokur pxesìkan sì pxefne’upxare the blog has three needs and three sorts of message.


Syntax

Conditional sentences are "if.. then..." sentences.  They come in different varieties in most languages.  Future conditions in English have the present in the "if" clause and the future in the "then" clause.  From the Hunt Song, I believed Na'vi future conditions use the subjunctive in the "if" clause and a future in the "then" clause.  In this blog post we have another future condition, except the "then" clause is an imperative.  But the "if" clause sure makes it look like my guess on this pattern is still correct, txo tsive’a ayngal keyeyt, rutxe oeru piveng If you see errors, please tell me.  Classicists will want to call these "mixed" conditions.

There are several purpose clauses with fte (in order to), all following the expected pattern by using the subjunctive.  They don't need enumeration.

Clauses of wish using the subjunctive can also take the particle ko, from ha awnga sngivä’i ko! so let's get started!


Gerund Avoidance with Fwa et al

Frommer uses one nominalized phrase with fwa that in English is more neatly translated with a gerund, nìawnomum, fwa oel fìtìkangkemvit sngeykivä’i krrnolekx nìtxan as you know, my beginning this project has taken much time.


Topical

We have several nice uses of the topical outside our usual set phrases.

  (1) Sìlpey oe, awngeyä lì’fyaolo’ìri fìpìlok lìyevu pxan
  I hope that this blog will be worthy of our language community.

This repeats a use with pxan (worthy) seen in the Hunt Song.

  (2) Fayupxare layu aysngä’iyufpi, fte lì’fyari awngeyä fo tsìyevun nìftue nìltsansì nivume.
  These messages will be for beginners so that they can learn our language easily and well.

Here English requires us to use the Na'vi topical as a direct object.  Immediately in the next line we get this:

  (3) Ma oeyä eylan, faysänumviri rutxe fì’ut tslivam: ...
  My friends, concerning these lessons, please understand this: ...

I picked "concerning these lessons" as a translation here, though it seems clunky to me.  There are several sensible ways to get the idea across in English.  This is a nice, clear example, though, where a simple translation doesn't present itself to trap us into fixed ideas about what the topical can stand for.  Here it is much more like the topic-comment structure I'm used to from Mandarin, where the topic provides a point of orientation to which the following statement applies.  The relationship between the topic and the rest of the clause can be quite loose and underdefined, as we see here.

  (4) Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì’eyngit.
  As for your questions, (I) will also try to give answers (for them) here.

Note also that Frommer has left out the subject pronoun here, which had been stated in the previous sentence.  This pro-drop behavior is pervasive in this post.


Edit: typo, sense, numbered topical examples to ease discussion.  Another edit: clean up spelling 'goof', make kop sensible in last example
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 05:31:29 pm by wm.annis »
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
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Offline Kemaweyan

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2010, 01:54:05 pm »
Irayo, txantsana tìkangkem leiu ;)

Using "before" here is not very good English.  I suspect already as an additional meaning.

Tewti!!! Nì'i'a! Oel nìtxan pamey fìlì'ut! ;)

 Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì’eyngit.
  As for your questions also, (I) will try to give answers (for) here.

Now, I'm still not sure if it's best to take kop as part of the topic or not.

Oel fpìl futa san kop sìk lu kemlì'uhu:

Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì'eyngit.
As for your questions, (I) also will try to give answers (for) here.

San kop sìk pol sar talun srekrr pänutolìng pivängkxo horenteri tengtsengne (tsapìlokro), kefyak?
Nìrangal frapo tsirvun pivlltxe nìNa'vi :D

Offline Taronyu

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 02:03:54 pm »
This was brilliantly analysed, thank you wm.

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2010, 03:41:01 pm »
Nice analysis!

Nothing terribly earth shattering but a lot of nice confirmations.

But here's something else I don't think we've seen before (Not that there's no reason it wouldn't be this way)...

  Fayupxare layu aysngä’iyufpi, fte lì’fyari awngeyä fo tsìyevun nìftue nìltsansì nivume.
  These messages will be for beginners so that they can learn our language easily and well.

I don't believe we've seen sì used with adverbs yet...  But there's no reason not to suspect it would have been that way.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 03:48:36 pm »
Fpìl oel futa tsaw lamu law nìwotx ::)
Nìrangal frapo tsirvun pivlltxe nìNa'vi :D

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 04:22:08 pm »
Using "before" here is not very good English.  I suspect already as an additional meaning.

Tewti!!! Nì'i'a! Oel nìtxan pamey fìlì'ut! ;)

Let's get confirmation from Frommer on this first, before you get too excited!  This really is still speculation on my part.  Something funky is going on in that sentence, and there may be other reasonable interpretations.

Quote
Oel fpìl futa san kop sìk lu kemlì'uhu:

Skxakep tìyawr ngaru.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 04:26:16 pm »
Oe seiyi ngaru irayo fì'uri.

Nice that you analyzed it, going to give this a closer read later when I am not at this summer vocation.

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 04:33:35 pm »
Let's get confirmation from Frommer on this first, before you get too excited!  This really is still speculation on my part.  Something funky is going on in that sentence, and there may be other reasonable interpretations.

Tsatìralpeng lam oer nìtam sìlronsem ;) Ngian oe mllte ngahu furia zene fko pivey tìoeyktìngit fìtxeleri ta K. Pawl :)
Nìrangal frapo tsirvun pivlltxe nìNa'vi :D

Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2010, 04:42:00 pm »
Gerund Avoidance with Fwa et al

Frommer uses one nominalized phrase with fwa that in English is more neatly translated with a gerund, nìawnomum, fwa oel fìtìkangkemvit sngeykivä’i krrnolekx nìtxan as you know, my beginning this project has taken much time.


Topical

We have several nice uses of the topical outside our usual set phrases.

  Sìlpey oe, awngeyä lì’fyaolo’ìri fìpìlok lìyevu pxan
  I hope that this blog will be worthy of our language community.

This repeats a use with pxan (worthy) seen in the Hunt Song.

  Fayupxare layu aysngä’iyufpi, fte lì’fyari awngeyä fo tsìyevun nìftue nìltsansì nivume.
  These messages will be for beginners so that they can learn our language easily and well.

Here English requires us to use the Na'vi topical as a direct object.  Immediately in the next line we get this:

  Ma oeyä eylan, faysänumeviri rutxe fì’ut tslivam: ...
  My friends, concerning these lessons, please understand this: ...

I picked "concerning these lessons" as a translation here, though it seems clunky to me.  There are several sensible ways to get the idea across in English.  This is a nice, clear example, though, where a simple translation doesn't present itself to trap us into fixed ideas about what the topical can stand for.  Here it is much more like the topic-comment structure I'm used to from Mandarin, where the topic provides a point of orientation to which the following statement applies.  The relationship between the topic and the rest of the clause can be quite loose and underdefined, as we see here.

  Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì’eyngit.
  As for your questions also, (I) will try to give answers (for) here.

Now, I'm still not sure if it's best to take kop as part of the topic or not.  Taking it with made for an easier translation.  Note also that Frommer has left out the subject pronoun here, which had been stated in the previous sentence.  This pro-drop behavior is pervasive in this post.

Gerundìri this would seem to indicate that gerunds cannot take arguments in na'vi (whereas they can in English) hence the otherwise somewhat awkward nominalisation.

Topicalìri, 3rd sentence this seems to support my theory that -ri is a contraction of -teri (although that's pretty obvious so I'm sure I'm not alone), does this mean that we could potentially substitute -ri for -teri and vice versa in other cases?

Oe seiyi ngaru irayo fì'uri.

Nice that you analyzed it, going to give this a closer read later when I am not at this summer vocation.

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I think it's the word we normally use, no-one's going to kill you ma tsamsiyu,
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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2010, 05:45:12 pm »
Tewti, fìkem lu tìkangkem atxantsan!  Irayo, ma tsmuk =)

I'm thinking that maybe sute a tsun srekrr tsat sivar is meant to be read as "people who could use it before," but Na'vi doesn't require the same mutation of tsun that English requires of "can"?
eo Eywa oe 'ia

Fra'uri tìyawnur oe täpivìng nìwotx...

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2010, 05:58:32 pm »
Gerundìri this would seem to indicate that gerunds cannot take arguments in na'vi (whereas they can in English) hence the otherwise somewhat awkward nominalisation.

On the other hand, Frommer has used a gerund with an adverb:

  Koren a'awve tìruseyä 'awsiteng
  The first rule of living together

So something of its verbal nature remains.  I agree that for it to take normal arguments might be awkward in Na'vi.

Quote
Topicalìri, 3rd sentence this seems to support my theory that -ri is a contraction of -teri (although that's pretty obvious so I'm sure I'm not alone), does this mean that we could potentially substitute -ri for -teri and vice versa in other cases?

I would say not.  Topics will generally carry a different relationship to their clause than an adpositional phrase would.  For example, sentence 2 in the topical examples (I've edited that post to number the topical sentences) would sound very odd with the adposition used.  One could guess that teri and the topical share a common ancestry, but I think by now they've parted company.  If they were really interchangeable, one would probably evaporate fairly quickly.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2010, 10:29:39 pm »
Interesting that in his "whether beginner or expert" clause he doesn't use fuke.  I'm thinking it's possibly because he's supplies the alternative (expert as opposed to beginner) rather than implicitly referring to something else (whether beginner or not). 

Quote
I picked "concerning these lessons" as a translation here, though it seems clunky to me.

I've been finding that "regarding" is proving to be a very good translation for the topical, if you feel like declunkifying.  ;)
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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2010, 02:36:18 am »
Gerundìri this would seem to indicate that gerunds cannot take arguments in na'vi (whereas they can in English) hence the otherwise somewhat awkward nominalisation.

On the other hand, Frommer has used a gerund with an adverb:

  Koren a'awve tìruseyä 'awsiteng
  The first rule of living together

So something of its verbal nature remains.  I agree that for it to take normal arguments might be awkward in Na'vi.

Quote
Topicalìri, 3rd sentence this seems to support my theory that -ri is a contraction of -teri (although that's pretty obvious so I'm sure I'm not alone), does this mean that we could potentially substitute -ri for -teri and vice versa in other cases?

I would say not.  Topics will generally carry a different relationship to their clause than an adpositional phrase would.  For example, sentence 2 in the topical examples (I've edited that post to number the topical sentences) would sound very odd with the adposition used.  One could guess that teri and the topical share a common ancestry, but I think by now they've parted company.  If they were really interchangeable, one would probably evaporate fairly quickly.

1. Hmmm... good point, it will be interesting when we know just how verbal they still are.

2. ok, looking back at that post I can see that whilst in this case they're similar, in many other uses of the topical they wouldn't really work, you're probably right that they parted company. Irayo
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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 08:09:57 am »
Here English requires us to use the Na'vi topical as a direct object.  Immediately in the next line we get this:

  (3) Ma oeyä eylan, faysänumeviri rutxe fì’ut tslivam: ...
  My friends, concerning these lessons, please understand this: ...

First of all, great post, ma William!
Typical, one weekend away from the web and all hell breaks loose :D
Exactly for these kinds of discussions, I think we still need the language update section – great way to start. Irayo

Is there a typo in this? Shouldn’t it be faysänumviri without the e?

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 10:15:11 am »

Is there a typo in this? Shouldn’t it be faysänumviri without the e?[/font][/size]

'O! Nìlaw lam fkor fwa lu 'uo a vay set tsat ke tsarme'a!

I would expect «faysänumviri»... but it COULD be some rule about the case marking (depending on the form) resurrecting the deleted ("weak") 'e' epenthetically. Worth asking. NB also: «...txantsana aysänumevit ngolop...». Would be VERY interesting if it's a regular/predictable process. I think it not out of the realm of possibility... ? ?

 Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì’eyngit.
  As for your questions also, (I) will try to give answers (for) here.

Now, I'm still not sure if it's best to take kop as part of the topic or not.

Oel fpìl futa san kop sìk lu kemlì'uhu:

Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì'eyngit.
As for your questions, (I) also will try to give answers (for) here.

San kop sìk pol sar talun srekrr pänutolìng pivängkxo horenteri tengtsengne (tsapìlokro), kefyak?

Furia san kop lu kemlì'uhu sìk, ngahu mllte oe nìwotx. tì'EFU lu tsafya luke tìpawm.

Using "before" here is not very good English.  I suspect already as an additional meaning.

Tewti!!! Nì'i'a! Oel nìtxan pamey fìlì'ut! ;)

Let's get confirmation from Frommer on this first, before you get too excited!  This really is still speculation on my part.  Something funky is going on in that sentence, and there may be other reasonable interpretations.


I agree about the "funky" part, but I also took it to mean "already" without thinking about it too much.

«MI» ("as before") would also not seem that strange to me here (cf: Spanish «ya»). I would also not have questioned «srekrrta» («srekrr» as noun + encliticized «ta» ("from") >>> "already").

I agree that this is a fantastic, VERY HELPFUL analysis and I can't wait for the next one!

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2010, 10:29:42 am »
1. Hmmm... good point, it will be interesting when we know just how verbal they still are.

D'oh!  I finally remembered a comment from the Txe'lanit Hivawl thread: "Na’vi gerunds (e.g. «tìyusom, tìnusäk» “eating, drinking”) do not take direct objects."
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2010, 10:57:20 am »

Is there a typo in this? Shouldn’t it be faysänumviri without the e?[/font][/size]

'O! Nìlaw lam fkor fwa lu 'uo a vay set tsat ke tsarme'a!

I would expect «faysänumviri»... but it COULD be some rule about the case marking (depending on the form) resurrecting the deleted ("weak") 'e' epenthetically. Worth asking. NB also: «...txantsana aysänumevit ngolop...». Would be VERY interesting if it's a regular/predictable process. I think it not out of the realm of possibility... ? ?

Could be – but there’s ’Upxare Trr ’Rrtayä in which he says:
»… fte ngivop aylì’ut sì tsayfnesänumvit a tsun frapor srung sivi …«

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2010, 11:07:02 am »

Is there a typo in this? Shouldn’t it be faysänumviri without the e?[/font][/size]

'O! Nìlaw lam fkor fwa lu 'uo a vay set tsat ke tsarme'a!

I would expect «faysänumviri»... but it COULD be some rule about the case marking (depending on the form) resurrecting the deleted ("weak") 'e' epenthetically. Worth asking. NB also: «...txantsana aysänumevit ngolop...». Would be VERY interesting if it's a regular/predictable process. I think it not out of the realm of possibility... ? ?

Could be – but there’s ’Upxare Trr ’Rrtayä in which he says:
»… fte ngivop aylì’ut sì tsayfnesänumvit a tsun frapor srung sivi …«


We need to ask... They're probably what he calls "goofs".

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2010, 11:32:28 am »
Srane, I’m all for it…

And I noticed something else right now… Didn’t he say at some point that the single consonant forms of the cases for the diphthongs were no longer allowed?


Quote from: Na'viteri.org
Txo tsive’a ayngal keyeyt, rutxe…

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Re: Na'viteri: "First Post" grammatical extraction
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2010, 11:38:03 am »
Today I thought: perhaps the use of the "srekrr" with the verb past tense means "before" and with present (as in this example) - "already"?

Oel samar tsat srekrr - I used it before.
Oel sar tsat srekrr - I already use it.

Srane, I’m all for it…

And I noticed something else right now… Didn’t he say at some point that the single consonant forms of the cases for the diphthongs were no longer allowed?


Quote from: Na'viteri.org
Txo tsive’a ayngal keyeyt, rutxe…

Nìawnomum, tsun fko sivar aylì'uhu a 'i'a fa san -ay, -ey, -aw-, -ew sìk, nì'aw san -ti sìk fu san -it sìk, kefyak? Pam lì'uä a san keyeyt sìk oeru mowan ke lu...
Nìrangal frapo tsirvun pivlltxe nìNa'vi :D

 

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