Author Topic: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi  (Read 808 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

  • Tute
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • us United States
  • Karma: 42
  • Poe a za’u sì kä
Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« on: June 06, 2014, 03:33:37 pm »
Right now I'm studying Na’vi's use of verb tense/aspect. I'm putting this post in this section because the tense/aspects are infixes, although it's not about the infixes themselves, necessarily.

Something I have noticed is that Pawl seems to use the general perfective <ol> as the "past tense" for Na’vi, although it is not actually past tense (which is <am>). For example:

Fori mawkrra fa renten ioi säpoli holum.

The English translation of this is:
After they put on their goggles, they left.

According to Na’vi in a Nutshell, <ol> actually means (nì’Ìnglìsì): have verbed. According to this, the more accurate translation would be:

After they have put on their goggles, they have left.

That sounds odd, and that isn't something we would say in English.


I understand that Na’vi is NOT English, and it does not work like English. I just want to confirm that my understanding is correct:

Where we would usually use past tense ("they left"), should we use <ol> nìNa’vi? The grammarbook says this about Na’vi and verb tense/aspect:
Quote
§6.7.3. Aspect. In general, Na’vi marks aspect more than it marks tense.
If this is true, than I can understand that they would use <ol> instead of <am>.

This also has me wondering about what tenses/aspects should be used in what contexts. For the above example, would I use <ol> if I were speaking to someone? («Tok fol pesengit, ma Kameyo?», «Fori mawkrra fa renten säpoli holum.»)

How about if I wrote this in a story? Would I still use <ol>, or would <am> be better? (Or even <alm>, since that is <ol> + <am>?) Would <ol> be used for casual speech about things that have happened, and <am> for storytelling? For that matter, what tense/aspect would Na’vi use for pamrel/ayfuk/storytelling? In English we use basic past tense ("He opened the door and went inside."), but Na’vi could use something else, even present/general tense/aspect. ("He had opened the door and had gone inside." or "He opens the door and goes inside.")

What tenses/aspects would be preferred for casual speech, and for things like writing and stories?
"Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Offline Tìtstewan

  • LearnNavi Zeykoyu
  • Toruk Makto
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9763
  • de Germany
  • Karma: 319
  • Ke lu oeru kea krr krrtalun!
    • My YouTube Channel
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 03:57:59 pm »
As far as I understood it, <ol> marks an action which was done in the past, without to specify excactly the time.
Fori mawkrra fa renten ioi säpoli holum. After they put on their goggles, they left.
The statisment is, just that they put their goggles and they left, but you don't know if that happend two minites ago, yesterday, or twenty years ago.

This also has me wondering about what tenses/aspects should be used in what contexts. For the above example, would I use <ol> if I were speaking to someone? («Tok fol pesengit, ma Kameyo?», «Fori mawkrra fa renten säpoli holum.»)
I would expect this:
Tok fol pesengit, ma Kameyo?
 - Fori mawkrra fa renten säpìlmi holum
.
...because, usually this happend a moment ago. But of course, one could write there <alm> or just <am>, depending when this action happend The <ol> in holum would be just <ol>, becaue the context makes it clear, that the whole action happend a moment ago (or other time) - it not necessary to repeat it.
The same also in stories. One would write in the first verb <am>/<alm> and the other following verbs have just <ol>, if the contect is in the past.

Maybe this thread is helpful Na'vi Linguistics: Tense and Aspect .

-| Dict-Na'vi.com | Na'viteri Files | FAQ | LM | Puk Pxaw 'Rrta | Kem si fu kem rä'ä si, ke lu tìfmi. |-

Offline Blue Elf

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5499
  • cz Czech Republic
  • Karma: 112
    • My attempt for blog
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 04:02:40 pm »
Explain difference between aspect and tense is a little difficult. In general, <ol> is used when you put more emphasis to fact, that action is already completed, no matter if week, month, year or few second before. It's simply finished and we do not care when.
<am> is used when there's more emphasis on the fact that something happened in the past.
And <alm> is used when you want express something what was finished in the past.
IMO <ol> is used more often than <am>.

In Slavic languages is something quite difficult find difference between perfective aspect and past tense, as they often have the same form.
Oe lu skxawng skxakep. Slä oe nerume mi.
"Oe tasyätxaw ulte koren za'u oehu" (Limonádový Joe)


Ezy Ryder

  • Guest
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 04:20:23 pm »
Remember that actions can also be completed in the future, like "Trray yerikit talyaron."
So, the <ol> doesn't have anything to do with the time when the action took place. It's kinda interesting, because that would kinda mean, that Na'vi doesn't have a present tense conjugation... If I understand it correctly.

Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

  • Tute
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • us United States
  • Karma: 42
  • Poe a za’u sì kä
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 05:21:58 pm »
Explain difference between aspect and tense is a little difficult. In general, <ol> is used when you put more emphasis to fact, that action is already completed, no matter if week, month, year or few second before. It's simply finished and we do not care when.
<am> is used when there's more emphasis on the fact that something happened in the past.
And <alm> is used when you want express something what was finished in the past.
IMO <ol> is used more often than <am>.
Yeah, I think it's hard for me to understand because like Annis said, "In English we have no way to separate aspect from tense."

So I suppose <ol> is like an "indefinite past tense," useful for when we want to say something happened, but we don't know or care when. If we care to say it was recent or long ago, we use <ìm> and <am>.

I think <ìlm> and <alm> would be saved for if we were explaining what happened. For example , if I were describing events that happened a long time ago: «Taronyu halmahaw, ulte ’ameko palulukanìl poti.»  Although, I guess with what Tìtstewan says, it might be: «Taronyu halmahaw, ulte ’oleko palulukanìl poti.», since we already know we're talking about the past.

I dunno, I'll have to think about all this some more.

Remember that actions can also be completed in the future, like "Trray yerikit talyaron."
So, the <ol> doesn't have anything to do with the time when the action took place. It's kinda interesting, because that would kinda mean, that Na'vi doesn't have a present tense conjugation... If I understand it correctly.
"Tomorrow I will have hunted a yerik."

What do you mean by present tense conjugation? Of <ol>? What would that even be in English?
"Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Offline Tìtstewan

  • LearnNavi Zeykoyu
  • Toruk Makto
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9763
  • de Germany
  • Karma: 319
  • Ke lu oeru kea krr krrtalun!
    • My YouTube Channel
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 06:12:27 pm »
In Slavic languages is something quite difficult find difference between perfective aspect and past tense, as they often have the same form.
In english the past aspect are mostly done by have/had contructions. But English tense makes me cry...

Peyralìl talmaron fìyerikit. | Peyralìl tamaron fìyerikit.
Peyral had hunted this hexapede. | Peyral hunted this hexapede.

Peyralìl talmaron fìrerikit ulte pol holena tsat kelutralne. | Peyralìl tamaron fìrerikit ulte pol holena tsat kelutralne.
Peyral had hunted this hexapede and had carried it to the hometree. | Peyral hunted this hexapede and carried it to the hometree.

(Native english speaker, please correct me...)


Explain difference between aspect and tense is a little difficult. In general, <ol> is used when you put more emphasis to fact, that action is already completed, no matter if week, month, year or few second before. It's simply finished and we do not care when.
<am> is used when there's more emphasis on the fact that something happened in the past.
And <alm> is used when you want express something what was finished in the past.
IMO <ol> is used more often than <am>.
Yeah, I think it's hard for me to understand because like Annis said, "In English we have no way to separate aspect from tense."

So I suppose <ol> is like an "indefinite past tense," useful for when we want to say something happened, but we don't know or care when. If we care to say it was recent or long ago, we use <ìm> and <am>.

I think <ìlm> and <alm> would be saved for if we were explaining what happened. For example , if I were describing events that happened a long time ago: «Taronyu halmahaw, ulte ’ameko palulukanìl poti.»  Although, I guess with what Tìtstewan says, it might be: «Taronyu halmahaw, ulte ’oleko palulukanìl poti.», since we already know we're talking about the past.
Well, <ol> has usually not really to do with time like <am>, <ay>, <ìm>, <ìy>, but many people would read it as a "past marker". <ol> marks an action like a "snapshot" and the time infixes describes when that "snapshot" was taken or will be taken. (I know it is weird written but it fit as best...) But, <ol> can take the role of the past time infixes as mentioned to prevent repeating of the same time infixes in sentences and stories. In stories, it would be enough that the first verb have a time infix only and all ather verbs could have <ol>, if the whole story context is clear.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 06:15:51 pm by Tìtstewan »

-| Dict-Na'vi.com | Na'viteri Files | FAQ | LM | Puk Pxaw 'Rrta | Kem si fu kem rä'ä si, ke lu tìfmi. |-

Offline Plumps

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 6084
  • Karma: 220
  • ’Ivong Na’vi
    • Aylì'uä Ramunong (Pìlok)
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 06:12:55 pm »
Still confusing if you go into more detail…

For me, much of this is still not 100% clear and I would love to see a blog post devoted to this … maybe in connection with a story which would make the usage clear. I can still dream, can’t I? :D

Offline Tìtstewan

  • LearnNavi Zeykoyu
  • Toruk Makto
  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9763
  • de Germany
  • Karma: 319
  • Ke lu oeru kea krr krrtalun!
    • My YouTube Channel
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 06:23:27 pm »
maybe in connection with a story which would make the usage clear. I can still dream, can’t I? :D
You are not the only one! :) I still waiting for such a post as well.

-| Dict-Na'vi.com | Na'viteri Files | FAQ | LM | Puk Pxaw 'Rrta | Kem si fu kem rä'ä si, ke lu tìfmi. |-

Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

  • Tute
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • us United States
  • Karma: 42
  • Poe a za’u sì kä
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2014, 02:14:50 am »

Peyralìl talmaron fìyerikit. | Peyralìl tamaron fìyerikit.
Peyral had hunted this hexapede. | Peyral hunted this hexapede.

Peyralìl talmaron fìrerikit ulte pol holena tsat kelutralne. | Peyralìl tamaron fìrerikit ulte pol holena tsat kelutralne.
Peyral had hunted this hexapede and had carried it to the hometree. | Peyral hunted this hexapede and carried it to the hometree.

(Native english speaker, please correct me...)

They are all correct, although the use of "this" implies that someone is speaking these sentences. (They are explaining to someone else what happened.) Otherwise it would be "the."
The English examples on the right are the more common forms that people use casually. The examples on the left are correct too, but their language is a bit more "fancy"; in my experience, you would probably only see them in story books.
"Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

  • Palulukan Makto
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 4744
  • us United States
  • Karma: 44
  • Palulukan alu Kenya 06/23/1996 - 01/15/2017
    • The Lionlamb website
Re: Tense/aspect usage nìNa’vi
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2014, 02:55:37 am »
Really, it is not that hard. The most important thing about <ol>, as Blue Elf points out, is that it indicates a completed action. If the time at which the action is completed is important, it has to be indicated with a compound infix, or by context. Thus with Peyralìl talmaron fìyerikit., I would fully expect to see a dead hexepede before me, with an arrow wound where Peyral shot it. The hunter had hunted it, and made the kill. The hexepede might be cold, because it wasn't necessarily just killed. Peyralìl tamaron fìyerikit. could very well mean what the previous sentence meant, but it may also refer to a hunt that is still going on, and the hexepede is in fact running in front of me to escape from Peyral. <ol> can be used in place of <am> or <ìm> if the action is complete. <ol> is preferred over <am> or <ìm> in much speaking/writing as a majority of actions in the past are also completed action, and the timeframe is either irrelevant, or indicated in context.

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

 

Become LearnNavi's friend on Facebook Follow LearnNavi on Twitter! Watch LearnNavi's videos on YouTube

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
| XHTML | RSS | WAP2 | Site Rules

LearnNavi is not affiliated with the official Avatar website,
James Cameron, or the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation.
All trademarks and servicemarks are the properties of their respective owners.
Images in the LearnNavi.org Forums and Gallery may not be used without permission.

LearnNavi Affiliates:
ToS

LearnNavi is the community to learn Na'vi, the Avatar Language
"A place where real friendships are made." -Paul Frommer

AvatarMeet | Learn Na'vi Forum | Learn Na'vi Wiki | Na'viteri

LearnNavi