Author Topic: Tenses  (Read 1273 times)

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Offline GEOvanne

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« on: July 16, 2011, 09:38:46 pm »
Since I learned about tenses (am, er, ol), they have been giving me problems (well except er).
Apart from placing them in the right position while speaking (or thinking), I don't know how to use them properly.

Whats the difference between 'am I verbed' and 'ol I have verbed'?
I know we use it in english but my dialect doesn't use it, much.
I also have that problem with spanish have 3 different ways of saying stuff in the past.

Could someone explain these to me?

Offline Plumps

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Re: Tenses
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 07:18:52 am »
First of all, I know how you feel. In my language this concept doesn’t exist merely through the form of the verb but we need other little words/filler to make clear what ‹ol› and ‹er› describe in Na’vi. ;)

Second, ‹ol› and ‹er› don’t count as tenses, but these are called aspect. They show you whether an action that is talked about is finished (‹ol›) or ongoing (‹er›).

The real tenses are ‹am›, ‹ìm›, ‹ìy›, and ‹ay›. With them you might face the problem to determine when something is distant past/future (‹am›, ‹ay›) or near/immediate past/future (‹ìm›, ‹ìy›). As with all these time words, I think they are subjective and depend on the situation you want to use them.

I’m not the expert with this (and I hope people will correct me if I’m wrong), so this is how I understand the difference.

oe tamìran, I walked (in the past, it’s just a recount of an action)
oe tolìran, I have walked (it’s an action that is finished, probably within a greater context surrounded by other actions that are ongoing…)

But notice that ‹ol› and ‹er› are not restricted to past. They can also appear in present and future, so, theoretically, oe tolìran could (without a greater context) also mean ‘I will have walked’

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Tenses
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 12:15:37 pm »
srane, ma Plumps, as far as I know as well, you are correct.

ol isn't a past tense, but an indication that the action is complete, whatever time it is/was/will be.
er of course is just an indication of something that is ongoing

am is a general past tense, ìm more specifically, recent past.
ay and ìy same thing, but about the future.

here is a little something from the NgayNume project about a visual conceptualization of tenses and aspect in na'vi. (and kinda infixes in general)

oeri ran lu srung | LearnNa'vi Discord |

Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Tenses
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 02:55:39 pm »
Oe lu skxawng skxakep. Slä oe nerume mi.
"Oe tasyätxaw ulte koren za'u oehu" (Limonádový Joe)

Offline Tanri

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Re: Tenses
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 09:11:07 am »
Another little bit of knowledge about aspect is available here:
and following post ta omängum fra'uti.

There are lots of information about aspect and tense on this forum, but i think that the very important thing is to find and realize in what way exactly they works in your native language. With that knowledge, you can then compare them with Na’vi.
For example, how your native language differ between these:

Tomorrow, i will hunt the yerik. (Trray oel talyaron yerikit.) - future tense combined with perfective aspect
You want to succesfully hunt the yerik - you want to finish the hunt tomorrow, and to have some steaks for dinner.
So, you want to accomplish some results, you want to finish that action tomorrow.
In another words, tomorrow, when you will land your ikran next to yerik that you killed, it is about perfective (ol) aspect - the action is done.

Tomorrow, i will be hunting the yerik. (Trray oel taryaron yerikit.) - future tense combined with imperfective aspect
Doesn't matter if you will succeed or not, you are simply going to hunt tomorrow regardless of result.
All what you want is hunting tomorrow.
In another words, tomorrow, when you will be still flying over a some yeriks, it is about imperfective (er) aspect - the action is still in progress.

To succesfully understand the tense/aspect system in Na’vi, try to separate them and look at some action from viewpoint of tense/aspect separately:
-Tense: "Is the action placed to the past, to the future, or it is happening now?"
-Aspect: "Am i talking about already finished action, or this action was/will be/is in progress?"
Anything published exlusively on Discord (and not in this forum) does not exist...


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