Author Topic: Some observations on Na'vi poetry  (Read 2091 times)

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Offline wm.annis

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Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« on: January 10, 2010, 03:11:22 pm »
Here's a letter to a linguistics journal written from the viewpoint of an opinionated, earth-bound xenolinguist trying to figure out Na'vi verse form: Prolegomena to the Study of Na'vi Poetics.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Eight

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 03:46:22 pm »
Looks very interesting.

I'll look forward to reading it properly soon.

Edit: <removed comments>
Ack. Ignore me - out of my depth. Made sense of it.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 03:54:50 pm by Eight »

Offline Taronyu

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 04:14:33 pm »
Fìpo prrte' txan kivame lolu. 

This was such a pleasure to read.

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 05:54:02 pm »
Glad you like it.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 06:19:12 pm »
It was very nice, I'm in high school near the top of my class if not the top and I have to say that there are not enough people like you or I around here.
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Offline Txon Tsyal

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 01:56:17 pm »
Loved reading it.
Personally i don`t take the Na`vi as alien because i think i understand them.

When I look on the news and see what horrible things are happening around the world I can`t help but wonder what is the source of them and therefore my own race is becoming more and more alien to me as time passes by.

Does that make any sense?

Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 02:48:40 pm »
Really nice work. Amazing what people can already do with the little bit we know of this language.  :)

Just a quick question. Shouldn't it be txe'lanä (of the heart)? I read te'lanä multiple times. Just a typo or did I miss something?

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, 03:32:20 pm »
Just a quick question. Shouldn't it be txe'lanä (of the heart)? I read te'lanä multiple times. Just a typo or did I miss something?

I made the same mistake the first time I read the poems!

What process could cause txe'lan to become te'lan?  Lenition, in this case representing the plural.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2010, 03:47:05 pm »
A most fascinating read. I must admit that most of it is well over my head but I found it enjoyable, concise, and well written.

Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2010, 03:58:07 pm »
Just a quick question. Shouldn't it be txe'lanä (of the heart)? I read te'lanä multiple times. Just a typo or did I miss something?

I made the same mistake the first time I read the poems!

What process could cause txe'lan to become te'lan?  Lenition, in this case representing the plural.

Of course. I should have thought of that! Well, one more mistake that will eventually lead to me learning something. Irayo for the explanation!

/edit:
On second look, i still have a question about the line
Te'lanä le-Na'vi being translated as hearts of the people
If the genetive is attached to te'lan, wouldn't that make it the people of hearts or something along those lines?
Te'lan le-Na'viyä would make more sense to me, if its supposed to mean 'hearts of the people' ('the people's hearts')
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 04:16:11 pm by ruseya atan txonyä »

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2010, 04:35:21 pm »
A most fascinating read. I must admit that most of it is well over my head but I found it enjoyable, concise, and well written.

Well, the point of the joke requires it be a bit technical.  There are a few linguistics jokes in there.  But the discussion of poetic technique, as far as it goes, is basically sound.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 04:43:47 pm »
On second look, i still have a question about the line
Te'lanä le-Na'vi being translated as hearts of the people
If the genetive is attached to te'lan, wouldn't that make it the people of hearts or something along those lines?
Te'lan le-Na'viyä would make more sense to me, if its supposed to mean 'hearts of the people' ('the people's hearts')

Well, the song keeps chaining the syntax forward:

S(ì) ayzìsìtä kato,
Sì 'ekong te'lanä
Te'lanä le-Na'vi
   5

So, te'lanä in line 5 is just a repetition of the one in line 4, "and the rhythm of the years // and the beat of the hearts // of the hearts of the people."  Since it's just a repetition, it should keep the same case.  There's already one genitive in the line, so rather than say "of the people" (which is given in the translation)" the adjective leNa'vi Na'vi is used, so the last line could be translated, "of the Na'vi hearts."

(While normally you'd need a linking -a- to modify a noun, when an adjective is derived by using the le- prefix, it tends to let le- do the job of -a-, making te'lanä leNa'vi, but still requiring leNa'via te'lanä.  Confirmed by email from Frommer to one of the guys editing the Wikipedia article.)
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2010, 04:50:46 pm »
A most fascinating read. I must admit that most of it is well over my head but I found it enjoyable, concise, and well written.

Well, the point of the joke requires it be a bit technical.  There are a few linguistics jokes in there.  But the discussion of poetic technique, as far as it goes, is basically sound.

Oh I got the gist of the jokes, it was quite well done. Just saying that what little linguistic terminology I know are not in the field of poetry.

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 05:02:39 pm »
Just saying that what little linguistic terminology I know are not in the field of poetry.

Then you must read more Calvert Watkins!
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Karyu Amawey

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2010, 06:42:48 pm »
Well formatted!  I really enjoyed reading this!!!
Oel ayngati kameie

Offline Kiliyä

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2010, 07:25:05 pm »
Thanks, wm.annis.  Loved it.  Any chance our esteemed scholar could take a crack at infixes?
Peu sa'nokyä ayoengyä?  Pefya ayoeng poeru kìte'e sayi?
Pefya ayoengìl poeti hayawnu, na poel ayoengit hawnu?

What of our mother?  How shall we serve her?  How shall we protect her as she protects us?

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2010, 08:39:34 pm »
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2010, 08:41:25 pm »
Thanks, wm.annis.  Loved it.

Glad to hear it.

Quote
Any chance our esteemed scholar could take a crack at infixes?

There are already many documents about infixes.  What would you hope for out of another one?
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2010, 12:27:19 am »
Awesome.  Scary awesome.

Offline Eight

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Re: Some observations on Na'vi poetry
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2010, 03:00:44 am »
On second look, i still have a question about the line
Te'lanä le-Na'vi being translated as hearts of the people
Yup - I did the same thing. :)

Then figured it out and managed to delete my question. Damn poetry - never was much cop at it.

 

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