Author Topic: Pronouns with the particle "a"  (Read 1173 times)

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Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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Pronouns with the particle "a"
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:50:41 am »
I'm still figuring out how to use the relative clause particle a. Plumps talks about it at the bottom of his post here, and W.S. Annis' grammar book talks about it at 6.18.

I think I understand resumptive pronouns... Let me try to explain them. Please tell me if this is right:



The relative clause is like a sentence, but it describes a noun like an adjective. Read it as "who/that/which." For example:
Po-e a inan puk-it.
Attempted meaning: She who reads (the) book.

The relative clause (a inan puk-it) describes She (Po-e). ("Which she?", "She who reads the book.")
Notice that the relative clause has an incomplete sentence: a ___ inan puk-it.

For the relative clause, you can ask: Who reads the book? The answer is: She reads (the) book. (Po-e-l inan puk-it.) Think about that sentence. The relative clause describes She (Po-e), and in the sentence (Po-e-l inan puk-it.), the same person (She - Po-e) is the subject (the person that does it):
Po-e a inan puk-it. She who reads the book.
Po-e-l inan puk-it. She reads the book.



Here is another sentence with a relative clause:
Puk a po-an-ìl inan.
A.m.: (The) book that he reads.

The relative clause (a po-an-ìl inan) describes The book (Puk). ("Which book?", "The book that he reads.")
Notice that the relative clause has an incomplete sentence: a po-an-ìl inan ___.

For this relative clause, ask: He reads what? The answer: He reads the book. (Po-an-ìl inan puk-it.) The relative clause describes The book (Puk), and in that sentence (Po-an-ìl inan puk-it.), the same noun (The book - Puk) is the direct object (the thing that gets read):
Puk a po-an-ìl inan. The book that he reads.
Po-an-ìl inan puk-it. He reads the book.



But, what if the noun is a different part of the relative clause's sentence? What if it is the indirect object? Or part of an adpositional phrase?

The rule in Na'vi is this: If the noun is not the subject or the direct object of the relative clause's sentence, then the relative clause must be a complete sentence. (This will sound strange in English.) For example:

Tuté a oe-l inan puk-it po-e-ru.
Literally: Woman who I read the book to her.
A.m.: The woman who I read the book to.


The relative clause (a oe-l inan puk-it po-e-ru) describes The woman (Tuté). ("Which woman?", "The woman who I read the book to.")
Notice that the relative clause has a complete sentence: a oe-l inan puk-it po-e-ru.

Ask the question: I read the book to who? The answer: I read the book to the woman. (Oe-l inan puk-it tuté-ru.) The relative clause describes The woman (Tuté), and in that sentence (Oe-l inan puk-it tuté-ru.), the same noun (The woman - Tuté) is NOT the subject OR the direct object. It is the indirect object (the person that you read the book to):
Tuté a oe-l inan puk-it po-e-ru.The woman who I read the book to her.
Oe-l inan puk-it tuté-ru.I read the book to the woman.



Here is another one:
Tsko a oe taron tsa-fa*.
Lit.: Bow that I hunt with it.
A.m.: The bow that I hunt with.


The relative clause (a oe taron tsa-fa) describes The bow (Tsko). ("Which bow?", "The bow that I hunt with.")
Again, notice that the relative clause has a complete sentence: a oe taron tsa-fa.

Ask the question: I hunt with what? The answer: I hunt with the bow. (Oe taron tsko-fa.) The relative clause describes The bow (Tsko), and in that sentence (Oe taron tsko-fa.), the same noun (The bow - Tsko) is NOT the subject OR the direct object. It is part of an adpositional phrase (the thing that you hunt with):
Tsko a oe taron tsa-fa.The bow that I hunt with it.
Oe taron tsko-fa.I hunt with the bow.



That is my understanding of how resumptive pronouns work in relative clauses using a. You need to know the difference between the subject, direct object, indirect object of a sentence, and things like adpositions.

Is that correct?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 07:58:56 am by Kerame Ayyo'koti »
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Offline Plumps

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Re: Resumptive pronouns with the particle a
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 01:21:09 pm »
Yeio’!
Sounds perfectly fine to me! And well-structured with clear examples. :)
Hadn’t heard of resumptive pronouns before so I don’t know if this is maybe offputting to beginners … is there another way to describe them/this?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 01:25:37 pm by Plumps »

Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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Re: Resumptive pronouns with the particle a
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 07:54:44 am »
Wow! I think I'm really getting the hang of this! ;D I feel lots of confidence now. :D

Hadn’t heard of resumptive pronouns before so I don’t know if this is maybe offputting to beginners … is there another way to describe them/this?
I don't know what else we could call them. :-\ But I agree, that kind of jargon might scare off people. I'll change the thread title though.

The term comes from W.S. Annis' grammer:
Quote
For other cases or adpositional phrases, a resumptive pronoun must be used — po for animate heads and tsaw for inanimates.

Maybe we could write a guide that explains this stuff without using jargon words? I'm doing so well that I feel tempted to write a guide myself. :P Of course I need to learn a lot more before I can do that.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:06:17 am by Kerame Ayyo'koti »
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Resumptive pronouns with the particle a
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 08:03:24 am »
Maybe we could write a guide that explains this stuff without using jargon words? I'm doing so well that I feel tempted to write a guide myself. :P Of course I need to learn a lot more before I can do that.
A rework of the Na'vi in a Nutshell is - as far as I know - actually in work by some members. I don't know if they will add this "resumptive pronoun" thing without that jargon words too. (looking at Taronyu Leleioae :))

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Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 08:27:17 am »
A rework of the Na'vi in a Nutshell is - as far as I know - actually in work by some members. I don't know if they will add this "resumptive pronoun" thing without that jargon words too. (looking at Taronyu Leleioae :))
Do you have any links to it? Even if it's a work in progress, I would enjoy a look. :)

I do think we should teach learners to use it, but how much can we teach them without jargon? This is a question I've been wondering. I think they should know what certain things are, like nouns, verbs (and the difference between transitive and intransitive), adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.

But do they need to know what a "relative clause" is? A "resumptive pronoun"? (I don't mind learning these things because I enjoy it; it's like doing a puzzle. :P) Probably not, but it might be good to at least mention the names (in a footnote maybe) in case they want to learn more about them.
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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 08:40:04 am »
I think, there is actually no official link to that work-in-process file, also I'm not sure if you would like to read fourty pages of comments... I don't know the exsact status of that project, because I'm not a part of it. It was discussed what they want to make better, what should be added etc. Taronyu Leleioae can tell more about it.
Anyway, I think, they doing a good job. :)

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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 01:57:27 pm »
I do think we should teach learners to use it, but how much can we teach them without jargon? This is a question I've been wondering. I think they should know what certain things are, like nouns, verbs (and the difference between transitive and intransitive), adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.
I will prepare some guide to simple linguistics terms, which is useful to know, but it takes some time. TBH, I've heard term "resumptive pronouns" first time here, so IMHO it is better to not use it. If anyone has ideas what linguistic terms are suitable for beginners, let me know via PM.
According me, people should know words classes (noun, adjective, verb...) and names of clause elements (subject, object ...). Also a few of other terms, but I'm still thinking about good candidates.
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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 09:52:55 pm »
Yeah, this is all spot on for sure. :D

As for Taronyu Leleioae et al and that project, I see that there has been no edits since October 2013 and no comms since December 2013. The project seems to be at a standstill. If I remember right, the outline of the document was just about finished.

Jargon is not necessary for the learning of Na'vi, but the spread of terms around here seems to have stemmed from the pioneers being linguistically inclined people. It doesn't hurt to learn new things, but if all it does for some people is muddy the waters and make simple concepts challenging to comprehend, then it's wasteful IMO.

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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 02:47:58 am »
/off-topic
As for Taronyu Leleioae et al and that project, I see that there has been no edits since October 2013 and no comms since December 2013. The project seems to be at a standstill. If I remember right, the outline of the document was just about finished.
:( :( :(
I remember me, the plan was to release the reworked version on this spring or summer...

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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2014, 05:48:06 am »
This topic could be merged with the attributive one, couldn’t it? :-\
I find it very useful.

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Re: Pronouns with the particle "a"
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2014, 06:51:50 am »
I'm going to add this stuff too. :) I have to look if I have enough free caracters there...

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