Author Topic: How do you say "were/was"?  (Read 853 times)

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Offline Txantstew

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How do you say "were/was"?
« on: December 05, 2010, 05:30:20 pm »
Call me stupid, but I've scaled the internet and my dictionary and can't find a thing.
How do you say were or was?
Thanks =]

Offline wm.annis

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 05:36:42 pm »
Call me stupid, but I've scaled the internet and my dictionary and can't find a thing.
How do you say were or was?

How exactly are you using it?  Without more information, I'd say that was and were are the past tense of the verb to be, lu.  Na'vi has two pasts, a near past and a general past.  Like so many other changes to the Na'vi verb, these tense changes are marked with infixes — marking that goes inside the verb.  The near past is l‹ìm›u, the general l‹am›u (the brackets around the infixes are just there to make them clear, they aren't usually used in writing, lìmu, lamu).
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
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Offline Txantstew

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 05:41:11 pm »
thank you! that really helps.

Offline Kemaweyan

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 05:52:28 pm »
How do you say were or was?

But please note that you should not translate all the words. As wm.annis says, translate the meaning, not the words! For example, a simple english sentence: I was flying. If you translate the words, it would be Oe lamu tswerayon, but it's incorrect. The meaning of this sentence is "I was in the process of flying" and for this meaning ("I was in the process") we have other infix -arm- (from -am- and -er-). So this sentence in Na'vi will be Oe tswarmayon ;)
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 03:42:53 pm »
How do you say were or was?

But please note that you should not translate all the words. As wm.annis says, translate the meaning, not the words! For example, a simple english sentence: I was flying. If you translate the words, it would be Oe lamu tswerayon, but it's incorrect. The meaning of this sentence is "I was in the process of flying" and for this meaning ("I was in the process") we have other infix -arm- (from -am- and -er-). So this sentence in Na'vi will be Oe tswarmayon ;)

If you were saying 'I was flying' in the context of something like 'As I was flying, I happened to look up and I see a leonopteryx', the above makes sense. But would this be the case if you were saying 'I was flying', and meant 'I had been flying', like in 'The other day, I was flying when it was very windy'? Wouldn't that be Oe tsw<alm>ayon, or simply Oe tswolayon?

The 'take home' message here, Txantstew, is that the verb lu is generally overused, and correct 'Na`vi' often does not translate to 'correct English'. This is a 'hangup' that trips me up frequently. But the sense of when to use lu comes with time.

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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 04:36:49 pm »
How do you say were or was?

But please note that you should not translate all the words. As wm.annis says, translate the meaning, not the words! For example, a simple english sentence: I was flying. If you translate the words, it would be Oe lamu tswerayon, but it's incorrect. The meaning of this sentence is "I was in the process of flying" and for this meaning ("I was in the process") we have other infix -arm- (from -am- and -er-). So this sentence in Na'vi will be Oe tswarmayon ;)

If you were saying 'I was flying' in the context of something like 'As I was flying, I happened to look up and I see a leonopteryx', the above makes sense. But would this be the case if you were saying 'I was flying', and meant 'I had been flying', like in 'The other day, I was flying when it was very windy'? Wouldn't that be Oe tsw<alm>ayon, or simply Oe tswolayon?

With the exception of maybe "I had been flying" you wouldn't use <ol> (or a variant thereof) as the subordinate clause you're introducing implies internal structure which would be semantically inconsistent with a perfective.
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 09:27:08 pm »

If you were saying 'I was flying' in the context of something like 'As I was flying, I happened to look up and I see a leonopteryx', the above makes sense. But would this be the case if you were saying 'I was flying', and meant 'I had been flying', like in 'The other day, I was flying when it was very windy'? Wouldn't that be Oe tsw<alm>ayon, or simply Oe tswolayon?

With the exception of maybe "I had been flying" you wouldn't use <ol> (or a variant thereof) as the subordinate clause you're introducing implies internal structure which would be semantically inconsistent with a perfective.

So in the case of the second example sentence, the use of <ol> isn't enough to say in effect 'I was flying, but now I am done'? It seems just a bit illogical to imply you have been flying your ikran for days. I bet they need periodic rest a lot more than that. So, prefacing 'the other day' and then use <ol> should be enough to clearly establish the perfective.

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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2010, 09:51:50 pm »
For "The other day, I was flying when it was very windy" I see no problem with ol for flying....

As a very rough translation (Ignoring the idiomatic "The other day"...)

Lamu hufwe atxan a krr, oe tswolayon
When there was much wind, I was flying

Here, flying is still a single event (Hence ol), that occurred when there was much wind.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 01:36:36 am »
For "The other day, I was flying when it was very windy" I see no problem with ol for flying....

As a very rough translation (Ignoring the idiomatic "The other day"...)

Lamu hufwe atxan a krr, oe tswolayon
When there was much wind, I was flying

Here, flying is still a single event (Hence ol), that occurred when there was much wind.

Hmm...  I'm more inclined to do it this way:

Larmu hufwe atxan a krr, oe tswamayon, as in this case i feel the imperfective of the windiness is important, whereas the perfective/imperfective status of the flying is less so.  In fact, i might even drop the <am> out of there, since the previous verb establishes this as taking place in the past.
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: How do you say "were/was"?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 01:42:51 am »
For "The other day, I was flying when it was very windy" I see no problem with ol for flying....

As a very rough translation (Ignoring the idiomatic "The other day"...)

Lamu hufwe atxan a krr, oe tswolayon
When there was much wind, I was flying

Here, flying is still a single event (Hence ol), that occurred when there was much wind.

Whilst it is the same event you're describing, I'd say that your sentence would be better translated into English as "it was windy when I flew". If the action something happened whilst I was verbing then there must be an internal structure to that event in order to allow the other event to take place "inside" it. That doesn't quite mean that you could never use a perfective with a krr a clause, but it does mean that it will normally make more sense unmarked or with <er>.
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