Author Topic: Message From Dr. Frommer  (Read 3426 times)

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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2010, 08:01:08 pm »
IANAL (And I mean L as lawyer this time, not linguist)

But I see two dangerous phrases in this thread.

It is not copyright infringement if they don't sell it
It is not copyright infringement if we don't make money off it

Both of those, to my knowledge, are patently false.  Even if the first were true, it is part of a work which was made for profit; the movie, AND the book which contains information on the language.  For the latter, even if THAT were true, something as simple as putting up advertisements, or asking for donations, or selling t-shirts could be construed as making money off it, even if it only covers costs.
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2010, 08:04:20 pm »
I agree to a point. Right now at such a young phase we really need to leave Frommer to it to let it grow, but languages are not an individual's painting, they need a community to fully grow and flesh out.

English isn't like a painting — Na'vi is.  A well-constructed language is a work of art as much as a painting is.  While to really thrive it of course needs a community of speakers, but issues of new grammar, new vocabulary, etc., must always ultimately rest in the hands of the creator, who knows it better than anyone.

I hope once we have the full, official grammar, people will feel less tempted to meddle in Frommer's creation.
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Offline Barontom

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2010, 08:05:37 pm »
Well you are correct let Dr, Frommer create more language by his own. A committee would not work. On  the other hand it would be good if this site could get an official approval from Dr, Frommer, Fox, etc.

Offline Tìng Eywatikìte'e

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2010, 08:19:38 pm »
Well I fully agree that the grammar should be 100% Frommer's work. I'm more talking about vocab. Once we have a few thousand words the real linguists on this site will be able to make connections between the word bases and hopefully be able to make more words. Of course we should try to get a system set up so that when we make up a word we can relay it to Frommer and get approval before it becomes mainstream.

Now that I'm thinking about it, does anyone know the history of how Klingon became so well developed? It'll be a good base to follow.
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2010, 08:30:47 pm »
Of course we should try to get a system set up so that when we make up a word we can relay it to Frommer and get approval before it becomes mainstream.

That would be a legal nightmare for whoever owns the language.  Say I concoct a word, and somehow it gets official acceptance.  It ends up in a film or a game.  I decide I deserve a cut of the profits.  Instant nightmare and PR mess.

The best we can hope for is for a sensible way for us to petition for new words when we find something missing that cannot reasonably be derived from the vocabulary we already have.  The basic kinds of word derivations (prefixed le-, tì-, etc.) would probably need no official sanction.
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Offline Tìng Eywatikìte'e

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2010, 08:46:05 pm »
Well obviously we would have to sign something that would state we would take no profit from the use of the word. There has to be a way for a language to grow from more then just one person and it eventually will start to grow. Using Klingon as an example again, the language has become stunted. Only the words formed by the creator are considered canon which is fine on the show, but makes it difficult for every day use. The example I found was there is a word for "bridge" on a spaceship but not one for a simple "bridge" that crosses over water.

 If we want to stop that happening in Na'Vi (me being hopefully about this language being used after Frommer's passing) we will need to eventually have a system set up so it can continue in an efficient manner. Remember the goal of Na'Vi; to out Klingon Klingon. We must learn from their mistakes!
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Offline Atoki Atanyä

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2010, 08:48:39 pm »
IANAL (And I mean L as lawyer this time, not linguist)

But I see two dangerous phrases in this thread.

It is not copyright infringement if they don't sell it
It is not copyright infringement if we don't make money off it

Both of those, to my knowledge, are patently false.  Even if the first were true, it is part of a work which was made for profit; the movie, AND the book which contains information on the language.  For the latter, even if THAT were true, something as simple as putting up advertisements, or asking for donations, or selling t-shirts could be construed as making money off it, even if it only covers costs.

Exactly. That's why file sharing remains illegal.

But more on topic, i think that as this is a Language we are speaking of here, certain copyright rules may or may not apply. As for the dialect problem? I think that as Dr. Frommer said to make sure we don't go off tangent, i reckon we have it going in the right direction at the moment. And to be honest, if i were in Dr. Frommer's position (this is just me of course) when i receive the ability to publish, i would SURELY look at the direction the community was going in first, and possibly (if needed) adapt what i had to make it easier on the people devoted to speaking it.

Those are just my two cents though.

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Offline Toruk Makto

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2010, 08:52:50 pm »
I have sent Dr. Frommer a direct question, whether or not we should continue developing the language on our own. I states all the pros and cons of all the sides. Let's hopeI do get a reply and then we will know what exactly we need to do from now on.

There can be only cons to such a scheme.

Do you walk up onto the stage during a concert and take over the place of a musician?  Do you grab a paint brush when you walk into a museum and touch up paintings?  No.

Much less capable people could have been chosen to create the language for the Na'vi.  The very appeal of the language is a measure of Frommer's success.  Language design by committee can only result in a mess.  Let the creator of the language do his job without interference.

 I have to agree here. Impatience can only cause trouble with something as elegant as Na'vi. Mawey! 

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Offline matthewmartin

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2010, 08:55:01 pm »
This ground has been traveled a bit in other constructed language communities.  The Klingon community was threatened with legal action from Paramount, but eventually the Klingon community set up the KLI and got official legal permission to govern the language from Paramount.  Klingon also has some hints about what Na'vi will look like in the future Avatar cartoons, Avatar II, Avatar III, Avatar the TV show, etc (may they all eventually exist).... The successive script for Star Trek writers found the official language to hard to use and oten ignored it, writing scripts with defective grammar and coining new words that violated basic phonotactics.

As for language extension, we have some legal precedent with Loglan v Lojban.  (I am only a lawyer on Pandora).  In that case, the groups argued over the ownership and governance of the language, including legal wrestling. That lead to the birth of Lojban, which is a relex (same language, all new words) of Loglan. Loglan disappeared because it's the community that keeps the language alive, not the copyright holders.

Want to write a complete na'vi grammar and dictionary and sell it? It might be safe if you do a full relex (replace all the words).  Books for sale written in na'vi, dictionaries of na'vi are probably not safe.  Up to now, only Klingon and Loglan have been imagined commercially valuable enough to fight over them in court.  As for derivative works, only Esperanto has a viable market for complete works written in Esperanto (Klingon's Hamlet and Gilgamesh excluded)

This site and other non-commercial fan sites can expect to have the same problems that fan-fic writers have (risk of take down notices), and the same protection that fan-fic writers have (namely, often not even the copyright holder cares)

If you look long enough you can find all sorts of constructed language writers posting fantastic licenses and restrictions, most untested in court, so probably copyright law and license law would apply more than anything.

If there are any Earthly lawyers or lawyers who got their degree from wikipedia, know of any other interesting legal cases, please post.

Offline Maktoyu Palulukanyä

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2010, 08:56:49 pm »
I can talk a little bit about Klingon and its development.  I was active in the Klingon Language Institute when the book "The Klingon Language Dictionary" was the only real Klingon reference out there.  The discussion on the mailing list revolved around how to interpret different types of sentences and sentence constructions.  I remember a VERY prolonged discussion of something called a "double predicate causative" and how that might be rendered in Klingon.  There were a few minor attempts to develop some vocabulary, beyond the formation of compound words (which the dictionary tells us how to form).  Someone looked at the pattern of numbers and tried to back out fractions and decimals.  But for the most part all the vocabulary and grammar DEVELOPMENT were left to Marc Okrand.

Much of the initial work was in translating various things into Klingon.  I too have a copy of Hamlet.  I worked with the Klingon Bible Translation project for a year or so and personally translated several of Aesop's fables.  Once you have sufficient vocabulary these type of projects become possible.  I know Marc Okrand was very much aware of our efforts and I think he read the mailing list also, but I can never remember him contributing DIRECTLY to the list, he always sent things to someone who was well known on the list and they would relay his message to us.

Language is a living thing and a new language will be developing for many years.  Even if Dr. Frommer did publish a 100-200 page grammar and dictionary (about the size of the original Klingon Dictionary) there will still be plenty of development work which can be speculated over for years to come.

Offline Tìng Eywatikìte'e

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2010, 09:02:49 pm »
I can talk a little bit about Klingon and its development.  I was active in the Klingon Language Institute when the book "The Klingon Language Dictionary" was the only real Klingon reference out there.  The discussion on the mailing list revolved around how to interpret different types of sentences and sentence constructions.  I remember a VERY prolonged discussion of something called a "double predicate causative" and how that might be rendered in Klingon.  There were a few minor attempts to develop some vocabulary, beyond the formation of compound words (which the dictionary tells us how to form).  Someone looked at the pattern of numbers and tried to back out fractions and decimals.  But for the most part all the vocabulary and grammar DEVELOPMENT were left to Marc Okrand.

Much of the initial work was in translating various things into Klingon.  I too have a copy of Hamlet.  I worked with the Klingon Bible Translation project for a year or so and personally translated several of Aesop's fables.  Once you have sufficient vocabulary these type of projects become possible.  I know Marc Okrand was very much aware of our efforts and I think he read the mailing list also, but I can never remember him contributing DIRECTLY to the list, he always sent things to someone who was well known on the list and they would relay his message to us.

Language is a living thing and a new language will be developing for many years.  Even if Dr. Frommer did publish a 100-200 page grammar and dictionary (about the size of the original Klingon Dictionary) there will still be plenty of development work which can be speculated over for years to come.

Exactly, language is living and will eventual move and change and having to tight of controls will see make it stagnant. For now I want all the power to be in Frommer's hands, but we should start thinking of a system that will allow us to communicate with him and get some practice with creating the language ourselves for the eventual day when Frommer is no longer there to watch over it. Better to be prepared and have a system set up early so the people apart of it will be experts.
Oeri lu Eywayä 'eveng


Offline Beduino

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2010, 12:03:18 pm »
We’ve already begun thinking about that, and I hope that some official form of “Learn Na’vi! will soon be available to the public.


Apart from everything you guys are discussing, I just loved this part  :D
tsun ngal tslam fì'uti srak?

Offline Tanhì'itan

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2010, 01:44:21 pm »
We’ve already begun thinking about that, and I hope that some official form of “Learn Na’vi! will soon be available to the public.


Apart from everything you guys are discussing, I just loved this part  :D

Never really noticed that, it's really cool, almost like an indirect adoption of learnnavi.org.



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*Loves the Sea Clan Leader from movie.

Offline Motxokxen

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2010, 02:00:28 pm »
We’ve already begun thinking about that, and I hope that some official form of “Learn Na’vi! will soon be available to the public.


Apart from everything you guys are discussing, I just loved this part  :D

Never really noticed that, it's really cool, almost like an indirect adoption of learnnavi.org.

well i suppose since this is the largest community dedicated to the language that he would have notices.

it did make me smile too. =)

Offline Tanhì'itan

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2010, 02:06:48 pm »
We’ve already begun thinking about that, and I hope that some official form of “Learn Na’vi! will soon be available to the public.


Apart from everything you guys are discussing, I just loved this part  :D

Never really noticed that, it's really cool, almost like an indirect adoption of learnnavi.org.

well i suppose since this is the largest community dedicated to the language that he would have notices.

it did make me smile too. =)

It would be totally cool if Dr.Frommer was a user here on the down-low.



Ikran Tribe

Ma Tsmuke: Tanhì'ite
*Loves the Sea Clan Leader from movie.

Offline Tìng Eywatikìte'e

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2010, 02:51:18 pm »
Well I'm sure by now he's popped his head in and lurked a bit. I know if I spent four years of my life dedicated to a language and it became so popular so quick I would want to watch!
Oeri lu Eywayä 'eveng


Offline Beduino

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2010, 02:54:55 pm »
Well I'm sure by now he's popped his head in and lurked a bit. I know if I spent four years of my life dedicated to a language and it became so popular so quick I would want to watch!

Are you Frommer?  ???
Suspicious..
tsun ngal tslam fì'uti srak?

Offline Kip Pizayu

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2010, 03:30:09 pm »
I reckon the best thing is now is just to wait it out until we get contact with Frommer. Just be patient. Become a master of what we know for certain as of know and then go from there.
Kip Pizayu - Among an Ancestor

Offline Tìng Eywatikìte'e

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2010, 03:36:55 pm »
Well I'm sure by now he's popped his head in and lurked a bit. I know if I spent four years of my life dedicated to a language and it became so popular so quick I would want to watch!

Are you Frommer?  ???
Suspicious..

*sigh* no, I wish I could create a language this beautiful. One day, one day.
Oeri lu Eywayä 'eveng


Offline Tanhì'itan

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Re: Message From Dr. Frommer
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2010, 04:00:26 pm »

*sigh* no, I wish I could create a language this beautiful. One day, one day.

That's exactly what a on-the-down-low Dr.Frommer would say.  :P




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*Loves the Sea Clan Leader from movie.

 

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