Pxéyvea Sänúmvi

The third lesson builds up on meeting and knowing people. Here we learn why Marali was looking for Mukata.

Tìpängkxotsyìp

Marali: Kaltxî!
Mukata: Kaltxî! Túpe nga lu?
Marali: Óe lu Marali. Ngáru fyape syaw?
Mukata: Oéru syaw Mukata Tipaniyä.
Marali: Tipaniyä srak? Nga zá’u ftu tséngpe?
Mukata: Zá’u óe ftu Tilikaru.
Marali: Zolá’u nìpŕŕte’, ma Mukata. Oél ngáti fwoléw.
Mukata: ‘o’, fŕŕfeien. Tsray leiú lor.
Marali: Nga kä tséngpe?
Mukata: Ne ná’rìng. Oél táron pá’lit.
Marali: Kéhe! Ngal tswolá’ tskot! Oél tsat molúnge ngar!
Mukata: Oîsss! Óe skxawng lolú! Iráyo!
Marali: Kéa tìkín. Éywa ngáhu.
Mukata: Hayálovay.

Marali: Hello!
Mukata: Hello! Who are you?
Marali: I am Marali. How are you called?
Mukata: I am called Mukata of the Tipani.
Marali: Of the Tipani? Where do you come from?
Mukata: I come from Tilikaru.
Marali: Welcome, Mukata. I have been looking for you.
Mukata: Oh, happy to be here. 🙂 The village is beautiful. 🙂
Marali: Where are you going?
Mukata: Up to the forest. I hunt a direhorse.
Marali: No! You forgot your bow! I have brought it to you.
Mukata: Argh! I have been a fool! Thanks!
Marali: No need. Eywa be with you.
Mukata: Till later.

Vocabulary

Pronouns

  • óe: I
    • oél: I (ergative)
    • oét, oéti: me
  • nga: you
    • ngal: you (ergative)
    • ngat, ngáti: you (object)
  • oéng: we both
    • oéngal: we both (erg)
    • oéngat: us both
  • tsat: this, it (object)

Here we learn more endings for the two first pronouns. The -l ending marks the agent of a transitive verb, the person or something who does something on someone or something else; this “someone else” is marked with the ending -t or -ti. As was the case with the -r, -ru of the previous lesson, the choice whether to put the extra vowel is a matter of esthetics (eg. when the next word begins in a consonant, it’s preferrable to use the -ti form). As oéng includes oe + nga, when it receives an ending, the full form is seen: oéngal

Notice again that the stress shifts, and o- should be pronounced as w- in speech (not reflected in writing).

tsat is a demonstrative pronoun and contains the ending -t. It is used as an object of a transitive verb (see it, take it, remember it).

Question words

  • fyápe: how?
  • túpe: who?
  • tséngpe: where?

We learned fyápe in the previous sänúmvi. Here we learn a couple more. Did you notice that all end in -pe? Actually, fya, tu and tseng are roots that produce every kind of correlatives for manner, people and places, respectively. More on them as we progress.

Adpositions

  • ftu: from
  • ne: to

Nouns

  • skxawng: fool
  • tsray: village
  • ná’rìng: forest
  • pá’li: direhorse, a Pandoran animal
  • tsko: bow
  • tìkín: need

The pá’li is not a game animal, but you can expect anything from a hunter who forgets his bow!

The noun tìkín is a derived noun; its etymological root is the verb kin “to need”. There is a plenty of tì- nouns we will meet later.

Verbs

  • fwew: to search
  • : to go
  • kin: to need
  • tswa’: to forget
  • fŕŕfen: to visit
  • múnge: to bring

In the previous lesson we learned a set of verbs that required just the simplest syntax and morphology: oe zá’u “I come”. Now we will discuss another set of verbs that require a somehow more complex syntax, because they describe the action over something else; these are called transitive verbs: to need ”something”, to visit ”something”, to bring ”something”.

In Na’vi, the nouns or pronouns for these verbs require special endings for their two ends: the active end takes the agentive suffix -(ì)l and the receiving end takes the patientive ending -t(i). Thus there is a difference between óe táron “I hunt (in general)” and oél táron ngat “I hunt you”. The endings make Na’vi an inflected language, the meaning is thus independent of word order, unlike English: ngat táron oél still means “I hunt you”, despite the reverse word order (while in English we would have *”you hunt me”).

Whether the verb is transitive or intransitive can sometimes be determined by the meaning (sleeping is, by definition, intransitive; you don’t sleep something, you just sleep) and where you are not sure, they are always marked in the dictionary. This is sometimes necessary because there are some idiomatisms in Na’vi; while in English the verb “call” is transitive (you call something), in Na’vi syaw is intransitive; you just call, and for the rest, you use dative. Now you understand the idiomatic expression oér fko syaw (lit. “they call to me”), instead of *oét.

Endings

  • -(ì)l: agentive ending
  • -ti, -(i)t: patientive ending
  • -r(u), -ur: dative ending

The syntactic significance of the case endings have been discussed in the section for verbs. As is the case of -r, -ru, there is a matter of how a word sounds better, which is mostly straightforward:

  • When the word ends in a vowel, the “short” version of the ending can be used: ngal, ngat, ngar; ngáti and ngáru are also acceptable.
  • When the word ends in a consonant, the buffer vowel is usually required: skxáwngìl, skxáwngit, skxáwngur; however in the case of patientive, skxáwngti would be also acceptable.

Remember that oeng restores its final -a when receiving an ending, and becomes oengal, not *oengìl.

Infixes

  • ‹ol›: perfect marker

We learned the mood marker ‹ei› which is inserted in the second part of the verb. The marker ‹ol› is an aspect marker, indicating a completed action. It is independent of tense; it doesn’t necessarily indicate past, although it usually does.

Unlike ‹ei›, aspect markers are not inserted before the second vowel of the verb root, but before the first vowel of the verb: m‹ol›únge, f‹ol›ŕŕfen (rr is considered a vowel).

In the case of monosyllabic verbs (which have only one vowel), ‹ol› is inserted before that unique vowel, just like ‹ei›: l‹ol›ú. But again, it needs to precede it if they both need to be in the same word: l‹ol›‹ei›ú

Adjectives

  • lor: beautiful
  • yáwne: beloved, lovely

Phrases

  • Nga zá’u ftu tséngpe?: Where do you come from?
  • Zá’u óe ftu _____: I come from _____
  • Zolá’u nìpŕŕte’: Welcome (have come gladly)
  • Fŕŕfeien: Happy to meet
  • Kéa tìkín: You are welcome (no need)
  • _____ yáwne lu oér: I love _____ (is beloved to me)

Exercises

Exercise 1

Rewrite all the verbs from the vocabulary by inserting both the ⟨ol⟩ and the ⟨ei⟩ infixes: E.g. syaw -> sy⟨ol⟩⟨ei⟩áw “I have called 🙂 ”

Exercise 2

Complete the phrase by using the words ne, ftu, vay, hu

  1. Óe zolá’u __ ná’rìng __ pá’li oéyä. Óe kä __ tsray. Fko táron __ txon.
    I came from the forest with my direhorse. I go to the village. People hunt until night.

Rewrite the phrase with the words suffixed to the nouns

Exercise 3

Complete the words with the appropriate case endings, when needed. Remember that Na’vi is liberal in word order, as the function of each word is marked by its case.

  1. The fool is looking for me but I am busy -> Skxawng__ oe__ fwew, slä oe__ ‘ìn.
  2. We both love it -> Oéng__ tsa__ yáwne lu.
  3. Do you love the village? -> Nga__ yáwne lu tsray__ srak?
  4. Do we both know the hunter? -> Táronyu__ smon oéng__ srak?
  5. Mukata calls the direhorse -> Syaw Mukata__ pá’li__.
  6. I need the bow. Please, bring it to me -> Kin oe__ tsko__. Rutxé oe__ múnge tsa__.
  7. Sorry, I forgot it -> Hìtxóa oe__ tswa’ tsa__
  8. Well, we are both equal, but you have hunted a thanator. -> Tse oéng__ teng lu, slä palulukan__ toláron nga__.

Exercise 4

Find the questions and statements for the replies in the following dialogue:

  1. _____ -> Kaltxî
  2. _____? -> Zá’u óe ftu Kelutral
  3. _____? -> Oér syaw Marali
  4. _____ -> Fŕŕfeien
  5. _____ -> Kéa tìkín
  6. _____, ____? -> Óe táronyu lu nìténg

Exercise 5

Study the dialogue until you can translate it in correct Na’vi while lookin only at the English translation.

Exercise 6

Record yourself speaking the dialogue and upload it somewhere!

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