Lesson 4 - Lenition, Or "Softening Words". - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:05 PM
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Default Lesson 4 - Lenition, Or "Softening Words".

In this lesson you will learn some very important things.

Lenition
Lenition is "making a letter softer".
Some prefixes cause lenition, which makes the word easier to pronounce.
You may think this is just made to make your life more miserable. But you will learn that this actually makes things much more simplier.

But what does it mean that a prefix causes lenition?
Here's a very simple example:
ay+ (prefix standing for "quantinity" - explained in further lessons ; the + sign tells us that this prefix causes lenition (normal prefixes have a '-' sign))
(plural prefix - the quantinity is great, we cannot specify an exact number - stands for "many")

Let's take a word Tsmukan - brother.
With ay+ prefix we can create a word "brothers" (as in "more than one brother, not sure how many thou").

aytsmukan is a wrong example of using the prefix, since we did not do the lenition of the root word. (Yes, Eltu did that like twice in his "news" posts on these forums )
aysmukan is the right word

Where did the "t" go?
ts has been transformed to s due to lenition.
Again, do not freak out. This is a good thing! Try to say "aysmukan", and them "aytsmukan". Which sounds better? (remember about the right pronouncing)

So what's lenition anyway?
Lenition affects a letter (or two) in a word, changing them to another letter.
Which letter does it affect? In the example above (with ay+) it affects the left side.
Since ay+ is a prefix (ay-WORD) we put it before the word (a suffix would be +ay, an infix would be <ay>).
So:

tsmukan (brother)
ay+tsmukan - before lenition
aysmukan - after lenition, ready word (brothers)

tsmukan-ru - before lenition
tsmukanru - after lenition, ready word (to my brother - explained in later lessons)
There is no last-letter change here, because "n" isn't lenitiated.


How do I know what letters should get lenitated?
There is a really simple table-thing you'll have to memorise:

px, kx, tx -> p, k, t
p, t/ts, k -> f, s, h
' -> (letter removed - those "letters" occur in some Na'vi words)

Basicaly if there's a px tx or kx on the side where the prefix is added - change the end from pk/tx/kx to p/t/k (remove the x).
The most important lenition rules are "p -> f, t/ts -> s". Without them you shouldn't go any further.

Hope this lesson was explained good enough.
Planned to cover "how many?" subject here... but this is enough for one lesson

tsmukan -> aysmukan (brother -> brothers)
tsmukan -> ay+tsmukan (+ marks lenition!)

Quick-link To Lesson 5- Lesson 5 - Nouns: Number.
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Last edited by Mune; 07-28-2010 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Adding In Quicklink To Number 5.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:37 PM
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Just wanna add that 4+ plural is really better to say without ay+ in words that need lenition...
Tsmukan - smukan (brother - brothers)
Palulukan - falulukan (thanator - thanators)
Tukru - sukru (spear - spears) ... and so on...
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:23 PM
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Yup, but if you use "ay+" it's just easier to recognise the plurarity
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(Avatar) [...] It woke up something that had been asleep for a long time. As a child, when you first paid any attention to a butterfly, or a flower, or bird, you had certain feelings growing inside you, seeing the beauty of life for the first time. As we grew, it became something we saw every day and began to ignore the feeling of awe we had as a child.[...]
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:30 PM
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Well this may be where I hit a wall that table has me confused, are the bold letters what get removed ? Or is it the thin letters that are being removed ?
Also I have trouble seeing the difference between ts, and s since I say "send and city" the same way in terms of the s sound, oh well I am def. a skxawng lol.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:11 AM
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Ok this is a majorly old thread and a couple things in here I see aren't quite right (like tsmukanru, "lenitated", the fact that adding suffixes on the end has nothing to do with lenition). But at the time I guess we didn't really know.

check out this post on a Na'vi Beginners Lesson blog I write over at http://tirea.learnnavi.org

And no, I don't believe you are a skxawng!

Send and city? of course those are the s sound. The ts is literally a t and s at the same time. It's like the hi-hat noise when beatboxing, or the sound at the end of the word pants, cats, and bits, etc. In Na'vi, that ts sound can come at the beginning of a word unlike in English where it mostly comes at the end. S of course is the same in pretty much every language.
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Last edited by TireaAean; 08-28-2013 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:57 AM
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Thank you for all of your help, had some "wutso" so now I am going to start reading again . OK, I knew it was supposed to be different, but on the Learn Na'vi page it had "send" as the English example for "ts" , once again, Irayo for the explanation
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:07 AM
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ehh?? I'll go change that! send is a horrible example of ts! :O

EDIT: There we go! Phonetics page updated, with much better examples all around. Also, those are just best approximates (for mostly the vowels and a few consonants anyway) as it changes depending on where you're from.

Thanks so much for pointing this out!
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Last edited by TireaAean; 08-28-2013 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:28 AM
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No problem I thought it was me not getting something
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:30 AM
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Nope, it was whoever originally wrote that page not getting something Yay for making the site better and more accurate!
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:32 AM
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I can say I accomplished something today!!! well time do do some reading
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:35 AM
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yep! Alrighty then. Seeya around.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:35 AM
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Okay before I call it a night I am going to try something...
Oel yamom wutsoti

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Old 08-28-2013, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind12 View Post
Okay before I call it a night I am going to try something...
Oel yamom wutsoti

Txantsan!

Looks perfectly good to me.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:29 AM
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Irayo !!
Okay I am going to try this

Oeru Lu merina'
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind12 View Post
Irayo !!
Okay I am going to try this

Oeru Lu merina'
"I have two seeds."

Perfect!
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