Lesson 8 - Nouns: Case - Subject and Object. - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:42 PM
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Default Lesson 8 - Nouns: Case - Subject and Object.

Let's make a simple sentence "brother eats a person" (not too clever, also sounds a bit strange, but for now we can't make a good sounding sentence)
tsmuk-an yom tute
"Sibling"-MALE "eat" "person"
tsmukan yom tute
Why is it red? It's kinda wrong.
I mean, it's just "brother eat person". What could it mean...
A brother eats a person
A brother is being eaten by a person
etc.
We have to mark the nouns with prefixes, to show what noun is doing what in the sentence.

In this lesson we will mark subject and object - who is doing what to what
In other words: Ergative-Accusative case

As the Wikibooks suggest, we can use an agent-object-verb construction in the sentences.

Agent does *verb* to object

Now let's get to know some suffixes.
Agent - who - is a noun with the ergative case
verb - is not affected by any suffixes
object - to who - is a noun with the accusative case

Sorry for all the linquistic terms, it's neccessary for this suffix table:

Ergative: -ėl , -l
Accusative: -it, -ti, -t

Ok, let's make the sentence now.

Brother eats a person
Tsmuk-an-ėl yom tute-ti
Tsmukanėl yom tuteti

Yay, our first sentence, eh?
Now, let's study what just happened.

Tsmuk-an-ėl
Why did we use -ėl when we have -l in the table?
As you might have noticed I've underlined some suffixes in the table above. Those are the "full version" suffixes. Those should be used every time you can use them.
You can choose whatever suffix you want. The created word should sound rythmicaly thou. - so avoid situations where you have two consonants next to each other like "bp".
I've chosen -ti for tute, because it sounds better than tutet or tutei.

Now let's examine the "real life example".

Oel ngati Kameie
Oe-l nga-ti Kameie (partial analysis)
I you See (I See you)

In the sentence above the ACC-ERG case is clearly visible. Try to define who is the agent (who does), who is the object (does to what), and what the verb (does what) is. Pretty easy eh?

Important note - noun templates
I didn't want to mention this earlier, but it is somewhat important...
The noun template tells us how we insert the suffixes to a noun. In tsmuk-an-ėl you could also just put tsmuk-ėl-an why didn't I?

Noun template: Number+WORD-Gender-Case (+ marks lenition)

We already know how to define the number, the gender, what is the case part?
Case is the part that defines what's the noun's role in the sentence (what does it represent). For example you can say "me", but with case changed you can say "mine".
There are many cases for nouns. All of them will be explained in the lessons.

Hope this wasn't too chaotic... Just remember the sentence "Oe-l nga-ti Kameie".
-l marks you
-ti marks the other person
that's the whole point

In the first lesson I've mentioned the flexibility of the Na'vi language.
A few lines above I've writted agent-verb-object method, right? (or AVO)
Let's try to move around the words in a sentence.

Kameie ngati oel
Kameie nga-ti oe-l
See you I (I See you)

With the suffixes we can easily recognise the agent, the object, and the verb. Here, we've used a VOA construction (verb-object-agent). Try to make other variations of that.
With the nouns marked we can easily get the message that someone want's to give us, regardless of the position of words.

New words:
yom - eat

Quick-link To Lesson 9- Lesson 9 - Nouns: Case - Genitive.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:46 PM
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I love your lessons Walas
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:29 PM
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Yea, this is really a good one. well explained and simple
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