Kaltxì ayngaru, ma eylan! As May comes to a close, here’s some new vocabulary I hope you’ll find useful. Aysämokìri atxantsan, oeyä aymowarsiyuru [see below!] irayo nìtxan!
mowar (n., mo.WAR) ‘advice, bit or piece of advice’
Ma Neytiri, ayoel kin mowarit ngeyä. Nga tsun ayoer srung sivi srak?
‘Neytiri, we need your advice. Can you help us?’
mowar si (vin.) ‘advise’
Tsun oe mowar sivi ngar, slä ke tsun fyawivìntxu.
‘I can advise you, but I can’t guide you.’
As with ätxäle si, ‘request’, we use tsnì with mowar si to introduce a subordinate clause—that is, ‘advise X to do Y.’
Poe mowar soli poanur tsnì hivum.
‘She advised him to leave.’
mowarsiyu (n., mo.WAR.si.yu) ‘advisor’
Lu fraeyktanur asìltsan txantslusama aymowarsiyu.
‘Every good leader has wise advisors.’
kakpam (adj., kak.PAM) ‘deaf’
Kakpam is built on the same pattern as kakrel, ‘blind.’
Hìkrro mefo kakpam larmu mawkrra pxolor kunsìp.
‘The two of them were deaf for a short time after the gunship exploded.’
tìkakrel (n., tì.kak.REL) ‘blindness’
tìkakpam (n., tì.kak.PAM) ‘deafness’
Pori tìkakrel tìkakpamsì kum tsamä lu.
‘His blindness and deafness are a result of the war.’
pxek (vtr.) ‘kick, shove’
Yerikìl nantangit pxolek fte hivifwo.
‘The hexapede kicked the viperwolf in order to flee.’
Note that pxek by itself covers both ‘kick’ and ‘shove.’ If you need to distinguish between these, add pxunfa ‘with the arm’ or kinamfa ‘with the leg.’
Po pxunfa pxek tsakrr mefo zup nekll!
‘He shoved the two of them and they fell down.’
(More literally: ‘He shoved, and the two of them fell down.’ Remember that if tense and aspect will be clear from the context—which is the assumption here, since it’s presumably part of a narrative—the verbs can simply be in their root forms, without infixes.)
kolan (conv., ko.LAN) ‘I mean, rather (self-correction)’
As with tolel, rolun, and tslolam, the -ol- form of kan ‘aim, intend’ takes on a special conversational meaning. Kolan is used when you need to correct yourself. It tells the listener, ‘My intention was not to say X but rather Y.’
Oeri tsyokx tìsraw si . . . kolan zekwä.
My hand hurts—I mean, my finger.
Fo kolä tsatseng fte tivaron yeri . . . ìì . . . kolan talioangit.
‘They went there to hunt hexa. . . um . . . I mean sturmbeast.’
hena (vtr., HE.na—inf. 1, 2) ‘carry’
Rutxe hivena fìepxangit fpi oe. Oeri skiena tsyokx lu leskxir.
‘Please carry this stone jar for me. My right hand is wounded.’
sähena (n., sä.HE.na) ‘container, vessel, carrier’
This is a general term for any object that can be used as a container or tool to carry something.
Ayfol zamolunge awngar ayrina’it fa sähena apxa.
‘They brought us the seeds in a large container.’
Sähena can also be used as a suffix, in which case it contracts to –sena. X-sena is an object that specifically carries or contains X. This suffix is not productive—that is, in general you’re not free to coin your own –sena words; you have to find them in the lexicon.
paysena (n., PAY.se.na) ‘water container’
Tsngal lu fnepaysena.
‘A cup is a type of water container.’
tutsena (n., TUT.se.na) ‘stretcher’
Tutsena is obviously derived from tute+sena, a ‘people-carrier.’ This is the device with which the unconscious Grace is carried to the Tree of Souls in the movie.
tstalsena (n., TSTAL.se.na) ‘knife sheath’
swizawsena (n., swi.ZAW.se.na) ‘quiver (attached to the ikran’s saddle)
In casual conversation, swizawsena is usually contracted to zawsena.
A word about AvatarMeet 2014
As I’m sure you know, this year’s AvatarMeet is taking place right here in my hometown of Los Angeles. Needless to say, I’ll be there! I hope those of you who are able to attend are as excited as I am. And for those who can’t make it, your aysirea will doubtless be with us.
As in past years, I’ll be teaching a Na’vi class—we’re up to Na’vi 103 now—that will be videotaped through the skill and generosity of our videotech team, Alan Taylor and Mikko Wilson. I’m very pleased that several of our aysulfätu lì’fyayä will be joining me as co-instructors.
We’re working on the content of the class right now. Naturally I have some thoughts about what grammatical points and conversational situations to concentrate on this time, but if you have any feelings along those lines—or if you have any other suggestions about the class—I’d love to hear your ideas! Let me know either in a blog comment or a personal email.
Happy June, everyone. Hayalovay!