Na'vi/Adpositions

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Besides case, the role of a noun in a clause may be indicated with an adposition. This may occur either as a preposition before the noun, as in English, or as an suffix at the end of the noun, as in Japanese, a greater degree of freedom than human languages allow. For example, "with you" may be either hu nga or ngahu. When used as suffixes, they are much like the numerous cases found in Hungarian and Finnish.

Attested adpositions[edit | edit source]

Adpositions may be stressed when they occur as prepositions, but not as suffixes, where they have no effect on the stress of the noun.

Adp. Len.    English Example Translation
äo "under" äo Utral Aymokriyä under the Tree of Voices
eo "before (place), in front of" eo ayoeng before us
io "above"
uo "behind"
fa "with", "by means of"  
(instrument)
aylìʼufa ʼeylanä in the words of a friend
fkip "up among"
fpi + "for the sake of"
ftu "from" (direction) Note irregular ftu sat "from that"
hu "with, together with"
(accompaniment)
Eywa ngahu
hu Eywa
Gaia (be) with you
with Eywa
ìlä + "via, along, by"
ka "across"
kip "among" ayngakip among you
kxamlä "through (the middle of)" (kxam "the middle" ìlä "via")[note 1]
lok "close to" lok ʼawkx, ʼawkxlok near the cliff (also a verb, "to approach")
luke "without" lu luke kxu be without harm
maw "after" (in time) maw hìkrr in a moment
+ "in", "on" teʼlan
ʼRrta
fìtrr
in the heart(s)
on Earth
on this day
mìkam "between" ( "in" kxam "the middle")
mungwrr   "except" éyktanmungwrr except the leader
na "like", "as" na ayskxe mì teʼlan
rel na uniltìranyu
like stones in my heart (simile)
a picture as an avatar (form)
ne "to" (direction) terìran ayoe ayngane
tsenge a tsane po karmä
we are walking your way
the place to which she was going
nemfa "into" (from ne mì+fa)
pxaw "around"
pxel "like", "such as" sute pxel nga people such as you
ro + "at" (location) ro fäpa, ro helku at the top, at home
"and" (phrases)[note 2] trrä txonä,
aylìʼut horenti
of day and night,
words and rules
sìn "on", "onto" (?)
sre + "before" (time) sreseʼa prophesize
ta "from" (generic) aungia ta Eywa a sign from Eywa
takip "from among"
tafkip "from up among"
teri "about, concerning" teri lìʼfya leNaʼvi plltxe   talk about the Naʼvi language
vay "up to" (space or time) vay set
vaykrr
up to now, still, (with a negative verb) not yet
until
+ "against" (as in "fight against")

Various locative and temporal adverbs are derived from these: neʼìm "toward the back", nefä "upwards", nekll "downwards"; taʼem "from above";[note 3] mawkrr "after, afterwards"; srekrr "before, beforehand". Note also kä neto "go away (toward the distance)" and tok mìso "be there in the distance", both perhaps based on the particle to "than". Sreseʼa "to prophesize" is literally "to foresee", sre+tseʼa.

There are words besides traditional adpositions that have the same dual preposition/suffix use, such as "and" and pe+, -pe "which?", though the latter case is a dual prefix/suffix (peu, ʼupe "what?"—see Questions), never a preposition.

Though a prefix, the adverbial nì- "-ly" functions as a generic adposition: fyaʼo alaw "in a clear manner". It may be used where no specific adposition is correct; mì fyaʼo, for example, would mean literally "in the way, on the path", not *"in the manner".

Lenition and the ambiguity of short plurals[edit | edit source]

When used as prepositions, certain of these trigger lenition, marked "+" in the table above. One of the leniting prepositions is "in", as in mì sokx "in the body", from tokx "the body". This may cause some ambiguity with short plurals: mì sokx could also be short for mì aysokx "in the bodies". When is used as a suffix, however, the noun is not lenited.

noun preposition + noun noun-suffix
Singular tokx "body" mì sokx "in the body" tokxmì "in the body"
Short plural sokx "bodies" "in the bodies" sokxmì "in the bodies"
Long plural aysokx mì aysokx aysokxmì

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Kxamlä does not cause lenition, though its component ilä does.
  2. Syntactically, is a conjunction, and is used regardless of the presence of true adpositions or case, but it is included here because it may be either preposed or suffixed as the adpositions are.
  3. Perhaps related to the em in emzaʼu "to pass a test, overcome a challenge".


Pronouns · Adjectives

Pronouns · Na'vi · Adjectives