| Some Miscellaneous Vocabulary
| Release date
|| May 25, 2011
| Link: 1
Here's the next vocabulary installment, making heavy use of the excellent proposals of the Vocabulary Committee. (Most of the examples and much of the discussion below is taken, with only light editing, from their submissions.)
- may' (vtr.) ‘try, sample, evaluate, check out, test-drive'
[I was impressed with the detailed explanation of this verb provided by the Committee, so the following discussion is theirs, virtually verbatim.]
The verb may' is used to mean ‘try, taste, sniff, glance'—basically, to quickly or briefly sample something, for any of the senses. [The “Senses Paradigm” is coming in a future post.]
In addition, may' extends beyond the sensory meaning to also include ‘check out, sample, evaluate, try on, test-drive.' One could may` a new bow, an article of clothing, an unfamiliar pa'li, a just-learned dance move . . . In general, it can be used for English ‘try' when it's not a synonym for ‘attempt.' The admonition Mivay' or May' ko conveys the notion of “Give it a try!” or “Have a go!”
Also, may` can be used modally, but how it differs from fmi in this usage requires a little explanation. Fmi specifically means ‘attempt,' so you're trying to perform the action in question. May' refers more to trying/sampling the experience of that action. Compare these two sentences in English:
- A. I tried to go to the doctor.
- B. I tried going to the doctor.
A suggests you attempted to go to the doctor, but something kept you from succeeding—you got lost, there was traffic, etc.
- I tried to go to the doctor [but I couldn't find her office].
B suggests you did go to the doctor, but it didn't help with whatever you were trying to accomplish.
I tried going to the doctor [but she doesn't know what's wrong with me].
So compare these two sentences in Na'vi:
Win and lose
- yora' (vtr., yo.RA' – inf. 1,2) ‘win'
Note: Don't confuse tatep and snaytx. They both mean ‘lose,' but tatep is lose in the sense of ‘have no longer.'
- 'otxang (n.: 'o.TXANG) ‘musical instrument (generic term)'
For the general idea of ‘play an instrument,' we just use pamtseo si fa 'otxang:
- sloan (vtr., slo.AN – inf. 1,2) ‘pour'
- emrey (vin., em.REY – inf. 2,2) ‘survive (a life-threatening episode)'
- temrey (n.) ‘survival (in the face of danger)'
- lemrey (adj.) ‘surviving (e.g. of entities from a group some of whom have died)'
- nemrey (adv.) ‘in a fashion as if one's life were at stake'
(If you don't know what a tapirus is, take a look at this.)
- The genitive of nouns ending in –ia is just –iä: soaia, Gen. soaiä.
Note that nemrey can be an expression all by itself:
- wawe (n., wa.WE) ‘meaning, importance, significance'
Both ral and wawe mean ‘meaning,' but they're different. Ral refers to meaning in the logical or literal sense:
Wawe, on the other hand, refers to meaning or significance more related to an emotional state:
- txanwawe (adj., txan.wa.WE) ‘personally meaningful, significant'
- nìwawe (adv.) ‘meaningfully, significantly'
- keyrel (n., KEY.rel) ‘facial expression'
Nìfrakrr ma oeyä eylan, txo kxeyeyti ayngal tsive'a, rutxe oru piveng!