Paul Frommer created the Na’Vi language for the film Avatar

If you follow this blog, you will know that I love conlangs! I love hearing people talking about conlang and how they created them. Paul Frommer is a linguist who was hired to created a language for the movie Avatar. The language would be spoken by the tall blue skinned people of the planet Pandora.

The language now has a large following online with many people learning it, teaching it and speaking it. It has some consonant which are unusual to those who have only heard European languages. These unusual sounds are called ejectives. They are small puffs of sound that are made before the sound of the consonant. English doesn’t have ejectives, but some Native American, Caucasian and North African languages do. Na’Vi has 4 ejectives, (p’, t’ and k’).

Na’Vi has a free word order, which means words that have a strict position in the sentence and can be placed whereever the writer wants because prefixes or suffixes define the role the word has in the sentence. It also has a special feature called a dual which is not found in many world languages. It is a special form used when referring to just two of something. For something that is three or more, the plural marker is used.

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