skxawng, you moron! Or is it skxaung?

December 16, 2009 § Leave a comment

So, a new artificial language makes its way to the front of the stage. James Hamilton’s new blockbuster movie, Avatar has a language for the linguistics-sci-fi crossover crowd. This one, called Na’vi was created by Paul Frommer from the Unversity of Southern California,

Because linguistics is so glamorous, even Vanity Fair wanted to interview him. You can read it here. It is particularly interesting to see the quip about the Klingon language and the Klingon Language Institute. Citing it as a benchmark in artificial language construction, he is aiming for that kind of success. I’m expecting to find a link to a Na’vi language wiki any day now.
Incidentally, this part of the interview made me cringe.

How many languages do you speak fluently?

One. But I have various competencies in other languages. Probably Persian is my best, although it’s a little rusty at this point. I was in Iran in the mid ’70s, so it was a long time ago.

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that one … my answer is similar … One. Gibberish.

Here’s an interview with Frommer from Radio New Zealand in which he does a good job teaching the ejectives.


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