Information about the Na'vi Language

Properties of the Na'vi Language

aysyon lì'fyayä leNa'vi

Na'vi was created by USC professor of linguistics Paul Frommer and features a unique blend of linguistic and grammatical properties not shared by any other natural language. It was designed to both sound alien but be speakable by the actors, resulting in a unique blend of sounds and structures that give it its distinct sound.

Grammar Features

Limited Free Word Order

One of the most surprising and difficult things for native English speakers who approach the Na'vi language to grasp is Na'vi sentence structure. Na'vi uses noun cases to indicate the role a noun plays in the narrative of the sentence, which allows speakers more flexibility in sentence structure than a fixed Subject Verb Object (SVO) language like English. The order of Subject, Object and Verb is not constrained, allowing six core structures based on speaker preference.

oel payoangti yomoel yom payoangti
payoangti yom oelpayoangti oel yom
yom oel payoangtiyom payoangti oel

Flexible Word Creation

The Na'vi language is highly modular, with productive affixes that allow speakers to create or adapt a word for specific use based on the context. For example, all adjectives can be shifted into adverbs at any time, even if the resulting adverb may not listed in the dictionary. The created adverb may not always make sense, but the method remains.



The Na'vi language modifies verbs via infixes, morphemes inserted into a verb in predefined locations in order to change the meaning. Na'vi infix structure allows for more specific temporal location of verb action, indication of speaker mood or assessment without the use of tone, as well as other changes to the grammatical properties of a verb.


Further Reading

inan nì'ul

If you want to learn more Na'vi phrases and sayings, we recommend the following resources as additional reading:

by Paul Frommer

Paul's Blog, on which new vocabulary and grammatical information is debuted.

Horen Lì'fyayä LeNa'vi
by wm.annis

The definitive rulebook to Na’vi grammar. Thick on linguistic/grammar terminology but very useful as a reference. Contains all the obscure wisdom.