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News and Notes on the Na'vi Language (As Seen and Heard in the Hit Film, "Avatar")

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On our show today, we have a chat with Dr. Paul Frommer of the University of Southern California. A linguistics scholar by training, Dr. Frommer is the creator of the language known as Na'vi, which figures prominently in the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster movie, "Avatar" (and which remains popular among "Avatar" fans at various websites). In an event presented by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, Dr. Frommer will offer a free-to-the-public talk this evening (Thursday the 7th) at 7pm at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. As he tells us on today's program, his work on "Avatar" began soon after director James Cameron circulated an e-mail throughout the USC academic community saying that he hoped to employ an entirely new language for his latest film project. As Dr. Frommer points out, the supreme example of this sort of thing --- at least when it comes to American popular culture --- is the duly constructed "alien" language spoken by the Klingons in the many "Star Trek" films and TV series. Dr. Frommer's address tonight is called "'Avatar' and the Culture of Language." (For more about tonight's event at Philbrook, please visit http://www.okhumanitiescouncil.org/oklahoma-conversation-in-the-humanities.)