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Paul Frommer      

Linguist & Creator of "Avatar's" Na'vi Language

Paul Frommer is an American communications professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and a linguistics consultant. He is the former vice president, special projects coordinator, strategic planner and writer-researcher at Bentley Industries in Los Angeles, California. From 2005 to 2008, he served as director of the Center for Management Communication at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Interested in astronomy from an early age, he changed his college major from astrophysics to math, graduating from the University of Rochester with a bachelor of arts in mathematics in 1965. He soon taught English and math in Malaysia in the Malay language with the Peace Corps. He had studied languages earlier, but this experience switched his focus to linguistics. He began a doctoral program in linguistics at the University of Southern California (USC). During the program, he taught English in Iran for a year in the mid-1970s and studied Persian. He earned his masters degree and doctorate in linguistics at USC in 1981 under Bernard Comrie; his doctorate was on aspects of Persian syntax and entitled "Post-verbal Phenomena in Colloquial Persian Syntax."

After a search by James Cameron, writer and director of the 2009 film "Avatar," Frommer was chosen to create a language for the Na'vi, the film's fictional alien race of sentient blue catlike inhabitants of the moon Pandora. Cameron had already created several dozen words that he wanted to incorporate into the new language. That gave Frommer "a sense of what kinds of sounds he had in mind." Since the film opened, Frommer has received numerous e-mails from fans with suggestions for expanding the language and websites have grown up devoted to the study and use of the language.

Frommer also created the Barsoomian language for the Disney film "John Carter."


Paul Frommer - Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

Science: Paul Frommer is a linguist who speaks more languages than the U.N.. Secret: Paul is the creator of the Na'vi Language used by the cool blue people in  ...

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