tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Oct 07 14:26:11 1993

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Re: mI'QeD ngerwIj gholpu'vaD jIjatlh

For the record, I would just like to officially come out opposed to "-vI"qoq.
Certainly I acknowledge the need to do something fractional, and -vI' *might*
prove to be it.  But it really is based on *way* too little evidence.
Suppose I were learning English for the first time and stumbled on the word
"percent".  I might well recognize 'cent' as meaning 100 (as in centigrade,
centimeter, or the US currency cent).  Could I conclude that therefore I could
make any reciprocal by sticking per- on front of the number?  So perfour == 1/4?
It just doesn't work.  Ok, the analogy limps a little because cent is not
the usual word for 100, but still.  Indeed, I *think* percent is also the French
word for percent, in which case the analogy works 100%, since cent is indeed
the word for 100.  I'm fairly clear the French do not make fractions by saying
pertrois for 1/3, etc.  In short, one example does not a rule make.  We would
need some kind of evidence that -vI' is indeed a suffix, a separate morpheme
unto itself, not just a syllable.  I think a re-reading of 3.2.3 (p. 20) is
in order.

So the other two takes would be to either pretend it's legit (be it
in a wide or narrow scope, such as only-on-this-list or whatever) or
try to get Okrand to sanction it.  Obviously I am opposed to any
made-up stuff and won't go into that again here.  As far as getting
Okrand to sanction it, I think it better not to try to tell Okrand
how to do his language.  It's one thing to try to put into channels a stated
need, as in "We need a way to express fractions."  It's entirely different to
try to tell him what the solution should be, as in "and it ought to be a
suffix, such as -vI', that goes on number words".  Maybe, maybe not.  Maybe
it should be a separate word.  Maybe he'll pull a *real* turn-about on us and
it'll be a prefix.  But I think that it's only polite to let *him* decide what
it should be-- and I suspect that not dictating to him will make him more likely
to want to provide us with stuff in general.  But all this is just one man's
opinion.  Perhaps Lawrence, who has had far more direct conversation with Dr.
Okrand than, I suspect, any of us, can shed some more light on this (or even
tell me I've got my head up my ass {{:-)  I certainly would be
delighted to have needs presented to the esteemed pabpo''a' in any
format that suits him.  {{:-)

        --Captain Krankor

          (of the famous ensemble "Krankor and the Krankettes")

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