tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 19 16:20:42 1993

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Re: Compound Words & -ghach


>['avrIn says: "chovghach" = "computer program(n)"]

>I don't think chovghach is required.  At one point I was using -ghach
>on almost every other word.  According to 4.2.9 in the addendum to TKD,
>it says that it's unknown if every verb may also be used as a noun, but
>that verbs with suffixes may definitely NOT be used as a noun.  However,
>since "chov" (examination) didn't require any suffixes, -ghach isn't
>necessary.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but that's the way 4.2.9
>seems to read.

As you say yourself, we don't know which verbs may be used as nouns.
However, we _do_ know that -ghach makes a verb into a noun. This makes
adding -ghach the more prudent choice.

>>I don't think there are rules for making arbitrary new compound words,
>>so we have to stick to N-N constructions.

>Well, they're discussed in TKD 3.2.1, and although Okrand doesn't say that
>you can't, he also does not imply in the least that you can't.  I think
>most people would argue that you can.

Who is this "most people"? 

In general, the rule on this mailing list list seems not to have been
"if Okrand doesn't forbid it, go ahead". It is "if Okrand doesn't say
it's legit, don't do it". After all, Okrand doesn't say that "-ngang"
is forbidden as a type 5 noun suffix meaning "with(accompanying)";
we won't use it, even though it would be nice if we had such a suffix.

There was recently a suggestion that "-vI'" be usable as a generic
"reciprocal" suffix, based on "vatlhvI'" "percent" and a supposed
derivation from "vatlh" "hundred". The consensus seems to have been
that while this is an interesting idea, worth forwarding to Okrand, we
don't have enough data to make predictions, so we won't use it.

In a similar vein, the "discussion" in 3.2.1 boils down to "there are some
nouns which are compound nouns". There is no discussion of how to
produce new compounds, or what exactly new compounds would mean once
made. Thus, on the list, we avoid doing so.

Caveat: I am not one of the pabpo'pu' (note that "pabpo'" "grammarian"
from "grammar-expert" was a wildcat compound that probably would not
be made today), so if I am spouting off nonsense I would appreciate
hearing so. 


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