tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Oct 20 09:04:51 1993

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing



[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Noun-Noun vs. Compound



>From: (Mark E. Shoulson) shoulson@ctr.columbia.edu
>Date: Wed, 20 Oct 93 10:59:21 -0400
>Subject: Punctuation revisited
>
>>From: Will Martin <whm2m@uva.pcmail.virginia.edu>
>>Date: Wed, 20 Oct 93 09:47:29 EDT
>
>Yes, though the situation apparently isn't so clear as it seems.  There are
>several places in which the noun-noun construction is said to be, and
>written as, one word.  Rokeg blood pie is "ro'qegh'Iwchab", starbase is
>"'ejyo'waw'", etc.  These might be exceptional, but for some reason I feel
>that the distinction between noun-noun constructions and compound words is
>pretty blurry.
>
>As to the spaces, this really comes down to the same problem of "what is
>pIqaD?"  To what extent does our orthography reflect the "real" Klingon
>writing system?  We still don't know whether it's written up-down, down-up,
>left-right, right-left, or all directions at once!  Don't hassle me about
>blanks.  Just as we go easy on ourselves (or Okrand goes easy on us) by
>writing the transcription in Roman characters from left to right, we (and
>he) go easy on us by putting in spaces.

I think it's actually pretty clear-cut.  The noun-noun (as opposed to "
compound noun") is like a form of direct possessive or something.  Like
it says in TKD, A-B fits the "B of the A" or "A's B".  Whereas a compound
noun is the combination of two other words.

The difference is slight for some cases, dramatic for others.  Let's take
an English example:  Earthworm (which was used as the example in the Compound
Noun section of TKD).

"Earth""worm" indicates a worm that has a close relation to the earth.
If we were to use the noun-noun construction (ie. "Earth Worm", just because
I don't want to look up the Klingon translation), then it should theoretically
xlate to "Earth's worm" which is a slight difference.  Let's look at jolpa',
or transporter room...

jol is "transport beam', and pa' is "room".

jolpa' is "transporter room"
jol pa' is "transporter's room"  again slight, but there is the possessive
connotation which is exactly wrong; the transport beam doesn't "own" a room;
we are talking about a room where the transporter is kept.  Almost like
pa' jol "the room's transporter", but then the object of the phrase as been
moved to "pa'" which is wrong.

"Password" is a good English example of how this would differ.  Pass word is
not "the word's pass"; and it's not even "the pass' word", really.

...Paul


PS>  If this is a little convoluted, sorry; I just got back from Basketball
and have no blood left in my brain...



Back to archive top level