tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Oct 20 14:54:35 1993

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Noun-Noun vs. Compound



>From: cleggp@rpi.edu
>Date: Wed, 20 Oct 93 12:04:24 EDT
>Content-Length: 2535


>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.

This would be a repeat of the letter I just sent out, so I won't make the
points again, but talk about the examples.

>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...

"Earth's worm", to me, is pretty much the same as "Earthworm" would be (if
the latter weren't lexicalized in its own rite).  It's a worm associated
with the earth.

>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.

No, the "possessive connotation" is in your head.  "This room's temperature
is too high".  Do rooms own temperatures?  No, it's the temperature
associated with the room.  Again, we have *two* ways of indicating this in
English, so we make some distinctions (mostly stylistically and
historically) that Klingon, with its single form of genetive, can't do.

>"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.

This is probably the result of a different form of compounding.  It might
be "a word that is a pass" (appositive compounding), or more likely "a word
associated with passing", i.e. a verb-noun compound, something which works
a bit differently.  Neither one would I expect to find in tlhIngan Hol the
same, necessarily, as in English.

>...Paul

~mark



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