tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Mar 04 11:26:05 1994
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- From: d'Armond Speers <[email protected]>
- Subject: Noun-Noun stuff
- Date: Fri, 04 Mar 1994 13:19:00 -0500 (EST)
Regarding the noun-noun construction:
Since there's been such discussion on this topic, I decided to
go read the TKD section on the noun-noun construction, to see
what wisdom could be gleamed from the cryptic pages.
The example given in TKD is "nuH pegh," which is translated as
"the weapon's secret," or "the secret of the weapon." Hmm. This
certainly can not be interpreted as "the secret weapon," which
is what my first impression told me (you know, the impression you
get before you *think*).
"nuH pegh" seems more appropriate, for example, when Geordi and Data
were testing the "Federation issue" phaser gun, which had been
charged using a Romulan power source. The weapon's secret was the
So, now I wonder, how could one say, "the secret weapon"? Although
there is "pegh" as a verb, it's not a state or quality; it is given
as "keep something secret." So, I suggest to you that "pegh" can
not be used as an adjective, which would have been a simple solution.
My next impulse, however misguided, was to try the "to be" solution.
1. pegh 'oH nuH'e'
Grammatically fine, seems to mean "As for the weapon, it's a secet."
But, what happens when I try to use it in a context, as such:
2. pegh 'oH nuH'e' 'e' vISov
(Admittedly, a simple context, but it will demonstrate my point.) If
I'm trying for "secret weapon," this certainly is not correct. This
more likely means "I know that the weapon is a secret," or "the fact
that the weapon is a secret is known to me." But the interpretation
I would have wanted for "secret weapon" in this context is "I know
what the secret weapon is." Thus, there is a secret weapon, I've
discovered it, and it's the DeathStar!! or whatever. Sentence (2)
does not have this meaning, so back to the drawing board.
Example (3) is more complex, but I think I've gotten the meaning
3. peghlu'bogh nuH
I offer the translation: "the weapon which is kept secret." Now, when
put in the context created for (2), the interpretation is correct: "I
know the weapon which is kept secret" and it's...a cloaking device!! or
What's the point of all this? Well, mostly I'm just testing my
understanding of things. Also, I would suggest the construction in
(3) as an alternative method of disambiguating both non-possessive
noun-noun constructions, and adjective interpretations when there's
no adjectival verb (i.e., one expressing a state or quality, TKD 4.4
p. 49), as is the case with "pegh."
I'd be interested in hearing others' feedback on this.