tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Dec 30 13:51:21 1999

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Re: {law'} = "much"? [on a new topic now]

On Thu, 30 Dec 1999 12:18:15 -0600 Steven Boozer 
<> wrote:

> charghwI':
> >This crashes into the unresolved conflict we have over whether
> >{law'} can mean "much" as well as "many", as in {nIn law'
> >vIDIl}. Does this mean "I pay for much fuel," or does it have to
> >mean, "I pay for many fuels,"?
> The difference being...?  Many different *types* of fuel?  How often would this
> distinction come up?

The whole point is that while we can LOGICALLY conclude that 
{law'} can mean "much" in addition to the definitions given, and 
if it can't then we have a void in the vocabulary, but I had 
never found any instances of Okrand using it to mean "much". 
Instead, I had only noticed him use it meaning "many".

I see below that you have found exactly the examples I was 
looking for. batlh Qu'maj Datoy'taHneS.
> ghuchu'wI':
> : I'm certain it can be *translated* as "much" without difficulty.  Whether
> : or not it *means* that is probably not relevant.  There are odd questions
> : to deal with whenever we consider "mass" nouns in Klingon.  There might
> : not be any semantic distinction between "much fuel" and "many fuels" or
> : between "much money" and "many monies".  We've seen {'ul law'} in canon,
> : with the only reasonably direct translation being "much electricity".  I
> : don't really need to know whether "many electricities" is more literally
> : correct.
> Fortunately, we have much more than the brief glossary entry to go on.  Okrand
> has used {law'} in four ways:
> 1. Following the "mass" nouns {'ul} electricity, {HoS} power, {luch} equipment)
> without a plural suffix (as you would expect).  Note he translates {law'(qu')}
> differently in each case:
>   chIch vay' 'oy'moHmeH 'oy'naQ 'ul law' tlhuD 'oH 
>   Painstiks...emit a highly-charged shock for the express purpose of
>   inflicting pain. S32
>   HoS law'qu' luch law'qu' je lo' Duj nuH pat Hub pat je 
>   A huge amount of the ship's power and technology is devoted to its
>   weapons grid and defensive systems. SP3
>   HoS law'qu' natlhmo' So'wI' 
>   Due to the tremendous energy drain of a cloaking device... S33

While I believe he could be more explicit than this, I'm quite 
willing to accept these as definitive.
> 2. Following count nouns, interestingly all *with* a plural suffix BTW, usually
> translated "many":

This is what I generally expect. Hmmm. But what if one leaves 
the plural suffix off? Would that mean something else? Hmmmm.
>   Dujmey law' DachIjpu' 
>   You have navigated many ships. (idiom) KGT
>   Suv qabDu' law' 
>   many faces fight (idiom) KGT
>   tlhIngan Dujmey law'qu' SommeyDaq batlh cha'lu' 
>   [The Klingon symbol] has been emblazoned upon the hulls of countless
>   Klingon starships. SP1
> 3. Following a *verb* (!) in the idiomatic comparative constructions {A Q law'
> B Q puS}, where "any verb expressing a quality or condition may fit into the Q
> slot" (TKD:70).  This usage alone shows that {law'} and {puS} aren't as simple
> as they might first appear.

This grammar is so unrelated to anything else that I would not 
draw any conclusions from it.
> 4. The odd {lo' law' bID choQ} "a half utility deck" (i.e. "many use/multiple
> purpose" deck?) in the BoP poster:
>   cha' choQmey naQ tu'lu' 'ej tep choQ bIngDaq lo' law' bID choQ tu'lu' 
>   2 Full Decks and a Half Utility Deck under the Cargo Deck  (KBP)

Yes, odd.
> charghwI's unresolved issues aside, I think it's fairly clear that usage shows
> {law'(qu')} can be translated "many/much/a (huge) amount/etc." according to
> context.  It probably works just like {'ar} "how many? how much?".  (I wonder
> if we'll discover that {puS} works the same way?)  

My issue is now resolved. While you consider {puS}, also 
consider {'op} and how it might be related. Something 
intermediate? Or is the number genuinely unspecified with no 
suggestion at all whether it is "several" "a few" or "some".
> If you really need to specify "many fuels" vs. "much fuel" you might be able to
> add a plural suffix: ?{nInmey law'}.  This may well sound as odd in Klingon as
> "many fuels" does in English, at least to me.  OTOH, "fuels" may be a common
> term or jargon in the fuel production industry or at refueling depots, much
> like the plural form "monies" is heard most often from English-speaking
> accountants or clerks.  (I once catalogued a 2,000-page reference book
> entitled, "Fishes of the Pacific".  Apparently in biology the redundant form
> "fishes" refers to different species of fish, while the usual plural "fish"
> refers to multiple fish of the same species.  This is probably more a
> peculiarity of English grammar and usage than Klingon.)

One can never know.

> -- 
> Voragh                       
> Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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