tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 10 21:08:29 1999

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Re: Complex Sentences

From: Adam Snyder <>

>pagh wrote:
>> SISDI' vum 'e' mev Hoch loD 'ej juH ghoS
> SISDI' vum 'e' lumev Hoch loDpu' 'ej juH jaH

A few suggestions here, if I may.

First, placement of subjects.  Typically, when a subject might be repeated
if stated every time, you should put it in its first possible position.
Thus, if you're talking about "Each man stops working," you should say {vum
Hoch loD 'e' mev} instead of {vum 'e' mev Hoch loD}.  This is not a
hard-and-fast rule, and you can break it if you like, but we are told that
it's done this way, and it IS easier to understand.  When I first saw these
sentences, I immediately realized I had no idea WHO was working.

Next, understand that {Hoch loD} "each man" is a singular noun phrase, and
the {mev} will get the 0 prefix.  If it were {Hoch loDpu'} "all men" then
you'd have to use {lumev}.  Search the archives on {loD} or consult HolQeD
Vol.5 No.2, "More on {Hoch}."

Now, watch how the prefixes on the verb of motion works, whichever one you

SISDI' vum Hoch loD 'e' mev 'ej juH ghoS.
SISDI' vum Hoch loD 'e' mev 'ej juH jaH.
SISDI' vum Hoch loD 'e' mev 'ej juHDaq jaH.

As an aside, there's an interesting little quirk here: in HolQeD Vol.7 No.4,
"Interview with Marc Okrand," we learn that the destination of {jaH} can
either be indicated as an object of the verb, with or without the suffix
{-Daq}.  On the other hand, if a location is added to a sentence with {-Daq}
as an "oblique" noun (one that is not a subject or object of the sentence,
but comes before it), then it is not the destination, but the location in
which the action happens.  With "Each man goes home," the no-object prefix
is the same as the 3rd-person singular subject/3rd-person singular object
prefix: 0.  Thus, there's no way to tell from {juHDaq jaH Hoch loD} whether
this means "Each man goes home" or "At home, each man goes (the going
happens while he is at home)."  Only context will tell you which is meant.

On the other hand, if you said {juH jaH Hoch loD}, this HAS to mean "Each
man goes home," since without {-Daq} the noun {juH} cannot be oblique.

Stardate 99112.2

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