tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 12 14:15:56 1999

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

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

Re: be'

On Fri, 12 Feb 1999 14:06:01 -0800 (PST) "Lieven L. Litaer" 
<> wrote:

> I just thought of this:
> {be'} is a "female",
> {be'Hom} is a "small female", thus a girl.
> Would {be''a'} be a very old female?

Only if you considered age to be related to significance.

A {be'Hom} is a woman, only less. A {be''a'} would be a woman, 
only more. She might be large or otherwise striking in 
appearance such that you would notice her as being more 
significant than other women. She might be from a great house 
and carry a lot of political clout or wealth, or she might be 
wise enough that her opinions count more than that of your 
average {be'}.

The point is that the {-Hom} on {be'Hom} isn't there because a 
girl is younger than a woman. It is there because a girl is 
smaller and in many ways less significant than a woman, just as 
a boy is smaller and less significant than a man.

Size is only one aspect of significance, and while things with 
{-Hom} tend to often, but not always, be smaller than those 
without, the real difference is in significance, not just size 
or age or such.

Does that help?

Also, you can't always make assumptions about these things 
without examples. I recently wondered about such a thing. There 
is a unit of measure called {'uj'a'}. It is nine times longer 
than an {'uj}. I wondered if an {'ujHom} would be one ninth of 
an {'uj}. Okrand explicitly said that no such measurement 
existed. It might make logical sense, but language doesn't 
always follow logic.
> muHwI'


Back to archive top level