tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jan 04 17:06:52 1999

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Re: chuyDaH+mey (was Re: Problem Words)

ja' Voragh:
>Interestingly, Okrand used redundant plural suffixes fairly liberally
>numbers on the BoP poster - but not here:
> Hong boq chuyDaH: loS
> Impulse Fusion Thrusters - 4
> muDDaq 'eDSeHcha lulaQlu'bogh: jav
> Atmosperic Take-Off/Landing Thrusters - 6
>By my reading: yes, you can obviously have more than one {chuyDaH} - "set of
>(main?) thrusters" if you like - on a ship, but nevertheless the word NEVER
>takes a plural suffix.  You can tell Okrand did consider their inherent
>plurality because of the {lu-} prefix on {laQ}, but still rejected {-mey}.

I wouldn't have said "rejected".  Perhaps he never even thought about it
because of the multiple existing plural cues:  loS and lu-.  The problem
here is that absence of a suffix can't be taken by itself as proof that it
is not appropriate.  The word "never" in TKD is a pretty good indication,
though, and I'm certainly not going to go around saying {chuyDaHmey} until
I see something telling me that it has an accepted and understood meaning.
On the other hand, I'm not going to jump down anyone's throat for using
inherent plurals with plural suffixes if they obviously know what they're
doing and intend the sort of meaning it seems to imply.

>I couldn't find any example of an inherently plural noun with a plural suffix
>in my notes.

That's compelling, but not conclusive.  Absence of evidence is not evidence
of absence.  Even a prohibitionary rule in TKD is occasionally contradicted
by an otherwise unremarkable example.  As I said at the beginning (or, if I
didn't say it I should have), I wouldn't have a problem if I encountered the
word {chuyDaHmey}.  It doesn't go against my instincts the way it seems to
with charghwI'.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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