tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue May 25 21:24:02 1999

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RE: {-meH}: purpose clauses

ja' Holtej:
>...For clarity, the sentence
>we're considering is {jatlhmeH mIwmey qel wa' nav}.  As far as the
>prefixes are concerned,
>it doesn't matter whether you consider the syntax to be
>	[V-meH] O V S
>or	[V-meH S] V S
>The prefixes would be the same.  My first reading took it the 2nd way, as
>mIwmey} as the object.  Is there a compelling reason to prefer one
>structure over the
>other?  (General question, not directed specifically at peHruS.)

[V-meH] O V S yields "one paper considers procedures in order for it to speak."
[V-meH S] V S yields "one paper considers in order for procedures to speak."

I think the syntax is actually neither of the above.  I interpret it as

  [V-meH N] V S

where [V-meH N] is the object of the larger sentence, and N is definitely
not the subject of the V-meH phrase.  (In examples of this sort, have we
ever seen prefixes used on the purpose clause?)

"One paper considers procedures for speaking."

In this particular case, I'd say there indeed is a compelling reason to
prefer this third way.  If the phrase isn't {jatlhmeH mIwmey} "speaking
procedures", what is the subject of {jatlh}?  Lacking additional context,
the only candidates is are {mIwmey} and {wa' nav}.  'ach chay' jatlhlaH
mIw nav joq?  How would a paper or a procedure speak?  Even if the paper
were speaking, I don't see how considering a procedure could be related
to the occurrence.

>  I don't have a problem
>with a {-meH} clause not having an overt head noun; consider for example
>TKW p. 5:
>TKW p. 5
>{SuvmeH 'ej charghmeH bogh tlhInganpu'}
>Klingons are born to fight and live to conquer.

Calling the subject of a purpose clause the "head noun" is very confusing.
TKD only defines that term in the context of a relative clause.  Purpose
clauses are able to describe the purpose of both nouns and verbs, so any
label for the described word should acknowledge that it could be a verb.

>The questionable area is when you have a {-bogh} clause with no head noun
>(a "headless

I'm pretty sure that a relative clause *must* have a head noun, but it might
not have to be explicit.  TKD is pretty clear about how a relative clause is
used specifically to modify a head noun.  If there were no noun to modify, I
don't know how a V-bogh would fit in a sentence.  How would one use the word
{Qonglu'bogh}, for example?

jabbI'ID cha'DIchDaq ja' Holtej:
>I'm not too concerned with the terminology "head noun," I've always used
>it in the context
>of a relative clause, and at the moment I can't think of a compelling
>example where I'd
>need such a concept with a purpose clause (that I couldn't express more
>clearly with a
>relative clause anyway).  But I don't think it's necessarily true that, at
>least in the
>case of {jatlhmeH mIwmey qel wa' nav}, the noun {mIwmey} MUST be the
>object of the main
>verb, rather than having it be the subject of the purpose clause.

Please tell me how you can interpret this particular phrase if you take
{mIwmey} as the subject of the purpose clause.  I assume you would then
need to say that the entire purpose clause is modifying the verb {qel},
since there is no noun left to apply it to, and you would also have lost
anything to use as the object of the verb.

I do suppose one could contrive some context to make it work that way,
but that's not the context in which this sentence was presented.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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