tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed May 26 07:55:46 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
> [V-meH] O V S yields "one paper considers procedures in order for it to
> [V-meH S] V S yields "one paper considers in order for procedures to
> 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?)

Yes, of course.  Now it all makes sense to me.  bIQIjchu'.

We do have an example of a prefix on a purpose clause, TKW p. 73
{bIQapqu'meH tar DaSop 'e' DatIvnIS}.  The purpose clause {bIQapqu'meH} just
seems to be hanging out there in front of the sentence, not modifying
another noun or verb, though, unless you want to claim that {tar} is the
noun that it's modifying and {bIQapqu'meH tar} is the object of {Sop}
(doesn't feel that way to me, though).

> >  I don't have a problem with a {-meH} clause not having an overt head
> Calling the subject of a purpose clause the "head noun" is very confusing.

Yes, indeed, I was careful in my follow-up message to avoid doing that, but
this one slipped by.  I meant that I don't have a problem with a {-meH}
clause not having an overt subject or object.

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

We have the mysterious sound file on KCD, {Dajatlhbogh vIyajbe'.
yIjatlhqa'.}  I'm not holding this up as a golden example of a headless
relative.  Without more evidence, we have no reason to think we can do this
kind of thing (and TKD's description pretty clearly suggests we can't).  But
if we could, there's an example of what it might look like.

> >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.

jatlhmeH mIwmey qel wa' nav

Okay, I can't.  I wasn't interested so much in making {mIwmey} the subject
of {jatlhmeH} as I was making it NOT the object of {qel}.  Since a {-meH}
clause is a verb, I assume it can have its own subject and/or object,
independent of the noun/verb it's modifying and independent of the main

For example, this could easily be {bIjatlhmeH mIwmey}, and {mIwmey} is more
clearly not the subject of {jatlhmeH}.

> 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.

Not at all.  The entire purpose clause is itself acting as the object of the
verb {qel}.  The verb with {-meH} is modifying the noun {mIwmey}, it doesn't
need to modify another verb as well.  The purpose clause acts as a noun in
the sentence.  Your interpretation was based upon my faulty claim that
{mIwmey} was the subject of the purpose clause, which was just me being
sloppy.  DopDaq qul yIchenmoH QobDI' ghu'.

In the initial thread, Voragh commented:

> I think that peHruS is confused by the phrase {jatlhmeH mIwmey} "speaking
> procedures". The plural noun {mIwmey} is not the subject of the dependent
> verb {jatlh} but the plural object of the main verb {qel}.

This is what I was objecting to.  The entire purpose clause is the object of
{qel}, not the N {mIwmey}.

> -- ghunchu'wI'

-- Holtej 'utlh

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